37 best email opening lines you can use in your cold emails

By Nick Dimitriou read
19 Aug, 2023
37 best email opening lines you can use in your cold emails

So, you’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you’re leveraging social media and your content and you’re still trying to think of a great way to get even more exposure and kick the social media platforms’ algorithms to the curb and get more sales and interactions and become viral and…

And you get to email marketing, the medium that is beyond an algorithm’s control (more or less), has plenty of users (more than 3 billion) and is ideal to get you noticed.

This is true, considering there are platforms for email marketing and marketing automation for agencies like Moosend SaaS companies, brands of all kinds, entrepreneurs, and creators… You get the gist.

But how are you going to leverage the power of emails to get what you want, when you don’t know the recipient that well? Or at all?

Well, read on to see what an opening line can do for your cold email!

The criteria

Cold emails can be used for anything you may need, from maximizing your sales to getting your dream job. Provided you know how to be crafty with them.

So, before I begin with the best email opening lines, let me tell you a thing or two about the criteria, by which this list was made:

  • They’re addressed to the right person. The opposite is just plain wrong (and in some cases, funny). 
  • Alternatively, they mention that they’re addressed to the wrong person, but they ask to be redirected.
  • They’re as personal(ized) as they can be and showcase value.

Those go for the opening lines only, seeing as there’s more to a cold email than just its introduction. However, we’re here today to talk about what the best way to start an email is.

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1. The one with the question

Why it works

First of all, it’s a classic

Secondly, it shows that you’ve done your research on your prospect and you know what they did. 

Thirdly, it shows that you did put some thought into this since you’re asking the prospect if they’ve completed the next action they’re supposed to complete.

It opens the door for some conversation and some interaction as well, seeing as a question is one of the best email opening lines-and best opening lines overall, honestly.

Why you ask? Because it requires an answer. And answering this email can-and probably will-come intuitively, as the natural course of action.

2. The one with the AIDA

Why it works

One of the most classic and tried-and-true techniques of cold anything: cold calls, cold emails, cold sales, anything!

The AIDA model-or Attention Interest Desire Action-is a technique that won’t fail you, if done correctly, and it can be used in a billion ways.

Moreover, the name of this technique showcases the exact outline of your cold email: 

  • Grab the prospect’s attention
  • Make them interested
  • Make them want the thing
  • Make them buy the thing

But why is that one of the best ways to start an email? 

The question at the beginning is attention-grabbing, so there’s your first A. And the second sentence can spark interest. Why is that software so good that it can give you an extra 10 hours per week?

You bait them with a question that will get them to say yes and then lure them in with many small positive answers.

3. The one with the stats

Why it works

Everyone likes a good statistic and they can find it really useful for their business. Percentages, diagrams, pie charts, you name it, give credibility to someone’s claims and make it look like they know what they’re saying.

Not to mention that, by offering a relevant statistic for free that could be useful for the prospect’s efforts, you make things look like you’ve done your research and that you actually know what it is that you’re proposing.

Also, by saying that there was someone that already signed up for new programs, they’re offering a kind of social proof.

4. The one with the introduction request

Why it works

Small, easy and no-nonsense can get you everywhere when it comes to introductions, this is a very nice way to start an email.

This opening line makes it look like you’ve done your homework and that you already know that you’re not talking to the right person.

Also, the fact that your opening line is not beating around the bush and is actually getting straight to the point gives the prospect the idea that you’re not there to waste anyone’s time, which can be really valuable.

It surely gives you some extra credit, when it comes to deciding if you’ll actually be introduced or not.

5. The one with the self-promotion

Why it works

Although it seems like it’s not that big a deal, this cold email’s opening line works well for one very specific reason.

It’s self-promoting without being braggy.

You’re deciding, in this case, to put your work front and center and showcase yourself and the kind of value others found in your work or your company’s work, by using actual numbers.

And while it may not be the best way to start an email, it’s one of the best and it seems natural and gets straight to the point: The sender can help you by helping you find your dream job.

6. The one with all the excitement

Why it works

Who wouldn’t read further, upon seeing the words “We’re excited”? What is the sender excited about? 

By telling your recipient “I’m excited”, you’re essentially triggering a happy response that will make them, at least, read your message.

It would be good to use this opening when you’re trying to either sell something or be featured in social media influencers’ posts, as you could definitely be excited to tell the influencer that their latest post ties in perfectly with your latest piece of work.

