Cold Email

Find the Best Subject Line for Cold Email: 10 Ideas

What if I told you that you don’t have to get fancy with cold email for it to be effective?

You’ll find dozens of compelling ideas for subject lines for cold email online. 

Most involve a level of personalization, which is a given these days (especially with cold email at scale). But the very best subject lines for cold email are also personable

What is the Best Subject Line for Cold Email?

I believe that the best subject lines for cold email campaigns are short, simple and to the point. 

I’m a big fan of plain text emails and lower-case subject lines. Now is not the time to be formal — it’s time to be personable. 

Now, whenever I write an email, I like to have a ‘quick question’ or ask ‘your thoughts?’. You don’t have to jump through hoops to get your leads to engage. You just have to show them that you care. 

If you can do that and be snappy and show something unique, you’ll have your foot in the door. And you’ll have a winning cold email campaign.  

Cold Email Subject Line Idea #1: Cashew

Yes, cashew. The host of a podcast I listen to ran a test on their huge email marketing list. The brand was focused on supplements and superfoods. Their best performing subject line? Cashew. 

One word. A little weird. And attention-catching. 

It interrupts the pattern your leads are used to seeing: “Hey ______, looking for _______?”

As leads are sorting through their email, one-word subject lines may stand out. It’s worth an experiment, at the very least. 

9 of Our Best Subject Line for Cold Email Ideas

You have plenty of ideas to choose from, and they’re all worth testing out. Cold email performance depends entirely on your industry, niche and audience. 

Test out the ‘one-word subject line’ as a pattern interrupt — and let us know the results!

Otherwise, try keeping to the ‘short and simple’ approach above. These are our unique ideas for your best subject line. 

(By way of example, I’m using Brooklin Nash, our Head of Content). 

Brooklin, quick question

This is informal and to the point. As long as the email body that comes after it isn’t overtly salesy and is actually a quick question, this should perform well. 

Brooklin x Hans

Their name, your name. Done. You can’t get much more personal and simple than that. Make them wonder: who’s Hans? 

Brooklin x Wiza

This is a little more direct than the other two ideas. Connect their name to your brand to start things off on the right foot. 

What do you think?

Pique their interest! What do I think about what? Include a unique resource or a train of thought in your email. It could be a new sales trend, a tool you’re exploring or an article you read. If you show them you’re genuinely interested, they may just respond. 

Brooklin, question about email

Again with the ‘quick question’. Plug in any relevant topic here: sales, tools, finance, HR. Treat it as the beginning of a conversation. 

Hans at Wiza

Treat your email as an introduction and your subject line as a handshake. This is who I am, and I’m interested to learn about who you are. 

Your thoughts?

B2B is really P2P. Frank Somma wrote a whole book on it. Instead of starting with your pitch, start a dialogue between peers. It doesn’t even have to be your own collateral that you send over. Highlight something you’ve read or watched and include it in your next cold email campaign. This works particularly well for high-level prospects. 

Question about Wiza

In contrast to the dialogue approach, this option gets you into the pitch faster. You position your company from the subject line, and then ask about how they’re currently solving the problem you solve. 

Goodbye Brooklin

Not everyone is going to reply. As a last ditch effort, save this subject line for your final email in the sequence. It’s not quite a guilt trip, but it is personal enough to boost your open rate. 

Don’t forget about the numbers

There is no single best subject line for cold email campaigns

Remember: to find the best subject line for cold email in your niche, you have to test these out. Look at open rate, click rate, reply rate — the works! The numbers won’t lie. 

What’s your favorite subject line for cold email campaigns? 

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About author

Hi, I'm Hans, Head of Growth at Wiza. Before joining the team I used to run my own cold outreach agency. After seeing the magic of Wiza I immediately became a fan. Now I am helping others in becoming more successful with their outreach by extracting emails from LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

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