spill the tea meme

This Email Subject Line Must Die (and What to Say Instead)

As a social media consultant, I am on several email lists because it helps me better serve my clients. I subscribe to lists with lead magnets I admire and ones I think stink. I subscribe to lists based on what I see on sales pages, hear on podcasts and see on websites. I stay on email lists to see how people handle their lead magnet delivery, welcome sequences and general upkeep of their lists.

I read them. I save them. I refer to them later.

And, yes..you could call me obsessive. Go ahead. I don’t mind.

When you’re on a lot of lists, you see how small the world of online business can be.

I know who is connected to Marie Forleo, Seth Godin and Amy Porterfield based on who emails me special offers when their signature programs open for enrollment.

You know what else I notice?

Email trends. Especially trends in subject lines.

Why Email Subject Lines Matter

If you’re new to trying to grow your audience online, you might not know how important email subject lines. They are a BIG DEAL.

In a flooded email inbox, the subject line’s job is to get that message opened.

Once opened, the message actually has a fighting chance of getting read — you have your chance at connecting. And if you connect well, your links get clicked.

Emails that aren’t opened never get clicks.

And your email open and click rates are valuable to prospective agents and publishers evaluating the strength of your platform.

That’s why, if you get a lot of emails from people in the same industry, you end up seeing a lot of the same subject lines.

Knowing the importance of subject lines, I understand why when one maven uses a subject line, everyone angling for the same market follows suit.

But there’s one email subject line phrase that needs to go:

Spilling the tea, as in:

Spilling the tea on our BIGGEST sale of the year!


Spilling the tea on the latest Instagram news


Join me live tonight as a I spill the tea on my latest program

Every week, I have emails promising to spill the tea on one thing or another. Aside from feeling gimmicky to the point of being annoying, most of these emails use the phrase incorrectly. “Spilling the tea” means revealing a juicy secret. It implies insider info, And in most cases, the information being shared isn’t that much of a secret. It feels fraudulent to pretend it is.

If you’re using it, stop. It’s played out. Instead consider these more accurate variations:

  • Lifting the curtain …
  • Behind the scenes …
  • And inside look into …
  • A sneak peek just for you …

What do you think?

Have you used “spill the tea” in a subject line? Have you seen it around? What email trends have you observed that drive you crazy? Leave a comment below or email tonya@tonyakubo.com.

Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Social Media Consultant

Tonya Kubo is founder of Team Kubo Community Management. She supports experts, entrepreneurs, and enterprises in developing highly engaged online communities so they can grow their groups and get results without feeling frazzled. See the team in action at tonya.link/group.

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