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best email subject lines

The 36 best email subject lines (for marketers)

Marketers and email go together like Tony Soprano and cigars. In fact, 68% of companies rate email as the best marketing channel for ROI. But good email marketing is a craft. And success or failure depends on your email subject line. 


That’s because all kinds of communications are beamed into our brains for every waking moment. It’s a lot of info, and only so much can stick.


So to make sure your emails get noticed, we spoke to Cognism's email experts Liam Bartholomew and James Sutton. Below, they provide the best email subject lines for different marketing scenarios, along with some killer tips.

Newsletter email subject lines

Adding value to readers is the core goal of every newsletter. This means you should avoid a blanket approach in your newsletter email subject lines. Instead, focus on how your company updates benefit your readers, and how it can remedy their pain points.

Tip 1: Don’t say newsletter 

Using “Newsletter” as your email subject line is likely to kill your message stone dead. That’s because it doesn’t indicate the value a reader can gain by clicking through. To write something resonant, home in on what you’re offering and why it matters.

Tip 2: Personalise, personalise, personalise

Including names, locations or companies in your email subject line helps to separate you from run of the mill email blasts. Even if your newsletter is going to 5,000 contacts, make sure it’s personalised.


So, if you have multiple buyer personas, use different subject lines to address them. Also try to serve up tailored content. After all, giving marketers sales content is unlikely to strike a chord. Tapping into topical conversations is another fruitful tactic. This helps to emphasise the timeliness, and thereby relevance, of your message. 

Tip 3: Include a hook 

Successful hooks do enough to pique interest without giving the game away. Attention-grabbing data, special offers, exclusive content and questions will all help achieve this.

Tip 4: Use humour

Inboxes are full of dry email subject lines. And you want your newsletter to stand out. Humour and emojis are great ways to cut through the noise and may even make your readers look forward to your newsletter.

9 best email subject line examples: Newsletters

  • [First name], fix your data headache 🤯
  • [First name]: Your roadmap to a predictable marketing engine
  • [First name], here's a little something to get you started…
  • [First name], get yourself a pipeline that makes you smile! 😅 
  • [First name], for you to enjoy at your leisure!
  • Once upon a time at [company]...🌟
  • The key ingredient to success.
  • [First name], I think you'll find this useful
  • Increased ROI by 10x with prospecting - how?

Product email subject lines

There’s a fine line to be struck in product email subject lines. On the one hand, you want to include technical detail. On the other hand, you don’t want to turn your readers off with complex jargon. To achieve this feat, all you need is a sprinkling of context...

Tip 1: Put the customer first 

Whether it’s a product update or a product launch, your subject line has to grab attention. And “Say hello to [insert product] 2.0” is unlikely to cut the mustard. Instead, choose the headline benefit of the product and hint at how it could benefit your readers.

Tip 2: Personalise, personalise, personalise 

Personalised email subject lines land. Generic email subject lines don’t. So when you’re covering products, try segmenting your data. This will allow you to address different customer bases effectively. You can also try calling out your audience in the subject line. Including job titles like “Sales Leader!” or “CEOs!” will leave no illusions about who you’re addressing and why.

Tip 3: Use a hook

We explored the value of hooks and humour in our newsletter section above, and product emails are no different. Provocative questions and eye-catching stats are your secret weapon.

9 best email subject line examples: Product updates

  • [First name], check out our top 2020 product updates🏅
  • What’s new in V2?
  • [First name], say goodbye 👋🏻  to manual prospecting
  • You asked, we listened. Say hello to directs dials for Europe…
  • The Ultimate Email Marketing Tool 
  • Introducing Dynamic Email Signature Marketing
  • Sales Leader: The Answer to your Prayers
  • Increase conversions by 25% 
  • One more sleep

Drip nurture email subject lines

Email is a great way to guide leads through the sales funnel. And blending a number of email subject line tactics should help get your personas from A to B.

Tip 1: Personalise, personalise, personalise

Moving beyond first name data is a nice trick to have up your sleeve. Especially if you’re selling a product, you’re likely to be liaising with key decision makers. And they're responsible for whole departments, not just themselves. In these cases, focusing on company names can help make your subject line more resonant.

Tip 2: Get your keywords in early

Don’t beat around the bush. Let your reader know what you’re talking about in the first couple of words. This will help them identify value as they scan through their emails. Also try and keep your subject lines around 40 characters.

Tip no. 3: Ask questions

Email subject lines that ask questions get results. In fact, when James sent a nurture email to around 500 cold leads, the results were frightening. “[First name], who’s buying right now?” returned a whopping 52% open rate and a 24% click through rate.


