Cold Emails Prospecting

Improve Your Email Open Rate With Better Subject Lines

You’ve spent hours composing your sales email, and you’re confident of a response from your prospect. Days turn into weeks, and you’re still left waiting.

Was your pitch not good enough? Is there anything more you could have done?

The truth is, your carefully crafted email is now sitting in their inbox, unread – or worse, in their spam folder. Don’t be surprised. Nearly 35% of emails meet the same fate. To make matters worse, the average email open rate across industries is 29.55%, and your customers are constantly analyzing your subject lines to understand whether your email is useful or just another promotional push.

Can't tell if spam or actual email

With such disheartening statistics, it’s no surprise you’re looking for shortcuts to get the email open rate you want (and deserve). We’re here to spill the tea. 

How to increase your email open rate with better subject lines

To get a higher email conversion rate, you need to provide your prospects with engaging subject lines. In fact, 69% of customers report sales emails as spam solely based on the subject line. This goes to show how important it is to personalize them for your prospect. And no, adding a recipient name is not enough. 

One does not simply add a first name and expect high engagement

Here are a few pointers you should keep in mind before you hit that send button.

1. Make it relevant to your target customers

One of the biggest mistakes you could make is adding a subject line that talks about your product or service. This rarely works – because no one wants to hear about a random product they’ve never seen or used before. For instance, “ready to increase your ROI?” as a subject line is a lot more effective than “we’ve made some exciting new updates to our product.”

To give you a better idea, here are a few subject line examples you definitely should NOT use while cold pitching to prospects.

Bad subject line examples

Instead, make sure to talk about your customer’s pain points. What are they struggling with? What frustrations do they have with existing products or services in the market? This change of mindset will help you draft an email subject line your customers are actually interested in reading. 

Good subject lines - examples

2. Take spam filters into account

Your email’s subject line is the primary decider of whether it will end up in your prospect’s spam folder. Spam filters – which use artificial intelligence to prevent unsolicited messages from reaching your prospect’s inbox – can easily pick up on certain spam words in the subject line.

There are a few words like “completely free”, “buy” or “order” that immediately trigger spam filters. If you want a more exhaustive list of spammy words, you can find it here

A few other red flags for spam filters include punctuation marks, using all caps, numbers and values in your subject line. 

All caps email - please don't yell

3. Keep it conversational 

You want your customers to feel comfortable and valued. The best way to do this is to talk to them like you would to a friend. Consider the following two subject lines: 

  • We’re offering freebies to our loyal customers
  • Check out the freebies we’ve got for you

The latter will undoubtedly get better reception, right? So try to emulate it. 

4. Use mobile-friendly subject lines

47% of your customers check their email through smartphones. This means you need to optimize your email content for mobiles and keep your subject lines as short as possible, else it will get cropped out in the mobile interface. 

Always remember to limit your subject lines to 50 characters or less. This is because iPhone users can see around 35-38 characters in portrait mode, and Galaxy phones display approximately 33 characters. Here’s a quick snapshot of how many words your subject line should have to get better open rates –

Open rates according to length of subject line
Image source:

Not sure how to get your point across with a short subject line?

Don’t fret, it’s okay to use vague sentences as long as you entice the reader with a good hook. Look at how The Transformation Chef was able to impress a seemingly irrelevant lead into the consideration phase of their buyer journey.  

Vague, but enticing subject line - example

5. Start with a name

A lot of sales emails have a ‘Dear, Customer’ in their subject lines. This is a rookie mistake. 

Dear Customer - a rookie mistake

According to Hubspot, emails with the recipient’s name in the subject line have a much higher clickthrough rate.

6. Use emojis

The usage of emojis in your subject line depends largely on the industry you’re working in. You may have to tread with caution in some cases, but for the most part, emojis can help improve your email conversion rate – a pop of colour can grab attention quicker and reduce your character count (if you’re wise with wordings).

A pop of emojis

7. Add a sense of urgency

We all experience a little FOMO. Take advantage of it while pitching to your customers and include phrases like ‘limited time’, ‘ending soon’ or ‘last chance’. This will make your prospects feel like they don’t have a lot of time to close the deal. 

8. Pay attention to your email preheader

Preheaders are the small strips of text that appear right after the subject line. An email preheader is extremely important as it tells your customer what the email is about.

You can either write it yourself or it will automatically display the first few words of your email. We suggest you type out your own email preheaders and personalize it wherever possible.

The Ultimate Hack to Write Better Subject Lines

The above tips can improve your open rates to a great extent, but they aren’t enough if you’re pitching to high-ticket customers.

These people receive quite a few well-crafted emails every day, so you need to go the extra mile while crafting your email subject lines.

In such cases, personalization should be your key strategy. You need to analyze your prospect’s personality and tailor your subject lines accordingly. 

What if you could take a quick peek into your prospect’s mind and find out key aspects of their personality? It would definitely come in handy while pitching to them. For example, if your prospect likes educational content, you can add a couple of statistics and facts in your sales email. If they’re more story-driven, you can throw in an anecdote.

However, you will need to spend several hours researching your prospect to get such information. This is where prospect intelligence comes in.

Imagine being able to use artificial intelligence to get detailed insights into how your customers think and feel. It could be a real game-changer in your sales strategy.

If you’ve used technology like this before, then you’d know how quickly you can get detailed prospect intelligence reports (Humantic AI gives you personality insights and information on buying traits in 15 seconds)

How do you go about crafting stronger subject lines? Sound off in the comments!

Humantic AI reinvents human interaction by enabling its users to reliably understand other people's personality and behavior without requiring them to take any test. Using Humantic AI's cutting-edge personality AI, salespeople can consistently close more deals.

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