Cold Email Subject Lines That Work


Cold emails are still commonly used to generate new clients. But according to Mailchimp, the average open rate of cold emails across companies is a measly 21.6%. How can we persuade people to open our sales and marketing messages?

The subject line is the very first part of your content, and your prospects often decide whether to click just based on it. It has to be engaging and compelling enough for your recipients to click among the many unread emails in their inbox.

So what makes a good email subject line? Here are some ways for you spice up--and increase clicks--on your subject lines.

Ever wonder how you can make telemarketing work for you?
Having trouble with managing your sales team?

Ask a Question

A question is always a good conversation starter, but make sure it is relevant and specific to your prospects. A simple way is to ask something related to their company’s operations. Likewise, you can leave your subject line as “Question about ______” and ask the particular question in the content instead.


Is your manager nagging you about sales targets?
Balancing a sales job and family time

Elicit Emotions

Professionalism is important to maintain at work, but this does not mean that we should converse like robots. In sales, it is actually effective to incorporate emotions in your client engagements. Your subject line will be most effective if your prospects empathize with it and feel that there is a real human being who cares about their plight.


Highlight Benefits

Get qualified appointments directly without telemarketing
Get qualified appointments directly without telemarketing

Humans gravitate towards things and actions in their best interest. Your prospects are unlikely to open your cold email if they do not see any personal benefit to doing so. Therefore, use your subject line to immediately indicate the potential benefits of your products and services. Distill your value proposition in your subject line, and then elaborate on it in your email body.

Mention a Referral

James from Company ABC asked me to say hi

Referral is a powerful tool as it immediately enhances the credibility of your email. State the name of the company or person that referred you in your subject line. Since business is all about networking and relationships, recipients would be propelled to reply to your email.


Identify Problems

Called 40 leads today but got no positive response?
Not enough manpower to do your telemarketing?

If you discover that your prospect’s specific pain point is in line with what you have to offer, then congratulations! Research your recipient’s company and put yourself in their shoes: What is the most acute problem they face? As they can relate to the problem you have stated, they would be interested in the solution you offer.


Quote Statistics

60% of start-ups have problems getting quality leads
Company ABC used our service to improve their sales revenue by 34%

Quoting statistics is another way to enhance your credibility, particularly when you combine it with any of the other tactics above. It is important however that you do your research properly to ensure accuracy of your statistics.


Final Notes

When done right, subject lines persuade readers to trust you and your business. Keep them short and sweet so that they appear properly on your phone’s email notification. Also, while your email subject lines must be appealing, make sure that they are not overly dramatic. After all, they are still business-related emails.

Lastly: don’t just do clickbait with empty promises. Prospects might open your email, but they will view you as unprofessional and even lose trust in your business.




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