Effectiveness of the “break-up” sales email

We’ve all had high-quality prospects we can’t evoke a response from. So after hearing about the success of the “breakup email”, I was intrigued!

If you’re unfamiliar with the breakup email, head over to Anum Hussain’s post about how they’re using this over at Hubspot.

Our breakup email

We’re using the breakup email as a part of our sales cycle at Paddle when selling in-app analytics on desktop & mobile. The first iteration of our breakup email can be seen below:

Subject: John Doe, are you just not that into me?

Hey John,

I'm really keen to learn about your analytics setup, but not heard back from you. I assume you fall into one of the categories below:

  1. You don't have time to chat about your setup in APPNAME right now.
  2. You don't do any analytics right now; and weren't sure what to discuss.
  3. You hate analytics and never want to talk about it.... ever!

Let me know which you fall into John; as I'm starting to worry!!

We moulded this template inline with our “Yes / No” principle of the first-touch email. With the end-goal simply to be for the prospect to engage; responding with a simple answer to the email in question. In this case, letting our prospector know which of three categories they fall into.

Category 1

Knowing which customers fall into this category will allow us to approach them at a time more appropriate to consider our offering. Saving time and multiple wasted follow-ups that could be sent to more appropriate prospects at that time.

We aim to ask any “category 1” prospects when would be a better time to get in touch, and restart the sales cycle at that point.

Category 2

Customers falling into this category are the perfect fit for our product. They’re not doing any analytics right now; we can establish what their paint point with analytics is, and whether our product solves this.

Category 3

The prospects who categorise themselves in this way are those which are hardest to convert. With our product having such a wide audience, it’s not a good use of time/resources attempting to convert these prospects (with exceptions of course!).

The only next-step or response we pursue if customers put themselves into this category, is to ask them why it is they’re not interested in analytics. In establishing what their exact pain-point is, this may be something we’re able to overcome and thus move forward with the sales cycle.

Response after 2-3 hours

Our prospector at Paddle sent out our first 67 emails using this template; the immediate reaction in terms of engagement can be seen below:

Breakup email performance

A 57% open-rate after a few hours is strong; suggesting our subject line and entry into the email are performing well.

Over the next 3-5 days (avg time our prospects take to reply) I’m keen to monitor how many leads respond, aiming for an initial response-rate of 10-15%. This will be a figure I’m happy with, with these leads previously ignoring 2 cold emails.


The “breakup email” performance will be analysed in full later in April, in addition to tweaks we’ll be making to the template in the future.

What are you experiences?

Are you using a break-up email template? I'd love to hear about your experience in the, on twitter, and via email!