We’ve all written our fair share of email subject lines, but how good were they really? Maybe you got a couple of responses and a few clicks—except you’re not satisfied with mediocre email engagement. You want engagement metrics that really shine.

Optimizing your sales email subject lines will improve open rates, click-through rates, and the overall effectiveness of your email marketing strategy—leading to more and better customers.

Whether you’re a solopreneur, email marketer, or sales representative, this guide will help you write better subject lines that make your emails more clickable and drive business growth.

The impact of email subject lines on sales success

When an email subject line is bad, you can tell—and so can your recipients. The message is likely to go straight to the junk folder. But when you’ve crafted an engaging subject line that speaks to your contact’s needs and hooks them right from the start, you’ve struck email gold.

A successful email subject line will convince recipients to open your message, where the body of your email can then do the work of persuading them to read or click more. With a well-written subject line, you can:

  • Drive higher response rates and email engagement 
  • Increase conversions from your sales emails, like more meetings booked and websites visited
  • Solidify your company’s brand and create more positive customer experiences 

5 best practices for crafting effective subject lines 

When sales representatives or email marketers compose a winning subject line, they follow a few common best practices. Use the following strategies to inspire your own writing: 

1. Choose language carefully 

Language matters, especially when you’re trying to convince someone to open a sales or marketing email. And in the age of phishing schemes and ransomware, people are on high alert regarding the language used in emails. 

Be careful what language you use in your subject lines, especially regarding: 

  • Keywords: While keywords may be helpful for getting your email into the right inbox, avoid overusing them. This could come across as spammy, as could clickbait-type language that overpromises and underdelivers. 
  • Subject line length: Subject lines should also be the right length for showing up on desktop and mobile devices. A good goal is around 60 characters. 
  • Emojis: Emojis can make your email stand out from the rest. But overusing them could come across as immature or spammy. Plus, emojis may not render correctly in every email inbox.

2. Command attention

Getting a recipient’s attention in the subject line is crucial for convincing them to open your email and take action. Luckily, there are lots of ways to get—and hold—someone’s attention through your subject line:

  • Use personalization: Using the recipient’s name and their business name is a good strategy for encouraging a response. Check out these additional tips for sending personalized emails
  • Create urgency: A time crunch can be just what your prospect needs to take action regarding your email. Just be sure not to overwhelm the recipient or overuse this tactic, as it could become annoying.  

3. Experiment to optimize

Writing effective emails is a process you can continue optimizing. It’s important to experiment with subject line content and format until you find what works. 

Use subject line A/B testing to determine which style of subject line results in the most opens, clicks, or conversions. When you A/B test a subject line, you can change content, length, emoji use, word order, and more to see which version resonates best with your audience.  

4. Determine the type of subject line to use

The purpose of an email subject line is to tell recipients what your email is about. 

Depending on what you hope to accomplish with your email, you might use one of the following types of subject lines: 

  • Promotional subject line: Shares about and drives interest in a promotion
  • Value-driven subject line: Explains the value you can provide your recipient and their business
  • Curiosity-based subject line: Show that you have information the recipient might find valuable
  • Funnel stage subject line: Demonstrate that you know where they are in the sales funnel and can provide the information they need to take the next step

5. Be interesting 

You might think writing a captivating subject line is the trickiest part of all, but you don’t need to take a creative writing class to get the job done. Knowing your recipient well enough to use language that interests them is key.

Here are a few ways to make your subject line interesting:

  • Show off your brand voice: Depending on your brand, a well-placed pun or joke could remind recipients of why they’re your customers.
  • Share a relevant bit of industry news: Referencing a new statistic or development in your industry shows that you have important information to share.
  • A question about their work or project: Demonstrate that you’re interested in what they’ve been working on, and they’ll likely reciprocate by opening your email.
  • Have an ask: Have a question for your recipient? They’ll open your email to find out what it is.


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50 successful subject lines for sales emails 

Ready to start writing high-performing subject lines that boost email engagement and create more opportunities for your business? The examples below provide some inspiration. Read through them all, or jump to the type of subject line you’re interested in writing. 

Cold email subject lines

Follow-up email subject lines

Meeting request email subject lines

Email subject lines after no response

Cold email subject lines 

Cold emails are some of the most challenging to get right because the recipient has little or no knowledge of who you are and why you’re reaching out. 

With these cold email subject lines, you’ll be well on your way to capturing your recipient’s attention and persuading them to click:

1. Hi [name], [question]?

Asking your question right in the subject line—and personalizing the email with the recipient’s name—is to the point, qualities the recipient will likely appreciate.

