9 Proven Formulas to Improve Reply Rates

9 Proven Formulas to Improve Reply Rates

Don’t you get tired of the emails you receive from sites you subscribed to? They never seem to run out of words, and flood your inbox every second day. At times, it even gets annoying. That being said, how would you approach if you have to send cold emails yourself for your company?

9 Proven Formulas to Improve Reply Rates

Unlike some companies, you can’t afford to irritate your recipient. Luckily, there are some proven formulas that compel the recipients into replying. But before we get too excited, remember, no matter how good your email is – you won’t strike a connection if it doesn’t tick your audience’s need boxes.

Let’s get to the formulas.

The Formulas

1.  PAS – Problem, Agitate and Solve

Why do people need your product in the first place? The answer – to deal with a need or problem. So before you send an email, you must remind them what they are lacking in the first place. Fire up with a sentence pointing out the problem.


“Tired of cockroaches running your kitchen at night?”

After that, explain why it’s making his/her life miserable. The potential sufferings, and setbacks it can cause them. In this cockroach scenario, you can mention how harmful cockroaches can be for the food lying around. Emphasize how the list of work increases substantially simply because of the existence of the cockroaches.

Once you’ve made your point, it is time to show them the silver lining – how you can help them. Let’s say you’re selling an insect repellent to eradicate the cockroaches. After you’ve stated your product, shower them with the benefits your product will provide. Then stress the benefits of benefits, if you want to go the extra mile. Once that’s successfully done, end with a compelling call-to-action, and if you’ve targeted the right people, you will start to see results.

2. The Three-B Formula

This one is my favorite because, even though it irritates the recipient, it is not as extreme. The three B stands for – Brevity, blunt and basic.

Nobody wants to go through a huge chunk of paragraph regarding your product or service. The more concise, the better. Whichever type of email you’re sending – cram it in as little words as you can.

Let me emphasize what I just mentioned – emails are not a place to push around the bush. Nobody has the time or energy to go through ramblings, and you’d lose sales / opt-ins if you aren’t straight to the point.

You don’t need to decorate your email with stories, fancy words, and pictures. Just get your message out and you’d get the recipient’s attention. And at times, such brevity creates mystery, thereby interest, and reels the reader in deeper.

3. AIDA- Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action

This is one of the most common marketing strategies. If you can apply it in person – why not in emails? Yes, I mentioned before that people have short attention span while reading emails, but you don’t have to worry about that if you’re hitting the reader’s interest glands.

First, you need to make the recipient aware of something – the problem, product, service, and so forth – to garner attention. That said, make sure the opening is solid enough to tick the readers’ interest boxes.

After that, tell the recipient about the benefits they will get, and make things relatable for them. It has to strike him like “Yes, this seems genuine and has happened too”.

Do these steps right, and you’ll have the recipients desiring to buy. Take things further by offering customized styles, versions, or other options. You can even go as far as proving yourself better than the competitors.

At last, ask the recipient to take an action – make a phone call, order, opt-in, or simply set up a meeting.

4. Make The Subject Line Appealing

The subject line is the first thing your recipient would see. People tend to ignore emails seeing the name and subject. Almost always, the recipient loses interest when a business sells a product or service, the recipient loses interest in reading the rest of the email.

Therefore, an attention-grabbing subject line is vital. You can jump straight to the need you will fill or the problem you’ll solve. However, don’t preach your product like a robot, or you’ll lose interest. Inject humor and personality when mentioning the need and solution.

Lastly, never leave the subject body empty because that’s straight-up unprofessional. If you’re personalizing the piece, chances are, the recipient will at least open it. If people can sense a cold email – they often tend to trash the whole thread.

5. Star, Story, Solution

How do you react to stories that make you resonate? You see put yourself in that spotlight and get hooked deeper. It’s the same with an email that tells you the story about a character.

In this scenario, the star tends to be a person who can benefit from the product. It can be your prospect as well. You can frame your product the star to garner more interest.

Once done, you can proceed to the story – add emotions, facts, and make it as relatable as you can. The problems of the character should reflect the recipients or people around him.

In the end, the solution comes as the hero and saves the day. Once this clicks, you and your recipient would get on a journey – best if an emotional one – because that increases the chances of them buying more of your offers.

6. Star, Chain, Solution

This formula is pretty similar to the last. It’s not as creative or interesting, but it can get big outcomes if done right. Here, you refer to another customer or company that has either used your solution or faces a similar problem, followed by how you’ve helped them improve.

After that, add facts, data, proof, stories, links, and so forth to back your email’s stories. Amazing if the data or numbers are financial or referred to another article talking about the journey.

At last, you introduce yourself as the solution and stress on it. Ask the recipient if he wants the same results and spotlight that it was you who helped get the results. If you’ve hit the right points, you will see responses.

7. Never Make Them Feel Tied Down

Sometimes, the recipient simply wants to check out your offer. He might be considering buying it too – but only after considering all the bits and crumbs. That means that he has a ton of questions swirling in his head.

Your job is to answer the questions and if it is within the policy – offer a free trial. The customer will be more likely to try something out knowing he isn’t married to it (Yes, very similar to simple human relations). And when you give them room (a free trial, or sample pieces), they often choose to stay.

8. The “Reader’s Digest” Formula

This is another of my favorites. The goal is to keep the email crammed with crucial points, no extra verbiage at all. And as mentioned before, such a concise message tends to trigger curiosity.

This formula is fact-crammed, concise, power words, and some adjectives to incite curiosity. You can simply write a super concise intro to what you are providing and get them more invested with a “Know more” resource.

9. Praise, Picture, and Push – The Three P’s

Don’t you feel flattered when someone is trying to know you better, alongside all your amazing traits? Of course, you do. So when you start an email praising the recipient of his achievements – it stands out and grabs attention.

Once you have the attention, explain how your service can make him perform even better. Here, go descriptive, take the main points, and emphasize on the, while being concise.

At last, add a CTA for learning more, or simply buying the solution.

In conclusion

The art and science of crafting sales emails is complicated. You have to cram interest in every line and get the next sentence read, and square things off with an effective CTA. And with these nine proven formulas at your disposal, you should be well on your way, or off to a good start, at least.

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