Best B2B Email Subject Lines That Generate Leads and Get Results

Best B2B Email Subject Lines That Generate Leads and Get Results
14 December, 2022 • ... • 2101 views
Gayane Sargsyan
by Gayane Sargsyan

Email subject lines for B2B audiences are important — more important than you might think. They can make or break your whole email marketing campaign. So with no further due, let’s dive right into it and find the best practices for B2B email subject lines and explore some real life examples.

The importance of subject lines for B2B emails

The subject line is the first interaction a user has with your email — the first and pretty much decisive. Based on the subject line, people choose whether they should open the email, leave it unread or send it to spam. 

What else is essential to know about subject lines in B2B emails? Here are some important stats for you to consider when planning your B2B email marketing

✅ B2B marketing emails see a higher click-to-open ratio: in 2020, it increased by 11,9% 

85% of B2B marketers use email marketing software in their work

✅ For 81% of B2B marketers, email newsletters are the most-used type of content 

90% of B2B companies see email engagement as a content performance measure — it’s the most popular metric

So now we’re clear — subject lines are just as important for B2B emails as for B2C — let’s get down to business and explore the best strategies to compose engaging subject lines.

How to make your B2B email subject lines actually work and boost sales

1. Avoid the spam folder at all costs

Ok, this seems obvious, but we’re going to remind you to check the spamminess of your subject line anyway. Because if your email goes to the spam folder — there’s no coming back for it. 

Avoid using all caps in your subject lines, and words like “lowest prices”, “click here”, “risk-free”, “sign-up now”, and others. They make your email look shady and fishy.

You can use tools like this Subject line tester to check your subject line and see if it’s viable.

B2B email subject lines | Avoid spam triggers
Subject lines like this risk being sent to the spam folder

2. Spice it up with power words and emotional triggers

Find words that will immediately grab the attention of your audience. When composing your subject lines for outreach emails, keep in mind that you’re writing for a business representative. 

People with buying power don’t like to feel like they’re getting tricked or bombarded with irrelevant offers. Instead, try to establish trust and a sense of reliance. Find power words that trigger these emotions. For instance, you could use words like “proven”, “scientific”, or “guaranteed” when suitable.

3. Experiment with formats

Research what kind of subject lines work better with your audience. What makes your receivers open emails — intriguing questions or straightforward statements? Studies show that simple and straightforward subject lines work better — but this may not apply to your audience. It’s always worth testing out.

Aside from that, try adding emojis, joking around, or even leaving the subject line completely empty. See what works with your audience. 

4. Don’t experiment blindly — A/B test

How to take the most out of your experiments with formats and power words? A/B tests!

Create two versions of a subject line for one outreach email to test a hypothesis. For instance, you can compare the performance of creative subject lines with simple ones, emojis with no emojis, and personalization with no personalization. 

Remember to try only one hypothesis at once. Don’t try emojis, personalization, and creativity all during one A/B test. Instead, run three tests with three different emails. This way, you will be sure which tool works for sure and which doesn’t.

5. Personalize it

Personalization is more than just adding the subscribers’ names in the subject lines. Use other data you have on your recipients to make you subject lines truly tailored: 

  • Their position in the company — Are you a sales manager? Here are three new tools to boost your performance
  • Their goals — You can improve your subject line game in just 3 steps 
  • Their pain points — How to fix cart abandonment rate with re-engagement emails

The golden rule of personalized subject lines is to match them with the contents of the email carefully. When promising special tailored offers in the subject line — make sure that it’s not just a Christmas sale, but actually a special offer created for your subscribers.  

Best subject lines for B2B email marketing | Personalized emails
Here’s a good example of a straightforward personalized subject line that doesn’t promise anything that’s not in the email
How to write great email subject lines for B2B | Personalized emails
Adding subscribers’ names to the subject line could be a nice touch of personalisation that does not oblige you to tailor the whole content of the email for each user

6. Keep it short — and even shorter

On desktop devices, the character limitation for subject lines is 60 symbols. For mobile devices, it’s 30 symbols. 

