Reaching out with an email could be a magic ticket into a stranger's life that could lead to networking, potential opportunities, and even just simple brand recognition.

But if you stop and think about how many emails each of us gets every single day, it's enough to make you roll your eyes at the idea of believing in the power of a single email sent to a person.

While you may spend hours figuring out exactly what to say inside the email, when to place "the ask" and how many things you should link out to, the most important part is not always what is inside, it's the subject line.

If you're looking to get a response or a person to read your email, here are the four best things to include in the subject line so that they feel empowered and excited to open what you sent to their inbox.

1. Get Personal

We all enjoy personalized communication and really do not enjoy mass, generic emails. If someone receives an email from you and isn't familiar with your email address, you should make the subject line friendly and personal so they know you're a real human and that you do not belong in their spam folder.

Consider including their name in the subject line, starting it like this:

"Hi Jen - "

Another personal technique you can use is to skip out on including the details of what the email contains and why you are reaching out in the subject line and instead put in a personal detail that you know about them.

For example, if you are sending an email about a new product that you'd like them to know about and you know from their Instagram feed, their website, and comments they have made in the past online, that they love pizza, perhaps you'd make the subject line about that personal fact rather than about the product or the question you are trying to ask them.

Then, start the email off introducing yourself, taking about that fact, and then getting to the point. Doing that builds rapport with them and shows that you took the time to get to know them rather than just finding their email address and hitting them up for something you want or need.

2. Be Extra Catchy

Ask a question, pull from emotion, take the topic of your email and sum it up in a short sentence so they get an idea of what's inside. The catchier the better. It makes people curios and eager to know what is inside.

Don't open this email unless you have nothing else to do tonight.

It was catchy, engaging, and hit me at the right time. I was bored at my desk and it made me want to open it to see what was inside the email.

3. Include the Why

If you want to skip out on being too gimmicky by using a personal fact about the person or something that's going to pull them in, then get to the point. If you include a direct reason why you are sending the email in the subject line, it usually can evoke a person to hit open, skim the email, and respond. Perhaps you use a subject line like this:

"Hi Jen - Reaching Out With Free August Event Tickets"

"Hi Jen - From One Female Badass to Another: Coffee?"

"Hi Jen - Let's Swap Stories on Failure: Coffee?"

4. Add a Compelling Event

If your email is connected to a compelling or time-sensitive event or piece of news, be sure to include that in the subject line. When we stop to think about how many emails we get a day, we might browse the subject line, delete the spam ones, and keep the ones that seem interesting inside our inbox, unopened, for days, weeks, even years.

Including a punchy and current detail may get someone to open your correspondence faster.

Here's an example:

“Hi Jen – Series A Investor Deadline for ____ Is Monday"

That way, if the person on the other end is interested in connecting with you or responding to you, they know there is immediacy attached to the email and could find themselves opening and responding faster.


Jen Glantz