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Cold Call Emailing: How to Create Effective Subject Lines

cold email subject line

“When sending out emails, what’s the best way to utilize the subject line?”

Depends on the type of email.

  • Is this a first-time cold call prospecting email (first time = you have never spoken with them before / cold-call = they haven’t raised their hand to be contacted)
  • Is this a first-time email to a prospect that attended a lead generating webinar?
  • Is this a follow-up email to a prospect you’ve already spoken with? And if so, where within the sales process did the last call, end?

These are just a few scenarios that an inside salesperson would deal with on a daily basis, so to answer the question as accurately (and as helpful) as possible, one would need to understand the situation at hand.


Let’s assume you meant when you are emailing a cold call prospect for the first time since that is a popular scenario.

To come up with an effective EMAIL SUBJECT LINE, solve the problem by working it backward.

Meaning, start with the end in mind. What is it that you want to have happened once the prospect reads your email? What is your objective?

Let’s say its to schedule a call to determine if they are qualified.

So working it back from there, what would you have to do to get the prospect to be willing to agree to a call regarding a subject that they currently aren’t “raising their hand” for?


The body of your email needs to pique their interest right off the bat, which means your message needs to be short and to the point! NO Links; NO PDFs; NO Long paragraphs explaining what you do.


“Hi (Prospects Name) the reason for my email is we recently helped (Competitor 1, 2 and 3) cut/lower/reduce/avoid (ENTER HOT BUTTON) while at the same time increased/added/raised (ENTER DESIRED RESULT) and wanted to see if it would make sense for us to have a quick conversation to determine if what we do could be of some help to you as well.”

So, by working it backward, we know what our desired result is (get an appointment to qualify them) and to accomplish that, we need to pique their interest.

We used the “competition” play to spark their interest (almost all C-Level execs want to know what their competition is up to) and so now, we have to get them to open the email.


In this case, why not just put one of the competitor’s name in the subject line?

Short, sweet and relevant. No “tricks” or “tactics” like using the “Re:” to try and make them think you’re replying to them.
Just straight up, to the point with the message all being about the WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM approach.

– Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company.


Register your team now to Michael Pedone’s next live online 8-Week B2B Inside Sales Program and get your sales team all on the same page using a proven sales script customized to your industry.

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Find Out More About Our Program
  • How to Warm Up and Close Cold Leads
  • Eliminate “No, Thanks,” “Not Interested,” & “We’re All Set” Responses
  • Neutralize Gatekeepers & Get Voicemails Returned
  • Ask Engaging Questions Instead of Probing
  • Improve your Qualifying Skills
  • Give Stellar Presentations & Handle Objections
  • Close Follow-up Calls and Get Targeted Referrals
  • How to Set & Achieve Your Toughest Sales Goals
  • Improve Your Time Management Skills
Duration: 1 hour per week for 8 weeks Where: Online @ your desk, conference room or home Presenters: Michael Pedone