With a lot of business representatives checking their mailboxes on their smartphones and tablets, it makes sense to keep your subject lines as short as possible.

However short the subject line is, it should still make sense. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Email subject lines for B2B sales | Keep them short
Caption: Short? Yes. Informative? No

7. Make it about them (not you)

No offense, but… your subscribers don’t really care about your goals and achievements. They care about their goals and problems and look for ways to reach them. So talk about them, not your product. 

Ask subscribers personal questions about their business and their achievements. Center your subject lines around their metrics. Show interest in their problems.

B2B subject lines for emails | Put the subscriber first
Subscriber’s interests and pain points come first — what the email is offering comes second

8. Don’t clickbait

Write subject lines that match the content of the email and don’t give promises you can’t keep. You know the deal with clickbaits — they work if you use them once, but long-term, it’s a losing strategy. 

When it comes to B2B emails, it’s usually better to keep the subject line simple and more straightforward. Too creative email headings may confuse or, worse, annoy this kind of audience and will deprive you from prospects to get leads. 

B2B subject lines | Don’t clickbait
Unless you’re sure that you’re B2B subscribers are hip web designers in hoodies, this might be a bit too much
B2B subject lines | Don’t clickbait
Caption: OK, when we say simple, we don’t mean plain boring

9. Add some numbers

If you have some great numbers to back up your message in the subject line — use them! This applies not only to discounts. 

People tend to trust numbers more than just big words. So spice it up with some impressive data whenever you can.

How to write great email subject lines for B2B
… or you could do this when there’s not a lot of data. Still works perfectly well!

Best subject lines for every type of email

Now that we went through the basics of B2B email subject lines, let’s see how they can be used in each type of email in B2B marketing.  

Cold emails

The first email with a new recipient has to be very engaging — in one subject line, use not one, but two or three of the tips mentioned above. 

  1. Hi, {Name}! We’ve met at {event name}

Personalize your email subject lines with more than just a recipient’s name. If you got their contact on some event, mention it. 

  1. 9 reasons you’re not {pain point}

Segment your audience and refer to each recipient’s pain points — that’s also a way of personalization. Also, don’t forget to use numbers, when you can! 

Swipe for more examples of B2B cold emails:

B2B subject lines for cold emails
Show your subscribers that you’re the pro
Subject lines for cold B2B emails
Push their competitive buttons
Catchy subject lines for cold B2B emails
Attract them with a goal

Partnership emails

In emails where you propose a collaboration with recipients, talk about them and their goals first. Another strategy is being straightforward and just announcing the event or collaboration you’re inviting to.

  1. Boost your sales at {event name}

Try mentioning both your proposal — in this case, it’s the event — and the profit for the recipient. 

  1. Here’s how {your service} will help you with {pain point}

Mention the pain points to get a higher open rate

Swipe for more examples of subject lines for partnership email:

Subject lines for B2B partnership emails
Sometimes it’s best to just be simple and straightforward
B2B emails subject lines
Let your future partners know what you’re good at

Newsletters

When composing subject lines for B2B newsletters, add some catchy and funny things from the contents of the email. Add some intrigue to it! 

And, please, don’t use the words “newsletter” or “highlights of the month” in the subject line — the recipient doesn’t really care about the format of the email, and you’re just wasting precious characters. Instead, add some of your signature style to the heading! 

  1. It’s split into two, but it’s not broken. What is it? 👀

Add a little riddle to get your subscribers wondering. Also, newsletter subject lines are a good place to use emojis. 

  1. So much data, so little time…

Both a riddle and a pain point added. Combo!

Swipe for more examples of newsletter subject lines:

B2B newsletter subject lines
Don’t just mention the newsmaker, but also point out how it’s related to your users
Subject lines for B2B newsletters
Use your audience’s pain points to make them open the newsletters
B2B newsletters subject lines
Grab their attention with a little riddle moment

Follow-ups

If you like conversions, then you have to like follow-up emails! So better work on those follow-up email subject lines . 

