27 Attention-Grabbing Email Subject Lines for Sales
Did you know that 33% of people decide to open an email based on the subject line alone?
All the effort you put into researching a prospect and their company, as well as the time you spend perfecting your email copy, will go to waste if you don’t craft a compelling subject line.
In this post, we’ll talk about what a good email subject line looks like and show you 27 effective email subject line examples you can use when reaching out to prospects.
What makes a good subject line?
Before we can talk about the best email subject lines for sales, we first need to understand what makes a good subject line. In most cases, high-performing sales email subject lines are:
For most email providers, 60 characters is the limit before the subject line gets cut off. You’ll want to aim for around 40 to 50 characters (4 to 7 words) to make sure your subject line will be displayed in full across both desktop and mobile devices.
A short subject line will also be easier to read and comprehend.
Personalizing the subject line will help the prospect understand that there’s an actual person behind the email and that they’re not the recipient of a mass spam campaign.
They’ll appreciate that you took the time and effort to learn who they are and what they really need and aren’t just blindly messaging thousands of people like them.
As a result, they’ll be more likely to open and reply to your email.
Did you know that you can use custom attributes to create personalized subject lines at scale in Hunter Campaigns? Learn more here.
Instilling a sense of urgency with your subject line by making the email seem time-sensitive can motivate prospects to open it now rather than keeping it for later.
This tactic can be especially effective for follow-up emails sent after you haven’t received a response from the prospect.
Before you get started
Now that we know what makes a good sales email subject line, we’re ready to create one, right? Not so fast. If you want to make your subject line truly effective, consider the following first:
- Who are you selling to? Think about who you’re trying to sell to, what they care about, and what motivates them. Check the prospect’s LinkedIn profile or their personal website (if they have one). Use this information when crafting your subject line.
- What value are you offering? In other words, what pain points does your product or service address? Your subject line should focus on the value the prospect will get from your product or service instead of focusing on the product or service itself.
- Do you have a mutual connection with the prospect? Check if you have any mutual connections with the prospect. Maybe you have a common acquaintance or are a part of the same Facebook or LinkedIn group. If you find a mutual connection, mention it in the subject line to have an easier time getting the prospect’s attention and increase the chances that they’ll open your email.
27 attention-grabbing email subject lines for sales
In this section, we share the top sales email subject lines you can use for cold outreach, follow-up emails, meeting request emails, and sales breakup emails.
Cold outreach subject lines
We’ll start with a list of sales subject lines you can use when you’re first reaching out to a prospect. In most cases, they won’t know who you are, so you need to be careful about how you’re going to phrase your subject line.
1. Question about [goal]
This subject line is intentionally a bit vague. It lets the prospect know that it’s related to a goal they have but forces them to open the email to learn more.
Keep in mind that you need to have a good understanding of your prospect’s goals and pain points to use this one.
If you want to make it even more effective, you can personalize the subject line by including the prospect’s name or the name of their company.
2. Hi [name], [question]?
Using the prospect’s name in the subject line makes this one a bit more personal. It’s also more direct since it includes your actual question.
Remember, most prospects won’t be in buyer mode when you reach out. Since this subject line is so straightforward, it increases the chances of the right prospects opening and responding to your email.
3. Nice to meet you, [Name]!
This one is the digital version of a handshake. It’s great for low-pressure emails where your goal is just to introduce yourself or your company to the prospect without asking for anything.
You can even include an emoji with this one to make it even more casual.
4. [Situation] at [Company name]
This subject line makes it clear what the email is about and that it concerns the prospect’s company. The [Situation] part should be connected to the pain point your product or service addresses.
Note that this one is on the more formal side, so keep that in mind when writing the rest of the email.
5. [Mutual connection] suggested I reach out
If you share a mutual acquaintance with the prospect, mentioning them in the subject line can significantly increase the chances of getting your email opened.
The mutual connection’s name will be the first thing they see and will help to grab their attention.
How effective this type of subject line will be depends on the relationship the prospect has with that person.
If it’s a good friend of theirs, they will be more likely to engage with your email than if it’s a former colleague they were never really fond of.
6. Quick question about [Company name]
Using a subject line like this one makes it easy for the prospect to understand that responding to your email won’t be a big time investment. It also shows that you’re familiar with their company.
Remember to keep your promise when writing the rest of the email and keep the body of the email short and your question quick and easy to reply to.
You can personalize this one further by including the prospect’s first name.
7. Fix your [pain point] in [X] weeks
This bold subject line shows that you understand the challenge the prospect is dealing with and have a solution to it. It sounds sales-y, though, so some prospects might be put off by it.
The “[X] weeks” part is where you can really intrigue them — if you let them know that you can solve their problem quickly, they’ll be more willing to open and engage with your email.
If you decide to use this subject line, you’ll need to show prospects that you have a concrete plan to solve their pain point.
8. First steps to improving [pain point]
Similar to the previous subject line, this one shows that you understand the prospect's challenge and that you can help them solve it. The "First steps" part helps to make them curious and more likely to open your email.
If you decide to use this subject line, try to provide some actual value in the email (e.g., don’t make booking a call with you the “first step”).
9. [Your company] x [Prospect’s company]
This one works really well if your company is well-known in the industry but might not be the best fit if you work at a relatively unknown company.
It makes it clear that you’re proposing a collaboration between your company and the prospect’s company. If you decide to use it, you should focus the body of the email on how the prospect’s company can benefit from working with you.
10. Disappointed with [pain point]?
It can be highly effective to address the prospect’s pain point immediately. If you did your research well and identified a prospect who is dealing with the pain point you reference in the subject line, you’re likely to get an open and a reply.
