Subject lines for sales prospecting

Why Email Subject Lines for Sales Prospecting Matter So Much

Outreach is an important part of the sales prospecting process. And, when it comes to cold prospecting, emails are the way to go. An email is less intrusive than a phone call. The recipient can read it at their leisure. At the same time, prospecting emails are highly actionable. With just a click, a potential customer can quickly move forward if they are interested, or reject the solicitation outright.

Emails are also an essential part of efforts to automate the sales process. Calling takes time, but emails can be personalized and sent out en masse using email sales templates.

Of course, prospects won’t respond to an email that isn’t engaging. They’re not going to open one that doesn’t appeal to them either. That’s why it’s so crucial to writing email subject lines that earn clicks. Figuring out how to do this is a real art you need to learn. 47% of prospects decide to open emails based on the subject line. Even more harrowing is the fact that 69% of people will report unopened email as spam, simply because of the subject line.

Fortunately, certain techniques can help. Take a look at 17 email subject lines for sales proecting that will be sure to increase your open rate.


What You Should Know About Email Subject Lines and Sales

It helps to remember that your email subject line is much like the headline of an article or blog post. Ideally, it grabs attention, but that’s not all. Your subject line should also offer up some promise or value proposition. That’s what will get the recipient to open your email. Here are some other important email subject line tips:

  • Use numbers or ask a question to increase the chances of your email being opened.
  • Create a sense of urgency.
  • Make the reader curious.
  • Offer something exclusive.
  • Make it personal.
  • Say something flattering.
  • Keep it up to date.
  • Avoid caps or excessive exclamation points.
  • Get rid of scammy language (Congratulations! You Are The Winner!)
  • Don’t mislead about the contents of your email.

Speaking about the contents of your email, let’s not ignore that altogether. The email and subject line must work together. If you are struggling to write something that is compelling and flows check out Subjecto. Here, you find samples that help you improve the basics of your writing skills.

Finally, before you think about email subject lines and content, segment your audience! You will be in a better position to write a killer email subject line if you are addressing it to a very specific audience. You will be able to address their needs and pain points in a way that is most relevant to them.


1.   5 Ways Acme Services Can Help You Today!

Subject lines with numbers in them tend to perform better. That may be why you clicked on this article. That’s just one reason a subject line like this can be effective. Instead of positioning yourself as just another salesperson, you are reaching out as someone who can help. Let’s face it. People are much more receptive to ‘here’s how I can help you as an opening line than they are ‘Buy my product!’ Use a subject line like this to start a positive relationship with a new prospect.

2.   Joe Smith Suggested I Reach Out

If you are reaching out thanks to a referral, name-dropping is the way to go. You immediately create a connection and a sense of familiarity. Even better, if the referrer is someone your prospect trusts and respects, that name could earn you that click.

Whatever you do, avoid the temptation to make up a character to do outreach. You should also refrain from pretending to have someone in common when that relationship doesn’t exist.

3.   Do You Have 2 Minutes?

Here’s another subject line that uses a number. It also indicates respect for the potential customers and indicates that reading the email won’t take much time. It also turns out that people are more responsive when they believe something will be easier or less time-consuming. If you’ve got a time-saving solution to sell, emphasize that in your subject line.

4.   Congratulations on Your Growth

People may claim they don’t like to be buttered up. In reality, most do. Open with a compliment over a recent achievement or milestone. This subject line is full of emotional appeal and leverages the common desire everyone has to feel special.

5.   Are You Ready For Summer?

The best time to reach out to a prospect is ahead of an important event. For a company in the tourism business, that could be the upcoming summer vacation season. Children’s clothing companies often wait for the start of the school year with nervous anticipation.

This email subject line will get your prospect thinking. Am I ready for this upcoming event? What should I be doing? If the event is just around the corner, this also creates that sense of urgency.

6.   It’s Not Too Late!

Here’s another example that uses the sense of urgency to earn clicks. This is also a great subject line to use when you are following up with a prospect. Just keep in mind that you have to deliver some kind of payoff in the text of your email. Otherwise, the bait and switch will likely cost you a customer.

7.   There’s Something we Want to Tell You

The prospect knows who you are, but are they missing a key piece of information? Now it’s time to share a tidbit of data about your company to pique the interest of your potential customer.

The key here is to choose that extra factoid carefully. It should be relevant to the recipient and be something that nudges them down the sales funnel a bit.

