15+ Cold Email Opening Lines That Get Replies

cold email opening lines

Quick question.

How do you get replies like this from CMOs, CEOs, executives, or any busy decision-makers?

Well, you send them an email that catches their attention. 


By using well-researched and hyper-personalized cold email opening lines.

In this article, we’ll share successful cold email opening line templates with you that you can emulate or use to craft excellent opening lines that hook your readers. 

Note: Struggling to get replies or book meetings with prospects that fit in your ICP? We’ll help you get 6 SQLs or book 6 meetings with prospects that are ready to buy for only $999/month. Book a 15-minute consultation now.

Why is your cold email opening line so important?

Your opening line is one of the critical elements in your cold email that guarantees excellent engagement metrics for your campaign. How?

Just like your subject line and sender information, prospects will have access to (and can read) a snippet of the first sentence of your cold email—and that’s literally the starter of the opening line. 

So, before even opening your email, prospects can read a snippet of the opening line. It might not seem like much, but it can be enough to chew on to decide whether or not to open a cold email.

If it seems generic or fails to interest prospects, they mightn’t open the email — nor read it — even with an excellent subject line. 

Also, there is an immediate correlation between all the key components that make up an email copy, and your cold emailing success is dependent on this. 

Here is how. 

After prospects open your cold email from an enticing subject line, if you fail to interest and hook them from the get-go, they might bounce, and all downward efforts to get them to take your desired action will be in vain. 

That’s why you need to ensure an excellent opening line to your cold emails.

Nailing the opening line is an effective way to win the hearts of your audience, gain their trust, and establish yourself as a worthy marketer. 

From there, you’ll be able to ensure a thorough and end-to-end read of your cold email, and you can be sure your marketing objectives are being met. 

30+ Effective Sales Email Subject Lines To Get More Replies

How we approach the email opening line at Nerdy Joe and why we do icebreakers instead

Typical cold email or general email opening lines can be summed up as simple greetings. We are sure you can tell. They generally fall along the lines of phrases like the following.

  • Allow me to introduce myself.
  • Good afternoon.
  • Good morning.
  • How are you?
  • Hope this email finds you well.
  • I hope you enjoyed your weekend.
  • I hope you’re doing well.
  • I hope you’re having a great week.

Simple greetings, yeah? That’s how most marketers and sales rep approach their email opening lines. 

Now we are not saying that these don’t work or that there’s something wrong with these sentences.

What we mean is that they are poor. Let’s discuss why we do icebreakers instead to really show why we do that instead. 

Why do we do icebreakers instead?

Most prospects or leads you will be targeting with your cold emails don’t know about you or your product.

You already have that working against you. So, capturing their full attention and having a good first impression are vital to your success.

To do this:

  1. First, you need an opening line that rapidly differentiates you from other marketers and hooks your prospects or partner to read your cold email. 
  2. You need a phrase that makes your leads feel valued and makes the statement that you did your homework before reaching out to them. 
  3. You need an opening line that helps remove the cold from your cold message and conditions the recipient to be more receptive to your message. 

In light of all this, simple greetings can’t cut it. That’s why we do icebreakers. 

Icebreakers are opening-line sentences integrated at the beginning of your cold message to facilitate interaction with your recipients.

As the name implies, icebreakers are designed to help you break the ice between you and your prospects. 

Instead of simple greeting phrases, we take it to the next level and bring interesting facts and personalized elements about the prospects to personalize the opening line and make it more impactful.

Here is how we do it at Nerdy Joe before launching our cold email campaigns. 

How we proceed to write icebreaker opening lines that our prospects love

We start by checking prospects’ activities on social platforms and popular online communities. 

In most cases, LinkedIn and Twitter work for most B2B professionals. 

Next, we look at their latest activities, their company’s activity, or anything else. The idea is to find a recent interesting aspect or element from their life and spark it at the beginning of the message to smoothen the conversation. 

So, we look at things like posts, likes, comments, a recent promotion, a job recommendation, an impressive career path, a share, a mention, a selfie, and whatever data we can talk about to create a unique first touch.

Sure, it does not seem much like it, but it truly boosts your credibility as a marketer (or a cold emailer), and prospects can easily take an interest in what you have to tell them and read through.

Here is an example of how we keep it all in a spreadsheet before the campaign.

