Sales people are always looking for the perfect prospecting email. Hours are spent agonizing over subject lines, length, copy, ideas, and bullet points. Then when anyone in the office has success with a certain email, you can guarantee every other sales person will give it a try, thinking there must be some magical element that mysteriously gains customers. But really, writing effective sales emails is simple and straight-forward. There is no magic bullet. It’s the way all of these elements come together.
The first thing to remember, and the first challenge to overcome, is to limit the length of your email. Your prospects will not read through a lengthy email about you, especially if you’re introducing yourself for the first time, regardless of how well it is written. Most people don’t even like to read lengthy emails from colleagues, let alone strangers asking to take up some of their valuable time. Eliminate any sentences you could call unnecessary or too general and try to get your email down to the bare essentials of your message.
Along the same lines of keeping the message short, make sure that your message is consistent and straight-forward throughout. It’s tempting to try to fit everything that’s good about your company/product into your message to your prospects. After all, you don’t want to risk losing their interest because they didn’t see the one aspect that will solve all their problems. But the larger risk is losing the prospect with too many value propositions. You are far more likely to find prospects that are interested in one of the positive aspects of your business than you are to find prospects that are willing to read a lengthy email detailing each of the benefits of your services.
Also remember to keep the focus of your email on the prospect and their needs. No one likes to hear someone talk about themselves. People are immediately turned off by a proposition that is focused on the product or company, rather than how it can solve the prospect’s problems or make their lives easier. Especially in the B2B world, prospects are motivated to buy because of something causing them pain, not because they are blown away by a great product or service.
Finally, don’t try to get fancy. With all the buzz around finding the perfect elements of an email that will make prospects immediately buy, sales people can easily get carried away with overly fancy or elaborate email templates, which make your emails seem impersonal and immediately give the feel of mass marketing. If your email looks like an ad, your prospect will assume it’s an ad, even if you have included personalization like their first name. Making your email stand out is even easier if you keep your message straightforward and direct, and emphasize to the prospect that you are reaching out to them personally.
Keep these simple guidelines in mind when writing your next email and see if your response rates improve. We bet they will.
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