How to Write Cold Email Subject Lines That Stand Out

As a sales and cold email specialist, I have written this comprehensive blog post to empower you with the best tactics, examples, and tips to win your prospect’s attention.

Cold email subject lines are the first thing your prospect sees, making them critical to your success.

A well-written cold email subject line can make your email stand out in a crowded prospect’s inbox, bypass spam filters, and prompt your potential customer to open your email.

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The Importance of Cold Email Subject Lines

The subject line of a cold email holds the power to make or break your cold email campaign.

Your subject line serves as the first impression you make on a prospect, setting the tone for your cold email.

It’s no surprise that subject lines that get noticed have a significant impact on your open rates.

Let’s delve into why cold email subject lines are so essential.

If your subject line is too generic, your email might end up in the spam folder.

If it’s too flashy, it can seem like clickbait subject lines and turn off your prospects.

The Anatomy of a Great Subject Line

What constitutes a great subject line, then?

A powerful subject line is concise, intriguing, personalized, and provides some value or benefit to the reader.

Keep your subject line short – shorter subject lines are ideal as they appear in full on mobile devices. However, remember to keep your subject line short but meaningful.

One common pitfall to avoid is making your subject line sound too salesy.

Instead, your cold email subject lines should focus on the prospect’s pain point and how your product or service can address it.

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For example, if you’re reaching out to a company experiencing a common pain point in the IT industry – like a broken link in their website – your subject line could be “Quick fix for your website’s broken link.

Personalizing Subject Lines

Personalizing subject lines can help you stand out in a prospect’s inbox.

Research shows that personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened.

Including a mutual connection between email recipients or a mutual contact in your subject line can be effective.

If you and your prospect attended the very same event or conference or even the same event, mentioning that in your subject line could prove fruitful.

For example, “Jane, our mutual connection from the same conference, the ABC conference, suggested I reach out.”

The Company Name Trick

One of the best ways to personalize your cold email subject line is by including the company name.

It’s not just about dropping the company name in the subject line – it’s about combining it with a prospect’s pain point or an offer of value.

For example, “How we can help [Company Name] increase its customer retention” is a subject line that implies value and shows you’ve done your homework about the company.

Using Social Proof in Subject Lines

Social proof is another effective way to craft compelling cold email subject lines.

If your product or service has been used successfully by similar companies in the prospect’s industry, don’t hesitate to use that as a social proof in your subject line.

For example, a subject line like “[Company’s competitor] boosted their revenue by 20% with our strategy. Interested to learn how, [Prospect’s Name]?” can be highly effective.

Playing with Power Words

Power words are terms that spark emotion or action.

They are persuasive, descriptive, and can create a sense of urgency or curiosity.

For instance, words like “exclusive,” “limited,” “latest,” “innovative,” “revolutionary,” and “breakthrough” can add oomph to your cold email subject lines and prompt your prospect to open your email.

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Using power words wisely in your cold email subject line can boost your cold email campaign’s open rates.

In the following sections of this blog post, we’ll delve deeper into different types of subject lines, provide multiple subject lines and line examples, discuss the optimal subject line length, share a few tips and tricks for writing subject lines, and answer some of the frequently asked questions about cold emails and subject lines.

Ready to send cold emails that get responses? Sign up for Mailarrow, our cold email outreach software, to get started.

Crafting Different Types of Subject Lines for Different Scenarios

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to crafting an email subject line.

The best subject line for your cold email largely depends on the context, the nature of your email, your relationship with the recipient, and their potential interest in your offering.

Different Subject Lines for Different Scenarios

One thing to keep in mind while crafting your cold email subject line is the subject line triggers the context of your email. Different scenarios call for different subject lines.

For example, your first subject line in an outreach email may differ from follow up emails.

A good subject line for the first email could be, “Quick question about [Company Name].” For follow-ups, you could use, “[Company Name], let’s pick up where we left off.”

The subject line of a cold email for an interview might be different from that of a sales pitch. For an interview, you could use a subject line such as, “[Your Name] – Exploring opportunities at [Company Name].”

For a sales pitch, the email subject line could be, “Increase [Company Name]’s productivity with our new tool.”

Subject Line Examples for Cold Emails

Let’s look at a few subject line examples for various scenarios:

  • For an introductory email: “[Your Name] + [Company Name] Introduction”
  • For a product demo offer: “[Prospect’s Name], book your demo for [Your Product]”
  • For a partnership proposal: “Let’s join forces, [Company Name]”
  • For touching base: “[Prospect’s Name], let’s catch up!”

