Do you want to write the best email subject lines that can help increase sales and revenue?
Well, you’re not alone.
The average email open rate is around 17%, but you can push it up to 30% by following best email practices. This is especially important if you’re writing cold email subject lines for sales prospecting, which usually has a lower open rate.
In this post, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about writing catchy sales email subject lines.
Let’s get started.
- 7 Qualities That a Good Sales Email Subject Line Should Have
- Best Email Subject Lines for Cold Emails
- Best Email Subject Lines for Requesting Meetings with Prospects
- Best Subject Lines for Follow-up Emails
- Best Referral Email Subject Lines
- Best Email Subject Lines If You Don’t Get Any Response
What Makes a Good Email Subject Line for Sales?
Before we start writing catchy email subject lines for sales, we should understand what makes a subject line good.
Famous copywriter Eugene Schwartz said:
“Your headline has one job: to stop your prospect and compel him to read the second sentence of your ad.”
The same principles apply to email subject lines.
Good sales email subject lines should stop prospects in their tracks and compel them to open your email.
That’s why all the best sales email subject lines have one or more of these 7 qualities:
1. It Should Be Brief
Subject lines that are too long have many disadvantages:
- They’re difficult to read and understand
- They’re likely to lose your reader’s attention
- They’re likely to get cut off on smaller mobile devices
Therefore, when writing that perfect sales email subject line, think of the limitations caused by smaller mobile devices.
Generally, a 60-character email subject line should work fine on desktops. But you should keep it less than 40 characters to make sure it appears perfectly fine on all types of screens.
2. It Should Be Personalized
Personalized subject lines can get up to 50% higher open rates.
Don’t just send bulk emails to everyone without personalizing them first. Spend a little time customizing them. Personalized emails are more likely to capture the attention of prospective customers.
Here are a few tips to help you create personalized subject lines:
- Include the recipient’s first name
- Mention their interests
- Send them emails on their birthdays and anniversaries
- Talk about their transaction history with your business
- Add some personality. It can make for a more compelling subject line.
- Write as if you’re talking to a friend
- Use emojis to stand out
3. It Should Create Urgency
A sense of urgency in your email subject line can motivate prospects to click on it. Otherwise, they might put that email aside for later, and you will miss an opportunity.
Making your subject line seem time-sensitive is an effective tool to draw attention and increase the open rate. However, it should be handled carefully and sparingly. If you overdo it, you risk annoying your recipients with all these urgent requests. They may even mark your email as spam, which can negatively affect your email deliverability rate.
4. It Should Be Interesting
Why would anyone click on anything that’s not interesting, right?
- Share an interesting tidbit about their industry
- Share recent news that the recipient should know
- Ask a question that might interest them
- Ask for their help
There are many ways to make your email subject line interesting, as we’ll see later in this article. No matter how unique and useful your email is, they will never find it if they don’t open your email.
That’s why putting your energy into crafting that exciting subject line is the key. It’s especially important for cold email subject lines, where the recipients don’t yet know how awesome your emails are.
5. It Should Have the Right Keywords
Many internet users filter their emails by keywords. Certain words can also grab the prospect’s attention.
Therefore, your email subject line should have the right keywords. Unfortunately, there is no way to find out what the right keywords are.
We recommend running A/B tests for email subject lines to try out different combinations of keywords. Find the ones that resonate the most with your target audience.
It’s also important to keep a log of everything you do and measure the performance of each variation of the subject line.
Over time, you’ll have enough data to identify the right keywords for the right audience groups.
6. It Should Increase Curiosity
“Curiosity is the essence of human existence.” – Gene Cernan.
You’re more likely to act if something intrigues you and raises your curiosity. The same principles can be applied to your sales email subject lines.
However, it’s important to fully understand your buyer persona first. You can’t successfully make them curious if you don’t know who they’re and what they really want.
For instance, Duolingo is an app that helps people learn different languages. Duolingo’s unique selling point is that it can help busy people learn 30+ languages, even if they spend only a few minutes daily.
Now, look at this subject line.
It’s short, to the point, increases curiosity, and understands what its audience wants.
7. It Should Offer Value
Last but not least, your email should offer a lot of value to people. And that value should reflect in the subject line.
- Does your business make a product or service the reader has been looking for?
- Do you have a fantastic discount offer that is too tempting to refuse?
- Do you have a piece of information that can change their life?
Identify the most valuable thing to your readers and put that in the subject line.
Now you know the 7 qualities a great subject line should have. Now it’s time to see some cool sales email subject line examples you can use.
Best Cold Email Subject Lines
Writing cold email subject lines can be really tough because the recipient of the email may not even know you. There is no established connection to leverage, and your email is more likely to be seen as spammy.
Here are a few proven cold email subject line examples to help you make a great first impression and kickstart your email campaign in the best possible way.
- “Hi, [name].”
Sometimes, that’s all you need. A short subject line with a friendly hello and your prospect’s name.
It creates an element of curiosity and personalization that can help you increase your open rate. A simple, friendly email like this can even stand out in dozens of emails that rely on cleverness and creativity.
