7 Intriguing Questions to Include in Your Prospecting Email

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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.

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HubSpot CRM


Source: blog.hubspot.com/sales

10 Powerful Persuasion Techniques to Use in Your Next Sales Email

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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.

Examples:

  • 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.

Examples:

  • 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.

Example:

  • 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.

Example:

  • 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.

Example:

  • 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.

Example:

  • 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.

Example:

  • 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.

Example:

  • 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.

HubSpot Free Sales Training

Source: 10 Powerful Persuasion Techniques to Use in Your Next Sales Email
blog.hubspot.com/sales

7 Ways You're Projecting Insecurity Over Email

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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
blog.hubspot.com/sales

7 Awful First Sentences That Are Killing Your Outreach Emails

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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.

Best,

Billy

send-now-hubspot-sales-bar

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


Source: blog.hubspot.com/sales

5 Reasons Your Sales Emails Get Ignored

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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
blog.hubspot.com/sales

21 Phrases Guaranteed to Make Intro Emails Successful

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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
blog.hubspot.com/sales

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.

HubSpot Free Sales Training

Source: 7 Terrible Sales Email Subject Lines You’ve Probably Used This Week
blog.hubspot.com/sales

The Type of Message That Can Revive Stalled Deals in Under 15 Minutes

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You may be feeling like you have tried everything in the sales book to reconnect with clients or stay in touch over long sales cycles. But have you ever thought about sending them a personal video?

Video content has an innate ability to grab our interest. In fact, including video in an email can boost click-through rates by 28%. These videos don’t need to be highly produced — think of them as video voicemails. They are professional in that you want to represent yourself well, but your personality should come through.

Here are the four main elements of a great sales video.

1) An Engaging Reason for Reaching Out

Less is always more. Here are three interesting themes that’ll keep your video under 45 seconds:

  1. Pay them a compliment: If the prospect or their company has posted something they’re excited about or proud of, congratulate them and give some follow-up thoughts.
  2. Provide sort of value to the client: Describe the content you’re sending to them and why you thought they’d find it helpful.
  3. Share news: Give them an update that’s important or relevant to their business.

You can also keep it light. One of our reps revived an old pipeline deal that was about to sign with a competitor when he sent a comical 15-second video with the email subject line “Hail Mary.” The video began with him catching a football and asking the client if we were still on their “roster.” The client loved it, and we ended up getting the deal.

2) A Strong Call-to-Action

Consider your objective before you create a video. Are you trying to get your prospect’s attention, schedule a call or meeting, reengage them after they’ve gone dark, or show them a compelling benefit of your product?

Once you’ve clarified your goal, structure your video and call-to-action around it.

For example, your CTA for reengaging them might be:

“We haven’t connected in a few weeks, but I have an idea for your upcoming [event, campaign, goal]. Respond to this email if you want to schedule a quick five-minute call.”

3) A Welcoming Set-Up

Keep your videos to 30 seconds or shorter when reconnecting with a client or sending a quick note saying hello. Remember to relax, smile, look directly into the camera, and use a plain, non-distracting background.

We also recommend starting with their name: “Hey, [name]!” or “Hope you’re having a great day so far, [name].” This makes your video feel more personalized and friendly.

4) Good (Enough) Quality

Your video doesn’t need to be Hollywood-worthy, but it should be easy to watch.

Use your webcam or a cellphone and a tripod. Tripods for cell phones are important because they let you shoot your video in landscape mode at eye level.

If you’re using your webcam, make sure it’s high enough to avoid the “chin” shot.

Lastly, use an editing tool to cut out the dead time at the beginning and end of your recording. If you’re shooting on your iPhone or Android, you can trim right on your phone.

Apple users can use iMovie; Windows 10 users can trim right in Photos after shooting the video using the Camera app.

We also recommend downloading a teleprompter app (like this one for Android or this one for Apple, both free) if you’re more comfortable following a script.

Our sales reps share their personal video clips in our owncloud-based video hosting solution, 2Win! Bridge. This software lets them upload videos quickly and host them in a non-distracting environment.

Sending your prospect a personalized video is a great way to revive a stalled deal. It might make more time to create one than write an email, but the results will pay for themselves.

