Crafting cold email subject lines is quite a challenge for inexperienced salespeople, and even savvy marketing and sales professionals often stumble over this tool.
But you need to get it right since it’s one of the essential factors in determining whether your email will be read or trashed.
An email subject line is the first impression your email will have on your recipients, so it’s crucial to ensure it’s sublime and strong. The quality of your subject line impacts your open and response rates, plain and simple. That’s why it’s vital to put thought into writing a subject line that will pique your prospect’s interest and make them want to open your email.
This piece provides 27 cold email subject line examples that get opened and read. Let’s make your email outreach campaigns as productive as possible 😉.
What is a cold email: definition
A cold or unsolicited email is a type of email you send to someone you don’t know, usually with the intent of starting a business relationship, acquiring new prospects, and moving them down the sales funnel.
No salesperson or marketer can do without cold emailing these days, and the importance of this outreach channel is showing steady growth. According to the recent stats, 80% of prospects prefer email as a first contact touchpoint rather than any other outreach channel.
The tactical purpose of a cold email is to get the recipient to either respond to your message or take another desired action, for example, get a free trial of your product or service, subscribe to your newsletter, visit your landing page, etc.
But the thing is… The intention you put into your cold email may not coincide with the choice of your recipient, who may get hundreds of similar emails. Yes, an average office worker receives more than 120 emails a day!
Let’s be honest: how often do you open messages from a stranger?
Cold email response rate, and why is it usually low?
The response rate for cold emails is pretty low since the recipient doesn’t know who you are and why you’re reaching out. In fact, the vast majority of outreach emails are ignored, and just 8.5% of them receive a response.
On average, a good response rate to aim for is 10%. However, if you have a relevant, not trivial, personalized subject line, you can increase your chances of getting a response by 30.5%.
How to make an eye-catching subject line (having considered all of the above)
Now, it’s time to switch your creative mind on and craft a WOW subject line. First of all, your cold email subject line should be relevant to the recipient, and if it’s not appropriate and straight to the point, they’re much less likely to open your email. It would be a bad idea to reach out to a small-scale farmer with a highly sophisticated FinTech solution offer, wouldn’t it?
Second, your subject line should be bright and intriguing, which can be pretty challenging. You want it to be intriguing enough to garner a click but not so spammy that it gets ignored.
Here are some tips to help you create an irresistible subject line:
✔️ Start with the recipient’s name. This helps personalize your email and makes it seem like you’re addressing them specifically. 74% of marketers who’ve tried this approach admitted a sufficient increase in customer engagement, and even more — they claim an average 20% rise in sales when using targeted personalization.
✔️ Keep it short and sweet. The subject line should be no more than 60 characters to be easily visible on mobile devices. It’s vital to stick to this rule as the number of emails opened on mobile devices has increased dramatically in recent years. Imagine how many of your subscribers will stumble over a too-long subject line they can’t read in full. Well, a too-short, one-word subject line won’t do either, as it can hardly get your message across to your subscriber.
✔️ Don’t use Caps Lock as it may seem that you shout. Really, CAPITALIZED SUBJECT LINES create an impression that you’re screaming in a childish demand for attention. Furthermore, they trigger spam filters, increasing the chances for your email to be trashed.
✔️ Use statistical data. It works. The fact is that most people tend to perceive statistics as objective and unbiased information they can trust. So, never miss the chance to use stats in your subject lines as a quantifiable and highly persuasive accent to your message.
✔️ Avoid exclamation marks as not all people can accept the too enthusiastic a-la direct marketing style. Subject lines are best to be ended with a neat full stop. Surprisingly, a simple stop mark can boost your open rates up to 20%, recent stats reveal. Questions also perform well. It’s also popular to end subject lines with no punctuation at all.
✔️ A/B test your subject lines. You may craft your subject lines alone while sipping coffee, or you can involve your team to brainstorm and find the best variants. However, we don’t recommend starting a large-scale email outreach campaign without prior testing it. You’ll be surprised how elusive the marketers’ opinions can be compared to the real-life user.
That’s why A/B testing is your best friend when experimenting with new cold email subject lines. You should pick 3-5 headings you’ve created that seem likely to convert and test them on various audience segments. The email open and conversion rates will give you an objective picture of which subject line performs best.
Cold email subject line examples to generate clicks and conversions
Ready to create your perfect cold email subject line? Just think of how you can grab your prospect’s attention. You can do it in many ways; some of them you can see below:
Play on pain points 😩
Address your prospects’ pain points and make them feel you understand their situation. It will help you build trust with your subscribers so they’re more likely to believe your offer can help them overcome their challenges.
- 1. Are you prepared to overcome [Challenge]?
- 2. A faster way to reach [Specific goal]
- 3. Have you solved your [Problem] yet?
- 4. [Well-known company] also had this [Pain point]
Lure your readers with a perk 🍬
Offer your email recipients a specific benefit. Who will resist a perk when it comes at the right time?
- 5. Want your sales up during turbulent times? You can.
- 6. Please accept or decline your benefits
- 7. Special invitation for savvy marketers
- 8. Get your pass to [Online event]
Make them curious 🧐
When you create a sense of mystery and pack your email in an intriguing cover, the addressee wants to open it by all means and see what’s inside.
