Your cold email subject line is singlehandedly the most important variable in your cold outreach campaign. If you get it wrong, your offer will never make it to the decision-maker. They'll pass it by and you'll miss out on a key prospect.
Get your cold email subject lines right, however, and you've hit a gold mine. If you are able to engage someone with that first line and force them to click open, you've done the hard part. From there, your chances of converting them from a cold prospect to a paying customer is far better.
The best part?
Subject lines are both a science and an art, and once you understand what makes them tick, you can replicate your success over and over across different industries, different offers, to different customers.
And today, we're going to cover everything you need to know about cold email subject lines. We'll discuss why you should take the time to read this complete guide in just a moment, and then we'll explain why your current subject lines are falling short.
Then, we'll help you learn how to craft cold email subject lines that result in better open rates and more calls/sales. At the very end, we'll let you in on a little secret that can change the way you do cold outreach forever. You're not going to want to miss this - so stick around!
Why Is The Cold Email Subject Line So Important?
If you don't know why the subject line of your cold email matters so much, we'll quickly enlighten you. With a cold email, you're placing yourself and your offer in front of a person that has no idea who you are.
Most often, that person is incredibly busy. They get hit with emails from people like you every day. Most of the time, they get hit with the same types of subject lines. That person you're trying to email has been trained to archive or trash your email before they even open it just based on your subject line.
That's why you need to really garner their attention with your subject line. It should practically force them to open your email - either by pure intrigue or because they believe it will benefit them. The stakes are high here. You could have the best email body copy to ever grace their inbox - and your offer could be exactly what they need.
But if your subject line doesn't sell them on the open?
They'll never know. You'll never have the opportunity to help them, and they'll never have the chance to hand you their credit card. You both end up losing.
As such, it is your duty to learn how to craft cold email subject lines that are just too good to pass over. You're on the right track reading our guide this far - but we're just getting started. Let's talk about what you may be doing wrong right now if your subject lines aren't converting into the open rate you're looking for.
Why So Many Marketers Get Cold Email Subject Lines Wrong
If you've been in business long enough, you've likely been hit with a number of cold email subject lines yourself. We're able to see right through these. Here are some of the most common mistakes we see people making when they send out their cold emails.
Generic, Unpersonalized Subject Lines
It's painfully obvious when someone sends you an email that they've blasted out to a list of thousands of others. We all crave authenticity, and if you don't give it to the people you're emailing in the form of personalized subject lines, they'll sniff it out a mile away.
You should be putting their name in the subject line, or perhaps their business name. If you've got enough of their data, you can even use gender, location, age, hobbies, profession, all of this stuff to your advantage.
If you don't focus on crafting personalized subject lines, you're wasting your time.
Not Using Intro Text Carefully
What is the intro text to your email? It's the snipped of text that comes after your subject line. Many email software will allow you to customize intro text - otherwise, it will pull the first line of text from your email body.
Your reader is going to look at your subject line first, of course. It's bigger and bolded. But, if you do your job with the subject line, they'll then look below to the intro text and determine if it warrants opening the email or not.
So, be sure you've followed up a personalized, captivating subject line with equally personalized and captivating intro text.
Not Using Urgency or Scarcity
No, we're not recommending you use the fake urgency or scarcity tactics that marketers are guilty of.
"10 copies left before it's gone forever!"
We've all seen this annoying tactic used by our favorite gurus. Spoiler alert, there is an unlimited number of copies of their Gumroad course!
But with that said, urgency and scarcity have their place. Say you're looking to bring on one more client for the month - leveraging that single spot somehow in your subject line or intro text is a great way to encourage an open. Just be sure you're only using urgency or scarcity in a scenario where these things actually exist. Don't be like the guru we just made fun of.
Optimizing Emails & Subject Lines For Desktop Instead Of Mobile
While you might format your email and send it from your desktop, it's very unlikely that's where the recipient will be reading it. These days, over 80% of people open emails or clear their inbox right on their smartphone.
As such, you'll need to consider how many characters of your subject line and intro text will be displayed in a mobile inbox. You can easily check this by sending test emails to your phone. Most email software allows you to preview the format of your email in a user's inbox - on different operating systems, such as mac, ios, or even android.
Also - be sure you're not running into any issues with formatting in terms of special characters, numbers, emojis, etc. Sometimes, these can get lost in translation across different operating software and will result in unrecognizable shapes or text. As you can probably imagine, something like this won't get opened.
Worse yet? These types of special characters tend to get picked up by spam filters these days. Using emojis can be a great idea, but it is definitely a fine line. If you get carried away, you'll likely end up in the spam box or promotions folder. If this happens, your subject line never stands a chance.
Screaming At The Recipient In The Subject Line
Many people who are desperate for clicks will start using exclamation points to draw attention to their email. This is a terrible idea - don't yell at your audience!!!!!
