The opening of an email is responsible for first impressions. As such, the opening should be carefully formulated to avoid emails being disregarded. To capture interest, subject lines should be kept short and no more than 5 words if possible (and under 70 characters) to pique the interest of the reader.
Emails should open with a humble introduction that, if possible, references earlier touch points. In the case of a first email being sent to a prospect without a prior formal introduction, address the elephant in the room. Leading with honesty encourages the reader to continue.
This should be followed with a comment or compliment that demonstrates knowledge and interest in the prospect individually and their company. By feeling understood, the reader will be motivated to read further.
Next, get to the point of the email to avoid losing the reader’s interest. Ask the prospect a rhetorical question that illuminates a current or potential future problem. This leads nicely into answering the question with a proposed solution or product that your company offers.
A well-formulated question is key to email marketing lead generation, as it demonstrates knowledge of the prospect, their needs, and the goals of the company they work for. This also reinforces the expertise of the sender, therefore solidifying the credibility of an offer.
Offer an educational opportunity in the form of relevant content, rather than pushing for a sale. Any content shared should serve to inform, engage, and nurture a stronger relationship with the prospect. Make sure it is targeted to the prospect’s pain points or needs.
Making this offer allows sales teams to analyze interaction to re-confirm lead interest, improve segmentation accuracy, and help to identify future opportunities with prospective clients who are interested but unable to make a change currently. Giving power back to the prospect at this stage makes them feel less forced into a sale and makes interest on the salesperson’s part more genuine.
At the end of the email, include a CTA to encourage interaction. This may be a prompt to download a resource (such case studies), if it has been offered, or to book a meeting.
The latter should be done in a low-friction, non-demanding manner. Asking too much of prospects at this stage is a common mistake that can result in them dismissing emails entirely.
Subvert expectations at the end of the email by making it clear to the reader that there is no pressure to make commitments. It is important to provide something of use before making a request to avoid creating a transactional email.
Finally, a memorable sign-off can go a long way to improve engagement rates.