How Well Are Your Email Subject Lines Working?

BY Jessica Helinski
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Do you use email to connect with prospects and clients? If so, you may want to reconsider how you write subject lines. These seemingly simple phrases greatly impact open rates.

CloserIQ's recent blog post gives great tips on which subject lines to retire–and what should replace them. “Whether you’re writing a cold email or following up, email subject lines play a crucial part in making the right impression and getting your message read,” writes James Meincke.

Examples of “overused” subject lines include:

Just checking in.”

This phrase is an old favorite, but it is used too much, Meincke believes. And, as part of a cold email, it likely won’t be effective. “Unless you have actually spoken with the email recipient previously, you are not checking in with them,” she explains. And, for those reps using it to contact someone they have met, it’s way too generic and–even cliche. But, you can transform it with a couple of tweaks. Add personalization and context to the phrase by mentioning that the email is a follow-​up to a specific meeting or call.

Example: Following up on last week’s lunch meeting


This kind of subject line is a lot of hype and little substance. First, do not use all caps in a professional email. Doing so is unprofessional and the written equivalent of yelling. And, while it’s understandable you want to generate enthusiasm, this subject line does little to excite the reader. Why? “It is weak because it does not inform the prospect about what the deal actually is or why they might benefit from it,” Meincke writes. Include the specifics of the deal or offer to truly interest readers (without the gimmicky writing).

Example: Enjoy [benefit] with [offer]

Meincke’s article provides some great tips on crafting an effective subject line. And, for Meincke, it all comes down to the following: A good subject line is specific, suggests a benefit to the recipient, and is contextually appropriate for the business relationship.