The email shared a new trial for Cognism’s prospecting tools, focusing on how to identify active leads through the platform during COVID. It was successful because it used personalisation and tapped into a huge issue facing salespeople and marketers.

Tip no. 4: Use figures & case studies

Data is the most valuable resource in the world. Don’t be scared to use it. If you can draw on a recent study that highlights the value of your product, amazing. If you can illustrate that statistic with real life examples or case studies, even better. This helps the reader visualise how your product could work for them.

Tip 5: Test & iterate 

Different email subject lines will work better for different audiences. Using A/B testing will help you hone your approach and guarantee high open rates.

9 best email subject line examples: Drip nurture

  • How could [company] nurture leads better?
  • Gain 5K leads with Mailtastic like [company]
  • Transform [company's] sales process overnight
  • 10 reasons why our customers dig us
  • [First name], drive webinar traffic with this quick-win
  • [Company], reduce your Ad spend by 60%
  • Could [company] use a helping hand? 
  • 5 rules good content marketers follow
  • Did this pass you by?

Outreach email subject lines

Effective outreach is the holy grail of marketing. And while reeling high value targets in is easier said than done, your email subject line can be really useful bait.

Tip 1: Be credible

Particularly in cases of cold outreach, credibility is key. If the reader of the email doesn’t know you, they might know your company. They may also know people in your professional network. By using your subject line to name-drop, you’ll be setting yourself up for success against your anonymous competition.

Tip 2: Be timely

You may only get one chance to make a connection with a high-value prospect, so strike the iron while it’s hot. If an event or development makes your product attractive to an audience group, be sure to reference it. It could be the spark you need to turn them into loyal customers.

Tip no. 3: Be creative

Sometimes, wacky works. If you’ve chased and chased again on an outreach email, take your foot off the breaks and get creative. You can even crack wise or point fun at the situation. But be sure to run more daring email subject lines by your peers to check you’re not going overboard.

9 best email subject line examples: Outreach

  • [Company], streamline your marketing spend 
  • [Company's] new customer promise 
  • Make major lead gen gains with [company] 
  • Steal our content strategy
  • [Mutual connection] told me to get in touch
  • A minute of your time
  • A coffee on me
  • One last try
  • Me (again)

Co-worker email subject lines

Everyone knows how to write good internal emails, right? Well, you’d be surprised. Even though your co-workers have a vested interest to help you out, they’re busy with client work. Just as you would with a client or a cold lead, you need to grab their attention.

Tip 1: Be clear

Make your email subject line as easy as possible for your co-workers to understand. This will allow them to quickly action your request. Including keywords at the beginning of your subject line will help.

Tip 2: Be friendly

You know these guys. That means there’s room for a casual tone and humour as long as it doesn’t detract from your key message.

Tip 3: Create a sense of urgency

Don’t let your co-workers stick your request on the laterbase. Because as soon as that happens, it’s never getting done. By introducing a time deadline, you’ll get your teammates to jump to attention. And you won’t have to add that red exclamation mark that everyone hates.

Tip 4: Send at peak time

Your email is important, so don’t send it at a random time. This will make your request feel like an afterthought, making replies and actions less likely. You can always use scheduling tools to ensure your email arrives at an appropriate time. Sending between 6am - 7am will ensure your mail is the first thing your reader sees.

9 best email subject line examples: Co-workers

  • Help grow [company] network tomorrow
  • Share our latest post
  • Follow us on Medium
  • Last chance: Sign up to [event] 
  • Complete employee survey by COP
  • Feedback on draft two of [task]
  • Quick question about analytics
  • Would love your take on this
  • Urgent 

Best email subject lines: Key takeaways

  • Personalisation is key
  • Figures add authority
  • Humour is a weapon
  • Questions are enticing
  • Emojis add colour

Now your readers are opening your emails, you can use them as a marketing channel. Learn more

How to Introduce yourself in an email

How to introduce yourself in an email

Good first impressions are the foundation of strong relationships. Bad ones ... well … they’re best not talking about. 


And with virtual email introductions, the stakes are high. While you can squirm out of awkward situations in person, there’s no hiding from a bland subject line. Or a typo in your first sentence. 


That connection you wanted to establish with a high-value prospect vanishes before your very eyes, and you’re back to square one. 


But fear not: there is a formula for email introduction success, no matter who your audience is. 


Let’s dive in.

