Best Email Subject Lines for Sales (+Examples)

Unlock the key to improved open rates with these strategies, tips, and examples for creating email subject lines for sales.

4 min read

A sales rep writing an email using an example of the best email subject lines for sales

According to Constant Contact, a leading email marketing platform, the average email open rate across all industries last year was about 36%. What happens to the other 64%? 

You might hope that your customer just didn’t have a chance to check their email when you sent out your weekly promotion or monthly newsletter, but the truth is that most marketing emails end up in the trash. 

The good news is there’s tons of data surrounding what makes a good email subject line. If you’re ready to learn how to compose effective email subject lines for sales and see examples of what works (and what doesn’t), we’ve got you covered. 

The Anatomy of a Good Email Subject Line

Writing good subject lines for sales emails is an art and a science. Like art, the more you practice, the better you get. And like science, there are a few guiding principles to keep in mind that will drive success:

  1. Keep it Short and Sweet: Generally, shorter subject lines perform better. While the optimal length ranges across mobile, desktop, and tablet, keeping the subject line under 60 characters is a good rule of thumb. 
  2. Provide Value: Sales email subject lines should give users a glimpse of what your company offers. Your email must provide value, whether that’s helping customers save money and get more for less by advertising a sale or by sharing a free eBook or podcast.
  3. Add a Personal Touch: Taking a personalized approach is key to ensuring your emails stand out. According to Campaign Monitor, personalized sales emails are 26% more likely to be opened than non-personalized versions of the same email. Consider displaying a reply-to address with a name or alias and addressing your recipient by name in the subject line to get their attention. Of course, personalizing the email content is also essential, so consider adding personalized videos to your next sales email.

Proven Email Subject Line Strategies for Sales

Research into email marketing strategies has found that two strategies are key to generating highly effective sales email subject lines. The two areas of focus are urgency and keywords:

  • Allude to a Sense of Urgency: Good email subject lines should be time-bound and create a sense of urgency that encourages recipients to act. Keep this in mind, but take a balanced approach – not every email can be a last-minute reminder of the sale of the century. 
  • Focus on Keywords: Even though your emails aren’t ranked by search engines, users naturally filter their inbox by keywords. If you want your emails to end up being the ones they tap to open, consider the keywords your target audience would search. As you implement this approach, A/B testing to understand which words outperform others for specific target customer profiles.

Examples of Email Subject Lines That Work 

By combining the anatomy of an effective email subject line with proven sales email subject line strategies, you can create various email subject lines that will drive higher open rates. Let’s take a look at some effective subject lines from real brands in 2024:

  1. [Name] – got 15 minutes this week?
  2. Improving Google Ads Performance for [Company]
  3. Last Chance: Proposal for [Company]
  4. Reduce Accounts Payable in Six Weeks or Less
  5. [Mutual Connection] Referral

These email subject lines work well for a variety of reasons. First of all, the majority of them are personalized, helping build familiarity with prospects. Other email subject lines in this list speak directly to the pain points of prospects, ensuring they’ll pay attention to them as they scan their inbox. Finally, many of these email subject lines convey a sense of urgency that encourages recipients to act before it’s too late. 

Best Email Subject Line Generators for 2024

If you’re having trouble generating subject lines for your next sales email, consider using a free email subject line generator. These generative AI tools will help you quickly generate a wide range of options, from which you can pick your favorite. 

There are a variety of free options available, including:

Our top choice is The site prompts you to enter a subject line you’re considering for your next email marketing campaign. The site will then analyze your subject line, scoring it on a range of criteria and generating additional subject lines based on the proven sales strategies described above. 

For example, might suggest adding emojis, capitalizing different words, or adding language that conveys a sense of urgency. Experiment with different email subject line generators to find the best fit for your brand. 

Generative AI Prompts that Create Effective Email Subject Lines

Rather than relying on a preset subject line generator tool, more and more marketers are creating their own AI prompts to generate email subject lines for sales. The rise of open-source generative AI models like Chat GPT, Jasper, and Bard is allowing marketers to combine their ideas with the power of these pre-trained models for multiple marketing tasks.

Here are two generative AI prompts that can create effective email subject lines:

  1. "Create an email subject line that captures the attention of our target audience and encourages them to open the email. The email topic is [insert topic here], the goal is [insert goal here], the tone should be [insert tone here], and the body text includes [insert key points from the email body].” 
  2. “You are an email subject line generator. I will provide the topic, goal, tone, and summary of the email. Based on these inputs, generate six possible email subject lines that will increase open rates. Do you understand?”

These prompts are good starting points, but you can also tailor them to meet your specific needs. For instance, you might provide additional parameters, such as words to avoid or specific words to include. The more detailed you are, the better. 

Common Email Marketing Mistakes

When writing marketing emails, there are certain email marketing tactics that you should avoid. Here are three common mistakes (and how to fix them):

  • Using a Generic Greeting: Don’t start your email with “Hi” or “Hey there.” Instead, use your prospect’s name to decrease the likelihood of it being flagged as spam.
  • Creating a Tone that is Too Urgent: As we mentioned earlier, you should allude to a sense of urgency, but unless an email is actually urgent, you shouldn’t include the word in the subject line. The goal is to gain the recipient’s trust, and lying about the immediacy of a message is not the way to do it.
  • Sending an Email Without a Subject Line: Skipping the subject line entirely can be perceived as lazy, which is not the first impression you want to leave with your new prospect. In many instances, it looks suspicious, ensuring recipients will send your email straight to the trash folder. Instead, make sure to add a subject line using the best practices discussed here. 

Email Subject Lines for Sales to Increase Open Rates

Studies show that the majority of recipients use the subject line to determine whether they should delete or open an email. Given that in many instances, a subject line is one of the recipient’s first impressions of your brand, it’s essential to perfect your email subject lines. 

By using the strategies and tools outlined here, you’ll increase the chances that your next sales email will be read and that your recipient will take the actions you want them to. If you need guidance formulating a comprehensive digital marketing strategy and fine-tuning your approach to email marketing, reach out to GoDelta today

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