Blog Post

Power Words – And How to Use Them in Sales Emails


In just five minutes, the average person deletes nearly half – 48%, of all emails they receive in a day, often without even opening them. Turns out, the decision to click “delete” is based largely on the words in the subject lines of those emails.

Mountainview, California-based productivity software firm Boomerang recently extracted data from some 5 million of its users’ emails, and what they learned could help boost your payroll software and service sales team’s success. For example, one user deleted about half of the 147 messages he received daily, with 90 minutes of the total two hours spent on email each day going to just 12 messages. Here are a few highlights from the company’s research:


  1. Emails with subject lines using these words had high open rates:
    1. Demo
    2. Connect
    3. Cancellation
    4. Apply
    5. Opportunity
    6. Conference
    7. Payments
  1. Emails with subject lines using these words however, were more likely to go directly to the trash:
    1. Assistance
    2. Speaker
    3. Press
    4. Social
    5. Invite
    6. Join
    7. Confirm
  1. All capital letters definitely get attention – the worst kind. An analysis of 300,000 emails using all caps tanked response rates by nearly 30%.
  2. Less is more. Subject lines with 3 to 4 words consistently garner more responses than longer ones. Research shows this rings true for email body copy as well. Just 1 in 3 messages longer than 2,500 words receive a reply, while those running between 50 and 125 words proved most effective.
  3. Keep it simple. Boomerang researchers found that messages written at a third-grade reading level are 36% more likely to get a reply than those written at the college reading level.
  4. Do a little digging. Emails that contain 1 to 3 questions, rather than simply doling out information, are 50% likelier to get replies than emails.


To further boost your payroll software and service firm’s competitiveness, and read more selling advise like this, consider partnering with Apex HCM. We offer a full range of customizable software and cloud solutions developed specifically for payroll software and service firms, with two conferences held annually to assist our users, and help them grow their service bureaus – one specifically on just on good selling practices. Call 877-750-2739 or request a demo online, here.