How To
9 min read

140+ Cold Email Subject Examples To Get High Open Rates

Soniya Jain
November 20, 2022

Yes, we shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

But most of us still choose to buy one based on how it looks and who wrote it.

We see a similar story in email marketing. 33% of email recipients open emails in their inboxes based on a catchy subject line alone.

This small text holds a lot of weightage, especially if you want to do successful cold email outreach.

With the average office worker receiving 121 emails daily, you have a lot of competition to beat.

This makes writing subject lines that can stand out in the recipient's inbox a must.

A proven way to learn to write note-worthy cold email subject lines is to refer to some good examples that work.

We bring you a comprehensive list of email subject line examples for cold emailing that will offer you the needed inspiration and guidance with this guide.

Let us check them out.

Examples of cold email subject lines that create FOMO

FOMO cold email subject line example

FOMO stands for "fear of missing out." It's a common human emotion. If you've ever felt compelled to go to a party, even if you didn't really want to, because you were afraid that if you didn't show up, you'd miss out on something fun, then you know what FOMO feels like.

The good news is that you can use FOMO to write effective subject lines for cold emails.

Useful tips for creating FOMO with your email subject lines

  • Show that something is scarce
  • Use emotional words with a negative connotation
  • Ask questions
  • Use time limits to create urgency

Here are some examples for fear of missing out subject lines

  • [First name], Don't miss out on WFH benefits
  • Your competitors have adapted to this change
  • Everyone uses [X] now. Not sure about you?
  • Your competitors are attending this event
  • We want to give you money - today only!!
  • Grab a ride pass today before they're gone
  • Last week to complete your compliance for [compliance name]
  • You're missing out on points!
  • Now is the best time to invest in [asset type]
  • Free shipping on [product name] ends at midnight!
  • We are giving away 100 free accounts of [product name]

Examples of cold email subject lines that offer value or benefit

Value focused cold email subject line example

If you're looking for a simple formula for writing great headlines, there's no better place to start than a value proposition.

A value proposition is a clear statement of your product’s benefit to the reader in exchange for their time and attention.

How to offer value with your subject lines

  • Summarize the key benefit in a few words
  • Use simple value keywords
  • Present benefit as a question
  • Focus on benefits over features

Cold email subject line examples for providing value

  • You will love our research on [topic] to help you today
  • This article will SAVE you 20 hours every month
  • Can I help with your headache?
  • How to find peace at work
  • Keep calm and visit Vietnam
  • 50% off to keep you happy
  • How do these people create time?
  • Now everyone can afford a new car
  • Your daily dose of free financial advice
  • Get a better internet connection NOW.

Examples of cold email subject lines that trigger curiosity

Example of an email subject line that creates curiosity

Curiosity is a powerful emotion. It's what drives us to explore new things and find out more about the world around us. You can use this curiosity in your marketing campaigns to get people to open your emails.

Tips to trigger curiosity with your subject lines for cold outreach

  • Frame subject lines as questions
  • Reveal partial information
  • Use names
  • Associate consequences for not knowing something
  • Make a secret promise

Here are some examples:

  • We made a blunder!
  • You were right about [topic name]
  • You should definitely check out this place
  • Can't decide what to wear? Try this trending fashion
  • HubSpot's SEO secrets revealed
  • Don't tell your friends about this
  • Why can't we just print more money?
  • Something is missing in your wardrobe…
  • Hi friend, I got one question. Got two minutes?
  • How has [topic] become the breaking news for today?

Examples of cold email subject lines that are short and sweet

Short email subject line example

You will hear many email marketing gurus suggest keeping subject lines short. A study found 41 characters to be an optimal length to maximize open rates.

While this is not a rule, typically, it helps to write shorter subject lines than longer ones.

Shorter subject lines take less time to read and process than longer ones, helping one browse their inbox faster.

Best practices for writing short cold email subject lines

  • Use numbers as numerals
  • Use shorter words to express similar meaning
  • Use action words
  • Be direct if appropriate

Examples of short email subject lines

  • This will make you laugh!
  • Hi, I love your blog…
  • Hey, look what I just saw…
  • Have you ever been to a weird café?
  • Just a photo of my cat
  • Do you struggle with [pain point]?
  • Congrats on your [item person bought]
  • Long week? Doing this helps
  • Why so serious?
  • She never runs out of sugar
  • Top picks for you, [first name]

Examples of cold email subject lines that use emojis 😎👉❤😊✌

Example of using emoji in email subject line

Emojis are a great way to engage with your customers. They're a fun and easy way to add some personality to your emails. Emojis are visual and get noticed easily. 

However, the positive correlation between the use of emojis and higher open rates is still a matter of debate. We suggest that you test them for your use case and act accordingly.

