All Collections
Best Practices
How to create high-performing subject lines
How to create high-performing subject lines

This article describes how to create high-performing subject lines that you can apply to your own cold email sequences.

Reply Team avatar
Written by Reply Team
Updated over a week ago

Revitalize or close inactive subscribers

When a prospect stops responding your emails, leave them alone. This means something does not work. Any prospect with even an ounce of interest in your product will respond. Send the breakup email after a couple follow-ups, when you really mean it.


Subject line example: Permission to Close Your Account?

Use humor upgrades in your subject line varying from “Blah” to “Hah!”

Including some humor to a subject lines makes people feel the email more human and increases chances to open it. Of course, humor upgrades must be situational, depending on the target audience.


Subject line example: The Deals that Make us Proud (Unlike our Nephew, Steve). Hah!

Customize your email drip sequence around your user’s recent activity

Use situational emails personalized around recent activity of your prospects. Send them out based on recent blog activity, trial signups, referrals, and (especially) visits to the upgrade or unsubscribe page. Timing is key. The quicker you send situational emails, the more relevant they’ll be.


Subject line example: Enjoying Your New eBook?

Make your subject lines relatable and aspirational

Use some of your subject lines as blog headlines. If the headline performs well, recycle it into a marketing email centered around that post. Give the reader something to relate to and aspire to.

Subject line example: How I grew the KISSmetrics Blog from 0 to 350,000 Readers a Month.

Prioritize personalization and connection for important emails

Start by personalizing your subject line with the reader’s name, which always stands out in a crowded inbox.

Subject line example: Steve, Where Are You?

If you must deliver bad news, take control of the situation and communicate with authority

Sometimes you must send sad news. Deliver it in a calm, collected, and matter-of-fact way.

Use urgency to break through procrastination and get commitments

Use urgency to get someone’s attention. If your readers want the value you’re offering, then they need to take action today. So long as the value you’re offering is relevant, you should see your open and click-through rates increase when you add deadlines and cutoffs.


Subject line example: Last Chance to Register: Email Marketing for Startups.


Did this answer your question?