How to Get Your Sales Emails Opened More Often

BY Rachel Cagle
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Schedules have become fairly chaotic since many Americans began working from home. Parents have to keep their children entertained and help them with school work. Millions of people have adopted new pets since March, so they’re in various stages of training or handling animals in their makeshift workplace. And, in some cases, employees’ days have become so turbulent that their bosses have allowed them to make their own schedules. So, sales emails have become one of the best ways to reach out to prospects. To get your sales emails opened, you need to grab hold of the prospect’s attention with the subject line and not let go.

How to Get Your Sales Emails Opened

The Subject Line

On average, businesspeople receive 121 emails on a daily basis, writes Lee McKnight in a recent HubSpot article. So, how do you stand a chance of getting your sales emails opened? You need to start out with a killer subject line. The subject line is the first part of an email prospects notice, and it’s the sole reason 35% of recipients open emails. A few tactics you can use to get your emails opened include using personalization and action-​oriented language. Additionally, try asking a question the prospect can relate to in order to make them curious about the answer inside your email. Keep it short, though. If the prospect can’t read your full subject line, they’ll probably assume that the rest of your email is just as long winded.

An Introductory Sales Email

If this is your first outreach ever to a new prospect, obviously you need to begin with an introduction. To get your sales emails opened, you need to promise the prospect value AND deliver it. That begins with establishing your credibility. McKnight says that you should be establishing your authority in the industry while maintaining a warm and authentic air. For example, “Hi, [Prospect’s name]! I’m [Your name] with [your company]. We're a Y company that specializes in [choose either your primary vertical or a vertical you have experience in] to [insert a typical challenge you help clients face]. I'm wondering if you might be open to an initial conversation to gauge a fit?”

You can establish your credibility further by naming a few companies similar to the prospect’s that they may recognize and mention the common overall problem that you helped them solve. Save the specifics for later.

A Follow-​Up Introductory Email

No matter how carefully you planned your first outreach attempt it can still be difficult to get your sales emails opened. That’s okay. You just need to try again. Come up with another engaging subject line, then begin your email with a reminder of who you are and a brief rundown of the outreach attempts you’ve tried so far. Then inquire again about a quick meeting and list the specific duration time you’re asking for. If the prospect knows that you’re asking for a small chunk of their time, they’ll be more likely to engage.

Now it’s time to use a few more specifics about the related companies you’ve worked with in the past. McKnight suggests, “While I have you, I thought you might find some interest in our work with [client]. We helped them [achieve goal] resulting in [ideally you have a % to use here, but any meaningful result will suffice]. You can read the whole story here: [Provide case study link.]”

A Sales Proposal Email

Woohoo! You landed a sales meeting! Now, let’s get to the good part: your official sales proposal. This message is going to, hopefully, be your last short pitch to the prospect. Get your sales email opened with another engaging subject line. Then restate the problem you discussed with your prospect in the meeting and the value you can provide. “We can offer [types of solutions] that will allow you to solve [specific problems they're facing]. We use different tactics than our competitors, including [differentiators from other companies in your space],” is a template McKnight suggests. Wrap the rest of the email up with a few relevant accomplishments of your company, such as awards in a certain field or another relatable current client story.

Following Up to Your Follow-​Up Emails

It happens to the best sales reps. You think you have a for-​sure sale and then you struggle to get responses from the prospect. It’s okay. Take a deep breath and don’t let your anxiety show in your follow-​up emails if you want to get your sales emails opened. In the email after your sales proposal, start things off with a subject line such as, “[Company Name] — Still Interested?” In the body of your email, be polite and ask about feedback to the proposal you sent. For an added bonus, you can send a link to an industry-​related article that they may find useful.

If you still don’t get a response, try one more time, then bow out with grace so that you can have another shot at selling to the prospect in the future. McKnight recommends writing something along the lines of, “I've tried to reach out a few times now without a reply. Usually when this happens, it means my offer is not a priority right now. Is it safe for me to assume that's the case here? If it is, I won't bother you anymore. If you'd rather I follow up in a month or two when you have more bandwidth, I'm happy to do that as well.”

Now you’ll have the time to dedicate to other leads and, who knows, the prospect may just need a bit more time. Don’t worry about it if they don’t, though. You parted on good terms and they know that you’re respectful. So, you can always reach out again in the future with a different product.