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65 Best Cold Email Subject Lines To Boost Open Rates in 2023

18 min read
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Your cold email subject line can make or break your campaign! The subject line is one of the first elements recipients lay their eyes upon, it’s a first impression of your company of sorts. 

To add, your prospect’s inboxes are probably cluttered! If you want to get your email opened, it’s a necessity to stand out.

46% of email recipients have reported that they open emails based on the subject line alone, so yes, a small word count element does hold a lot of power. 

All of your email engagement metrics (open, click, conversion rates, etc) are dependent on the subject line. Sounds a bit much for 60 characters, doesn’t it? Once you’ve understood what makes a good subject line, you can write them effortlessly and enjoy increased open rates! 

So, if you’re trying to make things flow and are in need of the best cold email subject lines, we’ve got your back!

This blog mentions 65 cold email subject lines for the most popular use cases. Before we delve in, let’s first find out the elements of a good cold email subject line. 

What Makes A Good Cold Email Subject Line?

I am sure we’ve all sat behind our laptop screens, thinking man statue style, pondering “What should I put in my cold email subject line?”.

Well, we have the answer(s)! 

If you want prospects to open and read your cold email, you need catchy subject lines. 

We found that the best cold email subject lines:

  • Ask questions
  • Include the recipient’s name (personalized subject lines boost open rates by 50%)
  • Address pain points
  • Create FOMO (fear of missing out) 
  • Generate curiosity 
  • Use social proof
  • Provide value 
  • Have a call-to-action (CTA)
  • Include numbers 

Subject lines are important because the very success of your cold outreach campaigns can be determined by them. Refer to the statistics below to better understand their importance: 

Subject line statistics

Your cold email subject line should work in any environment your email arrives in. Based on your target audience, consider the time of the day the email will be sent, think carefully if your recipients will connect with emojis, and lastly, use language (verbiage) that your recipients are familiar with. 

By the way, using a preheader text is also a great way to capture the attention of recipients in addition to the subject line. In fact, research has found that up to one quarter of recipients read the preview text before deciding to open an email.

Experts recommend keeping your subject lines below 60 characters and 10 words. Similarly, your email preheader text should be under 55 characters. 

Subject line and preheader text
Subject line and preheader text example

Here are the factors to remember if you want to write effective cold email subject lines that will generate great results: 

  • Keep It Short: As mentioned above, keep your subject line length under 60 characters (suitable length for desktop, mobile, and tablet devices). Anything beyond the 60 character limit and you risk your subject line being cut off. Also, effective cold email subject lines skip filler words and aim to deliver value first. 
  • Make It Catchy: This one’s a no brainer! I don’t think anyone likes opening emails with boring subject lines. Use curiosity, humor, questions, FOMO, offers, and personalization to your advantage! 
  • Personalize It: Personalization is pretty much the glue that holds everything together. A study revealed that 26% of subject lines with personalization had a higher chance of being opened. Yes, using their first and last name is the easiest way to personalize

If possible, conduct some research on your prospects to find out some information about them that you could use as personalizing elements. For example, their interests, company name, location, recent achievements, recent activity concerning your brand, or blog/post published.

  • Be Wary of Spammy Verbiage: Not a lot of people know this, but using spammy verbiage could trigger spam filters set by Email Service Providers (ESPs). Some examples include earn extra income, $$$, make money, 100% free, prize, promise, etc. This is inclusive of excessive use of punctuation or special characters as well. There are Spam Checker tools available online that can help you curb this issue.

(Note: In recent years, spam filters have become more advanced than ever. If you use the terms “limited time” or “get started now,” they won’t instantly mark your message as spam. Context matters.)

  • Create A Sense of Urgency: Make your emails seem time-sensitive to create a sense of urgency that will encourage prospects to open your email sooner.
  • Offer Value: Do you have a product that could boost your prospect’s productivity? Or perhaps you have the solution to their email marketing needs? Can you help your prospects reach their goals faster? All of these options showcase your value proposition to the prospects. Use them in your subject line.
  • Avoid Sounding Clickbaity: Don’t overpromise your prospects in the subject line. This will most likely cause them to ignore your future emails or worse, you could be marked as spam. Avoid crafting cold email subject lines that can’t live up to the actual email, product, or service itself.
  • Always Test It: Always keep testing your subject lines to see which yields the highest open rates. Use cold email software that allows you to test multiple subject lines at once and also provides detailed analytics. 

