38 Cold Email Subject Lines for Emails That Get Read (2021)

Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi
16 minute read

38 Cold Email Subject Lines for Emails That Get Read (2021)

Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi
16 minute read

Looking for the best cold email subject lines?

We’ve created a list of 38 highly personalized subject lines, along with useful tips on how to use them.

Inside, you’ll find subject lines for the following use cases:

  • Link building outreach emails
  • Content promotion emails
  • Collaboration emails
  • Digital PR emails
  • Follow-up emails
  • Sales emails

We’ve categorized our email subject line examples by use case so that you can easily pick the one you’re interested in based on your situation.

Click on the use case that best describes what you need and find the subject line that works best for you.

Author’s Note: When we use parentheses – (example) – we’re indicating that this field has to be filled in by you — the person who sends the email — before sending. When we use braces – {example} – we’re indicating that this field is a variable, meaning that it has to be adjusted based on the prospect you’re reaching out to.

The first cold email subject lines category we’re taking you through are the link building outreach subject lines.

Our highly-personalized outreach email templates, when used alongside these different subject lines, might help you increase your email open rate as well as improve your link building efforts.

Let’s take a look at our link building outreach subject lines.

Subject Line #1: Small favor—fix something on your post?

This one can be used in case someone has highlighted your company in their post but hasn’t given you a link, they’ve linked to the wrong page, or to a page that doesn’t link anymore.

In general, this subject line is a good and polite one for link reclamation and unlinked brand mentions.

This isn’t restricting, as you can use it in other cases as well, when you feel that it’s a good fit.

Subject Line #2: You missed one

Let’s say that someone’s published a blog post on a topic that’s relevant to what your SaaS company does, but they’ve missed mentioning you.

In this case, you might want to use this subject line to raise awareness about your products and services while getting a link back to one of your landing pages or homepage.

For example, assuming that you run a link building tool and come across our list of link building tools; you could use the above subject line to ask to be included.

Subject Line #3: Some love for {Company}’s [Topic] article

Similar to the previous one, this line helps not only do some link building but also connects you with potential customers.

People generally want to publish posts that include a wide range of information.

In the case of a list post or a resource page, it’d be a great idea to propose some additional pages that could also be featured in.

This subject line is ideal for list posts — as was the previous one that we saw.

This subject line is one that could help you achieve a double goal in terms of link building and expanding your network.

It can easily be used by companies that want to start building collaborations with companies in the same industry as well as bloggers in their niche.

Use it when you’re already active in link building and want to connect with likeminded people who’re also interested in building links.

Subject Line #5: Thanks for the mention

It’s a great idea to use this subject line and write a personalized email copy to go with it, when someone has mentioned your company but hasn’t linked back to your website.

Put another way, this one is great for unlinked brand mentions and might even give you the opportunity to discuss potential collaboration.

Author’s Tip: You could consider using a friendly emoji to accompany this subject line, just don’t overdo it.

Subject Line #6: I’ve got a new resource on [Topic] – it’d go great in your {Relevant Blog Post}

Example:

I’ve got a new resource on interactive graphics - it’d go great in your ‘Presentation Softwares for 2021’ post

Subject lines like this one create a sense of urgency to the email recipient in terms of giving them a hint about the content of the email, thus making it more likely that they’ll want to open your email.

Such a subject line — like the others in this category — could work great as a suggestion for enhancing a list post.

Just make sure to insert an excerpt of the “relevant blog post” to show that you’ve actually read the piece.

Author’s Tip: To learn more about how you can use this specific subject line, you can take a look at our guide to content promotion.

Moving on to the next category.

Category #2: Content Promotion Subject Lines

A rather common type of cold email is the one that includes emails that are being sent out for content promotion.

Here’s some content promotion subject lines that can be used for efficient and effective content promotion via email.

Subject Line #1: Topics that are missing from {Company}’s blog

Example:

Topics that are missing from Respona’s blog

In cases where you identify keyword gaps in a publication or a blog, you might want to use this subject line to open up the conversation with the content marketer or head of content at the company.

Put another way, if based on a company’s services, competitors, and content you find that they’re missing some topics that you can provide them with, you could let them know by writing a nice email.

After starting the conversation, you can pitch the topics you’re capable of writing and publish a nice guest post on your prospect’s website.

Subject Line #2: Question about guest post submission

In cases where you want to contact a popular blog or a publication that you know isn’t accepting finished guest posts, you could consider using this subject line.

