Even if you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can (and do) judge emails by their subject lines. In fact, a good subject line is the top deciding factor that determines whether or not someone will take the time to open an email.
When you’re sending a cold email, the quality of your subject line becomes even more important.
Cold emails are emails sent to prospects who are not part of your current contact list or network. They won’t have the benefit of being familiar with your name or company, so your subject line becomes even more important. It creates their first impression of you, and determines whether your relationship will progress further.
How Does a Great Subject Line Impact My Email Campaign’s Success?
Your subject line is the best way to try to sell a prospective customer or client on opening your cold email, so you can continue the process of selling them on your product or service.
How do we know there’s a science to creating successful subject lines? It’s evident when you take a look at these stats:
- 69% of people report an email as spam – and 47% open an email – based on the subject line alone.
- Emojis aren’t just for texting anymore. Fifty-six percent of brands that place emojis in their subject lines garner higher open rates.
- Product mentions appeal to curious prospects: mentioning a specific detail of a product, or including the product name, generated the second-highest success rate for email opens – 44.01%.
- What generated the highest overall success rate? The beautiful sound (or sight, actually) of the recipient’s own name – at 46.21%, according to research by SaleCycle.
What Best Practices Should I Keep in Mind When Creating Subject Lines for Cold Emails?
Think of your cold email subject line in the same way that you’d consider meeting a person for the first time.
If you’re at a networking event (or even a speed dating event), you think carefully about the first impression you’re going to make. You don’t jump around waving a free product, you don’t give a limp handshake, and you don’t launch into a lengthy monologue that’s all you, you, you.
When it comes to your cold email subject line, try to keep these best practices in mind:
- Short and sweet is good. Subject lines with just a few words tend to do better than lengthy ones. Hubspot suggests keeping them under 45 characters, while other sources cite three or four words as a good length.
- ALL CAPS ARE NOT ALL GOOD. Emails with all caps in their subject lines earn lower open rates, and are also more likely to be marked as spam.
- Focus on the benefits. When you’re creating an email subject line, you don’t have to immediately shout out how great your product is. Tell the recipient what they want to hear, whether it’s a special offer or a unique benefit your product offers and customers love.
- Be careful with your offers. While it can be beneficial to include an offer in your subject line, overuse of terms like “free” can also send you to spam.
100 Cold Email Subject Lines You Can Try
As promised, here are 100 cold email subject line suggestions you can try and test. Start with these as a jumping-off point, and then spend your time working to craft the perfect sales email to back up the promise your subject line suggests.
1. Earn double points today
2. Feeling [Emotion} I can help!
3. Your free[promotion] is waiting for you
4. A complimentary upgrade with every purchase
5. Your all-access pass to our upcoming webinar series
6. I’m ready to listen
7. Come celebrate with us
8. We’re saving a spot for you
9. Professional development opportunity
10. The real reason [X] needs [Y]
11. The data behind [event]
12. The tool 78% of managers want
13. The 12 reasons your email isn’t getting opened
14. Science says you’re more likely to buy based on these 5 factors
15. 98% of moms want this for Mother’s Day
16. 5 tips, tricks, and trends to ensure fast growth
17. Our most complete guide to [industry]
18. What’s affecting [X] this week
19. Don’t miss out!
20. Quick question
21. What I found on your website
22. You were just matched
23. Here’s your chance:
24. I wouldn’t ask if it weren’t important
25. What are you missing?
26. I’d love to help you, [Name]
27. These 4 brands have a story to tell
28. What your business can learn from the royal family
29. Three clever marketing lessons from the Super Bowl
30. Go Spurs go!
31. 6 reasons you want Arya Stark on your [department] team
32. Business management fixer upper, Joanna Gaines style
33. It’s almost gone
34. I didn’t want you to miss out
35. Don’t let FOMO ruin your weekend
36. A [better/smarter/faster] way to [reach a specific goal]
37. Free shipping ends tonight
38. Almost finished
39. Live training – starting now!
40. Don’t wait
41. Get our [X] package with purchase – today only
42. [Friend name] mentioned you
43. Our mutual connections at [vendor]
44. The [mutual group] LinkedIn group
45. A friend of [friend’s name]
Make life easier
46. Download our white paper
47. How we helped [customer] save $30,000
48. Try out my new custom font
49. We just released new updates
50. Offering a website audit
51. 100 cold email subject lines you can use
52. Help me help you
53. Learn to [talent] ridiculously well
54. Steal my marketing strategy
55. Congrats on the promotion, [name]!
56. Your recent award
57. Saw you were mentioned in [media outlet]
58. Your role on the [nonprofit] board
59. Your presentation at [conference]
60. Quick question for you, [name]
61. Available to meet at [place]?
62. Buy you a coffee, [name]?
63. Have a minute for a survey, [name]?
64. Hoping to see you at the conference, [name]
Short and sweet
66. Love your site
68. Hello gorgeous!
69. New bells and whistles
70. We want you
71. Don’t forget
72. Few things to discuss
73. Hi there
74. Boost your sales revenue
75. How we started [solving pain point]
76. Training materials for your [department] team
77. A faster way to handle [pain point]
78. Check that [boring task] off your to-do list
79. Spend less time [pain point]
80. How Kate’s team saved $X with [product]
81. Why your competitors chose us
82. 74.98% of small business owners prefer [X]
83. Interested in learning more?
84. What’s your go-to technology?
85. How can I help, [name]?
86. Want to boost your success rate?
87. Is it okay if I send you [offer], [name]?
88. Ready to ….?
89. Have you thought about [pain point]?
90. I’d love to hear from you ?
91. Read our latest ebook ?
92. Our trick to make your productivity ?
93. Was it something I said?
94. Recommended: this eCourse
95. Get to know [important member of your team]
96. This quarter in review
97. How X will change Y
98. We want to hear from people like you
99. We’d love your feedback
100. Make the most of your subscription
As legendary adman David Ogilvy once said, your headline [or in this case, subject line] is 80 cents out of your dollar. Spend that 80 cents wisely when choosing your cold email subject line, then make sure your content and sales techniques back it up to get the most for your sales currency.
Have you created a cold email email subject line that has been a consistent winner? We’d love to hear it. Feel free to share in the comments below (if you don’t mind giving us a little of your secret sauce!):