May 17, 2021

Best Email Opening Lines: 17 Clever Ways to Tailor Your Emails for Optimal Open Rates

Email marketing is an effective way to generate new leads and keep your customers happy. But in order for it to be successful, you need people to open your emails! One way you can do this is by using the best email opening line that compels readers to open your email.

Email marketing is one of the best ways to drive leads, customer engagement and sales. There are many factors that go into making your email open rates high - best email opening lines, subject line, call-to-actions... 

But did you know that it's possible to tailor your emails to increase the likelihood of someone clicking on them? We've put together 17 clever tips on how to come up with the best email opening line of your own for optimal opening rate.

How to Write Best Email Opening lines?

When it comes to cold emails, what determines the success rates of a campaign is the person's opening line. This is because if someone opens an email that is poorly written or bland, then most likely they will simply hit delete and immediately move on with their day.

Before we get into specific of the best email opening lines, that you can use in your next cold email, there are some tips you should follow when crafting something engaging:

1. Keep It Short & Simple- Long email openings makes people switch from being interested in reading more about your pitch to just simply hitting delete and moving on with their lives. 

A common practice among successful cold emails is that they keep their openers short and sweet so that readers do not lose interest halfway through their thoughts.

2. Use Conversational Language- Your email opening is designed to spark conversation with the reader which means you should not sound like a robot sending out the same email over and over again. 

Speak in your own voice so that readers can see your personality, emotion, and reasonings behind why you are reaching out to them. State facts, opinions, even life experiences if necessary. 

It will help determine whether or not someone is interested in reading more about what you have to say.

3. Avoid Filler Words- Filler words lack personality and authority which makes people easily disengage from what they are doing to form their own opinions on how they feel about you as a person (which might not be good). 

Here are some commonly used filler words that should be ignored in your next cold email pitch: "Um…" "Like,…" "So,…" "You Know"

Replace them with something constructive and valuable like:

"When we first started out, we struggled to decide what kind of target market we wanted to serve and how we wanted our business model to be."

4. Answer The Gatekeeper's Questions- While you might not be getting through the gatekeeper immediately, one thing that is for certain is that they are always trying to form their own opinions about who you are as a person (are you polite? do I need to worry about giving someone this information?). 

Use your opener as a bridge into explaining why you reached out and what value you bring. It could be in the form of a solution to their problems, why your work is different from others who do what you do, or even a personal connection between the two of you.

5. Use Your Own Voice- Since this email is coming directly from you, make sure it reflects your personality and passion for what you do. 

Avoid using "I" too much which can come off as pretentious while also avoiding talking about yourself in third person where it comes off as robotic. It is okay to be excited!

6. Remove Fluff Text That Does Not Matter- Since cold emails are often sent out at a high frequency, keep them short and sweet but most importantly get right into the point with why someone should take interest in engaging with your company or services.

7. Edit It Before You Send It Out- Before you hit send, make sure your email is grammatically correct and that it flows well without any hiccups, you can use tools like grammarly for better accuracy. Read it over one more time before sending to ensure that you are satisfied with the message you are trying to convey. 

Sometimes too much information can lead into confusing sentences which discourages people from reading on further to fully understand what you are trying to say.

A few examples of cold emails along with their respective opening lines:

1). Your Client's Friend - "Hey {Name}, How are you? I am an alumni of {University} class of {Year}. Your name was given to me by {Client Name}. May I ask if he gave his permission for you to share his contact information?"

2). A Startup Founder - "Hey {Name}, I was referred to you by a mutual friend, {mutual_friend_name}. I currently run a startup me and my cofounder built from scratch 2 years ago. We are looking for our first round of seed funding from investors and we were wondering if you would be interested in hearing more about what we do."

3). A PR Agency - "Hi {Name}, Hope all is well! My name is {First_Name} from {Insert PR Agency Name}. Are you interested in speaking with us regarding any opportunities for press coverage? Would love to learn more about your work!"

4). An Event Planning Agency - "Hello, {Name}! How's it going today? My name is {First_Name} with {Event Planning Agency Name}. I am reaching out to set up a time for us to connect regarding collaboration opportunities. Would you be available at all on January 23rd?"

5). A Software Company - "Hello, {Name}! This is {Your_First_Name} with {Software Company Name}. I came across your LinkedIn profile and saw that you were previously at {Current Company} for 15 years. When working together please feel free to reach out to me if there are ever any issues."

17 Tips For Writing an Engaging Email Opening Line:

  1. The secret to writing the best email opening lines is to address your recipient by name to increase the chance that they will open and read your message. You can read here about how powerful using someone’s name is, The Power of Using Someone’s Name.
  2. Ensure your email is actually relevant to the recipient, for example if you are sending a promotional email about a product or service, ensure it is one that would be of interest to them.
  3. Personalization increases engagement with your message because the receiver feels like the email was written just for them and makes them more likely to trust what you have to say and follow through with actions set out in an email such as clicking on links or replying with questions.
  4. A subject line which does not match the content of an email decreases its likelihood of being opened and read due to it appearing spammy or irrelevant, so ensure the subject line is relevant to your email's content.
  5. Ensure that your email is concise and clear; if it requires more than one sentence to explain what the email is about, recipients are likely to consider it spam or at least lose interest in reading it later on.
  6. A short, simple opening sentence sets a positive tone for the rest of the message so it is best practice to start with an engaging statement or question which references something specific about either yourself or your reader.

This increases engagement because they will want to know how you got their name, why you're sending them this particular message and how it is relevant to them specifically.

