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Email Marketing

9 Best Subject Lines & Tips for Cold Email to Inspire Your Email Strategy

November 2, 2022

Want to know a secret to cold emails? Well, it’s far more simple than you might think.



But the best cold emails are ones that don’t read like cold emails. Now, that might seem obvious, but that’s exactly how most people write their cold emails. They’re using the same templates and formulas over and over again.



And yet, they wonder why it’s just not working.



Some marketers in the industry will say a 20% open rate is the average for a cold email, but it’s still abysmal in our opinion. In fact, the industry standard is somewhere between 15% and 25%. And sure, cold outreach will always be a numbers game to a certain extent.



But it doesn’t have to be that way.



In an experiment by Shane Snow at Fast & Company, he was able to get a 45.5% open rate. But even that means you’re missing out on a ton of new leads. We frequently get 60%-80% open rates for our clients.



The truth is, we’ve conditioned ourselves to hate cold emails, but that’s because they’re written to fail from the start. We’re industry experts and we can help guide you on where cold email came from and where it’s going.



Because let’s face it; we’re all tired of reading weak cold emails.



So, to give cold outreach a new reputation, we’re sharing 9 surefire tips for improving your cold email strategy through powerful subject lines. Without further ado, here are the best subject lines for cold emails.



9 Tips for Writing Cold Email Subjects Lines (with Examples)


If you had to pay to send your cold email, would you? Before you send your cold emails, this checklist by Seth Godin has some great questions to ask—and we couldn’t agree with more. Your cold email should be worth your prospect’s time.



And if it is, then they’ll be more likely to click. First, you need to get their attention, so here are 9 tips for writing effective cold email subject lines that work with tons of examples to learn from. Plus, we’ve included plenty of cold email subject line examples to inspire you.



1. Stand Out


Don’t write an email subject line like everyone else. Give it a twist, a unique angle, or something else to stand out. Use numbers and punctuation to catch their eye in the inbox. If it fits with your brand voice, you can use emojis depending on your industry.


After all, 56% of brands that add emojis to their email subject lines saw higher open rates. However, in B2B it can sometimes appear as spam, so always test it first.




 You need to read this book right now


 50% of marketers read this book, have you? 🤔



2. Appeal to Emotion


People like to read things that are inspirational, heartwarming, shocking, and so on. Likewise, negative email subject lines perform better than positive ones. So, why not tap into emotions to write the best subject lines for cold emails?



Of course, all this will depend on your type of cold email. A market research survey might not be the most “emotional” topic for example and cracking jokes on sensitive topics is also a faux pas.




 5 tips to nail your job interviews


Don’t bomb your next job interviews – Use these 5 tips



3. Be More Personal


Next, you want to write cold email headlines that are personalized and to show that you really know your prospect. Call out your exact audience. If you can, use their first name and write to them like you would a friend.




 My 5 secrets to improving your cold emails


 Want 5 tips to improve your cold emails, Tom?



4. Tailor it to their Level of Awareness


Finally, make sure to think about how well your customer knows you. In marketing, this is referred to as the level of awareness. A customer who knows your industry will need less context than one who doesn’t. In other words, jargon works if you are targeting specific people who know your industry, but it doesn’t for those who don’t.



If it’s a more general audience, avoid the technical terms.




 Let us boost your engagement rates on Twitter


 Want more likes on your tweets?



5. Paint the Benefit


The #1 question your prospects always need to know is this: “What’s in it for them?” Clearly state why this email helps them. Everyone wants something that makes their life easier! Tip: Mentioning examples is an easy way to do this. 




 Let me help you!


 Did you know assistants save 10+ hours a week?



6. Heighten your Claim


Next up, let’s talk about diction. In a good subject line for cold email, you should use stronger verbs, adjectives and nouns to really make your headline pop. However, don’t mix this up with exaggeration or it will read like clickbait. Power words can help you with this.




 I think you’d like this…


I’m sure you’ll absolutely love this…



7. Use Popular Phrases


In one study by Buzzumo, they found several trigrams can be found in some of the most popular headlines. If you don’t know, a trigram is a collection of popular 3-word phrases. And because of that, they can be far more effective when you use them in your cold email subject lines.




This is why your ROI on cold emails sucks


 This MarTech tool will make you 10x faster


CEOs are freaking out



8. Write Plenty


Don’t just do one cold email subject line—try writing 3 or 5 at least. Then you might even cut 2 and glue them together to make the best cold email headline. Plus, you can do split testing or A/B testing to see which ones perform best in your email list and get the highest click-through rate.



9. Don’t focus on yourself


Another common beginner mistake we see in a lot of cold emails is where they write a headline that’s all about them. But in a cold email, your prospect doesn’t care about you (yet). Avoid this by highlighting the solution to their problem, and then you can pivot to explain how you can help.


I can help you get 50% better open rates


 Want to know how to boost open rates by 50%?



Scale Your Business with Cold Emails


While cold emails might seem old school, they’re still a part of every company’s operations. And honestly, we don’t see them going away anytime soon. 



As long you’re showing up authentically and providing real value to your prospects, you’ll find cold emails are a lot more enjoyable for you writing them, and the person receiving them. They’re a powerful tool that gives you the ability to establish strong, long-term relationships, grow your network, and scale your business.



Need more guidance? We get it, creating cold emails can be a lot of effort. And your time and resources might be better spent on other areas of your business. Luckily, there are experts out there to help take that weight off your shoulder. At ScaleUpSales, we’ve helped over XX clients craft a cold email strategy that works.



Ready to outsource your cold emails? Contact us to find out what we can do for you.