How to Write an Effective Sales Break-Up Email

So you’ve been courting a prospect for a while: you’ve sent a lead several emails over the past few weeks or months and you’ve heard nothing from him. No more downloads. No calls. No-emails back. So you figure it’s time to take them off your list and never email them again.


First, you need to send One.  More. Email: the “break-up email.”

This email gives your lead one last chance to hear all about your great services or products. It reminds him of the value you can add to his business or work life. You also let him know you won’t be contacting him from now on.

The idea behind the break-up email is for the prospect to see the error of his ways and feel the pain of losing you. Just like a personal relationship break-up in real life, the reaction you want from your email’s recipient is – basically – extreme regret and a veritable rushing back in tears, with apologies on his lips, to your open and forgiving arms.

Problem is, how does one write such an email to get such a reaction? Arousing emotions within an e-mail is tricky. Not impossible, but it takes finesse.

Take a look below for seven tips for creating a great sales break-up email, one that will have a prospect ruing the time he spent ignoring your awesomeness.

1. Sending a break-up email gives you back some of your power.


It’s no longer you standing in a prospects’ in-box, your hands open and questioning, your eyes pleading and hoping. Instead, you’re the one who is walking away rather than chasing the prospect. You’re turning your relationship’s dynamics around. This can be very effective: one senior sales manager at Hubspot reports that she receives a 33 percent response rate to her break-up emails!

2. Your break up email starts with a grab-‘em subject line.


As mentioned at the site linked to above, you need to catch your lead’s attention quickly (and have him start to feel guilty right away. Some suggested subject lines could be:

  • It’s me, not you.
  • Should I stay or should I go?

3. Go ahead, be a tease.


As the HubSpot post says, your email should tantalize the recipient with the value you offer. Your message should say that you’re contacting him to learn more about his needs and challenges, review suggestions and offer information, not sell the recipient a product or service. You want to take a consultative approach, one that shares helpful information that will help a prospect solve a problem, reach a goal, etc. – and help guide him as he goes through his buyer’s journey.


4. Make it clear this is IT.


Write that you’re contacting the prospect one last time. Let him know you have some information he may find valuable. (The break-up email suggestion in the HubSpot post tells the recipient the sender has some “suggestions” on how the recipient’s website can generate new business.)


5. Use may want to use humor.


Using humor can take some of the “I was too good for you!” vibe from your message (no one likes to be admonished, remember). A post at SalesLoft has a nice example of a gently humorous break-up message.


6. A somewhat ninja tactic: risky but definitely can be effective.


Take all the power back! Do so by removing all emotion from you message. It should be very short, something along the lines of: “I haven’t heard from you, so I assume you’ve headed in a different direction. Please let me know if I can be of any help in the future.”

Doing this shows the prospect you assume any relationship is lost, which should – according to the post linked to above – “either trigger relief or want” in the recipient. If your prospect still has interest, he may feel a sense of urgency and knows he needs to contact you soon.


7. Offer some sort of value in the email.


Let the prospect know you’re still the great guy you always were with a few parting gifts, such as links to resources on your website that are applicable to the recipient’s business or challenges/goals.

Need some help writing an email that will break a silent prospect’s heart? Contact Michigan-based Ingenex Digital Marketing. We’ll make him sob!

Source 1 |  Source 2 | Source 3

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