2. Did you find what you were looking for?

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3. X ways [your business] is helping solve [pain point]

Identify the recipient’s pain point and let them know you have the solutions.  

4. How [your business] delivered [results] for [customer]

Have tangible results you’d love to share? This subject line implies that the recipient could also get whatever results you’ve delivered for your company’s other customers.   

5. [Your business] is helping others achieve [results or goal]

Show that you’re on your prospect’s side with a subject line that looks out for their best interests.

6. [Mutual connection] recommended we connect!

Warm up your cold outreach with a shared acquaintance—only if you have one, that is.

7. Can I help with [pain point]?

Doing your research on a prospect and offering to help solve their issue will always be more attractive than simply selling your company’s products/services.

8. Sell more [product/service] with help from [your company]

This line highlights the results you can help your prospect achieve.

9. Does [pain point] make you feel [emojis]? We can help.

Use a couple of emojis to demonstrate that you understand your prospect’s challenges and can help overcome them. 

10. Could you use a [your product] that leads to [results]?

A little mystery can go a long way in generating interest in your business and its offerings. 

11. [Industry trend] and [prospect’s company]

Whether the trend or statistic is good or bad, demonstrate your knowledge about the recipient’s industry.

12. Could [your product] make your life 20% easier?

I don’t know—could it? Your recipient will have to open your email to find out. 

13. [Number] steps to achieve [goal]

Use this one if your email provides steps for achieving a certain business goal, then include using your services as one of the steps.

14. Struggling with [pain point]? You’re not alone. 

We like this subject line because it strengthens your credibility, provides comfort that your prospect isn’t the only business facing a certain issue, and encourages them to find out more about possible solutions. 

15. Want a better solution for [situation] at [prospect’s company]?

Whether you offer software, consulting services, or anything else, help your prospect envision a better way of doing business that starts with you.

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Follow-up email subject lines

If you’ve already been in contact with a prospect, you’re sure to find the right wording among these follow-up email subject lines for sales teams:

16. So great to meet you, [prospect name]!

Whether the recipient downloaded content from your site, signed up for your email outreach, or otherwise initiated contact, let them know you’re excited to meet them.

17. Thanks for joining the [your company] mission, [name]! 

This one’s a classic welcome email subject line that, with the right amount of personalization, can make the recipient feel right at home. 

18. Want to get the most out of your free [product] trial, [name]? 

If a prospect is currently trying out your product, sending this email lets them know you’ve got some tricks up your sleeve to help them make a purchasing decision.

19. Hooray, you’re part of the [your company] community! 

This subject line is perfect for welcoming a new partner or someone enrolling in your loyalty program. You’re including them in a community, and you can start nurturing that relationship right from your subject line!

20. Your next [number] steps toward achieving [goal]

This subject line works great for an onboarding or follow-up email.

21. [Name], we’re ready to help you [goal]

Communicate your enthusiasm about partnering with your prospect to achieve their business objectives. Use this subject line in an email drip campaign to nurture your leads into customers. 

22. Still unsure about [your product]? Here’s what might help:

Tailor your email to address their specific objections and needs, then provide valuable content that could help them make up their mind.

23. Here’s that info about [topic] I promised you

Showing up with the extra information you promised is a great way to strengthen a new relationship. Bonus: you also prove your trustworthiness.

24. [Name], I thought you might like these [resources]

Share some recent blog posts, industry updates, or other resources your prospect might find interesting.

25. I’d love your feedback from our meeting

Sending this email out soon after a phone call or virtual meeting can keep your business top of mind for the recipient and puts you in a position to answer any more questions.

26. I thought about what you said 

This subject line works because the prospect isn’t sure exactly what you’re referring to, encouraging them to open the email. And they might be ready to hear your idea.

27. Looking for your advice on [subject]

If you’re networking, this email makes the recipient feel like the expert. It might be the nudge they need to reply to you.

28. Before you decide on [your product/service]…

Add a little pressure and provide some extra resources or information that might just seal the deal.

29. Here’s what I’ll do about [topic]

Offer something to help your prospect out in hopes that they’ll return your service and act on your email.

30. Hi [name], we met at [event]!

Jog their memory and keep the conversation going with this simple but effective subject line.


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Meeting request email subject lines

Trying to get a phone call or virtual meeting with this prospect on your calendar? Reaching out with these subject lines could encourage them to book a time.

