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The Best Email Subject Lines For Sales (And 5 Tips For Writing Your Own)

The best email subject lines for your sales emails

Posted in Email Marketing, and Sales Emails. 7 min read

Email is a cost effective marketing tool that can get your message out to prospects quickly and easily.

In fact, the goal of every content marketing strategy is to convert visitors on your landing pages, blog, and website by offering them a value item in return for their email address, which is then used to nurture your prospect through your lead funnel.

If your follow-up email isn't opened, it basically doesn't exist! Engaging with prospects via email requires you to create a piece that leads them to engage with your message. When it comes to engagement, the subject line of your emails is the most important component for engagement.

A subject line is the very first message a prospect will read when they check their inbox (after the sender's name). If your subject line doesn't grab the recipient's attention immediately and prompt them to act, everything else you do within your email doesn't matter.

Let's look at the best methods, tips, and hacks for writing email subject lines that compel the recipient to open and engage with your email as well as some of the best email subject lines for generating sales!

Be Genuine, Honest, and Human

via GIPHY

This is probably the most important element when crafting your email subject lines.

In the old, pre-content marketing days, traditional media was sales focused. Today, consumers are much more sophisticated. They can see a hard sell from a mile away, and it's not a good method for engaging.

Content marketing is about providing value. Whether it's a blog post, a landing page, or an email subject line, your intent should be to educate, inform, or entertain your readers while providing value by addressing your readers' pain points and needs, then offering solutions.

Your email subject lines should read like they are written from one person to another. Personalizing your message is an effective principle. Think about an email that you would want to open. Wouldn’t you be more enticed to open it if it appeared personal and customized just for you?

Be sure to avoid fancy, formatted emails full of marketing speak and industry jargon. It's not a newsletter. Keep it simple!

Avoid cute or catchy slogans as well. For example, you are selling customer management products and you send out an email with the subject line, “Our Product is the Newest Innovation in CRM in Years!”

While it fits the “mold” of a business email, or at least what people perceive as a business email, if you want to get your emails opened and read, avoid it! You don’t want to seem stuffy and full of yourself by over-promoting your brand.

5 Tips For Crafting Email Subject Lines

Step away from the spell check!

The right hacks can help you craft email subject lines that get your email opened. Some might even seem counterintuitive, or just plain wrong, but the fact is ... they work. Try out some of these tips:

1. use lowercase text.

Don't capitalize each word: it's not an advertising headline!

Believe it or not, even though it might be dramatically incorrect, lowercase text actually increases open rates, probably because personal emails don't capitalize each word! By keeping your subject line lowercase, it adds a human touch to your email.

2. Personalize When Possible.

personalize your email subject line

A simple technique that really works is to include the recipient’s first name in your subject line. Experiment with personalization tokens in your subject line (and throughout your email): try using just the prospect’s first name or even the company name.

3. Add a Small Misspelled Word.

This is a subject line technique that few use – as most grammar police can’t bear the sight of a misspelled word – but believe it or not, it can actually increase open rates.

Simple, “hurried” misspellings can indicate that you were typing hurriedly are a good choice. Try not to misspell keywords, however. For example: “Tom cna we meet later today?

4. Ask a Question.

When used in a subject line, questions can significantly increase open rates. Asking the correct question at the proper point in the nurturing cycle is an art. The better you get at it, the more you'll sell. Use the power of questions!

5. Keep Your Promises!

Once you start getting creative, it's easy to go too far. Some subject lines can produce incredible open rates, but you need to look at more than this one metric.

Consider your overall nurturing strategy, and timing is important. The bottom line: no matter what your subject line promises, make sure your email delivers! If it doesn't, it might get your email opened, maybe even read, but if you don't deliver on your promise, you've lost your prospect!

These tips and hacks can help you to craft effective email subject lines. Now let's explore some specific subject lines that can get your prospects to open, read, and act on your emails.

Effective Email Subject Lines to Try

via GIPHY

Even when a prospect has demonstrated interest in your product or service by converting on your website or engaging with you on social media, your email subject line is often a prospect’s first contact or response from your brand.

The best subject lines are creative, thought-inducing, and informative … without spoiling the message entirely.

Here are some compelling email subject lines that can work in a variety of situations. Feel free to customize them for your own use, and watch your open rates increase!

“{mutual contact} suggested I get in touch...”

Referrals are powerful! If you share a business associate, acquaintance, or friend with your prospect, be sure to include their name in your subject line. If your prospect respects and trusts the referrer, your email will be more compelling and will be more likely to get opened.

“Don't open this email”

Ah, reverse psychology can come in handy sometimes! If you've ever spent any time with teenagers, you know that telling them not to do something tends to result in them performing that behavior. Believe it or not, it still works with grown ups!

“Should I stay or should I go”

We’ve all been there: you’ve been in contact with a super qualified prospect, and just when things are going good, they’ve disappeared. You don’t want to seem desperate or annoying, but what do you do?

This subject line can be an effective subject line for prospects who have gone cold. If you haven't heard from them in a while, use these creative “breakup” email templates.

"Hoping to help"

Traditional marketing and selling is about ABC (always be closing). Today, content marketing and top salespeople are all about ABH (always be helping).

Using this subject line will put your prospects front and center and can help you build trust with them. Prospects will appreciate your willingness to help.

“X Tips/ Hacks/Ideas for {specific pain point}”

People love lists! Add a number to your subject line and make sure that your tips focus on specific pain points your prospect is experiencing. Offer concrete solutions or show why your product or service can help.

“Should we go with 1, 2, or 3?”

This is a great subject line to use for prospects who have dropped off your radar and are no longer responding.

By asking them this question, they’ll be curious to know what options 1, 2, and 3 are … which they can find out by opening your email. Score!

Any Subject Line With an Emoji 👍🏻

While this isn’t a very specific example, we just had to add this to the list. Emojis can do wonders for your emails! According to an Experian report, 56% of brands that use emojis in their subject lines had a higher 📈unique open rate.

With today’s inboxes receiving more and more emails daily, it’s important to make your emails stand out. Adding a simple 😊in your subject line can do just that!

Quick tip: Not every email service provider displays emojis. Try to use emojis to complement your subject line, not to replace words. Would you understand this message? “Hey, John! Learn how to ⛋ your ⛋ with this helpful ⛋ !” (This is meant to say, “Hey John! Learn how to increase your sales with this helpful ebook!”)

“ “

Ok, so there's nothing between the “quotes,” but it's on purpose!

Several studies have shown that messages where the subject line was left blank are actually opened 8% more that those with subject lines. So if you're having a creative block – it happens to everyone from time to time – maybe you should just hit send…

Your email subject line can often be the difference between an unopened email and a piece that gets opened, read, and acted upon. No matter how great your body copy is, if your email doesn't get opened, it's useless.

The best email subject lines will pique the interest of your prospects, address their pain points, ask relevant questions, and provide valuable solutions. These tips, hacks, and examples are a great place to start!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2017. It was updated in December 2018 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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