3 Ways to Write Prospecting Messages that Get Responses

BY Rachel Cagle
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Are you having trouble getting your prospecting messages to stand out and get responses? According to a few articles on SalesGravy and Revenue Grid, this could be because of the way you’re formatting your emails. Here are a few things you should focus on to get your prospecting emails answered:

  1. Framing
  2. PAS Formatting
  3. AIDA Formatting

Writing Prospecting Messages that Will Get Responses


According to Keith Lubner, your prospects tend to make decisions based purely on how you present information to them. Specifically, they are probing your prospecting messages to determine the risk involved in speaking with you. The outcome all boils down to how you word your emails.

Lubner gives an example of using percentages in your prospecting messages. Say that your research shows the prospect will have an 85% chance of achieving their goals if they partner with you. If you word your message that way, the prospect will associate the high number with success and be more confident in responding to you.

Choosing to go the opposite route can be detrimental to your prospecting messages. Even if you say, “There is only a 15% risk of the results not being in your favor,” you’re highlighting risk over reward. When the odds are in the prospect’s favor, never focus on the risk. “In the first scenario, there’s a 15% chance of no results, but you framed it as 85% successful,” says Lubner. “Therefore, you increased the probability that they receive the message the way you want them to.”

PAS Formatting

Grace Sweeney says you can also use copywriting techniques to give your prospecting messages the umph they need to get responses. PAS (or problem, agitate, solve) is one such technique.

First, you begin your prospecting message by focusing on your prospect’s perceived problem. By beginning your email with a problem the prospect is facing, you’ll get their attention for a few reasons:

  • It shows you’ve done your research on their company.
  • Focusing on a pain point of theirs will get and hold their attention.
  • Pointing out the problem indicates that you have a solution for them.

The next step is to agitate the prospect. Now, you have to be careful with this step since negative emotions in prospecting messages can be a slippery slope if executed improperly. You just want to get an emotional response out of them. Simply, “remind the prospect of why their problem is so frustrating,” says Sweeney. Do this by bringing attention to how their company is being negatively affected by not having a solution for the problem yet.

You’ve shown your prospect that you’re a knowledgeable source and got their emotions going. Now it’s time to bring it all together and offer a promise of relief through your solution. Sweeney gives an example: “[Your solution] helps companies manage [A, B and C] from one central hub, making it easy to do [X, Y and Z].” You’ve now given the prospect some relief. Keep that up by ending your prospecting message with a zero pressure, clear call to action. This can be as simple as asking the prospect if they are interested in learning more.

AIDA Formatting

AIDA is another formula suggested by Sweeney: attention, interest, desire and action.

  • Attention: This is a two-​parter. The first place you grab your prospect’s attention is in the email’s subject line. If you don’t have a short, concise subject line that reels in the prospect, it won’t matter how good the prospecting message’s opening paragraph is. But the opener also has to propel the reader to the next paragraph. Sweeney suggests something along the line of, “Are you looking for ways to scale your lead generation efforts?”
  • Interest: Attention grabbing and piquing interest are two different parts of prospecting messages. The first will be a vague way to get the prospect’s attention. The interest section will be more specific about your authority to help them and how you plan to do so. “In just six months, we’ve helped [A & B companies] achieve [X results] after implementing [your solution],” is an example Sweeney recommends. But don’t get too specific and detailed. After all, you still need them to respond to you for more.
  • Desire: You turn a prospect’s interest in your product or service into desire by giving them more examples of how it has worked for others like them. Talk about the return on investments your similar clients have experienced and other specific examples of the benefits of working with you.
  • Action: If you end your prospecting message without telling your prospect what to do next, you won’t be getting a response. So, you need to add in a clear call to action for them to follow. “I’d love to talk to you about how [your solution] could help your company achieve similar results,” is one Sweeney recommends. “Do you have some time to chat later this week?” Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for their inevitable response.