The 5 Dos and Don’ts of Writing Cold Email Subject Lines That Increase Open Rates

Not seeing the results you want out of your cold emails? You might need to improve your subject lines.

When it comes to writing the perfect cold email, it all starts with the subject line. You need to create something so unique and eye-catching that it stands out among all the other sales and marketing messages in your prospect’s inbox. 

It can be a tough task to accomplish, especially when you consider people send and receive dozens of emails a day. But if you want to increase open rates and see the higher conversion, it has to start with your cold email’s subject line

Not sure how to get started creating that wow-factor subject line? In this article, we’ll take a look at a few dos and don’ts to help send you down the right path.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ll cover: 

  • Do: Add personalization
  • Don’t: Use clickbait
  • Do: Keep it short and sweet
  • Don’t: Be too formal
  • Do: Give them a reason to click

Follow These Dos and Don’ts to Write Subject Lines That Increase Open Rates

Writing the perfect cold email subject line doesn’t have to be the hardest part of your job. In fact, with a few simple tips, it can be easier than you ever expected. By keeping these dos and don’t in mind when you’re drafting your next cold email, you’ll be on the road to success!

Adding personalization to your subject line makes it feel like you’ve taken the time to get to know your prospect. It will also help your message stand out from the others flooding their inbox

1. Do: Add Personalization

Adding personalization is one of the most important steps when it comes to cold emails. That’s because you need your message to stand out in a sea of other emails that build up in a user’s inbox throughout the day. 

In fact, it’s been said that personalizing email subject lines can increase your open rates by 50%. That means that by taking a little extra time to learn more about your prospect’s interests, you can almost double your chances of them opening your email. It’s well worth the time spent. 

Not sure where to start? Here are just a few ways you can incorporate personalization into your email subject lines: 

  • Use the recipient’s name
  • Find something they are interested in and incorporate that
  • Promote something happening in their area
  • Mention a common colleague or connection 

You don’t have to spend hours hunting down all the information you can find on your prospect. All it takes is one small personal touch to pique their interest and get them to click to learn more.

Clickbait might result in higher open rates, but it won’t provide you with quality leads. It’s best to avoid using it and appealing to prospects in another way.

2. Don’t: Use Clickbait 

Clickbait is all around us and people are becoming more and more aware of it. If your technique to increase your open rates is by using it — you’re likely to find your messages quickly getting marked as spam. 

When you consider that 45% of all emails are spam, users are on high alert and will quickly delete or report messages they find suspicious. 

That means that sending an email with a juicy, click-worthy subject line but has nothing to do with the content is never in your best interest. It is more likely to annoy the recipient and encourage them to delete your messages in the future. 

While it might be a quick way to increase open rates, you won’t see much engagement beyond that initial open. And if your open rates aren’t leading to conversions, is it really helping your bottom line? 

So when you’re writing your next email and ready to draft the subject line stay away from the clickbait and create a message with meaning.

Your prospects are busy people. Keep your messages short, sweet, and to the point to improve your open rates.

3. Do: Keep It Short and Sweet

According to MarketingProfs, email subject lines between 1 and 20 characters in length have the highest average open rate. That means that the shorter your subject line is the better. 

It’s also important to consider how many characters are displayed across devices. While someone may be able to see a longer subject line on a desktop, that same message will be cut short on mobile. Considering that a big chunk of your target audience is likely using their cell phone as their primary source of email consumption — you could be missing a big opportunity. 

Now, we’re not saying that you can never send longer subject lines. But it is a best practice to keep it as short and sweet as possible. If you do need to extend your message beyond 20 characters, make sure to include the most important information upfront so the recipient sees it no matter the device they are on.

Don’t be too formal when first approaching a prospect. Keeping the conversation more informal and friendly will make it feel less like a sales pitch and more personal.

4. Don’t: Be Too Formal

Formal subject lines can easily come across as too professional or might even scream “I’m a sales pitch”. For many people, those types of emails are easy to skim over and send to the trash bin. 

But by sending a less formal message, you’ll have a better chance of standing out. As you get better at the art of informal subject line creation, you’ll even be able to connect with recipients like you would a friend or colleague. 

Creating a subject line in this manner may make the recipient feel like they already know you or that you’re someone who is genuinely interested in helping them. 

One of the most important things about cold emails is the first impression. So if you can appeal to the uses in a more conversational and friendly way, they are going to have a better, lasting impression of you.

You need to give your prospects a reason to click. A generic subject line might not provide them with enough value to keep reading

5. Do: Give Them a Reason to Click

You need to get to the point and let the recipient know why you are reaching out to them — and what better place to do that than the subject line? 

Tell them upfront what value you offer and why they should open your email. Lead with things like: 

  • The value you have to offer them
  • How can you save them time or money
  • An example of real dollar amounts you have saved similar customers
  • What you are asking them to do

Remember, you are reaching out to tell the recipient about something you can do for them. Why beat around the bush when you can put the information they want to hear right in front of them. Doing this in the subject line lets them know before they even open the email how you can help them without all the extra fluff. 

Now Get Out There and Nail Your Cold Email Subject Lines

Cold emails can be a great tool when done right, and it all starts with a perfect subject line. So make sure to do your part to include a little personalization, keep it conversational and to the point, while always providing your prospects with value. With the help of these dos and don’ts, you’ll be on the right path to increasing your open rates.