This will allow you to get additional information on how they deal with guest posting.

If they’re up for it and want you to send them your pitch, you can go ahead and share your suggested topics.

All in all, this subject line makes it easy for the email to be opened so that you can start a conversation with the blog’s editor or with a senior content marketer.

Author’s Tip: Keep in mind to provide the email recipient with links to other posts you’ve published. This’ll increase the success of your email. Mentioning common connections you may have can also help.

Subject Line #3: {First Name}, I see you like [Topic]

Example:

Chloe, I see you like infographics

A personalized subject line like this one might give you more chances of your email getting noticed and read.

You could use this line when you want to promote a type of content that you and your company is successfully creating, thus suggesting that they could be using it to enhance and optimize their content.

Subject Line #4: Suggestion for your [Topic] post

Example:

Suggestion for your ‘Link Building Tools for 2021’ post

Say that you know a topic really well and you’ve just read an article that speaks on that topic but missed out on mentioning a specific point that you’ve covered in one of your recent content pieces.

You could make a suggestion to the content team, editor, or the author of the piece about the missing point you’ve identified.

Such a line might be ideal to use when contacting companies that like to go in-depth with their content.

Just make sure to really have something unique to say about the topic — otherwise, there’s no point reaching out to the prospect in the first place.

Subject Line #5: Infographic for your [Topic] post

Example:

Infographic for your top live streaming stats post

Everyone likes to enhance their content with visually engaging content, like graphs.

If you have graphs that’d go well with your prospect’s recently published blog post, don’t hesitate to reach out to them.

Keep reading to find some more email subject lines for emails that get read.

Category #3: Collaboration and Partnership Request Subject Lines

Many times, we find ourselves being amazed by the way other companies and industry professionals do things.

In these cases, it’d be great to use subject lines that will pique the recipient’s interest and will make it more likely you can create a collaboration or a partnership.

Here are some of them.

Subject Line #1: We’re big fans of {Company}

Use this subject line to say something flattering about a company or individual’s work that you find inspiring and would love to work or start building a collaboration with.

Make sure to use examples from the person or company’s work that you like to show that you actually monitor their efforts.

Subject Line #2: {First Name}, need some extra help with your products?

Example:

Valentina, need some extra help with your products?

This is a great subject line for a brand pitch email.

In such a case, you could use this personalized subject line alongside an email that explains how you could help that company or individual sell more through your audience.

Of course, to send such an email and use this subject line, you need to have an audience to begin with.  

Subject Line #3: Interested in being our ambassador?

This is as great and as straightforward as it gets for email subject lines that can be used to create collaborations and partnerships with influencers.

Inside the email, make sure to explain what your company does as well as be very clear as to what the benefit for the influencer is going to be.

Subject Line #4: I like your writing style

This subject line might be ideal for reaching out to writers and bloggers you want to start creating collaborations and partnerships with.

Flattery always helps, but there has to be substance as well.

This means that you’d want to explain what exactly it is that you like about the prospect’s style that made you reach out to them.

This will drastically improve your chances of getting a positive reply.

Author’s Tip: You might want to connect on LinkedIn with your potential collaborator or partner before you reach out to them.

Subject Line #5: Interested in a collaboration with [Company]?

Example:

Interested in a collaboration with Visme?

This one makes things as simple as they can get in terms of clarity and saving the recipient valuable time when they go through their emails.

Obviously, bigger and well-known companies have an edge here, as people know them and they’ll be more likely to open an email from them if they were to see their name in the subject line.

All in all, an engaging and straightforward cold email subject line like this makes it really easy for someone to give a thought to a potential collaboration and most likely get back to you.

Subject Line #6: We’re into [Topic] as well – interested in a collaboration?

Example:

We’re into link building as well - interested in a collaboration?

Showing someone you’re in the same industry and have common interests from the subject line of your first cold email to them increases your chances of getting a reply.

Just make sure to send this email to someone who indeed has the same interests as you or your company.  

Subject Line #7: Wanna work with/for [Company]?

Example:

Wanna work with Visme?

An email subject line that you might find of use after you’ve done some talent search and identified someone you’d love to work with and think will bring value to your company.

Let’s now move on to the fourth category we have for you.

Category #4: Digital PR Subject Lines

Digital PR is basically the process of pitching your products and services to other people via social media, cold email, or other digital channels.

Whilst performing this process, you might find it hard to come up with catchy subject lines that’ll get your email noticed.

