June 14, 2023

25 High-Impact Email Subject Lines for Sales (+ ChatGPT Prompts)

Your email subject line is the gatekeeper, deciding whether your email gets opened or sent straight to the trash. It's a small piece of text with a big responsibility. But don't worry, we're here to help you master the art of crafting email subject lines that get your sales emails opened, read, and responded to.

What Makes a Good Email Subject Line?

Email subject lines are crucial in sales. They're the first thing your recipient sees, and they can make or break whether your email gets opened. A well-crafted subject line can pique your recipient's curiosity, offer value, and ultimately lead to higher open rates.

A good email subject line is brief, personalized, interesting, offers value, creates urgency, avoids clickbait, and includes relevant keywords. Let's break these down:

1. Short and sweet

The ideal length of an email subject line varies between devices. On average, the maximum subject line is about 60 characters long before it gets cut off by the email provider. Aim for a subject line of around 50 characters to ensure it appears fully on desktop, mobile, and tablet devices and on various browsers.

email browsers

2. Personalized

Including the prospect’s name in the subject or opening line can significantly increase open rates. People want to hear from other people, not faceless brands. Use your personal email address or an alias that includes your first name to give your message a more human appearance.

3. Worth the time

A good subject line is your chance to pique the recipient's interest. It could be a question about a recent project they've started or finished, an ask for their help, or a comment on a recent news story in their industry. The key is to make it about the prospect.

4. Creates urgency (but not clickbait!)

Creating a sense of urgency can encourage the recipient to open the email sooner rather than later. Avoid creating false urgency or overusing urgent language, as this can annoy your recipients and damage your credibility. Instead, use urgency when it's genuinely relevant, such as when you're offering a limited-time discount or when the recipient needs to take action by a certain deadline.

While you want to grab attention, make sure your subject line accurately represents the content of your email. So, use this tactic sparingly to avoid annoying your prospects with constant urgent requests.

5. Keyword-focused

Including relevant keywords can help your email stand out in a crowded inbox and make it more searchable. Plus, keywords can help your email avoid spam make it into a folder the prospect will review later.


Common Mistakes to Avoid in Email Subject Lines

While crafting email subject lines, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Being Too Vague: Your subject line should give the recipient a clear idea of what your email is about.
  • Using All Caps or Excessive Punctuation: This can make your email look like spam and decrease your open rates.
  • Making False Promises: If your subject line promises something, make sure your email delivers on that promise.
  • Ignoring Mobile Users: More than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, so make sure that your emails are designed to be mobile-friendly. Your subject line should look good on smaller screens.

Types of Sales Email Subject Lines

Crafting the perfect sales email subject line is both an art and a science. It requires creativity, a deep understanding of your audience, and a bit of experimentation. It's about finding the right balance between being informative and intriguing, without coming off as spammy.

There are different types of sales email subject lines, each serving a different purpose:

  • Cold Email Subject Lines: When reaching out to a prospect for the first time, you should try to be intriguing and personalized to encourage the recipient to open the email.
  • Follow-Up Email Subject Lines: These are used when following up with a prospect after an initial interaction. Remind the recipient of the previous interaction and provide a reason to continue the conversation.
  • Email Subject Lines After No Response: Prospect hasn't responded to your previous emails? Your subject line should be respectful and offer value to encourage a response.
  • Meeting Requests: When requesting a meeting with a prospect, be clear, concise, and include the proposed value of the meeting.
  • Breakup Email Subject Lines: Breakup emails are your last attempt to engage a prospect who has gone cold. The subject lines for these emails should be direct and honest, expressing your intention to close their file unless they indicate otherwise. 

Examples of Effective Subject Lines

The average email open rate for all industries is 21.33%. Open rates are one of the best ways to gauge the success of your email campaigns and measure engagement with your audience.

Download the Essential Guide to Demand Generation

A higher open rate indicates that your subject lines and overall email content or sales sequences are resonating with your recipients and capturing their attention. It signifies that they are interested in what you have to say and are willing to take the time to read your emails. Here are some examples of email subject lines that may get you more opens: 

Cold Email Subject Lines

  1. "Question about [goal]"
  2. "[Mutual connection] recommended I get in touch"
  3. "Hi [name], [question]?"
  4. "Did you get what you were looking for?"
  5. "Hoping to help"
  6. "A [benefit] for [prospect's company]"
  7. "X tips/ideas for [pain point]"
  8. "Idea for [topic the prospect cares about]"
  9. "10x [prospect's company]'s traction in 10 minutes"
  10. "I found you through [referral name]"

Lead Follow-Up Email Subject Lines

  1. "Our next steps"
  2. "X options to get started"
  3. "You are not alone."
  4. "10 mins — [date]?"
  5. "A 3-step plan for your busy week"
  6. "[Prospect], I thought you might like these blogs"
  7. "Here's that info I promised you"
  8. "I'd love your feedback on that meeting"
  9. "I thought about what you said"

