Using email as part of your prospecting plan is a good idea — if you do it right!
Here are 6 ways you can be more effective with your prospecting email:
1. Subject line
Nothing will sink an email faster than a subject line. The subject line needs to be as powerful as the title of a book. It’s the piece that is designed to grab and engage.
Use words like “change” or “update” and other power/action words. When you use subject line words like “introducing” or “are you looking for,” you are begging for the email to be deleted immediately.
We typically write our prospecting emails while sitting at a computer, but the problem is your email is most likely going to be read — or rather, viewed — on a smartphone. What this means is your subject line and the first 10 words is typically all the person is going to see when your email shows up on their smartphone.
The prospect is going to make the decision to open or delete based on what those first few words say.
What makes this even worse is the % of emails that get deleted on a smartphone are far higher than those received on a normal computer.
Simply put — If your email does not quickly engage the person, they are going to delete it.
3. Limit the number of emails you’re sending to the same person
Sending multiple emails to the same person just doesn’t work. The reason is simple — The receiver’s email filter will most likely catch you.
Most spam filters, especially those in large companies, work to filter out as much “junk” as possible. What this means is if a person has received multiple emails from the same person and never replied to them, the junk system may flag them.
The result is that what you think is going through is not going through. This is why I encourage salespeople to not send more than 3 or 4 emails to a person. Then stop if they haven’t responded to you.
The idea is to wait a few months and then repeat the process, with the goal of hopefully not getting flagged. Naturally, the best way to avoid this issue completely is by following the first two steps.
4. Use email as ONE of your prospecting tools; not the prospecting tool.
If you think you’re being efficient by only sending emails, you’re kidding yourself. What you’re doing is making excuses for not being willing to pick up the phone and call.
Email is one prospecting tool that is used best when it is used in conjunction with the telephone.
5. It’s not about you. It’s about the prospect.
Prospects don’t care how may awards you’ve won or how you’re happy to meet them or how you’re the VP of the free world. Sorry, it’s not about you. It’s about the prospect and what they want.
Don’t waste your time, especially in the first few sentences of the email, letting people know how good you are and how your company has been around for 100 years.
Cut to the chase and do it quick.
6. Brevity wins
Just because you can write a long email doesn’t mean it’s a good email. We’re all inundated with too many messages and demands on our time. Many people will quickly scan an email, and if they see it’s long, they simply discard it as being a waste.
Keep it short — a couple of sentences per paragraph and only a couple of paragraphs. Key is to generate interest with the prospect and create a call to action. If you’re not doing those two things, you’re writing too much.
As you scan this list, where do you see that you could do better with your prospecting emails?
Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.