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Fresh Email Subject Lines for Sales: Best Practices

by Article by Nick Rhoades Nick Rhoades | February 15, 2024 at 2:30 PM

Email subject lines for sales are arguably the most important component to crafting an email that will generate leads and conversions, book more meetings and close the deal. Why? It’s the first thing people will read when skimming through their email inbox! 

Consider your subject line your first impression. If your subject line doesn't catch people's attention or feel relevant to their needs, the rest of your email won't even be seen. The subject line is the preview that makes people want to open and read.

Salespeople spend valuable time crafting the right message to send to their leads and opportunities. While email subject lines seem like a small part of that message, they should get the same attention to detail. After all, in a world where only 23.9% of sales emails are getting opened, you have to stand out. 

Luckily, we've got tips to get people to open more of your emails! 


What Makes a Great Sales Email: Your Subject Line Checklist

While many factors can make a subject line great, here are some of the best tips to keep in mind:

  • Capitalize on their curiosity πŸ€” We all know timing is everything in sales, but make sure you land the right message at the right time (aka when they are showing signs they are researching and evaluating their needs).  

  • Create a sense of urgency ⏰ Whether at scale with a timebound offer or more personalized with their project timeline, your subject line can help build momentum and nudge your prospects to prioritize responding to your communications.

  • Keep it short and sweet 🍬 Get to the point in the first few words. The more cryptic or unclear your subject line is, the less likely the rest of your email is going to get seen! 

  • Give your reader relevant value 🎁 Are your communications always asking for something? A call, a commitment, a signature? The subject line can be a great place to reposition an ask as a gift. Rather than, "Meeting Request: Proposal Review" try "Your Project Plan is Ready!"

  • A/B test your subject lines πŸ‘©β€πŸ”¬ Sales emails at scale give you the opportunity to see what messages entice leads to open your email more often. Pro tip: test your findings for specific audiences/personas because trends will vary. 

  • Personalize, personalize, personalize 🎨 Even if you are emailing lots of people every day, you likely don't want your leads/opportunities/prospects to feel that way. Use the subject line to make your message feel like it was written just for them. 

  • Create a stellar call-to-action (CTA) πŸƒ The primary reason we're sending emails in the sales process is to get the people in our pipeline to take action. Your subject line can help bring that call to action to the top when you've checked off the other tips on this list!

πŸ‘‰ Some examples from our friends at HubSpot

Tips to take back your edge in sales emails

Keep Your Mobile Users in Mind When Writing Subject Lines

Are your prospects working from home or on the go?

It’s crucial to ensure your subject line length is mobile-friendly and shows correctly on smartphones.


We recommend keeping your subject line below 50 characters, as anything above that will not fully show up in the subject line on a smartphone.

πŸ‘‰ Here's a cool tool to test how your subject line will appear.

Sales Email Personalization: Tips for Subject Lines

Start Light: Always use "you" or "your" to make your subject lines feel personal.

Get More Personal: Everybody enjoys hearing their own name, especially when in the first line of a message they receive. The subject line can be made more personable by including personalization tokens like their name, their company name, or their pain point but using a name is the best approach.

Of course, this means your database and lead gen process need to be tidy for this to work, but we can help with that. 

Small gestures of personalization demonstrate that you are aware of the recipient on a deeper level than their email address. 

Tips to Create Urgency and Pique Interest

Urgency: Actionable subject lines create urgency and excitement in the reader, encouraging them to act on your email.

Great words to communicate urgency:
now, today, tomorrow, time running out, limited spots, short time only, don’t wait. 

Curiosity: A question in your subject line can also pique readers' interest, particularly if you know the answer will be important to your readers' target audience's buyer persona.

Capitalize on that awesome subject line and dazzle them with the rest of your message 

Speaking of keeping your subject line short, you should also aim to get to the point of your message quickly. 

Here is a quick guide to follow for structuring your subject line and email:

  • personalized subject line
  • personalized preview text
  • strong intro (after all, what if they don't read past sentence #1?)
  • relevant value/solution to an identified problem
  • quick benefits of said solution or value
  • a kind farewell

When in doubt, collab with your marketing friends for more email best practices! 

Around here, we treat sales and marketing as a team! After all, we're all working towards the same goal and are talking to the same people, just in different stages of their buyer's journey

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