Make sure that you show understanding for the prospect’s problem and explain how you can help in the body of your email.
11. How to overcome [pain point]
This type of subject line can help intrigue the prospect by hinting that the sender might have some ideas on how to solve their pain point.
When using this subject line, you need to provide some actual value in the email, not just request a time to talk.
12. A better way to [prospect’s goal]
This subject line gets straight to the point. It’s great for emails where you include a tip or two for the prospect without asking for anything in return.
If you decide to discuss your product or service, make sure to focus on the benefits it can bring to your prospect or their company.
13. This is a sales email
Sometimes it’s best to be completely honest and upfront with prospects. This is what this subject line aims to do.
Some prospects will definitely appreciate your honesty and might reward you for it by engaging with your email.
14. Don’t open this email
A witty subject line that plays a bit on reverse psychology to intrigue the prospect so they do actually open your email.
This one’s a bit cheeky, but it can work on the right prospects.
For more help writing cold email subject lines, check out this guide and our sales email templates.
As odd as it sounds, the best subject lines pull a (sort of) fast one on your prospects. Getting them to open the email is a battle, a necessary battle to win the war for their attention.
The subject line that has historically worked best for me in the past is very simple:
"[First name], thoughts?"
The goal here isn't anything other than simply getting the curiosity meter to break, for the prospect to think "uhhh... what does this person want my thoughts on?"
What you never want to do in a subject line is talk about anything relating to your solution.
Why? Because your prospect most likely isn't looking for a solution, so you get an easy **delete** instead of the opening of an email. – Kevin Hopp, Hopp Consulting Group
Follow-up email subject lines
Following up with a prospect? No problem — use one of these subject line examples to increase your chances of getting a response.
15. Our next steps
This is a simple subject line for a follow-up email that helps spark curiosity. Note that you should include more information in the email than just telling the prospect that they need to book a call with you.
16. [X] options to get started
This one’s a good way to let the prospect know that responding to your email won’t take a lot of time since they’ll just need to pick from a list of already determined options.
When using this subject line, a good way to end your email is to let the prospect know that they can reply with a number corresponding to the option they’d like to go with. This will make the process of replying very low-effort, increasing your chances of getting a reply.
17. It’s been a while since we last talked
This subject line helps to remind prospective customers of your last email or conversation and helps you get their attention again.
The “a while” part helps to make them realize that they’ve left you without a response for quite some time and might nudge them towards opening your email and responding.
If you decide to use this subject line, it might be good to recap your previous conversation with the prospect in a couple of sentences within the body of the email.
18. Do you have any questions?
With this one, you focus on the prospect and their needs and let them know that you’re willing to answer any questions or concerns they might have.
You do need to be prepared to answer questions via email or get on a call with the prospect if you decide to use this one.
Need more help writing better subject lines for follow-up emails? Read this detailed guide and check out our collection of follow-up email templates.
Meeting request subject lines
If you’re at a point where you need to ask the prospect for a call or meeting, it’s usually best to be direct about it. Here are a few subject lines you can use.
19. Hi, [Name]. 10 mins this week?
A great subject line to pitch a short, low-pressure meeting. It makes it clear what the email is about and gives the prospect an easy way to say yes or no.
20. Time to chat?
This one lets the prospect know that you’re interested in a casual conversation. Similarly to the previous subject line, it helps to create a low-pressure environment.
21. [Name], will we meet this week?
This one’s quite direct and asks the prospect to meet that week.
Being more direct and taking the initiative like this can help with prospects that have time to talk but aren’t the type to ask to set up a meeting themselves.
22. Are you available [date and time]?
Sometimes the quickest way to set up a meeting with a prospect is to ask to meet at a specific time.
Your email should include a few alternative times the prospect can choose from if the time you originally suggested doesn’t work for them.
Need more help writing meeting request emails? Check out this guide.
Email subject lines after no response
Not sure if you should continue following up or not? Use these subject lines when creating your breakup email.
23. Should I stay, or should I go?
If you haven’t received a response from a prospect in a while, you can try using this subject line. The ask here is simple: do they want you to keep reaching out or not?
The idea is to get an understanding of whether the prospect really has no interest in what you’re offering or if they’re just too busy at the moment.
24. Have you changed your mind about [Your company’s name]?
This one reminds the prospect of your previous email and prompts them to open the email and either reply or unsubscribe from further emails.
25. Ready to part ways?
Use this one after multiple failed attempts to get a response from a prospect. If they’re interested but genuinely didn’t have time to respond, they’ll likely respond to this email.
On the other hand, if they’re not interested, they’ll be happy to let you know.
26. It’s not you — it’s me
Instead of asking the prospect why they’re not responding, turn it around and say you’re the reason why.
Ask if there’s anything you could have done differently to get a response from them.
27. If you change your mind
You can use this one once a prospect gives you a “no,” or you decide to stop sending follow-ups. The email should let them know how to reach you if they change their mind about working with you or booking a meeting.
Perfect the subject line for your next email
Now that you’ve read this post, you understand just how crucial the subject line is for the performance of your sales emails. The next step is to put our tips and examples to use.
Here’s what you should do:
- Choose your favorites – Pick a couple of catchy email subject lines you think would work well for your campaigns.
- Be creative – You don’t need to use the provided subject lines verbatim. Be creative and put your own spin on them while using the examples as a guideline.
- Keep subject line best practices in mind – Make sure to keep best practices in mind when experimenting with subject lines: keep it short, personalized, and urgent.
- Use Hunter Campaigns to scale your sales outreach – You can set up, launch, and manage sales outreach campaigns for free using Hunter Campaigns. Get started here.