Breakup Email Subject Lines

  1. "Should I stay or should I go?"
  2. "Is it goodbye?"
  3. "Permission to close your file"
  4. "Last attempt to reach you"
  5. "Closing your file: Confirmation needed"

New Breed's Most Successful Subject Lines

  1. "Is your brand inconsistent?" (32% open rate)
  2. "Big website plans? Get big savings between now and the end of the year 🌐💰" (57% open rate)
  3. "When's the last time you took a hard look at your inbound strategy?" (38% open rate)

How to Test Your Emails for Performance

email ab testing

Testing your email subject lines is crucial to understanding what types of sales engagement or marketing nurture approach works best for your audience. Here are some ways to test your subject lines:

  • Email A/B testing: Also known as split testing,  A/B testing involves sending two versions of your email, each with a different subject line, to different segments of your audience. The version that gets the most opens or clicks is the winner.
  • Length: Test subject lines of different lengths to see what your audience prefers. Some people might prefer shorter, more concise subject lines, while others might prefer longer, more descriptive ones.
  • Tone: Try using different tones in your subject lines, such as formal, informal, friendly, or authoritative, to see what resonates most with your audience.
  • Personalization: Test the use of personalization in your subject lines, such as including the recipient's name or referencing their company or industry. Personalization tokens in platforms like HubSpot's Marketing Hub can help to automate this part of the process.
  • Emojis: Experiment with adding emojis to your subject lines to see if they increase engagement.

Remember, what works for one audience might not work for another, so it's important to continuously test and optimize your subject lines based on your audience's preferences and behaviors.


ChatGPT Prompts to Generate Outstanding Email Subject Lines

Capturing the attention of your recipients and driving open rates starts with crafting compelling email subject lines. And luckily, GPT-4 makes it all that easier! To help you achieve the best quality output, we have carefully refined our prompts to provide valuable insights and boost the effectiveness of your emails.

Download the Essential Guide to Demand Generation

Don't forget that personalization and human touch are crucial for aligning the generated subject lines with your brand's voice and maintaining authenticity. So, while AI-powered platforms or plugins can provide a solid foundation for generating creative and impactful email subject lines, it's up to you to refine them to perfectly fit your unique brand.

First, train ChatGPT on carrying out your tasks by assigning it a role, as follows: 

Imagine you are a seasoned sales copywriter and your task is to brainstorm and create compelling email subject lines that drive engagement and increase open rates. You have been assigned to develop subject lines for different email types, including cold emails, follow-up emails, emails after no response, and meeting request emails. Your goal is to leverage your expertise in sales copywriting and generate subject lines that align with best practices, effectively convey the message, and grab the recipient's attention. Provide high-quality subject line variations tailored to the given context. Remember to keep the subject lines concise within 50 characters and follow the guidelines for sales email subject lines. Say OK when you understand your role! 

Now, you can use any of the following prompts to brainstorm subject lines with the platform. 

Prompts for Cold Call Email

Generate 6 subject line variations for a cold email. Add the context of the email body here: [copy & paste the email body copy]. The central idea of the email is [mention the sales angle]. The goal is to create subject lines that evoke curiosity, highlight the unique value proposition, and create a sense of urgency. Keep the subject lines below 50 characters and ensure they follow best practices for sales email subject lines.

Prompts for Email Follow-Up

Provide 6 subject line variations for a follow-up email. The previous email focused on [mention the key topic or request]. Please provide any additional context or details about the previous email. I want subject lines that offer additional value, highlight a recent success story, or present a personalized solution. Please ensure the subject lines are concise, compelling, and follow best practices for sales email subject lines. Keep them within 50 characters.

Prompts for Subject Lines After No Response

Generate 6 subject line variations for an email following up after no response. The previous email was focused on [mention the main topic or offer]. Please provide any additional context about the previous email. I want subject lines that introduce a new perspective, present a time-sensitive opportunity, or ask a thought-provoking question. Please keep the subject lines concise, personalized, engaging within 50 characters, and in line with best practices for sales email subject lines.

Prompt for Requesting a Meeting:

Provide 6 personalized subject line variations for a sales meeting request email. The recipient works as a [mention recipient's role] in [mention recipient's company]. Please provide any additional context about the recipient's industry or interests. I want subject lines that emphasize a shared connection, address a specific pain point, propose a collaborative opportunity, and follow best practices for sales email subject lines. Please ensure the subject lines are concise, engaging, tailored to the recipient's needs, and within 50 characters.

The Takeaway

Crafting compelling sales email subject lines is both an art and a science. Like with any other lead engagement asset, it requires creativity, understanding of your prospect's needs and interests, and a good grasp of email marketing best practices. With the right approach, your email subject lines can significantly increase your open rates, click rates, and conversions, ultimately driving more sales for your business. Remember, the goal is not just to get your emails opened, but to elicit a response and start a conversation that could lead to a sale.

Demand Generation Guide

Elizaveta Shkurina

Sr Creative Strategist specializing in B2B brand creation, sales enablement, and SaaS demand generation. With 8 years of experience, she excels in driving ROI and revenue-driven KPIs through collaborative innovation.


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