HubSpot Free Sales Training

Source: The Type of Message That Can Revive Stalled Deals in Under 15 Minutes
blog.hubspot.com/sales

23 Follow-Up Sales Email Templates to Send Instead of "Just Checking In"

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Salespeople shouldn’t send “just checking in” emails for one very simple reason: They don’t work. Buyers feel like the rep is virtually poking them, making them reluctant to answer. Not only do “checking in” messages rarely garner responses, they can even turn prospects against their senders.

But reps still need a way to get in touch with buyers who’ve gone dark. Enter these 23 email templates.

These “just checking in” alternatives simultaneously add value to the prospect while putting the salesperson back on her radar. She’ll want to restart the sales conversation — so it’s a win-win.

If they never responded:

1) Send them a short piece of actionable advice.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect]

You likely deal with [business pain], so I thought I’d share a quick tip many of my clients have found helpful: [1-2 sentence actionable piece of advice].

I have a few more ideas around [improving X]. Let me know if you’re interested in hearing them.

Best,

[Your name]
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Example:

 

Hi Sofra,

You likely deal with customer no-shows, so I thought I’d share a quick tip many of my clients have found helpful: Ask for credit cards to hold reservations. This helped Coi halve their no-show rate.

I have a few more ideas around mitigating canceled tables. Let me know if you’re interested in hearing them.

Best,

Jamie

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2) Send over a longer how-to guide and offer to follow up in person if they want.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

Do you [deal with X/want to improve Y]? Here’s an ebook about [dealing with X/improving Y].

There’s a lot of invaluable advice in there — you might find [specific tip or section] especially helpful. If you’d like to discuss these pointers or anything else around [topic], let’s set up a call.

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Jordan,

Would you like to your new salespeople to get off ramp faster? Here’s an ebook about shortening ramp time.

There’s a lot of invaluable advice in here — check out page 30 for an in-depth training cadence. If you’d like to discuss these pointers or anything else around sales hiring and training, let’s set up a call.

Best,

Cara

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3) Point out a weakness in their business that should be fixed.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

[Company] sounds like it’s doing well — just stumbled across this quote on [Glassdoor/Yelp/Angie’s List/other third-party review site) from one of your [employees/customers]:

[1-2 sentence quote].

[Company] would be even stronger if you [fixed X]. Would you like to follow up about this on a call?

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Oleana,

Trusthealth sounds like it’s doing well — just stumbled across this quote on Glassdoor from one of your employees: “This is the best, most supportive office I’ve ever experienced.”

Your company might be even stronger if you offered employee mentorship programs, which typically increase individual retention by 23%. Would you like to follow up about this on a call?

Best,

Kendall

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4) Share an article relevant to their industry or profession.

Template:

 

Hey [prospect],

Since you work in [X role or industry], you might be interested in this article about [X role or industry]. The author makes an interesting point about [detail of article].

Have you considered any changes related to [topic of article]?

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hey Colum,

Since you work in home security, you might be interested in this New York Times article about new “smart security” systems. The author makes an interesting point about property owners’ increasing vulnerability to hackers.

Has your firm considered any changes related to hacking?

Best,

Claire

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5) Respond to a social message, then follow up with more resources.

Template:

 

Hey [prospect],

Great post on [social network] about [topic]. Your comment about X was particularly astute — [additional comment].

Here are a couple resources about [topic] you might find interesting:

  • Link 1
  • Link 2
[Connection between resources and value salesperson can offer].

Let me know what you think,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hey Annette,

Great post on LinkedIn about banking software. Your comment about fraud detection was particularly astute.

Here are a couple resources about online financial programs you might find interesting:

  • Link 1
  • Link 2

They cover several unique strategies for preventing cybercrime.

Let me know what you think,

Mark

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6) Answer one of their questions on an online forum, then follow up with more resources.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

Great [social network] question about X. [1-2 sentence answer]. (Make sure you link to the post, especially if it’s more than one day old.)

Here are a couple resources about X that will also help:

  • Link 1
  • Link 2

Let me know if you’d like to discuss this on a call,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Tim,

Great Twitter question about finding freelancers. Many of the startups I work with hire college students to freelance for them — the students get experience, and the companies get good content at an affordable rate.

Here are a couple other sites you might find useful:

  • Upwork (a freelance marketplace)
  • Inbound.org (an online community with many active freelancers)

Let me know if you’d like to discuss this or get a few more suggestions on a call.

Sydney

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7) Reference a relevant blog post they just published.