And you know what collaborating with influencers means for your KPIs down the line.

Pro tip: Go the extra mile like this sender above, and create something a little bit more customized for that type of outreach. The video mentioned in this email is a fantastic touch.

7. The one with the secret weapon

Why it works

You’re telling the recipient what you’re doing and why you’re good. But this is not it.

You’re also telling the recipient that you’re using their product/quotes/content, anything that’s useful to you. So, you’re pretty much showcasing how pleased you are with the recipient’s work.

What is more, you’re also showcasing your need-down the line-to give back to that specific recipient by doing something in return. It’s pretty obvious. And it’s one of the fanciest ways to write a cold email opening line.

8. The one with the heads up

Why it works

Very straightforward, to-the-point and it leverages a very important truth: that people check their emails often.

Send this to your prospects if you want them to not be caught by surprise when hearing your voicemail. Nobody appreciates being caught by surprise, unless it’s a party or a gift we’re talking about.

By giving them a heads up, your voicemail will not cause the prospect any anxiety and you’re giving them an extra option: To email you back and continue the dialogue in their own terms.

9. The one with the “What”

Why it works

This is a fantastic way to start an email, because it made me go “What?” when I read it.

In other words, it sparked my curiosity. Not to the point where I’d google the answer and read extensively. 

Actually, I was curious just enough to keep reading on below and find out what the answer to my question was.

Your recipients will love this message and it will make it so that you are the star of the show, if the answer to that “What” is your brand or content.

10. The one with the statement

Why it works

I’ve got a very contemporary subject in front of me, one that definitely tampers with the heads of those who are leveraging communications and earned media by reaching out to influencers in their niche.

If I needed to promote my work through earned media, I’d see this opening line and wonder “And?”. Which would make me read on, to find out more.

Perhaps a solution is proposed below. Or perhaps, I’ll gain some insight.

In any case, this cold email’s opening statement is one that simply states what it’s going to talk about next and gives the impression that it’s not going to waste your recipient’s time.

11. The one with the compliment

Why it works

Who doesn’t want to hear good things about their work every once in a while? And who doesn’t love seeing that their work is appreciated?

This is actually one of the oldest email marketing “hacks”.

Use this email opening line to get your recipient hooked. Since you’ve enjoyed their work, they’ll definitely think that you’ve got good taste.

And they’re at least going to read your whole email!

12. The one with the links

Why it works

It’s personalized and this is the first thing to take into consideration when creating a cold email like that one, both when it comes to its opening and when it comes to its subject line.

Also, it uses words like “huge”showcases value right from the start and makes sure to include the recipient’s blog as a valuable source, much needed for the sender’s endeavors.

13. The one with all the resources

Why it works

Why would someone trust in your knowledge in order to create something great for their own website? And why would someone eventually collaborate with you?

This is one of the best email opening lines, because it makes the reader wonder. “What could that sender possibly be thinking?”

And this is where your content should come about and make you look not just like another expert, but like the expert.

14. The one with the “indeed!” exclamation

Why it works

For starters, I see my name over there, but this is not exactly new. So that’s one.

Two: This email opens with a statement. This statement is true based on various statistics and expert opinions on the matter. Therefore, it made me go “Well, you’re right, indeed”.

In other words, it scored a small but oh-so-significant positive answer. And making the email continue by scoring small, positive answers is what will help you win in the end.

15. The one with the coolness

Why it works

As with the one with the compliments, saying that someone does “some cool work” makes you more likeable and makes you seem like you do know what you’re talking about.

Mainly because nobody in their right mind would blatantly claim they’ve got no idea what they’re doing. So, if you find their content to be cool, then it seems like you know what you’re doing and that you’ve got great taste!

16. The one with the curiosity

Why it works

People can’t remain impassive when being faced with the “What if”. And this opening line does exactly that.

“What if there is something I can use by reading below? What if I can find some insight I had no idea was there?”

What makes this cold email so successful though is that it raises questions by mentioning things that are already there: A specific name, a job ad, the website where it was posted, the works, and it starts building on that.

17. The one with the “I value your time” feel

Why it works

Because the sender made me feel that they value my personal time.

The whole look and feel is not demanding, doesn’t plead with me and gets straight to the point, making me think about the answer I want to give immediately.

Not to mention that they took the time to name their company and position, making the whole thing more personal and real.

This can be directly correlated to Webdesign best practices you do not want to have too many disruptions for example.

