41+ Best Referral Email Subject Lines [2021]

41+ Best Referral Email Subject Lines [2021]

If you're looking to boost your email open rates and increase sales, your email subject line is the first (and most important) step in achieving those goals.

Did you know that 33% of email recipients open emails because of an engaging subject line?

That's why it's critical to craft a catchy email subject line that will get you the traffic and conversions you deserve.

We've put together a list of 41+ best referral email subject lines [2021].

Some are proven examples from other successful campaigns, and some are creative ideas to inspire you.

Creative Email Subject Line Ideas

  • [referral program name] || Inviting referrals
  • [name of the referral person]
  • So, you speak sign language?'
  • If you're struggling with [common pain point], you're not alone'
  • Have you tried [restaurant in prospect's town]?'
  • Inviting referrals || [technology name]
  • Might be off-base here, but ...'
  • Will I see you at [event]?'
  • Referral by [name of the person]
  • Your yearly [X] target'
  • Referral from [name of the person]: profile for [job title]
  • Contacting you at [name of the referral person]'s suggestion
  • Can I help?'
  • Contacting you at [Referral]'s suggestion'
  • Referral from [name of the person]: [job title] | Immediate joiner
  • Get ['$15' - amount] for every friend you invite
  • Give your friend ['$20' - amount] off, Get ['$20' - amount]
  • ['Two' - count] approaches to increase profit recommended by [name of referral person]
  • [Name], saw you're focused on [goal]'
  • We’re hiring!
  • Tired of salespeople who never give up?'
  • Will cut to the chase'
  • Referral from [name of the person]: [your name], candidate for [job title]
  • Talk on [day] at [1:45]?'
  • [referral program name] || 2x Rewards with Enhanced Buddy Referral
  • [job title] referred by [name of the person]
  • Can I make your life 20% easier?'
  • Inviting referrals for [business unit name] || [job title]
  • Referral from [name of the person]: [job title]
  • [Referral name] loves us & thought you might, too'
  • [name of the referral person] suggested I reach out
  • [Referral name]'
  • I found you through [name of the referral person]
  • [name of the person] referred me for [job title]
  • I figured out the top referral email subject line examples that can help you in your campaign.
  • [Name] suggested I reach out'
  • Fellow [University] grad here!'
  • Who is in charge of X at [company]?'
  • Inviting referrals for [job title]
  • [Situation] at [Company]'
  • Do you know a great [job title]?

GUIDE: How To Write A Great Subject Line

As we mentioned above, crafting a catchy subject line is critical to the performance of your email campaign.

While just a few words may seem like a small piece of your overall message, this is the first impression your audience will have before they decide whether to open your email.

If your subject line isn't engaging or appealing enough, there's a chance it could get buried in your reader's inbox.

Let's go over the proven tips on how to craft a subject line that boosts engagement:

What makes a great subject line?

First, let's discuss the fundamentals of creating a great subject line:

  • Spark interest and curiosity
  • A clear and urgent call to action
  • An offer/intriguing discount
  • Personalization (this can be done by sending out different versions of emails to subscribers based on their preferences)
  • Relevance - make sure your subject line covers the current trends and topics within your industry

5 Tips To Crafting a Great Subject Line

Now, let's dive into the specifics of how to create a great subject line for your next campaign:

1. Use a familiar sender name

Although this may seem obvious, it's a piece many marketers miss the ball on.

Your readers want to feel like your email is coming from a human and not a corporation or automated system.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to do this is by changing the sender's name to YOUR name or someone in the company that is well known.

Here's a great example of this from Marketing Examples


Pro Tip

Avoid the "no-reply" sender name at all costs. This makes your email feel unfamiliar, unapproachable, and less personable.

2. Keep your subject short and to the point

If your subject line is too long, it will get cut off, which could impact your reader's chances of opening your email.

The rule of thumb (for both mobile and desktop) is to keep your subject line under 50 characters.

3. Add personal touches to your subject line

If you have access to information about your subscriber (ie. name, location, etc), you can use this to benefit your subject line and catch your readers attention.

It's important not to go overboard here, but adding even the simplest touch such as their name can build trust and rapport.

Here's a great example of a personalized email + offer I received from BarkBox with my dog's name in the subject line:


4. Avoid making any false promises

Your subject line makes a commitment to your reader, so it's important you don't stretch the truth just to simply get more opens and clicks.

In the grand scheme of things, making false promises will end up hurting your open rate as your readers will lose trust in you.

5. Give them a sneak peek of what's inside

Telling your subscriber what is inside helps with open and clicks.

For example, if you're providing your reader with a free guide or e-book, consider making your subject line something along the lines of:

"Your FREE marketing e-book awaits!"


If you want your email campaign to perform well, it all starts with your subject line.

Think about the emails you receive in your inbox and what makes you click vs what gets buried - odds are, the same habits go for your customer.

We hope you enjoyed our guide + list of 41+ best referral email subject lines [2021].

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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