B2B Email Subject Lines Best Practices

B2B Email Subject Lines Best Practices

Merve Geneş

b2b email subject lines best practices

What is a B2B Cold Email and Why is it Important?

Cold emailing is a marketing method that has been around for decades. It was first used in the early 1900s by door-to-door salesmen as a way to get potential customers to buy their products. Nowadays, cold emails are still used by companies to reach out to potential customers and partners.

Cold emails are an effective tool for business-to-business (B2B) marketing because they allow marketers to connect directly with potential customers, bypassing gatekeepers such as sales teams or secretaries. Cold emails can be sent with the intention of establishing a new business relationship or nurturing an existing one. They have the benefit of being able to be scheduled in advance, so you can plan your time more efficiently and make sure not to miss any opportunities.

Why are B2B subject lines for cold emails important?

Email subject lines matter more to your B2B audience than you might think. They can make or break your entire email marketing campaign.

The whole point of sending a cold email is to make sure that the subject line is interesting enough to make the email opened, read, and responded to. Since it is the first thing your prospect would see, a subject line is considered to be one of the most important component's of a cold email. The subject line is determiner in this sense, as the prospect chooses whether or not they will be reading that email according to the subject line.

Your subject line is the entry point to your email. If it fails, the recipient won't click, making the rest of your email completely redundant. You might write the best email in the world, but if the subject line throws you off, no one will see it. Make sure your subject line does what it’s supposed to do – grab attention and inspire action, without leaving the body of your email dusty.

So without further ado, let’s dive into best practices for B2B email subject lines and explore some real-life examples.

Best Practices for Writing Great B2B Cold Email Subject Lines

best practices for b2b cold emails

The first thing to do is to make sure that you know your prospect or the whole target audience well enough to write the best subject lines. Once you have collected enough data regarding your prospect's industry, prospect's business, their projects etc, you can send a cold email to their business email address (or personal email address, if that's what they prefer).

Here are some best practices when it comes to writing a great cold email subject line:

Ignite interest

Every single subject line you choose to use should ignite at least some interest in your prospect as it will be one of the most important things that will get your email read. If you can write a subject line that is good enough for your prospect, can attract their attention and can make a good first impression on them, then you got it right!

Not only for cold emailing but also for your existing customers, an engaging subject line would be a good idea to make sure that your email strategy works. If you can ignite your prospect's curiosity, they will definitely read that email.

Keep it short and to the point

It is important to write a short subject line because no one likes to read long texts in their inboxes. If you'd like to write effective subject lines, you should learn how to keep things short and basically use keywords that can get to the point you want to make.

Your prospect's inbox might be filled with long, dreadful subject lines, (and most probably the main email text) but you can stand out by writing a good subject line that can show itself between many others.

Create urgency for action

There is a fine line between creating a sense of urgency and sounding too pushy. A great subject line can find the sweet spot between the two. You can give this sense of urgency by mentioning in a follow up email, or even a breakup email that might have the "Seems like these emails don't work" or something along the lines of that. You should be creative and find your own way of expressing yourself, which brings us to our next point.

Be creative

Using different subject lines for B2B communications will be awesome for your marketing campaign. The more creative you get, the more original your subject lines will sound like.

One of the biggest pain points of marketers is that they can't get creative enough when writing their subject lines in sales emails, which makes them sound rather generic.

You can check a few email subject line examples to get an idea only, then you should find your own way to attract attention.


Personalized subject lines for B2B has a way higher open rate than those that aren't. If you want to reach out to a high value prospect, it is a good idea to gather enough information about them to give them a proven solution.

If you show that you've done your homework about them, it would create a clear idea about how you like to research about your potential customers and that you care for them. It doesn't matter if who you're emailing is a small business owner or the top of a well-known company. Find a way to make your prospect feel special in that email subject line.

You can insert emotion but make sure that you stick to your main message and use power words. Keeping things friendly is nice but remember that this is a business email so write your subject lines according to that.

Make an offer (value proposition)

Best email subject lines always offer before they ask. If you are writing a sales email subject line, then using this method in every single one of them would work. This way you could attract new prospects, and then turn them into more leads.

A sales email is there to sell, to make people into customers. Best salespeople are those that can touch a pain pointi find solution, and create a win-win situation for the both sides.