Let’s see some cold email subject lines you could use.

Subject Line #1: Loved your article about [Topic] on {Blog or Publication}

Example:

Loved your article about interactive content on the Hubspot blog

What’s better than introducing yourself to a prospect or potential collaborator than writing a few flattering words on what you particularly liked about their recent post?

Even if the prospect doesn’t reply to your email, rest assured that they’ll open your note.

The reason?

Your subject line shows that you did your research and you’re not someone who’s just spamming people.

Subject Line #2: Typo in your [Topic] article

Example:

Typo in your ‘Referral Programs for 2021’ article

No one likes to publish content with typos in it.

For that reason, this subject line is very enticing.

This doesn’t make it spammy as it’s useful at the same time.

The recipient will definitely open the email and will most likely take the time to write back to you and thank you for helping them optimize their content.

Subject Line #3: Would love your advice/Would love your opinion

This subject line is one of those that might not give the recipient a really clear idea of the exact content of your email, but you’ll manage to get their attention and show appreciation.

If you’re asking for someone’s opinion, it’s because you think their idea and view on things is valuable to you and your work.

A line like this one includes just the right amount of flattery and honesty as well as giving the recipient enough reasons to open your email and get back to you.

Subject Line #4: Exclusive for {Company}: {Newsworthy Story or Event}

Example:

Exclusive for TC: New link building software product launch

This one is great because when it comes to digital PR, we’re all ultimately looking for exclusivity.

It’s all about the fear of missing out – FOMO.

In cases when you’ve got some exclusive news to share, make sure it’s relevant to the recipient’s interests and that your news is newsworthy.

It might be a good idea to connect with the prospect on social media prior to sending your email.

Author’s Note: In the above cold email subject line, “TC” stands for TechCrunch — one of the largest publications when it comes to tech news.

Subject Line #5: {First Name}, loved your {Article/Social Media Post/Video}

Example:

Mark, loved your last post on Twitter

PR is all about creating relationships with other people in your niche as well as in general.

Writing to people to tell them that you liked something they posted on social media can help you create new professional relationships and expand your network.

This subject line shows that you’ve done your research — it’s not clickbait and it has a human touch in it.

Subject Line #6: Could I ask you a few questions?

Apart from writing to people to express your admiration for something they did, you could also consider emailing them about a piece of advice you may need from them.

This is a kind of indirect expression of admiration and can be very beneficial in terms of digital PR.

Because, let’s face it: everyone wants to feel like an authority in their field.

Make them feel this way and “unlock” a new relationship that will be mutually beneficial.

Subject Line #7:  Congratulations on {Recent Achievement}

Example:

Congratulations on your product launch

A great opportunity to do some PR is to congratulate people for their achievements.

In cases where you choose to do that, you could use a straightforward subject line that shows exactly that.

Make sure that the “recent achievement” that we have as an adjustable field is in fact something that happened a few days or weeks ago.

Subject Line #8:  [Relevant Connection] who needs your advice

Example:

Fellow Maryland-based founder who needs your advice

When approaching people that you have some connection with – it might be that you live in the same city or you graduated from the same university – it’d be really helpful to mention this in your email subject line.

Reading about something familiar will make the recipient want to know more about what’s in your email.

Moving to our next category.

Category #5: Sales Subject Lines

The fifth subject line category we have for you is to do with sales.

First things first, cold email templates are great but, to avoid sounding too salesy,  we’d recommend that you do your best at personalizing your subject lines as well as the body of your email, without overdoing it.  

Also, if you’re running your campaigns through an email marketing software, you may have to add an “Unsubscribe” button for people who don’t want to hear from you again.

This’ll make your prospecting better and may even result in better conversion rates.

Here’s some great sales email subject lines sales reps can use to reach out to companies.

Subject Line #1: Tip for [Pain Point]

Example:

Tip for email outreach

In case you’ve noticed a pain point in the industry that a company is in, you could consider using this subject line that’s nice and clear to open up the conversation via email.

Mentioning their pain point or other industry issues will make your email hard to resist.

Just try to add value rather than sell in the first email.

If you try to genuinely help, then you’ll have higher chances of getting a positive reply.

Subject Line #2: {Company} is here to help you with [Pain Point]

Example:

Visme is here to help you with your branding kit

Salespeople that have the gift of solving others’ pain points are usually the most successful ones.

Start up the conversation with a subject line that shows that you’ve not only identified your prospect’s pain point but you’re also offering your company’s services to solve it.