- 9. What if you had 10 additional hours per week?
- 10. You’ve got just a few hours to watch this
- 11. Will your landing pages pass this test?
- 12. 7 reasons people are leaving your site
Be straightforward ⬆️
Use straightforward subject lines with a direct offer. Why not? State what you sell clearly, and those who need it at the moment will open your email.
- 13. New email automation tools you shouldn’t miss out
- 14. A simple CRM system your business needs
- 15. A FinTech tool to cheer up your accountant.
Use numbers heavily 🔢
Stats and discount volumes work perfectly well. Statistical evidence and other numerical information focused on averages and percentages have persuasive power through ‘majority influence,’ meaning confirmation of many others. Decisions of many people are based precisely on this phenomenon. And discounts are so enticing!
- 16. 90% of US businesses use sales automation. Do you?
- 17. Save 40% on your favorites
- 18. Grow your email list 10X
Refer to other people’s opinion 🎤
Use social proof, especially well-known names to support your offer. Influencer endorsements and all sorts of ratings will be fine, too. People show more trust in someone or something they already know and try things others have successfully tried out.
- 19. [Well-known company] boosted sales by 35% with [Product]
- 20. 500 thousand customers can’t be wrong
- 21. [Celebrity] has used [Product] recently. Impression inside.
Personalize, personalize, personalize 🎯
Adding a personal touch is vital when it comes to subject lines. In addition to personalizing your cold email subject lines by name or company, you can go further and collect more information about your prospects before reaching out to them.
Here are some personalization ideas for your subject lines to boost open and response rates:
- 22. Industry
SaaS companies can now get federal loans. Have you heard of it?
- 23. Job title
Attn.: [Name], Marketing Director at [Company]
- 24. Place you met
[Name], greetings from Berlin!
- 25. The content they wrote/shared
[Name], just read your article in The Economist. Can we talk?
- 26. Common connections
[Name of the person you both know] said you might be interested in [Offer]
- 27. An event they attended
[Name], we’re restoring contacts after [Event]
Of course, all this takes much time, especially when you need to personalize bulk emails. Fortunately, email automation tools like Snov.io Email Drip Campaigns can relieve you from tedious work and help you with preparing and scheduling highly-personalized outreach campaigns.
You can use Snov.io’s ready-made creative cold email templates (with subject lines!) to turn your emails into meaningful and convertible messages. With their help, you can craft customized emails that have a vibe as if you were reaching out to a friend and automate them to save on writing time. You can’t believe how helpful this thing is for a marketer or a sales rep to generate leads, connect with them, and then convert them into loyal customers!
Want to prevent your cold emails from landing in a trash bin?
Now let’s dwell on some technical and legal issues as, if ignored, they may decrease your response rate significantly and hurt your overall outreach campaign. Even more importantly, they may cause some unpleasant consequences that you’d better avoid.
There’s a lot of confusion around whether all cold emails should be considered spam. The quick answer is no. Otherwise, all multimillion outreach campaigns should have been called spam.
To make things clear, let us quote Spamhaus (a supplier of real-time threat intelligence):
All emails that match this definition are tracked by sophisticated spam filters. In this case, your email will automatically end up in your recipient’s spam basket or worse — get you on an email blacklist. What is the point of wasting your time and money on this?
It means you should never reach out to a person without doing research first. Ultimately, it’s in your interest as you’ll be well-armed with background information on the person you’re contacting.
There are a few more things you can do to prevent your emails from hitting spam filters:
✔️ Segment your email list
You can tailor your outreach campaign by dividing your email list into smaller groups by age, gender, occupation, geographic location, buying behavior, etc. This will enable you to better identify their needs and pain points and send highly targeted emails that will reach the relevant addressee.
✔️ Use an active reply-to address
Spam filters hate messages sent from email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org. Besides, even if your message passes them, do you think your recipient will be interested in the one-way communication this address suggests?
✔️ Send emails from a business domain only
It doesn’t look solid if you send mass email campaigns from a personal account. Frankly, it seems sort of weird. Make sure you use your corporate address for such a purpose, for example, email@example.com.
✔️ Avoid spam trigger words in your email subject lines
Some words are like a red cloth for spam filters, such as free, guarantee, earn money, and many more. You can see the complete list of such trigger words in our comprehensive e-book. Take the opportunity and download it for free by clicking the banner below:
✔️ Comply with the CAN-SPAM Act
This legal document requires that marketing messages should be sent to people who have agreed to receive them. The Act clearly states the requirements for emails and email subject lines, in particular, which are as follows:
It’s highly recommended to stick to these rules as it can save you from legal troubles and penalties of up to $46,517. Yes, non-compliance can be costly.
Subject lines matter, especially in cold emails. When sending a message to a potential customer, the subject line is your opportunity to intrigue them and get them to open the email. If your subject line is boring or irrelevant, there’s a good chance your email will end up in the trash bin.
But with our highly responsive cold email subject line examples, you’ll be able to create attention-grabbing headings that will increase your open and response rates.
And when it comes to launching a full-scale outreach campaign, you can rely on Snov.io to get the most out of it.
Thank you, great post!