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19 kick-ass examples of email subject lines that sell like hell.

Copywriting blog.

I have built my entire copywriting business, brick by brick, through the careful and thoughtful crafting of cold emails. 

I know… I know… cold emailing has a bad wrap. 

The rich pompous entrepreneurs who’ve “made it” will condemn the practice for being cheap or even pitiful –– forgetting the fact that they’ve hit “send” on their fair share of cold emails too.

Funny how money has a way of erasing people’s memories. But I digress. 

Anyways, regardless of what the experts say, cold emailing works and it works well. And, while I am not a millionaire, this year my copywriting business will hit $10,000 a month in revenue… and I still have the first cold email I sent two years ago that sparked the entire thing.

So, as you have probably already gathered from this post –– I am a firm believer in cold emailing. With that said, I also realize there is a right and a wrong way to go about it. 

Before we dive into some examples, here are a few best practices.

1. There is a difference between cold-emailing and spamming. 

What constitutes as spamming varies quite a bit depending on the individual. With that said, here is how I differentiate the two–– if you are copying and pasting the same exact email and sending it to a bunch of people who haven’t agreed to receive said email –– it’s spamming. I have definitely been guilty of doing this and have learned that while it is easy, it’s not effective. Recipients are more likely to respond to a cold email when the email is personalized.

2. When writing a cold email, seek to write the best thing the recipient reads all day.

As a copywriter, I try to always keep this idea top of mind when writing anything. But, especially when sending a cold email. You need to remember that when you are sending a cold email… you are essentially knocking on someone’s door uninvited. Which, is okay, but just don’t waste their time. After reading your email they should be left feeling inspired, entertained or curious. A good rule of thumb here –– send it to a friend first (one who isn’t afraid to hurt your feelings ). If they say it is shit, then it is shit. Rewrite it. 

3. Never follow-up more than once. 

When sending out a cold email, I always recommend that people follow up one time. The individual you are cold emailing is probably extremely busy, so there is a good chance they won’t respond the first time around. Pop in a week later to follow-up. I have landed several amazing clients (that I still work with today) by just following up. With that said, don’t follow-up more than once (unless the two of you have had a previous conversation). There is a difference between being persistent and being creepy. 

19 kick-ass email subject lines.

Now for the exciting part –– the email subject line(s). When writing a cold email, the subject line is the most important part. Why? Because it is the one thing that determines whether or not your recipient opens your email. 

With that said, you should design your subject line with one thing in mind –– curiosity. Your email subject line should make your recipient curious. If your recipient is curious, they will open it. If they aren’t, they will send it to the trash bin. 

Below you will find 19 email subject lines that are designed to make the recipient curious (I have starred the ones that have been extremely effective for me). If you choose to use one or all of these, remember to reference them in some way in your email. If you don’t they will just come across as spammy.

1. I found your pen. 

2. Quick question. 

3. Don’t quote me on this. 

4. You can quote me on this. 

5. Let’s address the elephant. 

6. This is why blue acorns matter. 

7. I was looking at [insert competitor’s name].

8. Doug? 

9. I like being used.

10. ATTN: Will work for $$$ or Nutella. 

11. What was the coolest thing before sliced bread? 

12. You don’t look like a Miracle Whip kind of guy. 

13. How does the saying go? 

14. *Don’t open this email*

15. You are not alone. 

16. So nice to meet you, Doug.

17. Are your customers hitting the buy button? 

18. I can explain. 

19. There is money in this email.

By Cole Schafer.


You gotta check this out -- Sticky Notes is my email list reserved strictly for entrepreneurs and creatives looking to sell like a Florida Snow Cone Vendor on the hottest day of the year.


Cole Schafer