Email Subject Lines for Networking: Examples & Best Practices

Good email subject lines for networking are like the wax seal that people historically used for their messages to connect to their contemporaries. The primary purpose was of course to ensure confidentiality, but they also added a sense of distinction. Each individual had their own seal. They attached it to the message with flourish – a cord, ribbon, or strip of parchment! Imagine the anticipation on the part of a recipient. And that is exactly what you too want to achieve with a networking email subject line. Your contact should not be able to resist opening that email!

In this article we will provide you with a few guidelines to accomplish that, as well as some examples and resources for cold email subject line networking. If you’re looking for more general guidelines and examples, check out ‘Best Practices for Email Subject Lines’ or ‘Top 7 Proven Marketing Email Best Practices for Construction‘.

Importance of Networking

Long ago, a thief named Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks. “That’s where the money is.” Similarly, your professional network is where your resources and opportunities are.

“The strength and quality of your social connections and their arrangement profoundly affect your experience of the world, your emotion, and your personal and professional success.”

Social Chemistry, Marissa King

In the book Social Chemistry, Marissa King wrote “the structure of your contacts helps explain everything from your pay to the quality of your ideas.”

A good example of professional networking is an influencer we had the pleasure of working with, Ira Bowman. With #ProjectHelpYouGrow! he leveraged the professional networking platform LinkedIn to help job seekers connect with recruiters and employers who have jobs to fill around the world. Today he has more than 190,000 followers!

Sample Email Subject Lines for Networking

What should the subject line be for a networking email? The best way to answer this is with examples.

Good Subject Lines for Networking

Good Subject Lines for NetworkingComment
✅ Tom, do you have time to tell me more about Compass Builders?Personalized. The sender asks a question and stirs curiosity
✅ Missed you at the CI Summit. Can we talk about NESC?Specific to an event the recipient attended. The sender shows interest in what the company has to offer.
✅ Here’s how you can join the TechCrunch founder communitySpecific and tells the recipient exactly who they are and what the email is about.
✅ John, let’s continue the conversation about BIMThe sender establishes a connection and specifics. This is a good email subject line for networking follow-up.
✅ Mary, following up on Kate’s introductionAgain, the sender establishes a bona fide connection with the recipient.
✅ Content writing for iDeal – 2021 planningThis email subject line is to the point. It offers a service that may be of value to iDeal. A good example of an introduction email subject line!

Bad Subject Lines for Networking

Bad Email Subject Lines for NetworkingComment
❌ Susan, got a moment to connect?Looks like spam already even though it is personalized and short. This email subject line is vague. One does not connect in a moment. It’s too informal.
❌ We need to get together ASAP!Very unprofessional. Pushy. That ! is going to send it straight to the Spam folder.
❌ Let’s talk: I can help you increase your botom lineSales-y. Too informal. Not specific. Typo.
❌ You are invited to join me for a brainstorming session on construction bidding platforms.Not a good approach. The words ‘join’ and ‘invited’ raise concern that the email is sales orientated. The email subject line is also too general. “What’s in int for me?” the recipient is sure to ask.
❌ Would love to do business with you!Unlikely to get recipient to open the email. Not original or specific enough. Too informal.

What are Networking Email Goals & Guidelines?

What is a good email subject line for networking? Simply put, it is one that gets the attention of the email recipient! Quite a challenge these days when we are all bombarded by so much information and our Inboxes overflowing… but still the best way of connecting to a peer, a prospective employer, an influencer, or a resource.

So, how do you get the attention of someone via email? How do you write a catchy email subject line?  What do you put in the subject line of an introduction email? And, yes, email is still the best route to go, especially when trying to reach a larger audience.

Based on our research, the best email subject lines for networking follow these 8 best practices (you may also want to read our broader article on best practices for email subject lines in general):

1. Do your research.

Yep. Learn as much as you can about the person or the company at which the person is employed as you can. It will provide you with an angle for your email and that subject line that will get them to open that email! Look them up on LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social media channels they are active on. Or visit the company website.

2. Personalize.

All the research and metrics on effective email subject lines point to personalization. It shows that the email is not randomly generated, and that you care to connect. Nothing gets the attention quite as well as being called by your name! As a result, it’s important to personalize your email subject lines. It is also great if you can identify yourself in the email subject line. In other words, as who are you reaching out? A peer? A follower?

3. Be real.

Avoid resorting to corny or pretentious networking subject lines. Still, depending on who you are reaching out to, clever, funny, or creative subject lines, and even emojis are in order. How do you write a catchy email subject line? Be your best informal or formal self, depending on the situation. Return to #1 for material!

4. Add value with your email subject lines for networking.

The subject line should let the person know that you have a contribution to make in your email, or that there is something in it for them. That is to say that this is the start of a conversation that would be of interest to them. Acknowledge them as an influencer or subject matter expert. But better yet, offer fresh ideas, questions, or follow-up.

5. Get to the point.

It is OK to be direct. As long as you don’t come across as pushy or salesy. Again, it is always wise to remember where they are at and what you want them to “hear” rather than what you want to say. And that brings us to the next guideline:

6. Choose your words wisely.

According to a Mailshake article on the topic of networking email subject lines “… avoid the words ‘invite,’ ‘join’, and ‘confirm’. Ironically, these words have been shown to be highly ineffective in email subject lines.”  It is also important to stay under the spam radar or your contact may never receive the email!

7. Use the preview text.

Most email service providers and Inboxes have this feature. It tells the recipient of an email a little more than the subject line does by itself.  There is a character limit but it is still a feature you can leverage to add context to your email, for example, what your goal is with the email.

8. Don’t disappoint with your networking email subject lines.

When a contact opens the email, the email body needs to deliver on the subject line! Make it short, succinct, and sharp! And don’t forget to spellcheck both the email subject line and the contents.

Conclusion Email Subject Lines for Networking

To get someone to open a networking email, the subject line of that email needs to establish an instant connection. How? What is a good email subject line? For starters, keep it to the point. Raise interest. Get the attention. And do that without raising spam flags. Or offend. Just be real. And don’t forget to harness your preview pane in the email editor you use. Most people see that after they see the subject line and it can either tank your subject line or complement it. Below is a very well-written and comprehensive article with templates, as well as an eBook that you can download when you find more time.

Further Reading