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What's the Best Cold Email Subject Line? 100 Ideas

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The cold email subject line is your foot in the door when it comes to new customer relationships. And while these portals of possibility come with lots of potential, they’re pretty tricky to get right. What’s more—the inbox is a very competitive place.

So, the pressure is on. Because here’s the deal:

To compete, your email subject lines have to be relevant, engaging, and brief. The risk of falling into the black hole (where all unopened emails go to die) is real. So, how do you find the magic words? Well, we’ve got some tricks up our sleeves to share with you. 

What do you put in the subject line for a cold email?

To craft the right subject line for a cold email, you need to blend both art and science. The art is in the words you choose, how you string them together, and what type of language you choose. The science is in learning what works statistically and playing the odds—while never losing sight of your audience and what they care most about.

With these things in mind, here are a few tips to get your subject line right:

  • Make it brief. Research shows that 80% of top marketers send emails with 60 characters or fewer. Hold on. So, you’ve got to tell a story, make a connection, and ultimately get a foot in the door in under 60 characters? No fear. We’ll explain a few ways you can do this. 
  • Make it warm. This study looked at the psychology of a great subject line. It found that it’s not a purely intellectual exercise. People tend to make decisions based on how they’re feeling, so empathy for your recipient’s experience matters. Consider it from the side of the busy recipient whose notifications are pinging madly. How will you break through that noise? 
  • Use positive language. Yes, it works! An example? When constructing your subject lines, use “is” rather than “is not.” Tell them what they have to gain rather than where they are losing. 
  • Consider using emojis. In the right subject line, an emoji can be seen as lighthearted and fun (while helping you to stand out from the rest). Using emojis does depend on your company culture a bit though—and how formal your email to your recipient is.
  • Make it personal. The simplest method is to include the recipient’s name in the subject line. What’s in a name? As it turns out, a whole lot. Experian reported a 29% higher unique open rate—purely on the basis of personalization. But that’s not the only way to do this. Conversion means preaching to the already converted. That means geeking out about a shared interest, big upping mutual connections, and ensuring you make no meat references to vegans. Check out our examples of personalized subject lines below
  • Make it urgent. The FOMO is real. Invite them to something. Give them a quick solution to a problem they are having. Let them know that they simply shouldn’t wait another second to open this particular email. We’ll show you how here.
  • Test it. Know what’s working so that you can improve your open rates and deliver content that your customers actually want to receive.  And that’s where A/B testing comes in—basically, testing two or more versions of the same thing. And luckily, you don’t have to do this manually. Get the details on how to do this on HubSpot here, and Mailchimp here.

What is a catchy email subject line?

Here’s a list of our top cold email subject line examples. There are 100 of them, all-together. It’s the ultimate cheat sheet. If you’re looking for our 10 favorites though, we’ve put them right here at the top for you:

  1. How are you dealing with {pain point}?
  2. Curious why we are called {quirky nickname for your company}?
  3. {Name}, we think we’ll make a great match!
  4. {Name}, you won’t believe what we have in common.
  5. See our companies both started during the pandemic. 
  6. Full permission to steal this strategy.
  7. What companies get wrong about {live chat/paid ads/remote work}.
  8. Why companies are moving to {specific area} in {year}.
  9. Good things come to those who don’t wait.
  10. Oh no. Not another sales email. 

As for the extended list, we recommend you print it out, stick it above your desk, or email it to yourself (with a catchy subject line.) Do what works for you.

(Note that while some of them may seem off-the-wall, that’s because there’s strategy in that. Remember, the goal is for them to stand out.)

Best cold email subject lines that ask a question

Bewitch them with these beguiling questions. 

  1. How are you dealing with {pain point}?
  2. Do you have capacity to grow your business?
  3. Ready to take the first step?
  4. Happy with {your competitor}?
  5. Could it be simpler than you think?
  6. Want to know why we’re reaching out now?
  7. Don’t you just hate a full inbox? So do we.
  8. Curious why we are called {quirky nickname for your company}?
  9. Tired of feeling {overwhelmed/exhausted/out-of-your-depth}? 
  10. Could you connect me to the right person?
  11. Who is the {position} at {their company}?
  12. Can I make your life easier?
  13. Tired of relentless sales people?
  14. Have time to talk at {time/date}?
  15. Have you got {SEO/automation/staffing/anything relevant} right at {company name}?

Personalized cold subject lines

Let them know that it’s them, and specifically them, you wanted to reach out. 

