Writing emails that get opened

Click to open or click to delete. You decide.

We spoke with Ryan Dohrn, global sales and marketing advisor for Brain Swell Media, a management and sales training group that has trained over 20,000 sales and management professionals in seven countries. Ryan insisted that we preface his points with three pieces of email sales advice.

Email does not replace the phone. The phone is an amazing tool when trying to build a relationship with a prospect from a distance.

All too often you ignore the phone and only focus on email. Successful business and salespeople know how and when to use the phone, email and face time.

Email lacks tone and emotion. Of course you can YELL and punctuate (!), but your voice is a powerful tool, and it’s hard to say no to a live person.

Email tips and tricks

Cut to the chase. It only feels awkward to the writer of the email to not start an email by introducing themselves or with a warm up line like “I hope you are well”. The recipient appreciates that you get to the point. They see your name in their inbox and your title in your signature.

3X3. Use a three word subject line and three sentences in the email. It may seem impossible but you do get better with practice. This trick helps you create a more compelling subject line and to condense your thoughts.

Slow the scroll. According to Campaign Monitor, over 70 percent of emails are read on a mobile device. That means the recipient of your email is likely not paying 100 percent attention and will be scrolling quickly as they read. Use bullet points and spaces to help them read your key points as they scroll.

Quality Emails are the Best of All

  • The email that displays poorly on mobile is likely to be deleted in 3 seconds.
  • 69% of recipients report an email as spam based on the poor subject line.
  • Spam emails cost businesses around $20.5 Billion every year.


Top 5 subject lines

Here are Ryan’s Top 5 email subject lines that have gotten him results. Bonus: We included the proven email copy as well.

1. Subject line: (Name of a mutual connection) recommended I get in touch. “Hi Donnie. Ryan Dohrn recommends that you and I touch base about ABC Job. He and I mutually felt that this idea could benefit you. Could I have 20 minutes via phone to discuss this week? I promise just 20 minutes. I take pride in not wasting people’s time.”

2. Subject line: I was just wondering… “Hi Rachel. I was wondering if you would be open to a 20-minute phone call about (insert topic here)? I promise to respect your time. 20 minutes is all that I need.”

3. Subject line: May 29th? “Hi Ron. I will be in Bluffton on May 29th for a meeting. Could I get on your calendar for 20 minutes in the morning? I promise just 20 minutes.”

4. Subject line: 3 reasons… “Hi John. I feel there are three reasons why we should work together.

1. Your mission. I understand your company and appreciate your mission. 2. Your support needs. I have a quality reputation for offering best in class customer service. 3. Your budget. We are the only company offering you payment options.

5. Subject line: Did something happen? “Hi Terry, Was there something that happened after our meeting that I can help you resolve? You sounded very positive about setting up a follow-up call. I am not a high-pressure type of person. I truly want to help you with the situation we discussed.”

Ryan Dohrn, Global sales and marketing advisor for Brain Swell Media.

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