Subject lines matter in Private Equity acquisition searches!

June 22, 2016

As an owner of a few middle market business, I get solicited by Private Equity firms a lot.

For such a sophisticated group of professionals, I am always amazed at how poor their email conversion strategies are.  

A good deal origination campaign has 3 important parts:

Most Private Equity firms I come across labor over the first and third points above but treat the content strategy as an afterthought. If you use email marketing as a source of opportunity generation you have a huge opportunity to improve the amount of deals that come across your desk with one trick – better subject lines. 

Why are subject lines important?

Outbound marketing only works if prospects read your email. We have tested hundreds of subject lines for our Private Equity clients and have found the following:

Industry Matters

No two industries are the same, so don’t send them the same messaging. Tech and business services, both spaces that have significant sales/business development cultures, have been proven to respond well to more casual approaches where manufacturing and distribution prefer a very formal subject line approach. The only true method is to test different subject lines with different industries, and there is certainly no perfect solution. However, simply understanding the differences in audiences is a good starting point. 

Different is better

If I see another email that says ‘XYZ capital seeks ABC company type for acquisition’…

Prospecting is your sales effort – you are selling your firms value proposition to a potential target, so don’t be lazy. Instead, be different!  Here are a few ‘different’, real world subject lines that performed well above industry average from some of your competitors:

All of these subject lines tease value or answer a question. There is a significant amount of data that supports the idea that you should ask the prospect to engage rather than tell them what your firm wants. 

Human is even better than different

You buy businesses – I get it. But businesses are run by real people. Talk to your prospects like human beings, not businesses. Ask them questions, appeal to the individual and you will see a measurable uptick in open and response rates. 

Self-serving pitch

Our deal origination team has spent years studying the science behind effective deal origination campaigns online. Having sourced thousands of leads while supporting hundreds of firms, we understand how to source higher quality deal flow in a cost effective manner.