The opening sentence of your email should contain words like strategic, value, leadership, profit, trust, leverage, advantage and competitive.

Getting a prospect to open your email is only the first step in email marketing.

The second hurdle to overcome is to get them to actually read your email.  Your first sentence will set the tone and determine if they will read more and ultimately engage.

Let’s start with how most emails go WRONG. They include things like…

– My name is…

-I work for…

-My company does…

-We’ve helped…

-We’re responsible for…

Want to know what is wrong with those?

They are about the sender.

They scream, “I’m trying to sell you something!”

It’s a horrible first impression, looks like every other email, and the list could go on and on.  If you learn only one thing from this email series, I hope it is this — prospecting is not about you! It’s about them.

So how do you start an email? Here are three strategies:

Strategy 1: Leverage a recognizable interest

The most common recognizable point is a referral or familiar name, but there is so much more!  Examples would be an industry event, a competitor, an acquisition, annual or quarterly report, press release, awards or recognition, promotion, etc.

Whatever you choose, you will leverage something that is important to them.  A first sentence example would be:

“Your recent acquisition of ABC corporation…”

Strategy 2: Promote your industry expertise

People are so busy today just getting through their daily routine. They no longer have the luxury of staying current on industry knowledge like they once did.  Your role as an industry expert can be invaluable to your prospects, so you need to flaunt that expertise.

When something changes in the industry, whether it is something that affects their business role, is regulatory in nature, is an upcoming business event, is a competitive landscape change, etc., don’t assume they already know it.

The mere fact that you can show them you are an expert allows you to stand out.

An example of an industry expert first sentence would look like this:

“In the past 18 months, there has been an enormous shift in…”

Strategy 3: Use strategic words

Clearly your company is in business to alleviate a pain or create some sort of pleasure. The challenge is that so are a whole bunch of other companies, and standing out is mission critical for you to be successful.

Creating value is the easiest way to do that.

Depending upon your audience, there are some really key words that can elevate your business vocabulary to match your target recipient.

Strong B2B words you can leverage around your topic are strategic, value, leadership, profit, trust, leverage, advantage and competitive.

A good example would be:

“Your Q4 profits are in line to leverage X, which would strategically…”

Guest post written by Beth Mastre, Vice President Strategic Development for The Sales Hunter.  For the past 20+ years, Beth has honed her email marketing skills, not only out of sheer necessity, but also because she is passionate about connecting with people and helping them succeed.  Beth’s experience and knowledge on this topic is truly second to none.  Her experience is invaluable to The Sales Hunter and to other clients who look to her for guidance and advice. 

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