No. Sales prospecting emails are not dead. 99% of email users still check their inboxes every day. For this reason, this strategy remains one of the best ways to convert leads, with a superior ROI compared to most prospecting methods.
Even if your customer' inbox is full of emails they're likely to consider spam, they still open emails that catch their attention in some way. Remember, the challenge isn't getting these leads to open their inbox, it's getting them to open your email.
But in the era of personalization, if you're still sending out generic prospecting emails, that could be one of the main reasons your results aren't so good.
Read this article and see how to adopt an efficient prospecting email strategy that will generate amazing sales results.
What is a prospecting email?
A prospecting email is nothing more than an email that a professional of your sales team sends to a potential customer to introduce themselves, introduce your company, and explain how they can help that lead in some way.
We call cold mail an email we usually send to people we've never contacted before, where your recipients have no idea who you are or what your company does.
Email should be an important part of your prospecting strategy. Decision makers rarely answer the phone or respond when you leave a message, making email prospecting a much more attractive idea as it gives the recipient the option to check the message when it is most convenient for them. However, with the overwhelming amount of information flooding inboxes, it is extremely relevant to work hard on the content (copy) of your email.
How to adopt this strategy in your sales process?
Prospecting is part of the actions at the beginning of the sales funnel. The responsibility of creating and sending prospecting emails usually is part of a Content Strategist routine.
In the absence of this professional, the ideal plan is to give this responsability to the most senior professional of the sales team. This person will probably have more knowledge about the market, buyer persona, sales script, KPIs, etc.
In this way, it will be easier to attract your contact's attention in a sea of emails received every day.
How to write a amazing copy to rock prospecting
So, what does it take to grab decision makers' attention in an email? Can you create an irresistible message that compels potential customers to immediately click "Reply" and request a meeting with you?
It can be a challenge (even for a seasoned sales professional) to create a prospecting email that leads to a sale. So, before you sit down and write your copy, here are some important tips to keep in mind when adopting this strategy:
1. Research about your lead
While it's easy to gather some general information from a potential customer, things can get tricky when you need to dig a little deeper.
And as time-consuming as this task may seem, you need to have all the relevant details at hand before writing your email.
Also, as a salesperon, it's impossible to get a conversion without first confirming that a customer fits your buyer persona description.
So, you did your research and made sure the prospect has what it takes to make it through the sales funnel. This will prevent you, by chance, from wasting your time and the lead´s time, if there is no fit for the use of your product or service.
But where to start?
If your prospects are already on your email list, a great starting point would be to check your CRM to be informed about probable interactions they made with your website - like an ebook they might have downloaded, for example. This action can provide valuable insights into what they expect to hear in a first contact.
Also, use social media to your advantage. Your client's LinkedIn is usually the network with the best information about the lead, as their posts tend to be public. Alternatively, you can try Facebook and Instagram to gather relevant information to generate rapport.
In addition, your prospect's company "about" page or personal blog/medium can reveal useful information about their interests, thus generating a list of topics to discuss with your prospect. Don't forget that sales today is much more about the customer than it is about you or your company.
2. Create a captivating subject
No matter how thorough your prospecting efforts are, if you don't get your email subject right, you're not going to get anywhere. That's because up to 69% of recipients mark an email as spam based on the subject alone.
Below are some tips to help you create a compelling subject line for your email:
• Keep the subject short (preferably less than 30 characters). This not only sheds light on what the email is about, but also ensures that it is viewable on mobile devices
• Mention the recipient's name when possible as it helps to personalize the email
• Include a question relevant to the lead, such as “Can we help you achieve objective X?”
• Avoid using terminology like “Buy it now” or “Great deal” in your subject line, as this can make your email look like spam. When your emails are marked as Spam, it affects your reputation and future email deliverability - which greatly harms your prospecting activities.
3. Keep your email short
According to a recent study, emails sent containing around 20 lines of text (or less) result in higher click-through rates.
People don't like to read long emails, so keeping them short and objective is a great way to let your prospect know that you value their time.
Feel free to include everything you need to build a complete email, but avoid adding anything that might distract the recipient from the main message.
So cut to the chase and pique curiosity to encourage a response.
4. Include testimonials (social proof)
Including what we call social proof is an extremely powerful way to make your prospecting email look more legitimate. Add, for example, a study that reinforces the message you want to convey, or testimonials from your best-known clients. This action in an email can improve response rates by 468%!
