Closing more sales often means needing to reach new prospects to open lines of communication. This is usually done in one of two ways: running a lead generation campaign to deliver the sales team with warm leads, or requiring the sales team to reach out to cold leads.
A warm lead is someone who has recently interacted with the company you work for. Usually, this is someone who has filled out a form on your website requesting more information.
A cold lead is someone a salesperson reaches out to in an attempt to get them to interact with your company. This type of lead may or may not have heard of your company before, but they definitely have not initiated communication with your company recently.
Because the warm lead has shown interest in your company, whereas the cold lead has not, you want to approach each type in a different manner.
Email Subject Lines for Cold Leads
How should you write an email subject line that scores a high open rate?
Here are some helpful tips:
- According to HubSpot the most effective words to put in a subject line include: demo, connect, cancellation, apply, opportunity, conference, and payments.
- The same HubSpot research shows that you want to avoid putting in a subject line include: assistance, speaker, press, social, invite, join, and confirm.
- Boomerang’s analysis of 300,000 emails shows that a subject line in all caps reduces the response rate by 30%, so you definitely want to avoid that.
- The same research shows that subject lines with just 3 to 4 words get a better response than shorter and longer ones.
Still wondering what exactly you should try as your next subject line? Here are a few specific examples the HubSpot team has found to work:
- Question about [goal]
- [Mutual connection] recommended I get in touch
- Hi [Name], [question]
- Hoping to help
- A [benefit] for [prospect’s company]
Sumo recommends a few other options that they have seen work:
- I found you through [Contact name]
- The problem with [issue]
- Can I help with [issue]?
- Will you reach your [goal]?
- Found you on [network/website]
My best recommendation is to try a few of these options and see which one results in the best response rates for you, then run with the winning option!
Email Subject Lines for Warm Leads
Getting a positive response from a warm lead is a little bit easier than a cold lead. A warm lead is someone who recently requested information from your company and is probably familiar with who you are, what you offer, and finds you to be a credible resource within their industry.
According to Copyblogger the single most successful subject line for achieving a sky-high open rate across all industries is this:
You Are Not Alone
Why does this subject line work? It addresses the universally recognized need to belong; to know others are going through the same experiences as you.
What are some other subject lines you can try on warm leads? How about these suggestions from Sumo:
- Fix Your [Problem] Now
- Try Out [Product] for Yourself
- Flash Sale [Product][Discount]
- Quick Announcement [Topic]
- How Can You [Topic]
Similar to the emails you might send to cold leads, I would recommend testing out different options for your warm leads and going with the winning variation based on what gets you the best response. It might be “you are not alone” and it might be one of the other more specific subject lines. You’ll never know what works best for your leads until you try a few options.
Follow Up Subject Lines
Okay so let’s say you start seeing a really great response from your cold and warm lead emails – now what? You have to follow up with your leads and continue the conversation.
HubSpot recommends these subject lines to help you get to the next step in the sales cycle:
- X options to get started
- 10 mins — [date]?
- A 3-step plan for your busy week
- Here’s the info I promised you
- I’d love your feedback on that meeting
If you don’t get a response from your follow up emails, try these subject lines:
- Should I stay or should I go?
- Know this about [topic]?
- Permission to close your file?
- If you change your mind about [your company]
- Am I assuming correctly?
If you still don’t hear back from a prospect it’s time to start a re-activation campaign.
Re-Activating Leads That Go Cold
If a lead that was engaged goes cold, you’ll want to back off on emails for a while. You don’t want to end up getting marked as spam, which ensures you’ll never have an opportunity to get your messages read in the future.
Instead, it would be a good idea to work with your marketing team on a re-activation ad campaign. These can be very low-cost to run and usually includes:
- Retargeting banner ads to a custom audience
- Facebook custom audience ads
- LinkedIn custom audience ads
Retargeting banner ads are usually set up to show to anyone who recently visited your company’s website. However, some retargeting platforms like AdRoll allow you to show banner ads specifically to people you already have the email address for.
In the B2B world, the match rate can be low since most people create their social media profiles using their personal email addresses; however, it’s worth a try because running ads to a custom audience is a low-cost advertising option.
These re-activation ads should be a mix of low-barrier options for getting back in touch, as well as hard sell options that could meet the needs of someone who went cold simply due to timing not being right.
My recommendation is to usually tier out your calls-to-action in the ads over a 90-day period:
- First 30 days – have a low-barrier call-to-action for a free downloadable guide or eBook with helpful information.
- Next 30 days – try a strong call-to-action for requesting “updated pricing options” or “special Q1/2/3/4 pricing options” or “see a demo of new features” if you have any to showcase.
- Next 30 days – use a more aggressive call-to-action such as “request a sales call” or “lock in a special deal.”
If this doesn’t result in a re-activated lead, you can always try again after you have new content or a better offer to share. You can also try a new personal email at this point as well.
Email Tracking for 1:1 Emails
When it comes to tracking the effectiveness of your emails to both cold and warm leads, you’ll want to make sure you have an email add-on in place.
When you send mass email campaigns through a platform like HubSpot or Marketo you automatically get reporting metrics like Open Rate and Click-Through Rate so that you can measure the performance of your emails.
You’ll want to track your 1:1 emails too.
There are many email add-on options for tracking messages sent through Google Mail and Outlook. I personally like Boomerang for Google Mail, but I have heard good things about MailTrack too.
These email add-ons will tell you if your email was opened or not, when it was opened, how often it was opened, what device it was opened on, and sometimes even the location the person was in when he or she opened the email.
Having all of this information is helpful because you know if your leads are interested even if they haven’t responded to you yet. For example, if you see a lead open your email 3, 4, or 5 times without responding, you can reach out to answer any questions/concerns he or she may be debating internally.
Also, if you see a lead open your email from another state or country, you could infer he or she is on vacation. This could be one reason you haven’t received a response despite the person being interested. You could then make a note to circle back around with the lead in a week’s time when he or she will probably be back in the office.
Remember no response doesn’t always mean there is no interest.
Persistence is an important trait in sales – and email marketing is one communications tool you can use to close more deals.