Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all instantly increase our effectiveness at engaging sales prospects or even better, our dream customers?

It would be nice, I’m talking like, realllly nice. That’s why I coach my team of sales development rockstars at LevelEleven personalized outreach to only our ideal customer profiles. Today, I’m going to share some of our best Motor City strategies.

This is going to take both creativity and research on your part, but I’m confident that if you’re reading this, you’ll be up for the challenge.

5 Ways to Increase Open Rates and Better Engage Prospects  

1. Intrigue

Use your subject line to bring a little intrigue to your emails. One of my reps got a very well-known SVP of Sales to respond / engage with our team with the subject line “Chips, Broncos and … Beer?” Who could possibly resist opening that email? Even better, this subject line was very personalized, referencing that specific prospect’s alma mater and football team. (Note: I’m a massive Detroit Lions fan. Lions-s-s-s-s-s!!!)

Get a little bit creative when it comes to your email subject lines and come up with something that even you couldn’t resist opening. Another personal favorite I’ve seen someone use is “Life is like a box of chocolates…” I think it’s safe to say that most people recognize this famous movie line, and therefore would be compelled to open the email and find out what comes after.

2. Humor

Here’s another chance to use creativity to ramp up your open rates. Why not break up someone’s mundane workday with a little laugh? Here are a few examples that our SDRs have come up with:

  • “Would you rather: CRM metrics or Beef Jerky?”
  • “My mom will NOT get off my back about productivity.”
  • “What’s your commit for this month…sound familiar?”

Not only does this type of email stick out in a business professional’s inbox, but your prospect will feel more inclined to listen to what you have to say if you happen to put a smile on their face while adding value to their daily responsibility. Just remember that you must tie the subject line in to your email. Don’t promise a bit about beef jerky and then not deliver the meat. Man that stuff is good.

3. News

This is where the research element comes in. Look for any recent news about your prospect or their company. Please do not over-complicate this. We live by the 3 x 3 rule: find three relevant pieces of information in less than three minutes. Was your prospect recently promoted? Did the company launch a new product? Has the company just finished a really strong Q1? Use this to drive a personalized message around your touch-points with your ideal prospect. Great resources for this are LinkedIn, InsideView, and Google Alerts.

4. Connection

Because we live in such a connected world, it’s only natural to leverage your network to your advantage. Use social media to find out what connections you have in common with prospects. Maybe they are connected to a few of your biggest customer advocates. Perhaps they even used to work at some of those companies. Or what if they know your Uncle Steve? I have an uncle, his name is Steve and yes, he is money. (Love ya, Uncle Steve!) The possibilities are endless. Channel your inner Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon to see what kind of magic you can whip up.

5. Interest

You’re going to want to get really cozy with LinkedIn. Take a deep dive into your prospects’ social profiles and find out what their interests are. One of our SDR’s identified that a targeted prospect played the cello and was able to better engage with them because they both had that in common. People aren’t so different from each other, so look for something that you can use to make a genuine connection with the person on the other end of the line — whether it’s their alma mater, favorite sports team, or recent article they posted.

These are just a handful of ideas that our team keeps top of mind. Take this opportunity to use your imagination and take calculated risks. I challenge you to design and develop other engagement ideas that land your dream customer.

Brendan Hartt