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The Subject Line with the 77% Open Rate…

The Subject Line with the 77% Open Rate and an 18% Click Rate That Sold Out a Seminar

One of my greatest blessings as a copywriter was having the opportunity to see thousands of split-run direct mail and email copywriting tests.  

As a result, I was able to create my own database of winning subject lines, offers, arguments, and promotions. 

This proprietary knowledge has been the vortex of my success–giving me an overwhelming advantage when my copy is tested against others. 

That’s because I know scientifically what works and what doesn’t before I write one word, eliminating the mistakes that others might make. 

I don’t mention this to boast, but this is how I beat the control nearly 70% of the time while generating $100+ million along the way. 

It was precisely my database of winning promotions that resulted in a subject line with a 77% open rate, an 18% click rate, and a sold-out seminar.

So what is this magic subject line?  

How did I come up with it? 

Before I say, let me give you a back story. 

The year was 2007. I was working on a new promotion for Louis Navellier’s Blue Chip Growth newsletter,trying to think of a new way to promote the publication. 

If you have ever sold an investment advisory, you know there are typically five hooks:   

  1. The stock story,
  2. A macroeconomic story, 
  3. A microeconomic  story, 
  4. The track record story–and, of course, 
  5. The sale. 

This time I wanted to try something different.    

I have always felt that if you continue to do the same things, you will continue to get the same results.  If you want to achieve something more, then you must try something new. 

The idea for something new came in the form of (1) a direct mail membership promotion to join a fitness club I received in the mail and (2) an email e-vite for a party that I received the same day.  

That’s when my mind started to put two and two together on the offer side.   

Let me explain. 

Here’s the story

I sell, for the most part, subscriptions to stock and trading advisories. 

Truth is, there is really no difference between a membership and a subscription.   They are both recurring revenue streams.  

So just like you pay monthly for your gym membership, you pay monthly for your investment newsletter subscription.   

The only difference is that for one (like the gym membership), you show up for the money you pay.  For the other, you receive your subscription via the mail or email.    

Then it hit me:  

Why not turn a subscription offer into a membership offer and then send the prospects an e-vite to join?  

The beauty of this approach is that we could give away a $199-a-year newsletter FREE (which we sold for the discount price of $149) for a $149-a-year membership.  

Which, of course, was the same price as the newsletter!

While they were the same price, the membership offer simply feels more valuable.    And it was because I could then position the subscription benefits as FREE member benefits. 

Then I used the e-vite to tender an invitation to join.   Readers would then click on the e-vite to the long landing (sales) page. 

And, boy, did it work!  


On a scale of 1 to 10, a regular “OK” email promotion was a 5.  A big winner was a 10.  But this e-vite membership approach was–hold on to your hat–a 33! 

Yes, I know.  You can’t get a 33 on a scale of 1 to 10.  However, the results here were truly off the charts. 

So much so that we emailed this with tweaks and updates for over 10 years.  

The subject line:  Special Invitation from Louis Navellier. 

Here’s why I believed it garnered such a great open rate.  

People were just beginning to get e-vites.  They were new.   To get one from an investment guru you have been following, that was huge. 

Because I knew how powerful this subject line was, I used it for my own Breakthrough Copywriting seminar I gave to my local Direct Marketing Association group in 2007. 

That’s also why I wasn’t surprised when “Special Invitation from Doug D’Anna” delivered a 77% open rate.  It had already been tested and proven. 

But that’s not why it garnered an 18% click rate or resulted in a sold-out seminar. 

The Secret Behind the Sell-Out

The reason the click rate was so high is that (1) I had the right message and (2) it was going to the right audience. 


You couldn’t ask for a better audience consisting of: (1) the local DMA group and (2) my local A-list members.  

All of whom knew my reputation for writing control-beating copy on a national scale. 

Frankly, the copy that listed the content of the seminar simply sealed the deal. 

That’s because few attendees of my local DMA group: 

  1. Had seen as large a number of direct mail and test results as I had, and 
  2. The information I was covering was exactly what this group was looking for.

