The most effective prospecting emails are 99 words or less. That makes them a quick read and with one call to action, they’re easy for contacts to reply to in only a matter of minutes.
“Yes, I’ll meet.”
“No, next Thursday doesn’t work.”
Even at under 99 words, your reps may hear nothing in reply. It takes 9 or more attempts, mixing email, cold calling, social engagement and drop-in visits to grab prospects’ attention. While you may have guided your team in perfecting their value propositions, it’s time to expand your focus to the subtle elements of an email that may just break past the delete barrier and improve response and appointment setting rates.
SMB vs Enterprise Decision-Maker Email Prospecting
Decision makers of successful SMB companies typically receive an average of 60-100 emails a day. These executives are often spread thin, managing more responsibilities than their enterprise peers. The smaller the organization, the more likely they’re working in the business, balancing tactical effort with strategic decisions. This means they’re fielding prospecting emails using rules, spam filters and rapid deletion approaches to reduce their workload.
Enterprise executives have disbursed their job across assistants and staff. While they may receive your rep’s email, they can forward it on or delete it. They may never even see the prospecting email enter their inbox.
It’s critical you know which type of decision maker you are targeting and guide your reps accordingly.
6 Overlooked Email Prospecting Strategies
One email won’t work for every size account any more than it will work for every industry. Most reps spend time writing a perfect email but ignore 6 additional opportunities to distinguish themselves.
- Subject line. Use the subject line as an opportunity to draw prospects into the content of the email. If you have SEO experience on staff, leverage it to come up with 8-10 prospecting subject lines that use keywords. SEO works because these are the keywords your contacts are using to search Google for hot topics at the top of their value curve.
- Salutation. Greet contacts warmly and in most instances, use their first name. Hi, good morning, even happy Saturday may be enough. Pull contacts into the email with your warmth. Forget about the formal colons and semi-colons.
- Closing. End with a direct call to action. Even if you stated it at the beginning, restate it simply as you wrap up the email. Lately, we’re seeing a higher response rate when we end with a question that implies a request for a response. If you’ve kept your email brief, it’s easy for a prospect to hit reply and write you back.
- Signature. By the time reps reach the end of their email, all they want to do is hit send. Consider using the closing to extend the call to action or the trigger event in the value proposition. Have you noticed how I switch up the close in the emails when I send our recent blog post or invite you to a Coffee with Kendra webinar? Follow me and model them. They work.
- Tagline. Your reps have an excellent opportunity to add more content and another call to action using a tagline below their signature – as long as neither their signature nor the tagline are too long. Invite a prospect to read a related article or watch a video. Offer a link to an upcoming event or to connect on LinkedIn. Yes, there are prospects who do click these links.
- P.S. when there is too much content for the email, but you really want to include it, add a P.S. with a postscript you can include up to 2 lines and it won’t get lost. Hint: Don’t use both a tagline and a P.S. as it adds to the visual length of the email and turns contacts off from reading it.
Switch it Up
There is no one foolproof email that will get you in the door every time. Just as your prospects’ priorities change frequently, so does the email approach to reach them.
Switch up your strategies. If one isn’t working right now, give it a rest, then have your team try it again next quarter. Often a rest is all you need for your email to feel fresh again. That old saying, ‘what’s old is new again’ applies to email prospecting!
Prospecting Email Resources
We’ve been email authorities since 1999 when salespeople were trying to figure how to use it for marketing and sales. I get a kick looking back on the PowerPoint presentations from my first conference email keynotes and how tentative everyone was with using it as a sales strategy.
Now we have a plethora of resources to guide your team in mastering email:
- The Email PowerProspecting ebook. The most downloaded free resource on our website, it’s 39 pages of tips, tricks, and examples to break past the delete barrier.
- Email PowerProspecting training. A 2-hour class that teaches sales staff how to write effective emails. They see results within days of the class.
- Sales Prospecting for Profits training. Your reps learn how to cold call, email, drop in and all the strategies to close first appointments, practicing on their own prospects.
- Loads of email articles.
- The Live Prospecting Email Makeovers Coffee with Kendra. Join me for this free webinar on July 25 where I’ll make over 8 emails – live.
If you’d like to talk one on one about how we can assist your team in perfecting their email or prospecting approach, contact us and we’ll set up a call.