41 powerful email subject lines for sales that get clicks | RingCentral (2023)

A good subject line is the cornerstone of any email, whether it’s a sales email or not.

It’s the most important sentence in your entire email. (And it’s definitely something that deserves to be covered in any effective sales meeting.) If you don’t put the effort into crafting something compelling, you can expect to get mediocre returns from your email marketing efforts. Why? Because no one will open your emails.

Good news: you don’t have to start from scratch.

In this post, we’ll look at 41 subject lines to serve as inspiration when you write your next sales email, including:

  • Direct sales subject lines
  • Curiosity-driven sales subject lines
  • Personalized sales subject lines
  • Pain point sales subject lines
  • Urgency and scarcity subject lines
  • Quantified subject lines
  • Referral sales subject lines
  • Follow-up sales subject lines
  • Meeting request sales subject lines
  • No-response sales subject lines

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Why is it so important to get email subject lines right?

An email subject line is the equivalent of your opening greeting when cold calling. Simply put, they determine your email open rate: 47% of people will decide to open an email based on the subject line alone.

Obviously, if your prospects don’t open your emails, you can’t sell them on what’s inside.

But if your subject lines resonate, you’ll have a foot in the door—and a chance to move them one step closer to becoming your customer.

The thing is, subject lines are notoriously tricky to get right.

The average professional gets almost 100 emails a day. Their inbox is flooded with everything from team notices and urgent client requests to newsletter updates and password resets.

That’s a lot to sort through, so unless your email is a priority, chances are it won’t be opened.

That’s why capturing your prospect’s attention with a subject line that intrigues them enough to read on can be a tough ask. It’s no surprise that the average email open rate is just 21% across all industries.

So, what should you put in the subject line of a sales email to make it stand out?

What makes a good sales email subject line?

Renowned copywriter Eugene Schwartz once wrote:

“Your headline has one job: to stop your prospect and compel him to read the second sentence of your ad.”

Other than the fact that prospects aren’t only men anymore, this is pretty spot-on—and it applies to your subject line too. It has one job: to stop your prospect and compel them to open your email.

To do this, your subject line should hint at some benefit to the prospect.

This could be advice on how to increase their revenue during the next quarter or it could just mean they get to find out why their friend Anna referred them to you. Whatever the case, it’s what the prospect cares about that counts.

The most effective subject lines tend to provoke interest without revealing too much, giving your prospects a reason to open the email and keep reading.

Good subject lines also tend to be easy to understand. (Those that aren’t are either ignored or deleted!) So make sure you write your subject lines in clear and simple English and keep them short enough that they don’t get cut off. That being said, if you use ellipses well, it could give your email an air of mystery that invites the reader to open it…


If you want your whole team to write great email subject lines, make it easy for them to share that team knowledge of your prospects. A sales app or communication tool would be handy here. Something like the RingCentral app would let your reps ask each other “What do you think of this subject line?” and get feedback from the team quickly while writing their sales emails:

(Video) How To Write Cold Email Subject Lines - Prospecting For Business Development & B2B Sales

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some subject line examples that you can copy and customize for your next campaign.

41 email subject lines for sales

The very best salespeople will tell you just how important an email subject line is… but they might not share their secrets with you! We’re here to help and demystify this critical piece of any sales process. Here are a whole bunch of email subject lines you can try:

Direct sales subject lines

Sometimes the best approach is the direct approach.

Subject lines that get to the point and make it clear why you’re reaching out make life easier for your prospect.

Instead of running the risk of opening a misleading email, prospects know what subject matter to expect from the message and can accurately decide whether it interests them.

1. “About [a situation] at [prospect’s company]…”

This matter-of-fact subject line is upfront about what the message is about. For example: “About the timber supply at Danny’s workshop…”

2. “Quick question about [prospect’s company]”

This subject line gets straight to the point about what’s inside. Your prospect can decide if they’re interested in answering any questions before opening the email.

3. “Your monthly [X] target”

Again, the reader is explicitly told what the focus of the message will be without having to open it. For example: “Your monthly Facebook impressions target.”

