Best Email Prospecting Tactics: Crafting Engaging Subject Lines
This is the first of a series of posts that will deliver five of the best email prospecting tactics I’ve come across that will help you significantly improve your prospecting effectiveness.
The first email prospecting tactic on the list:
Crafting Engaging Subject Lines
The subject line of an email is one of the most important pieces of the email. It is the first part that people see when they receive your email, and it is the only part they see sorting through their inbox trying to decide what to open and what to delete.
I recently watched an excellent web clinic that was done by the MECLAB Marketing Experiments research group on optimizing email subject lines. In the clinic they explain that the role of the subject line is not only to grab people’s attention, but to convert that attention into interest in order to get them to keep reading. They continue to explain that a truly engaging subject line is inherently connected to the value proposition, and that by using research about our prospects we can maximize the force of the subject line and value proposition. They also outlined the four criteria of a successful subject line:
While the science behind their findings is truly impressive, when it comes to sales prospecting, as opposed to mass email marketing, I believe that there is a lot more art involved. If you are reading this as a sales person or outbound prospector, then your goal is slightly different than that of an email marketer. You are trying to setup a call, not get someone to click on a call to action. You may also already have rapport with many of the people who you are emailing. You know how they will react to certain things, what their tone was like on the last call, and what their attitude is toward you and your company. These are things that are not captured in a database, but that you can leverage to increase your success.
Consider these tips for crafting engaging subject lines:
- Use all lower case letters: Think about a casual email from a friend that you would open — what does the subject line look like? It’s usually all lower-case letters.
- Be brief and to the point: “Do you have 5 minutes?” is a subject line that I have seen work successfully in a number of different companies and selling environments for getting a call back.
- Include their content in the subject line: If your prospect has a blog use the title of one of their recent posts in the subject line. Most people who write blogs don’t have that many readers, and they get really excited when one of them actually reaches out to them directly about their post.
- The subject line should start with the word “Your”: As in “Your recent blog post…”, or “Your product…”. Research from Kensei Partners, a sales training firm shows that subject lines that begin with the word “Your” perform significantly better that not.
Understanding the concepts laid out in the Marketing Experiments web clinic, and combining them with some of these other tips will help you craft engaging subject lines that will have more people reading and responding to your emails.