When we write an email, we usually spend the majority of our time working on the inside, writing the content, adjusting the word order, re-reading, and re-doing it until we think it is good enough. However, if you are reading this blog, you are surely aware that the subject line is the most crucial aspect of an email, whether cold or promotional, so when writing one, we must think about and mold the line that will make our receiver decide whether or not to open the email.
Don’t overwhelm yourself, here I’m going to show you how to build the (almost) perfects cold email subject lines for your target, some tips, and show you the ones that work best for us at FindThatLead so you can get inspired.
What is a good subject line?
Well, we know that it is easy to know how good a subject line is because it can be measured, our open rate tells us how successful our subject line has been. Although it is not something purely objective, each sector, each company, and each prospect is a world, and not all subject lines work the same for each of them.
However, this works just like an exam, you don’t know your results until you have handed them in and your teacher has corrected them. In this case, the exam is the subject line, the grade is the Open Rate and your teachers are the recipients who decide if your subject line attracts enough attention to open the email and continue reading.
How do you pass this “exam”? It is not a totally objective evaluation due to what we have commented before, but a “B” grade is usually a 40% open rate, a “A” about 50%, and an “S”… Well, you can have it like 65%… But 100% is the limit, it depends on the purpose of the email
We ourselves have been examining different subject lines, testing and testing, we have not always been effective in building emails … But we are very proud to say that now our subject lines are usually around 60% open rate, in this article, you will find some of the subject lines (+50%) that we have done so well and so many hours of testing, trial, and error has taken us.
How to write a cold email subject line?
Before I show you the subject lines I’m talking about, I’m going to tell you the characteristics of a good cold email subject line so you’ll be able to build the perfect one for each campaign, pay attention because you’re going to discover incredible tips in this section.
Brief and specific.
For a good cold email subject line, there is no specific ideal length, it depends on several factors but all agree that you should leave as much information as possible in as few characters as possible.
Keep in mind that more and more people use their cell phones to open and read emails and you need to optimize your subject line for that.
As a salesman and marketer you probably are, if you don’t have something like this in mind, we are not taking into account the digital transformation at all. Make your email and check how it would look on desktop and mobile.
Don’t worry, I have figures, for mobile devices, we cannot create a subject line that exceeds 41 characters if we want it to be an optimized subject line, we can go to 60 characters on PC. I consider the deadline to be 41, equivalent in many cases to 7 words.
Another point in favor of brevity when writing cold email subject lines is the aura of mystery it leaves
❌ Are you ready to meet & coffee today at 10:00?
✔️ Meeting at 10?
When you have a fixed structure and you know what you are doing, creativity is a differentiating boost and reserved for the best, let your imagination fly and be original. Try to avoid literally copying templates at any cost, they are made to be inspired by them!
Using power words can be a plus when creating a cold email subject line. What words can you replace with a power word that will attract the attention of your prospect?
Emojis, yes or no? Answer: It depends, it is true that a higher response rate is attributed to those who use emojis, but it has to be in line with what you write, I recommend using some emoji in short lines, storytelling and for a target that usually opens their emails on cell phones. (Be careful! emojis can take away seriousness in some subjects).
Avoid clickbait, be optimistic about what you write but realistic, avoid these practices:
❌ Get $20,000 in 2 hours 💸
❌ Become a millionaire in 3 easy steps 🤑
There are SPAM filters too, preconfigured and configurable, used by each email tool such as Outlook, SMTP, Gmail… Avoid SPAM folders at all costs.
Adapt your subject line to the target, try to collect information about your prospect and use it to your advantage, recent events in his sector, a question about a project you know he is carrying out, an event you know he has recently attended and even a question you have that you know he can help you with.
A good way to get your prospect’s attention is through common contact, ask that contact’s permission to name him, put his name in the subject line, and send a referral message to your prospect. The more confidence your prospect has in your contact, the more powerful your email will be…
✔️ [Common contact] recommended that I should contact you, so here I am!
A topic that is not often talked about is the day and time at which cold emails are sent, collect information on this: What is their time zone, what time do they usually start their working day, One of the tricks I use is to try to send the email in the middle of their workday. When your prospect arrives at work on a Monday he will see many emails pending to read from Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so he will spend less time reading each one of them. Choose the right timing.
Tools like FindThatLead allow you to collect info about your prospects on a large scale. We collected some of their social networks like LinkedIn from which you can get relevant info. With the “Send Emails” tool you can create these campaigns by adding to the subject line custom attributes like [Name] [Company] among others.
Make the subject line interesting, you can make it show a “Preview” of what you are going to find inside the mail if you open it, as we mentioned in previous sections, the aura of mystery, the storytelling, and the ability to summarize in a few words an entire content is value that you bring to the prospect itself.
Capital letters in the first characters of each word, capital letters only at the beginning of the sentence or all lowercase?
❌ Improve By 78% Your Lead Generation
✔️ Meet at 10 am?
✔️ quick solution for your lead generation problem
The last two cold email subject lines generate closeness and naturality, so they convert more. The first option is very generic and they are already putting on the shield that you are selling them something, it seems more like a promotional email than a cold email.
Provide data, specific numbers generate in the prospect the feeling that you know what you are talking about and the results you can reach.
