Email First Lines – Do First Lines Really Work?

There is no doubt that personalizing your cold emails with first lines can make a difference in terms of their response rate. But the real question is, how much of a difference?

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some recent research on the subject to see what kind of impact email first line personalization can have.

Spoiler alert: the results may surprise you!

What is a first line?

A personalized first line is the first sentence of an email that has been uniquely written to relate to the recipient. The first line section of your email will give the recipient a first impression of your email and, more importantly, stand out as being personal and not spam. 

Cold emails are difficult to write, especially since the purpose is to get an online lead, not to build a long-term relationship. 

No matter how you approach email marketing, it is always best to start with a personalized first line.

Research findings on personalizing emails

Before diving into what impact personalizing your cold email first line can have, it’s important to understand why you want to do it in the first place. Specifically, what impact can personalized first lines have on response rates?

A 2018 study found that personalized emails caused reply rates to increase by a whopping 112 percent.

So why would you want to personalize your first line? The answer lies in the context. The moment you hit the send button on your cold email, you are thrust into the recipient’s world. You are now experiencing that person’s world and asking them to read your email. You can use this information to craft a personalized first line that catches the recipient’s attention and helps them understand the context of your email.

The debate over identical or custom emails

When it comes to writing a personalized cold email first line, you must choose between two options: identical or custom.

An identical first line reads, “Hello [First Name]! I noticed that you’re looking to expand your business with a new product or service. I’m hoping that you’ll be interested in reading my review of [product name] below.” 

It’s boring, bland and likely to get sent to spam.

Custom first lines are more specific, reading for example, “Hey [First Name], saw you recently raised $100m investment – got to say, impressive”

The custom wording ensures that the first line of your cold email doesn’t leave the recipient wondering if the email is from a real person.

It’s clear that the second will be far more unique, engaging and get a higher response rate.

Can personalized emails be automated?

While the response rate boost that a personalized first line can bring is undeniable, this has been a manual task until recently. You could outsource this task to a virtual assistant, but language barriers, quality control and cost can cause serious issues.

Luckily, it’s possible to use AI email writing software like Warmer to write AI first lines in seconds.

 first lines can write personalized emails automatically 


Getting success with cold emails can be tricky. To combat this, you can personalize your first lines and increase your reply rate by a huge 112% – a number that would make even seasoned marketers smile!

For anyone looking to get these kind of results, we definitely recommend experimenting with personalized first lines.

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