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The 41 most powerful email subject lines for sales that get clicks: Your 2024 guide

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Why do sales email subject lines matter? Well, the truth is that a strong subject line is crucial for any email, but it’s especially true for sales. 

Without a compelling subject line, your email marketing efforts will likely yield poor results, as no one will open your messages. The good news? You don’t have to start from scratch. 

In this post, we’ll explore 41 ideas to inspire your next sales email subject lines, including:

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Why are sales email subject lines important?

An email subject line is the equivalent of your opening greeting when cold calling. Simply put, it plays a huge role in determining 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 for email sales 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, email sale subject lines are notoriously tricky to get right. The average professional gets 121 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 37.72% across all industries.

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

What makes good sales email subject lines?

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 increasing their revenue during the next quarter, or it could 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 best email  subject lines for sales tend to provoke interest without revealing too much, giving your prospects a reason to open the email and keep reading.

The most effective email subject lines for sales are also 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…

💡 Pro-tip: 
If you want your whole team to write the best sales email subject lines, make it easy for them to share their knowledge of your prospects. A messaging 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:

The RingCentral app can make it easy for sales teams to collaborate With that in mind, let’s take a look at some subject line examples for sales emails that you can copy and customize for your next campaign.

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 Best email subject lines for sales examples

The very best salespeople will tell you just how important good email subject lines for sales are… 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 catchy email subject lines for sales 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…”

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

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

  1. “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 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.

  1. “Don’t open this email”

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

  1. “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.

  1. “You’re invited”

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

  1. “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.

  1. “Not cool, guys”

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

  1. “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.

  1. “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.

  1. “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.

  1. “Hi, [name], [question]?”

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

  1. “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.

  1. “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.

  1. “Only the best for you, [name]”

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

  1. “[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.

  1. “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.

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

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

  1. “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 use urgency and scarcity.

Limited time and availability motivate people to take action 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.

  1. “Tonight.”

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

  1. “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.

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

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

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

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

  1. “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 typically better at catching reader attention and will save you character space.

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

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

  1. “$[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 powerful way to draw them into your email.

84% of people trust referrals from people they know more than advertising from a brand.

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!

  1. “[Referral name]”

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

  1. “[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.

  1. “[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. Now they’ll want to know why!

  1. “[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 are important 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.

  1. “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.

  1. “Here are those resources I promised”

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.

  1. “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.

  1. “Before you decide…”

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

Meeting request sales subject lines

When sending out meeting requests to your prospects, 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.

  1. “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 much more doable.

  1. “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.

  1. “Meeting invite for [day]”

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

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.

  1. “[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.

  1. “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.

  1. “RE: [prospect’s last email]”

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

  1. “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 can reverse the situation whenever they want.

10 Best practices for writing effective sales email subject lines

Not got time to read through all our subject line examples? Fear not, we have a quick checklist for you right here that will have you crafting the best sales email subject lines in no time:

  1. Keep it short and sweet: Aim for subject lines under 50 characters to ensure they’re fully visible on all devices.
  2. Be clear and direct: Clearly state the purpose of your email so recipients know what to expect.
  3. Use action-oriented language: Encourage immediate action with verbs like “Discover,” “Get,” “Boost,” or “Join.”
  4. Personalize when possible: Include the recipient’s name or company to make the email more personalized.
  5. Create a sense of urgency: Use phrases like “Limited Time Offer” or “Act Now” to prompt quick action.
  6. Ask a compelling question: Pose a question that addresses a pain point or interest of your target audience.
  7. Offer value upfront: Highlight a benefit or solution in the subject line, such as “Increase Your Sales by 30%.”
  8. Avoid spammy words: Steer clear of words like “Free,” “Guaranteed,” and excessive punctuation to avoid spam filters.
  9. Test and optimize: Use A/B testing to determine which subject lines resonate best with your audience.
  10. Use numbers and lists: Subject lines with numbers or lists, like “5 Tips for Better Marketing,” tend to attract more attention.

Write great  sales email subject lines and get your emails opened every time

What exactly is the best subject line for a sales email? Well, sales email subject lines should always be engaging, capture your prospect’s attention, and pave the way to building a relationship and closing deals.

Use the subject line ideas in this post to see your open rates—and ultimate conversions—soar.

Reach out to a RingCentral expert today to learn more about how we can help your sales teams.

FAQs about sales email subject lines

What sales email subject lines get the most opens?

Subject lines that get the most opens are short, clear, and direct—often under 50 characters—to make sure they can be seen on all devices. They use action-oriented language to encourage people to respond and personalize the message with the reader’s name or company. 

Creating a sense of urgency with phrases like “Limited Time Offer” or asking a compelling question can also boost open rates. Highlighting a specific benefit or solution and using numbers or lists can make the subject line more appealing. Avoiding spammy words and regularly testing different subject lines for effectiveness is important.

What are some quick examples of sales email subject lines?

  • Subject lines for cold emails

“Quick Question About [Company’s] Goals”

“How [Your Product] Can Boost [Prospect’s Industry]”

  • Subject lines for follow-up emails

“Just Checking In—Thoughts on Our Last Discussion?”

“Any Questions About [Product/Service]?”

  • Subject lines for prospects who haven’t responded at all

“Still Interested in [Benefit]?”

“Haven’t Heard From You—Can We Chat?”

  • Subject lines for meeting requests

“Let’s Schedule a Meeting Next Week?”

“Can We Set Up a Time to Discuss [Topic]?”

Originally published Jun 19, 2024, updated Jun 25, 2024

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