As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day in the United States, I hope you’ll remember that this isn’t just a time of the year for cookouts and fireworks. Smart sellers can use holidays as an occasion to reach out to their prospects via email …especially contacts that have been hard to reach in the past.
What makes a holiday such a great time to check in? They’re events that we all know, recognize, and celebrate for one thing, so you can start off on common ground. At the same time they’re more festive and personal than other days.
They give you an easy reason to reach out in a personalized, non-sales approach to reach those elusive prospects on your list.
Here are just a few good holidays to consider emailing your prospects:
The Fourth of July. Why not wish your customers and prospects a freedom from stress and worry over their long weekend?
Thanksgiving. In the same way, why not get in touch just before Thanksgiving to let everyone on your list know that you are thankful for them, and to wish them all a happy day of celebration. And remember that the Canadian Thanksgiving is in October!
Christmas, Chanukah, and New Years. The December holiday season is the perfect time to thank people for their business, wish them a safe and happy new year, and mention that you’d love to get the chance to work with them in the future.
Valentine’s Day. You don’t have to send anything romantic to let your prospects know that they are “special to you.”
Their birthday, or your own. If you can keep track of your clients’ and prospects’ birthdays, that makes it a perfect time to get in touch with them. I also like to email contacts on my own birthday, to let them know that I’m celebrating and to wish them a great day as well.
International holidays. If you have international clients, try to remember their special days. Prospects in the UK, for example, might be impressed if you remembered Guy Fawkes Day. The reverse is also true. Make sure you don’t send emails about North American holidays to prospects overseas, as it creates a bad impression and could damage the relationship. We celebrate Memorial Day in May, for example, or Independence Day, but our international customers don’t.
Use resources like Chase’s Calendar of Events for a list of both international and quirky events, like Chinese New Year or National Ice Cream Day.
The reason these emails work so well is that they’re fun, festive, and we’re not asking prospects to do anything.
All we’re trying to do is let them know that we’re thinking about them on a special day. These simple emails open up the conversation from an amusing, non-threatening perspective. We aren’t giving them any kind of hard sell.
Remember that as you put together your holiday emails you shouldn’t be looking to gather leads or opportunities in a straightforward way. In fact, when you do receive responses from prospective clients, my advice would be to keep things light and just remind them that you’d love to get together to catch up.
When they respond to that, then you can move to set a time for the appointment.
The whole point is that the exchange has moved along organically, without being forced or having some kind of ulterior sales motive other than to wish them a happy holiday.
One other thing to keep in mind: don’t overdo it.
Because people tend to be in a better mood around a holiday, and because everyone likes to get a personal note wishing them well, holiday emails tend to garner a much higher response rate than your “normal” prospecting methods. That means as much as 50 to 75% of the people on your list are likely to respond.
Make sure that you have time to follow up on all the responses you do get.
Reaching out via email during any holiday is a great way to connect with prospects you haven’t been able to get a hold of, or who haven’t responded to other approaches. Just remember to keep things fun and light and let the conversation unfold naturally. Do that, and it won’t be long before you have even more to celebrate!