An Email Subject Line Framework Virtual Advisors Use to Increase Open Rates by 35%


Most virtual advisors – and really most marketers – have a misguided view of email marketing. 

They have this image of prospects hitting the “refresh” button in their inboxes…just waiting on an email to arrive.



But that’s almost exactly the OPPOSITE of what they’re doing.

In reality, most prospects have overcrowded inboxes that look like this:

Rather than waiting with bated breath for your next email, they’re quickly scanning their inboxes looking for the most important emails.

They’re performing a real-time “triage.”

Not interested…



I’ll look at this later…

Meh…seen that before…

Don’t need that…


The average person receives 121 emails every single workday, and they don’t have the time or desire to open them all.

Thus if you don’t hook them in and give them REASON to open your email, your messages will ultimately end up in their “trash” folder. (And if this happens enough times, their email sender will eventually classify you as SPAM.)

If you want to reach prospects via email, you have to step up your email subject line game…

…and you’re in the right place.

In this article, I’ll show you:

  • The #1 reason 35% of your prospects trash your emails
  • The ‘4-U’ subject line framework for grabbing PRIME inbox real estate
  • A simple (and FREE) tool you can use to pre-test subject lines before hitting “send”
  • A PDF version of my very own email subject line SWIPE file

Okay, let’s get to it…

Why Virtual Advisors Should Care About Email Subject Lines

If you really want to know the truth, the success of every email campaign you ever launch is directly dependent on your email open rate.

If nobody opens your emails, you aren’t going to book any appointments or move any prospects to action…

…simple as that.

And research shows that 33.9% of all prospects open an email based on the subject line. 

Another 13.1% say they open emails based on the offer. 

But when you consider that the offer is almost always reflected directly in the subject line, this means the number of people opening your emails based on the subject line is much closer to 50%.

Thus if you want to generate better results with email…it’s clear where you need to turn your attention.

The 4-U Subject Line Framework for Better Email Open Rates

Entire copywriting courses have been written about crafting subject lines – so I won’t pretend to give you an exhaustive list of every single consideration to keep in mind.

What I will do is give you a simple framework that can be deployed to instantly improve your ability to write compelling subject lines that get clicked. 

It’s called the “4-U Subject Line Framework” and it’s probably the simplest explanation I’ve seen for insurance and financial advisors.

It says that, when writing email subject lines – or even a blog post headline – there are four key elements to consider. 

(Note: You won’t be able to include all four in every subject line, but aim to include as many as possible.)



Inboxes are cluttered and there’s lots of noise in a prospects world. 

People are subconsciously asking, “Why is it important that I pay attention to this right now?”

There are plenty of good opportunities to ethically leverage the power of urgency in your subject lines. Low hanging fruit includes:

  • Life insurance (You never know when it’s your time – is your family protected?)
  • Retirement planning (The time value of money concept – start today!)

You can also leverage the power of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) to get people to open an email. Nobody likes feeling as if they’ll be left on the outside looking in.



Look for ways to ensure the subject line applies to the prospect on a granular level. 

(This is why it’s so important to know who your target audience is. Once you do, you can deliver messaging that resonates with them.) 

What’s the benefit to the prospect?

  • How is it going to help me build wealth?
  • How is it going to reduce my taxes?
  • How is it going to help me protect my family?

A good subject line is useful to the prospect. Many virtual advisors make the mistake of making the subject line about them, when it should be entirely focused on the prospect.



How is this different from the other five emails the prospect has received from advisors over the past month?

  • When the thing you’re offering doesn’t seem super original, create a unique mechanism to cultivate more interest.
  • Use data points and statistics from relevant reports or case studies to give your subject lines an element of being set apart.



People tend to believe things that are specific rather than generic. 

Specificity converts, generalities tank.

Don’t just say you save your clients money on their taxes. Include a specific dollar amount from a client you worked with this past tax season. (Run it through compliance, of course.)

Another option is to use dates and deadlines. Not only is this a specific number, but it also has the dual benefit of instilling urgency.


BONUS: How to Pre-Test Subject Lines



As a bonus tip, I want to direct you to one of my favorite secret copywriting tools: The Email Subject Line Tester from Send Check It.

It’s a simple (and free) browser-based tool that gives you a quick grade for any email subject line. The AI-based tool analyzes 100,000+ emails subject lines other marketers have sent and shows you specific areas where you can improve your own.

It takes all of 30 seconds to use and could potentially lead to a 5% to 10% lift in opens. I like it…perhaps you will, too.



Need Some Subject Line Inspiration? Swipe These…



Looking for some ideas you can use to instantly improve your email subject line writing skills? 

I’ve got a swipe file full of 29 advisor-specific subject lines that I’d be happy to share with you for free.

These are email subject lines that are proven to work.

Every single one is either from our own personal vault – meaning we’ve used it to help insurance and financial advisors generate THOUSANDS in fees and commissions…

Or it’s been pulled from other highly successful marketing campaigns from leaders in our space.

I’ve got a copy waiting for you…

Just tell me where to send them.

Want More Actionable Advisor Insights?



Interested in harvesting more powerful insights just like these?

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We show up LIVE each week on the Virtual Advisor Power Hour and take a deep dive into topics like sales psychology, email copywriting, LinkedIn prospecting, growth systems, digital marketing funnels….and MORE.

>> Click here to reserve your spot and add the VAPH to your calendar <<


Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah is the founder and CEO of Advisorist® and is a 23-time award winning financial marketer, a TED speaker and philanthropist. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNN, and Worth. His work has generated over $2 million insurance leads and helped advisors in over 51 countries generate over $300 million in sales commissions. He is the author of the best selling book, SHIFT.

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