You’re busy. And even if you love your work, your days are filled with the mundane. (Even if you’re a Hollywood celebrity — how else do you explain their penchant to invent drama?)

Your prospects are also busy and also surrounded with the mundane. They’re sitting at their desks each morning, going through dozens of emails, just like every other morning. Their to-do lists have more items on them than they can possibly get done. So when they encounter your email, which sounds just like all your competitors’ emails that sit next to yours in their inboxes, they aren’t likely to be motivated enough to click.

Here’s how to fix that.

Because your prospects are busy, getting them to open your email (much less read it) is a tough challenge. But the good news is they’re also subconsciously looking for something to break the monotony of their routine. (This is why grown, successful people still open forwarded emails from their friends with the latest batch of dogs wearing signs.)

But you don’t have to resort to sending your prospects animal memes. The key to success is pique your prospects’ curiosity about something that matters to them.

Do they want to improve their top-line revenue? Do they need a better, faster way to track income and expenses? Are they frustrated with how much time they’re wasting with inefficient project management? Do they want to be more respected in their industries and viewed as the experts they are? You’ve got to pinpoint the desire they have that you can fulfill with what you’re offering in your email — your eBook, webinar invite, etc.

2. Next, identify what’s holding your prospects back from getting what they desire.

Are they too overwhelmed to pursue whatever it is? Are they not detail-oriented? Do they struggle with writing? Do they not have time to find and research all the different software solutions to their problem?

3. Incorporating the two things you just identified, craft a subject line that raises a question in the prospects’ mind.

Your goal is to make your prospects curious, and the promise that you’ll help them achieve one of their top desires is just too much to resist. For example, if your email is inviting small business owners to a webinar on how to retain their best employees, your subject line writing process would look like this:

  1. What they care about: Keeping their top-producing employees on board.
  2. What’s holding them back: Their competitors are offering higher salaries.
  3. Subject line that raises a question: “Here’s what recruiters don’t tell you about why employees leave their employers (hint: it’s not salaries)”

The prospects immediately wonder what it is that recruiters are keeping under wraps, and they’re doubly curious because they always thought it was money. Of course they’re going to open the email to find out the answer, hopeful that they can solve their concern.

If you’re going to get prospects motivated enough to click your email in the midst of their busy days, you can’t just be plugging into the subject line whatever words pop into your mind. You’ve got to go beyond what your competitors are doing. So take advantage of what the field of psychology teaches us about desire and curiosity. I guarantee you’ll see your open rates rise.

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