You did it! Your cleverly crafted email subject line cut through the clutter in your prospect’s inbox and inspired them to open your message! But then, a few seconds later, your email ends up in the trash. What happened? Aja Frost, writing for HubSpot, says that it’s probably because of your opening sentence.
Frost says that one of the most common outreach email mistakes out there is not putting as much effort into your email’s opening sentence as you do in the first sentence of your in-person introductions. After realizing that she was making the same mistake in her sales emails, Frost did some research. The research revealed that a few sentences were killing her emails. “I tossed them from my repertoire … and my response rate more than doubled.” Here are four of the ones she stopped using:
- “My name is…”
- “I work for…”
- “I’ve been thinking…”
- “I hope you’re doing well.”
Opening Sentences You Should Stop Using in Your Email Outreach
My Name Is…
When it comes to business, you need to know what someone can offer you before you focus on their personal details. Even in person, if someone comes up to you and introduces themselves, their name will probably go in one ear and out the other. It isn’t until they pique your interest in something that you begin to care about what they have to say. Your email signature is what your name is for. Your opening sentence should be dedicated to hooking your prospect’s interest. “Luckily, fixing this mistake is easy,” says Frost. “Just cut this sentence from your message so it now begins with the second sentence. Your recipient will appreciate how quickly you get to the point.”
I Work For…
Unless you work for a company that the prospect has already established connections with, they don’t care who you work for. And even if they would recognize your company’s name from previous experience or the brand’s reputation, it’s still an opening sentence that Frost says is worse than beginning with your name. “Not only is it boring and unoriginal, but it’s like planting a huge sign in the prospect’s brain that says, ‘I’m trying to sell you something!!!’”
Frost says that you can weave in a company name drop by including it after referencing a mutual connection (“Dale Harding recommended we get in touch. I work with Dale on HubSpot’s sales products team.”) or when including a link to useful content from your company’s website.
I’ve Been Thinking…
Again, if the prospect doesn’t know you, they don’t care about your opinions until you’ve earned their attention. Honestly, this opening sentence just sounds like the beginning of what is bound to be a terrible pickup line.
I Hope You’re Doing Well
No, you don’t. You don’t know this person. You may hope that an opening like this shows that you have empathy and that you care for people. But, in reality, it just makes you appear insincere. Not only that, this opening sentence is bland and overused. Just don’t bother with it.