I don't know about you, but my email open rate is going the way of voicemails - rarely listened to, and quickly deleted. What I've found, however, is that there are some techniques that can give you the best chance of getting your emails read and even responded to, but you have to be very specific in the way you construct them.
Follow these six email secrets the next time you write and send an email, and you'll be on your way to the kind of response you used to get - and the kind that will lead to more business:
- Email Secret #1: Use the prospect's first name in the subject line. Think about it: what is everyone's favorite word? Their first name! Have you ever been in public before and heard someone call out your name? You automatically turned around and were receptive and ready to respond until you saw they were calling someone they knew.
You can get your prospect's attention the same way by putting their name in the subject line of your emails. To start with, doing so will distinguish your email from the hundreds of others your prospect gets, and because we are all drawn to our own name, it will draw your prospect's eyes to your email like a magnet. This is the very best way to get their attention and a great way to get them to read more.
- Email Secret #2: Customize the first few lines of your email as much as possible. Many people preview their emails by reading the first few sentences in their email program before deciding to read the whole thing, so concentrate on writing a short and value laden opening that is addressed right to them. Something like:
"Hi Barbara, Mike Brooks here with HMS software. I've got some ideas about your networking issues for your new office that's opening in Houston next month. I think you'll find it useful if we talk."
Again, keep it short, customize it to what you know they're interested in and provide immediate, specific value to them.
- Email Secret #3: Keep your email short and easy to read! Nothing will turn your prospect off more than long, information packed paragraphs. Their eyes will glaze over and they will hit the delete key faster than it took you to hit the send key!
Don't let any of your paragraphs be more than three sentences, and if possible, make them just two sentences. Recap the major ideas in short phrases, and make sure to engage your prospect by asking questions. An example would be:
"Hi John, I was wondering if you were still having trouble recouping all the available cash from your current collection program? If so, you'll want to speak with me about our new itemized IT solution.
I've got some time next Tuesday or would later in the week work for you? Please let me know either way. You can see more info here (your website address).
If I don't hear from you, I'll follow up with a call next week."
- Email Secret #4: Ask for a return response - whether they are interested or not. This is a great way to end your email and a good way to get a response. Just think about how nice it will be to finally take someone off your list who isn't going to do business with you, and also how great it will be to find someone who is!
Simply thank them in advance for their consideration and let them know that you're looking forward to their response on this - either a yes or a no.
- Email Secret #5: Promise to follow up by phone if they don't respond. Let them know that you understand they are busy, and that if you don't hear from them, then you'll follow up with a call in a day or two.
This really increases your response rate and you can be happy when you get a "not interested" response. These prospects just disqualified themselves and saved you a lot of time and energy!
On the other hand, there will be others who don't respond and they become your follow up leads.
- Email Secret #6: Proof read your emails before you hit the send key. Because your prospect can't see you, they only have your writing sample to judge you on, and if it's filled with misspellings and poor grammar, what kind of impression do you think this makes?
It only takes a minute to proof read your emails, and I'll tell you now I'm always glad I did. I almost always make them better, and when I hit the send key I know I've sent out the best message possible. Doing so allows me to make the best impression, and this once again separates me from my competition.