How to Write Email Subject Lines [7 Examples to Boost Open Rates]

How many times has this happened to you:

You find a prospect’s contact details, spend time crafting a well-personalized cold email, and shoot it out.

But, you don’t get a response.

You thought it was a great email copy, but the person on the other end thought otherwise.

Nothing is more frustrating than sending out a carefully crafted outreach email that does not get read, right?

Especially now when cold emails are flooding inboxes in the time of remote selling.

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You would have spent time writing a great email copy, but did you take a second look at your email subject line? According to Convince and Convert, 35% of recipients open emails based on the subject line alone.

If your subject line isn’t enticing, your recipients aren’t going to open and read your email. Simply put: if the job of your cold email is to get a meeting with the prospect, the job of the subject line is to get the email opened.

Don’t let your subject line kill your cold emails. Here are 7 types of subject lines every SDR can start using in your cold email to boost open rates.

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#1. Email subject lines that are personalized

Personalization in email outreach is really important. We already know how critical it is to personalize the body of the email, but it’s equally important to do so in the subject lines as well.

When someone sees their name on the email subject line, they immediately get the feeling that the message is for them and that it might be important. Mentioning the prospect’s name, title, company name or any personal information has a 29% higher open rate and 41% unique click-through rate.


“Hey {first name}, personal note to you!”
“{first name}, would you be interested in {the product/service}”
“Personal note to {company name} from a fan.”


#2. Email subject lines with a connection

According to, referred prospects have a whopping 50% close rate. That’s mostly because the prospects trust the referred source. So instead of the connection coming out as cold, the relationship between you and the recipient is a lot warmer because of the shared connection.

It’s not easy to find commonalities all the time. But what you do have access to is their social profiles. Check if they have recently won any awards, published anything on social media, or attended an event, and add that to your email subject line.


“Mutual connection with {referral name}”
“We met at {event name}”
“Your post in {website name} is really inspirational”


#3. Email subject lines that are relevant

If your email subject line reads information about the e-commerce industry, whereas the recipient is from real estate, they aren’t going to open it. Your subject line has to be relevant to them.

Don’t sell, and never, ever trick with your email subject line. A catchy phrase that prompts an open but doesn’t offer what the title implies will annoy and irritate your prospects and probably put you on their spam list. Make sure your subject line is appealing, and at the same in related to the email copy.


“Is your team ready to handle the holiday season?”
“{first name}, an insight into E/M-commerce in the UK.”


#4. Email subject lines that generate curiosity

One of the ways to get your emails opened is to create curiosity. Curiosity based subject lines pique the recipient’s interest in finding out what is in the email body.

Don’t give away too many details on the email subject line. It should be provocative and compel the recipients to open and view the email. Providing too much information at this point will make your recipients decide whether or not they want to open and read your email.


“Let’s decide, {first name}”
“I wanted to share my ideas with you”
“I’d like to help {company name}”


#5. Email subject lines with benefit proposition

A generic subject line that’s not relevant to your recipients won’t entice them to open and read the email. Instead, try experimenting on messages specific to the prospect’s pain points, or offer a clear and compelling benefit. Problem-solving phrases are more likely to catch the prospect’s attention than the generic-sounding ones.


“How I helped {referral customer} save $20K.”
“300% increase in self-service at {referral customer}”
“A new marketing strategy for {company name}”


#6. Email subject lines that are short and simple

An increasing number of people today read emails on their mobile devices. So a long, boring, and butchered subject line is bound to make your recipients lose interest in your email.

Since most email clients truncate subject lines after a certain number of characters (smartphones only accept 35 characters on the subject line), people treat it as text messages and tend to reply quickly. In fact, the most basic, almost amateur email subject line, works better than sophisticated marketing pieces.


“Hello, {first name}!”
“Quick question, {first name}”
“Are you free to talk, {first name}”


#7. Email subject lines with the meeting request

The point of a cold email is to ask for a meeting with the recipient eventually, so why not just say it upfront in your subject line. Of course, this works best as your follow up email subject lines.


“March 23 Meeting At 2:00”
“I’d like to earn a few minutes of your time, {first name}”
“{first name}, quick meeting at 10 am on Monday?”



For an SDR, cold email outreach is one of the most effective methods to find new customers. But it only has an impact when the recipient opens and reads the email. Choosing the right email subject lines help increase the open rates. If you don’t know where to start, try some of the examples we discussed above and let us know how it goes in the comments below.

Cover illustration by Udhaya Chandran

Freshsales Remote Selling


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