One way to offer a solution is to ask if they'd like your help about something specific. If you ask a question in your email subject lines, you would increase the chances of your prospect opening your email (which would increase your open rate) as it makes them take an action.

(opt.) Include keywords about your company and product

This one can be slightly dangerous for your subject lines as it might backfire. Knowing when to use this one correctly would help.

If you are writing a sales email subject line then it is most likely not a good idea since you would be making the prospect not apen the email at all with writing about how great something you are selling is.

However, if you are writing your product ina way that can touch the pain point of your recipient then that subject line works perfectly.

Include the prospect's first name

The best word to hear in the English language is one's own name. If you care about your prospect, your prospect cares about you.

The subject lines that include the recipipent's first name in has opening rates of 18.30%. It is a big jump when you think about it because it increases the chances of your email getting read, and in return, making your email campaign succesfull.

Use lowercase

Using all caps could feel like you are shouting at someone or have something very important to say (to sell?) maybe. It is always a good idea to not be oushy in your email subject lines as it would only send your email into spam or trash.

On the other hand, making the first letters of each word could slow down the reader, since the the subject line would be read as if it is a title. In the literal sense, it is a title, it is the subject line, however, when it is a very short, sweet, helpful, little sentence, it increases the open rates.

So it is a good idea to use lowercase, except for when you are beginning a new sentence.

The 5 Most Common Mistakes Made When Writing B2B Cold Email Subject Lines

b2b cold email mistakes

A cold email is an email that you send to someone who doesn’t know you. It’s a way to introduce yourself and your business, and to get the recipient interested in what you have to offer.

Cold emails are often sent by salespeople or marketers, but they can also be sent by journalists, bloggers, and other professionals who want to pitch story ideas or services. The most common mistakes in writing a B2B cold email subject lines are listed here:

Using spam trigger words

Usually, a sales email subject line have most of the words that can turn your well constructed cold email into spam since the algorithm can understand that your aim is to sell something to the recipient.

One way to avoid falling into the spam trap is to know about your prospect's pain points and mention them in your subject line. If you can mention a pain point of your prospect, not only will you have escaped the spam trap, but you will also have your email personalized.

Using too many exclamation points or capital letters

Using words or exclamation marks like "Sale!" or "50% off!" can also be spam triggers. But besides that, it makes the text unreadable with adding too much emotion and excitement into your sentences.

Using email templates or copy-pasting examples

Using templates will limit your creativity when creating effective subject lines for B2B purposes. Taking a look at email subject line examples are okay to get a few idea but that really should be all about it - to get ideas only.

If you use a template or basically copy paste examples from other people's sites, you will be like the rest of the crowd and will have a hard time standing out, which will affect the open rate of your emails.

Sounding too generic

Cold emails are a great way to reach out to potential customers and prospects. But, if you don't have the right subject line, your email might get ignored.

The subject line is the first thing that a recipient sees in their inbox. It's what they use to decide whether or not they want to open your email. So, it's important that you use a compelling and specific subject line that will make them want to read more of your message.

If you're sending cold emails for business-to-business purposes, then it's best not to use templates for your subject lines. This is because generic sounding subject lines can decrease the open rates of your emails by up to 50%.

Writing long email subject lines

Writing a long subject line in an email is generally not a good idea. This is because subject lines are meant to be concise and direct, so that the recipient knows what the message is about at a glance. Longer subject lines can easily become confusing and can cause the reader to lose interest or become frustrated.

Additionally, emails with long subject lines are often flagged by spam filters, which can lead to your message being blocked or delayed. Longer subject lines are more likely to be cut off in email programs, which makes it even harder for recipients to understand what the message is about. For these reasons, it's best to keep your subject lines concise and to the point.

How to Write the Perfect B2B Cold Email Subject Lines

The subject line is the first thing that a potential customer will see. It’s what will either get their attention or make them delete your email without a second glance.

Out of all the marketing endeavours, email marketing to business-to-business (B2B) audiences is the most challenging. B2B emails are sent to a list of individual contacts within a specific industry. Sending an engaging B2B email subject line is essential if you want to entice recipients to open and read your message.