- “Nice to meet you, [name].”
You can also add warmth by replacing “Hi” with a “nice to meet you.”
This works well if they just downloaded or bought something from you, and you’re reaching out to them for the first time.
- “Hi [prospect’s name], [question]?”
If a simple hello isn’t your vibe, how about posing a question?
Questions provoke answers, which can spark conversations. Subject lines with questions are also more likely to invoke curiosity.
However, make sure the question is relevant and exciting to the reader.
- “Question about [subject].”
Another way to pose a question is to not put it in the subject line. Instead, use it as a teaser to encourage them to open your email.
Only mention the subject or topic of the question. And that might interest readers enough to open your email to find out what the question is.
- “Question about [goal].”
If you understand your audience, their motivations, and their goals, this can be an effective cold sales email subject line.
It’s everyone’s aim to reach their goals quickly and easily. Asking them about their goals and hinting at potential solutions might get you in the door.
- “Fix your [pain point/problem] in [time].”
Or, if that doesn’t work, you can be more specific.
This cold email subject line has many good qualities:
- It starts with an action verb
- It specifically addresses the pain point or problem that the reader is facing
- It promises to help solve that problem in a specific period.
That’s usually enough to get them interested in what you have to say.
- “[Your company name] x [Prospect’s company name].”
If your company is recognizable, this can be an effective way to grab your reader’s attention. Put your company name with their company name in the email subject line and trigger their curiosity.
- “Don’t open this email.”
Reverse psychology for the win.
Just make sure this is in line with the tone and style of the rest of your email. Also, your email must have a nice payoff if you decide to use this subject line.
Or your email may be considered clickbait by some.
- “Are you a part of the [X%]?”
The X%, in this case, could be anything: people who are your customers benefiting from your services or people who aren’t your customers and, therefore, missing out on something cool.
This cold email subject line increases curiosity by suggesting there is an exclusive group of people.
- “Hey [name], I loved your [something].”
Use this cold email subject line if you have a connection to leverage.
For example, you can use this email subject line and highlight a blog post if you’re reaching out to a blogger to build backlinks.
- “Only the best for you, [prospect’s name].”
This subject line not only piques curiosity but also implies there’s value for recipients. It also has a sense of personalization and familiarity that can increase open rates.
Keep things mysterious and interesting with this short subject line. It’s well suited for flash discount offers.
Although it may seem odd, don’t underestimate how well these short subject lines can do.
- “[Day and time].”
Increase the recipient’s curiosity by only mentioning the day and time in the subject line. That day and time could be for an upcoming event, a limited-time discount offer, or a meeting request.
The only way to find out is to open the email.
- “One day left.”
If you have a limited-time offer, you can use this subject line to create a sense of urgency.
We recommend using a tried and tested call-to-action in the email copy to maximize your sales and revenue if the recipients decide to act.
- “This will only take [X] seconds.”
Cold emails can often be a waste of time for the readers. That’s why a lot of people don’t even open them.
However, you can minimize some of that concern by putting the exact time it takes to read your email and take action. For example, “This will only take 23 seconds.”
Here are a few tips to make this work:
- Use seconds, not minutes.
- Keep the count as low as possible.
- Keep the rest of your email short and to the point.
Best Email Subject Lines for Meeting Requests
You will want to schedule a meeting with a prospect at some point in the sales process. It’s a good idea to be direct and clear about it when that time comes.
Here are a few email subject lines you can use to request meetings with prospects.
- “Hey, [name]. Can we meet for 10 mins this week?”
You can deliver a low-pressure opportunity for a casual meeting with this subject line. Most sales reps aim for 30- to 60-minute meetings, which can be a big commitment for your prospects.
However, a 10-minute conversation is easier to manage. That’s why conveying your intentions right in the subject line is important.
- “[Name], are you free this week?”
Or you can use this subject line if a 10-minute meet-up doesn’t work for you.
Remember, it’s still better than mentioning a 60-minute meeting in the subject line.
- “Meeting invite for [day]?”
Being specific can sometimes help you land more opportunities. If “this week” is too vague and not producing the right results for you, try aiming for a specific day.
- “Hey, [name]. Are you available [day and time]?”
If specificity works better in your industry, you can propose a meeting on a specific day and time in the email subject line.
However, it may not work unless you have discussed this prior with the prospect.
- “Time to chat?”
Casual, friendly, no pressure.
- “[Name], you’re invited!”
It usually works well if you want to invite a prospect to an event, expo, or trade show. Make sure to add all the details they may need to know.
This includes information on where and how to find your business, contact information, and details about the event.
- “Hey [name]! Remember me?”
Did you ever meet a prospect at an industry event, exchange information, but lose touch?
This simple, friendly, casual subject line is an excellent way for a sales team to reestablish that connection.
Pro tip: Include a photo of the event at which you met the prospect. It may help jog the memory and even serve as an ice-breaker.
