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The Anatomy of an Almost-Great Email That I Almost Responded To

Spectora 8/17/16 7:44 AM

She was right there.

She did just about everything right. I could have been a new customer with just a few more minutes of work.

How many of you do email outreach? I'm with you, it's tough work hearing crickets and getting rejected 90+% of the time.

Email outreach still remains such a powerful, direct tool to let people know about what you want them to know, or to get them to do what it is you want them to do.

I couldn't help but write up a quick post while I was in the moment to illustrate the makings of an-almost-great email that got me to click, and could have converted me. I think there is so much to learn if we can be aware in our daily interactions, reactions, feelings and thoughts.

The Email

It was 7:30am. I was sipping my coffee going through emails (I'm one of those "I look at and personally respond to every email" people). This one caught my eye:


Let's break it down.

The Subject Line

It lead with my business name, great. You got my attention.

It complements my business. Every founder wants that.

It does it with some enthusiasm, also good.

Unfortunately, it uses the exact App Store title we submitted last week "Spectora Mobile Home Inspection Software", telling me this was not hand-written. 

That didn't deter me though, I just got an automated compliment! I'm still listening!

The Intro

Clean, simple and to the point. Score.

The Body

(Despite it being spammy) I like the phrasing of "In an attempt not to be spammy". It's unique and empathizes with the copious amount of spam we all get on a daily basis.

"Very quickly" tells my brain that this won't take long.

She succinctly tells me what they make, and the benefit - "We make ______, that ______, and _______. Nice.

She asks me a question. "Do you feel like you may be missing out on potential downloads and engaged users?" - But of course I do!

She assumes that I'll have a minute (which I always do) to check out some of their latest work. Nice social proof. And follows it with a focus back on me, the potential customer, with "what we could do for your app."  

Then she doesn't assume I'll be interested! Amazing! "If you're not interested, no worries". This shows humility and confidence. It's not desperate. It also hits at that deep psychological game of "We want you, but we don't need you. Which makes you want us even more."

Respecting privacy is good, again I don't read that or see that happen much.

The CTA's are well done - "If you have questions or want to learn more, go here or call right now."

Other Things I Noticed

I'm not an email outreach expert, so I may be wrong here, but the "via" made me feel it was a little spammy. Email experts, let me know in the comments if this is common.

Add to that this was sent at 5:05am (I think Gmail shows local time?), which means she would have sent this at 4:05am since I checked that they are based on San Diego.

I know I'm not the only early riser, so she may have just woken up with the burning desire to email me. Mixed with the other factors, I think not.

Another nicely done part was her tasteful use of punctuation.

I get it. We're all really excited about our product or service. Because it's awesome! You're awesome! But remember, we all get tons of emails and pitches. We're not excited about your product. Yet. It's your job to pique our interest in a sincere, confident way. Over-excitement tends to be synonymous with insincerity.

She only used 1 exclamation to get my attention in the subject line, and 1 question mark. This is about where you want to be to sound genuine.

What Could She Have Done Better?

You already know at this point. Say it with me. Personalize! 

She had sooo many things going for her. She was unique, almost seemed non-automated (us marketers can have an overly-trained eye), succinct, engaged me, was humble yet confident, and gave easy ways to learn more.

But she didn't go the final step.

She didn't include anything that required looking at my site or app.

If she took a couple minutes to learn about my site or me or anything specific, I would have been hooked.

That's the beauty of our world being so noisy and fast-paced. Real effort stands out and gets rewarded. Just like IRL.

So the moral of the story is that you can do 99% of things right in your outreach, and still get no response. So do the work that so few are willing to do. Be human and learn a little about who you're trying to connect with. It sounds simple, but it's not. The minutes add up.

Like many, I want to connect with people and businesses. I want to explore new ways to do things. When someone takes a few minutes to come to my little corner of the world and tell me about it, I will almost always reciprocate and see what they're up to.

Have you had good results with certain emails? Let me know in the comments!

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