8.   We’ve Been so Busy Lately!

This is a casual subject line that communicates your understanding if a prospect hasn’t responded to previous outreach efforts. After all, you’ve been crazy busy as well!

This subject line can also create a bit of curiosity. What have you been busy doing? Are there new updates that your prospect wants to know about? If they want to find out, they’ll have to open your email.

9.   Should we Add You to Our List?

Sometimes, being just a bit mysterious is a good thing. What list are you talking about? Is it an email subscription list? A do-not-call list? Maybe it’s a list of VIP customers with access to exclusive offers.

10. Just a Quick Question, Rob

A few subtle things are going on here. The most obvious is that the subject line has been personalized. You also create the expectation that whatever you expect from the recipient, you won’t be wasting their time. Finally, anyone reading the subject line can’t help but wonder exactly what the question is.

Consider your audience before you use this one. Some people find this level of personalization to be invasive and creepy. Know your customers. Remember that you can also personalize an email headline by simply making it relevant.

11. How do You Handle Supply Chain Issues?

Ask an open-ended question to get your potential client thinking about one of their pain points. Questions are also conversation starters, and the best way to continue the conversation is for the client to click your email.

If the recipient actually answers the question, that’s even better. It allows you to learn more about them and enables them to share a problem that you can solve. That’s absolute gold should your prospect evolve into a lead. While they consider your question, your prospect may begin to recognize some needs they have that you can meet.

12. Let’s Solve Your Supply Chain Problem

In this case, you know the pain point. Now, you are simply reaching out with an effort to help them solve it. This may be the most direct form of email prospecting, but it is quite effective.

Also, when your email subject directly addresses something that impacts them, it shows you understand. You’ve taken the time to research the client and have an answer that is relevant to them. There’s nothing like the solution to a problem to get someone to open your email.

13. How Did You Survive The Pandemic?

This is a part compliment and part query. The recipient is flattered that you noticed their success and prepared to provide you with an answer. Most importantly, you’ve made the exchange all about the customer, and that’s a quick way to start things off on the right foot. Of course, you are free to substitute any relevant event that you would like.

14. Any Thoughts on AMC Stock Sales?

When you make your subject line about a current event, you are sure to draw attention. When that news is relevant to your industry, you create the opportunity to show a bit of thought leadership while giving the recipient their chance to respond as well. This subject line also proves that you are aware of industry events and prepared to tackle their impact. Look for a current topic that represents a pain point or potential opportunity.

15. You Really Did it, Didn’t You?

This can come off a bit cheeky, and that is okay! There’s nothing wrong with showing a bit of personality. You can use this subject line to pivot the conversation towards a recent accomplishment of your prospect or to express shock that they have come so far without the benefits of your product or service.

16. Thanks For The Great Advice

Sometimes, reaching out is really reaching up. If you are seeking a business relationship with a potential client who is noteworthy for some reason, consider using a subject line that compliments them. This one does just that, and it indicates that you and the prospect have interacted with one another before. It’s a great subject line for building a relationship and encouraging a ‘getting to know you’ exchange. Try this one if you are reaching out to an industry influencer or thought leader.

17. Can we Talk Now?

This is another follow-up subject line that is simple and to the point. You are simply reaching out and asking if you have contacted them at a time that is convenient to them. There’s also a chance of making a subtle, psychological impact. You could make the recipient feel just ever so slightly guilty if they haven’t responded to you before. Don’t be afraid to try some alternatives like, Are You Ready to Connect Again?

How do You Choose The Right Subject Line?

Put yourself in the shoes of a potential client. What would motivate you to open an email to learn more about your business, your products, or your services? Your best subject line could come directly from this list of 17, or you can use these examples as a guide.

Once you’ve chosen, track your results. Use A/B testing to compare the results after trying out small changes in your subject lines. It may take a bit of tweaking, but eventually, you will land on the ideal headline.

Final Thoughts: Are You Putting Enough Thought Into Your Email Subject Lines?

Yes, these are only a few words, but they deserve nearly as much thought as the content of the emails. After all, your subject line determines whether your sales prospect becomes a lead, or they just keep scrolling. Take some time to determine what you want from the recipient, and how you can best show them you have something worth their time. Then, use one of the subject lines above to inspire something that is truly click-worthy. Your amazing subject line combined with a compelling pitch is sure to generate a pipeline.


Author Bio: Linda Ferguson is a seasoned writer and editor with a passion for sales and marketing. She works hard to create actionable content that helps business owners achieve success. Linda also enjoys running, bowling, and writing fiction.

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