How to Construct the Best Cold Email Subject Lines

Email is a great way to inform others about what your business offers. But let’s face it. Sometimes, emails head straight to the spam folder or are disregarded once the subject line is read. Assuming that you know how to circumvent your marketing emails going straight to spam, let’s dial into first impressions with the subject line. The first impression is established with a cold email subject line, which is the initial form of contact sent to someone with a particular purpose in mind. This article will discuss how to write the best cold email subject lines, so your messages get opened 100 percent of the time.

best cold email subject lines

Creating the Best Cold Email Subject Lines Using Examples

Particularly for email marketing purposes, it’s important to write a good subject line. If you want people to read your email, you need attention-grabbing subject lines. This involves either asking a question or calling attention to a benefit or action. The following points are equations to formulating the best cold email subject lines that will get your prospect to not only open your emails, but also read and respond.

Question about [goal]

People who see this subject line don’t know your question yet. They need to open up the email in order to find out.

[Mutual Connection] recommended I get in touch

Not many things are more powerful than referrals or mutual connections. If you share an acquaintance with the person whom you’re trying to get in contact with, mention it in the cold email subject line. This makes your email compelling because it is grounded on trust.

Hi [name], [question]?

The best cold email subject lines ask questions that provoke answers. Also, you make the email more personable when you include the subject’s name, which will stand out in their inbox.

Did you get what you were looking for?

Use this email to follow up with a lead or a website visitor. They’re looking for help with a particular challenge. Ask how you can better assist them.

[the e. e. cummings subject line]

You may have noticed that e. e. Cummings’ poetry was not capitalized. Some people go capitalization crazy when they draft cold email subject lines. However, some of the best subject lines are all lowercase because they stand out.

Hoping to help

The term “always be closing” is dead in sales, and has since then been replaced by “always be helping.” Make sure subjects know you are willing to do whatever it takes to help them. The best subject lines relay this sentiment, and prospective customers appreciate this candor. 

best email subject lines for sales

A [benefit] for [prospect’s company]

The best cold email subject lines in this category are more specific. Use specific numbers, specific company names, specific strategies. This gives you even more credibility and is buzzword worthy.

X tips/ideas for [pain point]

People love numbered lists. Therefore, insert a number into your cold email subject line to generate interest.

Idea for [topic the prospect cares about]

People love free ideas because they benefit their businesses. Use it in your cold email subject lines!

10x [prospect’s company]’s transaction in 10 minutes

According to Salesfolk, a subject line of this magnitude generated 16 new B2B customers. It’s pretty hard to argue with these stats, and that’s why it is one of the best cold email subject lines.

I found you through [referral name]

As mentioned previously, referrals are essential to getting you noticed – and crafting the best cold emails. By mentioning your referral in the subject line, you establish a connection with the sender and increase the chance of them responding back.

We have [insert fact] in common

Spend about 5-10 minutes looking through your contact’s Facebook or LinkedIn profile. You will probably find at least one thing in common, and people are drawn to others who have a shared interest. Harness this interest, even though it may be something as simple as you both love mint chocolate chip ice cream.

So nice to meet you, [Prospect]!

People love flattery. Even if you only downloaded a piece of content, let this person know that they have been recognized and are ready to touch base.

Feeling [insert emotion]? Let me help

Tap into current events and channel the emotions with these events. For example, you can target retail marketers during the week of Black Friday with “Feeling stressed”? Let me help. Then, follow up with your product or service and how that will help solve their problem.

Hoping you can help

People want to help others. This email is the best cold email subject line if you are hoping to pick their brain about something or want to learn more about an area that you’re not as familiar with.

cold email subject line

Crafting a Great Cold Email Subject Line from Scratch

If you decide to stray from these top cold email subject lines because they do not fit the reason for your email, use the following points as a guideline to still help your business get noticed and to make sales.

Create sense of urgency

Ideally, you want your email recipients to open your messages as soon as possible. You want to create an “open this now” factor with your verbiage and how you frame that your email will solve a problem. If people have doubt about opening your email, they may never come back.

Bring curiosity

The best cold email subject lines make people curious and want to read more. If your subject line doesn’t raise any curiosity, it will likely be deleted even without its content being read.

Make offer clear

You can make your subject lines humorous, but don’t bury the reason why you’re emailing them, the email will be deleted. The best cold email subject lines are clear and easily understood.

Make it relevant

People aren’t going to bother opening your emails if they don’t pertain to them whatsoever. B2C and B2B marketers should have a sense of their differing clients’ buyer cycle and their needs. 

Personalize it

By personalizing your emails, you increase their open rates. This can be done by capturing your recipient’s name in the cold email subject line. If you don’t know their name, you can appeal to other things, like their interests or needs.

As a general rule of thumb, sending out marketing emails once per week is the sweet spot for businesses without overloading your customer.

subject lines for business emails

Why You Need Great Cold Email Subject Lines

Nearly 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line. And, conversely, 69% of email recipients report email as spam also because of the subject lines. That’s why you need to write a subject line your reader can’t resist. Your business can drive sales if it has specific keywords in it. These keywords include the following list.

  • “Upgrade”
  • “Just”
  • “Content”
  • “Go” 
  • “Wonderful”
  • “Jokes”
  • “Promotional”
  • “Congratulations”
  • “Revision”
  • “Forecast”
  • “Snapshot”
  • “Token”
  • “Voluntary”
  • “Monthly”
  • “Deduction”
  • “Free”
  • “ICYMI” (in case you missed it)
  • “[$] today, [$$$] tomorrow”
  • [Number] (i.e. a seven-figure plan)
  • “Free delivery”
  • “New”
  • “Available”
  • “Alert”
  • “News”
  • “Update”
  • “Summer”
  • “Weekend”
  • “Thank you”
  • “Bulletin”
  • “iPhone”
  • “Golden”
  • “Breaking”
  • “Order today”
  • “Introducing”
  • “Celebrate”
  • “Buy”
  • “Continues”
  • “Get your [x]”
  • “What”…?
  • “Won’t”…?
  • “Do”…?
  • “Can”…?
  • “May”…?
  • “Orders over”
  • “Off selected”
  • “Your next order”
  • “Latest”
  • “Special”
  • “Great deals”
  • “Sale starts”
  • “Back in stock”
  • “Sale now”
  • “Now in”

how to write a cold email subject line

Some Final Tips

Most people read their emails on phones, so make sure your subject line is optimized accordingly. 

Keep in mind that originality is key. Some people even like emojis in their email subject lines, such as ®️, 😃, ❤️, 😍, 👍, ☀️ and others.

Contact SEO Design Chicago for Email Tips

SEO Design Chicago is a Chicago-based marketing company that not only has extensive experience with SEO, but also content creation to get your emails open. We know how to construct the best cold email subject lines which can generate more sales for your business. For help with your email marketing, contact us today! We provide email marketing services.

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