Best Follow-up Email Subject Lines
After the first conversation or sales meeting with your prospects, it’s time to follow up with emails. You can also send follow-up emails if you think you’re losing your customers or if they haven’t responded to you in a while.
Here are a few subject line examples that you can use to follow up.
- “Hey, [name]. Here are the resources I promised.”
It’s common in sales meetings to exchange resources after the call. In that case, this straightforward subject line is perfect.
- “Hey, [name]. I’d love your feedback.”
Use this follow-up email subject line if you want to run something by your sales prospect. This works especially well if you share the first draft of a proposal or a plan with a potential client.
- “Our next steps.”
It’s standard practice to share notes and the next action items after a meeting. In that case, this simple yet obvious email line can work just fine.
Make sure to add detailed action items in the email.
- “Hey, [name]. It’s been a while.”
Follow up with this email subject line if you haven’t been able to get in touch with a prospect for a long time.
This follow-up email subject line is warm, friendly, and invites the reader to resume the conversation.
- “Do you have any questions?”
This follow-up subject line for sales emails is perfect if you lost touch with a prospect after meeting with them once or twice.
Reach out to them and ask if they have any questions they’d like to get answered. Sometimes, a prospect looks at multiple options as they meet different salespeople from other businesses.
Reaching out to them with this subject line may remind them of your meeting and spark a conversation if they have questions.
- “Before you decide…”
If you feel you’re losing a sales prospect, use this subject line for outreach. This is the perfect opportunity to share customer testimonials, reviews, and case studies to put their minds at ease.
Best Referral Sales Subject Lines
Referrals are the bread and butter for salespeople. Use one of these referral sales subject lines if you’re contacting a prospect for the first time.
- “[Mutual connection’s name] suggested I reach out.”
Start with the mutual connection’s name to build connection and credibility right out of the gate. Seeing a familiar name in the inbox may also help capture the reader’s attention and increase the open rate.
- “[Mutual connection’s name] helped me find you.”
This is a more informal or casual version of the previous subject line. Depending on your target audience, this more relaxed version might be a better fit for you.
- “[Mutual connection’s name] thinks you’ll love us too.”
This is another variation of the same referral sales email subject line, but it has the most personality.
This subject line pairs well with data and case studies. So include white papers, case studies, and customer testimonials that show exactly how you helped the people who referred you.
- “I found you through [referral’s name].”
Use this referral sales subject line if you’re in a more formal setting.
You can also use this subject line for A/B testing and see how much the open rate changes by moving the referral’s name to the end of the subject line.
Best Email Subject Lines After No Response
Sometimes, a trail goes cold. Use one of these subject lines to improve response rates.
It can’t be simpler than this, can it?
Apart from showing concern, this email subject line also creates curiosity and mystery. What could be the contents of this email? Only one way for the reader to find out.
- “RE: [prospect’s last email].”
This is a tried and tested sales email subject line if you didn’t get a second response from your prospect.
The trick is to present your email as a part of a previous, ongoing conversation. The reader is more likely to click and respond to it even if they have ignored your other messages.
- “Permission to close your file.”
This sales email subject line relies on the fear of missing out (FOMO).
You can motivate sales prospects to take action by asking permission to close their file. This email implies that you won’t contact them in the future; this is their last chance.
A combination of uncertainty, FOMO and urgency can help increase the open rate.
- “Hey [name], we just launched [feature].”
This is an excellent way to get your foot in the door again. Mention a new product feature or announcement in the subject line to grab your reader’s attention.
However, you must fully understand your target audience for this to work. Know their pain points and add the announcement that’d mean most to them.
- “Did you see [news]?”
You can also use a recent news piece in the email’s subject line to create the same effect. This subject line is helpful if you don’t have any product-related announcements to make.
Make sure to add all the necessary information about the news, its effects on the reader, and how you can help them.
- “Am I assuming correctly?”
Perhaps it’s time to move on if a prospect has been ignoring you for a long time. But don’t give up before giving it one last shot.
Double-check with your sales prospects using this email subject line. It’s slightly mysterious, creates curiosity, and can make them open your email.
- “If you change your mind about partnering with [your company name].”
Unlink the previous subject line, this one paves the way for another chance in the future.
Put the ball in your prospect’s court by giving them all the information they may need to contact you again. Mention all the things you can do for them clearly and concisely. Bonus points if you can share relevant case studies, whitepapers, customer testimonials, and results you produced for other clients.
- “Should I stay or should I go?”
There’s nothing that a Clash song can’t fix, right?
Craft a clever email using this pop culture reference as the subject line and give it a last shot.
Craft the Best Sales Email Subject Lines
Subject lines may seem like a small part of email marketing, but they’re often the most important. The best email subject lines for sales are brief, personalized, interesting, create urgency, pique curiosity, have the right keywords, and offer value to readers.
Use one of these 40 sales email subject line examples for inspiration and ideas the next time you write a sales email. You should also check these email templates for even more ideas.
Next, find the best time to send marketing emails to boost opens, clicks, and sales.
And don’t forget to check out how OptinMonster can help you grow your email list, sales, and revenue.