  1. {Name}, we think we’ll make a great match!
  2. {Name}, thought we could help.
  3. Congrats on your award!
  4. Hoping to see you at {conference/event}!
  5. Your comment on {blog/social media post} was insightful.
  6. Super inspired by your comment on {blog/social media post}.
  7. {Name}, you won’t believe what we have in common.
  8. Quick question about {specific project or product}.
  9. Have you been to the {restaurant/concert venue/toy shop} in {their town}?
  10. Love your blog post on {title of post}!
  11. You speak seven languages?! Wow!
  12. See you’re focussed on {goal}?
  13. Loved your speech at {event name}.
  14. Ever seen the movie, {inspiring title}?
  15. {Name}, I need your advice.
  16. {Name}, you won’t believe this.

Best cold email subject lines that celebrate connection

Show them that you’re already connected.

  1. You also know {mutual connection}!
  2. We have something in common. 
  3. {Mutual connection} said to get in touch.
  4. I found you through {mutual connection}.
  5. Great meeting you at {conference/event/coffee shop}!
  6. See our companies both started during the pandemic. 
  7. I see you love {fly-fishing/cats/Norse mythology} too!
  8. Getting in touch on {mutual connection}’s suggestion.
  9. {Mutual connection}. (Yep! That’s it. Just the name and nothing else. Hard not to open this one.)
  10. Fellow {university name} alum here!
  11. Time to meet for a drink after {conference/event}?

Great subject lines for cold emails that show off your skills

Wow them with what you can achieve for them.

  1. Our customers get back {$ value} on every {$ value} they spend.
  2. {Company name} used {name of service/product} to boost sales by {amount}.
  3. How we solved {pain point} for {client}.
  4. We’re about to save you {x hours} a day with {name of service/product}.
  5. How {company name} turned things around with {name of service/product}.
  6. You’re not the only one struggling with {pain point}.
  7. Full permission to steal this strategy.
  8. This is how we improved {company in their industry}’s ROI.
  9. Breaking news. {Product name} solves {pain point}.
  10. This resource will improve your team’s productivity.
  11. Here’s how we were right about {pain point}.
  12. {Product/service} is the only {task} tool you need this year.
  13. On track for your Q2 goals? We’ll help. 

Best cold email subject lines that add value

Give them a gift they can’t refuse.

  1. What {successful company} wish they'd known from the start.
  2. X Tips to help you increase conversions in 2022.
  3. Here’s a better way to solve {pain point}. 
  4. Check out this useful content on {topic relevant to their business/life}.
  5. Let’s talk about {topic}.
  6. The nuts and bolts of {topic}.
  7. Saw this article about {topic}.
  8. X sales and marketing trends you must know.
  9. Did you hear about {big news event} in {recipient’s industry}?
  10. Sure, automation matters. But you have to do it right.
  11. What companies get wrong about {live chat/paid ads/remote work}.
  12. Here’s how to improve your {staffing problems/customer retention/conversion rates).
  13. Why companies are moving to {specific area} in {year}.
  14. The tool you can’t do without in {year}.
  15. Slow season? Here’s what to do.
  16. How these top influencers grew their traffic to X visitors.
  17. 5 things everyone in {recipient’s industry} need to know.
  18. The most important trend in the {recipient’s industry} right now.

Best cold email subject lines that are urgent!

Let them know that time is ticking. They need to open NOW.

  1. You’re about to miss it
  2. {Industry} has a big problem.
  3. You’re invited.
  4. Eek. Only four days left.
  5. Starting in 6 hours.
  6. Meet on Friday?
  7. Just x seats left for {event}.
  8. Join us for {event name} LIVE, next week.
  9. Please tell me you’re not going to miss out on this.
  10. Only five spaces left on our trial.
  11. Please R.S.V.P. by {date}.
  12. You have six days left to get {$ value} off.
  13. Good things come to those who don’t wait.
  14. Did you know that {competitor} ranks higher than you for {keyword}?
  15. Stop! Before you write another post, read this.

Best cold email subject lines that keep it super simple

Keep it simple, sweet, and add humor for spice. 

  1. Not going to lie. This is a sales email.
  2. We’ll cut to the chase.
  3. We can help. 
  4. {Name}, check this out.
  5. Request to connect
  6. Would love to connect.
  7. Love your work.
  8. Oh no. Not another sales email. 
  9. Hey, {Name}!
  10. Where do I even start?
  11. Quick question {name}
  12. Can you help?

If you don’t get a response, don’t panic. There’s still hope. Read our tips on sending follow-up emails here.

And remember that you can streamline this process so that it’s as easy as can be. With Magical, you'll never have to type the same thing over and over again—subject lines included. Instead, simply type // and choose the option you want to use. Get your catchy subject lines right, and automate and simplify the rest, and you’re on your way to lead generation success. 