Now, here’s what it looks like in real life. I pitched CoSchedule’s then Head of Content Ben Sailer and asked him if I could write for them.

Here’s what he replied 1 hour later.

How to Create Cold Email Sequences That Generate Sales (Pus a Sequence Template)

How long should the icebreaker opening line be?

The volume of the opening sentence should be around 10% to 30% of the entire volume of your cold email. 

It should clearly and precisely address why you are reaching out to the prospects. 

Keep in mind that the shorter and more relevant your opening sentence is, the more likely it is to be read and appreciated by your leads. 

It’s always best to be brief and to the point for your first touch with your prospects and leads. 

You should write your opening sentences strategically so that even the busiest prospects will take their time to read and execute your call to action. 

Note: Struggling to get replies or book meetings with prospects that fit in your ICP? We’ll help you get 6 SQLs or book 6 meetings with prospects that are ready to buy for only $999/month. Book a 15-minute consultation now.

Email opening line templates (+ 15 examples)

There are various types of cold email opening sentences. We have created icebreaker opening line templates with examples that have been successful for companies so you can easily use them.

Sales email opening lines.

Sales email opening lines are a particular group dedicated to sales reps. These are also applicable to business emails. Here are several ways to write these introductory email sentences to generate high interest in your business.

Opening line 1: Mention a company 

One of the most effective ways to write a sales email opening line is to mention a company you have collaborated with in the past. Ideally, a famous company that is in the same field as them.

Try this: 

Template: We have recently collaborated with [put the name of the company,] and we have helped them to carry out [such and such tasks]

Example: We recently collaborated with ActiveCampaign and helped them build their content marketing strategy. 

Opening line 2: Name the company you’re working for

You can also start your introduction by giving the name of the company you are working for. 

Template: At [the name of your company], we improve [enumerate a current need that the company has and that you can provide solutions to] 

Example: At Nerdy Joe, we write compelling cold emails for newsletters of your type. 

This kind of opening line makes you more trustworthy and boosts your chances of getting positive replies.

Opening line 3: Lead with an intriguing question

Start with a question that engages your prospect’s interest. That one should be simple and catchy. Here is a template you can follow:

Template: How beneficial could it be for your brand to [write something achievable?]

Example: How successful would your cold email marketing campaign be if you invested in writing excellent icebreakers? 

Remember that all these models should be adapted to your needs and expectations.

Opening line 4: Mention a recommendation from their LinkedIn page with a genuine compliment

This lets your leads know that you did check them out before sending your email. And even if they have a busy schedule, they will take the time to check your outreach emails.

Template: I just came across your LinkedIn profile and I must say the recommendation [name of person] left for you is amazing. You are the type of [job title] that every company dreams of. Keep up the good work.

Example: I just came across your LinkedIn profile and I must say that the recommendation Eric Anderson left for you is amazing. You are the type of General Manager & Marketing Executive that every company dreams of. Keep up the good work.

Opening line 5: Appreciate their work experience with their company

Appreciating their work experience is also showing them that you did your research on them. It can even feel like you’ve been monitoring their work for quite some time.

Template: Your work experience with [Company name] is very inspiring. I look forward to congratulating you on your fifth anniversary as [Position]. Keep up the good work.

Example: Your work experience with Nexthink is very inspiring. I look forward to congratulating you on your fifth anniversary as VP of Marketing. Keep up the good work.

Opening line 6: Congratulate and appreciate them on a recent achievement

This can be anything like recent funding, a job promotion, an industry event they hosted, a personal approach they developed for something, etc.

No matter what you find, mentioning it can catch your prospect’s attention and get them to read your email. Here is a template for a job promotion.

Template: Congratulations on [XYZ] your new role as [New position] at [Company]. You’re charting an impressive career path. Keep up the good work.

Example: Congratulations on your new role as General Manager of Digital Media and Games at the Linux Foundation. You’re charting an impressive career path. Keep up the good work.

Follow-up email opening lines

Follow-up email opening lines are a particular category of introducing sentences that allow you to keep an eye on the status of your previous email and give them the chance to be answered or to catch your lead’s attention once again.

Follow-ups are, for that reason, critical. So here are three templates of cold email follow-up opening sentences that can benefit you. 