Template:

 

Hey [prospect],

Excellent post on [topic]. Your [comment/suggestion/insight] on X stood out for [reason].

Have you considered writing about Y as a follow-up post?

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hey Dave,

Excellent post on the state’s real estate market. Your argument that restaurants are driving the local retail landscape was particularly persuasive — most investors aren’t looking carefully enough at those stats.

Have you considered writing about the generational shift into cities as a follow-up post?

Best,

Sarek

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8) Send them a blog post your company has just published.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

You [previously downloaded or read X piece of content/likely deal with Y problem/belong to Z industry], so you might get value from this blog post my company just published: [title].

If you’re in a rush and can’t read it all, [tip, section X] seems like it’d be particularly useful for [company].

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Amanda,

You previously downloaded our guide to designing an intranet, so you might get value from this blog post my company just published containing interviews with the winners of Nielsen’s 10 Best Intranets of 2016 awards.

If you’re in a rush and can’t read it all, example #4 seems like it’d be particularly useful for Cloudius, since it features another energy firm.

Best,

Julian

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9) Recommend an event in their area.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

What are you doing on [date]? Noticed [event] will be taking place in your area — it seems like a great fit for you because [value of event].

Here’s the link to the website if you want to check it out: [link].

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Jon,

What are you doing on October 3? Noticed there’s an IT professionals meetup on that day in Framingham — it seems like a great opportunity to network and potentially recruit more folks for Kerchief.

Here’s the link to the website if you want to check it out: [link].

Best,

Harold

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10) Invite them to an upcoming webinar or educational event your company is hosting.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

Last time we spoke, you mentioned you’re currently focused on [improving X/solving Y/refining Z]. Would you like to attend the [webinar/event] that [rep’s company] is hosting? The speakers, [name] and [name], will be delving into [topic 1 and topic 2].

It’s taking place on [date] — here’s the link to sign up.

I hope to see you there.

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi June,

Last time we spoke, you mentioned you’re currently focused on incorporating iPads into the classroom. Would you like to attend the webinar that CurrentFront is hosting? The speakers, Hakan Staff from Harvard University and Sheila Thomas from Yale University, will be delving into tech-based learning models.

It’s taking place on January 14 — here’s the link to sign up.

I hope to see you there.

Best,

Yusef

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11) Send them a book, podcast, newsletter, or publication recommendation.

Template:

 

Hey [prospect],

Judging by your [LinkedIn/Twitter/other social network] account, you’ve got a great eye for industry content. The [article/ebook/podcast] you posted about X was especially useful.

Have you heard of [related publication/book/newsletter/podcast]? If you liked X, you’ll probably enjoy Y. I recommend starting with [issue/chapter/edition/episode] Z: [linked].

Let me know what you think,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hey Terry,

Judging by your LinkedIn account, you’ve got a great eye for industry content. The podcast you posted about the rise of consumer loyalty programs was especially useful.

Have you heard of the Blue Matter podcast? If you like Shop It To Me, you’ll probably enjoy Blue Matter. I recommend starting with the episode on in-store promotions.

Let me know what you think,

Darcy

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12) Bring up a common challenge your buyers face and ask if they’re experiencing it.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

The clients I work with are often face [business challenge]. Has [company] experienced anything similar?

If so, I have several ideas that might help — like [tip #1]. If you’d like to hear more, I’m free for a call on [date and time] or [date or time].

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Hayle,

The clients I work with are often struggling to find creative, low-cost ways of engaging with their local communities. Has Shake Advertising experienced anything similar?

If so, I have several ideas that might help — like organizing an employee volunteer program. If you’d like to hear more, I’m free for a call on Thursday at 4 p.m. or Friday at 10:30 a.m.

Best,

Claire

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13) Bump your email to the top of their inbox using the “buried email” technique.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

Just wanted to follow up in case this email got buried.

Thanks,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Rania,

Just want to follow up in case this email got buried.

Thanks,

Jeff

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14) Ask if they’re still interested in achieving X goal, then provide a suggestion for how to get there.

Template:

 

Hey [prospect],

Are you still interested in achieving X goal? [Customer] saw [results] by trying [suggestion]. Might be worth a try for [prospect’s company].

If you’d like to know exactly how [customer] did it, we can set up a call on [date and time] or [date and time].

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hey Susan,

Are you still interested in decreasing employee absenteeism? Full Trade raised team-wide attendance by 5% in three months by tying performance pay to attendance. Might be worth a try for Beeline.

