sales email subject line

Sales Email Subject Lines That Get Opened

sales email subject line

As a sales rep, email is one of your most powerful tools. It allows you to reach a large group of potential buyers at the same time, casting a wide net and increasing your chances of getting a hook.

But whether or not your sales emailing outreach works all comes down to one thing: the subject line. 

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Your subject line has only 3 seconds to capture the attention of the reader. Otherwise, sionara. Three seconds is a very small window of time, which means your subject line has to be the most exciting mini-elevator pitch you’ve got. 

Three seconds is the magic number, according to the US Consumer Device Preference Report from Movable Ink.

Knowing that the average person takes so little time to decide if your email gets opened or deleted, you have to put a lot of thought into which words you choose. 

A good subject line should do one of three things. It should either:

  • elicit an emotional response,
  • create a sense of urgency,
  • Or evoke fear, uncertainty, or doubt. 

But, it’s important not to be too salesy or deceitful, so click-baity subject lines are a no-no. A good sales email subject line should tell the prospect exactly what to expect before opening the email and get to the point quickly. 

That being said, we’ve put together some of the best sales email subject line tactics available today. 

Use social proof in your sales email subject line

People like to do what everyone else is doing, it’s part of human nature. Keeping Up With The Jones’ applies in the sales world, too. Knowing this piece of human psychology will help you get your emails opened! 

Why {similar industry company} loves working with {your company name}

Mentioning a company in the same industry as your prospect will spark their curiosity and make them think “hey, if they’re doing it, maybe I should give it a look.”

{Shared connection} suggested we meet

You know {shared connection} too? You two work together? {Shared connection} is a man of sound judgment, I am willing to listen to you. 

Read more: Leverage the Work of Dale Carnegie in your Sales Training

Use your sales email subject line to spark FOMO

Nobody likes missing out on something, which is why this tip involves igniting the Fear Of Missing Out. Make your prospect feel like there’s some urgency behind your email and they won’t be able to resist opening it. 

Last chance! Register now for {event}

Last chance? Is it really the last chance? What event was this again? Did I want to go to it? I can’t remember, I should probably open the email. 

5 Spots left! Don’t miss out

Same as above but slightly different, implying there is a limited number of spots for whatever event you’re trying to promote. This can also work for booking meetings, by saying your calendar is filling up quickly. 

Read more: The 4 Sales Skills Shared by Top Performers

Use word play in your sales subject lines

Quick call on Friday

When using words like quick, short, or small, you are implying that you won’t take up too much of the person’s time – which is the main reason why they hesitate to open in the first place!

Re: call on Tuesday

This one is a bit sneaky but it works every time. Use the words “Re:” before your subject line to trick the prospect into thinking there is already an on-going conversation between the two of you. They wouldn’t delete an email they’ve already replied to, right?

Read more: How to Overcome the 3 Most Common Sales Objections

Personalize your sales subject lines

{first_name}, 5 minutes on Tuesday?

Use your prospect’s first name in the email subject to create a sense of familiarity between the two of you. When the email doesn’t feel like it was part of a mass-email they are more likely to open it. 

{Company}’s upcoming release

Mentioning something specific about the company shows you’ve done your research and will make them think there is something inside worth reading. 

Read more: Cold Calling Tips that will Get You Through to your Prospect

Keep your sales email subject lines short

Is your subject line too long? It might be. Research from found that sales email subject lines that have 6-10 words have the highest open rates at 21%. (Read more: The perfect length for an email subject line


Interested in learning more sales techniques to take your team to the next level? Check out this recent blog post: The Best Sales Videos to Include in your Sales Training.

Want to compile all of these great Sales tips in one place and use it to onboard your new Reps? Then you need to check out a Sales Enablement Platform such as 360Learning. That’s the first step to reach 100% of your Quota while decreasing your ramp-up time by 15%!