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We’ve all received cold emails and when we do, they probably get short shrift. The problem with most is that they’re not sufficiently different to grab our attention. So if you’re using cold emails as part of your sales strategy, here are 12 suggestions of email subject lines that are more likely to get the attention of the recipient.

1. “Your yearly [X] target”

Everyone is held to a number, irrespective of the role they have and it’s well known that most people prefer talking about themselves than listening to others, so targeting an issue that’s likely to be critically important to the reader and encourages them to talk about themselves, will trigger areas of the brain pertaining to motivation and reward to spring into action.

2. “Talk on [day] at [1:45]?”

Asking for an appointment at quarter past or quarter to the hour feels less demanding than one that begins on the hour or half hour because it suggests you’re only going to need 15 minutes of the prospect’s time.

3. “[Situation] at [Company]”

For example, “Cost Control at ABC Ltd.” or “HR Services at XYZ.” Whatever it is that you sell, connect it with the company you’re prospecting into. When in doubt, personalise.

4. “So, you speak sign language?”

This is an example of a point of interest you can easily learn from someone’s bio, personal website, LinkedIn profile, or Twitter account. Personalising your email subject line, even if it has nothing to do with the purpose of your email will increase the number of opens.

5. “I’ll cut to the chase”

This subject line manages to be both intriguing and matter-of-fact at the same time. Your reader instantly thinks, “Cut to the chase about what?” People find uncertainty unsettling. Conversely, clearing up areas of uncertainty is mentally satisfying.

6. “I might be wrong here, but …”

What could it be? The prospect will have to open your email to find out. Similar to “I’ll cut to the chase,” this subject line plays on the buyer’s curiosity. If they don’t click, they’ll never learn what you’re potentially wrong about.

7. “If you’re struggling with [common pain point], you’re not alone”

What might feel like a unique problem to your prospect may actually be an incredibly wide-spread challenge. You can use your broader perspective in three ways:

a. Grab their attention with this subject line
b. Demonstrate your credibility
c. Reassure them you may have some answers

8. “Can I make your life 20% easier?”

This eye-catching subject line is a good option if your solution makes your customers more efficient, accurate, or productive.

9. “[Name], I saw that you’re focused on “

Not only are you using your recipient’s name, but you’re referring to an opportunity or objective which you’ve seen them mention in blog posts, or on social media and that’s on their mind right now.

10. “Can I help?”

The age of Always Be Closing is dead; to be successful, salespeople must practice Always Be Helping. Use this subject line to tell the buyer you’re eager to add value.

11. “[Name] suggested I reach out”

Referrals are as good as gold in sales. It’s no surprise that independent validation of what you do produces far greater close rates.

12. “[Referral name] loves us & thought you might, too”

Follow up with your happiest customers and use this subject line to set the tone for your communication. As an extra bonus, include a personalised testimony from the referrer in the email or have them introduce you via email.

If you’re struggling with sales, you’re not alone

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