Get 457% more replies to your sales emails with the 1, 2, 3 hack

by Steli Efti

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Any great salesperson knows that you want to make it as simple as possible for your prospect to take the next step. Yet, so many reps send out sales emails that make their prospects do all the heavy lifting. (Most of the time, prospects won’t. They just delete the email. Opportunity lost.)

In today’s post, I’m going to share a very simple method you can use to improve your response rates dramatically. I’ve seen cases where response rates went from 7% to 39% (a 457% increase)!

Download your free copy of Cold Email Hacks here to learn how to send emails that turns prospects into customers.

Less friction. More sales.

Like so many times, it comes back to empathy: Put yourself in the shoes of your prospect. They—like everyone else—are overwhelmed. Their inbox is overflowing, they’ve got too many things competing for their attention and only so many hours in their day.

And then there’s your sales email. Let’s assume your subject line works well enough and the prospect opens the email. What are they looking at now?

Is it a long, 10 paragraph email that talks about your company, your product, the innovative solution you’re offering and the 15 ways it could help them become more successful?

Or is it a very short and succinct email that addresses a need they actually care about?

And what’s the thing you’re asking your prospects to do as a next step?

Are you asking them to write a lengthy response?

Or do you make it easy for them to reply?

3 rules for successful sales emails

There are 3 simple rules you need to follow if you want to send emails that create results:

  1. Be relevant.
  2. Get to the point fast.
  3. Make it easy for them to respond.

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That’s it. I’ve talked about writing relevant sales emails in the past. I’ve also shared advice on how to get to the point fast. Today, I’ll cover how to write emails that make it easy for the recipient to respond.

The 1, 2, 3 email

The concept is simple: Present your prospect with three scenarios that are likely to apply to them based on the information you have about them. Ask them to choose which scenario applies to their situation. All they have to do is hit reply, enter a number and click send. Friction removed.

1, 2, 3 cold emails

Instead of your usual introduction spiel, ask your prospect to select what their biggest challenge is right now. Once they’ve done that, you’re going to respond with advice that’s catered to their specific needs. Here’s an example: 

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You’re giving the person clear options and a low-friction CTA. All they have to do is hit reply, type in a number, click send.

Get replies to follow-ups

I’m all about the follow-up. Whenever your lead turns cold, the 1, 2, 3 tactic is an excellent way to re-engage your prospects. Imagine you’ve sent out your standard follow-up emails with no success. Here’s what to send them instead:

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This version is a bit more tongue-in-cheek and light-hearted, but effective nonetheless. You’ll probably be surprised how well it works. The email is highly relevant with an added entertainment value, creating a very powerful way of hacking your response rate. Find out more ways to increase your response rate by downloading your free copy of Cold Email Hacks.

What we did to increase our call request responses at Close.io

One of our Success Managers tried to proactively offer product training for a specific segment of our customers. So she sent out emails suggesting to schedule a call. She followed up repeatedly, but some customers never responded. Eventually, I sent out the following email.

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Start using the 1, 2, 3 email today

The beauty of the 1, 2, 3 email is that the prospect can provide you with a lot of information simply by choosing a number.

Pick your most important email or worst performing email

Start by picking your most important email or one that gets a really low response rate. Split test your current version against the 1, 2, 3 email and let the results speak for themselves.

Start from the beginning

Starting from scratch? Follow these simple steps to use the 1, 2, 3 hack:

  1. Choose a small list (100 leads is enough) in your sales CRM.
  2. Define three relevant options.
  3. Create a list of resources to use once your prospects reply to your email.
  4. Set up a new email template with same structure as example one.
  5. Fire away.

That’s it. You’ll now get more replies that’ll convert to more opportunities and ultimately more deals. Want to send better sales emails? Get our free cold email guide! (Click on the book below.)

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Recommended reading:

How to improve your cold email response rates
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Six simple steps to getting started with cold sales emails
Learn the basics of lead generation via cold outbound emails.

How to experiment your way to more effective cold email templates
What works great today will lose its effectiveness over time. That’s why you should keep testing new email templates. Here's how to do it in a systematic way.