Looking to get more opens? I mean who isn’t right. It’s not math or science, but creating an email that converts takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.

Why? Like any other inbound sales strategy, email copy needs to create a personalized experience for your prospects. And for it to work, it needs to be good. Like really good. Like really, really, really good. Now, let’s look at the facts for a sec. 35% of email recipients open their emails based on the B2B subject line copy alone. That’s immense. 

If you want your B2B cold email subject lines to be click-worthy, you need to tap into your prospects’ psyche. When you use psychology in email creation, you can drill into your prospects’ minds and create subject lines that are 10X more personal and engaging.

To help you get there, we’ve gathered the best practices and everything in-between on how to boost open rates and get in front of your prospects.

Learn why B2B subject lines are important and how they make an impact.

B2B subject lines: 4 rules of thumb

1. Create instant intrigue: The best B2B sales email subject lines are teasers. Drop breadcrumbs by hinting at your topic in the subject line and give a little but not too much about the offer that’s on the inside.

2. Don’t be vague: Shying away from what your offer is in the subject line and avoiding personalization, like addressing your recipient by their first name, or adding a relevant emoji, will just make your prospects hit the delete button fast.  

3. No spam, please: Words and phrases like “limited time” and “exclusive deal” trigger spam. Try to steer away from these to avoid getting reported and creating a bad name for yourself.

4. Cut out the arrogance: Keep your sales rep ego in check. You want to turn on your prospects, not the opposite. B2B cold email subject lines like “we have exactly what you need” are aggressive and will put off the people with buying power.

6 psychology hacks to generate more clicks

Whipping out an email template in a flash is great for producing cold emails at scale. But you also need to know how and when to use certain B2B subject lines. For that to happen you need to understand and apply Dr. Robert Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion:

1. Reciprocity: Cialdini states that people feel a strong obligation to return a favor after someone has helped them or given them a gift. You can offer value for free before asking prospects to take action.

2. Scarcity: People want what they can’t have, or something that no-one else has. You can allude to a custom offer or place a time limit in your B2B subject lines.

3. Authority: You need to signal to recipients that they deserve to be taken seriously. This can be accomplished by sharing client testimonials, case studies, or prior brand awareness.

4. Consistency and commitment: Make small initial commitments publicly and always follow through. 

5. Likability: People say yes to people they like, with a similar background, hobbies, interests, and style of communication. Start by finding a common ground to initiate real conversations.

6. Consensus: If your offer is backed up with customer reviews and ratings it shows off your credibility and worthy-to-engage with emails.

B2B sales emails subject lines

Your B2B email subject line checklist

To help you get proactive and achieve subject line copy that produces more clicks, start with this checklist:

  • Know your value proposition: Your product or service might be amazing but get real, your prospects want to know how it benefits them and what value you’re bringing in. 
  • Pack a punch with research: Before you reach out to prospects, get to know them better. You can add Lusha Extension to your browser to gather prospects’ accurate contact data, and use filters like job title, industry, and company revenue that’ll come in super handy for crafting more personalized subject lines. 
  • Build instant trust: If your prospect doesn’t know you or your company, you’ll have to establish trust: get your foot through the door from a mutual connection. 
  • Create urgency: A timeline or specific date is a strategic tactic that’ll get more opens to grab the offer before it’s gone.
  • Watch your length: Subject lines with 44 characters or less have the highest open rate for 82% of experts.


23 attention-grabbing subject lines for B2B sales 

Now, you can put the science into action. Following Cialdini’s six psychological principles and the best practices mentioned above, here’s a list of the best b2b email subject lines that convert and will get your prospects’ eyes peeled on their inbox.

Cold emails

1. [Mutual connection] recommended I get in touch

Seeing a familiar name instantly recategorizes an email as not spam. Referrals have a higher chance of getting opened, so it’s worth exploring your network to find ways of securing them.

2. I found you through [referral name]

Sometimes you can’t get a formal introduction but you may have people in common. Exploit that by mentioning your mutual contact. Let your prospect know you run in the same circles.

3. Question about [a goal they’ve mentioned]

This B2B cold email subject line is a short and sweet way to foster curiosity. They’ll wonder how you know about their goals, and what else you know that could help them. 

