We all know people tend to open emails based on the subject line alone, but can you really use catchy email subject lines to increase your responses? The fact is if you can’t interest your prospect enough to open the email – how will they know how to respond or even what you offer? Prospects are constantly prioritising their time, especially when it comes to their emails – with the average professional receiving around 100 emails a day, you have to be serious about getting your foot in the door. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered -read on to learn what makes a compelling sales email subject line. In a rush? Copy and paste one of our 53 best sales email subject lines that will increase your open rates and, hopefully, your responses!
Why is it important to get email subject lines right?
The subject line is your prospects first impression of you and your offering. How they respond in that first moment either makes or breaks your chances of connecting with them to solve their challenges with your product or service. Unfortunately, this is always tricky, considering the average email open rate across most industries is only a somewhat unsurprising 21% – so how do you get this crucial moment right? Read on to find out below!
What makes a good email subject line?
Your ultimate goal is to compel your prospect to open your email and examine your offering, which hopefully leads them to take an action that begins your sales process. But what exactly does this look like? Below is a breakdown of the elements that make a compelling sales email subject line that prospects actually open.
Providing value to your prospect begins with knowing what means the most to them because all every prospect thinks is, what’s in it for me? Why should they, or anyone for that fact, open this email? That’s why you need to be as clear and concise as possible about the value you offer. Your message must be in the most straightforward language capable of doing the job; while style is important, the substance turns prospects into customers. Remember, your subject line should tell them what you are selling, who you are selling to, and what benefits your product can offer them in as little as five seconds.
Sure, your sales email subject line needs to be valuable. Still, it also needs to pique your prospect’s interest so much so that you’ve hooked them on your message – the value is actually what pushes them over the line to becoming a customer. However, interest comes in many forms and depends entirely on what your prospect cares about, so you may need to experiment and test to see what angle works best for you. You can pique their interest by using a topical industry news story, statistic, question or even a plea for their help – regardless of the angle you choose, it needs to centre around the prospect, not your offering.
People love the sound and look of their own names. Email personalisation is everything these days – because whether you love it or hate it – it works. The fact is, no one wants to buy from a nameless brand or company to whom they can’t connect, which is why using your prospect’s names naturally in your sales email subject line is an excellent method of grabbing their attention – and trust quickly.
Considering only 1 in 5 email campaigns is not optimised for mobile devices – it’s fair to say your first chance of contact with your prospect is through their phone. This statistic alone is why it’s crucial to ensure your sales email subject line is mobile-friendly – don’t attempt to use any email glyphs that only work via browser or use too many images that fail to load. What’s more, different mobile and tablet devices show a varying amount of characters of your subject line, so the general rule of thumb is to limit them to around 25 characters – this ideally should be like one to four words.
People often review emails they’ve received or opened previously by searching for the keyword that resonated with them most. By including a keyword in your sales email subject line, you can ensure they can recall your email quickly and easily, a crucial element of helping them to take an action you have requested, whether that’s replying, meeting or clicking a link to buy your product or service.
Avoiding clickbait tactics
While a barrage of glyph emojis, dollar signs, and exclamation marks turn prospects quicker than anything, you also have to be careful not to underestimate their knowledge by insinuating things you can’t provide. Whether that’s free delivery, guarantee or promoting scarcity and urgency, it won’t work. Now more than ever, your customers are better educated than ever before. What’s more, they have access to so much information that you’ll likely encounter customers that know more about your product or service than you did. Not only will avoiding using clickbait sales email subject lines save you from looking unprofessional, but you’ll be more likely to develop trust with your prospects later on.
All sales emails should be written as if you’re sending it to a friend – prospects are far more likely to respond to someone who isn’t in their face and selling to them. Don’t be tempted to elongate or exaggerate all or many of your sales email subject line with capitalisations and instead opt for a calmer, more natural approach by using lowercase.
Types of sales email subject lines
There are many different types of sales email subject lines that have benefits depending on what you’re attempting to achieve by contacting your prospect. Discover them below:
A direct approach is often the best. Breaking the ice by calling out a problem or challenge your prospect currently faces in the subject line will help your email cut through the crowd. Sales email subject lines that get straight to the point without any frills allow prospects to decide whether this interests them, giving them authority from the start.
For example: [Pain-point] making you [emotion]? I can help.
As humans, our brains are hardwired to notice incompletions, unexpected gaps and missing information. It’s a natural way to pique your prospect’s attention and curiosity. Be warned; however, you need to fulfil your promise in the body of the email, or you’ll immediately lose them for looking tacky and lacking in integrity.
