How to Write Effective Email Subject Lines for Sales Prospecting

So, you have decided to try, or even optimize, cold email outreach as part of your prospecting process—great choice! Email is a much more convenient and efficient method than cold calling each prospect. It’s less intrusive, and your recipients can open and read the email at their leisure. In seconds, your potential customer can reject the offer or take action if they are interested.

Using email sales templates and automation, emails can be personalized and sent out with ease. However, if your subject lines aren’t engaging, they won’t get opened. That’s why it’s critical to write effective email subject lines for sales prospecting; 47% of recipients decide to open emails based solely on email subject lines. Even worse, 69% send emails straight to their spam folder based on those subject lines.

Fortunately, there is an art to writing effective email subject lines for sales prospecting that you can easily learn. By following these tips, techniques, and examples that experienced professionals have used to write their subject lines, you’ll be off to a good start. Let’s get started.

Make the Reader Curious

Think about the emails you open. Would you open an email if the subject line didn’t pique your curiosity? Probably not. One way to write a cold email to interest prospects is to give them a little teaser of what’s to come. A simple question can go a long way. They’ll want to open the email to find out more.

Example: “Question about [goal]”

Source: HubSpot

Address Their Pain Points

Address the prospect’s pain points right out of the gate. This is a very effective technique for getting potential customers to open your email. You don’t even need to get too specific for your industry, but you might see better results if you do. It’s usually not too difficult to make an educated guess after conducting research. What are the major professional problems most of your prospects are dealing with?

Example: “Disengaged customers?”

Source: Close

Mention a Shared Contact

If appropriate, always mention a mutual connection. It could be someone that went to the same school, a mutual acquaintance, or even someone in the same LinkedIn group. Finding referrals, or any kind of common ground, and including it in your subject line can increase your open rates.

Example: “Joe Smith suggested I reach out”

Source: Timetoreply

Personalized Subject Lines

By personalizing your email subject lines for sales prospecting, you can increase your open rates by 5%. That might not seem like much, but it’s certainly worth the extra effort.

If you need help writing your cold emails, download our free eBook, "The Complete Introduction to Cold Emailing"!

By adding some human touch to your subject lines, you’ll look much less spammy to your prospects. For better results, try to add something beyond just their name.

Example: “Hey, [name], I loved your blog post on [website name]”

Source: RingCentral

Keep it Short and Concise

We all have a finite amount of time to get work done during our day. The last thing any of us want to do is spend too much time reading emails from strangers. By keeping your subject lines short, your recipients can read more of the message preview, which means they’ll also see the first sentence of your email before opening it. So you’ll want to ensure that your first sentence is just as impactful as your subject line.

Example: “Time to meet?”

Source: Outreach

Make the Email About Them

This isn’t the time to introduce yourself, your company, or your offering. Sales prospecting emails are all about them. What value do you add? What’s the benefit of opening your email? Put yourself in their shoes. Include resources, helpful tips, or materials that can help them solve a problem.

This isn’t the time to be too sales-oriented. Save that for your call to action. Your subject line is all about building rapport and connecting with the recipient.

Example: “Can I help you reach [specific goal/result]?”

Source: Pipedrive

Research Your Prospect

Target your recipients’ interests for better results. Read their website and LinkedIn profiles to find out more about them. People appreciate when someone has put forth the effort to get to know them before reaching out. It shows how much you care. And if you can’t find their email, use an email lookup tool that allows you to find business emails based on the company website.

Example: “Julia, Increase Your SE Rankings Today!”

Source: EasyMail7

Test Email Subject Lines

Test which email subject lines for sales prospecting work best. That way you can scale your prospecting campaigns and determine what works for your industry and offering.

Through A/B testing, you can create multiple versions of the same email, just with different subject lines. You can test these emails on different audiences to see which emails got higher open rates. This way, you can take some of the guesswork out of sales prospecting.

“While every company’s email program is different, you should at least include testing in your campaigns regularly, if not in every campaign. Determine what works best for your company and marketing program and stick to it.”

- Tom Wozniak, Forbes Councils Member and Head of Marketing at OPTIZMO

Keep a Clean Email List

If emails are consistently bouncing or not getting opened, you should remove them from your cold email list. If you keep sending to those email addresses, you could damage the deliverability with your other recipients.

It’s also wise to segment your prospecting recipients into different industries, titles, interests, or topics. Segmentation makes it easier to personalize emails and send highly relevant information.
Just remember that the perfect email subject lines for sales prospecting won’t help you get responses unless you do the right research beforehand. Part of this research is finding email addresses that are linked to a prospect.

Skrapp.io, for example, is an email lookup tool that helps you find real email addresses for professionals at any company. Whether it's through LinkedIn, a company's websites, or using our in-app features, we help you build accurate email lead lists for your next email campaign.

Try our prospecting email tool to find the verified contact information you need to fill out your email list.

Free eBook: The Complete Introduction to Cold Emailing

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