A good subject line should be concise, catchy, and relevant. It should also be clear about what you are offering to the reader of the email. The most important aspect of creating a successful B2B email subject line is ensuring that it contains a concise and crystal-clear message.

In addition, your subject line should include the name of the company and a brief description of what the email contains. Let's take a look at this idea for crafting an engaging B2B email subject line:

For example, if your company makes bulletproof jackets for police officers, your subject line could say 'New bulletproof jacket encourages police officers to live dangerously.'

Choosing appropriate words and phrases for your subject line is essential, since each one conveys a different meaning to different people. For example, the word 'encourages' has a positive connotation when used in reference to life choices - like choosing a career path or relationship status on Facebook. However, when used in relation to police work, 'encourages' has a negative meaning and could prompt law enforcement officials to risk their lives without proper training. Another phrase that warrants mention is 'dangerously,' which has multiple possible interpretations. When used in reference to career choices, it can mean taking risks or jumping into new situations without caution. However, when used in reference to police work, it can also mean recklessly violating guidelines such as pursuing bank robbers or bomb suspects. Therefore, ensuring that your B2B email subject line clearly communicates your company's message without alienating any specific audience group is crucial.

The Top 3 Best Email Subject Lines of All Time for Cold Emailing

3 b2b cold email subject lines

As we have mentioned before several times, it is never a good idea to copy-paste the examples or templates you give. The email subject line examples we will be giving here is for having a depper understanding about the subjects, to have a proven solution to your problem, to basically see how you can practice the concepts we have talked about earlier.

Make sure that you come up with your own subject lines, or even better, use AI generators to create them in bulks. When you're done with them, next comes generating first lines and to create amazing first lines, you can check Nureply for more info.

Here are somecold email subject lines to use in your email marketing campaigns to increase open rates:

An [advantage] for [prospect's company]

  • Is short

  • Precise and relevant

  • Touches a pain point

  • Offers a solution

This one is a great subject line as it checks many boxes we have talked about earlier. It is quite short, precise, and to the point.

By letting the prospect knpw that you have an advantage ready at hand for their company, you are solving an active problem they have, you are touching a pain point. I personally think that this is the best way to write for B2B situations.

It shows that you have done your research, and you are directly interested in this person to show that you care about their company. It is a good way to lead your potential customer through the sales funnel.

You were recommended by [mutual connection]

  • Borrow trust from the referral source and create referred prospects

  • Creates a network between people/company

  • Ignites interest

This one also works nicely as it has someone in common that you know you acts like a bridge between the two of you. Using this subject line can ignite interest in your recipient and make them curious about the rest of the email, as they would know the referral name you're mentioning. This "referral name" could be a company name, too, but I think it would feel more personal if it is a real person's name.

Using this subject line can create a sense of trust between the prospect and you as you are mentinoning someone they already know. It kind of melts the coldness of a cold email.

Hi [first name], [short question]?

  • Shows you are ineterested

  • Could be used for current customers

  • Creates a sense of urgency

When someone sees a question, they usually answer the question in their head, if not out loud. They at least think about it for a second. That one second is what's going to get your email opened.

On the other hand, when you use the prospect's first name, you will show that you are directly interested in them, as a person and not their company, even though this is a B2B email. If you do not know the first name of your recipient you can use their company name but it also means that you haven't done enough research. Just like we've mentioned before, it is a good idea to use the first name rather than the company name.

The Importance of a Good B2B Cold Email Subject Line

importance of good cold email subject lines

In conclusion, it is important to use good email subject lines for a variety of reasons. They are essential for getting your emails noticed and read. They also help to ensure that your emails remain organized and easy to sort through. Well-written ones can help to convey a sense of professionalism and attention to detail, which is important when communicating with colleagues and potential employers. Taking the time to craft effective ways to write them can make a big difference in how your emails are received.

It is important to use good email subject lines because they are critical for getting your emails read and responded to. An effective subject line will grab the recipient's attention and entice them to open the email, while a bad one can be easily overlooked. It's also important to make sure the subject line accurately reflects the content of the email, as this will help ensure that what you would like to say is delivered to the right person and that they know what to expect when they open it. Writing good ones takes practice and thought, but it is an important skill for anyone who wants to make sure their emails are read and responded to promptly.

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