How To Guides

Cold email Subject Line Tips and How to Implement Them

When done correctly, cold emailing can create new business opportunities and valuable connections. One of the first challenges in cold emailing is the subject line. It is what is responsible for getting your email open, and without any opens, what’s the point of cold emailing. This guide will delve into tips and tricks to help craft an effective cold email subject line.

Knowing the Importance of Cold Email Subject Lines

The subject line is what the recipient reads first. When cold emailing, where the recipient doesn’t know you, the subject line must be extremely strong to grab attention. An effective subject line can be the difference between the email being opened or ignored. Thus, understanding and using the cold email subject tips following can increase your open rates significantly.

Tip 1: Don’t Make it Too Long

The first cold email subject line tip is to keep it short and sweet. Email clients will often shorten long subject lines, especially on a mobile device. As a result of this, you should aim for a subject line that is under 50 characters to ensure tha it is visible in the email client. A brief and intriguing subject line is more likely to catch the recipient’s attention and cause them to open it.

Example: "Quick Question" or "Interested in Collaboration?"

Tip 2: Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

Personalizing your cold emails can boost the open rates of them. Personalizing involves more than just inserting the recipient’s name. Personalization includes tailoring the subject line to their interests and needs. Personalization stands out against the other cold email subject line tips because it shows that you have done the work and are genuinely interested in the recipient.

Example: "John, I Noticed Your Recent Achievement" or "Sarah, Let's Discuss Your Marketing Strategy"

Tip 3: Make it Urgent

Creating urgency is another effective tactic in cold email subject line tips. Urgency in this sense doesn’t mean using spammy or aggressive language. It means subtly imply that your offer is time-sensitive.

Example: "Last Chance to Join Our Webinar" or "Limited Spots for Our Event"

Tip 4: Include Numbers and Statistics

By including numbers and statistics, you can add credibility and draw attention. Statistics can make you subject lines stand out in the long list of emails. They provide value upfront and allow the recipient to easily understand the benefits of your services. Including numbers is a proven method among cold email subject line tips. 

Example: "Increase Your Sales by 20% in 30 Days" or "5 Tips to Enhance Your Website Traffic"

Tip 5: Ask Questions

By asking questions you will pique curiosity and engagement of the recipient. A good question will encourage the recipient to open the email in order to find the answer. Asking questions can be a subtle yet effective way to drive engagement, and is an important tip for cold email subject lines. 

Example: "Struggling with Lead Generation?" or "Ready to Boost Your Online Presence?"

Tip 6: Action-Oriented Language

Make your email written in an action-oriented language. By doing so, you will increase the likelihood of the recipient taking immediate action. Verbs that facilitate action can make your email feel more dynamic and engaging. Actionated language is important amongst the other cold email subject line tips.

Example: "Discover How to Optimize Your Workflow" or "Join Our Exclusive Network Today"

Tip 7: Dont lie, be honest

Being honest in your cold email subject lines is one of the biggest tips you can get. It is crucial in building trust with your recipient. Untruthful subject lines can and will eventually damage your reputation amongst recipients. Among cold email subject line tips, maintaining honesty ensures that recipients know what to expect.

Example: "A Quick Introduction" or "Insights on Your Recent Article"

Tip 8: A/B Testing

Be sure to not only use one subject line at a time. Testing different subject lines can provide valuable insights into what is working and what is not. You should look for what subject lines are getting the best open rates and use those.

Example: Test variations like "Exclusive Offer for You" vs. "Special Discount Inside" to see which performs better. This method is a staple among cold email subject line tips for optimizing your email strategy.

Tip 9: Don’t be Spammy

Spammy words cause spam messages. By using spam-like words you will increase the likelihood of your email ending up in the recipient's spam folder. Words like "Free," "Urgent," and "Buy Now" can be red flags. A crucial part of cold email subject line tips is to avoid such language and focus on creating genuine, valuable content.

Example: Instead of "Free Consultation," try "Schedule Your Complimentary Session."

