Prospecting emails are more powerful today than they were 20 years ago. That’s because we know a lot more about how people use their inboxes. While social media comes with a lot of noise, the email inbox appears to be the one environment on the Internet where the individual can maintain control over the messaging he or she sees.

Marketers understand this, and the good ones know that when someone signs up for a newsletter or free report, they do not do so lightly. If you are fortunate enough to get an opt-in, you want to guard it and treat it with the respect it deserves.

That means not wasting anyone’s time and making sure that each and every contact does its job in scratching the prospect’s proverbial itch. To help you craft prospecting emails that work on this level, here are some tips you would be wise to incorporate in your personal campaigns.

1. Divide and conquer

Prospects cannot be dealt with in cookie-cutter fashion. Your opt-ins will have different motivations and likely have varied motivations. That’s why marketers pursue a wide range of keywords within their respective industries and why they test out a lot of lead pages.

The best thing you can do is get to know your prospect before you start sending them marketing messages. What are their hopes, fears, goals, and values? How do those align with your marketing?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you won’t create one prospecting email but several, and each will appeal to different aspects of the prospect’s journey and character.

By fragmenting your prospecting emails as you would lead pages, you can get a better idea of who your prospects are, what they respond to, and the most effective ways to reach them.

2. Approach with confidence, not condolences

Your emails cannot be apologetic in tone. Keep in mind these will be seen by people, who have already seen enough to entrust you with their email address. You can assume there is a certain degree of interest where they actually want to hear from you.

Take that interest and reward it with value.

3. Use simple language

Try to use as few -ly words as possible. Make sure sentences are short. Don’t try to impress with the size of your vocabulary. People can sense pretentiousness from a mile away. And even if they can’t, assume they can.

Before finalizing your campaign, run it through a free app like Hemingway and check your Flesch-Kincaid reading score. Anything from a 6th to 9th grade reading level is ideal, and no, that is not a knock on the intelligence of your prospects. Most bestsellers are written somewhere in that range. It’s all about clarity.

4. Be short and sweet

Email is often connected to work and productivity. People do not intend to read novel-length messages, and you shouldn’t put them in that position. Generally, prospecting emails that work are no more than 150 words in length.

5. Do your homework

Don’t waste the prospect’s time with things they already know. Drill down into the psyche of your target audience. What are some facts, figures, and other information that will appeal to their sense of curiosity? The ultimate goal is to learn who your prospects are on a deeper level.

6. Spend more time on your subject line

The subject line of an email is too often treated as throwaway. It is the exact opposite. People use a subject line to immediately determine the value of the message. They are time-pressed and looking for reasons to delete, so when you ramble on with a cutesy subject line that reveals nothing (or a blank subject line), it’s a surefire ticket to the recycle bin.

Try to keep an email subject line’s character count to 60 or less. Don’t try to “trick” the prospect into opening. It’s okay to leave some mystery, but make sure you aren’t disingenuous about it.

There is a lot of debate regarding what makes a subject line great. HubSpot has a pretty terrific list here. You can find more through Google, but all share commonalities. They are short. They are specific to the business. They adapt to the personality of the audience.

7. Enhance your CTA

The call-to-action is your last chance to guide your prospect into the next step. That makes it a pretty important 1-3 sentences. If there is no sense of urgency or specificity, your prospect is likely to ignore or forget. Use language that pushes for a true response like, “I have some time available this Wednesday. When would be good for you?” Avoid generics like “Hope to talk to you soon.”

In closing

Prospecting emails will grow in importance as social media gets louder and louder. Make sure you are nurturing the relationships you have with your prospects. To do that, utilize the tips above and test, test, test!


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