The 40+ Best Email Subject Lines for Sales

ByThelma D. Griggs

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July 29, 2022·7 min read

We’ve rounded up the foundational best practices for crafting the best email subject lines for sales, including writing tips and examples you can steal for yourself.

Half the people you email decide whether to open your email based on its subject line alone. If you spend all your time crafting the perfect email and neglect the subject line, that’s a 50% margin for error, lost sales, and lost revenue. In this article, we’re sharing five foundational best practices for crafting striking subject lines, six specific writing tips you can use, and an inspiring list of 40+ examples that get emails opened and lead to closed deals.

From top sellers’ advice on tailoring your subject lines for any sales outreach scenario to phenomenal subject line examples—bookmark this article to return to any time you feel stuck and need to get your creative email juices flowing.

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  1. Contents
  2. 1. 5 Foundational Best Practices for Unforgettable Sales Email Subject Lines
  3. 1.1 Prioritize Simplicity and Brevity
  4. 1.2 Personalize Your Sales Email Subject Lines
  5. 1.3 Watch Your Tone
  6. 1.4 Evoke an Emotional Reaction
  7. 1.5 Don’t Get Jaded
  8. 2. 6 Tips For Writing Striking Sales Subject Lines for Any Scenario with 40+ Examples
  9. 2.1 For Cold Outreach—Use Curious Word Choices
  10. 2.2 For Inbound Lead Follow-Ups—Leave Them Hanging
  11. 2.3 For Booking Meetings—Use Internal Camouflage
  12. 2.4 For Follow Ups And Networking—Make Them The Expert
  13. 2.5 For Promotional Emails—Subvert Their Expectations
  14. 2.6 For Leads That Have Gone Cold—Surprise Them
  15. 3. Creating The Best Sales Email Subject Lines Is Easier Than You Think

5 Foundational Best Practices for Unforgettable Sales Email Subject Lines

1. Prioritize Simplicity and Brevity

Your sales email subject lines should be short and sweet—1-5 words is ideal. That way the first line of the email is visible without opening it. Emails with shorter subject lines perform better, according to Mailchimp.

Email Subject Line For Sales No-No: Don’t send an email without a subject line. It can be perceived as lazy.

“The shorter your subject line, the more characters of the first line of the email they see. Make sure it’s personalized and resonates with the persona. Show them you know them.”

Head shot of Kyle Coleman quoting best email subject lines for sales

Kyle ColemanClariSVP, Marketing

2. Personalize Your Sales Email Subject Lines

Make sure your sales email subject line is relevant to the recipient. When constructing your subject lines, write them in lowercase to appear casual and include their first name, e.g. [Name], question about your book.

Your recipient should feel like your email fits naturally among the regular correspondence they usually get—the kinds of emails they actually read.

Email Subject Line For Sales No-No: Never include generic greetings. Their email hosting may flag your email as spam, or the recipient may think it’s irrelevant. Instead, eschew them entirely and opt for the recipient’s name. E.g., Instead of Hi there or Hello begin your subject line with [Prospect name] can’t wait to speak with you this week.

3. Watch Your Tone

Be mindful of the tone of your sales email subject lines. Ensure your follow-up doesn’t read as pushy or your initial cold outreach doesn’t sound too formal. Be careful of phrases like ‘gentle reminder.’ (Will the next reminder be less gentle?)

Email Subject Line For Sales No-No: Never use phrases like ‘urgent,’ ‘read now,’ or ‘immediately’ unless it actually is vital. Otherwise, you’ll lose the lead’s trust and potentially turn them off from reading your email—or worse, get flagged as spam.

4. Evoke an Emotional Reaction

On the other hand, eliciting a positive emotional reaction—laughter, curiosity, competitiveness—is a great way to entice prospects to read your emails. Try challenging your prospect or evoking a reaction like surprise or joy. It can be helpful to include personal pronouns like ‘you’ as in “I have incredible news for you.”

Email Subject Line For Sales No-No: Avoid eliciting negative emotional reactions like panic, confusion, or anger. Even if your prospect opens your email, they may be left with a poor impression of you.

5. Don’t Get Jaded

Every failed subject is just another opportunity to learn. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, and try again. Iterate and improve your subject lines. Not every one of them will be winners but when you apply these best practices, you’re sure to find something that works.

The BEST Sales Email Subject Lines in

In this episode of Sales FAQ, sales leaders call out what makes an effective cold email subject line stand out. Watch this video to learn what subject lines will be sure to get you an open

6 Tips For Writing Striking Sales Subject Lines for Any Scenario with 40+ Examples

Now that you know the theory behind the best sales email subject lines let’s dig into the practice. Use this list of 40+ example subject lines to inspire your own. We’ve also compiled tips and practical advice from sales leaders on tailoring your writing for any sales outreach scenario. And here’s a tip, if you decide to send a video email message, test adding the word ‘video’ to your subject line to entice that open even further.

An example of a video script template for virtual selling.

10 Video Scripts and Email Templates An example of a video script template for virtual selling. Break through inboxes with these proven video email templates. Download PDF