This is the Ultimate Guide for your Next Cold Email Subject Line

- 16 minutes read

Many people struggle every single day when they face the task of contacting someone via email. When you must decide your cold email subject line, things aren’t different. Subject lines are extremely important in order to get people to read your email, so you must craft it carefully.

The truth is even for warm emails, and newsletters we have signed for, without a catchy subject line, we’re going to ignore it – or even delete it, if you’re an inbox zero person. So with cold emails we must be even more cautious. You know why? Well, because:

Without an incredible subject line, the content of your email doesn’t matter at all.

Have you ever felt frustrated for something like this? Imagine you have a perfect product, a great content around it, but unfortunately, you’re not reaching people simply because your cold email subject line sucks. And well, you’re not alone, be assured of it.

In order to avoid poorly-written subject lines, there are many factors which can help you organise your work and make this task easy peasy.

Let’s kick it off by thinking about what helps your message to get a better open rate. If you want to go directly to the cold email subject line section,please click here.


Important information to help your email

Alright, so you want to increase your open rate. But what is it? Well, it’s simply the ratio between the amount of email that were successfully sent and the amount of people that opened it.

For instance: You sent an email for a list of 1.000 people. Right from the beginning, 300 emails bounced, so recipients won’t get them. After that, 70 people opened your message. So it’s 1000 – 300 = 700. 70/700 = 0,1, which is 10% open rate.

So now that you know what it is, how can your company increase these numbers? You can start it even before email.

Get to know your aims

When you work in a well focused company, which knows exactly why every step is being done and how to make the most of them. Many companies’ purpose is “to make money”. That’s no purpose at all! You must think about what moves your business, what makes you wake up every morning, motivating you to get to do what you do.

And it all reflects on your relationship with customers – which, surprise, includes email! -, so they know when you’re really trying to help them. Nowadays customers have a very good radar to recognise when you sound like a spammer.

Differentiate your company

Think about what you can offer that no one else can. Why did your company was opened in the first place? Sometimes it might be a huge thing, while others you might be overlooking your advantages. But when you find it, think about how good these assets are and explore their functionalities in order to inspire customers to buy more.


Now what about if you don’t have a very clear advantage among your competitors? Well, maybe it’s time to find your niche. Specialise your company to deliver the best product/service/experience to specific people/companies and you’ll get loyal customers for life.

Understand your lead generation

When asked about where to find new leads, many people believe their own website is a cool place. Well… DUH! How come leads will get massively to your website if they don’t know your company yet?


If you’re satisfied with average, you can stop there, but great companies think forward. They build influence and leverage, they get known, explore markets and medias to get more leads. Here’s some medias your company should be in:

  • Blogging platform;
  • Guest blogging in partners websites;
  • Email marketing lists;
  • Social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn;
  • Blogging networks, such as Medium;
  • News websites, with a press kit;
  • And where else you can get people to talk about your company.

The truth is only the ones who are talked about are the ones that get remembered. Make sure your company don’t settle and gets forgotten.

Ok, now let’s say you’ve followed the steps above and your company is set up for the next move. Before thinking about a cold email subject line, you must think of what kind of content you’ll use in your messages. After all, even if you have a great subject line, nothing can save a crappy content.

Cold emails help you create more relationships, but further than that, you must keep these relationships warm and valuable in order to keep these customers. Everyone wants a good service, but also to feel like a special client, which receives relevant information and remains connected to provider and the market.


If you want to craft a brilliant cold email subject line, you should first have your prospect’s email, right? Well, many companies struggle to get this information. However, nowadays it has become much easier to get them. Many softwares can boost your reach.



One of my favourites is called It uses LinkedIn contacts information in order to get email contacts. It surely works smoothly and helps optimise time, so you save it a lot. Here’s how it works:

  1. You install plug-in in your browser, so it will start working seamlessly;
  2. You’ll see there’s a new button called “Add Prospect” beside every person’s profile in LinkedIn. Just click it and will find this person’s information for you automatically.
  3. Add your favourite prospects, in order to organise people which will receive your e-mails;
  4. The application will look for every person’s contact informations, such as most probable e-mail account;
  5. You’ll be guided to send (or schedule) e-mails and their follow-ups to your prospects, or you can even export your email list to whatever service you already use.