This included: 

  • How to create a direct response marketing promotion that not only resists fatigue but also can be easily updated and improved without reinventing the wheel.
  • Why breakthrough copy begins with what your customer wants—and not with your product or service.
  • How to fashion irresistible headlines that demand to be read, along with compelling body copy that continually outsells your competition.
  • The hidden creative challenge that unwittingly sabotages the strongest creative and how to quickly overcome it.
  • 7 time-tested creative themes that continue to work over and over. 
  • My 6-point Bridge to Your Breakthrough Methodology that forms the foundation of my Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula.  
  • How I fuse together winning, market-proven ideas into powerful money-making email campaigns, webinars, funnels, and video sales letters.
  • Why nobody buys if they don’t believe first,and why your proof points are just as important to closing a sale as your headline is to getting someone to open your email and/or watch your video sales letter.  
  • My simple “what do they want?” approach to identifying compelling themes,along with how to write in a way that solves your readers’ problems. 

Plus, I showed them how copywriters, creative directors, and marketing managers can partner to gain an overwhelming advantage over their competition. All information they had never seen on such a large scale. 

The result was a successful seminar not only for me but for everyone who attended.

All of it began with the simple subject line:  Special Invitation from Doug D’Anna.

This is how I achieved a 77% open rate, an 18% click rate, and a sold-out seminar.

This Is Your Special Invitation to Grab Your Own Copy of My Sold-Out Seminar

That way you can see for yourself the effectiveness of my Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula.

Just like my seminar attendees, you’ll learn the techniques that I used to create the most successful direct mail packages and email promotions in InvestorPlace’s history, including: 

  • Tax Bomb to Blindside US Investors 
  • Profit from the Pandemic 
  • Can India Stop China?
  • Have Oil Stocks Finally Had It?
  • Greatest Stock Shock in 70 Years
  • The Paper-Thin iPad
  • Politically Incorrect Doubler 
  • 50% Richer in Six Months or Free
  • How to Buy Amazon for $100 a Share
  • A Rare Opportunity to Turn $1,000 into $200,000
  • The $2 Trillion Windfall
  • $6 Canadian Oil Stock to Hit $15 by Friday 
  • Ride the Robot Car to Retirement Riches
  • The Great Inflation Surprise
  • The Conspiracy to Keep You Out of China
  • One Nation Under China 
  • Backroom Drug Deal to Deliver Your Next Double

Promotions that together with hundreds more have generated more than $100 million in sales. 

Perhaps the biggest idea you will find in Breakthrough Copywriting is that creating great copy doesn’t have to be complicated. 

That was my ultimate goal:  

To create a mini course on breakthrough copywriting that someone could absorb in hours and make it work the same day. 

By the success of the seminar and the comments I’ve received since I released the video last week, I’ve done just that. 

 – – – – – – – – – – – – 

“I wish I had had this when I started writing copy. I would have bypassed years of trial and error.” 

 – – – – – – – – – – – – 

“I learned enough new things to make this offer well worth the investment. Hearing a couple of the more advanced topics explained out loud in the author’s own words, versus slogging through a book or training manual, was extremely helpful.” 

 – – – – – – – – – – – – 

“I paid $2,500 for a big financial publisher’s copywriting course… and got far more from these timeless lessons. It’s like a complete copy course in a single video.”

 – – – – – – – – – – – – 

You’ll not only learn how I use test results to continue to revise, hone, and improve my copy but also save 60% off the cost of attending the live seminar.  

When you consider that just one idea can give you an exponential increase in the persuasiveness of your copy–and I’ll share with you over a dozen market-proven ideas–you’ll agree that that’s a steal of a deal.

I hope that once you watch it, you’ll agree with my publisher, who says, “This is why we signed Doug D’Anna to an exclusive” and that you can use my market-proven ideas to increase the persuasiveness of your copy. 

Go here to grab your copy. 

All good wishes, 

Doug  D’Anna

P.S. Looking for more inspiration?

Please check out my Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula Coaching. I can work with you one-on-on, the old school way, to get you the next level in your copywriting career.

Click here for more information.

Doug D'Anna

As a seasoned direct response copywriter, Doug D'Anna has created more than 100 widely-mailed control packages for the world's largest specialized information publishers—generating over $100 million in direct sales.