Tip 10: Make Them Curious

Curiosity is a powerful motivation factor. A subject line that makes your recipient curious will cause more open rates. Using curiosity effectively is one of the more subtle cold email subject line tips that can lead to higher open rates.

Example: "You Won’t Believe What We Found" or "This Strategy Could Change Everything"

Tip 11: Highlight Your Connections

If you have a connection to the recipient, use it to your advantage. Mentioning your connections will increase the likelihood of the recipient opening it because they semi-know you. This is a highly effective tactic in cold email subject line tips as it establishes an immediate sense of trust.

Example: "Referred by [Mutual Contact]" or "[Mutual Contact] Suggested I Reach Out"

Tip 12: Show That There is Value

In order to get your recipient to open your email, you need to show that there is value in opening it. The place to show that is in your subject line. Recipients want to open emails that have a high chance of benefiting them. This approach is among the top cold email subject line tips for demonstrating value.

Example: "Boost Your SEO with These Tips" or "Get a Free Marketing Audit Today"

Tip 13: Always be Relevant

Being and staying relevant is key for any form of communication. Always make sure that your subject line is relating to the recipient’s needs or wants. Relevance is a cornerstone of cold email subject line tips for crafting messages that resonate.

Example: "Improve Your SaaS User Retention" or "Enhance Your E-commerce Strategy"

Tip 14: Be Funny, But Do It Wisely

Humor is great, but it must be done correctly. Be cautious when using humor so as to not offend the recipient. Light-hearted subject lines can make your email standout and feel personable. When using humor, it’s essential to consider cold email subject line tips that balance professionalism with approachability.

Example: "Do You Have a Minute for a Laugh?" or "Marketing Tips as Fresh as Your Morning Coffee"

Tip 15: Be Clear, Be Specific

Last tip is, be clear and be specific. It is good to keep your recipient guessing, but make sure they are guessing the way you want them too. Don’t be too secretive or you won’t get opens. This is one of the fundamental cold email subject line tips for eliminating ambiguity.

Example: "Detailed Guide to Boosting Your Sales" or "Step-by-Step Tutorial on Email Marketing"

Crafting Your Cold Email Subject Lines

Now that we've explored various cold email subject line tips, it's important to put these tips into practice. Here are some additional strategies to consider when crafting your subject lines:

Now that you have all the cold email subject line tips under you belt, it’s important to know how to use these tips in practice. Below are some additional strategies to help you when crafting your cold email subject lines.

  1. Understand Your Audience: Knowing the pain points and interests of your recipient allows you to create subject lines that resonate deeply.
  2. Be Professional: While creativity is encouraged, maintaining a professional tone ensures your email is taken seriously.
  3. Iterate and Improve: Continuously refine your approach based on feedback and performance metrics.

Case Studies and Examples

To see these cold email subject line tips in action, let's look at some successful examples:

  1. Sales Pitch to a CEO:some text
    • Subject Line: "John, Reduce Your IT Costs by 30% in 60 Days"
    • Why It Works: It's personalized, offers a specific benefit, and creates a sense of urgency.
  2. Job Application to a Hiring Manager:some text
    • Subject Line: "Experienced Marketer Interested in Your Open Role"
    • Why It Works: It's clear, relevant, and straightforward.
  3. Networking Request to an Industry Peer:some text
    • Subject Line: "Mutual Connection: Let's Collaborate"
    • Why It Works: Mentions a mutual connection, fostering immediate trust.


Knowing these cold email subject line tips is an essential when getting into cold emailing. Subject lines are what the recipient sees first. It is what is going to be the difference between an open and an skip.  By keeping subject lines short, personalizing them, creating urgency, using numbers, asking questions, and being honest, you can significantly enhance your email's open rates. 

Incorporate these cold email subject line tips into your strategy and watch your open rates soar. With practice and persistence, you'll become adept at crafting subject lines that compel recipients to read and respond to your emails. Happy emailing!