Bump your sales email reply rates up by 10% with this quick and effective sales email strategy

Posted September 7, 2017

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By Chelsey Feldman

Product Marketing at Outreach

Oh, if only it took a single point of cold contact — just one email, letter, phone call, voicemail, or LinkedIn message — to get a reply from decision-makers. But we all know that, unfortunately, that is just not the case. Sometimes it's daunting to plan, write, and develop the 8 to 12 distinct communications of your sales sequence formula that current research shows are needed to get an initial response from your prospects.

But here's one of our many effective sales email tips that can make the process easier for sales reps: the "bumper" reply, or sending a short-and-sweet reply to your original email to bump your note back to the top of your prospect’s inbox.

Why should you use bumper replies?

Your first email to a prospect is likely thorough, specific, and full of substance. It introduces your organization’s product and provides details on why and how it can help, including case studies, infographics, and other add-ons.

However sad it may be, it is more likely than not, that perfectly-crafted email will never see the light of day. Rather than giving up or starting to draft a follow up novella, a bumper reply bumps up the whole email thread — including your initial thorough, targeted, substantial product pitch — in the prospect's inbox. It serves to get prospect's eyes on this original, high-impact email a second time. Best of all, writing bumper messages is quick and easy; the most effective notes are really, really brief.

What should you say in your bumper reply?

The #1 key to a successful bumper reply is not to overthink it. These are easy, breezy, and direct. That said, I’m sharing four of my team’s top-performing replies. Feel free to add these directly into your own sequences!

Reply #1: The Quick Summary

Hi {{first_name}},

Just seeing if you got my last email. Based on your role at {{company}} and given our customers in your space, a chat may be beneficial. In short:

  • We put your sales process into a structured series of touch points which takes care of your follow-up process for you.
  • We help reduce the amount of administrative work within your CRM (Salesforce).
  • And we open up the "Black Box" of sales and show you what each rep is doing, and what is and isn't working.

{{first_name}}, Can we set up a quick meeting for next week?



Why it works: This message had a 5.3% reply rate. This reply gets the job done by succinctly summarizing the value you bring, which triggers prospects to review the initial, substance-filled email again. It ends with a clear call to action (that quick meeting) that only requires a simple yes or no reply from the prospect.

Reply #2: The Short and Sweet Reminder

Hi {{first_name}},

Just seeing if you got my last email. I know things can get lost and I wanted to get back on your radar.  

When can I get a few minutes on your calendar to talk?



Why it works: At just three-sentences long, this email generates a 5.3% reply rate. This second message makes the first one look downright complex! This email has a sympathetic tone ("I know things can get lost") and again, its brevity encourages prospects to scroll down to the initial email.

Reply #3: The Clear, Casual Call to Action

Hey {{first_name}},

Just checking in again.  

Can you give me a thumbs up or thumbs down on whether you are interested or not?



Why it works: This two-sentence email gets a whopping 12% reply rate. Just a simple request — thumbs up or thumbs down — can go a long way. It doesn’t require a lot of thought or a lengthy note back to you, so your prospect is more likely to reply.

Reply #4: The Social Sell  

There’s a twist with this particular message. Before sending it off, view the prospect’s LinkedIn profile page.


I sent you over an email a few days ago. Just saw your profile as I was doing some research on LinkedIn and it reminded me to reach out.

Could I get your feedback on the note below?



Why it works: This email received a 6% reply rate. This communication is really two emails: the one you send, and the automatic alert that LinkedIn sends out to let the prospect know about a profile view. The profile view makes the outreach feel more organic and natural, but the double-message makes your name familiar when they see you in their inbox.

How will Bumper Replies up your Sales Email Game?

As you've seen, the response rate for bumper messages is high. Let's walk through one sequence of correspondence sent to 26,000 prospects.

The initial email received an average reply rate of 2.5%. Not bad! But the first bumper message raised that rate by 5.2%. And even the second bumper message (or, the third email the prospect received) still had juice, generating a reply rate of 3.7%. So, with two simple follow-up emails, the reply rate jumped from 2.5% to 11.4% overall. That's nearly 3,000 responses from prospects - and requires very little lift from your end.

Best of all - you can schedule them as a step within a sequence so you don’t even have to remember to send it if your prospect doesn’t reply. Remember all that talk about wisely allocating your time on personalization vs. automation? This is one of those times where a scheduled send helps you connect! By simply scheduling these casual and friendly reminders, you can up your reply rate by 5-12% without sacrificing the other accounts you’re juggling.

The number of touches required to get a response can seem intimidatingly large at first. How will you reach out that many times in a meaningful manner that leads to replies? The answer, of course, is to be clever. The bumper reply is simple, but mighty - increasing reply rates more than 10% with only minimal effort.


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