Recently I asked readers to share their secrets to ensuring contacts read their sales prospecting emails. Within 3 seconds contacts make a decision as to if they’re going to read your email, delete it, or save it to act on later. With this “Glimpse Factor” in mind, we have to be creative in how we write emails not just to get them read, but to get a response.
I received some excellent ideas and just had to share them with you!
- Doing your homework is key. A number of sellers pointed out that what makes their email so relevant is the research they do beforehand. When it comes to understanding your prospect’s business – not to mention the challenges he or she is facing right now – there’s no substitute for doing a little bit of reading. You don’t need an in-depth survey, 10 or 15 minutes for top prospects will give you the information you need to personalize your message.
- Be current and relevant. Set up Google alerts or a similar newsfeed to stay on top of what’s happening with your biggest prospects. That knowledge will allow you to open your email with something that’s important to the prospect at that moment.
- Speak the prospect’s language. Your message, and especially the first few sentences, must pertain to the reader. Don’t waste your prospect’s time by talking about yourself or your company. The only way they’re going to pay attention is if they see an immediate benefit that relates to them. Use their acronyms and industry terms to show that you understand their world. The only way they’re going to pay attention is if they see an immediate benefit that relates to them. Use their acronyms and industry terms to show that you understand their world.
- Keep it short. One seller said that her rule in prospecting emails is 3-5 lines at a maximum. All she focuses on is the business benefit for the issue she’s uncovered in her homework.
- Use a subject line with clarity and purpose. Put yourself in your prospect’s seat. You have too much to do already, and an inbox that’s growing by the minute. Would you take the time to read your email? Remember, the recipient is looking for an excuse to delete your message – don’t give them an easy out with a generic subject line.
- Break the rules now and again. One sales rep mentioned that he includes a humorous image at the end of his emails. While having extra pictures and links is normally a bad idea (since it can trigger spam filters), his images work because they catch prospects’ attention and highlight the important issue he’s mentioned. It’s okay to break the email prospecting rules once in a while, but be sure you have a very good reason.
- Test and test again. Could your email prospecting be getting an even higher response rate than it is now? Another sales rep shared that he tweaks his approach regularly and records the results. He tests new messages, closing lines, length, links, subject lines, signatures and other details. He uses his observations to refine his prospecting emails and seen higher and higher percentages of prospects turn into leads.
- Don’t give up on important contacts. Persistence is the name of the game. One seller shared that 2-3 days after sending a prospecting email she cold calls prospects. She uses a combination of prospecting emails and cold calls to get in the door. It can take up to nine different attempts to get a sales prospect to return a call or email. Most sales reps give up after two or three. Stick with it, and you’ll eventually connect with the person you’re trying to reach.
Email prospecting can be a very effective way to reach key contacts and turn them into sales leads. For that to happen, you want to master the Glimpse Factor and give your prospects a reason to respond to your message.