Subject line is one of the most important thing when it comes to cold emailing. Think of subject line as a first impression. You can have the best content or even the best product, but it won’t get anywhere unless somebody actually opens up the email and reads it.

We send out thousands of email on a daily basis and have tried most of the subject line combinations out there. The thing about subject line is that there isn’t anyone that is the “best”. In fact, it takes a lot of testing. What works today might not work tomorrow.

The prospect

When it comes to coming up with a good subject line, it is important that you know who you are reaching out to.

You also do not want your subject line to be misleading. You have to put yourself in the prospect’s shoes and think about what they would like to see in a subject line.

For example, if you are reaching out to a CEO or a founder of a company, it might be smart to include something good about their company in the subject line, where as a regular engineer might feel delighted if you are talking about a feature that they were working on in the project.

At the end of the day, it comes to doing your research and understanding who you are reaching out to.

Personalized Subject Line

The subject line that converts the most for us are the ones with some sort of personalization in it. Including the person’s name works best. This shows that it isn’t just regular spam.

For example, if you are reaching out to a content marketer or some sort of VP of marketing –

Hey {{FirstName}} — Really love the new post about {{blog_post_topic}}

Another example, if you’re reaching out to a CEO

Hey {{!FirstName}} — Congrats on the new funding round!

Those will usually get you a strong amount of open rates due to the personalization that is involved in the process. It shows that you actually did your homework and did your research.

Low Open Rates

There are a lot of subject lines that we tested with low results. The ones that are really generic or seems like an email newsletter usually result in a much lower open rate.

Working together with {{Company}}.

The subject line above is one of the ones that yield a much lower open rate. It seems spammy and doesn’t seem personalized at all.

Best deal for {{Company}}

Again, this is another subject line that doesn’t work well at all. Doesn’t this sound like one of those E-commerce email newsletter that you never open?

Misleading subject lines

Ok, now there are a lot of subject lines that you can use that will get the person to open the email, but you want them to open with good intention and not because of just the subject line. This is why the content of your email is extremely important as well.

You DO NOT want to write a long sales template content in the email with a misleading subject line. You almost always want to keep the email as short as possible and as direct as possible. Avoid all sales templates if possible.

Here are some examples of subject lines that will get you a high open rate, but might result in a low response rate.


Yes, we see this a lot and guess what? They result in an extremely low response rate. One company emailed us with the subject line, “Important!” and when we opened it, it was a long sales template of some SEO services. I’m sure all of you guys get those a lot.

“Hey {FirstName}, Must Read!!!”

When someone sees this, chances are that they will open the email, but does that get them to convert? Does that get them to respond? Most likely not, especially if you are trying to sell something. The prospect might end up feeling more frustrated rather than sold.

Subject Line with Introductions

The one that converts the most are the subject lines with name introductions in them. Including two names in a subject line will almost always result in an open (assuming you have high quality leads).

Came across {{Company}} through {{Name}}

This works really well, but it does take some time for personal research. The best way to do this is to use Linkedin. Look for a mutual connection and add that person to the subject line. It’s always best to ask that person for a direct introduction, but if you might not have time for it if you are sending out over 50+ cold emails a day. In that situation, you just want to quickly browse through Linkedin to see who you two have in common and craft a personalized subject line based on that for your cold email.

The follow through content for this subject line is important. For the introduction line in the email context, you might want to put something along the lines of, “Hey I was browsing around Linkedin and saw that we have a mutual connection with {Name}. I went to college with her!”

Quality of Leads

With any subject line, it is important that you have quality leads and accurate contact information. You can cold email 500+ people with personalized subject lines, but it won’t get anywhere if the lead information isn’t accurate.

You also want to ensure that the leads are high-quality leads. Does this person match your buying profile? Is this the type of person that will tell themselves that your service/product is what they want right away.

If you’re looking for qualified and accurate b2b sales leads, then reach out to us at GrowthOK, we got you!

Author: Wilson

Wilson is a 3x entrepreneur and founder of GrowthOK. He loves and breathe entrepreneurship, growth, sales, and has a strong passion for crypto and blockchain related topics. You can follow him on Twitter @itswilson8

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