Good first impression stays with the person. Subject lines are that first impression.
Depending on your screen resolution and device, you can see 5 to 20 email subject lines in your inbox. To make sure an email stands out and captures the recipient’s attention, mastering the art of the subject line should be the #1 priority of any email copywriter.
We have compiled a list of 10 subject lines for you to choose from and experiment with. But first, let’s look at some stats behind the science of the perfect email subject line.
Email subject line best practices
When you create a subject line, you should always think of the following:
#1 – The time it takes to read your subject line.
#2 – Connection of your subject line with the actual content of the message.
#3 – Subject line optimization for mobile devices.
Your prospect is busy. Their inbox is overfilled. They won’t give that subject line a second read. As you can guess, the shorter you make it, the better: 3 words showed to be the best subject line length with the highest engagement rates (21.2% compared to the more often used 7 words – 15.8%).
Aligning the subject line with the message itself
The subject line should always match the content presented in the email. While clickbait subject lines are a somewhat effective strategy, the reaction can be unpredictable: most people forget the subject line the moment they open the email, but complete misalignment of the promised and the message itself can cause disappointment, loss of trust, or even anger, resulting in complaints and unsubscriptions.
Maintaining your reputation is one the most important things in email marketing and tarnishing it to get a slight increase in opens is a bad trade-off.
Optimization for mobile
Mobile has its own interface limitations. On desktop, the displayed subject line length is huge and can reach well over 100 characters, while on mobile this number is usually around 30 characters. Consider this if most of your sales are made via mobile. Please note, these numbers may vary depending on screen resolution.
You might ask, what about the appeal of the subject line itself? While you are absolutely right, this should be taken care of after you’ve made sure your subject line is readable in the first place.
Our top 10 email subject lines for sales
Let’s look into some examples of our favorite subject line structures that can be used in sales emails.
Hi, [name], [question]?
By setting up a question, we are baiting the prospect to want an answer to it. The only way to get the answer would be opening the email. And, of course, never forget about personalization!
N ideas/tips for [pain point]
Just trying to sell your product won’t work, you need to present it as a solution to a specific pain point your prospect might be suffering from. Be genuinely helpful.
10x [company’s name]’s traction in [N minutes]
According to Salesfolk founder Heather R. Morgan, this subject line attracted 16 new B2B customers. This goes to show you how powerful industry-specific words can be when used right.
Feeling [insert emotion]? Let me help
Leveraging human emotions is one of the most effective tools in marketing. When we are trying to solve a certain problem and feel helpless, an offer like this can be like a godsend. If you want to make a client not only open your email but also buy the product, just stay helpful and people will organically come to you.
A [benefit] for [prospect’s company]
Here we are basically offering a clear example of how a prospect can get something useful from our product. Here are a few examples of this structure in action:
- Email automation for ForceSales
- A higher ROI for Super Invest
- An increased sales volume for NewStore
Hoping to help
As we’ve mentioned before, offering genuine help is the key when trying to convince a prospect to try your product. And, as you remember, 3-word subject lines provide the highest open rates and easily fit on all mobile phone screens.
Question about [goal]
This could feel like a clickbait title, but if you manage to ask a really intriguing and authentic question inside your email, it will negate this effect. To make it less clickbait-y, ask a question strictly related to your goal and/or solution. The importance of your question to the prospect will decide whether you’ll get a reply or not.
An [idea] for [a topic the prospect cares about]
The idea of receiving something right away, whether it’s a freebie, an ePDF with some useful statistics, or, in our case, an idea for a successful blog post is always appealing and makes the prospect open the email.
We have [insert fact] in common…
Having something in common, even if it’s common problems, will help you start further conversation: all prospects want to find someone who’s faced the same problems and situations as them and discuss possible solutions.
Or you might have common goals, like improving prospect search, optimizing ROI etc. Just study your prospects’ social and business accounts and see if there’s anything that connects you.
So nice to meet you, [Prospect]!
We all know it’s easier to do business with nice people. And the main rule of doing any business is to always be polite no matter what. A small act of kindness will make the prospect feel like they are being addressed by a respectful person with whom they can forge great deals.
Once we’re done with the subject line, we can move on to working on the actual message. To make it stand out and attract our prospect’s attention we need to approach them not as another prospect in our list, but as an individual human being. And people respond better to being called by their name.
You need to personalize the message using data like the prospect’s name, their company name, and their position. That’s the basic data you’ll need but you can always go further.