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5 email subject lines that convert

September 30, 2019

According to a report from the Radicati Group, in 2018, businesses worldwide sent and received a staggering 124.5 billion emails every day.

Email is a cost-effective way to reach lots of clients quickly, so it’s an attractive option for scaling B2B and SaaS companies with limited resources. 

However, B2B lead generation using email only works if you do it right. You have to stand out from the hundreds of other emails your prospect is going to receive that day. One effective way to stand out from the crowd is by making your email subject lines as good as they can be. 

Molly Caitlin Dunkley is one of our Customer Success Managers here at Cognism. She knows all about how to use email marketing to make prospects sit up and take notice. 

We recently sat down with Molly to talk all things email. She shared with us 5 examples from 5 different clients in 5 different industries – subject lines that produced exceptional results for our customers.

1 – Startup accelerator

Subject line: Disruptive Start-Ups Needed

When one of our clients, a startup accelerator, used this subject line to target founders and CEOs of B2B tech startups, it produced outstanding results:

  • Read rate: 53.7%
  • Response rate: 6.52%
  • Click-through rate: 13.02%

Why did this line work so well? Firstly, it’s short. At Cognism, we recommend you use 50 characters or fewer in your subject lines, so that it can be easily read on mobiles (mobile traffic accounts for nearly half of all website traffic in 2019). This line comes in at 27.

This subject line acts as a headline, accurately describing what is going to be in the email. It’s also targeted at the right audience and buyer persona; after all, what startup doesn’t like to be thought of as disruptive?

2 – Digital marketing agency

Subject line: Collaborating with {COMPANY NAME}

For a digital marketing agency client, looking to reach data driven marketing managers or heads, this subject line worked excellently:

  • Read rate: 47.84%
  • Response rate: 5.24%
  • Click-through rate: 5.7%

The most striking thing about this subject line is that it’s personalised with the recipient’s company name. Personalised emails are 26% more likely to be opened. It also creates intrigue, making the prospect want to open the email to find out more. Like the previous startup accelerator line, this line is short (35 characters), so it can be fully seen on a mobile screen.

3 – Recruitment agency

Subject line: Hot weather, hot candidates!!

For a campaign targeting recruitment and HR managers, one of our recruitment agency clients found this subject line brought in the responses they needed:

  • Read rate: 35.36%
  • Response rate: 5.54%
  • Click-through rate: 3.29%

The great thing about this line is that it’s seasonal, taking advantage of current events to make an impact (in this case, the hot summer weather). It’s also provocative; humour is a great way to grab someone’s attention. Finally, it’s extremely short (29 characters).

4 – Data science consultancy

Subject line: Data Science and Analytics at {COMPANY NAME}

This subject line helped one of our clients, a data science consultancy, bring in B2B sales and marketing executives into their pipeline:

  • Read rate: 43.8%
  • Response rate: 3.59%
  • Click-through rate: 6.41%

Why did it work so well? As well as being short (46 characters, under our recommended number of 50), it goes straight to the point. It respects the time of this busy, executive-level audience by using simple and clear language. It is also personalised to the company.

5 – Events company

Subject line: {FIRST NAME}’s Invitation

Our final example is one of our clients, an events company, looking to find attendees for B2B events and trade shows. It worked brilliantly:

  • Read rate: 55.39%
  • Response rate: 10.18%
  • Click-through rate: 14.91%

It stands out because it’s highly personalised, including the prospect’s full name. This gives it a much higher chance of being opened; everyone wants to read an email specifically addressed to them. 

In this way, the subject line acts as a Call To Action, inviting the prospect to open the email and find out more. As with all our other super subject lines, this one is short (41 characters).

Find out more from Cognism

Cognism provides all the B2B data you need to accelerate your email marketing campaigns. We also integrate with leading email service providers like Gmail and Outlook. Plus, we have a BESMA award-winning CS team to help you out.

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