  1. {Name}, let’s discuss your next steps with {your company name}

Make it sound personal. 

  1. Answers to your questions

Sometimes a straightforward subject line is the best tool you can choose. 

Swipe for more examples of follow-up subject lines:

Best email subject lines for B2B follow ups
Follow-up emails are no place for riddles. Fit all the important stuff in the subject line
Signature subject lines for B2B emails
Follow-up an even with its highlights
B2B email subject lines
Didn’t get a reply to your invitation? You guessed it. Follow up!

Welcome emails

Welcoming emails is not just etiquette. Using this tool, you can make your subscribers feel like a part of a big friendly community, lay the groundwork for a long profitable relationship or explain to them the first steps to interaction with your company. 

  1. We are happy to welcome you to the {your company name} community

Make the first email sound heartwarming from the first words.

  1. Are you ready to get started with {your company name}? Here are your first steps

Help subscribers to get started with your platform.   

Swipe for more examples of welcoming emails:

Examples of B2B subject lines
Create a sense of a welcoming community from the first words
Subject lines for B2B welcome emails
Walk your new subscribers through the first steps with your platform
B2B email subject lines
Caption: Remind new subscribers about the benefits of signing up for your services

Sales

With B2B sales, it’s important to balance creativity and useful information. While trying to come up with the most eye-catching and creative subject line, keep it informative and formal. 

  1. Be the first one to try {your new service}! 55% off for our subscribers

Mention the product you’re selling and the discount, if there is any — that will make a good enough subject line. 

  1. Get more sales with {your service that helps brand increase sales}

Don’t forget to give a solution for your audience’s pain points!

Swipe for more examples of sales emails subject line examples:

Examples of subject lines for B2B sales emails
Introducing your product and explaining its purpose is a clean and simple solution to a subject line for a sales email
Subject lines for B2B sales emails
Attract your clients with a nice discount
B2B emails subject lines: sales
Show the goal the user will reach after purchasing your product

Re-engagement emails

With a B2B audience, the “we miss you” re-engagement emails won’t really work, so make sure to keep your tone of voice right and still re-engage. 

  1. Since we last saw you, {number} of businesses fixed their {pain point} with {your company}

Make them see what they’re missing out on from the first line! 

  1. We haven’t seen you in a while. Let’s check on your goals!

Offer subscribers to readjust their interaction with your company to keep them interested. 

Swipe for more examples of re-engagement emails:

Re-engagement B2B emails — subject lines
A simple cart abandonment email can go a long way with B2B audience
Subject lines for B2B re-engagement emails
Show your clients all the features of your product
Examples of subject lines for B2B emails
Re-engagement can also look like a nice reminder

No response emails

Don’t hope for late replies — always follow up when you don’t have a reply. Find ways to engage people who are slowly losing interest in your offer. Here’s how you can do it: 

  1. Would you like to try {your service} for free? 

Re-engage your B2B subscribers with special offers or even with your usual free trial — the goal is to make it feel tailored for each recipient. 

  1. Do you have doubts about {your service}? Let’s discuss it!

In a follow-up, engage your subscribers with a question to clarify your next step with them.

Swipe for more examples of no response emails:

Examples of subject lines for no response B2B emails
Troubleshooting comes first
Subject lines for no response B2B emails
Win back your audience with good reasoning
B2B email subject lines | No response emails
Remind about an opportunity to try your service for free

Key takeaways

Here are some important things to remember from this blog post:

  • A lot of business professionals decide to open your emails based on the subject lines. 
  • Keep your subject lines sweet and short, as a lot of people from the B2B audience read emails on mobile devices. 
  • Personalize your emails, add numbers to them, and experiment with formats to find the best ways to engage your audience. Clickbaits and spammy subject lines, on the other hand, might make you lose subscribers.
14 December, 2022
Article by
Gayane Sargsyan
Content writer and marketer with 8+ years of experience. I specialize in creative copywriting, analytics and PR. Outside of working hours I love making hand-built ceramics, traveling and hanging out with my vizsla.
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