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105 Cold Email Subject Line Examples That Get High Open Rates

Cold emails are an essential part of the present sales outreach strategy used by many salespeople. Safe to say that email marketing rules the business world, and it is a surefire way for sales reps to connect and introduce their business offerings to their prospects.

In a recent report by Earthweb, they revealed that approximately 333.2 billion emails are sent in a day, which further indicates that about 3.2 million emails are sent per second. This figure gives an insight into the daily struggle and fierce competition that salespeople go through to get their cold emails to their prospect’s inboxes.

There’s only a small yet powerful feature that can prevent your cold emails from landing in your recipient’s “junk” folder – Your email subject line – is one of the most important parts of your cold email success.

Your email subject line holds the key to getting a high email open rate, click rate, response rate, and sales conversions. If you as a salesperson subscribe to the popular saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, there’s no better than now to do away with such beliefs when sending your cold emails.

Your email subject line is the prominent thing that your email recipients see in their inboxes, It takes only a split second for your prospect to decide whether the email is worth reading or not from its subject – more reason you must ensure your email subject stands out, is short, and worth reading.

In this article, we will share insights on the best cold email subject lines, elements of a good email subject line, and examples of cold email subject lines that can get you a good open and response rate.

Table of Contents

  • What is an email subject line?
  • What makes a good subject line?
  • Cold email subject line techniques to avoid
  • Cold email subject lines
  • Follow-up cold email subject lines examples
  • Cold email subject line examples after no response
  • Cold email subject lines for meeting request
  • Tools to test your cold email subject lines

What is an email subject line?

best subject line for cold email

An email subject line is the first line of text that your email recipients see in their email inbox after the sender’s name, which gives them an idea of the content of the email. Oftentimes, an email subject line can influence the recipient’s decision to either open and read your email or just trash or ignore it.

Several studies have shown that almost half of email recipients are most likely to open an email with catchy subject lines better than basic subject lines.

Just like how a person can decode the content of an article, book, or literature from its title, similarly, email recipients can also get an idea of what your email is about to help them decide if it’s something they need to be concerned with or not.

While you might be able to get away with basic subject lines for other forms of email marketing, cold emails are a different ballgame entirely. First off, you are sending the email to something with whom you have no prior discussion or connection and secondly, there’s a chance they could be the wrong recipient, too busy to check your emails or have interest in your competitors.

Hence, you must ensure that your cold email subject line conveys all the necessary information and doesn’t look spammy, as you don’t want your valuable email to end up in the trash folder without gaining the attention of your prospect.

What makes a good subject line?

 cold call email subject line

A little creativity, details, and uniqueness can make a big difference in your sales email subject lines. A well-written cold email subject line can help you get your email opened, read, and responded to. Consider the following tips when creating your cold email subject line.

1. Keep it brief

If you have been conversant with cold emails in recent years, you would understand how important content length is to the success of your emails. Although some sales experts believe that there is no ideal length for email subject lines, as it varies depending on the device – mobile, desktop, and tablet devices.

The average length of a cold email subject line is about 60 characters, for the best results, try to keep your cold email subject lines below 60 characters. Keep it short, straight-to-the-point, and concise.

2. Always personalize your subject line

Email personalization is critical to the success of cold email outreach. While you might think this relates to the email body, subject lines are also good for personalization. Including your recipient’s name in the subject line is a smart way to build a connection with your recipient at first glance. According to Snovio, 62% of emails are opened for personalized subject lines.

Since people want to interact more with people rather than the brand, you should also send your cold emails with a formal email address rather than a generic email. For example, use rather than

3. Make it interesting

Your cold email is to someone who has no prior information or knowledge of you and your business offering.

To get the recipient to consider your email, read and possibly give you a response, your cold email subject line must contain interesting details such as recent news in the industry, a question on their project or an interesting fact about them, etc., capture their attention and arouse their interest in the email.

4. Offer value to them

Again, your cold email subject line is your first and probably only chance to gain their attention.

Whatever is it that your company is creating or selling, be sure to make an exciting offer to your recipients (one that they can’t resist and is closely related to their current goals or objectives). Consider all of this when creating an offer for your cold email subject line

5. Create urgency

Creating a sense of urgency in your email can make a lot of difference in the success of your email. Informing your recipients about a good deal that they can lose out on if they don’t make fast decisions.

