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7 Tips for Writing Effective Sales Email Subject Lines

According to a HubSpot statistic from 2017, 86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes. With that, comes both good and bad news for sales reps.

The bad news? Well, there is always going to be a ton of competition when trying to connect with prospects through email. As a sales rep, you need to find a way to stand out in a vast sea of mostly-unread emails.

The good news? Virtually every single prospect on planet earth can be reached through email. And even though standing out in their inbox is not an easy task, the potential opportunity available through email is immense.

That is what makes email writing an essential skill for every sales rep to hone – especially email subject line writing. A catchy, click-worthy subject line is the most influential factor leading prospects to click and open your email.

So then, how does one write an effective sales email subject line? As it turns out, there are a variety of approaches for sales reps to consider.


7 Tips for Writing Effective Sales Email Subject Lines


1. Make sure it’s the right length.

Making sure that your email subject line is the right length is a way to assure it’s concision and clarity. It’s important to make sure that the subject line is not too long, where your message may be distorted, or too short, where your message may not have enough time to resonate.

Try and make sure that your subject line can be read, in full, in a mobile preview, since about 35% of business professionals check email on their mobile device[*] – a number that is likely to rise.

Typically, a 5-10 word subject line is a good standard to aim for. It gives you enough room to deliver a powerful message, while also giving a fair amount of information.

Furthermore, 69% of email recipients report email as Spam based on the subject line alone[*], so making your value known clearly and quickly is very important. Stick to a single thought and express it clearly. When your prospect reads your subject line, they should have a good idea of what’s inside of the email.

[*] 15 Email Statistics That Are Shaping the Future


2. Personalize.

Emails that come from a team email or a “noreply” email address are much less personal, and are typically less likely to be clicked. Make sure that your “from” name and email address are your name and email address. By showing your prospect that it really is just a person, just you reaching out, they’ll be more inclined to click.

Another great way to personalize your email, is to use your prospect’s name in the subject line. By attaching their name to your message, it may better catch their eye, and make them more inclined to open your email. It shows them that you care about them, and care about reaching out to them, and that you’ve taken the time to research who they are.


3. Include numbers.

Another great way to catch the eye of prospects is to include numbers in your email subject line. You can use a statistic to introduce the body of your email, something from the news that is relevant to your prospect’s interests, or something that introduces a list – i.e. 5 things every ad sales rep should do every day.

Numbers give you a way to be concise while presenting immediate value and information to your prospect. You should always look to deliver a valuable message as quickly as possible, and using numbers is one of the more effective ways to do so.


4. Use action verbs.

Using action verbs in your email subject line can instill a sense of urgency in your prospect, causing them (hopefully) to click and engage.

If you’re seeking a specific action from your prospect, let them know. If you’re looking to start a conversation or ask them a question, express that in your subject line. If a prospect knows what is being asked of them in the email, they may be more inclined to click.


5. Ask a question.

You can also use your subject line to provoke thought. One of the best ways to provoke thought is to ask a question.

Questions offer plenty of versatility, as well. By asking a question in your email subject line, you can refer to a pain-point of your prospect (“Having a hard time connecting with the CMO?”), you can highlight a specific benefit of your own offering (“What info should you be looking for from prospects?”), or you can simply offer your prospect some form of relevant industry news or information (“Did you know…?”).

Asking your prospect a question right from the start allows you to peak their interest and curiosity as they are about to read your email. It’s a way for you to present an idea in an open-ended fashion, making the reader seek an answer inside.


6. Crack a joke.

It’s certainly okay to be humorous in your sales email subject line, as long as the joke or pun used is relevant to the content within the email. Everyone enjoys a good laugh, but you also don’t want to take away from the message you’re actually trying to get across.

There is also a fine-line between catchy and cliche. If you’re going to be humorous, make it something that represents your true sense of humor. Even when being funny, you should still do your best to represent yourself in an honest light.


7. Make sure it’s relevant.

Lastly, throughout all of the above tips, it’s crucial to remain relevant to the individual contact that you’re reaching out to. In the end, if your joke, statistic, or question doesn’t relate to the person receiving your email, then there’s no reason for them to click.

If your sales email subject line quickly gets across something very relevant and helpful to your prospect, they’ll be sure to open and engage.

In the end, with the right amount of research and prep, your sales email subject lines can lead you to sales success in 2018 and beyond.