Ethan Bloomfield / Marketing / January 26th, 2017
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Why Your Sales Emails Keep Getting Deleted

That sales email you just sent to a prospect has three seconds or less to grab their attention. Are you doubting your choice of subject line now?

Sending prospecting emails is easier than ever with an arsenal of tools available to sales teams. But, too many of these sales people are overlooking the importance of the actual content of their emails.

I’ve personally sent over 500,000 marketing and sales emails in my day. I’ve definitely failed (and succeeded) but at the end of the day, I learned how to engage prospects so they open instead of delete my emails.

So, how do you get your prospects to not only open your email, but actually respond? I’ve broken down what you should and shouldn’t do to increase your sales email opens, click-throughs, and response rates.


Subject line

Many salespeople overlook the importance of the subject line. Think about it like this. A subject line in an email is the like the cover of a book. While we’re told we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we’re all guilty of doing it. The same notion applies to emails. Your content could be superb, but if your subject line doesn’t entice your prospect’s interest, your email is going into the trash.

Keep your subject line under five words. Don’t use gimmicky lines like “should I stay or should I go?” or “are we breaking up?” I’ve seen much more frustration than success with subject lines like these in the B2B sphere.

Don’t mislead prospects with your choice of subject line. All this does it start the conversation off on a dishonest front. I’ve seen much more frustration than success with subject lines like these in the B2B sphere.

Most importantly, test, test, test! Continually test your subject lines and which lines warrant the highest open rates. Some subject lines I’ve found success with are “quick question,” “checking in,” and “sales goals.” Check out some other subject line best practices here.


Email Body

Probably the biggest mistake I see salespeople make in their emails is their lack of clear call to actions. If you’re not even sure what the point of your own email is, how do you expect your prospect to?

Something easy to fix in sales emails is breaking up the content. Never (I repeat, never) send an email with no paragraph breaks. Your prospect becomes overwhelmed and the lack of spacing makes it impossible to pick out the main points of the email. Most people only read about 20% of the words on a page— make the words meaningful. 

Take out the fluff! Get right to the value proposition and how you can solve prospects’ pain point(s). Don’t make the email about you or your company, make it about the prospect.

Changing just the first sentence of your email could have a huge impact on the open rate. As the first sentence is often seen in the prospect’s mailbox as a preview, making sure you’ve got an enticing opening line could increase open rates by up to 45%. 

Proofread your email. Use spell check. You’d be surprised at how many people never proofread their emails they send to thousands of prospects. It will save you a lifetime of embarrassment.

Basically, sales emails need to be short, sweet, and easy to read. (Be on the lookout for our next blog on proven, tested cold sales emails templates we use in-house.)



The great aspect of emailing is the data component it provides. You have so much data already at your fingertips: open rates, bounced rates, click through rates. A/B test to fine tune your subject lines, email content, deployment, and even the lists you’re sending on.

You could also be making the mistake of only using email to reach your prospects when it’s proven that emails combined with phone calls, voicemails, and social outreach is the only way to close deals in today’s crowded sales space. Today it takes six to eight touches to generate sales leads. 

What does your email and overall sales process look like? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

What’s in your sales stack?