If you’d like to know the specifics of Full Trade’s program, we can set up a call on Tuesday at 11 a.m. or Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Best,

Gary

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15) Call attention to something their competitor is doing well and ask how they plan to address it.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

I saw that [competitor] has been doing well in [X area] lately. Do you have any plans in place for addressing it?

I have some ideas — if you want to hear them, let’s schedule a call.

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Sean,

Gladup has been aggressively hiring new developers. The last time we spoke, you mentioned that you’re also trying to grow your team — do you have any plans in place for remaining competitive in the Chicago area?

I have some ideas — if you want to hear them, let’s schedule a call.

Best,

Sarah

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16) Send a breakup email to close the loop.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

I haven’t heard back from you, so you must be busy or no longer interested in [achieving X]. Mind if I close your file?

Thanks,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Liam,

I haven’t heard back from you, so you must be busy or no longer interested in expanding to the San Jose area. Mind if I close your file?

Thanks,

Kevin

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If a trigger event has occurred:

1) Congratulate a potential decision maker on a promotion.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

Congratulations on your promotion to [role]. You’ve done some impressive things in your tenure at [company] — including [achievement 1] and [achievement 2] — so it’s well-deserved.

Have you put any thought into how you’ll achieve [business goal]? I have a few suggestions.

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Emily,

Congratulations on your promotion to editor-in-chief. You’ve done some impressive things in your tenure at Fantasia — including raising print circulation and rolling out a virtual reality program — so it’s well-deserved.

Have you put any thought into how you’ll find VR specialists? I have a few suggestions.

Best,

Andy

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2) Reach out to a decision maker after a blocker leaves the company.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

In [month, year], we talked about your difficulties with [pain point], and how [offering] could help [achieve specific goal] over [specific timeframe].

I know there’s been a few changes at [prospect’s company] since then — are you interested in doubling down on [goal] again?

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Jody,

In February, we talked about your difficulties with inefficient driver routes, and how the MPH software could help reduce team mileage by 30% and improve worker retention by 5% in 6 months.

I know there’s been a few changes at Jantam since then — are you interested in doubling down on this efficiency again?

Best,

Todd

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3) Reach out to a new C-level executive.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

Congratulations on your new role at [new company]. At your old company you made [X innovative move] that really helped [Y metric]. When I previously spoke with someone at your company, they were doing things [X way] — how are you thinking about this strategy?

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Sheryl,

Congratulations on your new role at Waypointer. At your old company you completely revamped the mid-market strategy — doubling your revenue from that channel. When I previously spoke with someone at your company, they were focusing on enterprise deals. How are you thinking about Beanery’s mid-market approach going forward?

Best,

Jose

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4) Congratulate them on a funding round.

Template:

 

Hey [prospect],

Since the last time [we talked, I reached out], you’ve closed a/an $X round of funding. Congratulations! This is probably one of the busiest periods of your company’s life — have you thought about how you’ll [accomplish X goal]?

If that’s on your agenda, let’s set up a quick call. I have a few ideas that may help.

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hey Vincent,

Since the last time I reached out, you’ve closed a $5M round of funding. Congratulations! This is probably one of the busiest periods of your company’s life — have you thought about how you’ll scale your onboarding process?

If that’s on your agenda, let’s set up a quick call. I have a few ideas that may help.

Best,

Simon

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5) Ask whether newly created positions relevant to your product reflect new company initiatives.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

Congratulations on the creation of [role related to your product]. Usually this means [business goal] is now a priority.

I thought you might be interested in finding out how we helped [similar company] get going quickly in their new direction – without any of the typical glitches.

If you’d like to learn more, let’s set up a quick call. How does [date and time] look on your calendar?

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Rafael,

Congratulations on the creation of a branded content role. Usually this means securing corporate partnerships is now a priority.

I thought you might be interested in finding out how we helped May Media establish guidelines and price points while generating interest with their target partners.

If you’d like to learn more, let’s set up a quick call. How does July 30th at 2:30 p.m. look on your calendar?

Best,

Gina

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If you lost the deal:

1) Check how things are going a month after implementing a competitor’s product.

Template:

 

Hey [prospect],

It’s been a month since you signed on with [competitor]. How are things going?

Best,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hey Shawn,

It’s been a month since you signed on with Toejam. How are things going?

