It’s every brand’s email nightmare: you work hard on crafting the perfect pitch, but when that email hits your prospects’ inbox, they hit the delete button without even opening the message.

How do you craft an email worth opening? And how do you close the sale once you have your prospects’ attention?

Step 1 | Choose a Catchy Subject Line

Good subject lines:

    • Are short. You want people to be able to read the whole thing, whether they’re on desktop or mobile! So keep your subject line to 40 characters or less.
    • Don’t contain “spammy” words. Avoid phrases like “buy now” or “free,” which could land you in spam filters.
    • Include a call to action. What is it you’re asking people to do? Tell them! Phrases like “See what’s happening at…” or “Make a plan for…” might be a good bet, depending on your audience and product.
    • Mention a deadline. Are you promoting a limited-time offer? Include the expiration date in the subject line to add urgency.

Another tactic that might work: using emojis. According to Constant Contact, emojis in subject lines tend to increase open rates.

Still not sure about your subject line? Free online tools such as Sendview and Omnisend will test your subject line and offer suggestions for improvement.

Step 2 | Polish Your Preheader Text

The preheader is the preview of text that will show up in prospects’ email inboxes below the subject line. It’s crucial that you include text here, so as to avoid having boilerplate like “Having trouble viewing this email?” appear in this space.

That said, make sure not to repeat the subject line — this is your chance to provide additional information that could encourage prospects to open the email!

The preheader field is a great place to mention a specific campaign (“Save 20% on summer getaways”) or provide additional details you weren’t able to fit into the subject line.

As with subject lines, a call to action works well here — or you could try an open-ended question. (For example, let’s say your subject line is “Grab Early-Bird Deals by April 30”. Your preheader text could read, “Find out how much you can save!”)

Another option is to lean into humor. (Example subject line: “Hi, we sent you another email [insert ‘weary’ or ‘grimacing’ emoji]” Preheader text: “We think you’ll like this one though.”)

Step 3 | Craft a Convincing Pitch

Once a prospect has opened your email, you have only a couple of seconds to grab their attention. A good pitch should:

    • Be no more than two sentences long. A long-winded explanation will lose your prospect’s interest.
    • Avoid jargon. Instead of repeating boilerplate about what your product does (such as “[product] is the leading tech solution in the 3PL space”), offer a specific solution (such as “With [product], you can track your freight anywhere in the world, 24/7.”)
    • Include a call to action. Tell your prospects exactly what you want them to do — in a single sentence that forms its own paragraph. (“Go to [link] for…” or “Call [number] to find…” are good bets.)

Finally, don’t forget to follow up with people who opened your email but didn’t click through to your website! The sooner, the better — on the same day, if possible. That extra bit of attention could be just what you needed to grab the sale.

Want more tips on how to craft a sound sales strategy and increase open rates? Email to start the conversation.