The email phrases you use should engage, inform and inspire buyers. But many sellers are still using tired, cliché phrases that neither interest nor inspire action recipients. This is a major missed opportunity, as SalesFuel research revealed email is buyers’ most preferred method for interacting with sellers.
It’s time to reconsider these email phrases
Industry professionals have compiled suggested email phrases that senders should considering cutting. Their choices may surprise you, as many are common and polite. But they’re lacking important aspects that will engage recipients and encourage a response. Below are a few highlights, as well as explanations about why each phrase should be phased out and alternatives to use.
- I hope this email finds you well
- Just following up
- Sorry to bother you, but…
“I hope this email finds you well.”
At first glance, this email phrase seems pleasant and friendly. But, as Daniel Potter explains in an article for Grammarly, it’s tired and overused. “You might intend this in a caring way, but this phrase is so exhausted and generic that it now risks suggesting the opposite: less a thoughtful sentiment than just meaningless chaff,” he explains.
Buyers do appreciate empathy from sellers. But you can express empathy and show interest in other ways while using better language. Potter suggests using phrases that compliment or show interest in the recipient and include a personal element. If you’ve previously connected with the buyer, start by mentioning how much you enjoyed their recent LinkedIn post or a recent podcast appearance. If it’s a cold email, kick off the email with a sentence mentioning how you’ve heard great things about them from a mutual acquaintance or enjoyed a feature about them in a blog post. By replacing a generic email phrase with a more personal one, you capture the reader’s attention and come across as more genuine.
“Just following up.”
This is another phrase that Potter recommends removing from your future emails. While it does attempt to tackle the tricky issue of an unresponsive buyer, it just isn’t effective. “You might deploy this overworked phrase when nudging someone who hasn’t responded to an email,” he writes. “Sometimes that’s necessary, but this phrase too often falls flat in its goal of getting a response.”
Instead, write an alternative that is more specific and direct. Highlight the item that you’d like a response about while still maintaining a polite tone. The Muse’s Dana Hundley recommends these alternatives that are clear and concise while also restating your request:
- “Following up on this [request/question/assignment]”
- “Circling back on this [request/question/assignment]”
- “Checking in on this [request/question/assignment]”
- “I need your input on the below by [date/time]"
“Sorry to bother you, but…”
This email phrase is very polite but also very passive. But it implies two things. The first, according to HubSpot’s Mike Renahan, is that by saying “sorry,” you’re implying you’ve done something wrong. He points out that, “When a prospect sees that you’re apologizing for sending an email, they might assume the message is completely valueless.”
The second implication is that you are bothering the recipient. Don’t position yourself as an annoyance; you and what you have to offer are valuable. Own your value and avoid this email phrase that can undermine it. Instead, reach out with a clear request for action or something of value that you can share. This will be more effective at garnering a response than using this lackluster phrase.
These emails phrases are tired and ultimately not going get the desired response and engagement. Taking the time now to thoughtfully update email responses, and omit these ineffective phrases, will be worth the effort.
Photo by Burst
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