How To Write Cold Email Subject Lines That Get More Responses?

How To Write Cold Email Subject Lines That Get More Responses?


Email is arguably the most effective form of business outreach. It is the main reason why cold emailing is still the preferred choice for most marketers. Consumers are more likely to respond to business emails compared to cold calls, LinkedIn messages, or any other type of correspondence. A report by WhiteCream shows that the average ROI for cold emailing in 2021 was $38 for every $1 invested. In other words, the returns on cold emailing initiatives were a staggering 3,800%.


But the truth is that cold emailing is also quite challenging to master. The challenge stems from the fact that there is no real relationship between the business and the prospective audience. The prospects have no genuine incentive or motivation to open and read cold emails. Sometimes simply reading the subject line is enough for a prospect to delete a cold email.


Think of this: according to a study conducted by SuperOffice, one in three cold email recipients choose whether to open an email based on the subject line alone. Your subject line needs to not only persuade the prospect to open the email but convince them that you are not spamming them with irrelevant information. A report by Invesp found that 69% of email recipients report an email as spam based solely on the subject line. Naturally, it is critical to work on tailoring your subject line for various audiences and campaigns. There are several pointers to keep in mind and your “ideal subject line” checklist may quickly become unmanageable. Should you use emojis or not? Should your subject line be limited to 60 characters? Should you proofread your subject lines or not? (The last one is a big fat YES!)


Using a templatized approach to develop subject lines for cold email campaigns is convenient and hassle-free. However, you will only get the desired results if your subject lines persuade the prospect. Hence, marketers need to experiment with various types of subject lines to better understand what works for their audience. For some, it might be convenient to use an email subject line generator and tweak the output, while the purists among us may believe in crafting each subject line through creative brainstorming. Either way, you need to be aware of certain subject line templates that are proven to be more effective than generic ones. This blog will cover all you need to know about crafting impressive subject lines and break down the ten most popular types of cold email subject lines.


Read on!


What Makes A Great Subject Line “Great”?

Subject lines serve one purpose: to stimulate and “hook” the reader’s interest. It should make the prospective reader want to read the entire email, based on the information they are given in the subject line. If your subject line does not stand out from the hundreds of other cold emails in your prospect’s inbox, chances are they will not open it. To achieve this, most marketers generally ask a question, use the prospect’s name, or develop a compelling call-to-action in the subject line. Yet, the all-important question is: does the subject line evoke curiosity in the reader?

Only a curious prospect has enough incentive to open your cold email. Here are four noteworthy questions marketers must ask themselves to create a subject line that rouses curiosity:

Am I Making My Offering Clear?

Any subject line should give the prospective reader a clear idea of what they can expect from the email. Whether your cold email subject line uses a question or the prospect’s name to capture attention, keep it short and relevant to the reader. For example, using longer subject lines with 21 to 25 words results in an open rate of just 9%.


Source – Rapidtables

Is My Message Currently Relevant To The Prospect?

As a marketer, you need to have a clear sense of your prospect’s stage in the buying cycle. If the customer is not at the buying stage yet, even the most well-crafted subject line may not be enough to convert them. On the other hand, if a nurtured prospect is not persuaded by your subject line, they may lose interest and opt for a competitor instead. The message your subject line embodies should reflect the prospect’s needs.

Is My Message Conveying A Sense Of Urgency?

Ideally, you want your prospects to open and read your email as soon as they receive them. If your subject line does not convey urgency, recipients may decide to come back to it later or even delete it. Naturally, the urgency of your message should be clear from your subject line. According to Invesp, subject lines that create a sense of urgency and exclusivity show a 22% higher open rate.


Am I Adding Any Element Of Personalization?

We bet you already knew this, but personalizing subject lines is one of the best ways to increase your response rate. Using the recipient’s name in the subject line is a great way to capture their attention. Yet, in most cases with cold emails, you may not know the prospect’s name. In such cases, you can ensure personalization in the subject line by using a question or Call-To-Action that appeals to their needs, pain points, or interests. In fact, a study published by Experian Marketing Services showed that cold emails with an element of personalization in the subject line had 50% higher open rates.


Asking these questions can help you craft a subject line that is relevant to your prospects, evokes curiosity, and encourages them to open the cold email.


Source – Memegenerator

How To Write A Catchy Cold Email Subject Line?

When it comes to creating a catchy cold email subject line, there are many dos and don’ts. Therefore, it might not be possible to create a subject line that complies with all the guidelines and points listed on your “ideal subject line” checklist. However, by considering the traits and preferences of your audiences, you can tailor your message accordingly and make your job easier.


