3 Cold Email Subject Lines that Grab Eyeballs

  • May 1, 2015

    How eye catching are the subject lines in your cold emails? Maybe you’re sending out hundreds, or even thousands, of cold emails, but how many are actually being opened by your prospects?

    The subject lines which always grab our attention, engage us on a personal level, either by addressing an existing need or offering some kind of benefit.

    Unfortunately, many subject lines rely heavily on vague and uninspiring tactics for getting their prospects to open. Generic subject lines like, “Can you connect me to the right person?” or “Don’t miss this opportunity!” are outdated and overused.

    Like many of you, when I find these emails in my inbox, they get sent straight to my trash folder. If you’re using subject lines like these, and not consistently achieving at least a 30-40% open rate, your prospects aren’t opening them either.

    So what makes a great subject line?

    Here are three examples of high performing subject lines that you can learn from to help you connect more effectively with your prospects and boost your cold email open rates.

    Cold Email Subject Line that Evokes Competition & Fear of Loss:

    SUBJECT: how competitive is {!Company}’s sales team?

    This particular subject line was sent to hundreds of prospects and had a solid open rate of 45.5%.

    Why was it so effective? It uses fear of loss, which is a powerful motivator for your prospects. No one likes the feeling that they’re missing out on a competitive advantage.

    Great cold emails present a problem while offering prospects a solution. If you can pique your prospects’ interest enough to open your cold email, then you can use the body of your email to show your prospects how your product/service can help them prevent this loss.

    People respond to messaging that evokes emotion and thought. Whether it’s fear, intrigue, or the desire to be better, if you can make your prospects stop and think about their problems, you’re more likely to get them to open your email and read it.

    Compelling Cold Email Subject Line That Promises Value With Numbers

    SUBJECT: 10x {!Company}’s traction in 10 minutes

    Subject lines that offer some type of value also perform well in cold email campaigns. This subject line generated 16 new customers for a B2B company.

    All of your product’s bells and whistles don’t impress your prospects much. If you want to motivate your prospects to open your emails, your subject lines need to give them something of value in return.

    If you’re going to state numbers that are too good to be true, you need to back up your claims with social proof like examples from case studies and testimonials.

    When your prospects open your emails, they’re investing their time in your message. If the benefits of your product/service are made clear, you’ll help make that investment less scary and painful.

    How to Leverage Social Engineering & Intrigue in Your Subject Lines

    SUBJECT: Question about employee loyalty at {!Company}

    Think about your cold emails as the beginning of a conversation with your prospects. Instead of having a one-sided conversation about all of the slick features your product/service has to offer, try to engage your prospects in a deeper discussion.

    One of the most effective ways to engage your prospects is to ask them a question about the current state of a relevant part of their business.

    Asking a question makes your cold email seem more personal and less salesy. Whether you actually ask a question such as, “What indicators are {!Company} using to assess its customer health?” or offer the promise of a question like this subject line above, questions engage your prospect’s mind with intrigue.

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