Here Are 6 Data-Backed Tricks for Getting Your Sales Emails Opened

With over 100 billion emails sent every day, it's getting harder and harder to stand out from the other scores of attention-seeking messages your customer deals with each day. But it's far from hopeless.

learn more about Matthew Bellows

By Matthew Bellows

Marc Chouinard |

This story originally appeared on Salesforce

Your prospect's inbox is a cutthroat place to be.

With over 100 billion emails sent every day, it's getting harder and harder to stand out from the other scores of attention-seeking messages your customer deals with each day. Or better yet, get an actual reply to your email.

But it's far from hopeless. At Yesware, we analyzed more than half a million sales emails sent by our users in Q1 2014 to figure out what can help improve your chance of getting your emails read and replied to. Here's what we learned:

Related: Stop Using These Words In Your Emails

1. Send emails in the early morning or evening.

People are most responsive to emails they receive early in the morning (between 6 and 7 am) or later in the evening (around 8pm).

Why? It could be because there's significantly less email being sent during these times. With less to compete with, your email is more likely to stand out and get noticed, leading to better open and reply rates.

2. Treat all weekdays as equal but don't discount the weekends.

If you're saving Friday afternoon emails for Monday, you're doing it wrong. Email open and reply rates are largely the same, no matter what weekday an email is sent.

However, things are much different on the weekend; open and reply rates are significantly higher.

Don't want to work weekends? Try scheduling your emails so that they arrive on Saturday or Sunday when there is less inbox competition.

3. Focus less on the length of your subject line and more on word choice.

We found that subject line length did not have a significant impact on email open and reply rates.

Certain subject line words, however, did make an impact. For example, emails with subject lines containing "campaign," "steps," and "next" had the highest open and reply rates, while emails with the words "online" and "calendar" had the lowest.

Ultimately, the best way to understand what makes some email subject lines more or less effective is to study what works for others and then try it for ourselves. Start your research by checking out the full Yesware subject line analysis data visualization.

Related:The 5 Mistakes That Will Land Your Email in the Spam Folder

4. When emailing two recipients, send to one and copy another.

The data revealed that emails sent to one person (using the To: field) while copying another (using the CC: field), had a higher open and reply rate than messages sent to two people at once (both in the To: field).

Why? We hypothesized that it has something to do with a sociopsychological phenomenon known as the Diffusion of Responsibility:

When a task is placed in front of a group of people, individuals are more likely to assume that someone else will take responsibility for it.

So, no one does.

If your recipients see that multiple people are included in the message, they could assume someone else will take the lead in responding. So play it safe by always designating one person at the main recipient, and copying everyone else that needs to be kept in the loop.

5. If you haven't heard back in 24 Hours, it's time to send another email.

The lifespan of an email is incredibly short. If your email is every going to be opened, 91% of the time it's going to be opened within a day after you sent it. Any replies will also most likely occur that day, so don't sit around waiting if you haven't received a response within a day or two.

6. Always follow-up.

Seventy percent of unanswered sales email chains stopped after the first attempt. That's a lot of missed opportunities.

According to Yesware's data, if you don't receive a reply to your first email, you have a 21% chance of getting a reply to the second one. Still no reply? Take heart and keep sending: There's still a 25% chance that you will eventually hear back from the recipient.

Related: The Best Email You Ever Wrote

How do you plan to integrate these strategies in your upcoming email outreach?

Matthew Bellows

Founder and CEO of Yesware

Matthew Bellows is founder and CEO of Boston-based Yesware, an all-in-one sales technology toolkit used by enterprises like Groupon, Yelp and Acquia. 

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

The Dark Side of Pay Transparency — And What to Do If You Find Out You're Being Underpaid
Thinking of a Career Change? Here Are 4 Steps You Can Take to Get There.
A Founder Who Bootstrapped Her Jewelry Business With Just $1,000 Now Sees 7-Figure Revenue Because She Knew Something About Her Customers Nobody Else Did
Everything You Need to Know About Franchise Law
Business News

Amazon Is Starting to Let Customers Know What Products Are Returned Often

The e-commerce giant has begun flagging certain items that were frequently sent back.


International Marketing: How To Maximize Your Global Reach

International marketing can be a massive project and intimidating at first. Read this article to explore the ins and outs of the process and learn how to take your brand global.

Starting a Business

How To Sell on Etsy in 2023: A Comprehensive Guide

Want to start selling your handmade goods online? This article outlines how to start and grow your business using Etsy.

Business News

'Crying Northwestern Kid' Turned His Viral Fan Moment Into a Successful Harvard Admissions Essay. He Says the Experience Taught Him About Empathy.

Six years ago, Phillips was watching No. 8 Northwestern take on No. 1 Gonzaga during March Madness when he became a meme.