Remember, while these are good starting points, it’s crucial to personalize and tailor your subject lines to your specific situation and prospect.

Creating Intrigue with Catchy Subject Lines

Catchy subject lines are another approach that can work well in certain situations. These catchy subject line lines pique curiosity, making the recipient more likely to open your email.

For example, “[Company Name]’s secret to doubling customer engagement” or “Unleashing [Company Name]’s potential: Let’s chat?”

The Power of Questions in Subject Lines

Asking a question in your cold email subject line can be a potent tool. Questions engage your prospect’s interest and compel them to open the email for answers.

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A subject line like “Are you ready to boost [Company Name]’s sales, [Prospect’s Name]?” is not only personalized but also stirs curiosity and prompts the recipient to learn more.

Using Creative Subject Lines to Stand Out

Creative subject lines can make your cold email stand out in a crowded inbox.

However, it’s essential to maintain a professional tone and not go overboard with creativity.

An example of a creative subject line could be “Tired of chasing leads, [Prospect’s Name]? We can help.”

Best Practices for Writing Cold Email Subject Lines

When writing subject lines, be concise, clear, and enticing. Avoid using all caps or too many exclamation points, as these may trigger spam filters.

Moreover, remember to deliver on what you promise in the subject line in the email body. Failing to do so can hurt your credibility and response rates.

Crafting effective subject lines is both an art and a science.

But with practice, insight, and the use of excellent cold email outreach software like Mailarrow, you can master the art of writing good subject lines for that convert.

Making Your Subject Line Stand Out

In the sea of emails that flood a prospect’s inbox every day, making your cold email subject line stand out is a challenging task.

Yet, with the right techniques and strategies, it’s entirely possible to make your subject line impossible to ignore.

The Impact of Subject Line Length

Subject line length can significantly influence your email’s open rates.

While there’s no hard and fast rule about the ideal subject line length, shorter subject lines tend to outperform their lengthier counterparts.

This is especially true when considering the prevalence of mobile devices, where long subject lines can get cut off.

In general, keep your subject line between 6-10 words. But as always, testing different short subject lines and line lengths to see what works best for your target audience is the key.

Employing Personalized Subject Lines

In the digital age, personalization has become a necessity, not a luxury.

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Personalized subject lines not only demonstrate that you’ve done your research but also make your prospect feel unique, improving the chances of your email being opened.

Thoughtful African American female employee busy at computer writing business email to partner, distracted from work dreaming or thinking, concerned black woman worker considering problem solution

From using your prospect’s name or company name to referencing a recent achievement or mutual connection, there are plenty of ways to add a personal touch to your subject lines.

Avoiding Generic Subject Lines

Generic subject lines are a surefire way to get your cold email ignored or moved to the spam folder.

They give off a mass-email vibe and don’t provide a compelling reason for the recipient to open your email.

Avoid phrases like “Hello” or “Checking in” as your email subject line. Instead, focus on your prospect’s pain points, your unique value proposition, or any mutual connections that could grab their attention.

Taking Advantage of Social Proof

Mentioning an accomplishment, a mutual contact, or a known company in your subject line can effectively incorporate social proof and lend credibility to your cold email.

For instance, if you’ve helped a well-known company in your prospect’s industry achieve significant results, mention this in your subject line.

It could be something like, “How we boosted [well-known competitor’s name]’s sales by 35%.”

Injecting Urgency and Scarcity

Time-sensitive subject lines or those suggesting limited availability can increase open rates by creating a sense of urgency and scarcity.

However, be careful not to overdo it. False urgency can backfire, damaging your reputation.

A few examples of subject lines that create urgency are, “Last chance to grab your seat at our exclusive webinar, [Prospect’s Name]” or “Only a few spots left for our free consultation, [Prospect’s Name].”

Testing and Tweaking Subject Lines

Even with the best practices and principles, it’s vital to test and tweak your new subject lines, to discover what resonates with your audience.

A/B testing different subject lines is an effective way to gauge their impact on your open rates and engagement.

By applying these strategies, you can craft compelling subject lines that help your cold emails stand out, get noticed, and get opened.

Remember, the perfect subject line doesn’t exist – what matters most is how well your own subject line works and resonates with your prospect. Experiment and learn.

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Want to skyrocket your cold email outreach success? Sign up for Mailarrow, our cold email outreach software, today.

Enhancing Cold Email Subject Lines with Power Words

Power words are the secret sauce to make your cold email subject lines more persuasive.

