Email Marketing

Writing effective cold emails and having them viewed is a challenge because you have no prior relationship to your target prospect. As a marketer, you have to be careful that the emails don’t go to spam.

One of the “7 Ways to get your Cold Email Read” is a Catchy Subject Line.

What Makes a Subject Line Great?

Crafting  attention-grabbing subject lines could mean including a question, name, benefit or call to action directly in the subject line.

Personalization is another effective strategy. Of course, that means you need to know something about your sales prospects. For B2B marketers, that usually means you’ll need to know what challenges your prospects face and what solutions they may be interested in.

As you write email subject lines, ask yourself these questions:

Will My Subject Line Make the Reader Curious?

The primary goal of any subject line is get the reader to open the email. From there, it’s up to the content to encourage further reading and action. If your subject line doesn’t raise the recipient’s curiosity, they’re likely to delete it before ever reading its contents.

Is My Offer Clear?

Your subject lines should give readers some idea of what they can expect from the message. Though some cold email subject lines use humorous phrases to capture attention, most subject lines should be clear and concise.

Am I Creating a Sense of Urgency?

Ideally, you want your email recipients to open your messages as soon as possible. If readers see your subject line and decide to wait before opening the message, they may never come back. By the time they return to their inbox, your message will likely be buried beneath a pile of other messages.

Writing Catchy Email Subject Lines

We recommend keeping your subject lines below 60 characters and below 10 words in length. Likewise, try to keep email preview text under 55 characters.

catchy email subject line

20 Cold Email Marketing Subject Lines To Try

Personalized cold emails combined with a catchy subject line can increase your response rates.

Here are 20 cold email subject line examples that utilize test marketing strategies and  human psychology to spark your next campaign!

1.“You missed it”

FOMO – the Fear of Missing Out is a convincing phycological strategy.   This subject line is short and to the point – it tells the reader they missed out on something. The only way to find out what it is,  is to open the email and read.

2. “Have you been to [local establishment]?”

This strategy requires a bit cyber stalking. If you know where the prospect works or lives, you can search for a highly rated restaurant nearby. Then, you can request a meeting with them at this neutral location. If you are part of a private club, say a yacht club, and you can invite a local prospect to dine with you there.  It will be pretty hard for them to turn down a tempting offer.   Know a few successful business people who use this tactic.

3. “Hey [name], check this out”

Using this familiar subject line leads the prospect  to believe that you know each other well and prompts them to open the email.

4. “[Name], looking forward to seeing you at [event]!”

If you know your prospect will be attending an industry event  (perhaps they’re a speaker or industry representative), this subject line will certainly snag their attention. It assumes a certain level of familiarity as well as the point of attending network events, to network. Showing that you’re going to the event also shows that you likely share the same interests and goals as your prospect.

5.  “Let’s talk about [topic/idea]!”

Do your research to discover what topics interest your prospect. This subject line should spark the prospect’s curiosity. Who doesn’t enjoy discussing their favorite subjects? 

6. “Quick question regarding [project]”

With this prompt, you’re doing two things: You’re placing the recipient in the position of the expert and you’re showing that you value their time. When you start with the assumption that the prospect holds the answer to a key question, you make them feel good. People generally like to be helpful, particularly when they can demonstrate some special expertise.

7. “[Name], I need your advice”

This subject line indicates that you recognize the prospect’s expertise on a certain subject. But note that it doesn’t specifically call out the topic. That’s intentional. The reader has to open the message to find out what their needed for.

8. “Essential resources to help with [challenge]”

This subject line indicates that you not only understand that the prospect’s time is precious but also that you’re prepared to help them out. The more specific you can make the challenge, the more likely the prospect is to open the message.

9.“Let’s cut to the chase”

This creates a sense of urgency and respect for the prospects time. It’s also short, and deliberately doesn’t supply much information. 

10. “You’ll love this article, [name]!”

This prompt works because it attempts to immediately give the reader value. It shows that you understand some part of their business.  People like sharing articles online.  Using this tactic could increase your click-through rates.

11. “3 things you can do today for a better week”

This direct call to action provides a clear benefit to the recipient.

12. “A [better/smarter/faster] way to [reach a specific goal]”

Everyone wants to be able to achieve their goals faster and more efficiently. The key to this cold email subject line is your understanding of the recipient’s most pressing business pain points. Rather than coming to him or her asking for something, you’re coming to the conversation as a giver, a bringer of solutions. Who wouldn’t want to find out how to be better/faster/smarter?

13. “Have you solved your  [challenge] yet?”

Once again, this is a subject line that indicates your understanding of the recipient’s challenges. You’ll have to do some research to make an informed guess at what challenges are most pressing to them. If you have that information, you’ll be able to spark the prospect’s interest in a potential solution.

14. “Where do I even start?”

Start with what? Your target reader will be curious to know what has you so exasperated. Is it a problem they can help you with? There’s only one way to find out is by opening the email. Make sure the 1st line of the email is specific to keep their attention.

15. “If you’re struggling with [common pain point], you’re not alone”

While the prospect may feel they have  a unique problem it may actually be an incredibly wide-spread challenge. You can use your broader perspective in three ways:

  • Grab their attention with this subject line
  • Demonstrate your credibility
  • Reassure them you may have some answers

Also, who likes to be alone? By adding “you’re not alone” creates the idea they’re not going through this alone.  Others have too and there are solutions out there.

16. “[Name] said we should connect”

For this case, you’ll need the name of one of your prospect’s colleagues – or better yet, the name of their superior. It’s best if the person is an actual mutual connection. Using a reference’s name establishes a certain level of trustworthiness from the very beginning. People are more apt to connect with some who they have a mutual connection with.

17. “Feeling [insert emotion]? Let me help”

Tap into current events in your prospect’s industry. Targeting marketers during the busy weeks before Black Friday? Try “Feeling stressed? Let me help.” Then share how your product or service can lighten their load.

18. “Did you know?”

Using this catchy subject line creates curiosity.  Do they know what?

19. “X tips for turning around a slow season”

This email subject line appeals to the recipient’s desire to increase revenue.

20.”Fellow [University] grad here!”

Draw upon a similar hometown, state, or alma mater for instant rapport building.

This subject line works because people love to feel connected to one another. Calling upon a similarity with your prospect encourages an instant bond, may lead to easier rapport and a few extra minutes of their attention.

Test Your Subject Lines With These Tools

At the end of the day, your instincts as a marketer or salesperson will help you craft the best headlines, but that doesn’t mean you should forgo objective help.

A/B testing is likely to be your best bet when experimenting with email subject lines. That means picking two or more subject lines that are likely to convert and testing them on different audience segments. Then, you measure email open rates and conversion rates to determine which subject line performs better. Over time, A/B testing will help you hone your email marketing campaigns.

To quickly check the effectiveness of your email marketing subject lines, try these free tools:

  • Is Not Spam: Once you’ve completed your email, send it to this free service. Within seconds, you’ll get a free report that shows you how likely your message is to get caught in a spam filter.
  • Email subject line grader: This free tool gives your subject line a score based on its character and word count, word balance and passivity.

Successful cold emails combine catchy subject lines with personalized content. Use these examples to inspire your future messages.

Other Email Marketing Articles

7 Tips to get Your Cold Email Read

“How to Write a Follow up Email”

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