Recently I connected with Jonathan Borge, an email expert who has mastered the art of getting emails answered. Through an email conversation, (how else would you communicate with an email expert, right?), he shared with me seven great tips on how you can ensure that your emails will get noticed.
1. Subject lines: Remember that only 20 percent to 40 percent of your emails will actually get opened, though most of your subject lines will be seen. To boost your open rates, think of short, catchy, and informative subject lines. You should try to dangle compelling information ("The future of sales emails"), and you can even try adding some mystery ("Strange question"). We also recommend personalized subject lines, if possible ("Hunter Sullivan suggested I contact you").]
2. Your tone: Portray yourself as someone that other people can connect to. You'll want to show your recipients that you care about hearing back from them... so you can't simply sound like you're just sending another mass email. Never use "Dear sir or Madam," and stay away from overly formal language.
3. Email content: Make your emails short, simple, and easy to quickly digest. Your leads are busy people with jobs, too, so you need to maintain their interest. Do your research and find out what resonates for your prospects. Try to get an introduction to them or, if that's not possible, figure out in more detail what they or their company do. Tell them why you're emailing them, specifically. Talk about how you can solve a problem for them.
4. Your sign-off: End your emails with a definitive, clear call to action. Make it dead simple for your recipients to say yes—whether it's to a meeting, phone call, or product demo. Don't ask them for permission. If you want a phone call, then say "Call me right now at X for more details."
5. Your timing: Reach out to your leads when they're not too busy. Make sure you avoid heavy traffic times like Monday mornings. Based on our tracking data, we recommend the middle of the week, mid-day, as the best time to send emails.
6. Your image: First impressions are important both in person and online. The tone and formatting of your email is all your recipients have to judge you by. Make sure you are being professional, clear, and easy to understand. Stay away from over-formatted emails that look gimmicky, but don't hesitate to call out important information in bold or bullet points.
7. Your homework: Send yourself a sales email. Put yourself in your leads' shoes. If you were them, would you open this email? Would you spend more than two seconds reading it? If so, what would you do next?
The first time you read this list, you'll probably think "I already knew all that." But, do what I did. Go look at the last 10 emails you sent to prospects or new contacts and read them with a critical eye to see if you followed all seven tips. I scored four or five on all of mine, but not a seven on any one of them.
About Jonathan Borge
Jonathan is a product specialist at ToutApp, a sales communications platform that helps salespeople and sales managers streamline and track their day-to-day email communications. Be sure to read ToutApp's book on how to write effective sales emails.