Email as a Sales Prospecting Letter

Based on the number of emails I receive each day — and I’m sure you receive each day — it would be easy to conclude that email must work.

Either that or you would conclude a lot of people are wasting their time.

I’m not going to argue the merits of the various spam laws currently on the books.  It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you’re on — such laws simply lack teeth and thus are a form of window dressing at best.

What I’m talking about is the email that fails to engage and is supported by other forms of communication.

Merely sending out blanket emails touting how wonderful you are and how you’ve helped numerous other people isn’t going to get you very far.

  • Does your email have a call to action?
  • Does it carry a benefit the receiver can relate to?
  • Does it have a personal connection with the receiver?
  • Is it time driven?

If you have spent any amount of time in the direct-mail industry, you will recognize these questions as being the basic elements of what needs to be included in a direct-mail letter.

The problem I see today is too many salespeople, because of their laziness or ineptitude, believe they can simply throw emails out like snowflakes, and if they cover enough people, they’ll be successful.  Well, as the old saying goes, even a blind squirrel will find an acorn occasionally.

Sorry, this is not a strategy for success.

If you’re going to use email as a sales prospecting strategy, take the time to view the email as a sales prospecting letter.  Use the questions I listed above to help you write your content.

Most important of all, don’t think merely sending out a bunch of emails will garner you success.  No, the best sales prospecting letter is supported by an integrated campaign that includes phone calls and a web presence.

Again, this is the big reason why 99.5% of all email prospecting campaigns do not work.  There is not an integrated approach.

Before you send out one more prospecting email, take the time to develop an overall strategic and tactical plan for how you will go forward.

Sending out emails by themselves will only succeed in one thing — wasting your time.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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2 thoughts on “Email as a Sales Prospecting Letter”

  1. Stephen Craine

    Mark, I completely agree. The majority of emails I receive daily are not targeted, I have no needs associated with the products, and often it’s difficult to tell what the call to action is.
    I get so fed up with the blanket spamming that I wouldn’t buy from a business that was wasting my time and theirs even if I do have a need in the future.

  2. When used right, email prospecting can be an incredibly useful and successful tool to grab someones attention and get a first meeting. I would even submit that in the BtoB space today, email is hands down the most effective tool for getting first meetings.

    But, when used wrong (most of the time), it is just noise.

    My biggest suggestion to any company that is in the BtoB space is to stop trying to be a BtoC marketer, cause it just won’t work. Sending out mass emails that are two paragraphs long and talk about how you helped XYS company make or save millions only makes you part of the noise. Sorry to say. And no slick, easy to use Marketing Automation engine will help to change this in any way.

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