18. The one with our expertise

Why it works

Okay, this one’s a longform and it’s not an email opening line per se, however it’s one of the best examples out there.

It’s not too cold and not too impersonal, even though I received it because I responded to a cold, impersonal request for a quote.

And even though the sender gave me a not-too-clear update on the status of my own quote, he pretty cleverly turned everything around by letting me know they’d like me to give them some more insight on a steadier basis.

This made them memorable, to say the least. And made me want to work my content marketing magic with them.

19. The one with the selling point

Why it works

By reading this email, I got the feeling of getting a courtesy call from a dedicated concierge. In fact, it “speaks” the same words I used to, in my brief experience as a concierge.

What do I mean by that? The sender is here to help, first and foremost, which is their unique selling point. Their help. They’ll lead me to becoming what I want to be through their help and expertise.

And this is where the pro features come into play. Those will help me out as well, even if I just use them as a trial.

20. The one with the proposal

Why it works

Again, this one’s a little longform, but try and imagine it as a template used, say, in the beginning of a project’s lifecycle.

“I noticed on your careers page, blah blah, you’re looking for a XYZ product or professional service and I’d love to discuss how I can make everything peachy”.

It’s got a very strong selling attitude without making you sound like you’re full of yourself.

21. The one with the research

Why it works

Not only has the sender done their research on me and seen what kind of activities I’m up for.

They’re also complimenting me on my work by congratulating me for something I will do in the future. Something that is of value to them, obviously.

This will make me that much more accepting of what they’ve got to say.

22. The one with the common connection

Why it works

First of all, it’s great at giving a heads up to the prospect, letting them know that you did try to contact them before.

Secondly, it seems like the sender put the time and effort to research and check whether there’s some common ground with the recipient-in our case, a person they both know.

This will make the recipient chuckle, at best, and really dig into your email, thus being interested in knowing what you’re contacting them about.

23. The one with the sports fan

Why it works

I’ll admit I adored that one, I found it one of the funniest and most original examples I’ve ever come across. 

The sender here not only made some serious research, they also went for the funny “just socializing” type of approach, which is so fun that won’t go amiss.

It also gives a more personal approach to the entire email, a “we’re just chatting” kind of feel. Perfect for salespeople if I say so myself.

24. The one with the Insta feed

Why it works

First off, it leverages not just any platform, but the most used social media platform today, utilizing the prospect’s Insta handle no less.

The email itself and the Insta handle may not seem like that big a deal, but it sure is. The reason behind this is the fact that social media platforms are personal, to begin with.

By utilizing information like the Insta handle and the picture you liked better, you show the prospect that you did have something catch your eye.

25. The one with the niche

Why it works

This email is super cold, super salesy, super everything it shouldn’t be. So why does this example constitute one of the best email opening lines?

Because even in this case, the sender managed to do some pretty good personalization. It talks about a specific problem to a specific niche on a specific location.

And it’s for all of you’s who said that it can’t happen! 

Also, it’s perfect if you want to score some referrals, by changing it a little.

26. The one with the “I didn’t think of that”

Why it works

Like I mentioned before, people love to be noticed and valued, especially when it comes to suggestions. Who wouldn’t like to hear that a friend of theirs branded them an expert to a stranger’s eyes?

This is exactly what this email’s doing and this is why it might seem repetitive but it is, in reality, one of the best email opening lines.

Not to mention that, again, this email shows that the sender has done their homework-ie research.

27. The one with the politics

Why it works

This example comes straight from Ryanair’s vault. It’s a cold, cold sales email and honestly, it wasn’t even supposed to work that well, but it seems that Ryanair thought of everything before sending this out.

It took an event as big as the US presidential elections into account and crafted a sales email around it. And mind you, this event is globally interesting and not just locally.

So, global storytelling is where it’s at!

28. The one with the follow-up

Why it works

The logic behind this cold email opening line is impeccable. It may not seem like it’s too much, it may seem like you’ve seen way better, it may seem like you’ve written a whole lot better even, but you’ll see what I mean in a sec.

This email is sent as a means to, supposedly, “follow up with a trial download”. But is that it? Are you going to connect with the prospect if the only thing you do is to just… Y’ know, Follow up?

The sender of this email uses a very clever way to incorporate personalization, making this one of the best email opening lines: They make a point of mentioning the recipient’s blog article, thus making themselves look very interested in the recipient, indeed. Leading, of course, to a more personal and specific suggestion down the line.

