As a company owner, I receive a lot of email sales pitches. Written below are a handful of real lead sentences from recent pitches. Presumably, they’re intended to pique my interest to take the next step in the sales process – would you?
“I want to create a relationship with you.”
“I am sure my email got buried in your inbox so I wanted to send a quick follow up email.”
…bummer, it’s buried again.
“I found your details from the internet…”
…ooh, tell me more about this internet…
“I wanted to make sure you received my previous email…”
“…I would really be interested to present you with my approach and proposal in this regard.”
…weird; you’re interested and I’m not…
Email is yet another form of personalized content. If a prospective customer doesn’t know you they don’t really care what you need, want or like because they don’t know you. The sales approach isn’t about what you want but what they need, want or like. This seems like a simple concept, but more often than not, sales emails focus on what the sales person desires.
This is one place where sales and marketing can do a more effective job of working together. If you’re sending emails, first of all if it’s spam, just don’t, and second of all you need to be really thoughtful about what audience (persona) you’re speaking to, where they are in the sales process and what benefits your product/services provide that will appeal to that persona. There is a nurturing process that can be more effectively done with relevant content and messaging than saying you want to get to the top of the recipient’s email inbox again. Here are some ideas to create relevant content and messaging.
Warning, this takes some work and we recommend marketing and sales work together to develop the strategy, tactics and content.
- Understand: Compile a list of frequently asked questions/issues to solve from your prospects and customers and create a content strategy to address them.
- Create: Develop a number of content pieces that address the questions/issues in an educational, non-sales oriented approach. These could be videos, guides, checklists, industry information, white papers, primary research and more.
- Plan: Think of your series of emails as leading a prospect through the journey to help them solve a problem. Strategically send the relevant emails with content links to the prospect at intervals that intersect with the sales decision cycle. If they are at the beginning of the cycle educational information, guides and videos can be helpful. Later in the cycle more specific information like comparison charts and offers of a presentation or demo are more appropriate.
- Craft: The email message itself always needs to focus on benefits to the prospect. Even though it can take 6 plus contacts to make a sale, each email has to provide value to move the sale forward. Instead of saying “here I am again”, try saying something that resonated with your customers. “One of my customers told me that this white paper was very helpful in helping them make a decision about_______ . I thought you might be interested too.”
The more sales and marketing work together to create a lead nurturing process, the more likely you are to have success with your sales emails. It’s even better if you have an automation system to help track and respond to interactions and engagement prior to a lead being a sales qualified lead. But marketing automation is a subject for another day. Try it out and let us know how it worked for you.