How to make an effective prospecting email?
In his article "Is Email Marketing Dead?", John Jantsch stated that "while it's hard to say with any certainty whether emails will be around years from now, I think there's no question they'll continue as one of many marketing tools."
The reason why we use email in our day-to-day lives is because it has been proven and accepted by most people today. It can help us communicate faster than other forms of communication. And if done right, email also helps improve customer relationships which leads to increased conversion rates.
But how does this work exactly when we're talking about prospecting? What makes your prospects open up their inboxes to read what you have written? How should you go about writing such an email so that it gets opened without fail? Let's answer these questions together!
What is an example of prospecting?
Prospecting is a process whereby you identify customers or clients who may need your product or service and then contact them directly via email. The goal is to build long term relationships with them through regular communications. You could call it cold calling but that would imply that you know someone before contacting him/her. In reality, all you really need to do is find out some basic information on your target market (i.e., their needs) first.
If you just look at this definition alone, it seems like a pretty simple task doesn't it? But unfortunately, not everyone knows how to take advantage of this powerful tool properly. This is where email comes into play. By sending relevant messages to your prospective client base, you'll be able to nurture them further until they become paying customers.
So let's get down to business! What do you usually send to your list to entice them to opt-in? Is it something along the lines of...
Hey [name], hope you had fun last weekend...?
I'm sure you did! We went to a music festival near here. It was great! Did you see Dave Matthews perform live? He played 2 songs during the whole show!
Are those examples enough to motivate your audience to click on your link? Probably not. That's why you need to come up with creative ways to attract new subscribers. A good way to start off is by using words like free, special offer, limited time etc. If possible, try to include a little introduction paragraph, too. Something short and sweet should suffice.
How to write an effective prospecting message?
As mentioned earlier, creating an effective prospecting email requires creativity. There are various factors involved in making things happen - including proper word choice, tone, content, layout, spacing, and more. To give you an idea, here are two sample prospecting emails below to serve as inspiration:
It might seem strange since I am asking my readers to subscribe to my newsletter while offering them a free eBook instead. But there are certain points you must consider when approaching your prospects:
1.) Always ask permission. People don't mind giving away their personal data provided they feel informed beforehand. Also, once you've got their consent, they tend to trust you even more.
2.) Be honest. Don't lie to your readers and tell them something different from what you actually intend to share with them later. Your honesty will always pay off. Remember, integrity matters above everything else.
3.) Use images. Photos and illustrations add value to your message and grab the attention of your reader instantly. Plus, images convey emotions much better than plain text ever could. So don't hesitate to incorporate photos wherever necessary.
4.) Keep your sentences short and concise. Long paragraphs never convert well. As far as possible, keep each sentence under 150 characters. For best results, limit yourself to 120 characters per line.
5.) Add urgency whenever possible. Urgency works wonders especially when you're trying to draw people towards you. Tell them to act now or risk missing out on whatever you're offering.
6.) Include testimonials. Testimonial quotes are very persuasive. They demonstrate credibility and authenticity. Not only that, adding testimonial quotes gives your email an air of authority. Make sure you check both spelling and grammar errors though.
7.) Use compelling calls to action (CTA). CTAs are crucial to ensure response rates. Simply put, CTA stands for Call to Action. These instructions tell your readers what exactly they should do next after reading your email. You might want to prompt them to fill out the form attached to the bottom of your email, signup to your mailing list, download a whitepaper, watch a video tutorial, buy a specific item, schedule a phone appointment, etc.
8.) Create interesting headlines. Headlines are essential components of every email. Without catchy titles, your emails wouldn't stand a chance against hundreds of others sent out daily. Therefore, crafting killer headlines shouldn't be taken lightly. Try coming up with unique ones that pique curiosity.
9.) Write engaging copy. Content is king and nobody wants to receive boring emails anymore. Come up with topics that engage your readers' interests. Ask relevant questions and provide helpful answers.
10.) Consider segmentation. Segmentation refers to dividing your entire subscriber list into smaller groups based on common characteristics. Then, address each group separately. This keeps your emails organized and easy to manage.
