After 2 years of running Prospect.io and cold emailing our way into acquiring new customers, we now have a sense of what cold email subject lines to use in order to get emails opened. And considering that 33% of recipients open emails solely based on the subject line, it’s a good thing to have email subject lines figured out.

Related: 10 Cold Email Templates Based on 3.320.657 Emails Sent

The cold email subject lines

1. The referral

Subject line: [Referring person] said it was okay to write!

One surefire way to get your message opened is through a referral. Maybe your prospect doesn’t know or trust you, but they do trust the person who referred you and they will open your message. If only as a courtesy.

Startups must often recruit new customers manually and that’s what we did, by asking customers if they were okay with us reaching out to other prospects on their behalf.

Asking for referrals is a whole subject in itself; check out this article by Majaliwa Bass to jumpstart your referral approach!

2. Congratulations!

Subject line: Congratulations on [the new job/the acquisition/the funding round], {{prospect_first_name}}!

In the SaaS industry, one of the best times -if not the best- to address a prospect is when they just got the job. Why? Because they’re just starting out and they might need new tools to accomplish their job, and they might just have been allocated some budget to do so.

One thing is for sure, if they have been doing their job for long time then chances are they’ll be less flexible and encline to switch to your solution.

So why not congratulate them on their new job as a way of reaching out?

Of course, any subject for congratulations will do, not just a new position, so take advantage of it in your email subject lines!

N.B.: Don’t just use the subject line as bait. It’s a good one and it’s going to get them open the email but if you go straight for the sales pitch, don’t expect a positive outcome. Instead, you should dedicate the first line of your email to what you’re congratulating them for.

3. How was the event?

Subject line: Hi {{prospect_first_name}}, how was [EVENT NAME]?

When we started out with Prospect.io, we’d spend time at lots of sales/tech events and/or trade shows. We would collect the email addresses of everyone who’d stop by our booth and find lists of everyone who attended the event.

Of course, you need to personalize the content of the email but mentioning the event in the subject line is almost a guarantee to have your email opened.

Once they opened, make it short. Let Larry Sharpe’s article walk you through the process!

4. Your content

Subject line: Hi {{prospect_first_name}}, loved your article about [SUBJECT]!

or

Your blog post about [SUBJECT]

You get the drift.

If there’s something people love -besides the sound of their own name- it’s their work to be noticed. Do that and you’ll be their new BFF. Okay, maybe not, but you’ll most certainly have their attention.

Also, people hate to be sold to -who does?- and this is a great way to engage with them by starting a meaningful conversation about a subject they know and love. Plus, it shows that you did your homework before reaching out to them.

5. Question

Subject line: Hi {{prospect_first_name}}, need help with [SUBJECT]?

Classic, but a question does prompt an answer, and a subject line with a question does prompt an open.

6. Generic but customized

Subject line: {{prospect_company_name}}, meet {{user_company_name}}

If you need to send 500 emails, this is a great way to personalize while optimizing your time and effort.

When sending to large lists, make sure that your contact data is not only quality but also up to date. Email addresses tend to go bad real fast –close to 8% of email addresses become invalid over the course of four months. And when your bounce rate gets above the 10% mark, you seriously risk being blacklisted.

7. Product

Subject: [YOUR PRODUCT] (ex: “Prospecting tool”)

Surprisingly enough, this kind of email subject lines got a us a decent open rate. Not kidding, 75,06% of all 1792 prospects opened the email, with 22,49% of them actually replying.

As it turns out, if you research your audience and their pain points well enough and are able to determine what kind of solution they might need, presenting it bluntly can be a good way to grab your prospect’s attention.

What are yours?

These are the 7 cold email subject lines that work best for us. Which ones do you use and in what conditions?

Comments