Opening line 1: A gentle reminder

This opening line template is one of the best and most effective for a quick follow-up.  

Template: I’m [The name of the prospect]. I hope this email finds you well. This is to get more information about the email I sent you last time.

We all receive a bunch of emails that we often get lost, and the simple fact of receiving this type of email makes us curious and willing to check out what the previous email was about.

Opening line 2: Polite greeting, straight question

The other effective way to write a cold email opening line is to ask a question to the lead directly. Then, just after a polite greeting, you may pop your request.

Example: Hello. I hope you are doing well. Did you take the time to read my previous mail?

Opening line 3: Value their time

This opening line helps readers realize how much you care about them and how you recognize that they are overwhelmed with messages at any given time. 

Template: I know you’re very busy and get many messages daily. So I’m writing to you to follow up on my email in case you missed it in your inbox. 

This opening line allows the reader to remember your previous mail quickly and maybe reply to you. 

Link-building email opening lines

Link-building and email opening lines aim to create a partnership between companies. Here are some templates you may use to write your link-building introductory sentences.

Opening line 1: Tell how you found their masterpiece

Template: I am [Your name] from [Company]. I was looking for [The topic] when I came across your article about [The article title]. 

Example: I am Peter from Active Campaign. I was reading up on how to increase my online sales rates when I came across your article “Tips to increase online sales.” 

This opening sentence is relatively straightforward. It tells your leads why you are sending the email. This makes it easier for the reader to read your entire message and follow up on it.

Opening line 2: Appreciate their work

You could also begin by appreciating the business you want to collaborate with in your opening sentence.

But, anyone would love to hear others say they are good at their work. That’s why this type of opening line is so successful. 

Template: I’m [Your name] from [Your company name]. We like and appreciate the great work you’ve been doing when it comes to [Name the field].

Example: I’m John from X. We appreciate the work you’ve been doing when it comes to writing relevant content. 

Content promotion email opening lines

Here are two opening line templates with examples that will help you better promote your articles. 

Opening line 1: Butter up, then but

Template: I just read your blog post on [The title of the article]. I liked how you approached it [List some points that impressed you].

However, I did realize that you did not address [List relevant points that were not addressed in the blog post].

Example: I just read one of your posts on how to write high-quality content, and I liked how you approached the theme. However, you did not mention the need for writers always to keep their target audience’s pain point in mind. 

Although it may seem lengthy, this kind of opening sentence offers you a clear concept of how the essay should be structured and it easily catches your recipient’s attention. 

Opening line 2: Be straight, direct

Template: We published a blog post on [The topic] and thought you might find this type of content useful. Since we target the same audience I think it can help your customers in solving [pain point]

Example: We have published the ultimate guide on writing the best subject line templates, and we thought you’d undoubtedly find it helpful. 

Like the previous email openers, this email introductory sentence helps the reader save time and avoid wondering why you’re writing to them.

Collaboration and partnership request

Collaboration opening lines are meant to establish partnerships between the companies involved.

Here are some templates that can be personalized and samples to support them. 

Opening line 1: Mention a mutual connection or a mutual acquaintance

Template: [Mutual or familiar connection] and I were talking when they told me you were looking for [the service that you can provide]

Example: Emy and I were discussing when she told me you were looking for a copywriter expert. 

Using this type of sentence offers you several advantages at the same time. The first one refers to the name that you both have in common.

The second is that this first sentence contains the reason for your email.

Opening line 2: Clarify your intent from the get-go

Collaboration opening lines may also be written as a direct question. 

Template: I am [Your name] from [Your company name]. What do you think about collaborating between [Your company] and [Their company]? 

Example: I am Peter from Company. What do you think about a collaboration between Company and Active Campaign?

This opening sentence instantly gives your intent while stimulating the lead to follow up on your request. 

Digital PR email opening lines

PR email opening sentences are the most used and best-adapted category for sending professional emails.

For this reason, we have created templates that you can adapt to your needs. 

Opening line 1: Shoot for their heart

Template: I just came across your [The title of the article]. It was very enlightening. I shared it with my colleagues here at [Your company name]

Example: I just came across your article about the importance of email marketing for businesses. I just shared it with my colleagues at Active Campaign. 

