Any news or Is this dead? Subject lines to get a response

By Patricia Egen • February 11th, 2013

Recently two of my staff were having a discussion about ways to get people to let us know if a quote was still a go.  One of my people came from an organization that was very aggressive in their sales techniques.  He wasn’t really fond of that aggression nor are aggressive tactics our style, but he remembered something that actually worked really well.  You put either ANY NEWS or IS THIS DEAD? in the subject line of an email.  Nothing goes in the body of the email and you send it to the clients with outstanding quotes.

Here’s where it gets amusing and interesting.  My other staff member wasn’t exactly sure what he meant so they put both comments in the subject line.  They sent out an email with that subject line to one of our potential customers and got a response within 2 minutes saying please resend the quote.  First – it was amazing that it worked.  Second – it was amazing it worked with both comments in the subject line.  When the two talked about it later and found out that both comments had been placed in the subject line, we all got a great laugh.

But…. it worked.  That’s the part that is so intriguing to me.  And this made me figure it would make a good blog article about following up on outstanding quotes and also about the power of brevity

Lesson number one was keep following up on your quotes.  We all get caught up in daily minutia and it’s hard to carve out a time to do followups.  But it is absolutely necessary.  Your clients are equally as busy as you are and they too get caught up on day to day activities and need gentle nudges (note – not constant haranguing) as a reminder.

Lesson number two was brevity worked.  We all are inundated with emails – who needs yet another one.  But short quick to the point items seem to get read quickly.  And the point of the email was in the subject line.  We’ve now tried this a couple of other times and they worked as well.  Well, who’d a thunk?  Good lessons indeed.


Pat – I like it!

We have played with similar tactics in the past, but never really made it part of the process.

I can say, it generally shakes out an answer – and as you say – often pretty quickly. And they are up front – “No, it’s still a go” or “Yeah, we decided to do …”

I am not quite clear on what you mean though when you refere to “comments had been place in the subject line”…

Could you clarify?

Thanks and thanks for sharing!


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