Email Subject Lines for Sales: Boost Your Open Rates with These Tips and Templates

RepVue Editorial Team
RepVue Editorial TeamDec 17, 2023

Getting your sales emails opened and read is one of the biggest challenges sales professionals face. Crafting compelling email subject lines is essential to grab the attention of your target audience and increase the chances of conversion. In this article, we’ll share some tips and tricks for creating effective email subject lines that will help you stand out in a crowded inbox and improve your email marketing results.

First and foremost, keep your subject lines short and sweet. According to research, subject lines with 41 to 50 characters tend to have the highest open rates. Avoid using filler words and focus on conveying the main benefit or value proposition of your email in a concise and clear manner. 

Another best practice is to personalize your subject lines whenever possible. Adding the recipient’s name or company name can make your email feel more relevant and engaging. You can also use segmentation and targeting to send customized emails based on the recipient’s interests, behavior, or location. For instance, “Hey [Name], we have a special offer for [City] residents only.”

Remember, your email subject line is the first impression you make on your prospects. By following these tips and crafting compelling subject lines, you can increase your open rates, click-through rates, and ultimately, your sales revenue.

The Art of Crafting Engaging Email Subject Lines

Crafting engaging email subject lines is crucial to the success of your sales emails. A great subject line can entice the recipient to open your email and engage with your content. Here are some tips on how to craft effective subject lines.

Understanding Your Audience

The first step to crafting engaging email subject lines is to understand your audience. What are their pain points? What are their interests? What motivates them? Understanding your audience allows you to tailor your subject lines to their needs and interests.

Example Subject Lines Showing You Understand Your Audience

  • “Solve [specific pain point] with [your product/service]”
  • “Get [specific benefit] with [your product/service]”
  • “Join [specific community/group] and [specific benefit]”

Personalization Techniques

Personalization is a powerful technique that can make your email subject lines more engaging. Use the recipient’s name or company name in your subject line to catch their attention. You can also use personalization to create a sense of exclusivity or urgency.

Example Subject Lines Using Personalization Techniques

  • “Hey [recipient’s name], [specific question]?”
  • “Exclusive offer for [company name] employees”
  • “Last chance to [specific benefit]”

Clarity and Brevity

Clarity and brevity are key when it comes to email subject lines. Your subject line should clearly convey the purpose of your email and be concise enough to fit on a mobile device screen. Avoid using vague or misleading subject lines that can lead to low open rates or spam complaints.

Example Subject Lines that are Clear and Brief

  • “Quick question about [specific topic]”
  • “Introducing [specific feature/product]”
  • “Don’t miss out on [specific opportunity]”

By following these best practices for crafting engaging email subject lines, you can increase the open rates and engagement of your sales emails.

Power Words and Phrases to Boost Open Rates

When it comes to crafting effective email subject lines for sales, there are certain power words and phrases that can help increase open rates. Here are a few best practices for using them:

Creating Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency in your subject line can encourage recipients to open your email right away. Consider using phrases like “limited time offer,” “act fast,” or “don’t miss out” to convey a sense of urgency. 

Urgency Subject Line Examples

  • Last chance to save 20% on your purchase
  • Only a few spots left for our upcoming webinar
  • Today only: free shipping on all orders

Using Action Verbs

Using action verbs in your subject line can help make it more engaging and compelling. Consider using verbs like “discover,” “explore,” or “unlock” to pique recipients’ curiosity and encourage them to open your email. 

Action Verb Subject Line Examples

  • Discover the secret to boosting your sales
  • Explore our latest product line and save 10%
  • Unlock exclusive access to our VIP program

Leveraging Curiosity

Leveraging curiosity in your subject line can make recipients curious about what’s inside your email. Consider using phrases like “surprise,” “reveal,” or “unveil” to spark recipients’ curiosity and encourage them to open your email. 

Curiosity Subject Line Examples

  • Surprise! You’ve been selected for our exclusive sale
  • Reveal the secret to getting more leads
  • Unveil our newest product and get 15% off

By incorporating these power words and phrases into your email subject lines, you can increase open rates and improve the success of your sales campaigns.

Explore sales orgs with high quota attainment

Four Creative Subject Line Frameworks for Cold Emails

Jen Allen-Knuth recently shared some great frameworks for cold email subject lines that stand out from the subject lines prospects typically see. 

CEO Comments Subject Lines

This one is simple. The subject line is just the CEO’s name and the word “comments.” 

She gives the example of a CEO named Mary Smith, where the subject line would be “Mary Smith’s Comments”. Then the preview text should then immediately address previous comments the CEO made — usually in some public forum (like an article, quarterly earnings report, blog post or podcast). Then make sure to reference these comments in the body of your email.

The Rule of Three Subject Lines

Three words or numbers — two ordinary and one unusual one. Then in the body of the email, you pay off the riddle of the unusual one. 

Her example subject line is “7, 3, 598” for an SEO service. Then in the example email body, the text addresses how the prospect currently ranks 7th on Google, that the top 3 search results get the most clicks, and that a recent client was able to increase their search traffic by 598%. 

Very clever.

Internal Camo Subject Lines

The internal camo framework works by making your subject lines look like internal email subject lines. Emails from your manager and colleagues rarely look like the ones from salespeople. More often, they’re only a few words long and non-specific.

Examples she gives include “Q2 Forecast,” “Social Engagement,” and “Year End.” Subject lines like these can lower your prospects’ cold-email defenses and get them to read what’s in the email rather than automatically deleting it. 