Although this has been regarded as a successful hack for getting a high response rate in your emails, you must use this carefully as you don’t want to go claiming what’s not.

6. Include Keywords

Keywords are a good way for email users to filter and organize their inboxes. It allows them to find emails that matter to them compared to other promotional emails.

Including specific keywords that relate to your business in your email subject line can pass a message across to the recipient and help you get a good response rate.

7. Ask questions

Asking questions in your email subject line is an effective way to spark their interest and capture their attention. Consider asking relevant questions in your email subject line to arouse their curiosity and increase your email open rates.

8. Mention a mutual connection

Another surefire way to get your recipient’s attention and interest in your email is by mentioning a mutual connection in the email subject line. If you have either attended an event together, have a mutual acquaintance or any form of connection helps you get personal with them and increases the chances of your email being opened. Check out some best follow-up email samples.

9. Use power words

good subject line for cold email

Power words according to Hunter are persuasive and powerful words that can evoke the emotion and interest of a person.

They are short but punchy words that can help you penetrate the mind of your email recipients. Instead of using spammy words like “Bulk Email,” “Buy Now,” “Free,” “Amazing,” “Act Now,” etc., consider power words like “Unique,” “Best,” “Simple,” “Official,” “Certified,” etc.

Cold email subject line techniques to avoid

There are some cold email subject line techniques that you must avoid to increase the success of your cold outreach. Even if you abide by the above tips in your cold email subject lines, you must avoid using some shady techniques in your email campaign so as not to trigger spam filters or annoy your email recipients.

1. Avoid cliche email subject lines

The key to successful cold email campaigns is using a catchy subject line that is unique and specific to your brand to capture the attention of the email recipients and get them to open and read the email.

Avoid using cliche or overused email subject lines that are everywhere in your cold emails, as there’s a high chance that your recipients have probably also seen those subject lines and don’t add value to your brand.

2. Avoid using click baits

 subject line for cold email

Clickbait is the practice of writing misleading subject lines for the purpose of creating a sensation or just getting your email recipients to open your email.

While this can get your emails to be opened, there’s also a high chance that when next you send your emails with a genuine offer, your recipients won’t trust you enough to open the email because of past experiences. Ensure that when you promise something in your email, you stay true to the promise.

3. Avoid using tricks like “Fwd” or “Re” to form fake familiarity

 cold email subject line examples
The CoolCat Teacher

With the clear understanding that email subject lines are the first thing an email recipient sees in an email, some sales reps in desperation use misleading subject lines like “RE” or “FWD” at the beginning of the subject line to make it look like the email is a reply to previous email conversation or that it has either been forwarded from an existing contact.

Aside from the fact using this in email subject lines violates the CAN-SPAM regulations, it can also annoy your prospects and compel them to mark your subsequent emails as spam – which automatically ruins your chances of achieving your sales goals.

Cold email subject lines

Here are some good examples of cold email subject lines that will get you a good open and response rate.

1. When you have a mutual connection

These email subject lines are a good way to warm up your mutual connection. Email subject lines for a mutual contact will most likely get opened as the recipient will believe that the email is from someone they know and that the information contained in it will be relevant to them.

For these emails, the more your prospects trust the mutual connection, the more receptive they will be to your email. Examples of this subject line include:

1. Hi, {prospect name}! We met at a seminar in Brighton

2. Mutual connection with {name}

3. Saw your blog post on {social media account}

4. A colleague of {name of mutual contact}

5. Hi {Prospect’s name}. Nice meeting you at {event or seminar}

6. Hi {Prospect’s name}. {Name of mutual contact}} asked me to contact you

7. Introduction from {mutual connection}

2. Personalized Subject line

A personalized subject line includes relevant detail about the recipient in the subject line. It inserts important facts like their name, workplace, career goals, pain point, or other personal details worth mentioning. Examples of this subject line include:

8. Hi, {first name}

9. {Prospect’s name}, do you want a 40% increase in your revenue?

10. I made a custom report for you, {Prospect’s name}

11. A few growth hacks for {Prospect’s company}

12. Read your blog post on {blog post topic}

13. Hi {Prospect’s name}, Congrats on {event}

14. {Prospect’s name}, Are you comingfor {event}?

