Lead Generation and Growth Hacking Blog

Proven cold sales email subject lines


Most popular psychology articles state that you have the staggering 5 to a generous 30 seconds to make the first impression. Everything counts – from the way you speak to what you say and your body language. And there it is – all of your personality, knowledge, traits and flaws judged in such a brief period of time.

Most of the business people (unless you are Chinese), especially salespeople, get to make their first impression online through a highly impersonal medium of email. In this type of communication, the subject line represents those 5 to 30 seconds.

How do you sum all of your sales and industry knowledge, skills and abilities into one single subject line? Seems impossible, right?

The truth is – you don’t really have to squeeze it all into that one line, you just have to know what works for each prospect.

The most important thing is that your subject lines are short and that they get right at the bottom of your prospect’s biggest fears, aspirations or mutual interests. 

Our open rates go up to 53% and all thanks to the time we take to craft a perfect subject line.

Here are some of our best ones:

1. “Question about your XX strategy”

They are buying what you’re selling. Well, not yet, but you contacted them with the aim of helping them reach their business goals and your product or service can improve their business strategy. 

This is one of our most successful subject lines and the exact kind of catchy subject line that will attract their attention to open and read your email. Then your prospects will see what it is that you have to offer.

2. “Account-based selling – fill your pipeline with top quality contacts”

One of the basic goals of every salesman is to fill their pipeline with contacts that are actually going to convert. It means that this kind of leads is not bought in bulk from an unknown or semi-known source, but carefully selected depending on the industry, company size, job description or location that you are targeting.

With this kind of a subject line, you are helping your prospects fulfill their yearly goals.

3. “[Your Company Name] and [Company name] strategic partnership”

Suggesting a strategic partnership between your business and that of a prospect is a perfect subject line that sounds nothing like a sales pitch, but like a genuine business offer that is hard to refuse.

Who doesn’t want a good partnership that benefits both sides?

Approach your contacts like a business partner, that you actually are or will be, and show that their success is in your best interest as well.

4. “Get your product/service in front of your prospects”

Getting your potential customers to actually pay attention to you and your product/service is one of the biggest pain points of every salesperson.

By offering to help in the area of business that they are probably struggling with the most, you are increasing the chances of your emails being opened, read and even replied to.

5. “A different xx strategy - how to sell more in less time”

Nowadays when time seems to be the most precious and when we wish that the days lasted at least 25 hours, offering your prospects to save their time is always a good idea.

However, make sure that your offer, as well as your email length, really respond to this subject line, otherwise, they will save their own time by discarding you in a blink of an eye.

6. “Event attendees contact info - make your trip pay off [first_name]”

Business people attend events not only in order to learn more but to meet new likeminded people and find new customers as well.

If your business can help them make their event attendance worthwhile, this kind of subject line will always attract their attention.

For example, Market Republic offers its clients lead lists of people attending any conference that they are interested in, therefore helping them use their time out of the office wisely.

That is one of the most successful subject lines in our prospecting. It’s short, it’s clear and gives straightforward benefit.

7. “Leveraging your current sales force or not?”

If there is one thing sales managers do continuously throughout the year - it’s trying to achieve maximum performance with their team. Did they hire enough salespeople or too much? Did they send enough emails? Did they reach the right people or not? How much did the whole sales force cost the company?

These are all very common questions in the sales department and addressing those daily problems of every salesperson makes your subject line more than attractive.

It’s simple, it’s short and asks the right question right away.

8. “Our chat next week [first_name]”

As strange as it may seem, this is also one of our best subject lines. 

It is used as a reminder for the helplessly busy prospects that you are available for talk and at their disposal.

Maybe a trick, but a trick that gets your email opened and read. Whether or not they decide to reply depends on the necessity for your services or product.

However, we suggest using this subject line later on in the conversation as one of the follow-up emails.

9. “Can we chat about ways to boost your growth, [Name]”

Similar to the previous one, this subject line offers a talk about the exact solution - growth. And is there any business that doesn’t want to grow?

By suggesting a phone call in a subject line, you are showing your prospects that you are aware of their time scarcity, but you have something valuable to offer that might help expand their business and future plans.

10. “Sales reps wasting time prospecting?”

You know it, they know it - salespeople are usually so busy with prospecting that they actually have less and less time to do the actual selling or upselling.

This subject line shows that you are the master of your industry, you know exactly what is the biggest problem with sales in any given company and you have a way of solving it.

12. “Getting the max out of your salesforce - let them sell more”

This subject line is even better than the one before, but it bears the same meaning.

You know that any sales team can do better and you found a way to turn it into reality, so you offer your solution to your prospects.

By using this subject line, you are helping them envision what they could achieve if their team would be more profitable, making your emails more likely to be opened.

13. “Why not try it - Product/service sample for you [first name]”

Risk-free offer is one of the oldest sales tricks in the book, but it’s still one of the best.

Find what it is that you can give free of charge that shows your expertise and quality and offer it to your potential customer.

This is the one tried principle that subtly moves your prospects from undecided to engaged.

Plus, your subject line makes it sound so carefree and easy.

14. “Product/service sample tailored for [COMPANY NAME]”

This free-of-charge offer subject line performs even better.

You found your risk-free offer and you even took the time to make it fit perfectly to your prospect. Wow, who wouldn’t like that?

This is the subject line that says - everything is ready custom made for you, all you have to do is take it (and pay for it, of course).

15. “Should I stay or should I go?”

There is not a single person that would remain indifferent to a nice The Clash reference. 

Putting a common interest (that you hopefully researched thoroughly before) in the subject line is sure to draw some eyes to your email.

Find a pop culture, literature, movie or (politically correct) history reference for your subject line and not only will your email be opened, but read and probably replied. You might even become friends.

What is the best subject line, then?

Whatever you choose make sure it is short, specific and catchy. What is more, GetResponse claims that having a specific email subject is more important than having a short one. Catchy does not only mean funny (don’t play with funny if you’re not sure about your humor qualities) but something that affects your prospects problems, aspirations and interests.

For those of you that don’t see themselves as Hemingways of the cold sales emails - contact us, we’re on the bestsellers shelves when it comes to email craft.


Share on:

Are you ready to find out what we can do for you?

Yes, let's talk

NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies.

If you not change browser settings, you agree to it. Learn more

I understand