Mar 4 / David Delahunty

18 Killer Subject Lines That Will Make You Want to Click

18 Killer Subject Lines That Will Make You Want to Click

Brick by brick, I built many great relationships on the foundation of cold emails.

I know, I know. Cold emailing gets a bad rap.

But like most things there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

There's a fine line between cold-emailing and spamming.

What exactly do I mean by spamming, well, that's subjective... 

So here's my take. If you're copy-pasting the same email and sending it to people who didn't give you permission to email them, then that's plain ol' spamming. I've done it before, and it may seem like an easy shortcut, but trust me, it's not effective. 

Personalization is key to a successful cold email. Recipients are much more likely to respond when they feel like you've taken the time to draft a message especially for them.

Make your cold email the best thing your recipient reads all day.

Anytime I'm writing copy I always keep one idea at the forefront of my mind. Especially when sending a cold email –– you're essentially knocking on someone's door uninvited...

So you better not waste their time. 

After reading your email, they should feel inspired, entertained, or curious. A good rule of thumb is to send it to a friend first –– one who isn't afraid to hurt your feelings (hi mom). If they say it's shit, then it's shit. Rewrite it. 

Remember, a cold email is an opportunity to make a meaningful connection, so make it count.

Don't be too pushy

When sending cold emails, I suggest following up only once. Chances are, the recipient is swamped with work, so don't be surprised if they don't respond to your initial email. Give it a week, then touch base again. It's amazing how many great clients I've landed just by following up. However, don't get too pushy (unless you've already established a rapport). 

Remember, there is a fine line between persistence and creepiness.

18 subject lines that make you want to click:

Now comes the exciting part - the email subject line(s). The subject line is the gatekeeper of your cold email. It decides whether your recipient opens the email or marks you as spam. That's why designing a subject line that grabs the reciptents curiosity is key.

To make them curious, you need to get creative with your subject line. It's an art, really. 

Luckily for you, I have compiled a list of 19 subject lines that have worked wonders for me in the past.

Before you jump in...

Don't just copy and paste them into your email. That's a surefire way to make it look spammy. Instead, find a way to reference the subject line in your email, and watch as your open rates soar.

  1. I can’t believe I did this…
  2. Are you making these mistakes?
  3. I’m not happy.
  4. Why creatives fail…
  5. Does this make sense?
  6. Quick question. 
  7. I was looking at [insert competitor’s name]
  8. Why [insert recipients company] is failing…
  9. Samantha?
  10. So nice to meet you, Samantha.
  11. How does the saying go? 
  12. *Don’t open this email*
  13. Are your customers hitting the buy button? 
  14. I can explain. 
  15. There is money in this email.
  16. Why you're not making sales
  17. Pay attention to what i’m about to tell you
  18. Guess what?

Cold emailing gets a bad rap, but it does work in the right hands. Being personal is key, and of course a great subject line is crucial. Follow up once, but don't be a creeper. Also finally...

Make your email the best thing they'll read all day.

– Dave

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