Santa’s MV Technique for Email Subjects Lines that Get Clicked

Do you put cookies under the tree for Santa? Well, you’d better because he’s delivering a special gift just for you this Christmas!

use mystery and value on your website

What is this special gift, you ask? It’s a technique that has served him well for ages: the mv technique, or the mystery and value technique.

It’s a winning move for writing email marketing subject lines that get all holly-jolly to read your emails.

Before I explain, let me back up a second and tell you WHY you are going to absolutely love this gift.

You see, you face a challenge when seeking new coaching clients.

For people to want to work with you, they need to like you, trust you and feel positively connected to you.

To accomplish this, many successful coaches (ones who are regularly signing up new clients) will keep an email list (ezine, newsletter, mailing list) of people who have agreed to receive content.

And so these successful coaches will send content (emails) with valuable, helpful, educational and inspirational information to their subscribers.

This, in turn, builds that deep, trusting positive bond.

wrap content in mystery and value

The challenge comes in when you attempt to distribute your emails to your subscribers.

Your email will sit in your subscriber’s inbox drowned by 50 or more other emails.

And it’s your subject line that will have to do the job of winning attention enough for them to click and open it.

If they aren’t drawn to your subject line, they don’t open it and your bond doesn’t get the chance to deepen.

It’s gotta be as exciting as a fresh Xmas present under the tree.

Thus, the challenge is to how to write good email subject lines that people will want to click.

And this is where good old Saint Nick, master of the mystery value technique, comes in!

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Part One: The Mystery

Remember when you were a kid and it was the night before Christmas?

You couldn’t sleep. You were anxiously awaiting the wonderful gift you were about to receive.

A big part of that excitement was due to the fact that you did not know what was in the tightly wrapped, decorative box.

It was a big mystery!

There was this box, which you knew held something inside, but you didn’t know what. It was a box.

This box made your imagination run wild.

This box is the mystery.

Part Two: The Value

With our night-before-Christmas example, not only were the contents of this box unknown to you, but you knew the contents were incredibly valuable.

They were valuable because they were specially chosen for you.

It was a few weeks ago that you sat upon Santa’s lap told him everything you wanted for Xmas.

And while your mom’s box is still a mystery to you, it isn’t as exciting or valuable to you because the contents are for her.

It probably has lipstick or a piece of jewelry, something she would like – not you.

And so, your gift is just driving you bonkers because it has both mystery and value.

box is the mystery, content is the value

Let’s take a closer look at each piece: mystery and value

M = The mystery element (the box)

Make sure that in your email subject line (blog title or any heading for that matter) there’s something mysterious or unknown to be discovered.

Make your box – so to speak – with shape, size, dimension, wrapping, ribbon, and weight – but without revealing what’s inside.

Here are some ways to do that …

  • Three Things that…
  • How to …
  • The Secret to …
  • The Weird Thing I Found on the Way Home from the Beach that …

Do you see how the mystery element (the structure or framework so to speak) puts a shape around your gift of content?

V = The value element

What do your readers find valuable?

They want solutions to challenges. They want help to reach their goals. They want tips for success. They want to grow, be inspired, feel at peace, be energized and more.

If needed, take some time and ask yourself (or better, ask them) what they want from you when it comes to content in your emails.

Here are some examples of value:

  • Reaching goals of all kinds
  • Quitting smoking
  • Doubling productivity in half the time
  • Feeling energized, healthy and strong
  • Finding more clients in a coaching business (I bet this is something you want to know more about and can you see how just reading these words starts to stir something in you?)
  • Increasing sales in business

Can you see the importance of value has to be specific to the receiver?

Now, put Mystery together with Value and you get an email subject line like these:

  • Three Things to Double Productivity
  • How to Quit Smoking
  • The Secret to Reaching Goals
  • The Weird Thing I Learned about Attracting New Coaching Clients on My Way Home from the Beach

Now those are subject lines that will get people tearing open your emails and digging into your newsletters and emails.

In each of the examples above, can you see the mystery element (the box or structure of what’s inside)?

Can you identify the value part? The big benefit that the content can bring to the recipient?

Can you see how putting both together makes a pretty, intriguing, tempting content present?

Kenn’s action challenge, if you want to be on the brave coach list …

Remember to put mystery and value to work in your email subject lines, blog titles and just about any content.

It will encourage more people to open your emails, read your articles, and in turn, build stronger relationships and deepen levels of trust with your readers – your soon-to-be clients.

Step 1. Go ahead and think of an idea mystery or just use one from the mystery step above.