Curiosity-driven sales subject lines

We don’t like leaving gaps in our understanding of things.

Subject lines that pique our curiosity create such gaps by giving us unexpected, incomplete information and promise us closure if we read on.

If you use this technique, make sure you deliver on the promise in the body of the email. It should genuinely bridge the gap you created in your subject line.

4. “Don’t open this email”

This subject line uses blatant reverse psychology to tempt the reader to look inside.

5. “They told us it was impossible”

Who are “they”? Who is “us”? What is “it”? This subject line fires up the imagination in a race for answers.

6. “You’re invited”

This simple, two-word subject line plays on the exclusive thrill of getting an invite. An invite to what? Who knows!

7. “Hey, can you keep a secret?”

This line also makes the reader feel like they might be in on something exclusive. Whatever it is, it’s worth opening the email to find out.

8. “Not cool, guys”

This subject line from the headline wizards at BuzzFeed gets us wondering about what juicy drama might be revealed within the email body.

9. “Are you a part of the 6%?”

The 6% of what? This line hooks us in by suggesting we may be a member of some exceptional (or not-so-exceptional) minority.

Personalized sales subject lines

Personalized subject lines add a human touch to your emails and come across as more thoughtful than standard messages sent to everyone.

Personalization may include addressing the recipient by name, mentioning where they’re from, or referring to something unique about their work or interests.

Personalized emails are widespread and popular today for good reason. They still give you a 0.5% better open rate than non-personalized alternatives. Nothing to sneeze at!

(Video) Sales Email Subject Line - The Trick To Getting More Responses To Your Sales Emails

10. “Hey, [name], I loved your blog post on [website name]”

This line combines personalization with praise, signaling to the reader that you’ve taken the time and effort to research them as a real person.

11. “Hi, [name], I noticed you’re working hard at [goal]”

This line suggests that you’re keen to help the reader achieve a specific objective they find meaningful.

12. “Hi, [name], [question]?”

This direct yet courteous subject line quickly gets to the heart of the matter.

13. “Congratulations on [relevant event]”

Expressing your praise or good wishes on an important occasion can go a long way toward fostering goodwill on the part of your prospect.

14. “Hey, [name], we heard you’re the go-to person for [area of expertise]”

People like to be acknowledged for what they’re good at, and this line offers the reader a welcome ego boost.

15. “Only the best for you, [name]”

This line shows that you value and respect your prospect, giving them a sense of familiarity and of being looked after.

Pain point sales subject lines

Focusing on your prospect’s pain points can make your subject lines hyper-relevant.

After all, it’s hard to ignore a message that zeroes in on a particular difficulty you’re facing.

The possibility of discovering a new solution makes it worth your while to take a look at what’s inside.

16. “[X] workarounds for your [pain point]”

This subject line promises immediate, practical advice to help with the reader’s specific problem. And even if the email isn’t coupled with a sales pitch, giving your prospect upfront value can go a long way toward warming them to you.

17. “Are you struggling with [pain point]? You’re not alone”

Offer your prospect some reassurance by reminding them that other people are facing similar problems and that you might be able to help.

18. “Hi, [name]. Here’s what we think about [pain point]”

This line promises the reader a fresh perspective on how to address their problem.

19. “Fix your [pain point] in [X] weeks”

The fixed timeline implies that a practical plan to solve the reader’s issue can be found inside.

Urgency and scarcity subject lines

One way to make your subject lines stand out is to make use of urgency and scarcity.

Limited time and availability motivate people to take action in order to avoid feeling like they’ve missed out (i.e., FOMO).

This makes it harder for your prospects to delay reading your emails or to delete them without opening them first.

20. “Tonight.”

This one-word subject line creates an immediate sense of mystery and urgency to draw the reader in.

21. “One day left to get in on [offer]”

This gives readers the impression that the clock is ticking and that they have to act quickly to get in on the action.

(Video) Best Subject Lines For Email - How To Write Them - 2 Key Steps To Massive Success

22. “[X] hours till our [offer] expires”

This subject line imposes an even tighter deadline to ramp up the urgency.

