Forget the Subject: Why The First Line of Your Email Matters More

Most salespeople spend too much time thinking about the subject lines of their emails. They carefully craft those few words, only to have prospects skip over the subject and go straight to what matters most: their first line.

Technically, what I’m talking about here is the “preheader” or “preview text”, which usually includes the first part of the email’s opening sentence. I always look at that text to tell what the email’s really about, see if it’s from a real person, and decide whether I need to read the rest. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of salespeople aren’t crafting their opening lines with as much care as their subjects.

If you’re crafting a sales email that you want to grab your prospect’s attention you should aim for two key qualities: it needs to be personalized and compelling.

Personalize It

Subject: Your next best sales solution!

“Hi Dante, If you’re looking for the best way to make…”

What’s wrong with the preheader text above? Well, it could be a lot better, but one easy way to punch it up would be with a little bit of personalization.

Most people, especially key decision-makers in charge of budgets, are bombarded with generic emails every day. Even if you’ve put some great personalization into the body or call-to-action of your email, I’m probably never going to see it if your preview text doesn’t give me any reason to think you’re emailing me specifically.

What’s my job title? What team am I in charge of? You should be targeting key decision-makers that you already know these things about, so it’s the easiest thing in the world to make a change as simple as “I noticed you run HR at Salaria.”

Just that tweak can get me to open an email and give you the few seconds you need to make your actual pitch. Salespeople can set themselves far above their competitors with easy, high-level customization.

Give Me One Good Reason

All you need to do is give your prospect one good reason to open that email. It can seem like a daunting task to compress a pitch to just a few words and make it customized to your prospect. But it’s all far simpler than it appears.
Let’s say you’re pitching a solution that makes it easier for HR departments to contact people. Your first sentence just needs to include a) that you know your prospect is in HR and b) that you want to help them.

Subject: Verified phone numbers
“Hi Dante, As Head of HR, you can raise candidate answer rates…”

That first sentence doesn’t need to name your product. It doesn’t even need to finish your full pitch or tell your prospect how you’ll give them what they want. All it needs to do is give a little bit of customized information and one way you can make your prospect’s life better.


What About the Subject?

That’s not to say the subject never matters. But in my experience, subject lines don’t always make as much of a difference as the first text of an email. The hyperfocus on an email’s subject can do salespeople a disservice, distracting them from what really matters.

A personalized, compelling opening line to an email can make all the difference. Let me know what you think about email subjects vs. opening lines! Which do you think matters more?

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Nick Lassor
Nick Lassor
Salaria has been a game changer for us! We have tried various companies and internal processes to manage a rather difficult lead gen process and they have performed way better than we expected. They adapt to our feedback. They provide clear information. They are always looking for ways to improve. If you are on the fence, just pull the trigger. Salaria will do everything they say and more!
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Jason Gonos
Great company and great people. I am super impressed with our director of account management LP and his team. I have been with them for about 4 months and just signed for a 6 month extension. I have been getting TOO MANY HIGH QUALITY LEADS to manage and am now forced to build out my sales team because of Salaria :) Highly recommended. The cost will pay for itseld quickly.
James Hoover
James Hoover
Salaria has been a huge boost to our lead generation efforts. They are able to create meetings with high level executives who are vetted properly. Great company to work with.
Nilesh Surana
Nilesh Surana
We started working with Salaria about 10 months ago and they have been able to generate about 60-70 meetings of which 4 deals have closed. I was a bit skeptical before deciding to work with them because I didn’t know if we could effectively outsource part of our sales development strategy. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well things have gone. We’ve also seen an improvement in conversion rates across the whole team because we started using a lot of the scripts and templates Salaria was using. I have to admit that they've been impressive with how helpful they’ve been from a strategy perspective. Highly recommend these guys!
Ken F
Ken F
Salaria did an amazing job helping us build up our pipeline right after we launched in the USA a year ago. They’ve absolutely surpassed our expectations and have consistently improved performance over time. We’ve been working with Elizabeth and she has been instrumental in helping us craft a strategy that improves conversion for all of our reps. It took us about a month or so to get ramped up but once we were up and running, I was surprised by how fast they delivered results. I believe they book their first meeting for us within a week of starting. We’ve had to change things up from time to time to keep us on track but Elizabeth and the Salaria team have been great all along the way.


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