Here are some examples of email subject lines with emojis

  • Why did you stop dreaming? 😇
  • 🧡 These feel great 👍
  • Crocs are the best - this is why 😄
  • 😃I LEGITIMATELY cannot believe this happened 😋
  • Why so 😑?
  • This will make a good joke 🤣
  • 🤩New project! 🤩
  • Let us put the 💰 back in your 🧟‍♂️
  • Where will you celebrate 🥂🎇🎅🎁 this new year?
  • 🥗🥕 Not sure what to it? Try this 👀

Examples of cold email subject lines that use personalization

Example of personalization in email subject line

Personalized subject lines are 22% more likely to be opened as they highlight exclusivity and a real person on the other side.

Valuable tips for personalizing your cold email subject lines

  • Use the recipient's first name in the subject line either at the beginning or end
  • Prefix the name with an appropriate salutation like Hi, Hello, Hey, etc.
  • Use the recipient's company name
  • Use the recipient's industry name
  • Use an inside joke

Good email subject line examples with personalization

  • Hi [first name], why you will burnout soon if...
  • Hey [first name], what do you think about [topic]?
  • Hi [first name], hit you [goal type] goals for real
  • Hello [first name], Are you still struggling with [pain point]?
  • Why we love your idea, [first name]
  • [first name], winter is coming. What are you doing?
  • Hello [first name], your SaaS growth playbook needs an update
  • Why does the media industry need to rethink streaming?
  • Why [company name] is still not in the Top 10?
  • A startling revelation about the [industry name] industry
  • The [industry name] industry's challenges need a millennial approach

Examples of cold email subject lines that are framed as questions

Example of an email subject line framed as a question

By asking a question in your subject line, you give your prospects a reason to be curious if it is relatable to them. Then, either they would click through to know your answer or check if they know the correct one.

Practical tips for framing your cold email subject lines as questions

  • Address the question to the reader using their name
  • Give them an easy question to answer
  • Put them in a spot
  • Make sure your question has a clear answer
  • Use a question mark

Subject line examples used as questions for a higher response rate

  • Is this what you were looking for?
  • Do you need help with [pain point]?
  • Are you ready for [challenge]?
  • How do you feel about [topic]?
  • Do you hate [recommended activity]?
  • Does [challenge] make you feel [negative emotion]?
  • Are you ready for [important day]?
  • Why should you read this article?
  • Did you know that [interesting fact]?
  • Why do you hate making money?
  • Is this the best way to solve [pain point]?

Examples of cold email subject lines that are humorous or funny

Example of humorous email subject line

How to make your cold email subject lines humorous or funny

  • Make use of puns
  • Don't be afraid to be bold
  • Make use of pop culture references
  • Use some sarcasm
  • Use emojis

Examples of funny email subject lines

  • I want to rent out your refrigerator
  • You know what they say; opposites attract
  • Are you an Octopus?
  • You Asked For It…
  • How do you like your coffee?
  • I know you quit smoking, but I can't quit you
  • Your new agency name is silly
  • Do you know where your IT guys went?
  • My mom wants to buy [asset type]
  • It's way too hot outside, so I sent you this email
  • Hello, my name is [sender name]. I want to ask for some money!

Examples of cold email subject lines that leverage social proof

Example of an email subject line that uses some social proof

Social proof elements are anything that makes people feel like they're not alone in their actions or opinions.

Including such elements in your subject line can make your email appear more trustworthy and increase your email open rate..

Advice for incorporating social proof in your cold email subject lines

  • Include your company's name if it is well-known
  • Mention a mutual connection
  • Reference a customer achievement supported by your product/ service
  • Highlight an award or recognition
  • Share reviews or ratings

Here are some examples:

  • We are offering an unlimited free trial. Rated 4.9/ 5 on G2
  • Want to check Product Hunt's SaaS solution of the week?
  • Everyone is talking about our new feature. Check it out
  • [Mutual connection name] told me that you would listen
  • What I learned from helping [mutual connection name]?
  • 1000 people have already rated us 5 stars. Learn why!
  • How [client name] tripled headcount in 6 months?
  • "They are the easiest team I have every worked with."
  • Meet Gartner's Magic Quadrant Favorite for 3 years
  • We want to help you automate. Ask our customers.
  • Your colleagues will be there. Join them.

Examples of cold email subject lines that share a story

Email subject line example with a story

Nothing gets people's attention like a story. It's true in life, and it's true in business.

If you want your emails to get opened and read, use a subject line that tells a story.

