At a time when social media seems to be a part of our every waking minute, email is still hanging on as one of the top forms of communication in the world. According to CampaignMonitor, Millennials spend an average of 6.4 hours with email daily. It’s remarkable. In the business context, many of us are in our inboxes throughout the workday, and some are trying to start conversations that turn into customers. For salespeople, even when emailing warm leads, it can be hard to reach success benchmarks.

This article helps you improve your contact success rates and close more deals by optimizing your efforts in 4 key areas.

How timing affects your contact success rate

One of the most elusive elements in email marketing is timing. Figuring out the right time to send an email – whether automated or one-to-one – can seem like a guessing game with many assumptions involved. How many times have you had a conversation inside your team where someone suggested, “Well, if we send at 7:30 am on a Monday morning, we’ll be at the top of their inbox when they start work.” Or, “Maybe we try a Wednesday evening send while they’re already on their phones checking social media after work?” As much as this type of reasoning seems logical, it is assumptive. It is not based on actual data about how your customers behave. 

For the timing to work to your advantage in the email game, you first need tools to measure email reply times, open behaviors, and other interactions with your email content. Then, you can start to identify patterns and be ready to send the right content or pick up the phone for that in-person interaction at the right time.

For those with a business development or direct sales team, gaining insight into reply times across reps helps to track and set goals to improve the time to react – and in most cases – the resulting conversion rate. timetoreply provides the insights Sales Managers need to optimize response times across reps. When 78% of sales go to the first company to respond, it’s absolutely crucial to ensure your teams are responding as quickly as possible. 

Subject Line: It’s Basic, But Often Overlooked

For any of this to work, your prospect should be enticed enough actually to open your email. In the case of one-to-one sales emails, it might be easier to reach an inbox rather than being filtered straight to promotions or spam folders. In either case, your subject line is your one chance to grab attention and get that click. 

Start by understanding your own brand voice and your audience. Are you serious and educational? Are you informal or playful? Trying too hard with your subject line, including going off-voice, is a quick way to turn off your audience. Don’t use emojis in your subject line if you’re a serious brand. Don’t use industry jargon in your subject line if you’re an informal consumer brand. As mothers tell their children all over the world, just be yourself. 

In addition to staying on-brand, here are a few tips for creating a powerful subject line:

  • Strive for clarity above all else. Use simple language and say what’s inside the email.
  • Keep it short – Less than 10 words is ideal
  • Avoid sales-speak like “open up,” or “amazing deal inside” 
  • Use the preview text as an “aside” and always include at least a few words in the preview

A Clear Call-to-Action is Essential

So, you’ve enticed your contact to open an email and probably shared some interesting information. But, what happens then? This is where your call to action needs to be clear and appealing. Your audience wants to know what to do next. Your job is to tell them and to make it easy. 

Plan your CTA carefully to relate specifically to the message you’re sending and to the point your reader has reached in their buyer’s journey. If your prospect has just signed up for an informational ebook, that means they are at the top of your funnel. This is probably not the best time to ask the prospect to schedule a one-on-one consultation with you. A better option would be to invite them into your social media community or offer a complimentary resource. 

No matter what the CTA is, make sure it’s clear, and align follow-up actions with your sales team around the actions your audience takes.

Follow Through is the Most Important Part of Email Marketing

Timing, subject line, and CTA are all extremely important, but the way you follow through on all of that is where a prospect becomes a customer. Whether your team is connecting with customers via email, telephone, or even social, the follow-up is definitely an art to cultivate amongst your sales team. Using a tool like timetoreply can help your team understand interaction metrics and time those tailored replies so that they are received at the right moment. What to say and how to approach those conversations is for another article, but using these 4 tips can help you with your contact success rate for email marketing. 


Author bio

Maia Morgan Wells is a Project Manager and Marketing Director at ClearPivot, a HubSpot partner and SaaS marketing agency headquartered in Denver, CO. She’s a mom first and marketer second, with a love of using TikTok dance challenges as a workout method. You can find her here on LinkedIn.

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