Best,

Huck

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2) Check how things are going as their contract with a competitor is winding down.

Template:

 

Hi [prospect],

Last time we chatted, you mentioned your contract with [competitor] is winding down in [month]. How’s everything going with [product]?

Also, I came across a [blog post/ebook/guide] on [topic] you might find helpful: [link].

Looking forward to hearing from you,

[Your name]

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Example:

 

Hi Ethan,

Last time we chatted, you mentioned your contract with Banyan is winding down in June. How’s everything going with their platform?

Also, I came across a post on Google Chrome keyboard shortcuts your team might like — know you guys are big Chrome fans [link].

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Shruthi

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Salespeople often default to the standard “touching base” message because they’re in a rush. With these follow-up templates, writing a thoughtful, personalized, helpful email takes mere minutes — with potentially enormous payoff.

HubSpot Free Sales Training

Source: 23 Follow-Up Sales Email Templates to Send Instead of "Just Checking In"
blog.hubspot.com/sales

17 Email Subject Lines Sales Reps Swear By & Why They Work So Well

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While many people agonize over their email copy and then slap a hastily written subject line on two seconds before hitting “send,” sales reps know that the situation should actually be reversed.

After all, there’s no point in crafting a beautiful message if buyers don’t even open it. And what prompts the all-important open? The subject line.

Find out your industry's email open rate benchmark and start being better than  average. Now.

But with only a tiny bit of real estate to work with, there’s no room for mistakes. With this in mind, we took to Reddit’s Sales channel to round up sales email subject lines vouched for by real sales reps. Instead of reinventing the wheel with your messages, use these subject lines knowing that they’ve been tried, tested, and verified to work by reps around the world.

Interested to learn why these subject lines do the trick? We’ve also included the logic behind each for your knowledge.

1) “I hope all is well”

The Reddit user who suggested this subject line says that “it gets a lot of reads from decision makers who are tired of people trying to serve their own self interests.” Demonstrating genuine concern for the email recipient is refreshing.

Why it works: In a study, Ferrazi Greenlight found that reps who focused primarily on building relationships rather than generating transactions were more successful in the long run. Prioritizing the relationship from the very beginning will separate your message from the scores of other hard sales pitches.

2) [Personal tidbit about the buyer]

The more you can personalize your email subject line to the person at the other end of the “send” button, the better. According to Ali Powell, principle account executive at HubSpot, the secret to writing a phenomenal sales email subject line is to make it something about them — that couldn’t apply to anyone else. 

Why it works: People prefer personal over pretty. Consider the fact that plain text emails soundly beat beautifully designed HTML emails in a series of A/B tests. Why? They look like one-to-one messages. So even though the subject line “love that you’re in a band” doesn’t look as sophisticated as “Technology For the Future,” it’s a lot more appealing to your buyer who moonlights as a drummer and controls the tech budget purse strings for her company by day.   

3) “Your annual goal”

The essential nugget in this subject line is “your.” Pair “your” with any goal or problem the prospect might be experiencing, and you’ve got a hyper-relevant email subject line. And if you can’t nail down an issue unfolding at the buyer’s company? As the redditor who vouched for this subject lines points out, “then you’re just spamming an advertisement.”

Why it works: It’s a well-known anecdotal fact that most people prefer talking about themselves than listening to others, but we now have the science to back this up. Research from Harvard shows that when people talk about themselves, areas of the brain pertaining to motivation and reward spring into action. 

4) “Quick question”

Curiosity didn’t just kill the cat, it also made the buyer click. This subject line is a favorite among redditors.

Why it works: According to curiosity-drive theory, people find uncertainty unsettling. Conversely, clearing up areas of uncertainty is mentally satisfying. Teasing the email recipient with a “quick question” without telling them what it is prompts prospects to open your message and alleviate the ambiguity.

5) “One more thing”

What could it be? The prospect will have to open your email to find out.

Why it works: Similar to “quick question,” this subject line plays on the buyer’s curiosity. They must either read your email … or live with the unease of not knowing what you’re offering.

6) “[Name] referred me to you”

Smart reps know that referrals are as good as gold in sales. According to NoMoreColdCalling.com, referred prospects have a whopping 50% close rate. If you’ve been introduced to a prospect by someone they trust, make it clear in the subject line that it’s referral.