11.) Proofread thoroughly. Once you've finished typing your email, run it through spellchecker software. Then again, proofreading is still subjective. After all, you'd hate getting caught red handed saying something wrong to your readers, wouldn't you?
12.) Check margins. Margins refer to column widths. Most email services allow you to adjust columns' sizes however wide or narrow you wish. Take advantage of that feature to increase space between lines.
13.) Limit attachments. Attachments slow down the speed of delivery. Instead, try incorporating links within your email body. Links take less time to load compared to attachments. Moreover, you can also remove unnecessary files altogether. Focus on delivering quality over quantity.
14.) Avoid spamming. Spam filters exist nowadays and they catch anything suspicious entering users' inboxes. Thus, avoid being flagged as SPAM.
15.) Track responses. Tracking responses allows you to monitor your campaign performance 24 hours a day. With Google Analytics, MailPoet, eReceiver, and WebTrendz available online, you won't have problems tracking conversions.
16.) Follow up promptly. Nothing beats timely follow ups. Ensure you reply back to your unsubscribe requests within 48 hours. Otherwise, your subscribers will probably end up on blacklists.
17.) Send multiple copies. Sending multiple copies increases chances of receiving replies positively. Generally speaking, email marketers recommend 3--10 times repetition.
18.) Schedule autoresponders. Set up automatic responses for your email campaigns. Autoresponder programs automate repetitive tasks. Some of them even integrate seamlessly with popular platforms like Gmail.
19.) Maintain privacy. Never disclose sensitive information. Emails containing private details may appear spammed to some providers.
20.) Provide useful resources. Give access to valuable educational materials, products, white papers, newsletters, blogs, videos, audio recordings, etc. Allowing readers to freely avail themselves of these offerings shows generosity and kindness.
21.) Get feedback. Feedback plays a key role in improving future prospecting emails. Relying solely on gut feelings isn't going to cut it. Engage in dialogue sessions with several test audiences to gather valuable insights.
22.) Integrate social media buttons. Social Media Sharing Button can boost traffic exponentially. When combined with other techniques, SMBS can skyrocket conversion rates.
23.) Offer incentives. Rewards encourage people to voluntarily participate in promotions and events. Offering exclusive deals boosts loyalty among loyal customers.
24.) Update often. Regular updates generate interest in your brand. New offers and promos attract more eyeballs resulting in higher profits.
25.) Stay consistent. Consistency builds trustworthiness. Customers appreciate consistency and reliability.
26.) Plan ahead. Having an outline ready beforehand reduces stress levels considerably. Stress causes fatigue and discourages productivity.
27.) Find success strategies. Successful businessmen know the importance of learning from mistakes. Share your experiences with your audience and learn from them as well.
28.) Measure your ROI. Measuring ROI ensures you're making optimum gains. One of the easiest ways to measure ROI is to track clicks.
29.) Repeat, repeat, repeat. Repetition means repeating a particular strategy over and over again. Results eventually become predictable.
30.) Rinse & repeat. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and rinse. Eventually, you'll reach perfection.
Now that you understand how to craft an effective prospecting email, you can proceed to step number three -- how do you write an effective prospecting email?
When discussing prospecting emails specifically, there are plenty of aspects you should focus on. Amongst them are:
* Subject Line
This is arguably the most important part. The subject line determines whether your email goes straight into junk mail folder or not. Pay close attention to keywords and phrases incorporated within the subject field. Aim for simplicity yet professionalism.
* Introduction Paragraph
As a business-to-business (B2B) marketer, what would be your first reaction if I told you that 95% of all emails sent by companies never get opened and read? And even worse, only 1 percent of those open will result in any kind of response! As a matter of fact, most people can tell you about their own experiences with this statistic. So why does it happen? The answer is simple - poor subject lines.
A well written subject line will instantly catch someone's attention and compel them to click on your message. But how should you go about writing such an important piece of communication? Well, here are some tips that will help you write better subject lines and increase your chances of getting noticed among other competing messages.