These words can evoke emotions, trigger curiosity, and create a compelling narrative – all of which can boost your cold email’s open rates.

What are Power Words?

Power words are emotionally charged words that naturally draw attention and incite action.

These words can pique curiosity, stir emotions, or imply exclusivity, making your email subject lines more enticing to the reader.

Incorporating Power Words in Cold Email Subject Lines

There are several ways you can incorporate power words into your email subject lines.

  • Emotional Power Words: Words that stir emotion, like “exciting,” “amazing,” or “shocking,” can make your email subject lines more appealing. For instance, “Discover an amazing opportunity for [Company Name]” is a good subject line using emotional power words.
  • Action Power Words: Words that evoke action, such as “unleash,” “jumpstart,” or “boost,” can inject energy into your subject lines and inspire action. For example, “Unleash [Company Name]’s growth potential with our tool.”
  • Curiosity Power Words: Words like “secret,” “exclusive,” or “unseen” can generate curiosity and make your prospect want to know more. An example could be, “The secret tool successful businesses like [Company Name] are using.”
  • Exclusivity Power Words: Words implying exclusivity or rarity, such as “limited,” “rare,” or “elite,” can create a sense of scarcity, prompting your prospect to act quickly. For example, “Exclusive offer for [Company Name] – limited spots available.”
  • Value Power Words: Words like “value,” “benefit,” or “result” suggest that your email will provide something of worth to your prospect. For instance, “How [Company Name] can benefit from our new solution.”

The Caveat of Using Power Words

While power words can enhance your cold email subject lines, overuse or misuse can lead to your email being marked as spam.

Thus, it’s crucial to use these words sparingly and genuinely.

It’s also essential to avoid using clickbait subject lines. If your email body doesn’t deliver on the promise made in the subject line, it can damage your credibility and reduce your response rates.

When used thoughtfully, power words can elevate your cold email subject lines and compel your prospects to open and read your message.

Would you like a hand in crafting compelling cold emails? Sign up for Mailarrow, our cold email outreach software, now.

Cold Email Subject Line Examples and Templates

Seeing practical examples can often be the best way to understand the principles we’ve discussed so far.

Let’s dive into some subject line examples that apply the tactics and techniques we’ve covered.

Subject Line Examples for Various Scenarios

Here are a few subject lines that leverage power words, personalization, social proof, and more to create an impactful first impression.

  1. “πŸš€ Skyrocket [Company Name]’s revenue with our proven strategies”
  2. “[Mutual Connection’s Name] recommended we connect”
  3. “An exclusive offer for [Company Name] – Act fast!”
  4. “Join successful businesses like [Company Name] – Let’s talk growth”
  5. “New data insights for [Prospect’s Industry] – Interested, [Prospect’s Name]?”
  6. “How we boosted [Famous Company’s] sales – Let’s do it for [Company Name]”

Subject Line Templates You Can Use

Ready to start crafting your own compelling cold email subject lines? Here are some templates to get you started:

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  1. “Achieve [desired outcome] like [successful company in their industry]”
  2. “[Mutual Connection’s Name] thought we should talk”
  3. “How [Company Name] can benefit from [Your Product/Service]”
  4. “Insights into [Prospect’s Pain Point] for [Company Name]”
  5. “Your seat is reserved, [Prospect’s Name]: Exclusive [Your Product/Service] demo”
  6. “Breaking down [Prospect’s Industry] trends – Let’s chat, [Prospect’s Name]”

These examples and templates demonstrate how to create effective and catchy subject lines for your cold emails.

But remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Always test new subject lines, gauge their success, and adjust as needed.

Remember, your email’s body must live up to the promise of your subject line. A powerful subject line followed by an irrelevant or uninteresting email body can damage your credibility and brand.

The world of cold email outreach may be challenging, but with the right tools and strategies, you can master it.

Interested in perfecting your cold email strategy? Sign up for Mailarrow, our cold email outreach software, today!

Bringing It All Together: The Complete Cold Email

Having a powerful cold email subject line is just the first step. The body of your cold email must deliver on the promise made in your subject line to be effective.

This final part will bring all the concepts together and show you how to craft a complete cold email that drives results.

Crafting the Cold Email Body

  1. PersonalizeStart by addressing your prospect by their name. Show them that you’ve done your research by mentioning specific details about their company or industry. Referencing a mutual connection or common pain point can also help establish a personal connection.
  2. Introduce YourselfBriefly introduce yourself and your company. Keep it short and focus on what’s relevant to your prospect.
  3. Provide ValueAddress your prospect’s pain point and explain how your product or service can offer a solution. Use power words to emphasize the value you can provide.
  4. Call to ActionClearly state what you want the recipient to do next. Whether it’s booking a demo, signing up for a free trial, or scheduling a call, make sure it’s easy for them to take the next step.
  5. Professional Sign-offEnd your email professionally, providing your full name, job title, and contact information.