4. [A benefit] for [prospect’s company]

This B2B subject line shows your authority: you’ve researched the company and you understand their pain points.

5. Hey, I have leads to send over to you

The reciprocity element – giving away initial value for free – can be achieved by simply introducing your prospect to a potential lead: there’s nothing better than more business. Use Contacts API to bulk-enrich your entire CRM system, so when you’re collecting free leads to send off to your prospects, you’ll have the firmographics—up to 37 revealing data points—to hand over to them as icing on the cake!

Follow-up emails

6. [Prospect], I thought you might like these articles

Curating content for your prospects shows you understand them. Use this B2B sales email subject line to entice them into finding out how well you do indeed know them. Make sure you’ve done your research, though. There’s nothing worse than a stranger thinking they’ve got you all figured out!

7. How can we make the next meeting better?

Getting feedback after a meeting will show that you value your prospect’s opinion; it’ll also remind them about what was discussed and nudge them to take action. Plus their feedback can help you host better meetings in the future.

8. I had this idea since we last spoke

This is another opportunity to lead the conversation, clarify your arguments, and give them a push to respond. Again, make sure it’s a genuine suggestion. Don’t just spam your prospect with “ideas”.

9. I love what you did with launching [product/ initiative]

Commenting on the latest news from the firm shows that you’re committed to their company, and you’re both on the same page when it comes to taking the next step. 

No response emails

10. I forgot to mention…

Sounds urgent! The recipient will be rushing to open your email in case it’s about something that will cost them time or money.

Ask if prospects want to have their file close in the B2B subject line so you know if it's time to move on.

11. Permission to close your file?

Setting a limit to the time you have available to work with someone will help them make decisions faster.

12. Have you changed your mind about working with us?

This is a B2B subject line that will signal you want to work on your relationship and are ready to discuss any issues. Use this line with caution: some prospects may find it confrontational. 

13. X ways to get started 

When your prospect is wrapped up in their projects, remind them you’re ready to work with them: show them how easy it could be with a numbered list.

Meeting request emails

14. 15 minutes this week?

Straight to the point: 15 minutes is a short period most people can commit to. Recipients can respond with yes or no in milliseconds.

15. Tuesday meeting at 10:00

This B2B sales email subject line is even more assertive, with an exact time and date.

16. Let’s meet this week to discuss your budget

Your prospect will do a double-take when there’s any mention of money in your subject line. It’s possibly the most important topic of all! They’ll be eager to read what you have to say.

Nurturing emails

17. Three things to know before [event]

Help prospects prepare as they work towards a big goal. They’ll be grateful for the heads up and the sense of support.

18. How [company] improved their business by 20% with us

Case studies are a great way to build confidence that your offer can bring them value, too.

19. Save 10% on [product or service], this Friday only

Get prospects excited to save money, while motivating them to act soon.

20. A quiz to see if your business needs [product or services]

Offer a moment of light relief by adding a quiz in your B2B subject lines, a great way to grab attention and help your prospect make a decision in a fun way. 

B2B subject lines that get opened


Sensitive issues

21. Can you afford to lose [something important]?

Address sensitive issues in your subject lines by framing them around things that they’ll lose (time, money, clients, etc.) if they don’t take action. 

22. Is it time to [make a big change in their business]?

Take the opportunity to challenge your prospects. The best salespeople don’t just build relationships: they question the status quo and aren’t afraid to cause tension in order to get a better outcome.

23. Did you hear what happened [with X]?

B2B professionals are uber-busy, try this B2B newsletter subject line that suggests they can quickly catch up on the latest news related to their job role, industry, or network.


B2B email subject line takeaways 

Stay top of mind: 60 characters or more will get your prospects’ eyes rolling. Stick to what works: 44 characters or less.

Open rate success: Emails that get opened are relevant, personalized, timely, and make prospects wonder what the full message is about. They come from a sender they know or that’s real. 

Personalize more: Go beyond stating the recipient’s first name. Use Lusha Extension to harvest more details about their job role, industry, and location – all of which you can use to create a custom subject line that gets noticed. 

Next time you begin writing B2B sales email subject lines, try personalizing them with Lusha Extension 

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    This information should not be mistaken for legal advice. Please ensure that you are prospecting and selling in compliance with all applicable laws.

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