Subject Lines Your Prospects Can't Ignore


Are your prospects paying any attention to your emails?

Nothing is more frustrating than doing your homework on the prospect and investing the time to craft the perfect sales email…only to have it get ignored because the subject line sucked.

It’s not your fault.

These days prospects fly through emails at warp speed ready to delete anything they don’t consider important.  Your email subject line is the 1st thing your prospect sees and it is the make or break factor if your email will be read.

What if you could cut through the clutter?  In this post you will learn the “How To Write Sales Email Subject Lines That Can’t Be I”gnored.

But Before You Get Started

What will be important to the person that will be reading your message?

You need to research your prospect, their company and industry so you can make your message relevant. Ask yourself what might be considered a priority to them? Put yourself in the prospects shoes and think what would make YOU stop scrolling and immediately check your message to see what’s up?

You need to know what keeps your prospects up at night and what their buying hot buttons are.


The best way to gather this information easily is by using a technique I call “Buyer Telepathy.” By the time you are done you will have the kind of insight prospects are mesmerized by.

This early preparation will make everything else you do 300% easier.

Rule One: Your Email Subject Lines Should Be A Tease

The goal of your subject line is to do one thing and one thing only…

Get your email opened. People love to be teased so if you can incorporate the element of curiosity in your subject line there is a much greater chance your email will catch their eye.

“Got an idea for your product launch…you’re gonna love it”

“Mike Sales told me it’s important I get with you about this”

“Need your feedback on this”

See what we did there? Those subject lines make you ask yourself “what’s that?”  Now you WANT to know the answer. It’s almost like you have no choice but to figure it out.

That’s because an “Information Gap” has been opened.

“The information gap” is a term coined by George Loewinstein a professor at Carnegie Melon University. It refers to the innate human behavior triggered when people perceive a gap between what they know and what they want to know. Also known as curiosity.

If you create an information gap with your subject line then your prospects will feel like they HAVE to close it and open your email.

Get them curious or don’t bother.

Rule Two: Keep it Short

When it comes to sales email subject lines you only have a few seconds to capture your prospects attention before they are gone and you lose.

Check this out.

In a recent study conducted by email provider MailChimp where 200 million emails were sent, the ones with subject lines 50 characters or less had 12.5% higher open rates than those with 50+ characters!

This line is pretty much what fifty characters looks like.

If you make your subject lines that length or less you just raised your open rate by more than 10%. Easy right?

Rule Three: Who YOU Are Matters Most

There are tons of strategies to create curiosity and design subject lines to be bite sized BUT nothing trumps the relationship the prospect has with the sender. Do YOU matter?

In a recent study by email marketing firm Constant Contact 64% of participants claimed the sender was the number one reason they opened an email. That’s a landslide victory.

Most email programs let you change the settings for your “from” field. Instead of your full name (especially if it’s already in your signature) try “Mike from ABC”

You can also incorporate your company name into the email subject line itself

“[XYZ company]  Here is what I promised”

“Here is the proposal you requested from ABC company”

#SalesTruth The customer buys always buys you first and this is especially true in email…So make yourself a priority.

Rule Four: Avoid Being a Sales Creep

Ok there are a few things that drive me nuts in email and social media and one of the biggest is excessive Salesy tactics like lots of exclamation points and caps.


“Here’s A Great Discount for You to Buy a Cellphone Now!”

Delete, Delete

Remember this…

People hate being sold. “Emails that scream I want you to buy something” are like red flags to the reader and they will be banished to the trash with the quickness.

Forget the 3 second average. Emails that scream SALES are deleted in nanoseconds.

Rule Five: Let Them Know What’s In It For Them

Ahhh the WIIFM

Letting someone know upfront what’s in it for them one of the most powerful techniques you can use to get your emails read. This tactic has been used by magazines and ads for years. Here are a few examples.

“5 proven financial planning resources you should be using”

“7 ways to stretch your office supply budget”

“The 6 biggest mistakes people make when buying a home”

Your preparation is the key to making a subject line like this work. Making a prospect curious about the X ideas, tools, resources, mistakes to avoid etc. that tie directly into their immediate priorities will make them thirsty for more.

The TakeAway


You only have a few seconds to capture your prospects attention so stop sending out delete bait.”

Doing your homework and following these 5 rules will make your sales email subject lines attract prospect eyeballs like a $100 dollar bill on the ground.

  • Tease Them
  • Keep it short
  • Make yourself a priority
  • Don’t be a Sales Creep
  • Tell them what’s in it for them

Your competition hasn’t figured out that their emails get ignored because their subject lines are boring and lame. Now you know how to make yours sizzle.

Who wins?