23. “Just [X] days left to achieve [goal/task]”

This line refreshes your prospect’s memory to refocus them on achieving their goal.

24. “Only [X] [offer] left!”

Prospects realize that the offer has a dwindling supply and that they’d better act now if they don’t want to miss out.

Quantified subject lines

If your product or service delivers a specific, quantifiable result, it may be worth mentioning in your subject line.

A concrete claim is more compelling than a vague one—just make sure it isn’t too good to be true.

Remember, numbers written in digits instead of words are better at catching reader attention and will save you character space.

25. “Permission to bring you [X]% more [result]?”

This bold subject line offers the reader a well-defined benefit at a well-defined quantity.

26. “$[X] in the next [X] months?”

This line tempts your prospects to read on by defining the specific financial benefit they could achieve in the given time period.

Referral sales subject lines

Mentioning that you were referred to your prospect by someone they know and trust is a very powerful way to draw them into your email.

92% of people trust referrals from people they know.

Subject lines containing the name of the referrer create a common connection between you and the prospect and ramp up their level of intrigue.

Of course, only use this technique if the referral is genuine!

27. “[Referral name]”

When your prospects unexpectedly find a familiar name as a subject line they’ll want to find out why it’s there.

28. “[Referral name] helped me find you”

Although it doesn’t strictly imply an endorsement, this line lets your prospect know that you’ve gone to some lengths to find them.

29. “[Referral name] suggested we get in touch”

This line implies that some past conversation took place between you and the referrer and that the prospect’s name came up. (Nice work on that sales conversation starter.) Now they’ll want to know why!

30. “[Referral name] thinks you’ll love us too!”

Not only does this name-drop the referrer, but it also implies that they had a great customer experience with you.

Follow-up sales subject lines

Follow-up emails play an important role in keeping the sales conversation moving.

Whether you’ve just hopped off a call with your prospect or managed to get your hands on some information they’ve requested, a good sales follow-up email keeps you top of mind and lets you set out some next steps.

31. “Our next steps”

This simple subject line shows you’ve put a plan in place that your prospect just has to look over it and give it the go-ahead.

32. “Here are those resources I promised”

(Video) Email Marketing Strategy | 10 Tips for Writing Better Email Subject Lines

Don’t leave your prospects hanging. They won’t make any decisions until they’ve got the information they need.

Use a collaboration hub to keep all your latest pricing info and marketing collateral in one place.

33. “Hey, [name]. I’d love your feedback on our meeting earlier”

Inviting feedback from your prospects gives you a chance to tie up any loose ends and can give you a sense of how things went.

34. “Before you decide…”

When a big decision is looming, prospects can always use a little extra information if it helps make the decision easier.

Meeting request sales subject lines

When sending out meeting requests to your prospects, you should try to make it as easy as possible for them to say yes.

This could mean framing the meeting as an informal chat or limiting the proposed time to a short duration. (And don’t forget to get that Bluetooth headset ready.)

35. “Hi, [name]. 10 mins this week?”

This presents the appointment as a low-pressure, casual meet-up. It’s easy to say no to an hour-long chat—10 minutes sounds a lot more doable.

36. “Time for a quick check-in?”

This subject line emphasizes the informality of the proposed meeting and leaves it to your prospect to decide how much time it should take.

37. “Meeting invite for [day]”

This line specifies a day for the meeting but entices the reader to open the email for more context.


Learn about the best practices for running a good sales demo.

No-response sales subject lines

Sometimes your prospects will suddenly drop off the face of the earth without notice.

When this happens, it’s important to figure out whether to keep the relationship active or to call it a day.

38. “[Name]?”

Direct, with a hint of concern and mystery. What message could the email contain? This subject line could work as part of a last-ditch attempt email.

39. “Am I right to assume…?”

This question invites a clear-cut answer, giving your prospect the chance to keep things going or to sever ties.

40. “RE: [prospect’s last email]”

By presenting your email as a continuation of a previous conversation, your prospect may be more inclined to check it out.

