10 Cold Email Subject Line Examples to Boost Your Open Rates

Boost your email open rates!
best cold email subject line cover photo
As salespeople, having a high email open rate is key.

It means that you've caught your prospect's interest enough for them to want to know more with just a few words.

The rest of your cold email is just as important, of course, but the way to get your prospect's initial interest is with that all-important subject line.

In this article, we'll review the importance of the email subject line, and go over some essential Do's and Don't's, before showing you the ten best cold email subject line examples we've got for you.

Let's get started!

The Importance of the Cold Email Subject Line

Your cold email's subject line is of greater importance than you might think.

You could be writing the best email copy out there and have triple-checked your email deliverability so that all of your emails are going straight to your prospect's inbox.

This is all great, but if you can't get them to open that email, it's all for naught.

After all, 64% of people make the decision to open an email based on the subject line.

Similarly, 69% of people will send that email to spam without reading it based on that same subject line.
cold email subject line infographic
And that has the potential to also ruin your carefully curated email deliverability.

As an SDR, you need to be aware of the importance of your cold email subject line, and what works. You are interacting with your prospects daily, so no one else will have a better feel for what might work than you.

It's your job to craft a subject line that draws the prospect's attention to your email enough to click on it and read further. Tied to that, as an SDR, you need to make sure that your research is top-notch so that you're targeting the customer profile with impactful subject lines in your emails that will lead to high open rates and interest.

By personalizing and having your prospect's interests as the basis of your approach, you can connect more strongly with them.

How many prospects are you losing out on based on a poorly thought-out subject line?

Based on those statistics, probably more than you think.

So, how to avoid falling into cold email subject line mistakes?

10 Email Subject Line Do's & Don't's

There are a few key factors to keep in mind when writing your cold email subject line if you want to succeed in your cold email campaigns.

There are things you should be doing, and things you should avoid.

We're here to guide you through them to ensure you are more likely to see success in your outreach as an outbound SDR.

So now let's go over some do's and don't's, and why they exist.
email subject line infographic

1- Don't Send Every Prospect Profile the Same Subject Line

You want to divide and conquer according to your prospects.

Sending to a Chief Marketing Officer is very different from sending to a VP of Supply Chain. Chances are, a marketing executive will appreciate creativity, while a supply chain executive is more likely to be interested in anything that decreases process time.

So a more creative or funny subject line is not the way to go with them if you want the rest of your cold email to be read.

2- Do Consider Your Audience & Personalize

Keeping in mind the above, then consider how best to personalize according to their title, industry, or needs that you are aware of.

By segmenting your audience in this way, you ensure that your message is reaching far more people than it would have if you sent everyone the same thing.

Personalization does not need to mean exhaustively researching each individual in your ideal customer profile and writing subject lines explicitly tailored to each. It means acknowledging the different challenges specific roles or industries face, and how your product or service can best help them overcome these issues.

3- Don't Assume or Expect Everyone to React the Same

A good sales rep knows that the job requires thick skin.

You get ignored or told "no" a lot more often than you get a positive response. And sometimes in not-so-nice words.

You also need to have a flexible mind.

What works with one prospect will not always necessarily work with the other.

There is no particular rhyme or reason beyond segmenting based on the audience and your research on their current pain points. Prospects in the same role in the same industry can still have widely different responses to your outreach.

And that is okay and part of the process.

One that, with a lot of perseverance, you can start to crack.

4- Do A/B Testing & Remember to Research When Preparing Email Subject Lines

One of the great qualities of being an SDR is that you get to try different things constantly.

More than any other role in a company, you are performing A/B testing constantly with your prospects, and getting immediate feedback. The feedback can be anything from high open rates for certain email sequences to a prospect reaching out to let you know that they like or dislike your messaging, depending on the day.

You are able to constantly implement this feedback and switch things up to get your message across. And you can do it better each time.

Do not be afraid to experiment and conduct A/B testing of your cold email subject lines, varying the targets and wording, to get a clearer picture of what might work best.

And remember, sometimes it truly depends on the mood of the person receiving that email, which is entirely out of your control.

So focus on what you can control, and take it from there.

5- Don't Overuse Exclamation Points, Caps Lock, or Other Signs

If you know about email deliverability, you know that a great way to affect it is to use any of the above. Because the above in a cold email subject line signals to prospects that this is a spam email.

So use them sparingly and avoid them entirely if possible when crafting your subject lines.

This does not mean you cannot give them some personality, though.

A great way to improve your email deliverability is to craft your subject lines with thoughtful consideration and intent. Instead of relying on potentially spam-triggering words, add personality and value to your message. Doing so will make them more likely to be opened by prospects, increasing the chances that they will engage with the content.