31. Want to speak to a real human about [your product]?

Sometimes a prospect may need a break from their inbox. Offer a meeting to help break out of the email whirlpool and make a real connection.

32. [Number] minutes to align on [goal]?

If you’re already in sales talks with a potential customer, using this subject line is a great way to let them know what your next meeting will be like.

33. [Number] minutes on [day of the week]?

Being specific about exactly when and for how long you’d like to meet can help the other person get serious about having a conversation. Your proposed time might not work, but at least you got them to check their schedule.

34. Meeting invite on [date]

This subject line functions like the one above, and is a little more specific about how you’d like to talk with the prospect.

35. Have [number] minutes to talk [industry/pain point]?

This casual meeting request works best when you already have a relationship with a recipient. 

36. Got a couple of minutes for me?

This email puts you at the recipient’s mercy, but it could work if you really do only need a couple of minutes of their time.

37. Is [result] for [prospect’s company worth 20 minutes of your time?

When they stop and think about it, the opportunity to increase sales by 20% using your product probably is worth a 20-minute meeting. Only use this line if you can really deliver the results you’re promising. 

38. This deal is running out of time—want to talk it over?

Another way to add a sense of urgency. Of course, only use this if the deal really is expiring.

39. Let’s look at [prospect’s company]’s goals for next quarter 

The actual meeting request comes later in the email, but this subject line shows that you’re available and willing to help the recipient achieve more.

40. Jam-packed schedule? I’m flexible 

If you already requested a meeting with a prospect and haven’t received a response, they could just be busy or buried in other messages that need more immediate attention. Giving them some flexibility might make a meeting more likely.

41. Let’s build a plan for [goal]

Show you’re ready to get to work helping your prospect.

42. Time for a check-in?

Check back in with a current customer or during onboarding and see how you can help meet their needs.

43. How are your [goals] coming along?

Follow up on a prospect or customer’s needs by requesting a meeting to review how you can help.

44. Looking to exchange ideas on [topic]

This one is best saved for early in the sales process when you’re still generating interest, like when you’re working toward booking an initial meeting.

45. Have time to discuss [prospect’s company]’s success?

This subject line shows you want to partner in their business success.

Email subject lines after no response

Checking on your leads after hearing no response can feel like walking around in the dark. These subject lines improve your chances of finding the light at the end of the tunnel. 

46. If you change your mind about partnering with [your company]

When a recipient just isn’t showing interest, try to renew it by reminding them of the results they can achieve with your help. 

47. Not feeling a connection?

 If your product just isn’t the solution the prospect needs, you can still close the relationship on a positive note with a clever goodbye message. It might even keep other opportunities open down the line.

48. This email contains the secrets of the universe… or at least [industry/pain point]

Poke fun at yourself by overstating what your email is about. The humor could make the prospect want to work with you after all.

49. Am I making the right assumption?

If you’re only hearing crickets, verify with the recipient that your product or solution just isn’t a priority for their business at the moment. 

50. Warning: puppies inside

This subject line could work as a last-ditch effort to earn a second look. Because who doesn’t love a GIF of puppies (or whatever baby animal you’d like)?

How to analyze email subject line performance 

You feel like you’ve written some really good email subject lines. Now how do you determine their success? Here are the most important ways to know whether your approach is working: 

  • Track key metrics: Make sure you’re tracking important email engagement metrics like click, open, conversion, and response rate. 
  • Use data to refine your strategy: Once you’ve gathered these metrics, identify trends so you can improve your approach. Maybe a casual approach works for some prospects but not others.
  • Choose the right tools: Using the right email marketing tool can make all the difference for sales email success. These platforms often have email marketing features like bulk emailing, A/B testing, email automation, click tracking and notifications, and an AI writing assistant.

Level up your email outreach with Nutshell Campaigns

Applying effective subject line strategies like the ones above to your sales email outreach will result in higher engagement, conversions, and sales. 

Looking for a platform that helps you win more deals and strengthen customer relationships for the long term? Nutshell is the all-in-one CRM that helps teams generate and close more leads. With powerful email automation, sales automation, pipeline management, analytics, and collaboration features, Nutshell has the tools businesses need to simplify their sales process and close more deals. 

Nutshell’s powerful email automation features let you type less and sell more. Scale up personal outreach with one-on-one sales drips, measure engagement with the email health score, use templates to standardize your communication, and generate more replies.
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The post 50 Email Subject Lines for Sales: Crafting Messages that Boost Engagement appeared first on Nutshell.