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The Best Email Subject Line For Teleprospecting I've Seen Yet.

  
  
  
  

The best email subject line I've seen in my career came through my Inbox this week.  Brad G, one of our inside sales reps shared an email he had received from a prospect praising his persistence in prospecting him.  We call it "polite persistence" here at AG and I was very proud that the prospect not only responded to Brad, but took the time to compliment his approach and work ethic.  Love to see that.  As I was closing out the email I glanced at the subject line that Brad had sent to the prospect. 

It read "Attention: Jim - Final Follow up"

I'm a big believer in subject lines driving the success of your emails.  Your content means NOTHING if you don't first get the prospect to open the email.  One of my old school favorites was "follow up:  Pete from AG Salesworks".  That one always seemed to at least peak people's interest in terms of "what is this guy following up on"?  or "do I know Pete"?  Either way, they opened it more often than not.  Hopefully my content was up the task and they became opportunities for us, but that is a blog for another day. 

Brad really kicked my older subject line up a notch by adding some very subtle yet effective verbiage.  First, he uses "Attention" to start the subject.  I don't know about you, but when I read the word attention I typically pay attention and read the next couple of words.  Brad's got the ball rolling nicely here.  Next he uses Jim's name.  Personalizes it a bit...he's got Jim's attention (by saying "attention") and now Jim is a little more interested because Brad knows his name.  Now its time for the grand finale'...Brad closes out the subject line with "Final Follow up".  Brilliant!!  He's gotten Jim's "Attention", Jim is somewhat comfortable reading because Brad used his name, and he tops it all off by leveraging the greatest fear every true blooded American has...missing out on something.  By stating that this is the "Final Follow up", Brad has placed immediate importance on having his email opened and addressed by Jim. 

It may seem like an over analysis to you, but hey, it's what we do here.  The words matter, the choice of words, their placement, and their intended effect should be well thought out prior to being used.  Nowhere is this more important than in the subject line of an email. 

Brad nailed it here, and to prove it I figured I'd include the actual response he received from the prospect:

Brad,

You get extra points for being persistent.  I do have an interest in seeing a demo of your application and its reports, but I have been quite busy.  How about scheduling something on 8/13?  That day is completely open on my calendar.

Jim

Jim was later qualified and passed by Brad and the discovery call has been set for our client's sales rep on 8/13.  The devil truly is in the details.

Comments

Interesting post.My colleagues were just debating the efficacy of this very approach a few weeks back. We decided it was annoying because we really didn't know the sender. Instead, we felt they were just trying to trick us into opening the email. Would be curious to know over a large sample if opens go up, but conversions go down. Also wonder if there are any differences in response across geos.  
 
@ajdun
Posted @ Thursday, July 29, 2010 8:38 PM by Aaron
Great question Aaron. I expected that some folks may think of this approach as either rude or annoying. In our teleprospecting efforts this type of message comes at the tail end of our regimented call plan. The prospect has received several voicemails and emails from our rep. To this end, they do Know us to a degree and we know them. Also, it is in fact our final communication to the prospect. We aren’t trying to trick them, we are actually moving on if they decide not to respond.  
 
 
 
‘Opens’ most definitely increase and conversations do as well. I attribute this to the content in the body of the email. It is short, to the point, and most importantly respectful. 
 
 
 
Thanks for reading the blog. 
 
Posted @ Friday, July 30, 2010 9:51 AM by Pete Gracey
Thanks for the reply Pete. I do think this is an interesting topic. Unfortunately not everyone integrates it as well as you do.  
 
I run a telesales team in India and we are shifting them to a more integrated approach rather than just dialing for dollars. Starting to marry up targeted emails against calling strategies with some positive signs. If you have any data you would be ok sharing, feel free to DM me.  
 
@ajdun
Posted @ Friday, July 30, 2010 3:04 PM by Aaron
I've used this years ago and it WORKS! Here's why: if people think they're going to be getting another opportunity to follow up with you via another email in the future, they'll put contacting you off. if they feel this is a FINAL follow up, it's a call to action NOW.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 03, 2012 6:32 PM by lisa
Love the analysis but I'm not agreeing with this one. It's an old school method and doesn't fly anymore in my book.  
 
Today's sales rep should be way more sincere. They should use information about the prospect to excite them to open the email, not trick them. 
 
My favorite example can be found here: http://salesloft.com/2012/06/2-cold-email-tactics-that-earn-a-20-response-rate/. 
 
The subject line was "Your right, Chipper Jones is the Man!"  
 
I'd love to hear your opinion on what you think about this.
Posted @ Friday, October 12, 2012 8:01 AM by Kyle Porter
@Kyle I couldn't agree more. Don't get me wrong, I believed what I wrote 2 years ago. However, since then, companies like yours and others have opened the door to much more meaningful and real time communication with targeted prospects. I still stand by that subject line though. It still works. The difference today is that, thanks to technology, we rarely get to that "final" email anymore!!
Posted @ Friday, October 12, 2012 11:36 AM by Pete Gracey
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