Now let’s look into the best subject lines for cold emails! 

65 Best Subject Lines For Cold Emails

1. Personalized

These work because we like hearing our own names! So yes, in a sea of emails that highlight your name, the one with your name will catch the attention of prospects. Also seeing something specific to us also helps prospects feel special. You can personalize by using first name, company name, pain points, geographic location, professional updates, personal interests/likes, and mutual connections. 

{{First Name}}, Congrats on the promotion!

{{Benefit}} for {{Company Name}}

{{First Name}}, love your new blog piece!

{{First Name}}, will I see you at {{Event}}?

What would you do with $1000 {{First Name}}?

{{First Name}}, ready to increase your revenue? 

Bonus:

{{Content suggestion}} for {{Company Name}}

A few tips for {{Company Name}} 

{{Your Company Name}} + {{Their Company Name}} = ?

I made a custom report for you, {{First Name}}

{{First Name}}, ready to reduce {{Pain Point}}?

2. Questions Based

We’re all curious! When posed with a question, we have this biological urge to know the answer. Questions that pique the curiosity of recipients will indeed encourage them to open your email. To use this technique, research their challenges, pain points, and goals. Then ask specific questions about them. 

How are you dealing with, {{Pain Point}}?

I have a suggestion for {{Goal}}!

Question about {{Goal}}?

Want to know the future of {{Company Name}}? 

How did you do it {{First Name}}?

Bonus: 

Struggling with {{Pain Point}}?

{{Pain Point}}: There’s a better way!

More wins inside for {{Company Name}}

Fix your {{Pain Point}} in [X] days!

Did you get what you were looking for?

3. If You Have Mutual Connections

By using a mutual connection, you can reduce the ‘coldness’ of your overall email. When you mention their mutual connection, you are no longer strangers to the prospects, by establishing a common ground and putting them at ease. Also, this is one of the best ways to capture their attention! Something familiar will always catch their eye! 

A mutual connection doesn’t necessarily have to be a person. It can also be something that creates common ground between you and the prospect. For example, being a part of the same LinkedIn group, shared hobby, being alumni of the same school/college, or attending the same event/conference. Don’t get too personal also though! 

{{Mutual Connection}} asked me to reach out! 

We met at {{Event Name}}!

Hello, fellow {{Common College Name}} alumni! 

I loved your insight on {{Common Social Group}}!

Referral from {{Referall Name}}! 

Bonus: 

Heard a lot about you from {{Mutual Connection}}!

Do you know {{Mutual Connection}}?

I love that {{Thought, Idea or Opinion}} you shared on {{Mutual Group}}

Contacting you at {{Referal Name}}’s suggestion 

You have excellent taste in {{Common Ground}}

4. Creating Urgency/FOMO

As mentioned earlier, creating a sense of urgency can help your prospects open your email sooner rather than later. If your prospects see your subject line and decide to wait before opening the email, there’s a chance you’ve already lost them. By the time they do return, your email could be lost in the shuffle! Using the principle of FOMO also helps in planting a seed of urgency. 

This offer is only valid till {{Date/Time}}!

Last few slots available! Claim yours!

I’d hate to see you miss out, {{First Name}}! 

{{Competitor}} doubled their revenue! 

{{First Name}}, can you keep a secret? 

Bonus: 

Don’t open this! 

Are you sure you want to miss this? 

DON’T IGNORE THIS EMAIL!

We don’t usually do this, but…

{{First Name}}, this is just for you!

5. Highlighting The Value Proposition

“What’s in it for me?” is one of the first questions recipients ask themselves when determining whether to open an email. 

Your recipient is unlikely to open it if the subject line doesn’t make it clear that it can provide them with something of value.

Identify highly relevant resources or information that your prospect could find useful and use it in your subject line. Your email will stand out more in the inbox if you do this. 

The secret to resolving {{Pain Point}}

[X] tips to decrease {{Something related to their pain points}}

[X] best ideas to reach {{Goal}}

Save {{Amount/Percentage}} on {{Product/Service}}

More content for your blog! 

Bonus: 

{{Resources}} to help with {{Pain Point}}

Hit your {{Goal}} with {{Product/Service}}!

[FREE RESOURCES] to help with {{Pain Point}}

Achieve {{Goal}} with {{Idea}}

{{Product Feature}} can help resolve {{Pain Point}}

6. Humorous/Creative

A little humor never hurt anyone! Everyone loves a good laugh, and hey, if it can get your recipients to open your email then why not! Create funny or creative subject lines that will capture your audience’s interest. 

