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2 Rules to Email By for Successful Sales Prospecting

I have been taking informal inventory of my inbound email traffic over the last week and I'm quite shocked by what I've found (please keep in mind that I'm not a scientist or statistician..these are approx numbers).  Conservatively I receive 300-350 inbound emails per day (new emails, not continuations of existing conversations).  I won't get into the details of all the sources (team members, family, friends, viagara spam, etc..) but instead will focus on the 20-30 sales messages I get from various technology and service companies.  Of the 20-30, 90-95% are deleted upon receipt.  The other 5-10% catch my attention due to a decent subject line.  Of those 5-10% that I open perhaps 1 will get me to read through it.

I'm in sales and I run a teleprospecting company so I'm very sympathetic to the people that are trying to reach out to me.  I have no doubt that they have good products and they could in fact "Change my business life" as one subject line suggested recently.  Unfortunately, they don't know me at all and have never spoken to me so they really have no idea what my business life is all about.  How could they possibly know they can change something of which they have so little knowledge?  I wasn't offended by that subject line, I just deleted it because it said nothing to me.  If you can't tell, the first line of attack for someone trying to get me to read\respond to an email is the subject line.  The second line of attack is how you format your email.  Here are my two main rules to follow when trying to get a prospect to read your email. 

Rule #1:  Earn the right to email them.

This doesn't mean you have to get them to request an email, or even have a live conversation with them before you email.  You just have to do some homework and put yourself in position to send a more personalized subject line.  Call me..Yes, I'll ignore the call most likely, but I'll notice the number and that my phone rang.  Leave me a message that I most likely won't listen to (but leave it anyways, I like the effort).  Immediately following your voicemail, craft a very brief email and start with the simple subject line "Pete from ABC inc following up on my voicemail".  Ok, now you've got my attention I'm thinking "That must have been the guy who's call I just ignored.  I wonder what he has to say, it could be important".   BAM..I just opened your email!!!  Nice work...but if you don't focus on rule #2 you'll waste all this great momentum.

Rule #2:  Who you are, why you are emailing, and why they should read it.

Keep it simple guys.  I opened the email, start off by letting me know who you are (quickly).  Next, tell me why you are calling and please close it out with why I should call you back.  If you keep it simple with two or three sentences per area, I'll read it.  If what I read resonates I'll email you and ask for more info.  If not, I'll still email you because I've devoted some time to reading your email and now I feel obliged to send you quick response as to why it's not a fit. 

This may seem like an oversimplification and I'd be happy to share some actual examples of emails that have worked for our team here.  Don't overcomplicate your messages or allow your teleprospectors to complicate theirs.  Let your outbound marketing efforts saturate the marketplace with your corporate message.  When you are the actual touch point between the prospect and your company, you owe it to yourself and that prospect to make it a bit more personal.  What do your initial prospecting emails look like?


Peter, an excellent post that covers a subject close to all of our hearts, both as senders and receivers of email. 
As an independant consultant, I know very well how email is ignored depite me using all of my experience in direct selling to craft meaningful messages etc. The fact is that we all receive too much email and even with the best will in the world, those "Hi, I'm Bob and I can change your life" emails just slip to the bottom of the stack. 
In my mind the three things that seem to yield better results are: 
Relevance, Brevity and Persistance. The latter is more persistance by following up with a call rather than just spamming.
Posted @ Thursday, May 20, 2024 3:16 AM by Russell Palmer
Thanks for the comment Russell. You are spot on and I like your terms..Relevance, Brevity and Persistance are the name of the game.
Posted @ Thursday, May 20, 2024 9:50 AM by Peter Gracey
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