How many emails did you get last week?

We all send and receive what seems like hundreds of emails a day. (Which, by the way, is a heck of a lot easier to manage using a tool like Spiro.) So you have to grab your prospects’ attention with a kickass subject line.

You’re here to sell, not waste your time sending boring emails that never get opened. So spice it up a bit and try something new. Then watch your open rates skyrocket and your pipeline grow. 

Here are five email subject lines guaranteed to work:

1) Let’s Get Personal: “Drone Flying”

Someone who takes the time to write a personalized subject line scores big points in my book. And I’m not talking about just starting the sentence with my first name or my company’s name, followed by your generic sales text. 

One day I got an email from a salesperson I didn’t know. I would have been hesitant to open it if it weren’t for his unique approach. Here’s his message: 

Drone Flying

Hi Adam,

You're into Drone Flying? Have you been doing this for a while?

I recently bought this entry-level micro quadcopter to gets started and get the hang of it. It's not much, but I was surprised at its ability and it's a blast to fly! I'm working my way up and looking to buy a more advanced one soon. What type do you fly?



You wouldn’t know this unless you know me, but I’m really into drones and mention this interest on my social media profiles. Clearly, Dillon took the 10 extra seconds to research me, find something unique to say, and included that in his email subject line. You should do the same.

2) The Allure of Mystery and Intrigue: “We Love Paychex” 

People are curious beings. Write an intriguing subject line that pulls people in and makes them wonder what you’re going to say next. Tease them, intrigue them, make them come to you, give them an offer, or flatter them -- something different.

When I use a charming or flattering subject line, I see impressive open rates. I sent an email to Paychex employees with the subject line “We Love Paychex.” The body of the email went on to explain that many of their coworkers were using our product, hence my love of their company. Check it out:

We Love Paychex

Hi Pamela,

Did you know that quite a few people at Paychex are using Spiro as a personal sales assistant?

That's why we love Paychex -- we're a free, new app for salespeople and you're one of our first and most important customers.



This email had a very high open rate, and why not? Who wouldn’t want to read an email professing love for your company? 

3) Keep It Simple, Stupid: “Email Buried?”

If your prospect hasn’t responded to your initial email, it’s possible it honestly got buried in the vast wasteland known as their email inbox. Don’t resort to desperate language about why they need to get back to you ASAP.

Be authentic and try the simple email subject line “Email Buried?”, with the body of the text referencing your first email and inquiring if it just got lost in the shuffle. This will not only get their attention, but also alleviate any feeling of guilt the recipient may feel in ignoring your previous email.

Email Buried?

Hi Marcelo,

Just wanted to follow up in case my email was buried in your inbox.



By the way, Marcelo replied to my email in about two minutes.

An even simpler subject line that has given us great success is just one word -- “Hi.”


Hi there,

You signed up on the Spiro website to be notified when you can use our amazing personal assistant with your CRM tool (or none at all).

Great news: It's now ready for you. And it's still free!



This email from our customer service associate Samantha was opened an amazing 81% of the time.

4) Funny, Like I’m a Clown?: “Don’t go breaking my heart”

We’ve said it time and time again, but here’s a reminder: humor works. Being funny and poking fun at yourself makes you appear more relatable to your clients. So try getting a little laugh from your email subject lines as well.

Feeling daring? Use the opener of a joke in your subject line, and the punch line in the body of your email. It’s okay if it’s cheesy, or doesn’t relate at all to your product -- after all, you’re just trying to get your prospect to open your email. All the better if you can make them laugh in the meantime.

Another tactic is to use a creative subject line, such as “don’t go breaking my heart … ” to make them smile, then immediately open the message. Here's one that was sent to me:

don't go breaking my heart


I've reached to you a few times over the past few weeks to discuss how [redacted] can benefit Spiro Technologies, but have been met with radio silence.

I'm just looking for a few minutes of your time to chat about [redacted] and how we're helping clients maximize the number of converted prospects, by building accurate lists of prospects and converting them to closed deals.

Only you can keep me from going all Dawson over here.



5) Cross My Heart and Hope to Die: Be Honest 

Whatever you do, DON’T lie. A subject line making false claims or promises may get your prospect to open your email, but it will eventually lead you down a dead end path. 

Your sale has to be built on honesty, or you will ruin your reputation and the integrity of your company. You may be tempted to lure in them into your email with gimmicks, but just make sure it’s an offer you can keep. The quickest way to a prospect’s trash bin is through deceit. Well, deceit and emojis.

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Originally published Sep 30, 2016 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017


Sales Email Subject Lines