6- Do Use Humor & Emojis Based on Personalization & Research

We like using humor at SalesPipe, because humor has been proven to work to build relationships and trust between salespeople and prospects.

It's also a great way to qualify your prospects. If they positively respond to your humor, there's a good chance you'll have great working relationships, as this would be a point in common.

Emojis can be trickier, but if used sparingly and correctly, are a great way to humanize yourself to your prospect further.

You want your prospect to feel identified or interested in those first few introductory words; emojis and humor can help you do that.

7- Don't Make Your Subject Line Too Long or Irrelevant to The Prospect

On the other hand, if you use references that are too niche or obscure, your prospect is highly likely to simply skip over your email. Same with strange emojis that do not seem relevant or familiar to them, or with subject lines that go on too long.

Especially taking into account how much more we use smartphones, and your space for an email subject line is even less than before.

So pick your words carefully, and keep them relevant.

8- Do Keep It Short, Sweet, & To the Point

Advice you probably also hear about your cold email templates, the idea does extend into those subject lines.

You want to be relevant and direct in your approach, splash humor in there if it is a good idea, but always be aware of the audience you are targeting when doing so.

To make your cold email stand out, the subject line should not only be relevant and direct, but also creative and engaging.

There are several approaches you can take in this regard - for example, you could use a pun that relates to your product or service, or craft a phrase around an industry-related concept that resonates with your audience.

Additionally, adding an interesting statistic or factoid can also help grab their attention - this is especially effective for key decision-makers who may be more interested in numbers than humor.

9- Don't Overthink Your Subject Line Too Much

Listen, we've been going over why subject lines for cold emails are important and how to make the best use of them up to this point - we know.

But you should not agonize over them too much.

The more you worry, the more convoluted they are likely to be, and the lower your open rates are. You want to avoid overcomplicating your subject lines as this will only serve to decrease open rates instead of increasing them due to its inability to differentiate itself from other emails found in people's inboxes.

Keep it short yet compelling enough for prospects to click on it and keep reading!

Remember, as an SDR, you're in the privileged position to get instant feedback from your audience.

10- Do Take Your Time to Think About It, But Don't Be Afraid to Try Different Things

A/B testing is the way for you to start figuring out what works in your industry, and then what might work with different titles or personalities.

Don't leave subject lines as an afterthought, but do not fret too much either. Try different things, and see what seems to work best. By doing so, and constantly innovating, you are already doing a great job as an SDR getting the name of your company out there.

If you want some help getting started, though, we're here for you.

SalesPipe has been in the business for a while, and we've got some great cold email subject line examples you can try out on your prospects.

10 Best Cold Email Subject Line Examples

The examples below are real ones used by our sales team at SalesPipe, and they can be sub-categorized into different types.

Each type has advantages and disadvantages, and we encourage all SDRs to try out different ones depending on their needs.

It's never a one-size-fits-all solution, so you want to try them all until you land on one that works well for you. Or take one, make it your own, and then let us know how it goes!

Let's go over each option, and why they work.

Type 1 - The Direct Approach:
{{prospect_company}} & {{your_company}}

This is a great option for when you're tentatively starting to figure out your industry and the different titles.

If you're not quite sure how they may respond, a direct approach such as this introduces them to your company and the possibility of a partnership.

Moreover, this type of introduction can also be used as part of A/B testing.

You can explore various options and features for new products without affecting the current status quo. It also allows you to gather valuable feedback from those who are invested in the process, which can be invaluable in further refining your product or service offering.

This kind of communication is essential for any business relationship if it is going to stand the test of time.

Type 2 - The Clear Offer:
{{first_name}}, {{product/service}} for {{prospect_company}}

If your marketing team has done their job and your product or service is easily summarized, then this is a great option.

You clearly inform your prospect what your offer is from the get-go, drawing people in to read further.

In the body of your email, you can simply flex your creative muscles and add actual numbers that would usually be part of your follow-up. Explaining how your offer is different from your competitors can also help attract attention and encourage people to take action.

And all because you've already summarized what your main reason for contacting them is in your subject line!

Type 3 - The Eye-Catcher:
Hi {{first_name}}!

This is a great way to get the conversation started within a new ideal customer profile. Much like our first type, this type of subject line serves the purpose of catching your prospect's attention.

In this case, you then have to continue keeping their attention once they've opened the email, but that first step has already been taken. The rest is up to the strength of your email copy.

If you want to learn more about the power of Hi {{first_name}}, be sure to check out the story of how we pioneered this approach here.

