The role of sales prospecting emails in the sales process gets questioned from time to time. Well, we do live in a fully digital age, we make online purchases; we communicate with family and friends via texts and social media posts. Any business engaged in marketing and sales must use all the digital means at their disposal, from stunning websites, engaging, and compelling blog posts, social media promotions, online advertising, and more. All of these are designed to keep existing customers and to attract new ones.
How About Email?
One primary method of finding prospects is through emails. In fact, if done right, research shows that Email marketing has a high ROI of all marketing activities and tools. For every dollar spent, marketers can expect an average return of $42.
The question becomes this: how does a company craft sales prospecting emails that will actually get opened and then generate responses? Given the fact that the average consumer receives just under 150 emails a day and that they delete or “spams” a full 24% of sales emails, sales and marketers know that they have to “buck” these statistics with emails that will work.
The answer lies in using the following strategies and tips. They will increase your “odds” and certainly help to effectively communicate with prospects and convert them into ultimate customers.
- Identifying the Right Prospects
In sales, you have spent a lot of time researching your target audience. And there are plenty of data-gathering tools to help you do this. Having a truly accurate customer profile allows you to compare prospects against it and then to decide whether sending an email is worth it.
Where do you go to find prospects that are a fit? You can start with social media. All the major platforms have “groups” with similar interests and demographics. Suppose, for example, you are a business that is offering meal kits for busy millennials. You can use the analytics of the major social media platforms to identify these groups and monitor their conversations or recommendations. You can then participate in those conversations, discussions and provide a backlink to your website. From there, you can nurture further and, perhaps by providing great insights you can garner an email address. This will be a good prospect. All of this takes time.
There are other email tools you can use that may provide a prospect email list based upon the characteristics you identify. These come with a cost, of course, but a good resource will be invaluable. And it will save you lots of time.
- Personalization Matters
Personalization is as simple as addressing a prospect by name. Or is it? Actually, it’s not. Adding a personal touch means that you address a pain point that your prospect is experiencing, both in your subject line and in your email content itself. Otherwise, you are sending just another sales pitch. Even if they need the product or service, if they don’t feel that you are in tune with their unique need, they will be unmoved.
Do you offer a subscription box service? What problem does it solve for your prospect? Whether it is software, disposable razors, diapers, or wine, how does this provide efficiency or delight to your prospect? When your sales prospecting emails focuses on that, you will have “hit a nerve,” and the chances of a response are so much greater.
This is just as important for B2B prospect marketing. What pain points have you gleaned from your research, perhaps on LinkedIn? Does someone have an issue with managing remote workers that can be solved by your software? Your email should address that issue in a personal way.
- That All-Important Subject Line
Journalists understand this. They know that their headline must grab the immediate attention of the reader. It has to have psychological appeal and pique curiosity if the potential reader is to move forward. And so, it goes with email subject lines. If you do not “strike a nerve” with that subject line, you are relegated to the “delete” button or, worse, to spam. Many journalists spend as much time on the headline as they do on the article itself.
You, too, must spend a lot of time on that subject line. Can you ask a question that will resonate and address a pain point? Can you indicate that you have a solution to a problem you know they face?
“Are you tired of dirty razors?” “Done with lugging huge packages of diapers from the car?” “Struggling to keep your remote team all on the same page?” These are subject lines that will probably resonate with your targets.
If you want to analyze the effectiveness of your subject lines, there are a number of tool that will do this for you. Plus, you can also test different headlines for resonation (more on that later).
Above all, your sales prospecting emails should avoid “salesy” pitchers like “Get your discount not!” or “Buy now for a great price offer!” How many emails do you think people get with these types of subject lines? Too many, and they are not impressed.
4. Sales Prospecting Emails Should Be Brief
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to wax profoundly on who you are, what your company is all about, and more. In fact, long emails are not read. Prospective customers and clients are busy people. They want to know what you are offering and “get in and get out.”
Your sales prospecting emails have one single purpose. You are introducing a value and a solution to a prospect with a single method for them to respond. There are lots of studies that show email recipients most often read emails that are between 75-100 words. And this study included an analysis of over 40 million emails. Use this as a guide as you craft the body of your email. Keep your message singular and short.
- It’s All About Value and Benefit
Marketers understand this as they create other marketing content. Email body content is no different. It’s not about you – it’s about the prospect.
How can your prospect benefit from the product or service you offer? Think this through carefully as you write your sales prospecting emails. This is not the time to talk about your company or detailed product features. It is time to talk about solutions to problems.
A smart marketer from Help Scout once said, “People are not interested in buying a bed. They are interested in a good night’s sleep.” Do you see the difference here? The features of your “bed” are unimportant in a prospect email – that’s for later. The benefit is getting that better sleep.
Think about the pain point you are solving, and explain it in less than 125 words. Your response rate will be far greater.
- Include Social Proof if You Can
This may be tough in a very brief email body. But it is a powerful psychological tool. People do not like to feel that they are missing out and not going with the crowd.
There are a few ways that you can do this. You can mention the numbers of new customers who have come on board in the last year. If you have a famous person who uses your product or service, all the better.
Another way to get around this without lengthening the body of your email is through an attachment that the recipient can then choose to open or not. This attachment might include verifiable testimonials with full names of actual customers; it could include a case study of how a company or an individual consumer benefitted from your product or service. This might be the place to present a video of a happy customer.
- Provide a Single and Clear Call to Action
Don’t leave it up to the recipient to think about what action to take. You do not want to propose options. You want your prospect to do one thing and one thing only. Make it clear and decisive. You have to control the next step.
- Get Your Timing Right
You actually can conduct some research that will show the best times of the day that your typical prospects will be going through their emails. You can look at your own history of email opens by current customers, because they have the same demographics as your prospects. If you use a good email service, that company will track the openings and provide full reports that include these times.
- Don’t Shy Away from Follow-Up Emails
Of course, you don’t want to harass prospects. That is the fastest way to get “spammed.” But a following up on your sales prospecting emails after a reasonable period of time, is not harassment. Many email campaigns do not provide for this, and it is a mistake. And if you wait for reasonable periods, you can send additional follow-ups as well.
- Do The Testing
You understand what A/B testing is. Your email service should provide this. You should A/B test one thing at a time – your subject lines, your body content, your calls to action, and the time of day they are sent. Divide your prospect audience and deliver your two versions. Review the reports you get, and keep the more successful versions.
Sales prospecting and converting prospects into customers is not for the faint of heart. It takes research, planning, strategizing, and persistence. And while sales prospecting emails can be a platform with the greatest ROI, it can also be an epic fail, if not done right. Take these 10 strategies and tips seriously, implement them, and you will have campaigns that will resonate with your prospects.
Hopefully these ten tips will help you improve your response rates with your prospecting emails.
Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.