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What's the Best Cold Email Subject Line? 100 Ideas

The cold email subject line is your foot in the door when it comes to new customer relationships. And while these portals of possibility come with lots of potential, they’re pretty tricky to get right. What’s more—the inbox is a very competitive place.

So, the pressure is on. Because here’s the deal:

To compete, your email subject lines have to be relevant, engaging, and brief. The risk of falling into the black hole (where all unopened emails go to die) is real. So, how do you find the magic words? Well, we’ve got some tricks up our sleeves to share with you. 

What do you put in the subject line for a cold email?

To craft the right subject line for a cold email, you need to blend both art and science. The art is in the words you choose, how you string them together, and what type of language you choose. The science is in learning what works statistically and playing the odds—while never losing sight of your audience and what they care most about.

With these things in mind, here are a few tips to get your subject line right:

  • Make it brief. Research shows that 80% of top marketers send emails with 60 characters or fewer. Hold on. So, you’ve got to tell a story, make a connection, and ultimately get a foot in the door in under 60 characters? No fear. We’ll explain a few ways you can do this. 
  • Make it warm. This study looked at the psychology of a great subject line. It found that it’s not a purely intellectual exercise. People tend to make decisions based on how they’re feeling, so empathy for your recipient’s experience matters. Consider it from the side of the busy recipient whose notifications are pinging madly. How will you break through that noise? 
  • Use positive language. Yes, it works! An example? When constructing your subject lines, use “is” rather than “is not.” Tell them what they have to gain rather than where they are losing. 
  • Consider using emojis. In the right subject line, an emoji can be seen as lighthearted and fun (while helping you to stand out from the rest). Using emojis does depend on your company culture a bit though—and how formal your email to your recipient is.
  • Make it personal. The simplest method is to include the recipient’s name in the subject line. What’s in a name? As it turns out, a whole lot. Experian reported a 29% higher unique open rate—purely on the basis of personalization. But that’s not the only way to do this. Conversion means preaching to the already converted. That means geeking out about a shared interest, big upping mutual connections, and ensuring you make no meat references to vegans. Check out our examples of personalized subject lines below
  • Make it urgent. The FOMO is real. Invite them to something. Give them a quick solution to a problem they are having. Let them know that they simply shouldn’t wait another second to open this particular email. We’ll show you how here.
  • Test it. Know what’s working so that you can improve your open rates and deliver content that your customers actually want to receive.  And that’s where A/B testing comes in—basically, testing two or more versions of the same thing. And luckily, you don’t have to do this manually. Get the details on how to do this on HubSpot here, and Mailchimp here.

What is a catchy email subject line?

Here’s a list of our top cold email subject line examples. There are 100 of them, all-together. It’s the ultimate cheat sheet. If you’re looking for our 10 favorites though, we’ve put them right here at the top for you:

  1. How are you dealing with {pain point}?
  2. Curious why we are called {quirky nickname for your company}?
  3. {Name}, we think we’ll make a great match!
  4. {Name}, you won’t believe what we have in common.
  5. See our companies both started during the pandemic. 
  6. Full permission to steal this strategy.
  7. What companies get wrong about {live chat/paid ads/remote work}.
  8. Why companies are moving to {specific area} in {year}.
  9. Good things come to those who don’t wait.
  10. Oh no. Not another sales email. 

As for the extended list, we recommend you print it out, stick it above your desk, or email it to yourself (with a catchy subject line.) Do what works for you.

(Note that while some of them may seem off-the-wall, that’s because there’s strategy in that. Remember, the goal is for them to stand out.)

Best cold email subject lines that ask a question

Bewitch them with these beguiling questions. 

  1. How are you dealing with {pain point}?
  2. Do you have capacity to grow your business?
  3. Ready to take the first step?
  4. Happy with {your competitor}?
  5. Could it be simpler than you think?
  6. Want to know why we’re reaching out now?
  7. Don’t you just hate a full inbox? So do we.
  8. Curious why we are called {quirky nickname for your company}?
  9. Tired of feeling {overwhelmed/exhausted/out-of-your-depth}? 
  10. Could you connect me to the right person?
  11. Who is the {position} at {their company}?
  12. Can I make your life easier?
  13. Tired of relentless sales people?
  14. Have time to talk at {time/date}?
  15. Have you got {SEO/automation/staffing/anything relevant} right at {company name}?

Personalized cold subject lines

Let them know that it’s them, and specifically them, you wanted to reach out. 

