Sales leads are a little like fresh produce. The longer they’re allowed to sit without being inspected or utilized, the greater the chance they’ll lose their utility altogether. The problem is, no one likes annoying “reminder” emails filled with hyperbole – a.k.a. the most popular sales technique – so what’s a B2B business to do? The answer to your email marketing woes might just be in, believe it or not, a simple 9-word email template created by Dean Jackson.

The template couldn’t be easier:

Hi [ Prospect Name],

Are you still looking for [ Your Company’s Product or Service]?


[ Your Name]

Really? That’s All?

That’s it. This 9-word email template is to the point, simple takes seconds to read, and communicates volumes to your potential customers. That “still,” for example, indicates that you were listening when they first sought your company out and that they mean enough to you to warrant a follow-up. In an already-crowded inbox, being met with a wall of text is more likely to earn you a trip to the “circular file” than it is a careful read. This way, you can avoid contributing to the volume of information your prospects already need to sift through, greet them with a refreshing, one-on-one tone email instead.

By sending an email that’s simple but leaves plenty of room for the reader to interject themselves into the conversation, you’re positioning yourself as a stress-free source for answers. The tone and brevity keep it light, ensuring they’re not hesitant to ask questions or get a quote for fear of being buried in high-pressure sales calls, visits, or emails.

When Should I Send a 9 Word Email?

When a B2B prospect first makes contact, either through a direct inquiry or a quote-collecting process, there’s a 50% chance that they’re a potential buyer that will “pull the trigger” in the next 18 months. While you want to offer them a little breathing room to make that decision, particularly in industries like construction where projects have widely varying timelines, 90 days is the beginning of a great window. The need for your products and service may still be active, the timeline may be getting a little more narrow, and the impetus to make a final decision more urgent. The email offers a door to communication without being overbearing, inviting the reader to reply and renew or revisit the initial sales conversation.

Should I Add This to My Sales Funnel?

Unless you know for a fact that a certain project has been completed, absolutely. All kinds of delays crop up in projects, and it’s very common for decisions to be put off until several proverbial fires can be extinguished. Your sales prospect may even appreciate the reminder that he or she needs to finalize that facet of their project. Just as with any sales technique, persistence does pay off – the notable difference when you use this simple email is that it’s a far more palatable version of persistence than most  B2B marketing, which can feel boilerplate and impersonal.

Another fantastic facet of the 9-word email is that it also cuts back on the time your team usually spends on followups. It asks for a yes-or-no style answer and puts the power in your prospect’s court, enabling them to set the tone for the ongoing conversation. Chances are that your sales prospects don’t usually do most of your marketing heavy lifting for you, so this short-and-sweet solution to the 90-day followup may end up being the best email marketing move you’ve ever made.