41. “If you change your mind about partnering with [your company]”

Here you let the prospect know that you assume they’re no longer interested in you, but that they can reverse the situation whenever they want.

Level-up your sales email subject lines

Don’t take email subject lines lightly.

A compelling subject line unlocks your prospect’s attention and gives you a great shot at building a relationship—and closing that deal.

Meanwhile, an irrelevant or boring subject line just leaves you with the sound of crickets.

(Video) High-Converting Email Subject Lines Analyzed & Critiqued (32/100)

Use the subject line ideas in this post to step up your email marketing and watch those open rates lift off.

Originally published Mar 02, 2020, updated Mar 08, 2022


What's a good subject line for an email? ›

Ask open-ended questions in the subject line

Questions are a great way to focus your readers' attention and pique their curiosity. Questions also feel incomplete on their own. Using a question will inspire readers to open the email in search of an answer.

What makes a catchy subject line? ›

Good subject lines are often personal or descriptive, and give people a reason to check out your content. Whatever your approach, it's important to keep your audience in mind, and test different words and phrases to see what they prefer.

How do you express urgency in an email subject line? ›

Here are our 9 tips on writing urgent email subject lines:
  1. Use urgent words - act fast, hurry, offer expires, last chance, one day left, etc. ...
  2. Offer something limited. ...
  3. Clear call to action.
  4. Trigger some emotions. ...
  5. You can also use the name of the recipient to make the email more personal.

How do you start a catchy email? ›

Email Subject Line Best Practices
  1. Learn from successful email subject line examples. ...
  2. Keep it short and sweet. ...
  3. Use a familiar sender name. ...
  4. Avoid the 'no-reply' sender name. ...
  5. Use personalization tokens. ...
  6. Segment your lists. ...
  7. Don't make false promises. ...
  8. Do tell them what's inside.
23 Sept 2021

How do you write attention grabbing in an email? ›

10 Tips for Emailing Really Busy People
  1. 1) Research them. Don't make assumptions about the person you're emailing. ...
  2. 2) Perfect the subject line. ...
  3. 3) Establish relevance. ...
  4. 4) Identify and build a connection. ...
  5. 5) Make them like you. ...
  6. 6) Inspire reciprocity. ...
  7. 7) Convey your authority. ...
  8. 8) Use an appropriate voice and tone.
26 Mar 2016

Why are short subject lines desirable in email? ›

Keep It Brief.

Subject lines need to quickly grab the recipient's attention. It's estimated that subject lines with 50 characters or less result in 12% higher open rates and 75% higher click-through rates than emails with longer subject lines.

What should you not put in the subject line of an email? ›

11 email subject line mistakes to learn from
  • Writing a generic subject line. ...
  • Forgetting preheader text. ...
  • Not leveraging urgency in the subject line. ...
  • Not optimizing for mobile. ...
  • Shouting in the subject line. ...
  • Using special characters. ...
  • Filling your subject line with spammy words. ...
  • Run-on subject lines.

How do you create urgency in sales email? ›

Creating Urgency in Email Marketing
  1. Use a countdown timer. ...
  2. Use time-sensitive words. ...
  3. Use a clear and direct CTA. ...
  4. Keep the copy in your emails brief. ...
  5. Scarcity is key. ...
  6. Loss Aversion.

How do you create a sense of urgency in sales? ›

Dial up your sense of urgency with these 10 tried-and-true tips.
  1. Offer Something People Want. ...
  2. Set a Deadline. ...
  3. Create Scarcity. ...
  4. Use the Right Words. ...
  5. Offer a Bonus Incentive. ...
  6. Write Powerful Subject Lines for Your Emails. ...
  7. Use Numbers. ...
  8. Use Warm Colors.
21 Apr 2021

How long should an email subject line be? ›

So, what is the optimal email subject line length? According to a study from Marketo, 41 characters, or 7 words, seems to be a sweet spot for email subject line length, which is about 10 characters less than the average subject line.

What is a good opening sentence for an email? ›

1) Thank you for your message/email/phone call. 2) I hope you are doing well. 3) I hope you had a great weekend. 4) I hope this finds you well.

