• The Best Email Subject Line

    The best email subject line I’ve seen in my career came through my Inbox this week.  Brad G, one of our inside sales reps shared an email he had received from a prospect praising his persistence in prospecting him.  We call it “polite persistence” here and I was very proud that the prospect not only responded to Brad, but took the time to compliment his approach and work ethic.  Love to see that.  As I was closing out the email I glanced at the subject line that Brad had sent to the prospect.

    It read Attention: Jim – Final Follow up”

    I’m a big believer in subject lines driving the success of your emails.  Your content means NOTHING if you don’t first get the prospect to open the email.  One of my old school favorites was “follow up:  Pete from AG Salesworks”.  That one always seemed to at least peak people’s interest in terms of “what is this guy following up on”?  or “do I know Pete”?  Either way, they opened it more often than not.  Hopefully my content was up the task and they became opportunities for us, but that is a blog for another day.

    Brad really kicked my older subject line up a notch by adding some very subtle yet effective verbiage.  First, he uses “Attention” to start the subject.  I don’t know about you, but when I read the word attention I typically pay attention and read the next couple of words.  Brad’s got the ball rolling nicely here.  Next he uses Jim’s name.  Personalizes it a bit…he’s got Jim’s attention (by saying “attention”) and now Jim is a little more interested because Brad knows his name.  Now its time for the grand finale’…Brad closes out the subject line with “Final Follow up”.  Brilliant!!  He’s gotten Jim’s “Attention”, Jim is somewhat comfortable reading because Brad used his name, and he tops it all off by leveraging the greatest fear every true blooded American has…missing out on something.  By stating that this is the “Final Follow up”, Brad has placed immediate importance on having his email opened and addressed by Jim.

    It may seem like an over analysis to you, but hey, it’s what we do here.  The words matter, the choice of words, their placement, and their intended effect should be well thought out prior to being used.  Nowhere is this more important than in the subject line of an email.

    Brad nailed it here, and to prove it I figured I’d include the actual response he received from the prospect:


    You get extra points for being persistent.  I do have an interest in seeing a demo of your application and its reports, but I have been quite busy.  How about scheduling something on 8/13?  That day is completely open on my calendar.


    Jim was later qualified and passed by Brad and the discovery call has been set for our client’s sales rep on 8/13.  The devil truly is in the details.

    Peter Gracy is President and Co-Founder of AG Salesworks.  AG Salesworks was founded in 2002 to help clients increase revenue by providing the human touch needed to fully qualify sales leads, improve sales force productivity and ultimately achieve a competitive advantage in their marketplace.   To read all blogs by AG Salesworks, click here.

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