You’ve taken the time to develop a great email prospecting list, crafted a brief, interesting note to send off to potential clients, and then excitedly hit “send.”
Hours later, somewhere across town, your prospect opens the message and is so impressed by what you sent that she decides to save the email and follow up with you shortly.
Congratulations! You’ve got a new lead… right?
Even with their best intentions, the chances that a prospect will actually respond to your email, if they weren’t compelled to do it right away, are slim.
Why? Because in as little as a day or two, your message will have dropped down several screens in their in-box.
Your prospecting email is no longer exciting or urgent. Other priorities take precedent. When your prospect eventually comes upon it again, he might have forgotten why he kept it, realize that what you offered is no longer relevant, or just ignore it simply because he doesn’t have time to deal with it. Either way, you’ve hit the delete barrier and the opportunity is gone.
Since that’s not very helpful to you, or your prospect, it’s critical that you send prospecting and lead-generation emails that compel them to take action right away. There are four rules to make that happen:
- Your prospecting email needs to look “easy.” It should be a quick read – no more than 175 words, or three short paragraphs. If it looks like something your prospect doesn’t have time to deal with right now, he won’t.
- Your email needs to be incredibly interesting to your prospect. That means your message isn’t about you, it’s about them. More specifically, it highlights a specific problem you suspect he has, rather than your company’s history or background.
- Your prospecting email needs to be easy to act on. This is the cardinal rule, and the one that’s broken most often. As you close your email, give one, and only one, call to action. You can invite your prospect to download an article, ask him to attend an event, or even request that he schedule a meeting with you. What you can’t do, however, is ask him to do all three. That’s because he won’t have time to do them all, and so he’ll likely choose to do nothing, even if your email is incredibly interesting.
- Follow up within three days. Plan to email your prospect again if he hasn’t responded after three days. That’s long enough for him to have received and read your message, but not so quickly that he’ll feel as if you’re hounding him for a response.
It might seem like a great thing to have your sales prospects be interested enough in your prospecting emails to save them, but the reality is that you need potential customers to follow up with you quickly or risk losing them altogether. Be sure to give them a good reason to contact you now; it’s a lot better than waiting for responses that might not be coming.