This Cold Email Subject Line Is A CHEAT CODE

Cold email is one of the best tools in your sales rep toolbox. But there’s just one problem—if your emails aren’t getting opened in the first place, then all of your efforts (the clever copy, the personalization, the research) will all be for nothing. THAT’S the importance of a great subject line

So, what’s the absolute BEST cold email subject line you could ever use? That’s what we’re talking about in this video.

The Ultimate Subject Line

What does the best-performing subject line look like?

Let’s not beat around the bush, huh?

It looks a little something like this…

  • “[NAME] – [REFERRAL NAME] said I should get in touch”

Bam. That’s it. That’s the absolute best subject line you could ever, ever use for your cold email.

It works so well because you’re leveraging someone else’s trust rather than putting in all the effort to build your own. Which is basically impossible to do in a subject line alone anyway.

It’s simple. It’s effective. And you could go out and use it for yourself right now and watch your response rates skyrocket.


If this was the magic bullet of cold email, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

See, there’s just one little problem here… referrals are notoriously hard to get. Most buyers don’t give them out freely. And asking for one is a tricky situation that most sales reps just don’t know how to navigate.

So rather than spend this video talking about the subject line, breaking it down into why it works, and turning a simple thing into something more complex than it needs to be, we’re going to look at the hardest part of this cold email secret weapon…

How to Get a Referral

How to get a referral in the first place.

Now if you’ve watched this channel’s videos before, you know that we at the Selling Made Simple Academy have a framework for everything under the sun. And surprise surprise, how to ask for a referral is no different.

Our 4-step More Referrals Framework takes you through what you need to do and say to bring in tons of referrals from your current client base.

And it looks a little something like this…

1. Confirming Value

Step one, confirming value with the client.

This is where you’re setting the groundwork needed to get a solid referral without any false promising or feet dragging.

What you’re going to do here is get your client to clearly recognize the benefits your solution has provided. This is tipping the value scale in your favor. If your ROI is great, then they’ll be more likely to reciprocate with a quick favor.

The principle is simple. And it’s the foundation for a successful introduction you can use to bring in a quality lead.

Now, an email at this step is okay, but you’re going to get the best results from a quick call. That way you can focus their attention, ensure they’re seeing the full scope of your value, and better direct the rest of the conversation.

Once you have shared the numbers (and be sure to use real numbers, not just general benefits) it’s time to ask, “Do you feel like this is working as well as you planned?”

If your ROI is solid, they’ll have every reason to say yes. And then you can move on to step #2…

2. Asking “Who Else?”

Asking “who else?”

When they turn around and tell you how happy they are, ask them, “Is there anyone else that you feel we could help within your professional network?”

You’re going to ask the question. And then, importantly, you’re going to shut up.

Make the ask. And don’t say another word.

Let the buyer think about it on their own and don’t help them out. It might be awkward for a moment or two. And that’s okay.

But you’ve made a promise with your product. And you’ve delivered. Now it’s time they did a favor for you in return.

Don’t give up after a single name either. Follow up with “OK great, is there anyone else?” and keep on going until they’re spent.

3. Making a Specific Ask

Making a specific ask.

Getting the contact info is one thing. But it’s also the bare minimum you can do. Instead, you’re going to add in one small detail that will really make your open rates fly.

Here’s what NOT to say after they tell you a referral…

“Great, can you give me their email address?”

And here’s what you SHOULD say instead…

“Great, if I email them and CC you in, is it OK for me to mention that we’ve worked together?”

This right here is a game-changer. Not only are you getting a referral, which is already leagues ahead of any other subject line you could ever use. You’re also attaching your common contact’s address to that email! And when your prospect sees a name they recognize, your email is going to pop off their screen and practically force them to click “Open”.

If you can get your client to agree, it’s a sure thing.

4. The “1-1-1” Rule

Sometimes you can’t get all the details sorted out with your client in a single meeting. So what kind of follow-up schedule can you follow to make getting that “oh-so-valuable” referral from your current buyer?


1-1-1 — follow up after 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month later until everything is set up. At that point, if they do back out, stop wasting time and move onto your next referral.

It’s better to keep people on your side for FUTURE referral opportunities than it is to pester them and burn that bridge.

Don’t get greedy. And don’t be annoying!


When done right, cold email can be one of the most valuable sources of leads at your disposal. But guess what, you’ve got to get them opened first.

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