Creating Emails That Appeal to Millennials

Provide your millennial customers with the email communication they want.

For many marketers, understanding millennials and their values can be a challenging endeavor. But when you consider that 35% of today’s working-class consists of millennials, you no longer ignore the need to market to their needs.

It’s very likely that you’ve hired a few millennials yourself — but the real question is have you adjusted your marketing to appeal to their wants and needs? Millennials are different than the generations before them and that means you need to market to them in a different way.

And that’s a true statement across the board. From investing in digital advertising to improving your email marketing, your marketing methods should keep the needs of millennials and generation Z in mind.

Whether you’re adjusting your cold email strategy or working to build trust and loyalty among your customers, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into the things you’ll want to consider when using email marketing to reach the younger generations.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ll cover:

  • Why you need to approach email marketing differently for millennials
  • How cold emails can help you reach your younger customers
  • Why everything needs to be optimized for mobile viewing
  • The importance of building trust and loyalty among your customers

Millennials are on their phones at all times of the day. Whether they are at work or hanging out with their friends, the temptation to check their emails and messages is always there.

Why Approach Emailing Millennials Differently

Marketing to your millennial audiences is a very different experience than marketing to the generation before them. But you also have to consider the world we live in today isn’t the same as it was 20 and even just 10 years ago.

Younger generations have grown up with technology and are more connected than ever before. While that may send you into uncharted waters when it comes to reaching your audience, it can be an opportunity to increase your customer reach.

By reaching your customers via email, they can receive your messages and make a purchase from nearly anywhere. They could be at home, but they can also be at the park, hanging out with friends, or even at work. With the help of mobile devices, email marketing lets you reach your millennial customers where they are and at any time.

So if you’re ready to make the extra effort to reach your millennial audiences, keep reading for a few tips to win them over with email marketing.

Email is not a dying marketing tactic. In fact, millennials want to be reached via email in both a professional and personal setting.

Email Tips to Win Over Millennials

Email marketing is not dead, in fact, 63% of millennials feel that email is their preferred channel to communicate with retailers. That means that email marketing can, and does, still work to reach your younger audience segments.

Are you not seeing the email metrics you’d hoped to see when communicating with your customers? Here are a few tips to improve your email marketing and better connect with your millennial customers.

Cold emails are a method to reach out to new customers who have never interacted with your brand before. It’s a great way to reach potential customers, and it turns out it’s one of the preferred methods for Millennials.

Cold Emails Can Still Work When Done Right

The art of cold emails is not lost with this generation. In reality, millennials have stated that email is still the preferred way to reach them at work. That statement proves that cold emails can, and do, still work. It also means that a cold email is much more likely to connect you with a potential customer than a call cold every will.

If you’re thinking about using cold emails to reach your customers, here are a few things you’ll want to consider:

  • Connect with your customers on a more personal level, don’t make it sound like a marketing pitch
  • Find common ground and use that to build a connection
  • Quickly get to the point and let them know what value you can offer them
  • Along those lines, make sure your communication is clear and concise or you’ll lose their attention

Cold emails can provide you with direct access to your customers. It’s important to take the time to learn about each customer’s wants and needs, but can be a very successful email marketing tactic for Millennials.

Mobile devices are now one of the main sources of marketing consumption. Your customers are checking their emails, texting, and shopping right from their smartphones. If you’re not optimizing for mobile, you’re missing out.

Everything Must Be Optimized for Mobile

93% of millennials own smartphones. That means that nearly all millennials are utilizing mobile devices to check text messages, emails, and social media apps.

While it’s been a trend for years now, if you are not thinking in a mobile-first mindset, you’re missing a huge opportunity when it comes to the younger generations. In the digital world, we live in, you should assume that your emails are being read on mobile devices. That means that every single email you send should be optimized for mobile.

Here are a few quick tips on how to ensure your emails are optimized for mobile:

  • Keep imagery clean and simple, there’s no reason to go overboard
  • Responsive templates are a must and will allow your emails to appear correctly on any device
  • Write in short sentences and avoid long drawn out paragraphs
  • Don’t forget to consider that touch screens provide a different clicking experience than computers

Mobile optimization is extremely important in today’s marketing world. Even if you’re not focusing on your millennial and generation z customer base, it’s something that all humans are gravitating towards.

While you might not literally be pinky promising your customers, building trust is a big thing with millennials. They need to feel like they trust your brand and that you stand for something they care about.

Build Trust and Be Transparent About Brand Values

Don’t pretend like you’re something you’re not. Millennials appreciate companies that own their brands. You don’t have to create elaborate marketing schemes to grab their attention, you just have to be yourself and let your brand identify.

Millennials take their time when making purchasing decisions and seek out the advice of others through ratings and reviews. They often want to feel a connection and know what a brand stands for before committing to making a purchase.

Email is a great way to build that relationship and instill a sense of trust and loyalty with your customers. Through welcome campaigns and other targeted marketing tactics, you can warm up your subscribers and turn them into returning, loyal customers.

Email marketing is not dead. Your millennial customers want you to be communicating with them via email, you just need to know how to do it the right way.

Email is a Great Tool to Reach The Younger Generations

No matter what you read, email marketing is not going anywhere. In fact, it’s likely going to continue to be one of the best ways to reach your customers as the mobile world around us continues to change. Your millennial audience relies heavily on email marketing in both their personal and professional lives. If you have not optimized your emails to meet their needs, you’re missing a big opportunity.