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Your product might be great, your marketing strategy could be so stellar that one might want to try your product immediately. But, all this would happen only if your prospect actually gets to read the email you sent them.
And how do you do this?
Crafting a perfect subject line is the key. An average person in 2019, receives about 121 emails a day. That’s a lot of emails for anyone. You are not just competing with fellow salesmen but also with deals, event invitations and emails from co-workers. Reality is that your prospect is just going to take one scroll to find out if the email is worth reading. And, if the subject line does not add value there, you have already lost the game.
So how do you choose a good email subject line?
Should it be very personal or casual? For instance, which of these two cold email subject lines do you think would perform better?
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There is no universal way to say. What might work for one may not work for another. It all depends on your target persona. A good practice is to always do an A/B testing before you finalize on the subject line. In this blog, we bring to you a list of cold email subject lines that you can choose from.
Personalization always works as the human brain is functioned to immediately respond to anything that is related to you. Chances of someone opening a cold email with a personalized subject line is 22% more than the one without.
So how do you personalize a subject line?
Mentioning the prospect’s name or company is a great way to start with.
Here are a few examples
1 . <Name> Thanks from <Your Company>
2. <Name>, I just missed you!
3. Goodbye, < Name>
4. <Name>, Check this out!
5. This was built just for you, <Name>
But, this is something that most of the companies do these days. So, how do you add a personal touch to the subject without calling out your prospect’s name?
Personalize using their interests, demographics, activities, etc. You can call out their blog or a comment that they recently made on social media.
As an email marketer, you need to do enough research to find out their interests and recent activities to get them to read your email. Imagine receiving a mail that says,
6 . Your blog <”name”> was awesome
7. Your comment on the <post> was insightful
8. Looking forward to meeting you at <Conference Name>
Every time you draft a subject line, put yourself in the shoes of the receiver, what would make you open the email?
Questions are a great way to get your prospect’s attending and arouse their curiosity. Also, questions being incomplete, your prospects would want to find out the answer.
That said, there are a few derelictions to this approach. The question that you draft must be relevant to your audience, which means you need to carefully segment your prospects in such a way that the subject line matters to them.
For example, let us assume that you are cold emailing the prospects of your recipe book. It does not make sense to ask a general question like “Are you cooking your chicken right?”. What if the person you are emailing to is not looking for a chicken recipe? You need to segment your audience based on the landing page from where you collected their emails.
Another benefit of asking a question in a subject line is that the reader might not have thought about the question at all, but could offer more value to them. An intriguing question will force the readers to think. It will allow their thoughts to travel in a path that they have never even considered.
Here are a few examples:
9. How did you deal with <Pain Point>?
10. Thinking about <the benefit of your product>?
11. Are you making these common mistakes?
12. Are you ready for <the goal of your product>?
13. Are you facing <problem>?
14. Want to talk about <topic>?
15. Are you going in the right direction?
16. <Name> tell us what went wrong?
Having a mutual connection brings you closer to your prospect. It puts your prospect at ease and helps them trust you. This breaks the first barrier of marketing – “building the trust”, making it easier for you to contact them.
Mutual connections can be anything like a common friend, having the same hobby, supporting the same sports team, attending the same conference, or being a part of the same group on social media. Research to find a common point, but make sure that you don’t dig too deep and scare them off.
Now, once you find the mutual connection, using that in your subject line will catch the immediate attention of your prospect.
Here are a few examples of subject lines establishing a connection:
17 . Hey, <name of the common friend> asked me to get in touch with you.
18. <Name>, it’s finally nice to connect with you on <platform>.
19. Build your <name of their team> like <their favorite sports team>
20. Hey, your post on <name of the common group> was intriguing.
21. <Name>, I love <favourite food> too
22. Hey, have a few questions on <something that they have done recently>. Can you help?
23. Things I am sorry didn’t work out here. But, can we play < favorite game> next weekend?
According to a report by Hubspot, subject lines that deliver urgency perform better than other emails. It creates a fear of missing out in the prospect’s mind.
For instance, let us say, you have checked out a hotel for your stay but is still skeptical about booking it. Then, a few hours later, you receive an email with the subject
“Last 2 rooms left for the <booking date>. Book before they or gone.”
You are trying to book a flight and then you decide to give it some time before going forward with it. Later that day, you open your inbox to find an email with the subject
“Your flight to Singapore is fast filling. Last 4 seats left.”
What would be your immediate response? 90% of the time, people go forward and block their seats because of the constant fear of losing out on the best things.
People tend to act even faster if there is a deadline associated with it. For instance, an email with the subject line like “40% off on <Product name>. Offer ends in 2 hours.” will have more open rates and click rates when compared to an email with the subject line “40% off on <Product name>”
Here are a few examples of subject lines that create a sense of urgency.
24. <Percentage> off on <Product Name>. Offer ends by <time>.
25. Only 1 week left for <event name>
26. Year-end offer, grab it before it’s gone.
27. Last <number> seats remaining. Have you booked yours?
28. It is now or never. Have you got your copy of <name of the book>?
29. FINAL HOURS: 50% off is almost over!
30. Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring
31. [URGENT] You’ve got ONE DAY to watch this…
32. [WEEKEND ONLY] Get this NOW before it’s gone…
Consumers generally like anything that comes for free with the product. Mentioning the word “free” in your subject line has a huge advantage and can boost your open rate. Now, there is a common myth that using the word free in the subject line may look like a spam email. On the contrary, it is not. Overdoing it is. Also, what you offer as a freebie also plays a major part.
