Thanks to the recency effect, people have the best recall for the last items on a list. You can credit this phenomenon for the bizarre purchases you make after forgetting your shopping list at home — rather than remembering the most essential items (milk, cheese, bread), you usually remember whichever items you’d written down last (like teriyaki sauce and ice cream.)
The recency effect might not be too helpful at the grocery store, but it definitely works in your favor when emailing prospects.
If you write a powerful last line, the recency effect will amplify its impact. Not only will your message be more memorable, but your prospects will be more motivated to respond. Read on for 23 ideas for closing strong.
A well-chosen question can turn a one-way exchange into a dialogue — and talking with your prospect is always better than talking at them.
To kickstart an initial exchange or engage a prospect that’s gone silent, extend an offer he won’t be able to refuse. You’ll simultaneously add value and incentivize him to answer. Here are a couple examples:
- “I noticed on your website that you just opened another location, which means you’re probably looking for sous chefs. I happen to know a couple great ones — would you like an intro?”
- “After analyzing your site, I’ve found a couple places to improve design accessibility. Should I write up my results?”
- “I’ve got a great checklist on hiring interns. Want me to send it your way?”
- “Have you tried any of those strategies? I have a couple more ideas for how we could help.”
Ending with an interesting question is also valuable for learning more about prospects. Check out these sample ones:
- “Is it currently a priority to improve customer wait times?”
- “How did you maintain hiring quality as you scaled? Did you ever try an employee referral program or social recruiting strategy?”
- “Did the ebook you downloaded change the way you think about prefab methods?”
- “I did some research, and I noticed your company’s Glassdoor reviews are fairly low. In the past, have you tried encouraging current employees to share their thoughts?”
When you’re trying to educate the prospect on your product’s value, consider ending with, “Did you know [surprising fact about product]?” Here are some ideas:
- “Did you know many lawyers will purposely insert invalid clauses in business contracts?”
- “Did you know most senior managers have never undergone leadership training?”
Want to build rapport? Ask about a commonality or something about the prospect you found during research. A little bit of personalization goes a long way.
- “I love ramen as well. Have you tried Yamadaya on the Westside?”
- “I’m also a huge fan of pan flute music. Who are your favorite artists?”
- “Congratulations on being chosen to speak at INBOUND! What was the application process like?”
- “I saw your tweet about hiking the Appalachian Trail — that’s impressive. How long have you been into backpacking?”
Getting people to slow down enough to actually absorb your emails is challenging. That’s where a surprising or thought-provoking statement comes in: Not only will it grab your prospect’s attention in the moment, but it’ll leave your message on her mind the rest of the day.
Did you already mention a customer who saw success with your product? Use your final line to deliver a bonus tidbit about their results, like so:
- “By the way, the art program they designed with our help ended up winning two national awards.”
- “Two years later, that company was acquired for $30 million.”
If you’ve got a worrying statistic up your sleeve, put it in your last line to give it maximum impact. Once you’ve created a sense of urgency, the prospect will naturally be inclined to see how your product can help. For example:
- “According to this Deloitte report, smartphone shoppers are 14% more likely than non-smartphone shoppers to convert in store.”
- “Some food for thought: Half of all local businesses don’t comply with the new regulations.”
Never leave your prospect without a clear idea of what to do next. Including a simple, specific call-to-action at the end of your email will drive the sales process forward.
The operative words? “Simple” and “specific.” Too much choice can be overwhelming — so if you want prospects to immediately take action, give them one or two concrete options. Take a look at these hypothetical CTAs:
- “Are you ready to discuss pricing, or would you like me to hop on the phone with your legal team?”
- “Looking forward to walking you through our POS tool. Are you available on Wednesday 3 p.m. or Thursday at noon?”
Aaron Ross, author of Predictable Revenue, swears by these closing lines:
- “Please let me know by [date] if you are ready to [next step].”
- “Email me by [date] to confirm [next step].”
- “I’ll send you a calendar invite/reminder about finalizing that paperwork on [date]. Sound good?”
No one wants to write emails prospects will forget in five minutes. With these powerful closing lines, your message will linger.
Want to make your emails even more memorable? Check out 16 email sign-offs that put “best” to shame.