This opening line helps you save time and quickly build relationships with your target. It’s also a way to tell them that you’re in the same industry as them and that you’re open to discussions. 

Opening line 2: Care and flatter

Template: My name is [Your name]. I work for [Your company name]. I enjoyed your report. Relevant pieces of information were included in it. I really enjoyed it. 

Example: I’m John from Active Campaign. I liked your report. It was full of relevant information. 

This introduction line is quite polite and flattering, but more importantly, it shows that you care about the readers and respect their business. 

All these templates serve as suggestions and directives. To be more effective, you have to personalize them.

That’s why we give you in the following part our expert advice to be more effective when you write your opening lines.  

Our experts’ tips for writing the best opening line

Here is a list of tips you can use to personalize your opening lines.

Focus on trigger events

Considering the tons of emails people receive daily, it would be much more strategic to write opening lines that address their current situation or make them realize that you know them better than they can imagine. 

Trigger events are usually related to the company’s news or the prospects’ professional life. Various factors can be used to guide you. 

A new position

If the prospect you are writing to has recently relocated to a new place, you may use this news to build a relationship with the company and, at the same time, generate their interest in your email.

Reaction to competitors

Another way to draw the prospect’s attention is to start telling them about their competitors and then propose a solution or give them your opinion on how they could have proceeded. 

Example: Have you noticed that your competitors are now using digital marketing experts for their strategy? Do you want to follow their example? 

A market shift

This is also an effective way to start your opening line. For example, start by sending them news about the market shift and perhaps be more curious by asking them if they want to take the opportunity.

Compliment them

Everybody likes compliments, so why not use this strategy?

A kudos opening line

Telling your leads that you like what they do will show more interest in your message. 

Example: Hey, I’m Peter. I’ve just finished reading your latest article and appreciate how you approached the topic. Your content is precious. 

Comment on their professional expertise

Your opinion about your prospect’s professional expertise will make them more open to you.

Example: Hey Emy. It seems like you will perform next month during (the event). I just wanted you to know that you’re the reason for my presence at this conference. It is always an opportunity and a pleasure to listen to you sharing your knowledge.

Ask a question 

Asking excellent, relevant questions at the head of your emails encourages your leads to get in touch with you.

Let your curiosity find expression. 

People like it when others show interest in their life and achievements. By asking simple questions about your prospects’ professional life, you have a solid chance to get a reply from them. 

Ask if they need help.

You may also use opening lines that ask questions about the lead’s needs. This helps you know how to propose your services.

Example: Do you have trouble increasing your sales rate? 

Give first, then ask.

Analyzing your prospects and giving them relevant information or freebies can spark interest. It shows that you are concerned about them and know what they do. 

Offer a solution to their pain points.

Offering your something valuable to solve your prospect’s problem can facilitate a partnership between you or even elevate your sales pitch.

It is not supposed to be something huge-just; a little research to find what kind of problem they are facing now and give helpful and appropriate advice.

Share some statistics

Make a complete study about the company you’re writing to and find an interesting statistic about them or their company.

You may also do some research to justify your findings. By doing so, your leads will be impressed and be more open to you. 

Find a connection

Finding something common to start your outreach campaign can help your leads get involved and interested in your sales emails.

It doesn’t have to be something huge—just a beginning sentence mentioning a shared connection.

Use your common background.

People are more likely to work with others if they have something in common. So try to find a link between you.

It might be something from high school, a morning coffee, an internship, or whatever. 

Use a mutual connection or a mutual friend.

One of the best ways to get replies to your cold emails is using a personal relationship. It might be a friend you both have in common, a relative, a favorite author, etc.

Just find someone closer to your lead who can help you make it. 

Read more: How To Write A Follow-up Email After No Reply (+ 10 Templates)

Key Takeaways

  • Your cold email campaign success is not only based on the quality of your subject lines. Opening sentences also play a considerable role in it.
  • Excellent opening lines act as icebreakers and help you connect with your recipients and make them more open to receiving your emails. 
  • Ensure to properly research your prospects before creating icebreakers directed to them. Because poor opening lines will only hurt your results. 
Note: Struggling to get replies or book meetings with prospects that fit in your ICP? We’ll help you get 6 SQLs or book 6 meetings with prospects that are ready to buy for only $999/month. Book a 15-minute consultation now.

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