Have you been using emails to reach your prospects? If so, what sort of response have you seen? Chances are, many of your emails go unanswered. Business owners and CEOs are busy people with a steady stream of incoming emails. If you can’t engage them quickly, they’ll delete your before they even read what you have to say.

The majority of salespeople make the same prospecting email mistakes, so they never even reach their target customers. But don’t give up on prospecting emails just yet! When done right, email prospecting can actually be a successful way to reach high-level prospects. Next time you write a prospecting email, remember the following six keys to prospecting emails that get a response:

1. Make it personal.

If prospects think your email is a boilerplate message that’s been copied and pasted to dozens of recipients, it will be deleted in a matter of seconds. In order to engage prospects, make your message hyper-specific to their world. Show them you’ve done your homework. Demonstrate your expertise about them, their organization, and even some of the challenges they’re facing.

Watch this video to learn more about personalized sales emails:

2. Avoid promotional subject lines.

Most people today check their email on their smartphones—which means they’ll decide whether to open your message or delete it based on just your name, the subject line, and the first few words of your sales email. Sales-y subject lines are a surefire way get your emails deleted. Instead, try using a short line that mentions the prospect’s company name.

3. Keep it short.

What’s your actual goal in sending a prospecting email? It shouldn’t be to educate the recipient or to make a sale. Rather, you’re just looking to get a response and start a conversation. While long emails will be quickly deleted—no matter how engaging the content—an email of five sentences or fewer is likely to engage your prospect and elicit a response.

4. Offer value.

Most prospects believe salespeople are always looking to take from them—so stand out by being someone who gives value instead. Offer to send them something they’ll find useful, or provide helpful feedback on their company. Free assessments, relevant articles, e-books, and special reports are just a few examples of value-adding gifts you can offer to a prospect.

5. End with a hook.

Closing an email by saying, “Let me know if I can ever be helpful,” simply isn’t going to elicit a response. Never end your prospecting emails with a statement. Instead, close with an open-ended question that’s easy to answer. Try asking, “Did any of these challenges ring true to you?” or even “Where should I send my free assessment?” A simple question that quickly gets to the point is a great way to engage your prospect in a conversation.

6. Stop using formal language.

This is a personalized email—not a college essay. Omit buzzwords, fancy language, and “sirs” or “madams.” Instead, write the same way you talk. This will convey that you’re a real human being with something of value you’d like to share.

Which of these six keys did you find most helpful for writing prospecting emails that actually get a response? Share your thoughts in the comments below. For more useful tips on engaging prospects, check out this special report on three closing questions you must ask to close the sale.