Another email for you to ignore! 

Swipe right on us {{First Name}}!

How you doin’?😏

Hello from the other side {{First Name}}!

Your inbox needs some love {{First Name}}!

Bonus: 

Can I borrow your brain for a minute, {{First Name}}?

Is your {{Industry}} game on point?

*Knock Knock* new connection here! 

Not a Nigerian prince, {{First Name}}! 

Let’s make {{Company Name}} great again! 

Batman or not, let’s connect!

Pro Tip: Using emojis makes your subject lines more expressive! The open rate of emails with emojis in the subject line is 56% higher compared to plain subject lines.😉

7. Using Social Proof

Social proof works by leveraging our innate desire to follow the actions of others, fostering credibility and trust, and removing obstacles to making purchases or in this case, opening emails. You can use social proof by sharing, customer testimonials, reviews & ratings, social media shares, case studies, influencer endorsements, and more. 

How {{Company}} used {{Product/Service}} to increase their {{Metric}}

See why {{Competitor}} loves us!

Top-rated {{Product/Service}} Provider According to {Publication}

See What [Industry] Experts Are Saying About [Company]

How we helped {{Your Top Client}} Achieve {{Goal/Metric}}

Bonus: 

{{Percentage/number}} said yes to {{Product/Serivce}}!

Don’t take our word for it! 

{{Number of customers}} chose us!

This week’s {{Reviews/rating}} for you!

{{Influencer Name/Publication}} is talking about us! 

8. For Cold Calls

Whether you are cold emailing someone to inform them you are going to cold call them or reaching out after they have missed your call, a good cold call subject line for a cold email is necessary. 

Quick question, {{First Name}}?

A Solution for {{Pain Point}}, {{First Name}}?

Let’s discuss how we can achieve {{Goal}}, {{First Name}}! 

Let’s chat—unleash {{Their Company Name}}’s potential this {{Timeframe}}

Let’s talk {{Industry}} Solutions, {{Company Name}}} has you covered! 

Bonus: 

Ready for better {{Results}}, {{First Name}}? Let’s talk!

Take your {{Department/Process}} to the next level!

Opportunity alert, {{Company Name}} has something for you!

9. For Networking

Networking is the backbone of business development. Cold emailing is an excellent way to network because it’s not too personal and you reach the recipient in the one place you know they’ll be, their inbox.

To have them open your email, you need a good cold email subject line for networking. 

Reaching out for expert advice on {{Topic}}

Interested in learning more about {{Something they published – blog, social media post, video, webinar, etc}}! 

Introducing myself: {{Your Name}}

Looking to expand my {{Industry}} network! 

Invitation to connect: {{Your Name}} & {{Their Name}} 

Bonus:

Looking for advice from {{Industry}} expert! 

I loved your recent {{Publication/Thought/Idea}}!

Can I pick your brains {{First Name}}?

Loved our chat at {{Event}}! Let’s connect!

Networking with like-minded individuals!

10. For Sales

Cold emailing is a great way to generate leads and also convert qualified leads in the sales function. For sales cold email subject lines you need to always remember to offer value to the prospect. The open rate, click-through rate, and CTA conversions will all depend on the sales cold email subject line. 

In the subject line, you can give suggestions on how to boost their sales for the upcoming quarter, or find out how their competitor benefited from your product. In any event, what matters is that the prospects see the value. 

About {{Pain Point}} at {{Company Name}} 

Who is in charge of {{Process}} at {{Company Name}}?

Your Monthly [X] Target! 

Get ahead of the competition with {{Product/Service}}

Boost your {Their Metric} with {{Product/Service}}

Bonus: 

Save [X] hours per week with {{Product/Service}}

Generate [X] new qualified leads this {{Timeframe}} with {{Product/Service}}

First steps to improving {{Issue you are helping with}}

Looking to outsource {{Service you provide}}?

From one small business to another..

Also See: 55+ Cold Email Templates to go along with your subject lines!

11. For Jobs

It takes skill to craft persuading cold email subject lines for jobs that convince the recruiting manager to read your message and respond. Having a very high open rate but low response rates won’t help you at all. After all, getting a job is your aim, not simply sending out a ton of emails. 

When writing a cold email subject line for jobs try to: mention something about the recruiter, if you have a mutual connection or interest, offer value, ask questions, and ask for advice. 