15. To new beginnings, Happy Birthday {Prospect’s name}!

3. Create a sense of urgency

This is a great subject line for urgent situations, deals, or offers and is mainly used to call your recipients attention to a time-based deal, offer or event. Consider using these subject lines only when the situation is urgent as described so as not to mislead or annoy the prospect. Examples of this subject line include:

16. {Name}, Last few tickets available

17. 3 days to go for {target}

18. Your competitors have hopped on {trend}, What are you waiting for?

19. {Prospect’s name}: You’re missing out on points.

20. URGENT! You’ve got ONE DAY to watch {resource/event recap}

21. Hurry {Name}! Your startup 7-figure plan goes bye-bye at midnight

22. 50% discount ends tomorrow: Have you ordered yet?

4. Curiosity Subject lines

Since humans are naturally curious beings, a curiosity subject line is used to drive email recipients’ urge to find more information. The key goal of curiosity subject lines is to arouse the curiosity of the prospects, urging them to find answers to incomplete details or information. Examples of this subject line include:

23. It has arrived!

24. We’ve got a surprise for you

25. Don’t open this!

26. Final chance to tap into this well of goodness

27. Here are some hacks your competition does to stay ahead

28. {Name}, can you keep a secret?

29. {Prospect’s name}, {Competition’s name} doubled their revenue by doing this

5. Asking a question

This subject line asks recipients relevant questions to spark their interest and encourages them to open the email. Consider asking your prospects questions that relate to them. Examples of this subject line include:

30. Blog post update?

31. Want to learn more about {solution}?

32. Available for a chat?

33. {Prospect’s name}, can we connect?

34. Ready to discuss {Problem/Pain point}?

35. Next step?

36. Your thoughts?

6. Sloth subject lines

A prominent trait of many people is that they tend to avoid work or perhaps, look for an easier way/route to doing things rather than the long and hard way. The sloth subject line gives recipients an easier way of doing things by providing them with a shortcut or resources to solve a problem or achieve a goal. Examples of this subject line include:

37. Ready-to-use blog post ideas

38. 63-Point Checklist for Creating the Email Opt-in Form

39. Grow your email list 10X faster with these 30 content upgrade ideas

40. How to email a top-level executive (including a word-for-word script)

41. A Guide to Creating a Native Ad in 60 Minutes or Less

42. 100 Tech Blog Post Ideas for You

43. 15 Ready-to-Use Email Marketing Templates

7. Pain Points Subject lines

This is an extension of the first subject line on asking questions. This subject line specifically asks questions related to the recipient’s pain points. Rather than general questions, it asks them career/business-related questions to provide them answers/solutions to the pain point. Examples of this subject line include:

44. {Prospect’s name}, are you struggling with {problem}?

45. Hi,{Prospect’s name}! Are you tired of hiring people who quit in a month?

46. Are your sales team underperforming?

47. {Prospect’s name}, What would a 40% increase in sales mean to you?

48. {Name}, Are you launching your products this way?

49. Where do you see your career in 5 years, {Name}?

50. Is your plan going as planned?

8. Humorous subject lines

Everyone loves humor, hence, humorous subject lines are created to make the recipients laugh. Good humor is an attention grabber, if done properly and carefully, humorous subject lines can give you a good open rate. Consider creating a funny short subject line that can make the recipients laugh and have a good time. Examples of this subject line include:

51. {Prospect’s name}, Try To Avoid These 27 People On New Year’s Eve

52. Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve)

53. We like you using us

54. NEW! Vacation on Mars

55. Boom shakalak! Let’s get started

56. No, not shutting shop yet!

57. Hello from the other side!

9. Value proposition subject lines

As the name implies, the value proposition subject line proposes value and benefits to the recipients. It offers them something valuable with the hope of getting them to open and respond to the emails in return. Examples of this subject line include:

58. Earn record-breaking revenue with {product or service}

59. A quick idea to improve {topic}

60. Save {amount or percentage} on {product or service}

61. Resources that can help {Company Name} right now

62. A lasting solution to your {Prospect’s problem}

63. Ideas for {goal}

64. Get 10+ hours of extra selling time

10. Congratulatory subject lines

People naturally love to be celebrated, praised, and honored. The congratulatory subject lines congratulate the recipients on recent achievements to start a conversation or get them good open rates. Examples of this subject line include:

65. Congratulations!

66. Congrats on your book launch!

67. {Name}, Your presentation at {event} was terrific

68. Way to go! Came across your new {book/blog/product}

69. Congratulations on your new role!

70. We celebrate you {Name}

71. {Your company name} is proud of you!

