Quick Question, sorry to bother you, I am sure you are busy and I hope your well in the difficult times but are you the right person to talk to about extending your cars warranty? We have all experienced the common mistakes that B2B sales and marketing departments make when crafting a cold email. If you go into your spam inbox right now, you will probably see several variations of the first sentence in this blog post, and your eyes will glaze over the message and you usually will delete or move on.
As an email marketer for over 15 years, I have seen a lot of the “what not to do” subject lines that people make. In this blog post, I will examine a few in my own inbox and show examples of how to make them better and more engaging.
“Quick Question” – Currently in my inbox, there are 5 different companies email, starting with the subject line “Quick Question”. The original purpose of this subject line was to announce to the recipient that I value their time, and this won’t take long. In reality, it’s wasting time to mention, quick question. Ideally you want to get to the point quickly, but this subject line has been so over used, it has lost it’s effectiveness completely.
Alternative – Start with the question, use the question in the subject line. If I am interested or if the question addresses something I am currently exploring, I will open and continue reading. Just get to the point quicker here.
“RE:” – This used to be an old trick to try and make someone believe you have had a previous conversation. This is simply deception and is an immediate delete when I see this tactic.
Alternative – There is no alternative to this one, just don’t use this approach.
“Following Up” – Most sales and marketing pros use a cadence or sequence of touches to try and get the prospects attention. This is a go-to for the second touch, but in reality it’s just lazy. If the first subject line didn’t get their attention, it’s time to get even more creative.
Alternative – Try a joke in the second message or something you saw in the news about the company. Maybe they are going through a growth phase. Something as simple as “Did you watch Growing Pains as a kid?” (Then in the message, you can go into how you have noticed the companies growth over the last few months.) The prospect may not be old enough to know what your talking about, (might be dating myself here a bit) but it is more engaging and thought provoking than “Just following up from my last message, did you get it?”
Bonus Subject Line – Always works on me – “Before I give you a Call” – this is one I see a lot, but it always grabs my attention, because I recognize that the sales person has my info, and if I don’t want a call, I should reply. If I do want a call, and they actually follow through with one, I am a little impressed they have my info, have done the research and are doing some multi-touch outreach.
Bottom line is the more creative and away from the norm, the better. Take a look at your spam inbox, it’s a great indicator of what subject lines you should NOT use. Do your research, use an accurate Lead platform like Lead411, and make the message about them, not about your solution. Your open rates will improve, and your IP reputation will not suffer.