{{Your Name}}, the newest addition to your team! 

How can I make a contribution to {{Company Name}}?

Interested in {{Job Title}} opening 

Eager to join your {{Company/Team}}

Your new {{Job Title}}! 

Bonus: 

Driven {{Job Title}} Candidate for {{Company}}

Job Application: {{Job Title}}, {{Your Name}}

Referred by {{Refferal Name}} for {{Job Title}}

CV/Resume for {{Job Title}} role – {{Your Name}}

Experienced {{Job Title}} candidate 

Ex {{Prominent company}}, job application for {{Job Title}}

Experienced {{Job Title}} interested in new roles 

12. For Recruiting

If you want to effectively hire candidates then it is important your cold email has catchy subject lines. Cold email subject lines for recruiting should be clear, concise, and offer value. The average open rate for emails in the recruitment industry is around 20%! This means you really need to step it up to stand out in your prospect’s inbox. 

{{First Name}}, your dream job is here! 

Greetings from {{Company Name}} – {{Job Title}} opportunity

Your resume caught my attention {{First Name}}! 

{{First Name}}, I came across your profile on LinkedIn 

Advance your career with {{Company Name}}

Bonus: 

{{First Name}}, looking for a career change? 

{{Company Name}} wants talented {{Job Title}} like you! 

Ready to take the next step in your career? 

On Friday’s we have pizza parties! 

Your {{Industry/field}} skills are needed for a {{Job Title}} role!

{{Company Name}} – The best place to work at

13. For B2B Cold Emails

First impressions are everything! They matter a lot more in the B2B industry especially when you are trying to get new clients or accounts. Eventually, you want your qualified leads to convert into paying customers, so you need to spend some time writing your B2B cold email subject lines. 

Can I help {{Company Name}} with higher {{Sales/ROI/Revenue}}?

X Tips for {{Goal}} in {{Year}}

A proven solution for {{Pain Point}}

Quick question about {{Company Name}}’s {{Specific problem/area of interest}}

{{First Name}}, can we discuss {{Specific problem/area of interest}} at {{Company Name}}?

Bonus: 

{{First Name}}, can I have your 15 minutes? 

{{First Name}}, {{Company Name}} and {{Your Company Name}}: Potential Partnership?

Hey {{First Name}}, Check-Out This High Converting [XYZ] {{Resource}}

{{Product Name}} is going viral! 

{{First Name}}, Is {{specific problem/area of interest}} Hurting Your Business at {{Company Name}}?

Is {{Company Name}} looking to reduce sales?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • How do personalized subject lines help increase open rates? 

Personalized subject lines make your emails appear more relevant and significant to recipients. The email subject line grabs the recipient’s attention and conveys that the email is specially tailored for them by including the recipient’s name, business name, or other personalized information. According to studies, personalized subject lines can boost open rates from generic subject lines by up to 50%

  • How to check for spam-triggering words in my subject line?

Use spam word checker tools like Saleshandy (in-built), MailMetor, Warmy.io, and blogiestools. 

  • How do I make my cold email subject line stand out?

To make your subject line stand out, always remember to personalize it, keep it relevant to the recipient, evoke curiosity, create a sense of urgency, add humor, and experiment with emojis.  

  • How do you test subject lines? 

To test your subject lines, you will have to sign up for cold emailing software. 

Saleshandy is the perfect cold email software that can help you test your subject lines with A/Z testing. This means that for each email sequence you launch, every email in the process can have up to 26 variants of subject lines. 

Once you launch your campaign, you will be able to access detailed email campaign analytics that will help you know which subject lines are performing well. Beyond that, to reduce manual efforts, you can use merge tags such as {{First Name}}, {{Company Name}}, {{City}}, {{Job Title}}, and more to personalize all of the emails in your campaign. All the data that will reflect in these merge tags simply needs to be imported into the software.

Saleshandy also offers an in-built email assistant that informs you in real-time about the state of your subject line length, if spammy words have been used, and if an adequate amount of personalization has been used. 

Conclusion 

The best cold email subject lines can be generated if you harness your creativity! Use the subject lines in this blog to inspire your own. Always remember that if you want to drive open rates, you must stand out. 

Keep trying different subject lines to see what is actually working with your prospects. Use cold email tools like Saleshandy to track the performance of your subject lines. 

Skyrocket your conversion rates with cold emailing

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