I am an email nerd. I love reading research about what works in email and what compels prospects to read/scroll through our email instead of deleting it in the daily whack-an-email ritual.
Yes, the subject line matters. It’s most important when sending a cold email and becomes totally unimportant once the relationship is established. You know that is true because how often do you (we) forget to change the subject line for like six different email responses, yet our recipient replies?
But the first few (seven-ish) words matter too. When your email makes it through the preliminary round of “Will I miss anything if I delete this one?,” your recipient reads in preview to see if it’s personal or relevant, or automated and fake.
If it seems real and timely, you get a few more seconds of their attention.
Knowing this, I was pretty shocked to read 2021 research that said beginning with “Hope all is well” boosts meetings booked by 24%. DO NOT STOP READING. THERE IS MORE TO THE STORY!
How could it boost results when, unless we know the person and know they were recently ill, “Hope all is well” could not be considered personal nor relevant! More, we know talking about health currently reminds people of the illness around us. At best, it’s wasted real estate of those seven-ish beginning words – the most important part of the email.
But wait (here is the part most people don’t pay attention to):
The research indicates “I hope all is well” is effective only when it is put into context to imply familiarity. (Yes, I realize this is the boring part!)
So it is not okay to just start, “I hope all is well” or the incomplete sentence version of that, “Hope all is well.”
It is okay to say, “I hope all is well since your company acquired ABC. What an exciting time to be there!”
It is okay to say, “I hope all is well since going back to the office. I read about ABCs Workplace of the Future policy and it makes so much sense.”
But why start that way when you could show personalization and relevance (and have a winning touchpoint) by eliminating the fake “I hope all is well” and beginning with the personalization part:
“What an exciting time it must be to be at XYZ! Acquiring ABC must make a huge difference in revenue strategies—“
“ABCs Workplace of the Future policy makes so much sense! I read about your going back to the office policies and you must be attracting amazing new people —“
If your KPIs include new business revenue generated and closing percentages and you’re using email to engage and nurture (and who isn’t?!), it definitely pays to read the fine print, not just the screaming headline.
Whew! So glad that’s cleared up! Any other questions about stuff you’ve read and you know it can’t be the entire story? I’ll find out for you so we can all benefit.
Before you go—
The whirlwind is behind us and the future is bright! With two-thirds of buyers preferring remote interactions – digital and virtual – polishing your email selling skills is key to dramatically improving sales.
It’s time to stop sending email after email only to be ignored! You can write quick, strategic, smart messages that get results and drive sales!