For example: Congratulations, [Prospect first name]!
It’s hard to ignore a problem, especially when it’s right in front of you. That’s why subject lines revolving around your prospect’s pain points are naturally perfect for standing out in the crowd. Prospects will always open an email if there’s a possibility you could actually solve their problem – but you have to point it out first.
For example: [Pain point]: There’s a better way
The fear of missing out is a classic motivator, which is why using tactics like limited time and availability motivate people to take action – and quickly.
For example: The clock’s ticking.
When using cold outreach to determine whether your prospective, past, or present customers need help from your solution, it’s best to use cold subject lines that resonate most with their critical pain points. That way, you’re getting straight to the point and hopefully intriguing them.
For example: [Number] tips for [pain point]
You’ve just got a deal moving; now you need to stay top of mind with prospects without being overwhelming. That’s why follow up subject lines are crucial for keeping the conversation moving.
For example: Any feedback?
It happens—a lot. Your prospects may suddenly disappear for weeks or months at a time – and that’s okay, but you need to be able to reel them back in or finish the conversation altogether. No response subject lines are a perfect tool for deciding whether to keep trying or let them go.
For example: [Prospect name]?
You want to meet with your prospect, but why should they meet with you? You need to make it easy for them to say yes, which is why meeting request subject lines are short, to the point and contain only crucial information. That way, prospects spend more time deciding whether to attend or not, rather than wondering what you want.
For example: Meeting invite: [Date] – [Time]
Questions to ask yourself when writing sales email subject lines
What am I selling?
Yes, you know what your company is offering – but what is the value to your prospect? Simply having the lure of a new product release or special promotion isn’t enough – prospects want to know what’s in it for them.
Who am I selling to?
Write your sales email subject line as if you were your prospect, put yourselves in their shoes – what do they need? Why do they need it? What’s stopping them from achieving this?
Are they already familiar with me or my company?
If you’re making a first impression, remember not to make any sales email subject line faux-pas like false claims or worse, assuming they want to connect with you.
Why should they want to open my email?
Your subject line gets the prospect to open the email, but the body is what excites, inspires and moves prospects to take action on your offering. Visualise your subject line as a trailer for the main body of the email; make them want to read the rest.
Would I open, respond or delete an email with this subject line if it appeared in MY inbox?
How many emails do you receive and delete daily? Chances are it’s quite a few – so get back into your prospects shoes and think subjectively. Would I open this email? If you’re not interested, why would your prospect be?
53 best sales email subject lines to increase open rates
Simply copy and paste any one of these sales email subject lines and increase your open rates – and hopefully your responses!
Direct sales email subject lines
- (Prospect name), quick call [day]?
- (Prospect name), have time to discuss [challenge]?
- Appreciate any response, (Prospect name)
- [Pain-point] making you [emotion]? I can help.
- How to solve [challenge prospect faces]
- A [benefit your solution provides] for [prospect’s company]
- A better way to solve [challenge]
Curiosity driven sales email subject lines
- More wins inside for (prospects company)
- [Odd number] companies solved ______ with us!
- Did you know?
- Can you help me?
- [Prospect name], guess what?
Pain-centric sales email subject lines
- Struggling with [pain point]? I can help.
- Fix your [pain-point] in [x] [days,weeks,years]
- Key challenges in implementing [solution]
- [Company name] X [Product Name] = [Benefit]
- [Pain point]: There’s a better way
Scarcity & urgency sales email subject lines
- Don’t get left behind [name]
- I’d hate to see you miss out…
- You’ve still got time…
- Last chance to solve [pain-point]
- Time’s running out -solved [pain-point] yet?
- The clock’s ticking.
Cold sales email subject lines
- [Name], [Question]?
- [Number] tips for [pain point]
- Can I help?
- We have [Insert Common Fact] in common
- Quick question [Name]…
Follow-up sales email subject lines
- Your next steps
- [Number] options for getting started
- Quick call — [date & time]?
- Any feedback?
- I thought about what you said…
- What will it take?
No response sales email subject lines
- Last time, I promise
- Shameless last attempt!
- (Prospect name)?
- Should I assume?
- If you change your mind…
- RE: The last email
- Is this goodbye?
- Goodbye, [Prospect’s Name]
- Time to part ways?
- I’m moving on
- It’s not you- it’s me.
Meeting request sales email subject lines
- [Number] minutes this [Day]?
- [Prospect name] + [Your company name]: [Date]
- Meeting invite: [Date] – [Time]
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