An Effective Guide to Cold Email Subject Lines

A cold email subject line can make or break your campaign because this is the first thing people notice when they open your email. It takes only a fraction of a second to decide whether to open your message or not based on your subject line.

As a result, the subject line significantly determines the open, click, and response rates of your cold email campaigns. Your cold outreach won’t get too far without a captivating subject line.

In this article, you’ll learn the importance of cold email subject lines and tips for writing one effectively.

What Is a Cold Email?

A cold email is a form of electronic communication in which someone unknown contacts the recipient. It is sent out by an email marketing service or by an individual reaching out to someone they have never met before. This is to get further information or elicit a response.

What Are the Types of Cold Email?

Every salesperson approaches prospects in a unique way, and cold emails are no different. Giving away free content to prospects could help them become more receptive to your sales pitch. Alternatively, you can opt to skip the introduction and launch right into your pitch.

Although each marketer may have their distinctive approach, there are some typical techniques to build up your cold email. They are as follows:


A complimentary cold email is one sent without any request for a product or service but rather as a complement. Identify a differentiator for the company, and use it to start your email, which might lead to a conversation. As you organize your message, explain how your solution can assist them in building on what makes their brand unique.


The most effective cold email subject lines imply that the email recipient has an issue you can solve for them. Do not use cold email subject lines that are too general, such as the entire subject line being “Solving Your Problem.” Even though the whole subject might not be a lie, the cold email is unlikely to be open to any reply.


Start with a story or some type of narrative. These emails make the customer feel special and can help them connect to the company, making them more likely to make a purchase. Instead of embracing a traditional sales pitch, you can open the cold email with a relevant story.

Why Is a Cold Email Subject Line Important?

It’s important to understand why a cold email subject line matters. It can help foster instant trust with your recipients, build rapport and make your email stand out to them.

Just as true for your email content, a cold email subject line also has to be intriguing. It needs to pique the recipient’s interest and be catchy. Otherwise, they might just end up hitting the delete button instead of opening your email.

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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Tips to Write Great Cold Email Subject Lines

There are various ways to write a good subject line. And which one is best for you will ultimately rely on your target market and the services you provide. Here are some tips which are tried and tested for writing effective cold email subject lines.

Keep It Short and Simple

Focus your subject line on having a quick and short viewing window into your problem and why the reader needs you. Make it clear that the reader’s time is valuable. Keep it short and to the point, with a clear call to action.

Also, bear in mind that the optimal length of an email subject line differs between mobile, desktop, and tablet platforms. Most subject lines are usually 60 characters long before the email provider trims them off.

Personalize Your Email Subject Line

A personalized subject line conveys the message that your email is specifically for them, and they will get the important information they need.

Asking a question invites the reader to take ownership of the email and share the personal aspect with you. It’s usually a good idea to personalize the subject line by adding the prospect’s name.

Make It Interesting

The purpose of a cold email subject is to make the recipient open the email. You can achieve this by using language that intrigues the recipient.

The content of the cold email subject line should also make them want to read more information. One of the most important steps in making it interesting is asking a question.

Offer Value

Offering value is one of the essential things when cold emailing. The more valuable your subject line is to the recipient, the higher your chances of getting more people to open your email.

If you make it easy for someone to ignore your email, they will remain uninterested in what you have to offer. As a result, you will give up a big opportunity to connect with a potential new customer.

Make sure to provide value, especially if you’re trying to sell a service or product.

Create Urgency

Address your cold email to a relevant issue that will compel your reader to reach out to you immediately with a reply. An issue that may have just popped up or a new trend you’ve spotted.

The prospect may not be particularly interested in purchasing anything at the moment. But it still doesn’t hurt to let them know about the limited-time offer they could be missing out on.

Create a sense of urgency in the recipient to increase the email open rate, but it won’t work every time.

Avoid Using Spammy Words

Don’t use phrases that are commonly associated with “spam.” If your email is going to thousands of users, and you write in flowery language, they’ll quickly delete the email.

To prevent annoying your potential customer, avoid writing email subject lines that aren’t representative of the content, product, or service inside. Inferring urgency or relevance where none exists might leave a negative impression and result in your business email being flagged as spam.

Use Power Words to Grab Attention

Using power words in your cold email subject line is a proven staple in the world of marketing and advertising. Power words are expressive words or phrases that arouse emotion.

Consider descriptive adjectives and verbs like convenient, boost, and unexpected. The goal is to pique emotional interest, but make sure not to overstate or promise too much. Otherwise, you might disappoint or let down potential clients.

Effective Cold Email Subject Line Examples

The idea is to combine a compelling subject line with a personalized cold email to maximize the effect of your marketing campaign. Here are some effective cold email subject lines to spark creativity and inspire you to create an excellent one on your own.

  • Let’s Talk About [topic/idea]!
  • You Missed It
  • Can I Help You With [reaching a Specific Goal]?
  • [Mutual connection] recommended I get in touch
  • If you’re struggling with [common pain point], you’re not alone.
  • A better way to solve [pain point].
  • [Name], I Need Your Advice
  • Essential Resources to Help With [challenge]
  • Have You Been to [local Establishment]?
  • [Industry] leads for [Recipient’s Company]
  • A New tool that can help automate [process]
  • Are You Prepared to Overcome [specific Challenge]?
  • Thinking about {a specific goal}?
  • Will I see you at [event]?
  • Are you looking to expand your business? Here are some suggestions.
  • Tired of salespeople who never give up?
  • [Referral name] loves us & thought you might, too
  • [Name], saw you’re focused on [goal]


The purpose of a cold email subject line is to hook the reader and get them to open your email and read your content. That said, being prepared for an effective subject line is one of the best ways to engage in a successful cold email campaign.

It could be used to get feedback from a new client or reach potential customers for your product. This article aims to enhance your understanding of cold emails and the importance of the subject line. Hope you find it helpful!

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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