Structuring your email

Every good story has a beginning, middle and end. Your email introduction is no different. In this piece, we’ll explore each part of your email, including examples, to help you on your way.

The beginning

  • Compelling subject line
  • Approriate Greeting

The middle

  • Make a connection
  • Insert a CTA

The end

  • Sign-off
  • Use an email signature
  • Proofread
  • Test

The sequel

  • Follow up

How to introduce yourself in an email: The beginning

How do I choose the right subject line for my email?

Professional email addresses are jam-packed with filler content. So whoever your audience is, you need to grab their attention. That means including a punchy subject line that gets to the point. 


In warm emails, you can leverage information from previous interactions with your reader. In cold emails, you need to go the extra mile for them to notice your message. In both cases though, it must be clear that you’re adding value.

Good subject line examples

Warm email

  • 20% discount code for your basket

The reader knows what the purpose of the email is because of the keywords at the beginning of the subject line. They’re also hooked by a clear call to action (CTA).

  • Mailtastic’s free email eBook

Again, we have clear keywords at the beginning of the subject line. By including the company name too, we add authority to our message. 

Cold email

  • 3 tips for scaling your startup

This cold email targets the specific pain points of the reader. “Three tips” also indicates the message will be easily digestible. As a result, the reader can quickly extract value.

Bad subject line examples

Warm email

  • We’d like to say thank you by giving you a discount code

Waffling is a sure-fire route to the recycle bin. Since this subject line includes keywords at the end rather than the beginning, that’s where it’s likely to end up.  

  • You’ve been randomly selected for a free gift!

This feels like a phishing email. “Randomly” prevents the sender from establishing a connection with the reader, while “free gift” is included at the end of the subject line.

Cold email

  • Do you want to accelerate your startup’s growth? Here are 50 things that might help

If you already know your target audience wants to scale their startup, asking them a question about it is pointless. Also, an extensive list of instructions is likely to overwhelm your reader. Leave the detail for the link in your CTA.

Email subject line top tips

  • Include keywords at the beginning
  • Make the reader feel valued
  • Keep it short and sweet

How should I greet my audience?

Your greeting is small but significant. On the one hand, you don’t want to sound like a 17th century aristocrat. On the other, you don’t want to come across like David Brent.


In formal industries like law and finance, play things safe with “Dear” or “Good morning/afternoon”. In informal industries like marketing, choose from “Hello,” “Hi” or “Hey”.

Bonus tips

  1. 1
    Regardless of your audience, choose a professional font like Calibri or Arial to ensure your message is taken seriously.
  2. 2
    Check and re-check that you’ve spelt your reader’s name correctly.

How to introduce yourself in an email: The middle

How can I make a connection with my reader?

Can you remember replying to a cut and paste template sent out to 5,000 contacts? Of course you don’t. That’s what makes email personalisation so crucial.

Particularly when you introduce yourself in an email, you have to make the reader feel like they matter. And it should be the first thing you focus on after your greeting.

To do that:

Talk about them

Warm email

  • Are they subscribed to your newsletter?
  • Are they reading your content?
  • Are they engaging with you on social?

Cold email

  • Did they recently write a blog you like? 
  • Did they speak in a webinar you attended? 
  • Have they recently been promoted? 

Don’t talk about you

Warm email

  • “I work for email signature marketing company Mailtastic” 
  • “My company was founded my company five years ago” 
  • “Mailtastic rewards loyal customers” 

Cold email

  • “My name is Steph and I’m hoping to speak to you about scaling your startup”
  • “I’m a multi award-winning startup expert”
  • “Could I have 30 minutes of your time to talk about how to scale your start up?”

Establishing a connection examples

Warm email

“An item in your basket is selling out fast. We thought we’d let you know so you don’t miss out.”

“We’ve noticed you’re enjoying our blogs about email. And there’s plenty more where that came from.”

Cold email

“I loved your LinkedIn piece about key challenges facing startup CEOs in 2020. I found the section about scaling your remote teams really interesting.”

Remember

It might feel jarring not to introduce yourself at the beginning of the email. But stay strong. By showing an interest in your reader, they’re more likely to reciprocate. 

What should I choose as the CTA for my email?

Always try to choose CTAs that match your subject line. This ensures that the reader finds what they’re looking for. 


So, if your subject line is “20% discount code,” include one for the reader. If your subject line is “Mailtastic’s free email eBook,” include a link to the download page.

CTA examples

Warm email

“In case you’re struggling to make up your mind about your order, we included a 20% discount code for you.”

“Why not download our comprehensive email eBook? It’s on us.”

