The Breakup Email: The Last Email To Send Before You Stop


Andy Cabasso

January 10th

Cold emailing is a numbers game. No sales rep has a 100% response rate no matter how great their product or service, cold emails, and follow-up emails are.

Response rates to cold sales emails are between 1% and 5%. Sometimes potential customers will remain just that and not convert despite your best sales efforts. 

break up email cover image

But before you remove a prospect from your mailing list forever and cut off all lines of communication, you can throw one last Hail Mary and send a breakup email. 

What Is A Breakup Email?

A sales breakup email or goodbye email is one last attempt to convert a potential customer before they’re permanently out of your sales pipeline. 

Who Do You Send Breakup Emails To?

You wouldn’t send a breakup email to a person you went on a single date with, right? Of course not, because you have no relationship with them. The same is true for professional breakup emails.

its not you me dog meme

You send a breakup email to a prospect who has in some way responded to at least one previous email, and you’ve had some back and forth with. 

Why And When To Send A Breakup Email?

Even if the sales process seems at an end and you have zero hope of converting someone, you just don’t know for sure. Your goodbye email could be the breakthrough email that converts them. Statistics show that a good breakup email can see a 33% response rate! 

Sending a breakup email can also be a bit like spring cleaning, and it lets you close an email thread and make space in your sales pipeline for new cold prospects. 

How to Write a Breakup Email?

You are writing to an unresponsive prospect, so there is no need to be long-winded. Your final email should be brass tacks, how you can help them solve a problem, and your contact details if they’re interested. 

Subject Lines for a Breakup Email

Only use a subject line if you’re starting a new thread. But keep in mind, creating a new thread could mean the prospect overlooks your email because it’s unfamiliar.

forgot email subject line finding nemo meme

If you think it’s strategic to start a new thread, be sure to remind the reader that the two of you have corresponded recently and give them some context. 

Here are a few example subject lines:

  1. Breaking up is hard to do
  2. Should I close your file?
  3. One final Hail Mary
  4. One last attempt to reach you!
  5. To the elusive Mr. Smith…
  6. my last email to you 🙁

Attractive Opening Lines For Breakup Emails

Let’s be honest; rejection is hard even if your sales team has decades of experience and rolls with the punches. Feelings of rejection can be softened with a bit of humor. Personalized opening lines interject a laugh in the opening line of your breakup email body:

Dear X, 
I thought things were going great, but now I feel stood up! 

Dear X,

It’s you and not me, right?  

Dear X,

My mom always told me persistence pays off. Don’t make my mom a liar. 

Your Breakup Email Body

Keep the body of your email concise. Here are our top five tips for the perfected break-up email.

1. Add Context: Remind them that the two of you have been corresponding, that you’ve contacted them several times, and at some point, they stopped responding. 

2. Keep it Professional: You don’t want to sound like a man or woman scorned. It’s nothing personal, so don’t list your grievances. A breakup email should read as a neutral message. 

3. Reiterate Value: Really drive home how what you’re offering will help them. 

4. Add Value: Offer additional resources that may help persuade what seems to be a reluctant prospect. Personalized emails don’t mean inserting name tags. Offering prospects something they want is what’s considered providing personalized unique value.

5. Set Expectations: Give them an ultimatum, not in so many words. Let them know you won’t be contacting them again. Sometimes this can give someone the little push they need.

Breakup Email Call to Action

Breakup emails to prospects don’t require a CTA. A call to action should have been in all previous emails, and they can go back in the thread to find one if they need it. 

cta tense red button call to action meme

You will find tons of blogs out there that tell you to include call to action as one last try to get them to convert. If they didn’t respond to you after 4-7 emails, be certain they won’t respond after an awesome breakup email as well.

5 Breakup Email Templates

Break up emails are a valuable way to put together a relationship back on track, or put it down. Here’s our compilation of the best five breakup emails ever.

1. Keeping it Short Template 

Hey John,

I had not heard back from you. Is this something you are still interested in?

Please let me know.

If I don’t hear back, I will assume that now is not the right time and I won’t follow up.

2. Close It Off Template

Hey John,

I was going through our files and am closing things out for the month.

I had not heard back from you after a few emails. Do I have permission to close your file?

3. Add One Last Value Template

Hey John,

I wanted to follow up with one last thing.

I had mentioned that our company helps with web design, but I wanted to also share something else I thought might interest you.

  • Our agency also helps businesses with branding creative
  • We have extensive experience with running Facebook paid search campaigns
  • We also provide social media management services

Let me know if any of these might interest you.

If I don’t hear back, I’ll assume that now is not a good time. I’ll leave the ball in your court moving forward.

4. Never Guilt Trip Template

Hey there,

Just wondering if you’ve had the opportunity to review my last email?

I totally get that things can get busy, but I wanted to check in just in case.

If you don’t reply, I’ll assume you’re all good for now. Feel free to email me any time if you might need me.

Thank you for your time and consideration
Best regards.

5. Humor Implemented Template

To the elusive Mr. Smith,

You might be happy to know this will be my final email to you. I won’t lie, this is the email where I try to subtly guilt-trip you into replying by including a picture of me looking sad, like this one:

🙁

(It’s an artist’s interpretation)

To recap, my name is Andy and I run Postaga. I think I can help you cold outreach.

If you’re even the least bit curious, please make me smile and hit ‘reply.’

If it’s not of interest, I guess this is goodbye. *cue sad violin music*

Thank you so much for your time – and the space in your inbox.

Fingers crossed!

Have an absolutely wonderful day,

Andy

Mistakes to Avoid In A Breakup Email

I mean, you’re not exactly batting 1000 to this point; otherwise, they would have converted by now. Your sales break-up email is your last chance to make a positive impression. To write an effective breakup email, be sure to avoid these common mistakes. 

Don’t be a scold: You are not their mother, not angry but disappointed in their failure to respond favorably to your email marketing. Don’t come across that way. If you’re not sure your message has that tone, read it aloud and ask a colleague to read it too. 

Don’t sound entitled: You are not entitled to anything from a cold prospect, not even one you’ve had some back and forth with that you thought was promising. You can’t make any demands in your breakup email. Just gracefully wish them well and move on to the next one.

Don’t be self-centered: A prospect doesn’t care that their failure to convert cost you a bonus or made you fail to meet your sales goal. That’s a you problem, not a them problem! Your focus should still be on what you can do for them.

That’s All, Folks! 

thats all folks conclusion

Of course, the best-case scenario is that your prospect reads your final missive and comes to the sudden but unmistakable realization that they cannot live without you (Well, what you’re selling!)! They call you up immediately, place a huge order, and send you a fruit basket for making you sweat all those weeks! 

The next best scenario is that you and your terrific emails embedded themselves in the reader’s subconscious. Maybe they don’t need what you’re offering just now, but they may in the future. When that time comes, Boom! They’re yours. 

At worst, you’ve cleaned up your email list and can move on to greener pastures. But we’ll cross our fingers for you for the first one! 

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