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  • Writer's pictureKathy Wilson

Ensure Prospects Open Your Cold Sales E-mails with 12 Tips

Cold-calling, especially through e-mail, is a challenge for all sales professionals. These messages are particularly challenging since there is no established relationship between the sender and the recipient. Cold e-mails typically propose or request action beneficial to both the sender and the recipient. We’ve gathered tips you can use to improve your open rates and ensure people read the body of your message. With strategy, research, and psychology, you can increase your open rates and directly impact your click-through rates.

Effective Subject Lines Are Key

  1. Personalized e-mails are more successful than their generic counterparts. Personalization increases open rates by 26%. This makes them especially effective in sales prospecting and customer outreach.

  2. Limit your subject line to 60 characters/10 words. Your subject line will then be visible to readers using smartphones as well as those using desktops, etc.

  3. Subject lines that ask questions evoke in the reader a desire to answer the question. Subject lines with questions have a 10% higher open rate than those without them.

  4. Mention a problem the reader regularly encounters. In the body of your e-mail, describe how your product or service addresses that problem.

  5. Engage reciprocity by offering your reader something of value. People who receive gifts want to return the favor. Reciprocation here involves opening your e-mail. Your “gift” could be as simple as providing information about a resource helpful to the reader. Readers feeling an urge to give back are much more likely to respond to your e-mail.

  6. Use the word “increase” in your subject lines. Such e-mails have an open rate almost seven percent higher than those without that one strategic word.

  7. Appeal to emotions and spark curiosity.

    1. Make your reader curious by omitting a piece of information from the subject line. To get the missing information, the recipient must open the e-mail and read the body.

    2. Evoke empathy by reminding the reader others face the same problem.

    3. Instill “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) by framing your offer as having limited availability or supply. FOMO creates a sense of urgency in the reader and compels action.

  8. Subject lines that include numbers have 45% higher open rates than those with text only. This is doubly helpful due to the limited space available in a subject line. Numbers stand out and build credibility.

  9. Include social proof to support your claim. Social proof takes several forms, including customer reviews, expert endorsements, referrals from friends, ratings, certifications, and social media proof. Human groupthink implies to the reader that, in view of your proof, taking this action must be the right thing to do.

  10. Segment your e-mail list. Sending a single e-mail to thousands of recipients is not only bad marketing, but also is likely to get your message flagged as spam. Divide your recipients by customer type, interests, or any other criteria. Customize your e-mail according to the distinctives of the recipient group.

  11. Limit e-mail to recipients who have agreed to receive e-mail from you. This keeps you compliant with the “Can Spam Act.” This law requires you to:

    1. Identify who originated the e-mail

    2. Use a subject line legitimately related to the message content

    3. Identify the message as advertising

    4. Provide recipients a clear means of opting out of future messages.

  12. Avoid spam filters by segmenting your address book, using a live “reply to” e-mail address, and sending your e-mail from a business domain.

Analyze Results

Do yourself a favor and use an e-mail program that provides data such as open rates and click-through rates. This will help you determine the effectiveness of each e-mail. Over time, you learn what resonates with your prospects, which helps you improve your subject line strategies and continue to increase your open rates. For help generating irresistible e-mails and building your brand, contact The Profit Link!

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