Best cold email subject lines [50% + open rate]
Clank! You have found our treasure, cold email subject lines tested and with a 50% open rate or more. Remember, get inspired by them and don’t abuse them, each line has an explanation of why it has worked. If you do an analysis, they all have in common that they mix the cold email subject lines strategies that we have been talking about in this article.
Networking cold email subject lines
- [Our Company] & [Their Company] 🤝
It is simple, short and versatile, it gives an idea of what the prospect is going to find inside, such as collaborations with influencers, networking, backlink exchange…
We consider here parts of the personalization such as the custom attributes that we have been able to do in our tool “Send Emails” from FindThatLead.
- Collaboration proposal
Another proof that brevity converts, 3 words that show what they will find inside the email, they already know that you don’t want to sell them anything and it might result in a TOP collaboration.
Sales cold email subject lines
- I’ll leave this here, it will help you a lot in your tasks
It’s a question that inspires mystery. It provides a solution to a problem your prospect may have, and he will want to open the email at least to see what it is about.
- I need to tell you something important
Create mystery, urgency and a possible solution to a problem. The combination of strategies is an instant WIN.
- This email is to offer you something
Yes, it’s very direct, but you’d be surprised what sincerity can do when dealing with a salesman in cold emails.
Cold email subject lines for consulting
- I‘ve made some research at [Company] and found this
Consultants, agencies, freelancers… Keep in mind that you have the solution to a problem that your prospect has and he will not hesitate to open the email.
- Can I help you?
4 Words that will help you to make your emails more visible and increase your open rate, take note of this line!
- Idea about [Company]
Use this subject line to demonstrate to the prospect that you are eager to add value.
- 10k$ savings for [Company]
The prospect already perceives value in the subject line and will most likely open the email to see what it is about.
- One less problem for [Company]
“A solution to one of our problems? I’m going to open it!”
- Record sales for [Company]
Remember, from the very first moment you have to generate value and make a preview of what the prospect is going to find inside the mail. A sales record doesn’t sound bad, does it?
Company introduction subject lines
- Am i speaking to [role] in [company]?
Looking for a connection to the right person at the prospect’s organization? Nothing beats getting right to the point in the message’s subject line.
- [Name], I love what you do at [Company]!
One thing is clear here, your prospect knows you know who he is. Nothing feels better than the feeling of recognition. Write this one down!
- I wanted to share this with you, [Name]
Eye-catching, customized and with that aura of mystery we were talking about, what will it be? the prospect will have to open the email to find out.
- [Industry] problems? I have a few solutions
The sense of mystery generated by this subject line will make your prospect click on the email to read it.
Follow-up cold email subject lines
- Feedback about the sample?
After first contact, it is amazing to know the feedback from your prospect, he might be happy to give you feedback and, if he likes it, why not close the sale?
- This idea came to me when we last spoke
New ways to follow a conversation and move on to the next step to close a deal, if you have the idea and you know how to sell it, use a subject line like this one!
- I thought about what we were talking about
An eye-catching follow-up, you have already had a successful first contact, shall we go to the next step?
- I show you what I will do
You’ve thought about the last conversation you had and you’ve already decided on your next action, your prospect will want to know what it is too!
Webinar invitation subject lines
- [Pending] Booking cancellation
We create a sense of urgency, your guest knows his invitation is booked and if he doesn’t answer we will remove the invitation. Will he open it?
- Invitation to [Industry] Webinar
This is exactly what it says in the subject line, an invitation to a webinar.
No response email drip subject lines.
- Re: [Last email subject line]
It is just a reminder of the previous email sent, it generates urgency and it can be said that it is a wake-up call for you to read the email.
- Did the above email go to the SPAM folder?
You wonder why he didn’t open the email, yes, you know it didn’t go to SPAM, but it’s a CTA that will most likely re-engage your prospect and not only open the email, you may even get him to reply.
From FindThatLead’s “Send emails” tool we can configure these drips to be sent in the period of time you choose in case they don’t answer, this is an incredible tool that will increase the overall open rate of your campaign by at least 20%.
Cold email subject lines for job applies.
- It’s clear to me, this is the challenge I’m looking for.
Emails like this will set you apart from the hundreds of resumes that recruiters and Human Resources workers receive each month, show this ability in a cold email subject line. You’re hired!
- Interested in joining your team
Same as the email above, but clearer! The recruiter knows what you are looking for by reading the email.
A final words on how to make sure people open your emails
I really hope that after reading this article you will be able to boost your open rate, there is work ahead and it is a field that can always be improved. There is no such thing as a perfect cold email subject line, so you have to monitor your open rate and analyze which subject lines work and which do not for each of the lists you have. Each prospect is different and all factors must be taken.
We can create incredible cold email subject lines, but if we send them to the wrong target or at the wrong time, we will see our open rate decrease by a large amount. Test and retest
Create A/B tests and check which ones work best, create an excel with the best subject lines you have created and put the open rate they have had, the schedule, reply rate, number of prospects and the industry they are targeting. Something like this:
Remember that the subject line is not everything in a cold email, your goal is to open the email and, through a good offer and a good body text you are able to generate enough interest for them to respond and close a deal.
Make sure you use a tool like Prospector, which allows you to prospect all types of email lists, send more than 500 cold emails per day and track all the KPIs we have discussed. Use this guide to optimize your cold email subject lines!