These 3 Email Subject Lines Will Kill Your Chances of Winning a New Customer

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spencerXsmith-stop-checking-inHow many times have you gotten an email from a salesperson with one of these three subject lines?

“Checking In”

“Touching Base”

“Following Up”

I’ve received dozens of emails like this and am guilty of sending a whole bunch of them too. Think about it: aren’t these just euphemisms for “Wanna buy my stuff?”

What to say instead of “Wanna buy my stuff?”

“What should I say instead?” you might be wondering. Following up is such a critical part of the sales process, and the last thing you want is to be forgotten by your prospect. What’s a way to follow up while simultaneously providing value?

Instead of emailing someone to remind them you would like to sell them something, use the opportunity to provide targeted education. What’s the best way to be sure you’re sending something that’s relevant, though?

After you earn a prospect’s email address, assign that prospect to a simple workflow based on their interests. This is difficult at first if you’re simply maintaining one catch-all email list. Instead of just one list, create a series of categories based on specific interests. John Jantsch does a great job describing this concept in his recent article titled Content 3.0 – The Rise of the Content Community. This community concept may seem a bit overwhelming at first, however, and you may be wondering…

What to do if you don’t have digital assets yet

If your business is struggling with this whole digital marketing thing, start with baby steps as you work toward a Content Community repository. To get started, consider this: What questions are your prospects asking you every single day that you’re manually answering via email or phone calls? What can you offer these prospects that is both concise and actionable? Simple digital assets like cheat sheets, checklists and templates work great in this capacity. Limit these downloads to one page so they can easily be shared or printed.

By offering specific assets geared at fixing specific problems, you can gauge your prospects’ interests immediately, and not be left guessing what issues they’re facing. Which asset do you create first? This is where we need to stop thinking so hard. What question do you hear more than any other? Create that one now.

As an example, if you’re a marketer specializing in SEO, you probably hear the question “How do I drive more traffic to my website?” all the time. For those prospective clients who download your “5 Biggest Mistakes Companies Make With SEO” cheat sheet, ensure your email messages further their education about that specific topic. That will be an email they’ll actually look forward to receiving.

How to get started right now

This is the part where I ask you to get out of your own way. Don’t analyze these concepts to death or over-automate your workflows…just start. Instead of retroactively applying these ideas to your existing email list – an incredibly daunting task if you’ve been in business more than a few years – start fresh with only new prospects. You’ll iron out the kinks much faster, and just as importantly, you’ll get to experience success early and often as a result of your efforts.

 

10.2 headshot2Spencer X. Smith is committed to helping clients achieve measurable increases in revenue from their digital marketing efforts. He uses Plain English to help you understand what methods are worth doing – or not doing – with your business. The ideas he shares are what he uses every day in his companies, and only through experiencing the success and failure can he confidently advise on them. He is also an instructor at the University of Wisconsin.

 


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  1. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the opportunity to guest post, John, Kala, Amy & the whole Duct Tape Marketing Crew!

    If anyone has any questions about this post or what you SHOULD do when following up, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I had the fortunate experience of doing over 3,000 in-person sales meetings between 2008-2015, so I’ve definitely learned both what to do and what not to do (like these email subject lines).

  2. Spencer was JUST telling customer about this same idea. Can’t just hit them ever time with an ask. Just the other day I created a one page “Useful Linked In posts for your company updates” to which my prospects really respond . Eerie! 🙂

  3. Couldn’t agree more. If you haven’t got anything of value to say don’t say anything. And as for the follow-up opportunities that are missed, ENORMOUS!

  4. Been doing this for my email lists for quite some time, though I haven’t read it from an article before and was just told by a friend of mine. Now, I see several people making contents for this subject matter, but I like yours the most – it’s succinct and straight forward. Have the same approbation with everyone else here. Kudos to you Spencer for this wonderful article! Have to tell my e-folks about this!

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