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Cold email

A New Method for Cold Email Subject Lines

How do you expect to get a reply if no one opens your email? Your subject line is the ultimate first impression setter. Here are a few tips that make all the difference.

A sales rep walks through a door made of lavender flowers against a lavender tree holding a laptop.

How do you expect to get a reply if no one opens your email? Subject lines tend to be a place of stress for sellers. Don't overthink them. Here's the approach:

Subject Line Tip #1: Internal Camo

What is it?

Internal Camo

/inˈtərnl ˈkamō/


A subject line from a vendor crafted to feel like it came from someone within the company without being deceptive.

The thinking behind "Internal Camo" is simple:

It's a cold email. Don't wave a giant red flag that says "I'm trying to sell you!"

They're triaging through their busy inbox. A subject line like "Will - increase your reply rates" is going to start the relationship off on the wrong foot.

You see... your reader isn't actually reading. They're skimming and categorizing the information in their inbox.

When you write a subject line that:

  • Is overly playful (e.g. emojis)
  • Is verb driven (e.g. increase replies)
  • Superlative / Adjective Led (e.g. better replies)
  • Is "you" focused (e.g. your replies)

When you do these things, you're fitting into a pattern. You look like other messages they've gotten from outside vendors. As soon as that happens... you're in trouble. You've been lumped in with all the other bad sellers. Their guard is up.

You want your reader to be as open minded as possible.

Instead, your subject line should look like a To-Do list item.

e.g. "Sales Copy"  

Note: It's not deceitful. Your email content just needs to connect back. Talking to a specific topic or task item makes this easy.

Some Lavender Data on Subject Lines:

Ideal Length: Two words
Style: Title case (capitalize major words)
Tone: Neutral
Punctuation: Avoid
Numbers: Avoid

Subject Line Tip #2: The Triple Curious

One cold email subject line that does stand out is the "triple curious." We just made that name up. But it works.

Belal Batrawy uses it often.

e.g. "Psychology, Emails, Beer"

It'll get the open because it's interesting. It makes you raise an eyebrow, in a good way. That said, you better back it up with an email that transitions beautifully between those three topics.

Don't just slap that subject on a template without any personalization.

Last bit: This email wouldn't be complete without talking about a non-cold email subject line tip.

If you already have an established relationship, please put your company name in the subject line. e.g. "Lavender: Next Steps"This is the most inbox triage friendly thing you can do.

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