What are the characteristics of a good prospecting email?
When it comes to creating an ideal prospecting email, there are certain elements which have been proven to work best. These include:
Being timely. No one likes waiting unnecessarily. Make sure you send out your email at just the right time so as not to inconvenience anyone. Also, don't wait until the last minute because then you may end up sending something too late or too early resulting in lost opportunities.
Having a call-to-action. It is vital to provide prospects with clear directions regarding what they need to do next after reading your email. This could be signing up for a webinar or downloading whitepaper etc.
Including relevant information. Your email needs to contain useful content related to what was requested in the initial inquiry letter or conversation. You also need to give enough details without going overboard. If you fail to keep both these factors in mind while composing your email, the odds are pretty high that your reader won't bother opening it.
Sending personalized emails. Sending generic emails can be very boring and uninspiring. People like hearing from others whom they know and trust. They want to feel special when dealing with businesses and brands. Personalization helps achieve this objective.
Using unique language. When it comes to crafting catchy subject lines, using words like "you" instead of "we", and phrases such as "your company" rather than "our company" can really come in handy. This personal touch allows readers to relate to your brand more easily. In addition, avoid clichés like "more affordable." Instead say things like "lower price point".
Making use of social media channels. Social media sites allow users to share links, photos, videos, comments etc., directly into their newsfeeds. By doing this, you can reach out to thousands of new customers. For example, if you're selling office furniture, you might post a photo showing sample desks on Instagram along with the caption "Sample Desk Sale!" Users clicking through to see what you've posted will find your link and be able to buy online immediately.
If done correctly, the above mentioned points will ensure that your email gets noticed amidst hundreds of similar ones. Now let us move onto uncovering exactly what makes a good prospecting email...
What makes a good prospecting email?
While there isn't much difference between different types of emails, successful ones tend to fall under few categories. Some general guidelines that apply across various industries include:
Providing value. Whether you're trying to sell a product or service, providing value to your audience is crucial. Readers often look forward to receiving quality newsletters, white papers, case studies etc. from trusted sources.
Giving away freebies. Free stuff has always worked great for marketing purposes. Offering anything that costs less than $5 works wonders.
Emphasizing benefits over features. Providing detailed descriptions of products/services alone won't cut ice with buyers. Rather focus on highlighting the positive aspects of buying your product or services. A good way to do this is by focusing on customer stories. Tell anecdotes of real clients' success stories.
Tailoring tone. Just like every person has his/her preferences, everyone also enjoys following specific patterns. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Stick to tried and tested formulas that are already working for you. While being creative, think critically before diving into uncharted waters. Try to understand what works based on past experience and trends.
These four key principles can significantly improve your conversion rates. To put it simply, the higher your conversion rate, the greater the chance of achieving your goals. Let's now take a closer look at another critical aspect of making an effective prospecting email...
Prospecting involves building relationships with prospective leads. Therefore, having a friendly tone is essential. At times, we can lose our cool and become rude due to frustration. We must remember that prospecting requires patience, persistence and perseverance. Always bear in mind that no two situations are same. Thus, you'll need to customize your approach according to each situation.
How do you make a prospecting email?
Now that we've gone deep inside the secrets of creating an effective email, let us talk about how to actually compose one. There are several ways to craft an engaging email but here are three common methods that you can start off with.
1. Include a signature block. Add a brief bio including contact info. Most importantly, add a hyperlink to your website where interested parties can learn more about your offerings.
2. Write a compelling title. Since titles play a pivotal role in drawing readers' eyes towards your email, make it interesting and enticing. Catchy headlines help draw readers' interest quickly. Remember, the headline doesn't necessarily reflect the entire body copy.
3. Identify appropriate keywords. Keyword optimization plays a major role in attracting targeted traffic. Search engines love websites that rank highly for popular search terms. Use long tail keywords. Long tail keywords refer to longer keyword chains. Examples of long tail keywords include 'account executive', 'human resource consulting', 'product design consultant'. Short term keywords typically consist of 2-4 words whereas long term keywords carry 8+ word combinations.