One caution — try to stay away from “fake reply” subject lines that start with “RE:” or “FWD:” to try to make it seem like the email is a reply to one that your recipient has already sent. Even if these are successful in getting the open, they’ll hurt your credibility with the recipient who will feel as though they’ve been tricked.

Subject Preview Combo Subject Lines

Another simple framework that gets results. Start the thought you want to convey in the subject line, then finish it in the first line of your email. 

A great example of this Jen provides has “Employee churn” in the subject line, then “seems to be up since last quarter.” 

Hate sending cold emails? See which sales orgs rank highest for inbound lead flow.

Best Practices for A/B Testing Subject Lines

If you want to improve your email open rates and increase your sales, A/B testing your subject lines is a must. Here are some best practices to follow when A/B testing your subject lines:

Setting Clear Objectives

Before you start A/B testing your subject lines, it’s essential to have a clear objective in mind. What do you want to achieve with your email campaign? Do you want to increase your open rates, click-through rates, or conversions? Once you have a clear objective in mind, you can create subject lines that are more likely to achieve your goal.

Segmenting Your Audience

Segmenting your audience is crucial when A/B testing your subject lines. You want to send different subject lines to different segments of your audience to see which ones perform best. For example, you might send one subject line to your loyal customers and another to your new subscribers.

Analyzing the Results

After you’ve sent your A/B test emails, it’s time to analyze the results. Look at your open rates, click-through rates, and conversions to see which subject line performed best. Use this information to improve your future email campaigns and continue to A/B test your subject lines regularly.Remember, A/B testing your subject lines is an ongoing process. Keep testing and refining your subject lines to improve your email open rates and drive more sales.

Timing and Frequency: When to Hit Send

When it comes to sales emails, timing and frequency are crucial factors to consider. You want to make sure your email lands in your prospect’s inbox at the right time, and that you’re not overwhelming them with too many messages. In this section, we’ll cover the best practices for identifying the best times to email and managing your email cadence.

Identifying the Best Days and Times to Email

The timing of your sales email can significantly impact its success. You want to send your email when your prospect is most likely to read it and take action. 

According to Salesforce, the best time to send your sales email is between 10 am and 12 pm. During this time, people are usually settled into their workday, and they’re more likely to check their inbox.

Another good time to send your sales email is between 2 pm and 4 pm. At this time, people have usually finished their lunch break and are back at their desk. Here are some example subject lines that you can use to schedule your sales emails:

  • “Quick question about [prospect’s goal] – 10 am tomorrow?”
  • “Get ahead of the competition: [Your product] demo at 11 am”
  • “Don’t miss out on [Your product]: 3 pm today”

As for the day of the week to send, many people agree that avoiding Mondays and Fridays is ideal. Mondays tend to be full with weekly meetings, and an email received on a Friday can too easily be put away “until next week” — and then forgotten about.  

According to research from Hubspot, survey results suggested that Tuesday is the best day to send B2B emails. But the consensus seemed to be that any day other than Friday is fine.  Of course, you could also take a contrarian approach and decide that if no one is sending emails on Friday, maybe that’s exactly when you should send them. Email outreach is certainly more of an art than a science — but like all tactics you should test different approaches.

Managing Email Cadence

While sending your sales email at the right time is essential, it’s equally crucial to maintain a healthy email cadence. You don’t want to bombard your prospects with too many emails, as this can lead to them unsubscribing or marking your emails as spam.

A good rule of thumb is to send no more than two follow-up emails after your initial email. You should space out your follow-up emails by at least three days to give your prospect enough time to respond. 

Ideally in your initial meeting or phone call you set the expectation that you’d be following up — and even got the prospects’ buy-in. That way when you send your follow-up email you can reference those expectations and frame your email as following through on the mutually agreed next step. Hopefully your prospect will reciprocate with a response.

Here are some example subject lines that can help you manage your email cadence:

  • “Just checking in on [prospect’s goal]”
  • “Last chance to schedule a demo with [Your product]”
  • “Gentle reminder: [Your product] can help you achieve [prospect’s goal]”

Remember, timing and frequency are just two factors that can impact the success of your sales email. By following these best practices and using the example subject lines provided, you can increase your chances of getting your prospect to open, read, and respond to your email.

Avoiding Spam Filters and Legal Issues

When crafting email subject lines for sales, it’s important to avoid triggering spam filters and legal issues. Here are some best practices to help you stay compliant and avoid getting flagged as spam.

Compliance with Email Regulations

To avoid legal issues, make sure your emails comply with email regulations such as CAN-SPAM and GDPR. This includes providing a clear and easy way for recipients to unsubscribe, including your physical address in the email, and not misleading recipients with false or deceptive subject lines.

Here are some template subject lines that demonstrate compliance with email regulations:

  • “Important updates about your account”
  • “Your subscription preferences”
  • “Invitation to opt-in to our newsletter”

Crafting Spam-Free Content

To avoid triggering spam filters, make sure your subject line and email content are relevant and valuable to the recipient. Avoid using excessive punctuation, all caps, and spam trigger words such as “free”, “money”, and “act now”.

Here are some template subject lines that demonstrate crafting spam-free content:

  • “5 tips to improve your sales strategy”
  • “How to save time with our new product”
  • “Exclusive offer for our loyal customers”

By following these best practices, you can increase the chances of your sales emails reaching your target audience and avoid getting flagged as spam.

Anonymously rate a company to get full access to RepVue's sales org data
  • Salary & compensation data
  • % Team to achieve quota
  • Product market fit scores
  • Leadership scores
Explore Companies

Want to join the RepVue community?

RepVue is the world's leading sales org ratings platform. Take 2 minutes to anonymously rate your current or former sales organization to get free access to all our data!