Lead generation is part of a sales team work. So you are going to need an structure in order to optimise your lead generation, starting by a inside sales team (as you divide sales responsibilities through different people, or even teams, you facilitate their work, making it more productive and less overloaded). Here it follows an ideal team structure, based on my experience, you should have at least one person in each of the below:

  • Prospect and Lead generation, which will pass leads ahead when they become “warm leads” to;
  • Appointment setting, which will provide further information to leads, in order to facilitate the conversion. These people might also have to give further information that watsn given during the first step of sales process;
  • Calls, demos and closing, which will always work with prepared leads, which past through both previous stages, and will try to close business with them;
  • Customer success, which will do after-sales work, helping customers and trying to provide the best experience.

Even if you can’t afford to break your team, or having multiple people working on it, you should break your sales processes in order to organise work and convert more.

Ok, now let’s say your work until now is complete. So you have a well prepared company, with a good purpose, positioning, you are available in many different medias, so your target can get to you more easily, you have your email list and even your sales team. Wow, lots of work, but there’s still plenty ahead if you really want to keep these leads nurtured and loyal. But it really worths all the work.

So let’s move on to the cold email subject line tips and templates!


I found the video below when I was looking for content to write this article. I found it very truthful and simple at the same time, which is why I want to share it with you. It comes with the following templates:

Use mutual connection

You gain people’s trust easily when you have someone in common to endorse you. Great subject lines are written with this trick every single day.

Your current clients can give you referrals to their partners very easily in case you know they have this connection in common.

In case you have no one in common, it’s still fine, you can look up on the Internet and get some information about the company, such as articles, news… and use them as your referral. The most important here is to give them some context. They must read the information, know what you’re talking about and most importantly, get interested in it.

Also, make sure the first paragraph of your email – which appear on the preview – has some content related to the information in the subject line, so it’ll gain more credibility.

Template: Hey <NAME>, found you through <MUTUAL CONNECTION>.

Use personalised pitches

In order to get their attention, you can also use generic catchy phrases in a personalised way. It usually works then you use a name that will gain their attention instantly, such as their own names, their company names and even positive words, such as “improve”, “gain”, “money”…

If you’re gonna do it from an excel list, please make sure that all names in the spreadsheet are correct, in order to avoid weird phrases or even to look like a copy and paste, which will make you instantly irrelevant.


How <THEIR COMPANY> has so much to grow with <YOUR SERVICE>;

You can also use fully generic subject lines

Although it’s not much recommended, many people still get interested in sending the same subject line to all recipients. A cold email subject line which is fully personalised gets a much bigger chance to be opened and it all worths in the end.

However, if you want to try it anyways, it’s the easiest way to send cold email in bulk. You just choose one subject line and go for it. You should go like this:

Template: Hi from <YOUR NAME>;

Also, here are further tips to craft a great cold email subject line, which will improve your open rates easily. Don’t forget ReplyUp is great for personalising and tracking your cold emails.
cold email subject line

This might be useful!

Make your best and show empathy with this subject line. It makes your customers more aware of your service and you will look more trust-worthy for them.

Did you find what you were looking for?

This follow-up subject line is great for when you track website visitors and know they didn’t finish their task. Works great for e-commerce websites and service-providers, for when customers leave a shopping cart without payment.

Know more about <topic>!

If you have a content marketing source, such as a blog, or other social medias, you can use this subject line to send educative and inspiring emails, so they can know more about new launches and releases, also, they can get to know better your product/service.

e.g. Know more about sales prospecting!
       Get to understand how SMM (social media marketing) works in 2016.

<Benefit> in <time>

When you know your clients have no time – which is the reality of many companies, it’s nice to give them a clue of how much time they’ll need to read your email. This also works if you have a software-as-a-service business.

e.g. Get to finally control your finances in 3 minutes!
       2 minutes to improve your business meetings forever.

Hi <name>, <question of interest/goal>?

Questions are great assets to provoke your target and bring answers. You should try it!

e.g. Hi Jéssica, do you already know how to set-up your account?
       Hey, Matt! Want to increase DesignerNow's revenue? 

So, how do you get your cold email subject line done in your company? Let us know!

Review Date
Reviewed Item
Cold Email Subject Line
Author Rating