Email Action


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7 steps to getting prospects to open, read, and act on your email. 

Check your email right now. How many are in your inbox from salespeople and marketers trying to get your business? And what separates the ones you open from those that get sent to your junk mail abyss?

Let’s face it, none of us have enough hours in the day, so we must decide where each minute goes. Our sales prospects feel the same. The art of creating a sales email that generates curiosity and urgency is a talent that you need to possess if you are going to regularly find new prospects, as well as get current ones to act. When writing that email, think about what it would have to say for you to be eager to open it.

So, what is the difference between an email that gets opened and one that doesn’t? First, people tend to quickly open, read, and act on emails they can respond to. Which means you need to make every word count. They also are immediately skeptical, regardless of how great your solution is.

The following are some tips that will get your email opened, read, and acted on more often:

No. 1: Proper attitude 

Don’t be apologetic in your email, because if your product/service is good, then what you share with them is valuable. In fact, as with a sales call, slight indifference should be your tone. This means you are committed to helping them, but not attached to the outcome. A wimpy and apologetic tone puts you beneath them and diminishes the respect you would want from a good client partner.

No. 2: Have an objective

A good email objective is what you want the reader to do because of reading it. It is not to deliver information or “follow up.” Think about the action you want at the end, before you start typing. A typical objective of a cold email is to get the prospect to agree to take a meeting.

No. 3: Create a subject line that creates curiosity 

The objective of the subject line is to get them to keep reading. This means it should not sound “salesy.” Keep it short and make it personal. Some examples would be:

  • Name, saw you were focused on (something you learned on LinkedIn/Other)
  • Name, not sure if you are struggling with (common prospect pain)
  • Name, you’re not alone if you are facing (common pain)
  • Name, hoping you could help
  • Name, I found you through (referral)
  • Name, we help vet offices to (add value)
  • Name, thanks for connecting on LinkedIn
  • Name, Vet revenue idea for 2023
  • Name, we make veterinary practices (value)
  • Name, fellow (College) alum reaching out
  • Name, I help vet offices to (value)
  • Name, In researching your hospital, I learned

No. 4: Make it personal 

Data shows that personalizing your email will double your success rate of opens and replies. Use wording that is unique to the individual, such as you went to the same college, share a LinkedIn connection, attended the same conference, saw them in the news, etc. Emails with personalized subject lines get 50% higher open rates.

No. 5: Hook ‘em

Prospects are motivated by value, pain, and name-drop. This means early in the email body; we need to either tell them the value we provide similar clinics/hospitals, the pain we help solve at facilities like theirs, or reference other clinic names and how we helped. And remember, our goal in this email isn’t to sell our product/service. It’s to sell a meeting!

The following are some email examples.

Value Email:

Hello [contact first name],

The email is because I was researching your facility and saw that you are expanding. Congratulations!
I wanted to let you know that (your company) works with expanding clinics like yours to:

  • Add Your Value
  • Add Your Value
  • Add Your Value

Pain Email: 

The email is because I was researching your facility and saw that you are expanding. Congratulations!
We have found that when clinics like yours are expanding, they often face issues with:

  • Add Pain
  • Add Pain
  • Add Pain

Name-Drop Email:

The email is because I was researching your facility and saw that you are expanding. Congratulations! We were recently working with ABC Animal Hospital during their expansion and were able to help them:

  • Add Value
  • Add Value
  • Add Value

I don’t know if those are areas that you want to improve, and that is why I am reaching out.

Are you available for a brief 15- to 20-minute call or Zoom where we can learn more about you and share some examples of how we have helped other expanding clinics?

No. 6: Takeaway

Notice above how immediately after our hook, we use the words, “I don’t know if those are areas you are looking to improve…” This is designed to reduce pressure in the email. It tells the prospect you are the type of salesperson who isn’t going to “push” them.

No. 7: The ask 

As you see in the wording above, we need to ask for something. And remember the objective of the email? It’s to get the prospect to commit to a meeting.

Doubling your success rate

Take time this week to determine the value, pain, and name-drops you can add to your email template. Then fire away. And while an average cold prospecting email typically gets opened only 23% of the time, expect your success rate to double. And for the rest who never opened your email, you still had value in sending it. Because if you send 3-6 more to that same client, you will increase your odds of receiving a response as much as three times.

Finally, remember that email is just one tool to reach prospects. You need to also pick up the phone. Because with a formula of sending a PRECISE-ly worded email and a ton of cold prospecting phone calls, you will create more meetings and, ultimately more sales.


About the author

Brian Sullivan is the author of the book, “20 Days to the Top – How the PRECISE Selling Formula Will Make You Your Company’s Top Sales Performer in 20 Days or Less.” To sign up for free sales training modules on getting to the top, go to Or drop Brian an email at [email protected].


Photo credit: Ismatova