Step 2. Then think about any one thing you or your clients want to know more about, want to accomplish, or want to overcome.

Step 3. Mix them together into an enticing title or subject line and post it below.

If you do, I’ll add you to my brave coaches list. 😉

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17 Responses to Santa’s MV Technique for Email Subjects Lines that Get Clicked

  1. Stephen November 22, 2019 at 5:40 am #

    Do you know your most valuable competitive advantage?

    • Kenn Schroder December 2, 2019 at 3:48 am #

      This title leaves the reader with a though of either YES or NO.
      It doesn’t make them feel the need to read on strongly.

      Beter would be, “How to Find Your Most Valuable Advantage” or “Three Steps to Discovering Your Most Valuable Competitive Advantage”

  2. Stephen November 21, 2019 at 3:10 pm #

    How to Stop being Schedule Slave

    • Kenn Schroder November 21, 2019 at 6:57 pm #

      What’s that? Maybe spell it out unless people with the problem know it’s a problem.

      Perhaps, “How to Free Yourself from Over Scheduling and Overcommitting”

      Love the simple “How to” part. It’s classic and works.

  3. Stephen November 21, 2019 at 2:13 pm #

    Kenn, many thanks for ALL your insightful posts and for your generosity in sharing your knowledge.

    One question I have relates to website domain names… specifically the .extension … what are your thoughts and guidance i.e. I’m in the UK and I could have or perhaps .com etc … Have you a preference and if so which and why?

    Best wishes,


    • Kenn Schroder November 21, 2019 at 3:04 pm #

      If you are targeting uk people, then I’d use and build your website on that.
      If taking over the world go .com.
      Either way, try to get both and build on one while pointing the other (called forwarding).

      How’s the site creation journey looking ahead? DIY?

  4. Kenn Schroder July 24, 2017 at 10:39 pm #

    Home run titles Pat!

    Btw, be sure to include “.com” in your website address whenever you use it. It wasn’t done so up above.

    “Even If You’re Bored” … or “Even If You’d Rather Stick Bicycle Spokes in Your Eyes”


  5. patladouceur July 24, 2017 at 7:33 pm #

    Some of my upcoming blog ideas Academic Coaching (some are for parents, some for students):
    * 3 Ways to Cut Your Study Time in Half
    * How to Get 100% on Your Next Math Test
    * 5 Ways to Stay Focused When You’re Studying — Even if You’re Bored
    * 3 Reasons Many Teens Struggle in School — Even if They’re Smart and Put in the Study Time
    * ADHD Quiz: Does Your Teen Need Help?

  6. Ellen Finkelstein January 9, 2017 at 3:38 pm #

    You may be right, but I was thinking of the guilt factor. I think lots of coaches know they’re ignoring their subscribers and feel guilty about it, so they resonate with it. It certainly isn’t a phrase that people are searching for…

    • Kenn Schroder January 9, 2017 at 10:00 pm #

      How to Get Past Guilt of Ignoring Your Subscribers and Revive Your Email List Marketing Efforts

      A bit of a mouthful, but now I get what you mean.

  7. Ellen Finkelstein January 8, 2017 at 7:56 pm #

    Nice! And well written, too.

    • Kenn Schroder January 8, 2017 at 9:28 pm #

      Thanks Ellen. Got a blog title ready to go? Share it here.

      • Ellen Finkelstein January 9, 2017 at 11:45 am #

        Thanks for the invitation to share, Kenn. In my experience, some coaches simply don’t send out emails often enough and then their subscribers forget who they are. So I wrote a blog post, “Don’t ignore your list!” It’s at

        • Kenn Schroder January 9, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

          Sweet …. I like the simplicity of the title. But I’d probably title this,

          “How to Kill Your List”


          “How to NOT Kill Your List and Instead Get Business from It”

          The “Do this” type of article is advice and it’s easy to just to take or ignore and doesn’t require much reading. For example, “Quit Smoking” or “Exercise More” or “Don’t Eat Junk Food” … those kinds of titles don’t work well from click-thru tests I’ve done as well as what many guru marketers advise.

          But only your stats will tell. Maybe it works for you, your market, your website and your following (some people have die-hard followers who will open everything.)

  8. Pamina Mullins December 19, 2016 at 5:05 am #

    The easy formula for daily happiness and success!

  9. Kenn Schroder January 24, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

    Yeah, it works well. Hope you prosper from it.

  10. Carol Leek January 19, 2016 at 7:31 pm #

    I love this! Makes perfect sense. Thank you.

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