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30 Cold Email Subject Lines That Actually Work

Updated: Mar 29

Email remains an essential communication tool, especially in the world of business and marketing.


However, with inboxes overflowing with messages, how can you ensure that your cold email stands out?


The answer lies in crafting an effective subject line — especially for cold emails where first impressions are so important.


In this blog post, we will therefore take a look at:



cold email subject lines

Why Are Email Subject Lines Important?


Email subject lines are the first impression your email makes and play a critical role in determining whether your message gets opened or ignored.


In a crowded inbox, a subject line is often the deciding factor in the split-second decision to read or delete an email.


Statistics show that 47 percent of email recipients decide whether to open an email based on the subject line alone and 69 percent of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line.


This highlights the immense power these few words hold in influencing the recipient's engagement with your message.


This isn’t surprising, though — with the average office worker receiving about 121 emails per day (or 9000 – 15000 emails a year!), a compelling subject line becomes essential to stand out in a sea of correspondence.


A well-crafted subject line effectively should grab attention, spark curiosity, or offer value.


In cold emailing, where building a connection with the recipient is vital, the subject line is your foot in the door. It's not just about making an impression — it's about making the right impression.


What Makes a Good Cold Email Subject Line?


An effective cold email subject line is the first step in engaging a potential client or customer and serves as a gateway to your message.


The right subject line can mean the difference between an email that's opened and read and one that's relegated to the trash folder, unseen and unheard.

To strike the right chord, you need to understand the ingredients that make a subject line not just good, but compelling and click-worthy.


a) Keep It Short


Brevity is key in subject lines. Studies show that shorter subject lines are better.

For example, subject lines with six to 10 words generate a 21 percent open rate, while subject lines with 11-15 words have around a 14 percent open rate.


A good example is “Quick question about [Topic]” compared to a less effective lengthy alternative like “I have a question regarding a certain topic that might interest you.


Short subject lines capture attention without overwhelming the reader, fitting perfectly in the limited preview space of most email clients.


b) Personalize It


Personalized subject lines foster a connection from the outset.


For example, “John, your customized marketing report is ready” immediately grabs attention compared to a generic “Your new report is now available.


Data shows that personalized subject lines have “29 percent higher unique open rates and 41 percent higher unique click rates,” which highlights the importance of making each recipient feel singled out.


c) Offer Some Value


Value-driven subject lines explicitly state the benefit. “Boost your SEO in 5 Easy Steps” is far more appealing than vague “Information on SEO.


By immediately addressing the recipient's needs or interests, you significantly increase the likelihood of your email being opened.


d) Make It Urgent


Urgency compels action.


A subject line like “24-hour exclusive offer for you” is more likely to be opened promptly than a non-urgent “Check out our new offer.


Creating a sense of scarcity or time sensitivity encourages recipients to engage with your email sooner rather than later.


e) Make It Relevant


Relevance is crucial in ensuring your email resonates with the recipient.


A subject like “Latest Trends in [Industry]” directly appeals to recipients interested in that field, unlike a more generic “Industry News Update.


It shows you understand their interests, increasing the chance of engagement.


f) Be Creative


Creativity can set your email apart. An intriguing subject line like “Where do most marketers fail?” piques curiosity more effectively than a straightforward “Marketing Tips.


While being creative, make sure the subject line still aligns with your email's content to avoid misleading your recipients.


g) Avoid Click-Bait


Maintaining trust is essential.


Avoid click-bait like “You won’t believe this offer!” which may get opens but can damage your credibility.


It’s better to be honest and straightforward like “Exclusive Discount Inside” to build a lasting relationship with your audience.


By incorporating these elements thoughtfully, you can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your cold email campaigns.

Each element plays a unique role in capturing attention, sparking interest, and compelling the recipient to delve deeper into your message.


30 Cold Email Subject Lines That Simply Work


Crafting the perfect subject line for your cold email is an art.


It requires a balance of creativity, relevance, and strategic thinking.


To help you come up with some great ones, here are 30 proven examples of cold email subject lines:


1. Make It Personal

Example: "Sarah, quick question for you"

Simple and personal, this subject line immediately addresses the recipient and piques curiosity.


It suggests a direct and relevant inquiry, prompting the recipient to open the email.


2. Create Exclusivity

Example: "Exclusive offer for Acme Corp only"

This subject line creates a sense of exclusivity and personalization, making the recipient feel like they are receiving a special deal tailored just for them or their company.


