Do you think that writing prospecting emails is difficult? It might seem like it, especially if you are not getting the type of response you are hoping for.
When you write prospecting emails, you are not intending to be a spammer, but you might seem like you are if your email isn’t well thought out. As you write prospecting emails, put yourself in the shoes of the person who is reading it. What kind of reaction are they likely to have?
Decision makers rarely answer the phone and don’t usually get back to you if you leave a voicemail message. The point of email prospecting is simply to start a conversation and drum up leads. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this, and if your response rate is low, you might be going about it the wrong way.
Possible Reasons Your Emails Are Not Getting Replies
There are many possible reasons for getting a low percentage of replies to prospecting emails. Decision makers are busy people who are typically deluged with a ton of email that they spend a lot of time trying to get through. Often they make a split second decision about each email that they receive regarding whether to read or delete it.
The first thing to keep in mind is that an email with a bad headline will probably not be opened at all. Crafting an attention-getting headline is worth spending time on.
Once the email has been opened, there are certain things that may cause it to be deleted sooner rather than later. