The Brand-New Breakup Email That Gets Responses Right Away


The traditional breakup email doesn’t work as well as it used to. Prospects are tired of reps asking if they can close their file or if they haven’t responded because they’ve been eaten by a bear.

I haven’t responded to a single breakup email following the standard format for a couple months. However, I recently got one I replied to immediately. Read on to see what it said and why it worked, as well as a sales email template you can use with your own prospects.

The Breakup Email That Prompted Me to Respond Right Away

Some background: I’d had two calls with this salesperson about her tool. Although it seemed like a good fit, I decided the problem it solved wasn’t high-priority enough right now. 

Here’s the breakup email this rep sent me after I told her I wasn’t interested:

What would’ve changed your mind?

Hi Mike,

Thanks for letting me know. I’m sure you’ve got a lot going on, but if you have a minute, would you mind telling me which two or three things would’ve changed your mind?

I’m always trying to improve and would really appreciate the feedback.



I didn’t think twice before hitting “Reply.” And before you think, Sure, a response is good, but only if it leads to a sale” — I ended up buying.

Why This Breakup Email Works

Let’s break down why this email is so effective.

First, it plays upon my desire to help. Like most people, I like the boost of doing a good deed. It’s especially hard to reject a direct request when you know the person is trying to get better at their job.

Second, it’s simple. I knew I could help Jordan in under five minutes. The ease of fulfilling an ask is crucial.

Third, it felt genuine. I truly believe Jordan wanted my opinions and would incorporate them into her future conversations with prospects. And since she wasn’t trying to be clever or memorable, this message stood out from most of the other sales emails in my inbox. (I’m typically a fan of sending humorous emails to your prospects, but you need to know when to be serious.)

Fourth, and most importantly, it made me think about the product and why I’d walked away. I had trouble coming up with a valid reason for deciding against buying. The earlier reason — the pain point wasn’t pressing enough — no longer felt compelling once I’d typed it out.

Here’s the message I sent Jordan:

Re: What would’ve changed your mind?

Hey Jordan,

To be honest, I don’t think you should have done anything differently — I like [product]. I might have said no too soon. Want to hop on a call this afternoon to discuss?



Breakup Email Template

To get the same kind of results, use this template:

[Prospect], quick favor

Hi [prospect name],

Thanks for taking the time to [talk to me about, consider, download a trial of] product X. I understand if it’s not a fit and [wish you the best with Y opportunity, hope you find a solution to Z problem].

I’m sure you’ve got a lot going on, but if you have a minute, would you mind telling me which two or three things would’ve changed your mind?

I’m always trying to improve and would really appreciate the feedback.

[Your name]


Does this mean sending this message will automatically convert revive all of your lost deals? Of course not. But even if your prospect responds with some suggestions for making your presentation better or tells you why they went with the competitor, you’ll gain valuable intel on how to win next time.

Plus, you’ll make a name for yourself as a dedicated, thoughtful rep. That specific prospect might not buy from you, but you never know if they’ll refer their friend or come back to you when they start working at a new company.

Now it’s your turn. Do you respond to breakup emails? Why or why not? And what’s the best breakup email you’ve ever received (or written)?

HubSpot Free Sales Training

Source: The Brand-New Breakup Email That Gets Responses Right Away

The 3-Step Process I Use to Get a 40% Email Response Rate


In sales, there is something better than the freebies you get at every event: Warm introductions.

If you ask any C-level executive or above, they are 10 times more likely to respond to your email or phone call if you have been referred by a person they like, trust, or respect.

Most outreach emails with no context generate a 1-2% response rate.

I find that my warm referrals normally receive a 40% response rate, which is conservatively 20 to 40 times better than a standard email. The 10X number I quoted above is the bare minimum you should aim for when starting new relationships.

Despite the efficacy of this technique, why are our results consistently sub-par?

There are three primary reasons.

1) Over-reliance on sales automation platforms

The technology industry — just like the consumer market — is subject to repetitive cycles. A new product can improve the way organizations influence prospects in the short to medium-term, but as adoption increases, its unique benefit evaporates.

Technologies like e-signing and auto-dialing were all the rage; now they’re considered a standard part of the stack rather than a new edge over the competition. Sales automation platforms are the latest iteration of this trend.

In the right hands, these tools have utility. However, as sales leaders often neglect training and best practices because they’re besieged by other responsibilities, inexperienced sales development and account executives do more harm than good at 95% of the B2B companies I’ve come across.

A churn and burn approach — where sales reps send mediocre emails to hundreds of prospects at a time — creates a nightmare for future expansion when companies look to improve their growth curve.

Companies are forced to pull the emergency lifeline to the marketing department, who are tasked with resurrecting the firm’s brand reputation from the Silicon Valley graveyard.

By this point, referrals aren’t just impractical: They are unattainable.

2) Sales reps with malnourished networks

In this day and age — where the average tenure of an inside sales rep is 2.4 years — most individuals don’t have a book of business they can leverage as they move from organization to organization.

Furthermore, younger reps are not taught how to network. They approach networking opportunities in such an artificial way that decision makers can see the intent of a sale a mile away.

How many times have you been at an event and someone appears all too eager to start talking about their product in the first two minutes, instead of taking time to connect with you at a personal level?

3) Confusion over how to ask

Continuing the point above, reps simply don’t know how to ask for a referral.

Just as they don’t know the right way to cultivate their Rolodex over time to create genuine connections for future deals, it takes practice to perfect the art of sending the right email.

We often send requests asking for introductions out of the blue with no context and no subtlety.

Let me share my secret.

How to get introductions warmer than cookies

To foster warm introductions, here’s the three-step process I use.

First, I add each high-priority person I speak to into an email database. I send a personal update to this database approximately every three months. I want my contacts to think about me from time to time. In addition, in every email I invite them to share their news with me; I reply to every response personally.

When I do reach out with an ask, they feel like they know me more than ever and I know them — turning what’s normally a nuisance into an enjoyable task. A few rules for this include:

  1. Make sure this newsletter talks more about you and less about your business
  2. Only add people who you consider your personal advocates and friends, i.e. you have done business together long enough they feel personally connected to you
  3. Let people opt out easily. Holding subscribers against their will does more harm than good. In fact, everyone who unsubscribes is helping you. They are explicitly revealing that they aren’t as close to you as you believed.
  4. Use more visuals than text. Images, GIFs, and videos have a greater impact than words.

Second, I strive to be authentic when I meet people in person. I ask them about their interests, use genuine compliments, and position myself as a fun and engaging person. At the end of the conversation, I ask, “What is the best way to keep in touch so we don’t forget about [X agreement, Y topic for follow-up]?”

The final step is send emails that are likely to convert. I have five baseline criteria:

  1. Mention something relevant to them you read recently on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, such as, “I saw you just moved to Austin, congratulations.”
  2. State the importance of the introduction to you and your career, such as, “This deal is make or break for me this quarter.”
  3. Ask what you can do in return and make some suggestions, such as, “I see one of your sales reps is trying to break into X account. Could I help in return with an intro? Is there anything else I could do for you?”
  4. Give them a pre-written template and invite them to make edits, such as, “I wrote an intro email which could be helpful — please feel free to use if convenient.”
  5. Thank them in advance. This adds an emotional trigger, influencing them to take action.

Here’s an actual email I sent, along with the response. For context, John is a marketing leader at his company, and I am requesting an intro to the VP of Sales.



I have been reading what your CEO has been writing on LinkedIn, and I sense a bit of your magic touch — you will have to give me some advice as I’m lucky to get one or two likes on most of the things I share.

We haven’t spoken for a few weeks but forgive me over a quick beer next time we see each other.

I’m emailing you as I would greatly appreciate an introduction to [name], the current VP of Sales. Thanks in advance for your help here — it is really important to me given that I will be in the area in four weeks and would love to visit as I am seeing some companies very close to your Denver office.

Since you’re helping me, is there anything I can do in return? 

I have written a template below you can copy and paste — but please feel free to rewrite it in your own words.

Thanks again,
Dailius Wilson


Recently one of my friends, Dailius Wilson, reached out as he will be in the area in a few weeks, flying in from San Francisco. Given that he already works with [company #1], [company #2], and a couple of other firms in our space, I think it would be a good opportunity to get the low-down on how his company is helping them.

I have CC’d him in the email to you and included a brief elevator pitch below: 

You know how it is extremely difficult to give prospects early access to our references? Dailius’s company helps deflect 30% of reference requests by proactively bringing authentic third-party reviews to use instead of conventional reference calls. His company also helps [company #1] and [company #2] boost sales by assisting reps to write better prospecting messages with their technology.

Excited for you both to meet.


Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and feel free to contact me if you would like to see more of my most successful templates.

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on LinkedIn and has been republished here with permission.

HubSpot CRM


Call or Email? 4 Tips to Determine When to Use Which in Sales


The method of outreach sales reps use for a first connect makes a significant difference in response rates. Rather than deciding whether to call a new prospect or send an email based on personal preference, use the method your prospect will be most responsive to.

Which leads me to the question: Phone or email? While there are a few tips that can help you decide, sales reps should know that in the grand scheme of a sales engagement, it’s phone and email. However, I’m specifically addressing the first touch in this article, and since you shouldn’t issue an identical email and voicemail, you have to make a choice.

When deciding between trying a prospect by phone or sending an email, let the following four factors be your guide.

1) Time and Day of the Week

First, consult a calendar and a clock. Statistically, phone connect rates rise as the day progresses, and as the week progresses. In other words, a person is more likely to answer their phone later in the workday and the workweek.

That said, I like to reserve 3 p.m. and later of the prospect’s local time as my prime calling hours. Same goes for Thursdays and Fridays — I block out large chunks of time on these days for cold calling.

But what if a prospect doesn’t pick up their phone in these timeframes? Leave a voicemail. Response rates to voicemails also increase later in the day since checking phone messages is something people often do before heading home for the evening. Calling late is a win-win.

On the other hand, the ideal timespan in which to send email is shorter but more frequent. While I draft connect emails throughout the day, I am careful to send them either 10 minutes before the hour or 10 minutes after the hour. These brief windows correspond with people leaving or going to meetings. What do they do with the few minutes they have to kill? Scroll through email on their smartphones. If you synch your email to be sent with the time your buyer is most likely to check their inbox, your message will pop up on top instead of being buried beneath others. 

2) The Ask

What’s your objective for this first outreach? To set up a meeting? Get some more information? Receive a referral? Figuring out your ask and categorizing it as “weak” or “strong” will help you determine whether to call or email.

Strong asks require commitment from the prospect to do something. I would label requests for meetings, conference calls, or product trials as strong closes. Weak asks seek straightforward information from the buyer — think a prompt for feedback or a referral.

Once you know your close and have determined if it’s strong or weak, it’s easy to choose between a call or an email. If you’re putting forth a strong close, pick up the phone. Because these asks require more from the prospect, salespeople need to employ their closing skills to secure a “yes.” And it’s far easier to persuade on a phone call, when a rep can respond to and smooth over objections in real time. 

But if the ask is weak, draft an email. Don’t take up the prospect’s time on the phone unnecessarily if your request can be fulfilled with a few short lines of text.

It’s interesting to note that most salespeople take the opposite approach — they ask buyers for meetings through emails and reserve simple questions for calls. Why? Because they’re afraid of being rejected on a strong ask over the phone.

Don’t let fear block your way to connecting with a buyer. Reverse this equation and watch your response rates climb.

3) The Level of the Prospect

Do individual contributors have assistants? Not usually. But do C-level executives? Almost always.

That’s why the higher up your prospect is in an organization, the more likely you are to reach a live person when you call. Since a live conversation with anyone — regardless of whether they’re the person you were trying to reach or not — trumps an email exchange, lean on the phone with buyers at the management level or above. Also, higher-level prospects are generally more comfortable on the phone, and less intimidated by sales calls.

But if individual contributors don’t answer their phones, no one else is going to pick up — and they’re not likely to return a call from an unknown number. In addition, lower-level professionals are often away from their desks — traveling, working in groups, participating in meetings, and so on. Therefore, a rep is much more likely to connect with a prospect at this level through an asynchronous channel such as email.

4) The Buyer Persona

Some buyer personas favor a different communication style than others. Their preference depends on multiple factors: Their age, the nature of their job, their industry, and more.

In general, millennials like communicating by email more than over phone. If you’re reaching out to a younger buyer, take this into account.

You might find professionals in customer-facing roles are more amenable to talking on the phone — because that’s what they’re used to. Those in internal jobs, however, may be more comfortable sending emails.

Lastly, those in more traditional industries are typically accustomed to phone calls.

Following Up

These four criteria make it much easier to choose between an email and a phone call for your first outreach. But what about subsequent touch points?

In my opinion, the beginning and the end of each sales engagement should be phone-heavy, since that’s where the strongest asks are — starting a relationship, and closing a deal. In between, reps should opt for email as a rule of thumb.

Want more sales tips? Check out my blog

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2015 and has been updated for freshness and comprehensiveness. 

HubSpot CRM


7 Intriguing Questions to Include in Your Prospecting Email


Ending your first email to a prospect with a question gets their mental gears turning, demonstrates your subject matter expertise, and helps kick off a meaningful conversation.

Perhaps most importantly, it makes your message memorable. The Zeigarnik effect states that people fixate on unfinished tasks — so leaving a question dangling in your prospect’s mind causes them to think about your email long after they’ve read it.

What should you ask buyers? Great question. These seven options will help you end prospecting emails on a strong note. 

If you’re more of a visual learner, click here to jump straight to the infographic we created with 24Slides.

7 Questions to Use in Prospecting Sales Emails

1) “Would you like to learn about the opportunity I think [prospect’s competitor] is missing out on?”

Nothing is more interesting than competitive intelligence. The buyer doesn’t know if you have real insights to offer — but they’ll want to get on the phone to find out.

Citing another player in your prospect’s space also proves you’re not spraying and praying, since this email could only apply to them.

2) “I see [prospect’s company] uses [X strategy]. Why?”

Not only will you learn valuable information about why the buyer is using a specific approach, you’ll also make them wonder if you know about a better way.

3) “I see [prospect’s company] isn’t investing in [Y area]. Why not?”

This question is a variation on #2. The response will tell you whether your prospect doesn’t know about the opportunity, is unsure how to capitalize on it, or doesn’t have the resources to do anything about it.

No matter the answer, you’re in a good position to help. Prove the opportunity is worth their time, help them create a plan, or show them how your product makes it far simpler to execute.

4) “Is [likely challenge or opportunity] a priority for [prospect’s boss]?”

Use LinkedIn to discover to whom your prospect reports (or to whom their boss reports). Do some digging to identify their top initiatives — maybe they wrote a blog post discussing their current focus, spoke at a webinar about their success in an area, or belong to a niche community.

Use this intel to craft your question. Your prospect will be eager to learn if you can help them impress their boss.

5) “Do you want to get on a call with [expert within your company] to discuss [prospect’s business focus]?”

Offer to connect your recipient with an internal expert. For example, if she works in Sales Operations, you might write:

“Our Sales Ops senior manager recently built a new lead scoring program from the ground up. Do you want to get on a call with him to discuss Clearize’s lead score strategy?”

You’ll immediately distinguish yourself from the other reps trying to win time on her calendar to talk about their product — unlike them, you’re adding value from the get-go.

Of course, you won’t be able to do this for every deal, so save it for important accounts and hard-to-reach prospects.

6) “Have you considered trying [X technique]?”

If you know of an easy fix for your prospect, suggest it in your first email. They’ll feel indebted to you for your help — which starts the relationship off on strong footing and makes them likelier to listen to your future suggestions.

Wondering what this might look like in practice? Suppose you sell an event hosting platform. Your prospect runs two-plus events per week, but you’ve noticed he doesn’t promote them beyond email. You might ask, “Have you considered advertising your webinars on Twitter? One of my clients doubled attendance with less than $500 of sponsored tweets.”

7) “Should I save a [seat, ticket] for you?”

My coworker received an email letting him know a webinar he may be interested in was nearly full. The salesperson asked if he’d like her to save him a seat.

Although my coworker wasn’t planning on attending, discovering how popular the webinar was changed his mind.

Use this question to incite the fear of missing out in your prospect. The offer doesn’t need to be about a webinar — you could ask if they’d like a spot saved in your organization’s networking event, online community, conference, workshop, and so on.

Once you’ve made the connection, you can learn more about the buyer’s needs and objections and craft an appropriate pitch.


HubSpot CRM


10 Powerful Persuasion Techniques to Use in Your Next Sales Email


Communication is the lifeblood of sales. Successfully closing deals, providing value, explaining complexities — they all rely on your ability to express yourself clearly and persuasively.The sales email is a special breed of communication. You only have a very small window of opportunity to capture your reader’s attention and convince them to move one step closer toward a purchase. Use these writing techniques to ensure your emails pack the most punch.

10 Persuasion Techniques to Apply in Your Sales Emails

1) Know your audience

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a writing tip. But it’s the foundation upon which your email’s effectiveness is built. If you don’t understand your audience — whether it’s the prospect who’s hesitant to buy, or the happy customer you’d like to upsell — you won’t be able to write persuasively.

2) Social proof

Why it works: Social proof describes the tendency to make choices based on other people’s decisions, because we believe those decisions reflect the right choices.

Marketing teams already leverage the concept of social proof through customer case studies and displaying customer or social share counts.

How to use it: Reference high-profile customers or the size of your customer base. For a more targeted use, point out how many of your prospect’s competitors and peers use your product.


  • The McDonald’s slogan “Billions and billions served” calls out the company’s giant customer base.
  • Yelp’s success is a result of its user-generated content: Crowdsourced reviews that leverage the power of social proof.

3) Get your foot in the door with a small ask

Why it works: Once a prospect says “yes” to a small ask — the proverbial foot in the door — they’re more likely to agree to future requests.

How to use it: Ask your prospect a question that they are unlikely to say no to.


  • If you sell software that tracks target accounts’ trigger events, an easy way to get a first “yes” is to confirm that your prospect’s sales team wants to improve their prospect outreach.

4) Include a headshot in your email signature

Why it works: When we make eye contact with people, we feel a subconscious sense of connection. In one Cornell University study, researchers edited images of the Trix rabbit mascot, then asked adults to pick between several cereal boxes bearing different versions of the image. Participants most often chose the box where the rabbit was directly looking at them.

How to use it: You can’t make actual eye contact through email, and by no means should you include a massive photo of yourself in the body of an email — that’ll just make prospects uncomfortable.

But it can be easy to forget that there’s a person on the other end of your emails. Including a small headshot of yourself in an email signature is a subtle way to remind prospects that you’re human too.

5) Agitate and solve

Why it works: Just because your prospect is aware they have a problem in one area or another doesn’t mean they’re prepared to solve it.

But emotion is a powerful thing. Whether it’s subconscious attachment to the old way of doing things causing inertia, or fear of making the wrong decision, your prospect won’t always warm to your product immediately.

To convince them, you’ll often have to talk about the problem in emotional terms, then swoop in with a solution to demonstrate how you can help.

How to use it: While you should never attempt to over-exaggerate a business pain or spin one out of thin air, use the agitate-and-solve technique when it’s clear they haven’t fully conceptualized the cost of inaction.

Find out what matters to your prospect. Is it personal professional achievement that drives them forward? A desire to grow the business’ bottom line? Then show how inaction will only worsen their current situation, and demonstrate why your product would help.


  • An office supply salesperson could seek out its competitors’ clients who had been impacted by late shipments. She should probe into the significance of these delays, getting prospects to talk through the immediate and ripple effects. Then, she can describe her own company’s efficient service and customer support.

6) Include a reason why

Why it works: Giving people a reason why you need something — no matter how ridiculous — makes it far more likely they’ll do what you ask.

Psychologist Ellen Langer conducted a study in which experimenters asked to skip ahead in line at a Xerox machine. When they asked, “I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”, they were allowed to skip the line 60% of the time — not a bad outcome.

But when they asked, “I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?”, 93% were allowed to skip the line.

Despite the fact that everyone else in the Xerox machine line needed to make copies, they complied with the request simply because the experimenters provided a reason.

How to use it: We wouldn’t recommend making up ridiculous excuses to get your prospects to sign a contract — that’s not good for anybody. But even providing a simple explanation — “I’d like to set up a meeting with you because I can help with X strategy” — could pay huge dividends.


  • Instead of writing, “I’d like to set up a conversation so we can discuss your project management software strategies,” try this instead: “I’d like to set up a conversation to discuss your marketing strategy because we’ve seen similar companies increase their lead generation by 40%.”

7) Remind prospects it’s their choice

Why it works: Nobody likes to be told what to do — especially when the person telling them to do something is a salesperson. And even if you’re not being pushy or aggressive, many prospects will still chafe at the suggestion that you know what’s best for them.

A simple reassurance that you’re not attempting to push your preferences or worldview onto your prospect is powerful. Across 42 psychology studies involving 22,000 subjects, it’s been demonstrated that using a phrase like “But the decision is yours” could double the chances that someone would say yes to a request.

How to use it: You don’t want to overuse this one — tempering every recommendation you make by reminding prospects they have no obligation to listen to you isn’t a great idea. But when you’re asking for a larger commitment or are dealing with a jumpy prospect, dropping in a reminder that you’re not here to force them into anything can be a powerful technique.


  • A software salesperson could write this message to a prospect skittish about switching platforms:

When we last spoke, you mentioned that you were worried about migrating your system from your current tool to ours. Sales Engineer Sally put together this high-level overview of the process, which is designed to be as easy on our customers as possible — we can discuss this on our call tomorrow. In the meantime, based on our previous conversations I strongly believe this switch is the best long-term solution for your company — but of course, the decision ultimately rests with you. Let me know what you think.”

8) Use assertive language

Why it works: Prospects want to know what will happen to their business and their own professional brand if they buy from you. If you communicate in a way that makes it seem like you can only potentially deliver value, you’ll automatically become less persuasive.

The amplification hypothesis provides the science behind this phenomenon. Researchers found that increased “attitude certainty,” or the sureness with which you express a belief, can actually change other people’s attitudes toward that value. This works both proactively and reactively: Speaking about your product’s benefits with certainty will strengthen your prospect’s belief that it’ll be effective, while responding vaguely to a prospect’s expression of doubt can help weaken their objections.

How to use it: Obviously, you should never be evasive about objections that require a legitimate response or guarantee a result you know isn’t certain. But cull qualifiers or weak language where they don’t serve any purpose, and ensure your writing is crisp and assertive so certainty permeates your emails.


  • Instead of writing, “You mentioned that your close rates are lower than you’d like, so let’s schedule some time to discuss your sales process. I think I’ll be able to make two or three solid recommendations for how to move forward,” try: You mentioned that your close rates are lower than you’d like. We should schedule some time to discuss your sales process. Once I learn more about how you follow up with a lead, I’ll recommend an approach that’ll ensure nothing is slipping through the cracks.”

9) Be a little funny.

Why it works: According to a study from researchers at the University of Oxford and the University College London, laughing puts people at ease and makes them likelier to open up. That might be why we usually feel closest to our funniest friends. 

Laughter is also associated with lower stress, a stronger immune system, and general happiness.

How to use it: Lightening the mood will help your prospect trust you and give you sensitive details about his company, its financial state, pain points, and business strategy, as well as his professional ambitions and anxieties. You’ve also got a better shot of hearing back when you crack a joke or two. With that in mind, add a funny GIF, image, or line.


  • Your prospect mentions loving House of Cards in their bio, so you use a Kevin Spacey meme. 

10) Use “ultimate terms.”

Why it works: Certain words carry good or bad connotations powerful enough to influence action. According to Changing Minds, ultimate terms fall into three categories: “God words,” which have positive connotations, “Devil words,” which have negative ones, and “Charismatic terms,” which fall under neither good or bad but are words associated with intangible, observable phenomena (like “progress.”).

Also known as “power words,” these terms invoke basic needs in either a positive or negative way to appeal to the reader. Find a full list at Changing Minds.

How to use it: Don’t overdo it — lists of power words have been widely circulated for years, and any prospect who’s ever seen a billboard will know exactly what you’re doing if you use power words in every sentence.


  • Use power words sparingly before or in a request where it’ll pack the most punch. For example, get a prospect who thinks buying software will render his position redundant to come around by writing that new technology will empower him to work on more long-term, strategic projects.

How do you make your sales emails more persuasive? Let us know in the comments below.

This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.

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Source: 10 Powerful Persuasion Techniques to Use in Your Next Sales Email

7 Ways You're Projecting Insecurity Over Email


Insecurity is poison to a sales relationship. If your prospect picks up on any anxiety or self-doubt, they’ll lose respect for you — and more importantly, they won’t believe your recommendations are valuable.

So what can you do to project confidence? It’s tricky, especially because in sales you often go from feeling like a champion to a failure in single week (sometimes a single day).

One of the easiest areas to tackle is email. Prospects can’t see your face or hear your voice, meaning following these suggestions will instantly make you seem confident. Here are seven things making you appear insecure and how to fix them.

1) Writing too much

Emails that go on and on scream insecurity. After all, if you believe your message is powerful and compelling, you don’t need to write a book.

Next time you’re sending an email for the first time that’s three-plus paragraphs, stop and pick out the most compelling point. Delete the other sections. You can send these in follow-up emails. (As an added benefit, this makes your messages more varied and gives the buyer a reason to keep opening them.)

Just make sure you don’t leave out the call-to-action — that’s one of the most important parts of your message.

2) Apologizing

Do you begin emails with lines like:

  • “Apologies for contacting you out of the blue.”
  • “Hope I’m not bothering you.”
  • “I’m sorry to trouble you.”
  • “I know we haven’t met, but …”
  • “Hopefully you don’t mind me reaching out.”
  • “I know emails like these can be annoying, so I’ll get right to the point.”

These lines areusually used with good intentions: Reps want to show consideration for their prospects. However, starting with an apology implies you don’t think you’re worthy of the buyer’s time.

If you believe in your product’s value, and you’ve done some basic qualification to ensure your prospect is a potential fit, then you’re not wasting their time. You’re helping them.

3) Using too many emojis

Emojis can add personality to your email and make it a little more memorable. But it’s easy to go overboard. If every line has its own symbol, you’ll look like you’re trying way too hard.

How many emojis is too many? It depends on your market. In many conservative industries, just one smiley face would be completely inappropriate. Yet someone in an informal, modern industry tends to be far more receptive.

Factor in your company brand as well. If it’s playful, you can be playful too. If it’s relatively buttoned-up, reign in the emojis and smiley faces.

My final recommendation: When in doubt, leave it out. You can always wait and see what your prospect does. If they use a smiley face or emoji, you’re free to use one too.

4) Using exclamation marks

I admit, I used to have a real exclamation mark problem. Any time I wrote an email without one, I worried I came across as cold.

But then I realized most of the emails I got from other people didn’t include exclamation marks, and I wasn’t reading them as rude. Those messages simply seemed professional

Now, I never use exclamation marks. They’re never necessary — especially not in a sales context. You sound 10 times more composed and sure of yourself when you’re not ending any sentences like this!

5) Going too far with flattery

Reps often throw in phrases that highlight their prospect’s intense work schedule. That includes statements like:

  • “I’m sure you’re busy …”
  • “As [title], you must have a lot on your plate …”
  • “I know your schedule is probably jam-packed …”
  • “Is there any way I could borrow just a few minutes of your time?”
  • “You can’t have much extra time, so I promise I’ll be quick.”

Unfortunately, prospects interpret these lines as: “You’re busy, and I’m not.” You lose a lot of authority in their eyes. If your time isn’t in-demand, your product must not be, either.

To avoid this, stop mentioning how busy your prospects must be. Come out and ask for their time instead.

Here’s a revised CTA:

“I have some recommendations around X. Are you free at [time] on [day] to discuss them?”

6) Using wishy-washy words

Words that weaken your statements will make you seem less confident. To illustrate, here’s a watered-down line:

“I think your company may be able to benefit from [solving X, doing Y].”

Using “I think” or “may” would be fine, but both in the same sentence sounds like you’re totally unsure.

Read through your email for wishy-washy language like:

  • “Just”
  • “Maybe”
  • “Potentially”
  • “Might”
  • “I think”
  • “I believe”
  • “I’m guessing”
  • “I suspect”
  • “I have a hunch”
  • “I’m not sure, but …”
  • “I could be wrong, but…”
  • “It’s possible that …”
  • “There’s a chance …”

Remove these terms when possible. Obviously, you don’t want to make promises you can’t keep or statements you can’t back up — saying “You could be losing $20,000 per year” is preferable to “You’re losing $20,000 per year” unless you can definitively prove the latter.

7) Writing in caps

You might be confused by this point: Doesn’t using CAPS LOCK make your message (and by extension, you) seem more important?

In fact, it does the opposite. Capitalizing entire words comes across as overly aggressive — as though you don’t trust your message to sound urgent on its own.

Compare these two email subject lines:

  • How ReadQ can hire engineers 3x faster (URGENT)
  • How ReadQ can hire engineers 3x faster

Which would you be more likely to open? Probably the second. It seems less spammy and more legitimate.

There’s almost never a justifiable reason to use caps lock in a sales email, so pretend this button on your keyboard doesn’t exist.

When it comes to sales, fake it until you make it. You might be a brand-new SDR or a recent hire and nervous behind your computer screen, but there’s no reason your prospects have to know that. An assertive email will help you capture their interest, build credibility, and down the line, win the deal.

HubSpot CRM

Source: 7 Ways You're Projecting Insecurity Over Email

7 Awful First Sentences That Are Killing Your Outreach Emails


Whether you’re at a networking event, a party, a conference, or an office function, walking up to a stranger and introducing yourself can be terrifying.

I don’t know about you, but I never stroll over without a detailed plan of what I’ll say and how I’ll say it. After all, people form a first impression of you in a tenth of second — so as crazy as it sounds, a lame opening line could sabotage the entire relationship.

But even though I’ve always been strategic about my in-person opening lines, I only recently began applying the same level of thought to my online messages — a common sales email mistake. After taking a cold, hard look at the first lines I was using, I identified a few that were totally flopping. I tossed them from my repertoire … and my response rate more than doubled. Want similar results with your prospects? Check out the first sentences you should never use unless you want buyers to delete your emails.

1) “My name is … ”

Names are one of the hardest things to remember — because, let’s be honest, people aren’t that interested in them. That means starting emails with, “My name is Aja Frost, and I’m an account executive for Zone,” will send my recipients straight to snoozeville.

Plus, it’s easy for prospects to figure out your name if they want to. All they have to do is look at the “From” field or email signature.

Luckily, fixing this mistake is easy: Just cut this sentence from your message so it now begins with the second sentence. Your recipient will appreciate how quickly you get to the point.

2) “I work for … ”

Launching into your message with “I work for so-and-so” is even worse than starting with your name. Not only is it boring and unoriginal, but it’s like planting a huge sign in the prospect’s brain that says, “I’m trying to sell you something!!!”

Telling the prospect which organization you represent can be useful; for instance, if the company is well-known, or if you’ve met the buyer before and this detail will help jog their memory. However, you’ll want to weave your company’s name in naturally.

To give you an idea of what “naturally” looks like, you might write:


Hi Randle,

Dale Harding recommended we get in touch. I work with Dale on HubSpot’s sales products team.

That’s actually why I wanted to reach out — he mentioned you were adding some reps to your team, and I thought our CRM might be a great fit for you. It’s 100% free and really easy to use.

How do you normally handle onboarding a large group of reps at one time? I might be able to share some pointers.




This HubSpot mention feels natural because the recipient knows an employee who works there — so if your prospect has a connection to a coworker, feel free to drop your company’s name.

You can also swap out “we” for “the [company] team;” for instance, “In the past year, the HubSpot team has partnered with … ”

Oh, and if you’re sending along content from your company? Just insert the name into the description like so: “I’m linking to a HubSpot blog post on CRMs you may find helpful … “

3) “Did you know … ?”

Some reps attempt to create urgency by starting their emails with a rhetorical question, such as, “Did you know the average person has 300% more unread emails in their inbox than four years ago?” (Yup, that’s a true stat.)

I have bad news for anyone who believes prospects will read this line and think, ‘No, I did not know that. Wow, I better drop everything and work with this salesperson!’

The typical reaction is usually closer to: ‘Ugh, if I wanted cheesy selling, I’d go watch an infomercial. Delete.’

You can definitely use intriguing stats to instill a sense of urgency, but dropping them in out of the blue won’t get you a response. If you’re going to start with a stat, make sure that you personalize it to the prospect’s unique situation and weave it into your email naturally, like so:

  • “Email marketers like yourself usually struggle to improve their open rates. After all, the average consumer has 300% more unread emails in their inbox than four years ago.
  • “In the past year, I helped two other companies in autocare increase their email open rates by an average of 20% … “

4) “Congrats on … ”

A trigger event — a relevant, recent occurrence that creates an opening for a sales opportunity — is a fantastic reason to contact a prospect and offer your help.

But as CEO of CB Insights Anand Sanwal explains, starting your email with a generic “Congratulations” is a major mistake.

“This is a hollow, lazy opening,” he writes. “While I like being congratulated on things as much as the next guy or gal, this screams ‘form letter.’”

To make it clear you’re not spraying and praying, get specific — really specific — with your congratulations.

For instance, instead of “Congratulations on getting funded,” you could write, “Just read that you raised $1.5 million in Series A funding from Harold & Bloom Investments — congratulations! Your plans for growth sound exciting, especially an expansion into the Midwest market.”

Bonus: That gives you the perfect segue into your next line:

“Usually, when companies move into new territories, they need to get boots on the ground as soon as possible … ”

5) “I’ve been thinking … ”

Your closest friends care about what you’ve been thinking. Your prospects? They do not. So rather than starting off with “I’ve been thinking” — and immediately coming across as self-interested — simply invert the statement.

Wrong: I’ve been thinking about your recent acquisition of Darby Apparel, and … “

Right: “Your acquisition of Darby Apparel on Friday got me thinking … “

The second approach feels much less self-serving, simply because it starts by referencing the prospect (“Your”) rather than the rep (“I’ve”).

In fact, you should never begin an email by talking about yourself — sales emails should be about prospects. If you find yourself saying “I,” use this inversion trick.

Let’s say you wrote, “I’m also a member of the Dallas Entrepreneurs group on LinkedIn, and I saw you posted a question about Google AdWords.” Flip this sentence so it reads: “You posted a great question about Google AdWords in the Dallas Entrepreneurs group on LinkedIn last week.”

Now the focus is firmly on the prospect.

6) “I hope you’re doing well … “

This line might seem fine on the surface — after all, who will be offended by the sentiment? 

But in sales, being bland is the kiss of death. Your prospect will probably stop reading before the end of the sentence, meaning they’ll never get to your thought-provoking question, unexpected insight, or offer to help with a relevant challenge.

Instead of using this line, dive right into your message. Not only will you save precious space, but you’ll also have a far better shot of catching the buyer’s attention.

And if you’re feeling like taking a risk? Try a bold opener such as, “I’m worried about your company’s [ability to do X, strategy for Y, response to Z].” If they’re not doing well, you have an opportunity to add a lot of value.

7) “Did you find what you were looking for?”

Sales reps sometimes use this line to follow up with inbound leads who downloaded a piece of content, watched a video, or visited a site page.

The good thing about this line is that it’s timely. You’re reaching the buyer right at the moment they’d like to be contacted by Sales.

The bad thing about this line is that it’s vague and confusing. What does “find what you’re looking for” mean, anyway?

Get specific so your buyer knows exactly which opportunity or pain point you’re referring to.

Here are some sample lines:

  • “Did our pricing page have all the details you need?”
  • “Do you feel ready to start a Facebook ad campaign after watching our training video?”
  • “Can I answer any questions about the feedback our job description analyzer gave you?”

The more granular you get, the easier it will be to kick off a productive conversation.

Forging a good first impression with a new prospect can be tricky — but with these five openers out of the way, you’ll have a better shot. Sometimes, what you don’t say matters as much as what you do.

These aren’t the only phrases to avoid in sales emails. Let us know your must-delete phrases in the comments below.

HubSpot CRM


5 Reasons Your Sales Emails Get Ignored


Why are prospects ignoring your emails?

Hopefully, you’ve already ruled out the obvious answers.

  • Your email is too long.
  • Your email reads like a marketing brochure.
  • Your email is clearly a blast to hundreds or thousands of people.

Assuming you’re not making any of these obvious mistakes, here are the five reasons prospects breeze right past your emails in 2017.

1) Your prospect has never heard of your company before.

If your business is completely foreign to your prospect, they’ll automatically be skeptical of your email. They’ve never heard of you or your product, so what are you doing in their inbox?

But that doesn’t mean you’re completely out of luck if your company brand is unknown. Turn it into an advantage by tapping into the buyer’s curiosity. An interesting or unexpected subject line will grab their attention and get them to open the email.

The key to an intriguing subject line: It should either be vague or hyper-specific. Anything that splits the difference isn’t compelling enough.

Vague: “Idea for your team”

Hyper-specific: “How you and [prospect’s coworker] can see [X result]”

Alternatively, try getting a referral. You’ll have instant credibility if someone your prospect knows introduces you. Please note, “a referral” doesn’t equal going on LinkedIn, finding a common connection, and mentioning that person’s name in your subject line.

You don’t know whether they actually know the buyer, let alone if the two have a good relationship.

What you can do: Use LinkedIn to find mutual connections, ask one for an introduction (with a prewritten “intro” email, so all they have to do is copy and paste), and repeat until someone says yes.

2) Your email isn’t relevant.

Brand recognition can definitely help, but it won’t close deals for you. Far more important? Your product helps the customer solve a problem they’re actually dealing with.

Unless your email talks about an issue the buyer is aware of, they’ll quickly dismiss it as irrelevant and move on with their day.

Identifying that problem before the connect call is much easier when they’re an inbound lead. Look at the pages on your site they visited, then infer their goals.

If they’re not an inbound lead, browse their company LinkedIn page, blog, social media accounts, and so on to understand their position in the market, strategy, and offering. What challenges have your similar clients dealt with? Address the most common in your email.

3) They’ve already solved the issue.

Imagine you bought a new dishwasher last week. If you get an email about the latest dishwashers to arrive in stock, are you going to open it? Probably not.

The same effect happens when you reach out to a buyer who recently purchased a product similar to yours. Even if they’re not completely satisfied, they’re likely going to focus on brand-new problems — until their current solution is clearly not working.

You can get around this obstacle in two ways.

First, get to prospects earlier in their buying journey. Stop using the same trigger events as every other salesperson in your space — figure out which (usually smaller) trigger events precede those. For example, if you currently target companies who just raised a round, start targeting companies who are in the process of getting funding. You’ll be able to build relationships before your prospects are even on your competition’s radar.

Second, play the long game. The buyer might have signed a contract one month ago, but if you can stay in contact with them over the next 10 months, you’ve got a real shot of winning their business. Figure out when they’re up for renewal, put that date in your CRM. Then periodically check in — ideally, adding value each time.

4) Your email isn’t creative or memorable.

When your prospect is having a long, busy, draining day, it’s not just your email she’s ignoring. She’s probably not responding to — or even opening — many more.

To cut through the noise, you need to be a little creative. HubSpot reps often use funny GIFs or memes to add some personality to their messages. Other salespeople have been successful using prospecting videos.

While these tactics aren’t enough by themselves to earn a response, they can be the tipping point if the buyer is interested but overwhelmed with other work.

5) Your email asks for the wrong thing.

Every sales email should end with a CTA or recap of what will happen next. However, if prospects aren’t responding, it may be because you’re using the wrong CTA or recommended next step.

For example, if you’re hoping to get a buyer on the phone, asking for 30 minutes of their time will seem too much. They’re probably going to say no.

But asking for five minutes is dangerous too. Prospects know from experience most “five-minute calls” end up taking at least 15, so you’ll sound disingenuous.

Tailor the size of your request to your stage in the sales process. As the conversation continues, your requests should be increasingly larger.

For example, in your first email you might ask a simple yes or no question, like “Is this a problem you’re currently focused on at [prospect’s company]?”

Then in an email following up after the demo, you might close with, “Thanks for agreeing to connect me to your manager — I think she’ll be interested in our reporting options. Can you please connect us sometime today or tomorrow?”

As buyers evolve, salespeople have to evolve too. The sales emails you sent two years ago won’t work on your prospects today. Avoid these mistakes to get responses.

HubSpot Free Sales Training

Source: 5 Reasons Your Sales Emails Get Ignored

21 Phrases Guaranteed to Make Intro Emails Successful


Writing a great outreach email is tough. You’re well-aware that even if your prospect is interested in your value prop, you’re competing for their attention with tons of other emails, not to mention all their other to-dos.

So what should you be writing to pique their interest? Hopefully, you’re avoiding the phrases that kill an introductory email — like “Hi my name is X and I work at Y” — but which ones should you replace them with?

I encourage you to play around and craft your own unique messages. However, if you’re looking for some inspiration, these 21 phrases go over well with buyers.

1) “After researching your business … ”

Alerting the prospect that you’ve spent time researching their business sparks their interest and improves your credibility right off the bat.

2) “Hi [name],”

My colleague recently received an email that started with, “Dear [contact first name].” Needless to say, she didn’t respond. Including the recipient’s name in your email — and double-checking to make sure the personalization tokens worked — is a great way to grab their attention early, and make it clear that this email is specifically meant for them.

3) “It looks like you’re attempting to do [X]. Is that correct?”

Asking about changes you’ve noticed sparks a meaningful conversation about the prospect’s goals and overarching strategy. For example, did the prospect recently unveil a blog redesign? Has their company posted a new position on the job board? Ask about the shift, and how it figures into the company’s plan.

4) “Why did you decide to download our resource?”

When an inbound lead downloads a piece of content, “Why?” is a natural question. Asking “Why?” allows the prospect to explain the problem they are attempting to solve. Armed with this information, the rep can better help the prospect and provide value.

5) “What’s your top priority right now?”

Identifying the prospect’s top priority provides you the opportunity to dig deeper into that goal. With better knowledge of the prospect’s most pressing priorities, you can showcase the value of your product in a way that resonates with their struggles and aligns with their goals.

6) “How can I help?”

The best sales reps today adhere to ABH — Always Be Helping — instead of ABC. In a crowd of pushy, self-centered salespeople, a rep who strives to serve first is refreshing. Include this phrase in your email to set it apart from the rest.

7) “I really enjoyed … ”

According to Professor Norihiro Sadato, “To the brain, receiving a compliment is as much a social reward as being rewarded money.” Not only does a compliment improve a prospect’s mood, but it is likely to elicit a response when included in a sales email. The more specific, the better.

8) “I read what you wrote/shared/commented on on social media and was wondering … ”

Asking a thoughtful question about a topic the prospect is interested in is an easy way to spark a conversation. If a prospect is writing, posting about, or commenting on a given topic on social media, they’re likely looking to discuss it further.

9) “I’m curious to get your thoughts on … ”

Presenting a prospect with clear next steps keeps the conversation moving forward. With an introductory email, your ask should be small, such as reading a blog post and sharing their thoughts, or taking a few minutes to answer a question.

10) “Have you ever thought about doing X?”

Instead of giving orders, try piquing the prospect’s interest and asking a question around what they’re hoping to achieve. There is more than one way to solve a problem. And as a sales rep, you can present options the prospect might not be aware of.

Sales reps should always strive to give more than they receive. Providing a quick strategy tip or insight can get the conversation flowing and immediately boosts the rep’s credibility.

11) “I have an idea about … ”

Different phrase, same idea. Who doesn’t love free advice? This is an easy way to engage the prospect in a meaningful conversation about a hot topic.

12) “Congratulations on … ”

Promotions and job changes are some of the most valuable trigger events for salespeople. Congratulating your prospect on accepting a new role or moving to a different company can quickly turn into a sales conversation if you play your cards right.

13) “For more information, check out… ”

Including links to relevant blog posts or research reports at the end of your email makes it easy for the prospect to discover more information on potential solutions to their specific problems, and positions you as someone who wants to help.

14) “[Mutual Connection] mentioned me to that … ”

According to Sales Benchmark Index, you’re 4.2 times more likely to get an appointment if you share a personal connection with a prospect. By referencing someone you both know you can improve the likelihood of a response, and ultimately spark a meaningful conversation.

15) “How do you know [mutual connection]?”

Similar to the phrase above, referencing a mutual connection can be very beneficial in starting up an exchange. A shared connection helps you build credibility, and gives you a natural “in.”

16) “Did you know that … ?”

By sharing interesting data with a prospect, the rep can position themselves as a source of valuable information. And if the data sheds light on a problem the prospect is struggling with? You’ve struck gold.

17) “What did you think of … ?”

By asking a potential buyer’s thoughts about a recent industry event or news, you’re not only starting a conversation with the prospect, but you’re also gathering vital information in regards to where they stand on certain issues.

18) “I can help you with … “

There’s no better way to capture a prospect’s attention than to make their lives easier. Of course, don’t just say you can — demonstrate what you’ll do to help.