“FREE: online writing workshop with a New York Times bestselling novelist”
might have less open rates when compared to
“FREE: online writing workshop by New York’s bestselling author <author’s name>”
Attention to detail is extremely important when it comes to offering freebies in cold email subject lines. Earlier, the word “Free” by itself used to do the magic. Now, since a lot of companies use that, it is essential that you mention what the offer/freebie is in the subject line to get your prospect to open it.
Here are a few examples:
33. Participate and win free tea samples now.
34. Free Photo Magnet worth $100
35. Free 30-day trial
36. We miss you. Free subscription for 30 days.
Humor always works best in any emails. Have you ever not opened an email that made you laugh?
Your prospects are humans and would appreciate a good laugh in between their tight schedules. Using a funny subject line, not only makes their mind lighter but also helps the email to stand out from the clutter.
Writing a funny cold email subject line requires a lot of creativity. You need to be humorous but you also need to make sure that your humor doesn’t set someone off.
Here are some funny email subject lines used by famous companies:
37 . TicTail: “Boom shakalak! Let’s get started.”
38. OpenTable: “Licking your phone never tasted so good”
39. Uncommon Goods: “As You Wish” (A reference to the movie The Princess Bride.)
40. Travelocity: “Need a day at the beach? Just scratch n’ sniff your way to paradise…”
41. Eater Boston: “Where to Drink Beer Right Now” (Sent at 6:45 am on a Wednesday.)
42. The Muse: “We Like Being Used”
43. Thrillist: “Try To Avoid These 27 People On New Year’s Eve”
44. Warby Parker: “Pairs nicely with spreadsheets”
45. Gozengo: “NEW! Vacation on Mars”
46. Baby Bump: “Yes, I’m Pregnant. You Can Stop Staring At My Belly Now.”
47. Groupon: “Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)”
Adding the value proposition of your product/service in the cold email subject line can help you get the attention of your prospect’s immediately. You should understand that your prospects are busy, there are a number of companies out there targeting them with various products in various ways. A crisp email subject line delivering the solution to their pain points gives you the leverage.
As a marketer, you need to first basket your prospects use case. You need to identify how your product/service would add value to them. Then, you can go about crafting the subject line that fits each basket.
Here are a few examples that you can use:
48 . Do you face <this challenge>? <Product> is the answer.
49. Are you facing these challenges while implementing this <solution>?
50. Want to learn more about <solution>?
51. Here are the resources to help with <pain point>?
52. <Product> is the best solution for <problem>
53. <Product>: your <problem>, resolved.
54. Stop wasting money on <issue>
You might not want to believe that you are greedy. But, the truth is that humans always want more. Your prospect will find it difficult to pass a good deal, although they really might not have a need for it.
This is why mentioning offers in the email subject lines always work great. But on the contrary, mentioning high discount rates can backfire, this is because most people do not believe that large discounts are possible. Somewhere down the line, they realize that it is a marketing gimmick.
The people clicking on these emails are already interested in your offer. Therefore the conversion rates for emails with offers are generally high.
Here are a few examples:
55 . Meet your new <product>
56. Your summer clothes need change.
57. Flash. Sale. Alert.
58. New must-haves for you
59. A <product> you cannot pass on
60. 25% off your favorites
61. Two for two
62. A little luxury at a great price
63. Complimentary <gift> on all purchases
A single page in an inbox holds close to 50 to 60 emails. Using an emoji in your subject line grabs the immediate attention of your prospect. This increases the chance of the prospect opening your email first.
According to Experian, 56% of the brands have seen a higher open rate on using emojis in their subject lines. Emojis also help you convey a story in an eye-catching manner. Be it telling a story, or something more serious like informing a spike in the trend.
Here is the list of the top ten emojis used in subject lines:
A few examples of cold email subjects with emojis:
64 . Up until June 9th: Try a pair of ONs for 30 days.
65. Meet Alto our new AI expert
66. Save the date for our November conference
67. February’s stats are growing
68. You’re going to love this pose.
69. Don’t forget to buy your ticket for Saturday’s art show
70. Save the date for our November conference
71. 30 Creative ideas to boost your business results
72. Win a trip for two to Japan
73. Send Christmas cards to your loved ones
It is an art to craft a beautiful and compelling subject line. But, the real challenge is in creating a product that adds value to your prospects. A good subject line is just the key to the door. But, it does not do good if your readers open the mail and then see no value to it.
The success of an email campaign does not just dwell on the open rates. It should also have a good click rate and a conversion rate. At the end of the day, we go through all of this to get good conversions.
To achieve this one must constantly be in touch with prospects. Cold email is just the first step to opening a conversation. Every prospect out there already has a need for your product or has someway touch-based on your offering. But, that alone will not get them to buy your product. Sometimes it takes about 7 to 11 follow-ups before you actually get a response. Therefore you need to plan your email flow in such a way that it makes it difficult for them to ignore you.
And the best way to find out what works for you is to do an A/B testing. Test your campaign with different subject lines. Make sure that these lines are clear and derive the exact value that you are planning to offer.
What type of subject lines works best for your prospects? Let us know in the comments section below
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