Tips for using storytelling in your cold email subject lines

  • Share a relevant story
  • Have an engaging story hook
  • Keep it incomplete
  • Use dashes (…) to signal that the story will be continued in the email body
  • Use questions

Subject line examples that tell a story

  • How I managed to survive without the internet
  • I learned to automate. Here is what happened next…
  • My daughter is a great dancer. I didn't know
  • The one project management mistake that still haunts me
  • We didn't start in a garage because …
  • Money made me HAPPY until I realized …
  • Hey [first name], here is a [topic] story.
  • My first trip to Paris was different than most
  • What earning $1 at the age of 8 taught me

Examples of cold email subject lines that focus on pain points

Email subject line example highlighting a pain point

Your prospects don't care about your product or service. Instead, they care about themselves, their problems, and what you can do for them.

When you know their pain points, you can highlight them in your email subject lines to draw your prospect’s attention.

How to highlight pain points in your cold email subject lines

  • Do your research about the prospect
  • Cover the problem in simple words
  • Use agitation words
  • Mention a consequence of their unsolved problem
  • Present the problem as a question

Subject lines that use paint points

  • Are you losing interest in your work?
  • Your [problem ] problem will soon explode.
  • Don't use pills to manage your work stress. Do this instead
  • Why will patch work not solve [problem]?
  • You shouldn't ignore [problem] one bit longer
  • How did these marketers deal with bad reviews?
  • Ignoring this update will plunge your traffic
  • Why is meeting deadlines hard?
  • 30% executives blame [problem] for poor performance.
  • This is how to deal with [problem].

Examples of cold email subject lines that highlight numbers and data

Email subject line example of using numbers

The best way to use numbers in cold emails is by creating a subject line that references them directly.

Numbers give your readers a sense of progress or quantity, making them more likely to open your message.

Tips for using numbers in your cold email subject lines

  • Use real numbers when possible
  • Use numerals
  • Use the number at the beginning
  • Use signs to indicate number type ($,%, etc.)

Examples of using numbers in good subject lines

  • 5 ways to increase your website traffic in 2 weeks
  • 20 people viewed your profile last week
  • We are now #1 in customer support quality
  • We donate $1 for every free trial. Help us
  • What if $0 could save you 20 hours a month?
  • 40% of PMs worry about app crashes
  • 100% increase in content ROI after this change
  • How is ignorance causing 500 hours of wasted work every month?
  • There is no 3-2-1 count down to success
  • What I learned from 200 hours of playing this game

Examples of cold email subject lines that use ego bait

Example of ego bait in email subject line

Ego baiting refers to using a person's name or title to get their attention and make them feel important. 

This works because people like to be recognized for their accomplishments, particularly when they relate to the topic at hand.

Valuable tips for using ego bait in your cold email subject lines

  • Make it about the reader
  • Research to find something they achieved recently
  • Address directly
  • Use pleasing words
  • Express admiration

Subject line examples with ego bait

  • Your feedback would mean the world to us
  • 15 years as a CTO deserves some respect. Count me in
  • How did you scale your company so fast?
  • Congratulations on the big role, [first name]
  • Your speech on [topic] was incredible. Thank you!
  • How did you come up with that viral post idea?
  • Your thoughts on [topic] are intriguing
  • Why do I love your work on [topic]?
  • Now I realize how good you were at [task]
  • Your work helped me become a better human

Examples of cold email subject lines that include offers and promos

Email subject line example including an offer

Promotions are an integral part of any business. If you want people to take action on your email, including promotion in the subject line is a great way to get them to open.

Useful tips to include an offer in your cold email subject lines

  • Create urgency to claim the offer
  • Keep it transparent
  • Use clear numbers
  • Include expiry date/ time
  • Personalize to the reader

Here are some examples of using offers in cold email subject lines

  • Hey [first name], you have a 50% discount!
  • The Mega Sale is back with a better deal
  • Midnight will start with a 30% discount on sneakers
  • 40% off on [product category]. Offer closes tonight at 12!
  • We're having a sale - 30% off everything!
  • This 50% coupon code is just for you
  • A free consulting session worth $1000 for you
  • The biggest deal of the year ends tomorrow
  • This annual subscription gives you 2 years instead of 1
  • You may want to check out this 20% coupon

Closing remarks on writing the best cold email subject lines

Now you know there is no “one” universal formula for writing effective cold email subject lines.

The best ones are often a mix of A/B testing, relevance, and creativity.

We hope you could find some noteworthy examples to refer to for your use case in your next cold email outreach campaign.

By the way, you are not just limited to examples anymore.

Why not just generate multiple variations of subject lines with a few simple inputs and pick the best one?

It won't take time.

Our free email subject line generator will do the magic for you.


100x your output and create high-performing content with AI
Get started - It’s Free

Ready to level-up?

Write 10x faster, engage your audience, & never struggle with the blank page again.

Get Started for Free
No credit card required
7-day trial of Pro
90+ content types to explore