Prospects Not Biting? It Could Be Your Email Subject Lines

Author: Karla Fletcher | August 16, 2016

Are your email open rates underwhelming? If so, it probably has something to do with your email subject lines. At first glance, writing subject lines seems straightforward. But finding the right balance is tricky—they have to be strong without being pushy, informative without being wordy, personal without being creepy. Few companies get this balance right, which can have a serious impact on the success of email campaigns. Regardless of how well-crafted the body of your email is, if your subject line isn’t intriguing, recipients will simply never click it.

Thankfully, you’re not the only one who could use some subject line inspiration. HubSpot gathered a list of 25 creative email subject lines that get opens. Below, we’ve picked out some of their best tips.

Leverage connections. The quickest way to build trust with someone? Have a mutual friend vouch for you. Use your network to your advantage and don’t be afraid to name drop. Try a line like one of these:

  • Joe Smith recommended I get in touch
  • I found you through Mary Parker

Ask a question. It’s difficult for people to leave questions unanswered. Using a question in your subject line (or alluding to a question in the body of the email) triggers that innate need to get more information and respond.  Some examples:

  • Question about your project goals
  • Hi Sarah, how is your project coming?
  • Did you get what you were looking for?

Use a numbered list. Whether you hate them or love them, most people are powerless against clicking on a “listicle,” a list of tips or tidbits of information. A numbered list email subject line signifies to your prospect that useful, easy-to-digest information is inside. Nearly anything can be turned into a numbered list:

  • Four options to get started
  • Seven tips for choosing a partner
  • Ten ways to meet your goals

Be helpful. Instead of focusing on what you want the prospect to purchase from you, focus on how you can help them. Give prospects free ideas and information, or let them know that you’re available to meet them wherever they are.

  • Hoping to help
  • Idea for your upcoming meeting
  • You aren’t alone

Use formatting tricks. When all else fails, use visual tricks to grab your prospect’s eye. Play with capitalization and punctuation, or try the (somewhat controversial) trick of starting a new email thread with “Re:.” And surprisingly, emails with no subject at all tend to get a higher open rate.

  • how can we help you, alex?
  • (no subject)
  • Re: Moving forward on our partnership
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