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February 14, 2014 // 8:00 AM

Sales Heartbreakers: How to Use Breakup Emails to Attract Your Prospects

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sales-break-up-emailsThere are some relationships that you're happy to see end. You know -- when you're stuck dating someone you just don't like that much.

But sometimes you start a relationship with someone who has really piqued your interest. Despite how many times this potential partner has reached out, though, it's not uncommon for your conflicting calendars to keep your love from prospering. And when this happens, you get that email -- the one where they cut you loose.

For some, that means indulging in endless ice cream. For me, it means binge-eating Taco Bell. And this is the reaction you want from your prospects when you decide it's time to break it off. 

Why use breakup emails?

Breakup emails trigger an emotion in your leads. They're not going to care that you're bidding adieu if they didn't care about you in the first place.

Katharine Derum, a senior sales manager at HubSpot, says her team sees a 33% response rate on breakup emails -- but only if that email is in a sequence somebody cares about.

With an inbound sales approach, you're offering valuable knowledge as the sales process evolves. And if that knowledge suddenly stops coming, your prospects will react. With that, here are three rules for breakup emails, each with an example email that has prompted response in our sales funnel. 

The 3 Rules of Breakup Emails 

1) Tease them with value.

If you read the first example below, you'll notice the sales rep clearly states that he's been reaching out in order to review suggestions, no thet product. Every time you engage with a lead, you should take a consultative approach of sharing valuable, helpful information that will guide them in their purchasing decision.

That way, when it comes time to send a breakup email, you're sending a message along the lines of, "Hey, remember all those awesome emails with awesome tips I've been sending you? They end today." 


2) Make your intentions clear.

This second example takes on another key lesson: making it clear that you're breaking up. Think about those awful, "Hey, I think we should talk" messages you receive. If the result is a conversation around ending a relationship, you suddenly want to make your partner a priority and work on furthering your relationship.

The same idea applies here. If your prospect has any interest in speaking to you, your breakup email has now prioritized your business on their to-do list.


3) Don't breakup too soon.

Do you ever feel like you're in a one-sided relationship? It happens, but don't let your emotions lead you to ending a relationship too soon!

A sales breakup email is only effective if you've put in true effort to communicate and engage with your prospect. The example below starts by making it clear that you've tried reaching out and that you've engaged in a relationship -- it's just not going anywhere. This can help your prospect realize the value you brought to their work and want to reach back out.


While these templates have worked for our sales team, we'd love to see what templates are working in other buyer contexts -- feel free to comment with yours below!

And for those of you who struggle with such breakups, here's a parting gift in the spirit of Valentine's Day. We hope you enjoy this breakup video featuring Dan Sally, one of our star sales specialists.


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