  1. "Hi" followed by a person's name (e.g., Hi Rachel!) is a standard, simple greeting which has been proven to be more effective than other greetings such as "dear" or "hello".
  2. If the email you are sending is meant to be persuasive and you wish it to have a positive impact on your reader immediately followed by a question in the opening sentence which will establish an open-minded attitude in the receiver.

This increases engagement because they will want to answer/reply with their opinion on the topic raised.

  1. The Best email opening line is one that opens with an engaging statement which questions something about either yourself or your reader; this makes them curious enough to want to read further and leads into the rest of your message well.
  2. An opening line like "I'm following up on our conversation" has been found to be successful in influencing people to reply because it is informative yet informal.
  3. If you have a name which may be difficult for the reader to pronounce or remember, consider including your full name so they can address you easily without having to do extra research which will increase their desire to read further and engage with your email.

This increases engagement because you're not asking them to put in any extra effort despite having a complicated name.

  1. Using an [engaging article like this one] before sending the actual message increases the chance that it will be opened and read by making it seem more relevant and interesting than if it was only made up of simple text.

This increases engagement because they will want to know what information is included in this article that will help their work.

  1. An opening sentence of "I know you're busy, but..." has been found to be successful at getting people's attention because it is both personal and apologetic so it makes the reader want to read more to see what they are apologizing for.
  2. Including an engaging picture with your email increases its success because it can make or break whether a message is received by or forwarded on to others which means your name will get highlighted among lots of other content on social media sites while also increasing engagements on these platforms too

This increases engagement because it may even cause them to share the image further into their own networks before reading the rest of the email, increasing its exposure.

  1. If you want to increase engagement with your email, make sure the first sentence is personalized for each recipient telling them something specific about either themselves or their business that most others won't know.

This increases engagement because they will want to read more beyond the first few words in order to find out how you got their name/company/details and why it is relevant to them specifically.

  1. If the email you are sending is meant to be humorous and comedic, starting with a [funny GIF] will make your reader want to read more out of interest in seeing if you can make them laugh - this increases engagement because they may reply with their thoughts on the comedy of it all.

Bad Email Opening Lines

"Hi,  how are you?”

What is the first thing that comes to your head when reading this? I bet you don't know, or at least I hope so. The chances are that your initial reaction to this article isn't important to you, but do you think the same about your email opening lines?

Imagine someone sent an email, just like this. Do you think they would be taken seriously?

A lot of people only answer this question by thinking about their own experiences. That is not the correct approach to take, as many things go on behind the scenes in the world of business; it doesn't matter if it's email or face-to-face communication.   

So let's look past ourselves and see what happens when we write a bad email opening line:

You will definitely get a reply back from your recipient, but whether that is a positive "I'd love to do business with you" type response, or an annoyed "I didn't want to speak with you anyway" kind of message is all down to how well you've started your email.

So what's the solution? How do you get around this dilemma, and make sure that your emails are opened by the people you want them to be read by?

It is important to understand who you are writing to, why they have been selected over all of the other people in their company, and how best to interest them in your product or service.   

This might seem like something incredibly tough at first, but once you get into the swing of things it becomes much easier. Over time these lines will stick with you, so don't feel disheartened if it takes a while for them to become part of your daily routine. Keep using these lines when you start your email and you will definitely see a difference.

So let's get down to the nitty-gritty of good and bad lines: what makes them different, why are they important, and how can you make sure that you don't make the same mistake in future?

First up is an example of a bad opening line:

"Hi,  how are you?"

This type of line may have worked in real life when we were at school or college but it doesn't cut it in our current day world. 

Even if this is meant as a way to break the ice with someone who hasn't been spoken to for ages it fails miserably because most people will already know what you are going to say before you've even opened your mouth.

By saying this you make it obvious that you are only looking for a short reply, and potentially don't want to be bothered with the other person's life story, or desires about how they would like things to pan out. 

In business this is never a good way to begin a document because you never know where someone could go with it - if you're not careful they might end up asking for something ridiculous which you simply can't provide them with. 

If this happens then there could be big problems down the line because the first time they see something from your company it has been filled with complaints and negativity: do we really want people to think of our business in such terms?

So how do we solve this problem and make something better?

"Hi,  I hope that you're having a good day/week"

The first part of the sentence lets the person know that you are friendly and not there to start a fight. 

In addition it reminds them that they have made contact with another human being, as opposed to dealing with an automated machine which answers your queries within seconds of receiving them.   

From here on in it is important to show genuine interest in what is going on in the other person's life - if they choose to send back a reply then chances are they will be more than happy for a chat about why work has been tough recently, how they feel about the new company policy, or anything else that will help you get through to them.

Another way to avoid this problem is by using something along these lines:

"Hi, I hope that you're having a good day/week. If I could just pick your brains on something it would be very helpful."   

The other person may not reply back to you straight away but at least they know who you are and what you want - maybe if their boss was the one who got in touch with them they might think twice about replying!   

"I saw your article in the news recently;  how impressive!"

This kind of line might seem like an easy way to impress, but can actually end up working against you.

The person on the other side of the email may already know that they are incredibly good at their job, so by saying this you could give them an ego boost which gives them reason not to reply back because "they already know" what you want.

Instead try to talk about something that isn't directly related to how wonderful they are at their job - for example:

"I noticed that your company recently did a great piece on women in business; I think it is very important that we get more females into these kinds of roles."   

This way the other person doesn't feel like all you are doing is sucking up to them, but instead is trying to be as helpful as possible.

As you can see from the above examples it isn't always easy to get the ball rolling when you first write a new email, but with a little bit of work on your side and a willingness to understand what the other person wants you could soon find yourself moving closer towards achieving your goals.

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Written by

Himangi Lohar

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