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Sales Emails: 3 Reasons Your Subject Lines are Turning People Away

Posted by Casey Lewis on Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Topics: Sales Process

sales-emails-subject-linesLet’s be honest: nobody likes sales emails. Have you ever been excited to see a sales email appear in your inbox? Probably not. Unfortunately, they are a very necessary part of a successful modern day marketing strategy.

The open rates on sales emails are never going to be astronomical; that’s just the nature of the business. But if your sales emails are experiencing absolutely abysmal open rates – perhaps even less than 1 percent – then your subject lines may be the culprit.

Here are some reasons why your subject lines may be repelling your recipients:  

1. They sound exactly like sales emails

It may sound silly, but the last thing you want from a sales email subject line is for it to sound exactly like a sales email. As we covered above, nobody really likes sales emails. Using generic subject lines that sound exactly like a sales pitch isn’t going to get you many opens. Today’s consumer has heard every sales pitch in the book: they aren’t interested in being a willing participant in yet another one.

2. They are simply boring or unoriginal

Just like a generic sales pitch, a boring subject line doesn’t inspire a recipient to open it. You should do everything you can to ensure your subject line doesn’t sound like it leads to a boring old sales email. Use action verbs to encourage your recipients to open the email, and focus on the benefits of your sales offer instead of just the product. For example, contrast these two subject lines:

Subject line 1: “Our newest software is now available”
Subject line 2: “Get this software today to increase your leads by 25 percent”

The first subject line is boring and very vanilla, and it reads like half a dozen other sales emails sitting in your trash folder. The second subject line uses the active verb “get” to encourage action, and it highlights the benefit of the product: a significant increase in leads. Which one would you rather open?

3. You’re not testing

Perhaps the most important part of any sales or marketing campaign, testing is absolutely critical. You should test everything you do in your campaigns, especially subject lines.

Once you’ve come up with some new, interesting subject lines, test them out with your recipients. Use one subject line with half of your recipients, and a different subject line with the other half – then compare the results. If one subject line performs markedly better, analyze why. Every test you perform brings you valuable information and insight you can use to determine what works best for your audience. And it’s nearly impossible to test too much, because having too much information is never a bad thing.

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