Working in sales will undoubtedly require you to invest a large portion of your time into prospecting. Prospecting is the process of sending out marketing or sales collateral to leads, in the hope that it generates engagement and interest from the recipient, ultimately leading to a sale. According to Ascend2, email marketing is used by 82% of B2B and B2C companies. It’s such a popular tool to use in prospecting, as automated emails give you the opportunity to send information that you have designed directly to a prospective customer’s inbox.
Generating prospect lists can be a long and arduous task, and many salespeople are put off using email marketing as they’re unsure about the regularity in which emails should be sent before sending another email. This often means that emails aren’t followed up quickly or frequently enough and potential sales opportunities are lost. So how do you effectively prospect using emails, without losing your soul? Below we’ve highlighted some top tips to make your automated email prospecting even more effective.
Automated email software should allow you to schedule emails to your prospect list, whilst also offering you the opportunity to automatically unsubscribe those who reply. This automated tool has several benefits. Firstly, you then have a clear list of responders who can be followed up with different communications.
Secondly, anyone who’s engaged with your email then won’t be bombarded with extra emails, offering a similar service. It gives the salesperson peace of mind that they aren’t damaging potentially lucrative responses with unnecessary communications.
Or should we say – the subject does matter? According to Campaign Monitor, ‘personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.’ If the recipient of your message doesn’t find the subject line interesting, they won’t bother to open the email and will miss the information inside and your call to action.
“Use personalization, such as the person’s name, exclusivities, such as a limited edition offer or promotion (if you genuinely have one to offer) or a question.”
Questions are an intriguing way to set up your email, as you’re suggesting tips or best practice within the body of the email, which is a great way to encourage people to open it. Spending time on an engaging, entertaining, and relevant subject line is a crucial way to make sure your email prospecting isn’t a waste of your time and energy.
Why, Not How
If you need any more convincing after reading this next paragraph, watch Simon Sinek’s TED talk on selling the ‘why’ before the ‘how’. Explain to your prospects why your product or service is worth investing in. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about why they need your product or service, the business goals it will help them achieve and the challenges it will help them overcome. It’s a refreshing way to compile your copy and you’ll be amazed at the engagement you get from speaking in a language unique to your customers.
“The added benefit of constructing your email this way is that it will help you to develop your sales technique as you understand in detail the benefit your product or service can bring to the people you’re targeting.”
Obviously, each prospect has their own unique needs, but by segmenting your target list you can pull together related businesses, to make the message impactful without being too generic.
Use the tone of voice within your company’s brand guidelines to construct your emails, to ensure your message is always consistent. Understand that part of the job of your emails is to build a strong consistent brand for your company, and by using a relevant tone of voice, you should be able to engage with the prospects who are most appropriate for your business. If for example, your tone of voice is light and friendly but you are targeting prospects who adopt a much more formal tone, you might want to consider how your messaging sounds. However, if you are opposites in your tone of voice, the chances are you might be on other values.
“The best relationships are based on shared values, so it might be a useful exercise in figuring out which are the most worthwhile prospects for you to target, and which are best to leave.”
Emails using rich media including GIFs, images, and infographics have a much higher open rate than those with just text. Consider mixing up the content you create and trial different forms of rich media to monitor which generates the highest engagement for you. Using your email software to monitor open and click-through rates, you’ll get an idea of the formats that work for your prospects and those that don’t. Think about the recipient of your email, if you’re emailing people working in sales or marketing they’re likely to be outgoing and appreciate a humorous GIF. If you’re emailing someone with a more technical role, such as IT or finance, try creating an informative and engaging infographic which is visually appealing, but also packed full of relevant details.
If you’re feeling frustrated at the lack of response from sending the same emails month after month, chances are your prospects are frustrated to be receiving them. Use your experience in sales, your creativity and your passion for the product or service you sell, to put the soul back into your email and generate a greater response from your prospects.