Why it works: Referral sales expert Bill Cates notes that salespeople who get referred to new prospects “borrow trust” from the referral source. This means that instead of coming in cold, the relationship between the rep and the prospect automatically becomes warmer thanks to the relationship between the referred prospect and the referral source. 

7) “Contacting you at [Referral]’s suggestion”

Different phrasing, same idea. 

Why it works: Think of a referral as social proof on steroids. The closer the prospect is to the referrer, the better.

8) “You are not alone”

Generally, prospects only have visibility into their own organization while salespeople enjoy a broader vantage point that spans countless buyers and customers. One Reddit user pointed out that this subject line provides a good opening to an email containing a case study or testimonial from an organization similar to the prospects’.

Why it works: Who likes to be alone? The mere fact that other people have done or are doing something is often enough to sway opinions and drive action, thanks to the bandwagon effect.

9) “Good morning, [Name]”

According to Laurie Puhn, 94% of couples who greet each other with “Good morning!” each day report they have an “excellent” relationship. Granted, you probably don’t want to date your prospect, but you do want to forge a strong bond with them. A simple salutation might be just what the doctor ordered.

Why it works: In a world where fewer and fewer people greet each other when they get into the office, a simple “good morning” is a humanizing differentiator for your email. 

10) “[Name], we can help you [goal]”

Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? To be honest, I really don’t care as long as you use my name in conversation. Inserting a prospect’s name into your email’s subject line emphasizes that the message is just for them.

Why it works: Not only has research shown that people respond positively to hearing their names, the phenomenon of implicit egotism holds that our name-based preferences extend to the cities we choose to live in, and what occupations we pursue. 

11) [Referral name]

This is another one from Powell’s arsenal“Just put the full name of the person in the subject line and nothing else. I promise this works!” she writes. For example: “Jane Smith” or “John Doe.” It really doesn’t get any easier than that.

Why it works: We’ve already talked about the power of referrals, which is one reason this subject line is so potent. But there’s another reason — in a sea of emails labeled with verbs and adjectives, a person’s name (and one the recipient knows well at that) stands in stark contrast.

12) “Possible meeting [date] at [time]”

The user who added sales trainer’s Kate Kingston’s subject line to r/sales gave one additional tip as to how to use it: “Setting an appointment on the :45 is much less pressure than setting it on the :00 or even :30 because it appears that you will only take up 15 minutes of your decision maker’s time.”

Why it works: According to Copyblogger, “A specific headline conveys more valuable information to a potential reader, which acts to draw them magnetically into the content.” Although a subject line isn’t exactly a blog post title, the principles of specificity still apply, and can help boost your open rates.

13) “[Situation] at [Company]”

For example, “Sales Training at Business Inc.” or “HR Services at Organization Y.” Whatever it is that you sell, connect it with the company you’re prospecting into for a subject line one-two punch.

Why it works: Just like the prospect’s own name, buyers are also partial to the name of their company. When in doubt, personalize.

14) “Who is in charge of X at [Company]?”

Seeking an introduction to the right contact at the buyer’s organization? There’s nothing like getting right to your point in the subject line of the message.

Why it works: According to sales trainer Jeff Hoffman, approaching prospects like a curious student instead of a knowledgeable expert boosts engagement. Posing a question in your subject line asking for the prospect’s help paves the way for a conversation — the point of a prospecting email.

15) [blank]

Can’t think of a great subject line? One Reddit rep endorsed using a blank subject line every once in a while.

Why it works: Research from HubSpot Sales revealed that no subject line is the most powerful subject line of all. An analysis of 6.4 million emails showed that messages with a blank subject line were opened 8% more often than those with subject lines.

16) “Can I help?”

The age of Always Be Closing is dead — to be successful, salespeople must practice Always Be Helping. Use this subject line to tell the buyer you’re eager to add value.

Why it works: As soon as your prospect sees this in her inbox, she’ll wonder, Help with what? To find out, she will read your email. The well-written, personalized contents will prompt her to respond.

17) “This is a sales email”

 Another commenter on the Reddit thread said messages with this title are opened at a “very high” rate.

Why it works: Rather than trying to disguise the reason you’re reaching out, be honest –prospects appreciate when you don’t beat around the bush. You’ll earn instant trust, not to mention differentiate yourself from less straightforward sales reps.

What’s the subject line that you swear by? Share in the comments.

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

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/sales