Cold Email · · 4 min read

Improving Open Rates: Follow Up Email Subject Line Examples

The right follow up email subject lines significantly improve open rates. Here are examples you can use for different follow up scenarios.

follow up email subject line

You can’t close a deal in a single email. That’s what follow ups are for. They allow us to nurture leads, further understand pain points, and provide tailored solutions. 

But what can you say to encourage leads to give your email another shot? 

We’re here to help with that. By the end of this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Which subject lines perform best for email follow ups?
  • How to create multiple unique and personalized subject lines
  • Best practices for creating personalized subject lines

Best Performing Subject Lines for Email Follow Ups

Sending a follow up email is easy enough. The tricky part is knowing exactly how to schedule follow ups and what to say in our follow ups.

Subject lines perform better depending on the intent. Are you following up on a cold email, a job application, or an inquiry from a prospect? 

To help you out, we’ve curated a list of best-performing email follow up subject lines for various scenarios. Find the one that fits your needs, iterate, and innovate! 

Cold Email Follow Up Subject Lines For No-Response Leads 

It could take four or more follow ups before getting a meeting when doing cold email outreach campaigns. But if prospects haven’t responded, send a follow up using these subject lines:

Hey {{first name}}, forgot to mention…
Checking up on {{topic}}
Any updates on {{topic}}
Wanted to follow up on {{topic}}
Am I emailing the right person? 

There could be several reasons prospects didn’t respond to your initial email. But even a simple nudge from subject lines such as “any updates on {{topic}}” can get you back on track. 

Also, don’t be afraid of further qualifying a lead. They might not be the right person to email. So, why not ask if they could point you in the right direction? 

Follow Up Email Subject Lines for Rejections

Objections and rejections are a common theme in email marketing. But you can always turn a no into a yes if you know how to address objections. For these emails, use subject lines like:

What can change your mind about {{product/service}}?
Please offer us feedback so we can revise the offer.
Here’s how we can handle {{objection}}
We hear you. Here’s how we can move forward.
Responding to concerns…

Even if prospects objected to your first email, provide as much value as possible in your follow up. Try framing the initial offer differently. But always leave things on a positive note. 

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) Follow Up Subject Lines

If prospects don’t respond after your initial email, send a follow up with a subject line that generates FOMO. It’s a sales closing technique that can also apply to your emails. Try out:

You’re missing out on {{benefit}}
Discounted for a limited time only
Limited time offer for {{product}}
Don’t miss out on {{opportunity}} 
Competitors are already using {{strategy}}

FOMO in a subject line generates a sense of urgency without coming off as invasive. It can be used for sending follow ups for promotional emails, webinar invites, or general reminders. 

Opt-Out Subject Line

You should send opt-out emails to leads who show disinterest in your offerings and those who personally opted out of your email list. This is most likely your last shot. Make it count using these subject lines:

We’re saying goodbye. But first, a gift
You won’t be hearing from us
We hate to see you go
Confirming your request to opt out
Before we leave, is there anything we can do?

Opt-outs are necessary for every campaign. It eliminates unqualified leads and improves open rates. Before saying goodbye, provide value and leave things on a positive note.

Application Follow Up Email

Sometimes recruiters just don’t follow up with their applicants even if they give a time period for a response. If you still haven’t received an email regarding your application after the time period, send an application follow up using these subject lines:

Update request for {{position}}
Application update for {{position}}
Inquiring on my application status for {{position}}
Following up on my application for {{position}}
Requesting update on application progress for {{position}}

Always be professional and courteous when asking for updates. Make it easier for the recruitment team by including the position you applied for in the subject line. 

Using Spintax to Create Unique Follow Up Subject Lines at Scale

Using follow up subject line templates is great for scaling email campaigns. But you’d still have to edit these templates to personally make each unique and personalized. Enter spintax. 

It’s a way for you to generate thousands of variations to templates to help ensure each subject line is unique. You can even do this using ChatGPT. Here’s an example using our subject lines for cold email follow ups. 

email sunject lines chatGPT

The output:

ChatGPT email subject lines

Ensure grammar, variables, and logic are correct before using the spintax output from tools like ChatGPT. But if you want something more streamlined, you can use Instantly to generate spintax for the entire email copy, not just the subject line. Here’s a quick video guide you can bookmark. 

Key Takeaways

Email follow ups are essential for all aspects of email marketing, from cold emails all the way to transactional emails. But you need the right subject lines to catch your prospects’ attention for an effective follow up. Here are the best practices to look into:

  • Make your subject lines short and concise
  • Try using FOMO to generate a sense of urgency
  • Use subject lines to understand prospects’ objections further
  • Add personalization to the subject line
  • Use spintax to generate unique subject lines at scale

If you want to start growing your business through email marketing, look no further than Instantly. Sign up for free today and start automating your follow up emails at scale! 

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