Cold email

“To help you overcome the challenges you laid out, we’ve compiled three tips from our ‘How to scale your startup’ whitepaper below:

  1. 1
    Hire people that reflect your values
  2. 2
    Make your vision clear
  3. 3
    Let your team own tasks”

All these examples work because the CTA is consistent with the subject line. They also lead naturally from the messages used to establish a connection.

How to introduce yourself in an email: The end

How should I finish my email?

Adding unnecessary information can either confuse your reader or put them off. So, when you’re signing off, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Open the door for your reader to ask for more and thank them. That’s it.

Email sign off examples

“Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, [your name]”

“Hope to speak soon. Cheers, [your name]”

“We hope this helps. Thanks, [your name]”

Should I proofread my email?

In a short, snappy email, typos are extra noticeable. And so is fluff. To ensure your writing is up to scratch, use a free tool like Hemingway Editor.

Besides making suggestions about your grammar, Hemingway checks that your sentences are easy to read. You should strive for a grade below ten before sending your email. That means every reader will understand your message.

What should I include in my email signature?

Every email signature should provide key contact information, such as: 

  • Your full name 
  • Your job title
  • Your email address
  • Your phone number

But you can also use your email signature creatively. With specialist email signature platforms, you can transform all your emails into targeted marketing campaigns. So if you’re trying to drive traffic to an upcoming webinar, online event, product demo or blog, you can.

After all, if your reader liked what you had to say first time around, they probably want to hear more from you. Email signature marketing is a non-invasive way to do that. And it looks great.

Also, when you want to change your plug, you don’t have to wait weeks for IT to sort it. Marketers centrally manage campaigns in email signature platforms, ensuring quality and consistency. This means different teams within a business can send out tailored messages relevant to their readers.

Because of this, you can build on your connections with your customers. 


Find out what our customers say about Mailtastic.

Send a test message

We’ve all been there. You’ve constructed the perfect email, but as soon as you hit send, the formatting goes haywire.

When you introduce yourself in an email, dodgy formatting can detract from your message. It implies that you haven’t taken the time and care to check it over, even if the issue is beyond your control.

That means it’s always best to check how your message sends before it goes to a contact. Try sending it to yourself and to colleagues to make 100% sure your email looks the part. 

Introducing yourself via email samples

Warm email example one

20% discount code: Claim yours now

Hi Kalpesh

An item in your basket is selling out fast. We thought we’d let you know so you don’t miss out.

In case you’re struggling to make up your mind about your order, we included a 20% discount code for you. Just copy and paste CLAIM20 into the promo box when you check out.

Thanks for your support,

Michelle

Warm email example two

Mailtastic’s free email eBook

Hey Zara

We noticed you’re enjoying our blogs about email and inbound marketing. And there’s plenty more where that came from.

Why not download our comprehensive email eBook? It’s on us.

Speak soon,

Charlie

Cold email example

3 tips for scaling your startup

Hi Faiza

I loved your LinkedIn piece about key challenges facing startup CEOs in 2020. I found the section about scaling your remote teams really interesting.

To help you overcome the challenges you laid out, we’ve compiled three tips from our ‘How to scale your startup’ whitepaper below:

1   Hire people that reflect your values
2   Make your vision clear
3   Let your team own tasks


I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Gordon

How to introduce yourself in an email: The sequel

Follow up

As with any email, there’s a chance your reader might not reply. But getting your follow-up etiquette right is tricky.

You don’t want to pester your reader and erode the good will you’ve earned. Equally, if your reader missed your original email because of their busy schedule, you don’t want them to miss out on the value you can add.

So, try returning to them in a natural way, two to three days after your initial email. This could be: 

  • On a platform they’re active on (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • At a different time of day (e.g. morning rather than afternoon)
  • With a different message that adds value (e.g. targeting a different want or pain point)

Follow up examples

“Hi Kalpesh. Your 20% discount code: CLAIM20 expires tonight at 21:00 BST. We thought you’d like to know.”

“Hey Zara. We also have tonnes of great content on inbound marketing. Check out our definitive 2020 guide.”

How to introduce yourself in an email: Key takeaways

1    Catch your reader’s attention with your subject line
2    Greet them and include their name
3    Connect with them by adding value
4    Choose a CTA that matches your subject line
5    Thank your reader for their time
6    Proofread your email
7    Use your email signature as a marketing tool to keep readers in your pipeline
8    Send a test message to yourself and colleagues
9    Follow-up with your reader if they don’t reply

Want to learn more about the power of email? Arrange a Mailtastic demo