Social proof is pretty compelling because it drives the way our brains evolved to think. One of the most vital survival memories our brain uses to make decisions is to see what everyone else is doing before taking any major steps.
5. Plan delivering time and follow-up
The time to send your sales prospecting email can make a big difference in whether people open your emails or not.
However, knowing when to send your email can be tricky as there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
As an expert in your market, your experience will tell you when is the best time to send your email. And the best way to determine this time is by doing A/B testing.
However, studies have shown that certain days and times may be more effective than others. For example, Tuesday has some of the highest response rates, with Thursday and Wednesday coming in second and third, respectively. As for the best time, the same studies suggest that late morning, around 10 am, is the most popular time.
Also, follow-up emails are mandatory. But it shouldn't just be reminders that you're waiting for a response from the previous email. Instead, add an extra value to the new email. The truth is, follow-up emails are more likely to be responded than an initial email. Yes, you heard right!
Following up and sending emails at a certain time may seem like a hassle, but it will be worth it. Schedule your emails in advance or use an email automation software for these purposes.
6. Make Rapport
The message must be credible, but it must also be personal. That's because an email is something that arrives in a specific person's inbox, although many professionals see it as a form of communication on a large scale. This is a one-on-one conversation.
Demonstrate that you understand their issues and show empathy and authenticity. Speak directly to the prospect's concerns and challenges (with information you've gathered through your lead research).
Find a point of reference that connects you with the leads and work that out smoothly throughout the email.
7. Have a clear "call to action"
Instead of trying to sell something through your email, your goal is simply to gain the potential customer's trust and interest. That's because the Call to Action is basically the highlight of your email. Nothing happens without it; is the final action you want your lead to take. It can be as simple as wanting them to respond to your email, subscribing to your blog newsletter, or even buying a product.
Also, keep your CTA restricted to one sentence, with just one CTA per email. Emails with a single CTA increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1,617%, according to a research. If you add multiple CTAs, the lead will be confused about what action to take.
8. Include videos or images
In a sea of monotonous black and white emails, a splash of color and personality will be a breath of fresh air for your leads. 75% of high-performing sales professionals who use video emails, for example, say it has significantly increased their response rates.
9. Add a signature
Email prospecting is still part of the negotiation process, regardless of how much humor or emotion you put into creating and sending them. And all formal communications must be sealed with a good signature.
Your signature is like a digital business card - it tells potential customers where and how to find you or even where to search for your business. so, put in proper information like your name, phone number, company, and position to build credibility, but avoid putting to much information.
A promising tip is to merge the CTA with your signature. The best example is adding a “book a meeting with me now” button under your email subscription.
How to measure and increase the conversion rates of your prospecting emails
First, it is important to make it clear that the open rate of emails is usually in the range of 20% to 50%. The response rate for these emails ranges from 1% to 6% on average. It seems a low response, but these numbers are indeed good results!
But is important to remember that these numbers vary greatly from market to market. For example, more traditional markets such as healthcare and education tend to have a lower open and response rate than technology markets. This happens because some niches are already more digitized and have a greater tendency to check and adopt emails as an integral part of their work, thus facilitating contact through this type of prospecting.
But that doesn't mean that more traditional markets should give up on email prospecting practices altogether. They are valuable and should be complemented with other strategies such as cold calling, LinkedIn, events and Workshops, for example.
When sending prospecting emails, understanding conversion metrics is critical to determining whether or not your campaign was successful. Without metrics, you wouldn't know how many emails were delivered, opened, responded to or converted.
Most of the time, conversion rates can be measured with simple calculations. In addition, your email automation platform should ensure that all your campaign information is in one dashboard so that you can easily see and analyze the information in real time.
Conversion rates can be calculated by:
• Bounce rate: number of unsuccessful deliveries / total number of emails sent
• Open rate: number of opens / number of emails successfully delivered
• Response rate: number of responses / number of email opens
• Conversion rate: number of conversions / number of email opens
The personalization trend is getting stronger and stronger. People expect tailored communication with a more human touch. Nobody wants to receive generic messages like robots or calls from telemarketers without purpose. This demand for high-end customization is mostly transferred to the prospecting world. In this way, the communication adjusted to a greater involvement with the potential customer is the turning point in the email strategy.
Keep an eagle eye, as these are just a few game-changers that have revolutionized sales, and there's still a lot to come when it comes to prospecting strategies.