Follow-up Emails

Follow-up emails are crucial for successful cold email campaigns. If you don’t receive a response, don’t be afraid to follow up.

Your subject lines for follow up and future emails, should be consistent with your initial email but offer a sense of progression.

For example, if your first subject line was “Boost [Company Name]’s revenue with our proven strategies,” your follow-up could be “Don’t miss out on [Company Name]’s growth potential.”

Remember, every email you send should offer value and address your prospect’s pain points. The aim of each email should be to build a relationship, not just to make a sale.

Wrapping Up

Crafting successful cold emails isn’t an easy task. It requires research, creativity, and a deep understanding of your target audience’s interest.

But with the right strategies, you can create compelling cold email subject lines that get opened and emails that convert prospects into paying customers.

Whether you’re new to cold emailing or looking to enhance your skills, Mailarrow, our cold email outreach software, can provide you with the tools and insights you need to drive your cold email campaigns to success.

Sign up today and take your cold email outreach to the next level!

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What should be the subject line of a cold email?

The subject line of a cold email should be personalized, compelling, and relevant to your recipient. It should stir curiosity, offer value, and encourage the recipient to open the email.

What should my email subject line be?

Your email subject line should directly relate to the content of your email. It should be concise, engaging, and provide a clear reason for your recipient to open your email.

What is a good subject for a cold email?

A good subject for a cold email could be one that identifies a mutual connection, addresses a prospect’s pain point, or offers a unique value proposition. It should be clear, concise, and personalized.

What is an effective email subject line?

An effective email subject line is one that grabs attention, generates curiosity, and gets the recipient to open the email. This could involve using power words, personalizing with the recipient’s name or company name, or stating the email’s value upfront.

What is a good subject line for a touching base email?

A good subject line for a touching base email could be something like “Checking in on [topic of interest]” or “Update on [project/issue]”. It should be clear that the email is a follow-up or check-in and should reference a topic that is relevant and valuable to the recipient.

What should I say in the subject line of an email?

The subject line of your email should clearly state the purpose of your email in a way that is compelling and encourages the recipient to open the email. It should be short, personalized where possible, and avoid spammy language.

What should be the subject of a cold email?

The subject of a cold email should be related to the offer or value you’re providing to your prospect. It should address their needs or pain points and offer a solution or benefit that encourages them to open the email.

What is the most effective email subject line?

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The most effective email subject lines are typically those that generate curiosity, convey urgency, offer value, or create a personal connection. They should be brief, clear, and compelling, and should align with the content of the email.

What should be the first line for a cold call email?

The first line of a cold call email, also known as the email preview, should complement the subject line and provide additional context or value to encourage the recipient to open the email. This could involve further personalization, a teaser of the offer or information inside, or a compelling call to action.

What are the best subject lines for cold emails internship?

The best subject lines for cold emails for internships are those that are professional, concise, and highlight the main purpose of your email. They might include your key skills or the specific position you’re interested in. For example, “Marketing student with a passion for digital strategies seeking internship.”

Can I cold email B2B?

Yes, cold emailing is a common practice in B2B marketing. It’s a way to introduce your product or service to potential clients. However, it’s essential to ensure your email is relevant, valuable, and respectful of the recipient’s time.

How do you write a good cold email B2B?

A good B2B cold email should identify a specific problem or need of the business you’re contacting, demonstrate understanding of their industry, and present a clear value proposition. The email should be concise, personalized, and professional.

How do you title a cold email for sales?

Titling a cold email for sales should involve highlighting the main benefit or value your product or service can offer to the prospect. It should generate curiosity, provide a clear reason to open the email, and avoid spammy or misleading language.

How do I write a cold email to sell a few words about my product?

To write a cold email to sell your product, start by addressing your recipient by their name. Clearly state who you are and why you’re reaching out. Present the value proposition of your product and how it can solve a problem they’re facing. Finally, end with a clear call to action.

Serge Shlykov is the founder of Mailarrow. Rotterdam Business School graduate and a long-time software engineer he has been running his own agency and SaaS business before realizing how many people are struggling with cold email outreach. This made him create Mailarrow, the cold email outreach software that helps you build great relationships at scale. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn

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