4. Create short paragraphs. Keep sentences short and crisp. Avoid lengthy paragraphs that require multiple readings. Focus on keeping your prose concise and punchy.
By following the above mentioned practices, you are bound to create an eye catching and attractive email that stands out amongst millions of others.
To wrap up, putting together an effective email takes time and effort. Take advantage of tools like autoresponders, segmentation reports, landing pages etc. to save yourself valuable hours. Following these five easy steps will surely turn your inbox into an efficient hub for generating qualified leads. All the best!
The world of business has changed dramatically over the past decade and so have our expectations from businesses. In today's digital age, many companies use social media as their primary way to connect with customers, while others prefer to rely on more traditional methods like emails. Whether it’s through LinkedIn or Google Docs, most people are now accustomed to using various forms of communication when communicating with other professionals across the globe. Email remains one of the best ways to reach out to someone without having them feel overwhelmed by constant interruptions. And since emails allow us to craft messages that are short but specific, they're also considered highly personal. This makes them extremely attractive among those who are looking forward to establishing relationships.
In fact, email marketing can be traced back almost two centuries ago. The first known reference regarding sending e-mails was made in 1843 by Charles Fenton Ainsworth who sent his subscribers "A Plea For Existing Libraries." Since then, the art of writing persuasive communications via emails has evolved significantly. One important aspect of good email copywriting is ensuring your reader feels understood and respected at all times. If done correctly, this will eventually lead to trust and loyalty towards the brand.
However, despite being such a popular method of communication, there still isn't much literature about how to effectively send emails to prospects. Many marketers believe that crafting compelling subject lines is enough to get attention, which may work if you only need to attract new users. But when you start talking about actual content, things become really tricky. After all, who wants to read boring pieces of information just because they were told to open an email? That said, here we'll show you exactly what should go into each step of creating a successful email.
How to write a prospecting email?
1. Find a relevant contact person
Before you begin drafting your email, take some time to identify who within your organization would be responsible for following up with leads after meeting them face-to-face. Once you find that person, try reaching out directly to him/her. You might even consider asking a colleague to help you with this task.
If you run a small team, chances are high that you'll know several key players in charge of different aspects. To avoid any confusion later on, ask someone else to handle contacting these individuals. It's always better to choose a reliable source rather than trying to figure everything out yourself. Otherwise you could end up wasting valuable time and resources.
After identifying a suitable candidate, you should draft a separate email for everyone involved. Make sure to include your name, company name, phone number, title, current role, etc., making it easier to stay organized throughout the process.
2. Identify the right approach
Once you've found your target market, decide whether it's appropriate to simply drop an email onto their inboxes or if you'd like to personally touch base. Either option works fine—it largely depends upon your goals and objectives.
For example, if you're planning to pitch a product idea, it wouldn't hurt to introduce yourself in a personalized manner, especially considering you don't have much experience working with them before. On the other hand, if you already have a relationship established with certain clients, you probably won't want to waste too much of their precious time. Asking someone to schedule a call or setting up a quick coffee date can solve both problems.
3. Craft a catchy headline
It's crucial to grab readers' attention immediately. Your goal is to persuade the recipient to click on your link and visit your website. Therefore, it's essential to come up with something eye catching. Try not to focus solely on benefits since buyers tend to put more weight on perceived risks instead.
4. Write down concise sentences
This part takes practice! Don't worry if you aren't able to think of anything interesting yet. Just keep brainstorming until you land on a topic that resonates well with your audience. People often respond positively to stories, metaphors, analogies, lists, and real examples. When approaching topics related to technology, design, finance, etc., stick to facts whenever possible.
5. Fill the gaps between ideas
Now comes the hardest part — actually putting words together. While you shouldn't rush this phase, you mustn't spend hours thinking about every single detail either. Take advantage of tools like mind mapping software to reduce overall stress levels. They usually provide plenty of space for thoughts, allowing you to explore numerous possibilities simultaneously.
