The best subject lines for sales: a David Blaine illusion, or real, actionable copy?
More and more, the standard sales email subject lines read as derivative, ineffectual, or overtly salesy, while more nuanced, gentle call-outs go unnoticed, unclicked, or outright ignored. We hear you! To help kick your sales email strategy into high gear, we’ve aggregated 21 of the best subject lines for sales that you need to start using today. Like, right now.
But Does The Email Subject Line Matter?
Yes. Plain and simple, email subject lines are incredibly important. According to Convince & Convert, 35% of email recipients open messages based on the subject alone, meaning that a compelling subject can be the difference maker for new contacts and prospects when sending emails!
Another important stat to keep in mind: 21% of email recipients will report email as Spam, even if he/she knows the email isn’t. If your email reads as impersonal, formulaic, or inaccurate from the jump, you have a much greater chance of going straight to Spam in the future, so be mindful!
Four Principles of the Best Subject Lines for Sales
We’ve dropped 21 killer examples of the best subject lines for sales below, but it’s important to understand the elements of an actionable, impactful email subject line for future reference!
If you’re anything like us, you’re probably cranking out emails all day, every day. These are four of the most important tips to keep in mind when drafting the best subject lines for sales emails:
- Keep it short: Most people read email on mobile — an estimated 54%, according to the Litmus 2017 State of Email Report. That means that email subject lines should be tailored for mobile viewing!
- Play to Emotions: Even the most hardened of business decision makers make impulse decisions based on emotional responses, an important principle to keep in mind when crafting email subject lines. If your subject line elicits an emotional response — think flattery, intrigue, excitement, even anger — recipients are exponentially more likely to open your email. (Let’s avoid needless manipulation though, OK?)
- Be Specific: Detailed subject lines, like detailed writing, produce better results. When writing email subject lines, use specific numbers, facts, figures, and language to grab attention.
- Get Personal: Dale Carnegie, author of the iconic “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” once wrote that, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Personalization, like a first name, a location, reference to a mutual friend, or significant date, is an easy way to engender yourself to potential prospects quickly. Plus, it demonstrates your willingness to speak directly to a prospect (and work a little harder for the sale).
Pro Tip: Ensure your personalization is tailored to a prospect by using Winmo’s Crystal Knows integration. With accurate insights into contact’s personality, communication style, and even emoji recommendations, Crystal Knows will arm you with the valuable information you need to create killer subject lines and email content for every prospect.
21 of the Best Subject Lines for Sales to Start Using Today
- [Mutual Connection] recommended I reach out.
- Never underestimate the power of the referral. If you share a connection, shout them out in your subject line to create a compelling reason to open your email.
- Kiki, do you love me?
- If you’re emailing prospects that might have some familiarity with current trends (think younger), why not switch it up? Drake’s ubiquitous cultural moment, the “In My Feelings” challenge, is one way to break up your prospect’s inbox. Free idea: include a gif for maximum Drake-ness.
- Question about [prospect goal].
- Leave ‘em wanting more by indicating that you have a question without actually sharing your inquiry.
- Congrats on [recent prospect accomplishment]!
- From new roles to work anniversaries and everything in between, congratulations and flattery are an easy way to personalize and play to emotions. Scan those LinkedIn updates!
- Just saw your note on [industry blog]
- Are you connecting with a prospect after coming across a comment or inquiry on an industry blog or message board? Share that information in your subject line.
- Did you enjoy [industry event]?
- Rather than exploiting a tenuous connection, reach out to a prospect by following up about a recent industry event that you both attended.
- This probably seems crazy — it’s just one word. But! If you’re reaching out to an individual prospect, the one-word email might feel more personal and less salesy. “Hey” is the kind of subject you might send to a friend, an excellent tone to strike when making a personal email connection.
- Who’s in charge of [function] at [company]?
- Posing a question in your subject line asking for the prospect’s help paves the way for a conversation. Position yourself as a student of someone else’s business rather than the expert of your own.
- Might be off base here…
- Nothing wrong with a good hedge. This subject line will make your recipient wonder, are they actually off base? Pro tip: this might seem obvious, but we’ll say it anyway: make sure you’re not off-base with your inquiry. That would be contrary to what we’re trying to do here.
- Six ideas for [pain point]
- All hail the listicle. People love numbered lists (see: all of Buzzfeed), so take advantage by listing out some solutions for your prospects. Try to avoid common numbers like three or five to make your subject line pop.
- Hoping you can help.
- Empower your prospect by asking him/her for help.
- This is how [prospect competition] does $XXXXX in a year.
- Don’t be afraid to entice prospects with inside information about their competition. External motivation can be compelling!
- Hoping to help.
- The inverse of the above, offering to help is still a valuable tool in your email subject line arsenal.
- [Name], what would you do with an extra $XXXX?
- As we’ve discussed, messages with personalization are more likely to be opened. Coupled with a monetary incentive, your offering personal value-add for your email recipient.
- Are you making these mistakes?
- Validate your prospect’s strategies and tactics by offering mistakes to compare back to, and provide solutions to any potential issues.
- A new marketing strategy for [prospect company].
- Don’t be afraid to lay out your email’s value-add right up top!
- [Name], do you have 5 minutes?
- Sometimes, direct is best. If your email is asking for a meeting or call, lead with that ask. Warning: this only works if your email is well-researched, doesn’t feel like spam, and is genuine. Avoid creating ill will by only using this tactic when you’re ready to link up.
- Permission to close your account?
- Point-blank questions solicit answers, particularly when it comes to prospect account needs.
- Warning: Puppies Ahead
- An email full of pictures of puppies is everyone’s dream, right? That’s not just us?
- Can we guess your biggest frustration with X?
- The “quiz question” or guessing game leaves email recipients wondering, and gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of prospect problems. A win-win!
- This will make you jump for joy!
- Positive, emotional, and engaging: what an email subject should be.