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8 Incredibly Bad Subject Lines to Use in Your Prospecting | Upsail

We've all been there.
You're cruising along in your prospecting emails, getting decent open rates and responses. But sometimes, in our quest for perfection, we end up going a little too far.

There's no better way to make your prospect piss off and send your outreach directly to spam, then using one of the following subject lines in your cold email (hands down, we used some ourselves when we started):

  1. "You won't believe what I found out about your company!"

Whoa.. the original and eye-catching text! Well.. it used to be back in 2014. Back then, almost any SL worked just fine, just because inboxes were not flooded with mediocre emails and promotional materials. Please don't use it now.



2. "I have some bad news for you..."

It's just bad. I wouldn't even explain why. Goes to trash!


3. "It's time to take your business to the next level"

Generic and mediocre. How do you think how many emails with exactly same subject line an average C-Suite exec receives daily? Don't make this mistake.



4. "Quick Question"

Now, this subject line is just a productivity killer. You know what happens in prospect's mind when they see this SL in their inbox? Nothing - it goes directly to spam. No questions asked, no interest generated. It's just too obvious that this is a cold email that is about to sell you something. 
Don't waste your time with this subject line.


5. "Follow Up"

I was saying it for years, and will probably continue doing so for a long time to come. Be specific about what's inside the email. If it's follow-up, prospects expect it to be at least something they remember. If you did not have previous interaction with the recepient, chances are your email will go to spam. There is nothing to follow up on if you're just trying to generate some interest or schedule the first appointment.


6. "no subject"

Oh, it looks someone forgot to configure an email automation tool. You might have seen articles here and there on the web, saying that emails with no subject line get more attention and opens. It's only partially true. The real picture is:

  • Your email will probably be opened
  • Your email will probably be sent to spam.

Remember that empty subject line looks spammy (both for spam filers and prospect as human being). You won't get any response - no SL is a very common mistake of new SDRs trying to figure out the email automation tool.

Check out this article to learn how to craft a perfect subject line.




7. "{{firstName}}, quick call?"

It does not really matter what a subject line is if it screams of unprofessionalism and rude mistakes from the very beginning. Not being able to use personalization placeholders right way is not something you can allow in your sales outreach. Make sure to check every email before sending. We personally are great fans of lemlist functional that allows to review each prospect before starting the campaign.




8. "Re:" - fake reply

Trying to trick your prospect in order to get attention is probably the worst thing you can do. I can be wrong, but you're looking to establish trust with your buyers, start a relationship and let them benefit from your offering? Right? 
How in the name of God do you expect to leverage trust if you're lying to your prospects in your subject line?
Leave this practice to spammers and the "Nigerian Prince" letters.

Be honest. It pays.

Check out how we secured appointment with Fortune 100 company.

Be amazing, and happy prospecting! 

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