6. Proofread thoroughly
When proofreading, look for unnecessary phrases, clichés, long paragraphs, typos, punctuation errors, bad grammar, etc. These mistakes can easily ruin the impact of your entire email. Some useful free online services that can help you improve your text quality include Grammarly, Text Checker Tool, and Plagiarism Detecter.
7. Use actionable language
Make sure to describe actions clearly. Avoid vague terms like "try" or "check," unless you truly mean "tried" and "checked." Instead, tell them what you expect from them, including deadlines. Also, check your spelling and grammar carefully. Poor formatting can cause serious damage to credibility.
8. Keep it simple
Don't add additional fancy elements (e.g., charts) to break up lengthy texts. Simple graphics can serve as great reminders during conversations. Additionally, avoid excessive use of complicated terminology that most people won't understand anyway. Shorten complex descriptions and explain concepts in simpler wording.
9. Add a sense of urgency
You probably know that people rarely appreciate receiving emails that contain nothing new. So why not spice up your offer with a little bit of urgency? Tell them that you're offering something special if they act fast. Alternatively, you can state that the deal expires soon, i.e., 24hrs, 48 hrs, 7 days, 10 days, 30 days, 60 days... whatever suits your needs.
10. Be honest
People hate dishonest businessmen. Thus, never lie about anything since lying is a direct sign of disrespect. Letting slip any details that could potentially affect the outcome of the sale will definitely turn off prospective buyers.
11. Stay positive
Your tone sets the mood for the conversation. Keep it lighthearted and friendly. Don't sound desperate, nervous, angry, aggressive, or rude. Remember, you're dealing with humans here, not robots.
12. Follow up
Even though you might not see immediate results, it doesn't mean you should stop following up altogether. If necessary, tweak your strategy until you achieve success. Even if you didn't hear back from someone, don't forget to send another email. Don't give up all hope. Eventually, persistence pays off.
13. Reevaluate your efforts regularly
Sometimes you're bound to fail no matter how hard you try. If that happens, analyze your performance and adjust accordingly. Never hesitate to rework earlier drafts if needed. Most importantly, learn from your failures and move on.
14. Have fun!
Writing prospecting emails requires lots of creativity and effort. By doing so, you'll develop skills to become proficient at crafting engaging messages. Ultimately, you'll gain confidence and gradually increase efficiency.
15. Measure effectiveness
Track how many recipients opened your email and clicked on links inside. Then compare those numbers against responses received from previous campaigns. Knowing where you stand allows you to optimize future strategies.
16. Test & track
Since email marketing involves customer data privacy laws, you'll need permission to test and track your campaign. Before launching your email campaign, conduct split testing between multiple versions to determine which version converts better. There are dozens of online tools available for tracking clicks, opens, bounces, unsubscribes, etc.
17. Revisit old contacts
Take extra care when revising outdated emails. Update the content of existing newsletters and remove inactive accounts. Consider removing anyone who hasn't logged in for years.
18. Create automated processes
Automate repetitive tasks wherever possible. Set up templates for recurring emails. Build autoresponders with prewritten answers to common questions. Ask colleagues to hold meetings weekly, once per month, or twice per year.
19. Share your expertise
Always share knowledge with others. Post articles on blog sites and publish informative press releases. Give presentations at industry conferences and events. Start speaking at seminars related to your field.
20. Send thank-you notes
Keep records of your interactions. Thank people for taking their time to review your materials. Mention what value they gained from reading your communications.
21. Get feedback
Ask trusted friends and family members for opinions. Sometimes they can spot flaws in your email that you haven't noticed. Or maybe they'll let you know about issues associated with your latest project.
22. Rinse & repeat
Find out what worked best for you and apply similar tactics next time. Keep tweaking prospecting emails until you discover a formula that consistently yields favorable outcomes.
23. Learn from failure
Mistakes happen, so don't shy away from sharing lessons learned. Analyze what went wrong to prevent future mishaps.
24. Experiment with unconventional approaches
Have faith in your ability to succeed. Don't be afraid to experiment with unusual formats and styles. Sometimes the simplest ones produce the best results.
25. Advertise your successes