What is Clickbait email? ›

The term click bait describes the practice of enticing a visitor to click a link to continue to more content. In some cases, the user is then channelled into a registration process, in the hope they share their information with the promise of seeing the content they set out to read.

How do I make my emails look professional? ›

What Makes Your Emails Look Professional
  1. Professional Email Address. A professional email address stands out from other usernames in your inbox. ...
  2. An Email Signature. ...
  3. Using Familiar Fonts. ...
  4. A Mobile-Friendly Design. ...
  5. Select a Host. ...
  6. Connect to an Email Client. ...
  7. Choose a Format for Usernames. ...
  8. Connect to Your Email Automation Software.
4 Feb 2021

How do I make the best email? ›

Email Design Best Practices
  1. Craft a strong subject line.
  2. Write an attention-grabbing pre-header.
  3. Be concise.
  4. Keep your email on-brand.
  5. Think about your layout.
  6. Personalize every email.
  7. Incorporate unique visual content.
  8. Don't be afraid to use emojis.
25 Sept 2020

Which of the following subject lines generated a higher open rate? ›

Email subject lines that create a sense of urgency can generate a 22% higher open rate.

What are two important things in email? ›

Anatomy of a good email
  • 1 Subject line. The subject line could be the most important part of the email, though it's often overlooked in favor of the email body. ...
  • 2 Openers. ...
  • 3 Body. ...
  • 4 Closings.
15 May 2020

How can you get someone's attention? ›

7 Weird, But Genius Ways To Get Someone To Pay Attention To You
  1. Stand In Silence. Inti St. ...
  2. Consider Your Scent. Mirko Macari/Fotolia. ...
  3. Use Their Name. william87/Fotolia. ...
  4. Treat Your Outfit As A Way To Start Conversation. Inti St. ...
  5. Disagree With Them. ...
  6. Ask Surprising Questions. ...
  7. Tell Them You Appreciate Them Or Give Them A Compliment.
29 Jul 2018

What is the purpose of subject in email? ›

The subject of your email is perhaps the most important few words in the entire email. It is the first impression, it is your tagline, it is the reason the recipient will, or will not open it. The purpose of the subject line is to get the person reading to say three simple words: "Tell me more."

Why is a clear subject line important? ›

The subject line is the gateway to your email content. If your subject line doesn't quickly grab your reader's attention and tell them exactly what they'll find inside your email, you'll lose out on valuable opens.

What are two purposes of good email subject lines? ›

In short, a good email subject line convinces readers to open your email. It gets them excited about what they're going to learn or become after they look through it — and it uses language that compels them to click through.

Should I put my name in subject line? ›

Recognizing your customer and giving them attention (albeit via an email) usually works in your favor. Experian reports that personalized promotional emails have 29% higher unique open rates and 41% more unique click-through rates. Using your reader's first name in the subject line of your email makes them feel valued.

Should an email subject be a question? ›

Emails are not text messages. They should have a subject line that orients the reader before opening the email and then concise body text that gets the point across effectively and efficiently. So, you shouldn't simply put a question in the subject line of an email and let that stand for the whole message.

What are spam trigger words? ›

Spam trigger words are phrases that email providers flag as fraudulent and malicious. When they identify these emails, they then route them away from recipients' inboxes. These words and phrases typically overpromise a positive outcome with the goal of getting sensitive information from the recipient.

How do you create urgency in sales without being pushy? ›

Urgency is a critical part of the sales equation.
How to Create Urgency in the Sales Process Without Being Pushy
  1. Ask the right questions. ...
  2. Invite your buyers to contemplate what happens if they don't do anything about the problem. ...
  3. If there's a promotional deadline, mention it. ...
  4. Consider shorter communication intervals.
13 Nov 2019

What is an urgency close in sales? ›

The Urgency Close helps the merchant reframe their buying decision in context to a limited time-frame. This stops the merchant from stalling, re-thinking, shopping (or whatever else is causing the hold-up) for an unlimited amount of time.