19) “Will you be attending [event]?”

If you’re attending an industry event or conference, do some scoping beforehand to see if any attendees fit your buyer personas. Attending the same events gives you an automatic leg up when building credibility with your buyers.

20) “I saw you speak at … “

Everyone likes to be complimented, but generic compliments aren’t that compelling. If you’ve seen your prospect speak at an event, bring it up and stand out from the crowd.

21) “What would happen if … ?”

Opening your prospect’s eyes to a potential future problem or opportunity is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate the value of your product and surface urgency.

For example, you might ask, “What would happen to [company’s] revenue if 30% of your customers referred another customer?” The buyer will immediately start seeing dollar signs.

You can also pose undesirable outcomes. Try a question like, “What would happen to [company’s] revenue if your website went down for an hour?” Now, the buyer is aware of their vulnerability. 

Don’t take this too far: You should never create a false sense of hope or fear. But alerting them to a possibility or issue that your product can help them capitalize on or avoid is completely legitimate — even helpful.

While every prospect is going to respond differently to your email, certain phrases increase the chances that your message will hit home and elicit a response. Instead of worrying about messing the email up, try focusing on making it great. These phrases (and these power words) can help.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.

HubSpot Free Sales Training

Source: 21 Phrases Guaranteed to Make Intro Emails Successful

7 Terrible Sales Email Subject Lines You’ve Probably Used This Week

Imagine you’ve spent 10 years writing the next great novel. Your editor loves it and the early reviews are great, but once it’s published, no one buys it. Turns out, your cover sucked.

Unless you’re a writer, this situation might sound pretty unfamiliar. But something similar happens to salespeople on a daily basis. They invest time and energy into crafting the right message or personalizing a template, but their prospect never reads a single word. Why? The email’s subject line was awful.

If you want prospects to actually open your messages, it’s crucial to write an effective email subject line. Below are seven subject lines you should avoid and how to make them better.

7 Terrible Sales Email Subject Lines to Stop Using Today

1) “How can [company name] help you?”

Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. You’re scrolling through your inbox, trying to separate the important messages from the ones you can ignore. When you see this email, are you going to pause so you can ponder all the ways some random company could help you? Probably not.

Try instead: “Are you struggling with [challenge]?”

Naming one of your prospect’s current challenges immediately grabs their attention. Let’s say your subject line is, “Are you struggling with demand forecasting?” Since that issue is actually top-of-mind for the warehouse manager you emailed, she won’t hesitate to click “open.”

2) “Just checking in”

When your prospect doesn’t respond for a while, you might be tempted to send them a message with this subject line. But “checking in,” “touching base,” and “following up” emails are, frankly, the worst. Not only are they completely devoid of value, but they’re the digital equivalent of a fly buzzing in someone’s ear. Don’t be surprised when your prospect swats you away.

Try instead: “Any luck with [goal]?”

This subject line lets you build on your first email without implying the prospect has neglected you. For instance, if you’d previously sent them a PDF on tech recruiting tips, your next email could be titled, “Any luck recruiting engineers?” You’ll put yourself back on their radar while simultaneously adding value.

3) Referral from [mutual connection]

Referrals give you trust, credibility, and influence with prospects before you’ve ever met — they’re a major advantage. But this subject line (or any other that includes the word “referral”) instantly lessens the impact of an introduction.

That’s because “referral” is a term almost exclusively used by salespeople and marketers. You’ll immediately remind the prospect this is a business interaction, not a normal introduction. Your prospects will see you as the traditional salesperson thinking of their quota, rather than a trusted consultant trying to help them.

Try instead: “[Mutual connection] said we should talk”

This subject line feels more natural. In fact, you’d probably say something similar if you were introducing yourself to a friend of a friend in person. As a result, your prospect is likely to see you in a friendly light.

4) “14 Ways to Drive Recurring Revenue”

It might seem quick and easy to simply copy and paste the title of the PDF, link, or presentation you’re sending into the email’s subject line.

And sure, this approach will save you a couple seconds. On the downside, it’ll also destroy the chance your prospect will open your email.

After all, the average person receives 14 marketing emails per day (and that doesn’t include the newsletters and promotions they actually signed up for). If your email looks like yet another marketing message, they’re almost guaranteed to give it the same treatment — ignoring it.

Try Instead: “Some ideas on driving recurring revenue”

You want your email to sound like it’s coming from a human, not a robot. With that in mind, write the subject line as though you were discussing the topic with a friend.

5) “Five-second question for you”

If you want your prospects to open your email, use this subject line. Mentioning a question will intrigue them, and promising it’ll be quick will seal the deal.

However, if you want your prospects to respond to your email, opt for a different line. Let’s be real: When’s the last time you ever asked a prospect a question they could answer in five seconds? Probably never. Once people realize responding will take far longer than you’ve promised, they’ll immediately leave. Plus, since you’ve lost credibility, getting them to open the next email will be insanely difficult.

Try instead: “Hi [name], [question]?”

Including your question in the subject line lets the prospect decide upfront how long it’ll take to answer. And they’ll still have a reason to open the message. After all, they’ll be curious to know why you’re asking.

6) “Meeting Request”

To be fair, this subject line doesn’t pull any punches about what the sender wants. But that’s far outweighed by how rude it sounds. Imagine a stranger walked up to you and said, “Give me an hour of your time,” without first explaining why that’ll benefit you. You’d assume they were joking — or worse, that they have no idea how normal people interact.

You can now see why this subject line fails harder than a belly flop.

Try Instead: “[Prospect’s name] — do you have 10 minutes for a conversation?”

A little respect goes a long way. As HubSpot managing editor Emma Brudner points out, “Putting your ask right in the subject line can set your sales email apart from all the rest.” However, unlike the first subject line, this one asks nicely.

7) “Re: [title of previous email]”

Adding “Re:” to the subject line of the last email you sent the prospect so it looks like you’re continuing a conversation, rather than attempting to spark one, isn’t just bad karma. It’s also an ill-advised way to start the relationship. When the buyer realizes they’ve been tricked, they’ll feel silly — and to make that feeling go away, they will ignore your email. 

Try instead: “Hoping to help with X”

Positioning yourself as a potential advisor has the opposite effect. Instead of sowing suspicion, you’re cultivating trust. Your chances of getting a response will increase dramatically.

Choosing a good subject line can feel like a disproportional amount of work for just 40 to 70 characters. But put in the time to avoid a tired and overused subject line — you’ll be rewarded by a higher open rate and thus, more responses.

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Source: 7 Terrible Sales Email Subject Lines You’ve Probably Used This Week