  1. {Name}, we think we’ll make a great match!
  2. {Name}, thought we could help.
  3. Congrats on your award!
  4. Hoping to see you at {conference/event}!
  5. Your comment on {blog/social media post} was insightful.
  6. Super inspired by your comment on {blog/social media post}.
  7. {Name}, you won’t believe what we have in common.
  8. Quick question about {specific project or product}.
  9. Have you been to the {restaurant/concert venue/toy shop} in {their town}?
  10. Love your blog post on {title of post}!
  11. You speak seven languages?! Wow!
  12. See you’re focussed on {goal}?
  13. Loved your speech at {event name}.
  14. Ever seen the movie, {inspiring title}?
  15. {Name}, I need your advice.
  16. {Name}, you won’t believe this.

Best cold email subject lines that celebrate connection

Show them that you’re already connected.

  1. You also know {mutual connection}!
  2. We have something in common. 
  3. {Mutual connection} said to get in touch.
  4. I found you through {mutual connection}.
  5. Great meeting you at {conference/event/coffee shop}!
  6. See our companies both started during the pandemic. 
  7. I see you love {fly-fishing/cats/Norse mythology} too!
  8. Getting in touch on {mutual connection}’s suggestion.
  9. {Mutual connection}. (Yep! That’s it. Just the name and nothing else. Hard not to open this one.)
  10. Fellow {university name} alum here!
  11. Time to meet for a drink after {conference/event}?

Great subject lines for cold emails that show off your skills

Wow them with what you can achieve for them.

  1. Our customers get back {$ value} on every {$ value} they spend.
  2. {Company name} used {name of service/product} to boost sales by {amount}.
  3. How we solved {pain point} for {client}.
  4. We’re about to save you {x hours} a day with {name of service/product}.
  5. How {company name} turned things around with {name of service/product}.
  6. You’re not the only one struggling with {pain point}.
  7. Full permission to steal this strategy.
  8. This is how we improved {company in their industry}’s ROI.
  9. Breaking news. {Product name} solves {pain point}.
  10. This resource will improve your team’s productivity.
  11. Here’s how we were right about {pain point}.
  12. {Product/service} is the only {task} tool you need this year.
  13. On track for your Q2 goals? We’ll help. 

Best cold email subject lines that add value

Give them a gift they can’t refuse.

  1. What {successful company} wish they'd known from the start.
  2. X Tips to help you increase conversions in 2022.
  3. Here’s a better way to solve {pain point}. 
  4. Check out this useful content on {topic relevant to their business/life}.
  5. Let’s talk about {topic}.
  6. The nuts and bolts of {topic}.
  7. Saw this article about {topic}.
  8. X sales and marketing trends you must know.
  9. Did you hear about {big news event} in {recipient’s industry}?
  10. Sure, automation matters. But you have to do it right.
  11. What companies get wrong about {live chat/paid ads/remote work}.
  12. Here’s how to improve your {staffing problems/customer retention/conversion rates).
  13. Why companies are moving to {specific area} in {year}.
  14. The tool you can’t do without in {year}.
  15. Slow season? Here’s what to do.
  16. How these top influencers grew their traffic to X visitors.
  17. 5 things everyone in {recipient’s industry} need to know.
  18. The most important trend in the {recipient’s industry} right now.

Best cold email subject lines that are urgent!

Let them know that time is ticking. They need to open NOW.

  1. You’re about to miss it
  2. {Industry} has a big problem.
  3. You’re invited.
  4. Eek. Only four days left.
  5. Starting in 6 hours.
  6. Meet on Friday?
  7. Just x seats left for {event}.
  8. Join us for {event name} LIVE, next week.
  9. Please tell me you’re not going to miss out on this.
  10. Only five spaces left on our trial.
  11. Please R.S.V.P. by {date}.
  12. You have six days left to get {$ value} off.
  13. Good things come to those who don’t wait.
  14. Did you know that {competitor} ranks higher than you for {keyword}?
  15. Stop! Before you write another post, read this.

Best cold email subject lines that keep it super simple

Keep it simple, sweet, and add humor for spice. 

  1. Not going to lie. This is a sales email.
  2. We’ll cut to the chase.
  3. We can help. 
  4. {Name}, check this out.
  5. Request to connect
  6. Would love to connect.
  7. Love your work.
  8. Oh no. Not another sales email. 
  9. Hey, {Name}!
  10. Where do I even start?
  11. Quick question {name}
  12. Can you help?

If you don’t get a response, don’t panic. There’s still hope. Read our tips on sending follow-up emails here.

And remember that you can streamline this process so that it’s as easy as can be. With Magical, you'll never have to type the same thing over and over again—subject lines included. Instead, simply type // and choose the option you want to use. Get your catchy subject lines right, and automate and simplify the rest, and you’re on your way to lead generation success. 

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