Which set of words will show sense of urgency during sales pitch? ›

Use words that convey urgency

Limited release. Limited time offer. Exclusive one day sale! Last chance.

What are good sales techniques? ›

Effective sales techniques: 7 tips for more consistent sales
  • Be systematic about generating leads. ...
  • Know your sales cycle. ...
  • Know your numbers. ...
  • Actively seek referrals. ...
  • Focus on securing appointments. ...
  • Get ready for objections. ...
  • Follow up and listen.

How do you handle sales rejection? ›

How to Deal with Rejection in Sales Calls
  1. Don't take it personally. Usually, a rejection in sales just means that your product wasn't what the prospect needed. ...
  2. Expect it. Rejection happens. ...
  3. Be professional. ...
  4. Ask why. ...
  5. Send a last-minute proposal. ...
  6. Talk with your teammates. ...
  7. Treat it as a necessary step. ...
  8. Be persistent.
31 Jul 2013

How do you say ASAP professionally? ›

'As Soon As Possible' Synonyms
  1. “... by [date and time] because [reason]” ...
  2. “When you have a chance [in the next day, before tomorrow, this week]” ...
  3. “I apologize for the urgency, but could you please [do X, send me Y, complete Z] at your soonest possible convenience?” ...
  4. “EOD”
5 Aug 2018

How do you ask for something professionally? ›

Make a poor first impression, though, and it's game over before you even get started.
  1. Lead with the ask. ...
  2. Establish your credibility. ...
  3. Make the way forward clear. ...
  4. If you're asking a question, propose a solution. ...
  5. Be scannable. ...
  6. Give them a deadline. ...
  7. Write your subject lines like headlines. ...
  8. Edit your messages ruthlessly.
24 Jan 2019

How do you title an email to a potential client? ›

Direct sales subject lines
  1. “ About [a situation] at [prospect's company]…” This matter-of-fact subject line is upfront about what the message is about. ...
  2. “ Quick question about [prospect's company]” This subject line gets straight to the point about what's inside. ...
  3. “ Your monthly [X] target”
2 Mar 2020

What is the primary goal of an email's subject line? ›

The subject of your email is perhaps the most important few words in the entire email. It is the first impression, it is your tagline, it is the reason the recipient will, or will not open it. The purpose of the subject line is to get the person reading to say three simple words: "Tell me more."

How do you start a professional email? ›

If You Need Something Formal
  1. Allow Me to Introduce Myself.
  2. Good afternoon.
  3. Good morning.
  4. How are you?
  5. Hope this email finds you well.
  6. I hope you enjoyed your weekend.
  7. I hope you're doing well.
  8. I hope you're having a great week.
1 Mar 2022

How do you get a prospect to respond? ›

7 Tips to Get a Prospect to Respond to You
  1. Use their preferred method of communication. ...
  2. Switch up your contact attempts. ...
  3. Offer them something of value. ...
  4. Let them know when you'll be following up again. ...
  5. Make a personal connection. ...
  6. Use humor. ...
  7. Take risks.
11 Apr 2019

How do you find new clients? ›

10 Ways to Get New Customers
  1. Ask for referrals. ...
  2. Network. ...
  3. Offer discounts and incentives for new customers only. ...
  4. Re-contact old customers. ...
  5. Improve your website. ...
  6. Partner with complementary businesses. ...
  7. Promote your expertise. ...
  8. Use online reviews to your advantage.
6 Apr 2017

Why are short subject lines desirable in email? ›

Keep It Brief.

Subject lines need to quickly grab the recipient's attention. It's estimated that subject lines with 50 characters or less result in 12% higher open rates and 75% higher click-through rates than emails with longer subject lines.

What are two important things in email? ›

Anatomy of a good email
  • 1 Subject line. The subject line could be the most important part of the email, though it's often overlooked in favor of the email body. ...
  • 2 Openers. ...
  • 3 Body. ...
  • 4 Closings.
15 May 2020

Why is a clear subject line important? ›

The subject line is the gateway to your email content. If your subject line doesn't quickly grab your reader's attention and tell them exactly what they'll find inside your email, you'll lose out on valuable opens.


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