3. Offer a Direct Benefit

​Example: "Can I save you 20% on your next [Product/Service]?"

It poses a direct question and offers a clear benefit.


This subject line is effective because it addresses a potential need or pain point of the recipient.


4. Add Urgency and Personalization

Example: "Ending soon: Your personalized [Product/Service] plan"

The use of urgency and personalization makes this subject line compelling.


It suggests that the recipient is missing out on something tailored specifically for them.


5. Engage with Inquiry

Example: "Mike, your thoughts on this?"

Asking for the recipient’s opinion makes the email feel like a two-way conversation.


This subject line is engaging and shows that you value the recipient's input.


6. Leverage Industry Interest

Example: "Did you know about this [Industry] update?"

This subject line leverages the recipient's interest in their industry.


It suggests that there is information they might not be aware of, which can trigger curiosity.


7. Aspirational Messaging

Example: "Your next step in [Industry/Field] success"

This subject line is forward-looking and aspirational, making it relevant and enticing to professionals interested in growth and success in their field.


8. Avoiding Pitfalls

Example: "Avoid these common [Industry/Field] mistakes"

It plays on the recipient’s fear of missing out (FOMO) and the desire to avoid errors, which can be a powerful motivator to open the email.


9. Free Offer

Example: "John, start your free trial today"

Offering something for free is always an attractive proposition. This subject line is direct and to the point, with a clear call to action.


10. Re-engaging Past Contacts

Example: "Emma, we missed you at the webinar"

This subject line is personalized and suggests a prior connection or interest, which can be an effective way to re-engage past contacts or email leads.


11. Empowerment and Opportunity

Example: "Unlock Your Potential with Our Advanced Analytics Platform"

This subject line is both empowering and intriguing, suggesting that the recipient has untapped potential that can be realized through your offer.


12. Creating Curiosity

Example: "Alex, See What You’re Missing in [Area of Interest] Digital Marketing"

It creates curiosity and a sense of missing out on something important in their area of interest, encouraging them to find out more.


13. Success Stories

Example: "How XYZ Corp Achieved Success with Our Software"

Sharing success stories or case studies can be compelling, especially if it’s relevant to the recipient's industry or interests.


14. Solution-Oriented Approach

Example: "Your Solution to [Specific Problem or Challenge]"

This subject line is direct and problem-focused, indicating that the email contains a solution to a challenge they might be facing.


15. Exclusive Invitation

Example: "Julia, Join Our Exclusive Webinar on Market Trends"

Inviting the recipient to an exclusive event like a webinar can be an effective way to engage them, especially if the topic interests them.


16. Staying Informed

Example: "Latest Tech Trends You Can’t Ignore"

This line taps into the desire to stay updated with the latest trends, making it relevant and urgent.


17. Networking Opportunity

Example: "Michael, You’re Invited: Exclusive Networking Event in FinTech"

An invitation to an exclusive event is an appealing offer, especially if it's relevant to the recipient's industry or interests.


It suggests a valuable networking opportunity that they wouldn't want to miss.


18. Insider Knowledge

Example: "Discover the Secret to Doubling Your Sales"

This subject line is intriguing and promises insider knowledge or a unique solution, which can be highly appealing to the recipient.


19. Quick Improvements

Example: "Boost Your Coding Skills in Just 2 Weeks"

Offering a quick solution or improvement in a specific area can be very attractive, especially if it's related to efficiency or skill enhancement.


20. Direct Conversation

​Example: "Emma, Let’s Talk Digital Marketing Trends"

This subject line is straightforward and conversational, suggesting a direct and relevant discussion in the recipient's area of expertise or interest.


21. Practical Success Tips

Example: "Win More Clients with These Proven Marketing Strategies"

Providing strategies or tips for success in a specific industry is always valuable.


This subject line promises practical advice that could help the recipient in their professional endeavors.


22. Leveraging Connections

Example: "John, Jane Doe Recommended I Contact You"

Using a mutual connection as a reference can instantly add credibility and encourage the recipient to open the email.


It leverages existing networks for a warmer approach to cold emailing.


23. Exclusive for Leaders

Example: "Exclusive Insights for Tech Industry Leaders"

Targeting the recipient's leadership role or industry with exclusive insights can make them feel valued and pique their interest in your content.


24. Proven Success

Example: "How We Helped XYZ Inc. Grow"

Showing real-world examples of your success with similar companies can be very persuasive, especially if it's relevant to the recipient's business.