In this case, you could help a growing company with their branding kit, and be consistent with their brand efforts.  

Subject Line #3: I’m hoping we can help you with [pain point]

Example:

I’m hoping we can help you with PR outreach

Similar to the previous cold email subject line, this one can be used ideally when you’ve found a company’s pain point and you believe your products can help solve it.

Be sure that the company you’re reaching out to actually has the problem you’re trying to solve.

Subject Line #4: A [Service/Product] for {Company}

Example:

A link building software for Tidio

People usually want to read emails that involve their company’s name.

Put another way, combining your product with the name of the prospect’s company will make it more likely that they not only read your email, but also get back to you in case your product really fits their needs.

If your prospect is interested in your solution — or, if they were searching for a solution like yours before you reach out to them — then you’ll have a positive reply back to your email.

Subject Line #5: (Mutual Connection’s First and Last Name) suggested I should get in touch with you

Example:

Farzad Rashidi suggested I should get in touch with you

Adding the name of a mutual connection on your subject line will get your prospect’s attention, thus making it more possible that they’ll get back to you.

In other words, mentioning the name of someone you both know gives your email extra points of getting noticed and receiving an answer.

Subject Line #6: {Prospect’s First Name}, {Your Name} with {Your Company’s Name} is here to help

Example:

Joe, Farzad with Respona is here to help

Personalizing your cold email campaign by including not only the prospect’s first name but also your first name and the name of your company, can be a really successful way of pitching your products to potential customers.

If your company is a well-known brand, then this subject line can be really effective in making your prospect get back to you.

Moving on to the final category we’re looking at in this post.

Category #6: Follow-up Email Subject Lines

According to an email outreach study by Backlinko, only around 8 in every 100 emails that are being sent out receive an answer.

We therefore understand that follow-up emails are necessary in order to achieve successful email communications.

Let’s see some subject line examples for follow-up email you can use to get replies to your correspondence.

Subject Line #1: Following up on my {Topic} email

Example:

Following up on my guest post contribution email

You can use this subject line when the first email that you’ve sent has gone unnoticed.

This cold email subject line gives the recipient enough context about the subject and content of your email from the very beginning.

Subject Line #2: Re: (Original Subject Line)

Example:

Re: Valentina, need some extra help with your products?

When your first email didn’t receive a response, a subject line that repeats the content of your original email is one of the best and most effective ways to go.

Some might think it’s repetitive.

However, what matters most is that it’s simple and shows the recipient exactly what’s in it for them.

It also shows what the email is all about, making it easier for them to dedicate some time to opening it.

Example:

Janet, thank you for featuring Respona

In cases where your original email was about asking someone to feature your product, mention your company, or include you in some way in their content sequence, you should definitely send a follow up to thank them.

Simply put, this one is a great subject line to introduce a friendly and polite follow up email to someone who satisfied your request.

Subject Line #4: These are our next steps

A subject line that speaks of next steps can be used to follow up after a meeting or the closing of a new deal.

You can personalize your subject line by adding the prospect’s name, the name of the two companies, or even the name of the project you’re working on.

Subject Line #5: Here are some extra resources on [Topic You Talked About]

Example:

Here are some extra resources on target audience research

Let’s say that you had a talk with someone and discussed a specific topic.

To stay in touch with them, you could send a follow up email that gives extra resources and links to content pieces or websites that are relevant to your talk.

This increases the chances of keeping the conversation going.

Subject Line #6: I thought of [Idea/ Topic] since we last spoke

Example:

I thought of email response rates since we last spoke

Similar to the previous subject line, this one might also be used to follow up a meeting or a talk with someone.

After having your conversation you could grab the opportunity to stay in touch by sharing a thought that came as a result of the conversation.

As simple as that.

Let’s wrap this post up.

Now Over to You

There you have it.

You now have some good subject lines that’ll help you get higher open rates for your next outreach campaign.

Of course, there are many factors involved when it comes to getting your email opened by your prospects.

Undeniably though, the subject line is one of the most important parts.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Which of these subject lines have you used already in your cold emails?

What worked and what didn’t?

Let me know with a quick comment below.

Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi is the co-founder of Respona, the all-in-one digital PR and link-building software that combines personalization with productivity. He also runs the marketing efforts at Visme, where he helped the company gain over 8 million users and pass 2M monthly organic traffic. Since then, he’s been helping other companies achieve the same success via Respona.

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