Hint: Make sure to use it with your already existing prospects as well. A company that loves its prospects so much, won’t have the same MRR churn as one that seems to not care.

29. The one with all the fun

Why it works

This email opening line is fun. Simple as that.

It’s not the type of email that you will receive from a large, serious company, but it’s the type of email you’ll receive by a brand that’s fun and youthful.

And who can ignore the best email opening line in this article “How the heck are ya?”. Or you know, maybe it’s personal bias because I love this phrase.

To top it all off, the sender compliments the recipient on a very bold, very powerful and brave move.

30. The one with the common woes

Why it works

This cold email is based around the act of finding prospects over Twitter hashtags and using the Twitter search in general.

Is its opening line, one of the best ways to start an email?

Yep. And here’s why: First off, the sender is very clear on how they discovered the prospect and how they can connect with them.

And secondly, they mention what the two of them have in common: What they went through and how hard they both worked-as the sender is supposedly sharing a common experience with the recipient.

31. The one with the very few words

Why it works

I’ll answer you the same way this email works: Because it’s short and simple.

Did you read this? Yes. Now, think about how this email opening line is stating the exact number of words I’m going to have to read. 73. Very small, almost too small.

This works well for someone with a busy schedule, as it promises that the information is cut up into pieces that are small and easy to digest.

32. The one with the congratulations that are in order

Why it works

This is a cold welcome email and to be honest, I quite liked it. 

Actually, it’s one of the best cold emails I’ve seen, as it managed to make me feel welcome and that someone’s got my back without my trying at all.

Actually, I find the fact that it begins with the word “Congrats” to be one of the best ways to start an email (and many will disagree with me). Actually, I found this to be pretty darn interesting. “Congrats for having good taste, Téa. We can make the world better for you”, that sort of thing.

33. The one with all the strategies

Why it works

One of the best email opening lines, because it’s short and digestible. But this is not the only thing I liked about this email opening line.

The recipient is supposed to have written a post with marketing strategies, right? And what does the sender do? Talks about the number of strategies included in that post, thus actually validating the sender’s work.

Pretty good engagement, if you ask me.

34. The one with the small creep factor

Why it works

Maybe it’s the stalker in me or maybe, just maybe I found the strategy too interesting, I’m not sure.

Whatever the reason, I find this cold email to be pretty well off, since it’s based on a specific behavior that triggered a question.

The recipient opened the original email, clicked on the links, took no action and now what? Well, now they’ve triggered the sender’s curiosity and now the sender just needs to know.

35. The one with the breakup

Why it works

I always get a little sad when bumping into that kind of email, the one that tells you “Heeeey, are you interested yet?”  and then there’s puppy eyes.

This break-up is short and without any fuss. The sender’s even asking the recipient to not bother with a proper reply, just tell them 1, 2 or 3 as a response. Which will gratify a response and I can’t believe there’s anyone that would really reply with a number.

At least I wouldn’t. On the contrary, I’d go for the “I’m sorry, I’ve been busy” approach.

36. The one with the download

Why it works

My name was the knock on the door, I’ll admit. I saw it and opened the email, no questions asked. I just needed to know who was calling to me.

But the opening made me read the rest. I did recently download a whitepaper. And I could’ve used that person’s help.

I did not, but I could have, it made me think about it, at least.

37. The last one

Why it works

It’s not fancy, doesn’t use complex marketing tactics and it looks like you wouldn’t have opened it. So what is it that makes this cold email so successful, as to land the sender the gig of their dreams?

I’ll tell you what it was: The fact that this email is simple and precise and the fact that it states what the sender can and cannot do right off the bat.

So, do you want someone to design a business plan? Then this is not the designer we’re looking for.

But do you want someone to create a loyalty punch card design? Then you may have your guy.


The reason why those email opening lines were the best email opening lines I could gather for cold emails, shows that the value is not in what you say but in the way you say it.

And by this, I would like to include another, almost too important factor when you’re sending a cold email: Proper Grammar!

Which is cliché and true at the same time. Kind of like Paris and F.R.I.E.N.D.S references.

So, what do you think? Do you have any suggestions you’d like to make? Don’t forget to tell me in the comments and as always, share the knowledge with your favorite marketer!

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Nick is the Head of Growth for marketing automation software Moosend. When he is not writing articles, you’ll find him running his SEO magic site-wide, or making friends from blogs and companies discussing the expert power of Marketing.