25. Solution-Oriented Content

Example: "Solve Your Marketing Challenges with This Comprehensive Guide"

Offering a direct solution to a known pain point in a format like a guide or eBook can be very appealing.


26. Exclusive Event Invitation

Example: "Mike, Grab Your Seat for Our Exclusive SEO Workshop"

Inviting the recipient to an event or workshop, especially if it’s limited in availability, creates urgency and a sense of exclusivity.


27. Access to Rare Information

Example: "Sarah, Unlock Exclusive Market Research Data"

Offering exclusive or hard-to-find data relevant to their industry can be a strong draw.


28. Avoiding Pitfalls

Example: "Are You Making These Content Marketing Mistakes?"

This subject line plays on the fear of missing out and the desire to avoid common mistakes in their field.


29. Personalized Offer

Example: "Emma, Your Custom Wellness Plan Awaits"

Personalization, combined with the promise of a tailored plan, can be very enticing.


30. Advancement Tips

Example: "Get Ahead in Finance with These Insider Tips"

Offering actionable tips for advancement in a specific field shows direct value and relevance to the recipient's interests or career.


How to Test Your Cold Email Subject Lines


Subject line testing is a vital part of fine-tuning your cold email strategy.


To ensure that your emails not only get opened but also generate the desired responses, you need to use subject line testing tools.


These tools analyze, refine, and enhance your subject lines, making them more compelling and effective.


Here are three great subject-line testing tools that can help you boost your email marketing efforts.


CoSchedule

coschedule subject line tester

CoSchedule is a comprehensive subject-line testing tool that goes beyond surface-level analysis.


It looks deep into your subject lines, evaluating various factors like word count, emotional impact, and overall quality.


This tool provides you with detailed insights and actionable recommendations to refine and improve your subject lines.


Benefits:


  • Comprehensive analysis: CoSchedule offers in-depth feedback on your subject lines, helping you fine-tune them for maximum impact.

  • Emotional assessment: The tool evaluates the emotional appeal of your subject lines, assisting you in crafting messages that resonate with your audience.


Mailmeteor

mailmeteor subject line tester

Mailmeteor is a user-friendly subject line testing tool designed for seamless integration with your email marketing workflow.


What sets it apart is its real-time feedback feature, which provides instant suggestions and improvements for your subject lines as you create them.


Benefits:


  • Instant feedback: Mailmeteor provides real-time feedback on your subject lines, allowing you to optimize them on the spot for better results.

  • Integration: It can be directly integrated into your email marketing platform, streamlining your workflow.


Send Check It

sendcheckit subject line tester

Send Check It offers industry benchmarking for your subject lines.


It allows you to compare your subject lines against industry standards and best practices, providing insights into how your subject lines stack up.


Benefits:


  • Industry benchmarking: Send Check It helps you gauge how your subject lines compare to industry norms, enabling you to stay competitive.

  • Actionable recommendations: The tool offers actionable recommendations to enhance your subject lines and increase their effectiveness.


Incorporating subject line testing into your cold email strategy is essential for optimizing open rates and engagement.


These tools enable you to fine-tune your subject lines and boost the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.


To read more about subject-line testing, you can explore our comprehensive article on testers.

Tip: You can also use our free email spam tester and spam words checker tools to boost the performance of your messages even more:

a) Email spam tester - the tool can help you test the inbox placement of your emails and find out whether or not your messages have landed directly into the recipient's primary inboxes (or into the spam folder).

free email spam checker and inbox placement tester - Warmup Inbox

b) Email spam words checker - our free spam-word analyzer can detect any spammy words or phrases in your cold email template and provide useful suggestions that will help you avoid spam filters altogether.

free email spam words checker - Warmup Inbox

Final Thoughts


In crafting compelling cold email subject lines, remember that these are the keys to your email's first impression and overall success.


They require strategic crafting, personalization, and testing to ensure they resonate with your audience.


Another crucial step in your email campaign strategy should include warming up your email account using tools like Warmup Inbox.


Our email warmup tool can establish a reliable sender reputation and ensure that your emails will reach the recipient’s inbox and not the spam folder.


Combining effective subject lines with a well-warmed-up email account sets the stage for meaningful engagement and successful email marketing campaigns.


By integrating these strategies, you can significantly boost your email deliverability, enhance the effectiveness of your cold emailing efforts and set up the way for successful business communications and relationships.

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