See how that felt? We apologize - it was rude of us to yell.
But, we wanted to prove a point. That's how your recipients feel when you go too heavy with the punctuation. If you're going to use an exclamation point, stick to just one.
Adding Spammy Words To The Subject Line
There are some characteristically spammy words that we associate with cold email, or marketing in general, these days. You are probably using some of these in your subject lines right now.
While you may think these are helping you out, they're likely hurting you in the long run. Here are some phrases we recommend you avoid in your subject line copy:
- Act Fast
- Limited Time
Not only are these phrases going to raise the guard of whoever you're sending cold emails to. But, these days, computers have picked up on these spammy words too - and their internal alarms go off.
If you aren't careful, your email can get sent straight to the spam folder or promotions tab by using these words in your subject line. These phrases may be important to your offer - that's when as a copywriter, you need to get creative to come up with less spammy/gimmicky ways to say the same thing.
Improper Subject Line Length
One of the dumbest subject line mistakes you can make is in terms of length: either too short or too long.
Obviously, if your subject line is too long, it will get cut off in the user's inbox. You can see how this is a problem. If not, imagine this scenario:
You're trying to pitch your offer to someone in the elevator, but right when you get to the good point, your voice goes mute. They're going to be confused. When we get confused, we lose interest most of the time. Don't mistake confusion with intrigue - they are very different!
On the other hand, if your subject line is too short, you're going to have a hard time garnering interest or attention. Some people used to think that the one-word subject line was one of the greatest subject line examples out there. But, these tend to get sent straight to the junk folder these days. If they do make it into the inbox, the chances of it triggering an open are low.
Misaligned Subject Lines & Email Body
The final mistake we see marketers making with their cold email subject lines today is a misaligned header and offer - or in this case, the subject line and email body.
Let's say you craft an incredible subject line - and you're getting all kinds of opens. At that point, it becomes the email body's job to push the reader into the next bucket - whether that's heading to the website to make a purchase or it's going to your calendar to book a call.
But if they come for the subject line, and find that what is in the email body isn't consistent, they'll be confused at first. That confusion will then turn to frustration and a lack of trust, at which point they'll report your email, send you to junk, unsubscribe, etc.
That's why you need to work on creating a cohesive user experience from the first time they see your email to when they get on the phone with you or receive a product. This uniformity is more important than you think!
Automate Your Cold Email Outreach With Quicklines!
We aren't going to lie - crafting winning cold email subject lines isn't easy. If it were, you wouldn't be here reading this complete guide still! But the fact of the matter is that winning subject lines separate the best marketers from the rest.
What if you could use technology to your advantage to automatically craft a cold email subject line for you? What if that technology could help you use data to get more opens, and thus, book more meetings or get more sales?
It can - these days, if you're writing a cold email subject line manually, you're living in the past. It's time to get with the times and use Quicklines - the #1 cold email writer online.
Why Choose Quick Lines To Automate Your Cold Email Outreach?
With Quicklines, you're able to dramatically improve your cold outreach performance. We're not talking about incremental changes that don't really move the needle. Believe us when we say this is something you need to seriously look into if you want to get better results with cold emails.
Don't believe us? You don't have to - these numbers speak for themselves.
We've helped clients generate an additional $4.7 million in sales by using our software. Customers enjoyed an average increase in positive responses of 150%, with 4.3x more meetings booked.
Maybe you aren't looking for help with cold email specifically, but you're still looking to leverage that "first line" power. Looking to achieve a mutual connection on LinkedIn instead? Our software helps with that, too. Users have seen 333% increase in mutual connection acceptance rate when using Quicklines.
With us, you're able to scale up your effective cold outreach and achieve results that would otherwise be impossible. If you've done the hard work to build up a list and scrape the data for these contacts, you might as well do what it takes to get them to open your emails - and that's where we come in. Here is how it works.
How Our Software Works
Using Quicklines is super easy. All you need to do is create your account. Don't stress about payment for now - we offer a 7-day free trial so you can see what the software is all about before pulling out a credit card.
From there, you'll upload your lead lists. Add prospects via LinkedIn URL or a CSV file. After that, you can get 10+ lines for each prospect. Save, and send in a click.
That's it - from there, you'll be able to sit back and watch the meetings flow into your calendar or watch the mutual connection acceptance rates soar. Once you see the results that are possible with Quicklines, we're confident you'll want to come back and sign up for a full-fledged plan.
We offer three tiers right now, with the lowest starting at just $49. How incredible is that? You'll be able to achieve an insane ROI on this investment if you close just a single deal using a first-line by Quicklines.
So what are you waiting for? There is no risk to trying us out today - don't waste any more time. You could be closing deals right now!