3.5 Essential Email Rules For Engaging Prospects

Posted on Aug 30, 2013

Emails have long since been the de facto medium of communication, and when prospecting they can be more effective than calling – if used correctly. With that in mind, here are 4 essential rules to follow to create engaging emails.

1. Keep your subject and opening line concise

One of the golden rules in communication is to be concise. Don’t waffle and don’t use needlessly long sentences. If you are trying to engage a busy or important prospect, chances are they may read your email on a mobile device and see the first 80 characters. If you can write a short subject and opening line, quickly pique their interest within that space, then you have a very high chance of getting the rest of your message read. Opening with lines that are too common or quite spammy are an obvious no-no. Try something like “I think we should talk as we have helped X, Y & Z do / achieve” and go on to briefly demonstrate your work with their peers (aka why you think the recipient should drop what they are doing and start communicating with you). Send yourself the draft email first and see how much gets displayed on your mobile device – and ask yourself if you’d open it or not.

1.5 Don’t Use Initial Capitals – This is more natural

When Subject Lines Are In Initial Capitals I Know This Is Not Likely To Be From Someone I Know. Instead busy / real people write in a natural way and only capitalise the start of a sentence.

2. Keep your language and message simple rather than clever

Clever subject lines or messages do not work. Save then for strap lines / tag lines. Instead, keeping things simple and clear is far more effective. That said there is still a place for unusual language which certainly attracts attention / gets you remembered (such as ‘pique’ in the first point, or the “.5” in the title). Numbers also attract people’s attention and eyes have a tendency to stop when they hit them. So use 1 or 2 numbers. Above all try to keep your message as clear as possible as it’s likely to be read rapidly or in a rush. Your primary goal is to get a response saying ‘tell me more’. That’s a successful cold email.

3. Leave them with a compelling and personalised call to action

After you’ve presented your reason for getting in touch and the problems you can / have solved for others, you’ve done the bulk of your job. So shut up and get out of there quickly before you blow it. Give them a very clear call to action and steps to take if there are interested / experiencing those problems. You can personalise this call by including their job title (“if you are interested to find out how we have other Financial Directors”) or their company name. Then you can wrap it up by making your unique call to action: are they in the same city as you? “call me in Edinburgh on”; are you offering your mobile number? “call me directly on”.

I hope these are a useful starting point, in the future we’ll run an article about expressing the pains you can solve in the best way.
In the meantime if you’d be interested in our dedicated proven cold email prospecting training then please get in touch. Sell well!