Follow-up cold email subject lines examples

Follow-up emails are important to take the conversation forward or in the case where you fail to break the ice the first time, you could use the follow-up email subject line to break the ice the second time. You can also use follow-up emails to remind the recipients of a previous email and continuously communicate with the prospect to nurture them to make sales.

Depending on the existing conversation between you and the prospect, you can create different subject lines for your follow-up emails or just follow the thread. Examples of some good follow-up email subject lines include:

72. Sending the info as promised

73. {Prospect’s Name}, Thanks for your time!

74. Let’s make a plan

75. {Prospect’s Name}, it’s been a long time since we spoke

76. Our next steps

77. {Prospect’s name}, I thought you might like these blogs

78. I’d love your feedback on that meeting

79. Prospect’s name}, I had this idea since we last spoke

80. Start with X options

81. Hello! Just checking in to see how things are going

82. Do you have any queries regarding us or our services?

83. I’d like to schedule an exclusive demo of our {{product/service}} for you.

84. It’s time for us to chat again

85. 10 Things You Should Know Before Purchasing Our Product.

Cold email subject line examples after no response

Since cold emails are sent to people you have no prior contact or connection with, there is a high possibility that you wouldn’t get a response to your email in the first, two to three trials. This is why you need these subject lines after no response from your recipients. The idea is to get them to read your emails. Examples of these subject lines include:

86. Where is the love?

87. Permission to close your file?

88. Should I stay or should I go?

89. Feeling blue? Like baby pandas?

90. I love everything in this email!

91. Are you still interested?

92. What would change your mind?

93. Let’s take another look at {topic}

94. If you change your mind about partnering with {your company}

95. Do not open this email

Cold email subject lines for meeting request

Meetings are an important part of the sales process. Before you sell your product or service to your prospects, you would need to set up a meeting with them once or twice. Below are examples of some of the best subject lines that can help you schedule a meeting with your prospect and most likely get a response from them.

96. Hi {prospect’s name} Do you have 5 minutes?

97. Are you free tomorrow at noon?

98. Want to show you something next week

99. 15 minutes this week?

100. Time for a quick touch base?

101. {Company name} + {Company name}: {Date}

102. Meeting invite: {Date}

103. Meeting request – You and me!

104. Can we meet, {prospect’s name}?

105. Requesting a meeting on {Day}

Tools to test your cold email subject lines

Consider using the following tools to test your cold email subject lines:

1. TestSubject by Zurb

 subject line cold email

This tool shows you how your email subject line is displayed on different mobile devices. It is free and all you need to do is to enter your subject line in the tab.

2. Email subject line grader

 subject line for a cold email

This tool analyzes the subject line based on many factors to determine how compelling and eye-catching it is in the eyes of your prospects. It assesses factors such as

  1. Word mixture and Balance
  2. Word count
  3. Character count.
  4. Power words.

It gives you a score after assessing your subject lines.


  cold email subject line sales

This email subject line tool evaluates the filtering and deliverability issues, as well as marketing and performance-based concerns. This tool works by entering your details and filling out the form to view the email assessment results.


 cold email introduction subject line

This tool checks to ensure that your subject line does not contain any spam triggering words by spam filters in your recipient’s email. It works by sending a mail of your email copy and subject line to the mail address above to get a detailed report of your content.

5. Content editing tool

  subject line for cold sales email
Website Rating

Content editing tools are software programs designed to edit content before publishing it online. They include spell checker, grammar checker, plagiarism detector, and more, etc. Best examples include Grammarly, HemingwayApp, Evernote, Prepostseo, etc.

Cold Email Subject Line: Final Thoughts

Cold email subject lines are your solution to getting good email open rates and response rates. The best cold email subject lines evoke the interest of their recipients, arouse their curiosity, and compel them to take an action. They don’t mislead, overpromise or provide fake information to the prospect.

A good subject line will help you drive traffic to your website, boost your email open rates and help you get a reasonable response rate. It must be clear, straightforward, and easy to understand. Pay attention to the above tactics to create subject lines that get the attention of your recipients and help you achieve your desired goals.