Here are a few factors you must consider while developing a great subject line:


  • Time Of Day: Before hitting send on your cold email campaign, consider your prospects’ daily routine. What time of the day would they be most likely to check their emails? According to Yesware, cold emails sent between 1 PM to 4 PM on workdays get the best response. Moreover, cold emails sent on weekends get the lowest open rates. Even the best subject line may fail if it’s sent at the wrong time.
  • To Emoji Or Not To Emoji: Using emojis has been a controversial subject in the world of marketing, as it may not convey the seriousness needed for a sales pitch. Yet, emojis can be a powerful way to stand out in your prospect’s inbox. OptinMonster says that businesses that use emojis in their subject lines get 56% higher open rates compared to competitors that do not. Yet, marketers need to consider the audience demographics that will be receptive to the use of emojis.
  • Language And Tonality: It’s essential to speak the same language as your prospects. Using industry jargon or buzzwords that your audience might not be familiar with is the quickest way to turn them off. To keep the prospects’ attention, marketers must ensure the messaging is crafted in the target audience’s language rather than their own.

These were the broader strokes of the picture when it comes to developing catchy, curiosity-generating subject lines for your cold email campaigns. Next, we cover the top ten cold email subject lines that have been proven effective across campaigns. Using these templates in combination with the guidelines mentioned above can yield improved open rates and responses.


Read on!


10 Cold Email Subject Lines That Every Marketer Needs To Know!


These ten cold email subject lines employ persuasion strategies to pique the prospect’s interest and spark their curiosity. These templates can be used for any type of cold email to guarantee a better response from the target audience.


1.   Let’s Talk About [Topic/Idea]!

You should be aware of the topics your prospect is interested in if you’ve done your homework. When this subject line shows up in the prospect’s inbox, it will pique their interest. Everyone enjoys talking about their favorite topics, right? That’s what makes this type of subject line so engaging. Consider using niche subjects that your prospect is likely to find interesting.


Example: Let’s talk Customer Acquisition Cost – Q&A Session 5/28


2.   A [Better/Smarter/Faster] Way To [Reach A Specific Goal]!

Everyone wants to be able to accomplish their objectives more quickly and effectively, right? Understanding your recipient’s most important problems and pain points is essential to this cold email subject line. Instead of asking your potential customer for something, you start the conversation by offering a solution. Who wouldn’t want to initiate a conversation with an individual or organization with solutions?


Example: Here’s a better way to capture email subscribers who buy!


3.   Quick Question Regarding [Project/Idea]

You accomplish two things by using this subject line: you put the recipient in the role of the expert and convey your appreciation for their time. When you begin with the assumption that the prospect can respond to a crucial business question, it boosts their confidence. This persuades them to assist you, as they can demonstrate their industry expertise.


Example: Quick question regarding our latest financial analysis


4.    [Name], I Need Your Advice

This subject line communicates your respect for the prospect’s expertise in a discipline. Once again, this makes them more likely to respond. However, the prospect’s curiosity is also piqued as the subject line does not specifically mention the topic. This is recommended when marketers do not have precise knowledge of the prospect’s area of expertise.


Example: John, I need your advice ASAP!


5.   Goodbye, [Name]!

Goodbyes are difficult yet memorable. With this type of subject line, the reader is compelled to open the email to find out who exactly is saying goodbye, relying on the basic human need to say it back. This strategy is especially successful when you know the prospect’s first name.


Example: Goodbye, John!


6.   You Missed It!

You’ve probably heard of FOMO (the fear of missing out). It is a widespread marketing strategy that appeals to the prospect’s fear of missing out on something amazing. The reader is informed of what they might be missing out on through a brief and straightforward subject line. The only way to find out is by opening and reading the email!


Example: 40% off for 24 hours! (Don’t Miss It!)


7.   Free To Talk At [Date/Time]?

This subject line conveys urgency by using a specific date and time. If prospects sense a deadline, they are less likely to delete an email without reading it. You can also list alternate times in the email body, but the subject line works since the prospect is persuaded to open the email.


Example: You free this Thursday at 12 PM PST?


8.   [Name] Said We Should Connect

For this type of subject line, you need the name of your prospect’s colleagues or superiors. It’s ideal if there is a genuine mutual connection with the prospect. Using the name of a reference creates a certain level of credibility and trustworthiness. A mutual contact shows that you may also be a worthwhile connection.


Example: Robert said we should connect…


9.   You’ll Love This Article, [Name]!

This type of subject line is effective because it provides the reader with useful information right away. It demonstrates your understanding of the prospect’s needs and your readiness to converse with them on the same subject. This subject line relies on the popular tactic of sharing articles online, which can help improve your open and click-through rates.


Example: You’ll love this article on eCommerce pricing, John!


10. I Am The Walrus!

Sometimes things that don’t make sense fully capture our attention. A witty expression, phrase, or non sequitur can pique the prospect’s interest long enough for them to consider opening your email. When you can’t find much information about your prospect online, this tactic can be used as an effective alternative.


Example: Boom shakalaka! Let’s get started!


Subject lines can break or make your cold email campaigns. It is essentially the first point of interaction between your prospect and the cold email. Naturally, your subject lines will heavily influence the response to your cold email campaigns. By using these cold email subject line templates, you can improve open rates and responses across campaigns. You can select 3-5 subject lines and test them out on segments of your target audience to see which works better than the others. Moreover, by understanding the psychology behind each type of subject line, you will be able to replicate them in your unique way.