Type 4 - The Event:
{{first_name}}, missed you at {{event_name}}

If your sales team has recently attended an event, online or in person, this is a great way to reach out to other event attendees they missed out on connecting with.

Naming the event provides a common ground for you to start a conversation, and see if the prospect is right for you or interested in your offer at this time.

It helps establish common ground and provides context for further conversation that could lead to potential collaboration.

Your message should also include more than just greetings so that you don't come across as too general or vague. Instead, offer some thoughtful insights about yourself and your organization that will make you stand out from other contacts.

Type 5 - The Well-Known Saying:
{{first_name}}, Time is Money

Using a well-known saying is well and good, but you have to make sure that it is relevant to the particular situation and prospect you are targeting.

Time is money is great because it applies to so many situations.

For example, it is useful for products or services related to helping your prospects gain back time. Tools related to processes or automation would be great as the focus on an email with this subject line.

Find a similar saying for your product or service, or feel free to give this one a go!

Type 6 - The Follow-Up:
{{first_name}}, shall we pick our conversation back up?

Follow-ups are a necessity in sales.

It is well-known that most meetings actually come from follow-ups and not from that first touch email.

So your follow-up subject line is just as important as the follow-up itself.

The above example is a great way to re-ignite the conversation without coming across as too pushy for your prospect's liking. Indeed, it is a question and an invitation to initiate contact once more.

Most of the time, the prospect simply never responded to the first form of outreach or asked to circle back later.

This subject line covers both possibilities in a polite, friendly manner.

Type 7 - The Conversation Starter:
{{first_name}}, this might be up your alley

For an option slightly off the beaten path, you can start a conversation with an offer of something that might be specifically useful to your prospect. By specifying it in this friendly way, you center it around your prospect instead of pushing your product or service.

This subject line is great because it can be used in a variety of industries, and if your prospect targeting is correct, could be a hole-in-one for you if they're the right person to contact.

Furthermore, this approach allows you to establish important connections with your prospects over time.

As they become more familiar with what your organization has to offer and appreciate the value of the solutions being presented, they may become more engaged and willing to purchase from your company or even become a loyal customer.

Type 8 - The Action Oriented:
{{first_name}}, let's {{industry_related_action}}!

Depending on your industry and your product or service, this call to action could cover all your bases.

You personalize it by addressing the prospect by name, and then further by explicitly having an action related to the industry they're in.

Make sure it does truly fit their title and role responsibilities, and this is a great and cheerful way to draw their attention to your email over every other one in their mailbox that morning.

And remember, it's also important to provide clear instructions for taking action after reading your email.

Rather than simply providing a link back to your website or landing page, add additional value by providing an incentive for immediate action; this could include an exclusive deal for signing up now, or having access to extra resources if they quickly reply back.

Making sure that you are giving prospects all of the necessary information upfront helps ensure that taking the next step is easier for them — one click away instead of multiple clicks away — making sure that they don't lose interest before completing their intended task.

Type 9 - The Emoji:
{{first_name}}, looking to receive a boost? :rocket:

Emojis are a great option for your cold email subject line – this is a fact.

They are becoming increasingly popular within the business world, as they can be used to make communication more personal and effective. They can help the sender stand out from all of the other emails being sent at the same time and make their message more memorable.

But, you want to make sure you are using them with the right person in the right spot.

Too many emojis may come across as unprofessional or overbearing.

On the other hand, not using any at all may lead to a bland subject line that isn't likely to entice a reader to open the message.

Adding an emoji can humanize the sender in the eyes of the prospect by showing that there's someone behind the message - someone who understands how people communicate online and recognizes when an extra touch is needed to keep things interesting.

This conveys a sense of authenticity and consideration for recipients that could result in higher open rates and engagement levels for cold emails.

Type 10 - The Reference:
{{first_name}}, the Force is Strong With This Email

References to anything are a great way to connect with others, and pop culture or sports references are the easiest of these to do.

You display some tongue-in-cheek humor and creativity when you are able to mesh them together with why your prospect should open your email – especially if you do it in the limited space of your subject line.

Try your hand at some of these and do some A/B testing within your industry.

Sometimes, certain references reign supreme. It's always worth a try, and a great way to associate your name with something they enjoy.


Cold email subject lines should not be an afterthought for SDRs truly looking to increase their open rates.

At SalesPipe, we recognize their importance and have come up with several examples of particular email subject line types over the years.

We're happy to share them with the broader sales community. And if you're looking for even more tips and tricks, be sure to consider becoming an SDR at SalesPipe.
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