8 Best Cold Email Subject Lines for High Open Rates (And Why They Work)

Posted Mar 21st, 2019

8 Best Cold Email Subject Lines for High Open Rates (And Why They Work)

Despite the increased used of social media and texting, email is still our No. 1 form of electronic communication.

In 2017, people sent and received 269 billion emails every day. By 2020, analysts expect that number to reach 319.6 billion. With so many emails getting sent and delivered, how do you get any potential client to open yours?

The answer is in your subject line. Far too many companies use standard subject lines. The emails are so generic, they get passed up - and passed on - to the trash bin.

In this guide, we're going to share eight tips for the best cold email subject lines that will spark immediate interest in your actual message.

8 Tips for the Best Cold Email Subject Lines

People decide whether an email is worth opening or if it's spam by the subject line. You likely do this with every email you receive, right? Of course, others are doing the same thing.

Think about a cold email subject line that compelled you to open it.

Was it funny? Do they personalize it enough that you felt connected to the brand? Did you feel you were missing out on something by not clicking?

The standard "HI STEVE," doesn't work anymore so you need to get more creative. These tips will help:


Fear of missing out is a proven strategy to use in sales email subject lines. An example of a creative FOMO email subject line for sales is: "Your Discount Goes Bye-Bye at Midnight..."

2. Use Humor

In good taste, humor is very effective at catching a potential customer's attention. Something like, "This Deal Makes Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Brian)" or "Use Us, We Can Take It."

3. Spark Curiosity

No one likes clickbait, but if you try and fuse humor and back it up with relative content, it won't come across that way. An example is: "We Can't Believe You Made Us Do This..." with a special discount in the email body.

4. Tap into Their Greedy Side

If you're advertising a BOGO or huge discount, let them know using a little of FOMO too. "Our [Product/Service] is BOGO Until Midnight!"

5. Use Vanity as a Trigger

Everyone is a little vain and this works as a trigger in many industries. "Be the Smartest Business Owner in Your Market" or "Be the Envy of All Your Friends" tap into your audience's vanity.

6. Retarget

If you've ever shopped online and left items in your cart, you've received a follow-up email. Use the same kind of follow-up email subject lines for your brand: "Hey, Steve - Did You Forget Something?"

7. Be Straightforward

Some consumers appreciate knowing what they're getting right off that bat. This way, they're not sending something they're interested in right to the trash bin. "Our January Newsletter is Here!" or "Our Monthly Deal is Out" are good examples.

8. Avoid Spam Triggers

Whatever strategy you plan on using, make sure you avoid spam triggers like:

  • Too much punctuation (!!!!!) or symbols ($$$$$)
  • Words like "Winner," "Cheap," "Free," "Greetings"

A digital marketing specialist will help determine spam triggers, so you can avoid your email getting deleted before it gets read.

Simple Message. Real Solutions.

Getting your brand noticed takes more than having the best cold email subject lines.

You need to understand what marketing techniques work and how to how to put them in place. You need to create memorable content that engages your audience. You need to know what to avoid.

That's where WebInsight comes in. Our mission is to get you more business from the Internet. It's that simple.

Contact us today and find out how we'll build a marketing strategy specifically for your brand that produces real solutions.

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