Why it works:
- Short, catchy subject line, relevant to the email.
- Relevant to the prospect’s role and challenges.
- A good reason for reaching out.
- Promises value.
- Builds curiosity but doesn’t satisfy it.
- Only one question (more risks overloading them).
- Low-pressure call to action.
The preview line will also look appealing in the inbox, unlike these uninspiring examples shared by Florin Tatulea.
Heard the one about the two guys surprised by a bear in the woods? This is the same: You don’t need to write the best sentence ever written; it just needs to outrun all the other lame previews in their inbox.
Your email has a life expectancy of around 11 seconds (that’s a shorter lifespan than a Mayfly). This equates to 25-50 words, so get to the point.
Ideally, stick to around three sentences, and always check the mobile preview. Big chunks of text are hard to read on a small screen, which means your email is destined for the bin.
Language and tone
With B2B sales prospecting, you need to meet prospects on their level, which is hard when you’re a fresh-faced SDR addressing high-level decision-makers.
Uncomfortable with this dynamic, a lot of sales reps overcomplicate matters and try to establish credibility by waffling on about their product’s bells and whistles.
If you take it down a notch, your chances of getting a reply increase. As Will Allred says, “70% of emails we see going out at Lavender are written at or beyond 10th-grade reading level. The optimal level for response rates is 5th grade, with 31% more replies.”
If sticking to one sales prospecting question is tough, you can get around it by using “unsure phrasing” instead, like “curious if that resonates.”
Finally, ditch those tired old insincere phrases like “I hope this email finds you well,” or ones that scream “sales” like “want to pick your brain.”
Personalization and relevance
To stand out in the inbox, you need to make every email sound like it was lovingly crafted for a single prospect.
That’s not easy at scale, so get a little help from sales prospecting tools like Mixmax. As well as customizable email templates that autofill with prospect data from your CRM, each stage of our sales prospecting sequences can be tailored to each prospect based on personalization triggers, like those suggested by Jason Bay below.
Just add the triggers of your choice before the sequence is activated, or import them in bulk in a CSV.
Beyond that, you need to make it relevant to their role, responsibilities, pain, and goals.
Combine deep industry insights with references customized for the individual by researching what Jason Bay calls “personalization triggers.”
- Company achievements, news, and hirings
- Educational content they share online
- What their company invests in
- Insights from their social media posts
Make it about them, not you
Cold hard truth time: Your prospects don’t care about you.
Here’s another great tip from Jason Bay:
Too many emails start with “My name is….,” “I’m reaching out because…,” “I was hoping…,” etc., etc. Yawn.
All about the seller. (Yawn x2.)
Compare with: “Your….,” “Loved your…,” Do you…”
Now it’s all about your prospect.
Get prospects’ attention by promising value from the word go. Here’s a sales prospecting technique from Michael Judge that leverages prospect pain.
What NOT to do, aka the “feature dump”:
Hi [PROSPECT FIRST NAME],
Established in 1967 we are the largest supplier of qualified and experienced truck drivers in the UK. Our unrivaled network and broad reach allow us to create unparalleled synergies between organizations and employees alike.
Are you free this week for a call?
Hi [PROSPECT FIRST NAME],
We're working with other trucking companies such as [COMPETITOR COMPANY] to help them eliminate the shortfall of drivers they are experiencing today by allowing them to select, contact and hire in minutes.
Interested in learning a lesser-known way businesses are overcoming this issue?
This works because it references a common industry pain and offers a solution, in under 50 words.
Pro tip: Remember to be specific about benefits, too. Round numbers like “300% growth” are not believable; exact numbers like “297.5%” are.
Anything a prospect has seen a thousand times will trigger a mental spam filter that’ll have your email dead in the water. To elicit a different response, you need to do things differently.
According to Justin Michael, this means playing with:
- Language, tone, and grammar (make it weird to get their attention)
- Rhythm and frequency of your sequence
- Humor, and self-deprecation (if you’re using Mixmax, the Giphy integration allows you to drop in funny GIFs)
- Creative visuals like Venn diagrams
- Voicemail and video (use the Mixmax Vidyard integration)
- Dropping their name or any standard formatting, as here:
Your quote about keyless entry and geolocation in wired was spot on.
Our tech enables that but gives much more accurate fences, so you could trigger the app loyalty program from the parking lot and deep link each user into the exact door unlock function seamlessly.
Would that warrant a quick zoom?
Giphy integration via Mixmax
Make it easier for them to respond and book meetings by using Mixmax to share your availability and in-email polls and surveys.
Call to Action (CTA)
These should be interest-based and low-pressure. Don’t ask for a meeting; nobody wants to contemplate more of those.
Compare the high-pressure CTA:
"Are you free for a phone call on Tuesday?"
With this interest-based CTA:
"Worth checking out?"
Which do you think gets the most responses?