Email is one of the preferred communication channels of our time. Need proof?  Well, studies show that the average working professional receives 121 emails a day.  

Cold emails for sales are also among the most effective methods for business growth.  Email marketing has 2x higher ROI than networking, cold calls, or even trade shows, according to Marketing Sherpa.

So, it follows that the first impression created by the subject line will determine if the prospect will open the cold call email to read its content or discard it.

A recent survey by MailChimp revealed that a subject line with 28-39 characters had the highest click rate in a study of 200 million emails, thus emphasizing the need to create attractive and precise subject lines.

Here are 5 compelling cold call email subject lines that will ignite your prospect’s enthusiasm:

“[Mutual connection] recommended I get in touch” or “[Name] referred me to you”

Referrals are gold in sales.  They’re resourceful and influential, and referred prospects are shown to have a 61%  close rate*.  So, if you have a common acquaintance with the prospect, be sure to mention their name in your subject line.  Referrals warm the relationship between the prospect and the rep, and the higher the trust levels, the higher the likelihood of a click-through.

“Question about [goal]”

We all know the old adage: curiosity killed the cat. Luckily, for our purposes it also opens emails. Questions provoke answers. Humans are naturally curious, and this leads them to investigate uncertainties and seek a resolution. As an added incentive, clearing uncertainties is also mentally satisfying. Thus this subject line will provoke a prospect to open the cold call email to find it out.

“I hope all is well”

This line is reported by some to provide huge boosts to open rates from decision-makers. It stands out from the self-centered approach employed by a number of reps. It’s refreshing and demonstrates genuine concern for the recipient. The primary reason for its success rate is that it focuses on building relationships from the beginning instead of an immediate transaction.

“[Name], we can help you [goal]”

Nothing gives a prospect a sense of ownership than having their name in the subject line. It symbolizes a personal touch and emphasizes that the message is just for the prospect. This works because people love to be called by their names, and respond very positively to the personalization.


Yeah, you read that right. A study of 6.4 million emails at HubSpot sales revealed that cold call email with blank subject lines are 8% more effective for open compared to those with written subject lines. If it’s becoming challenging to write a great subject line, just send a blank subject line once in awhile.


*Updated on 3/30/2018 to reflect new statistics


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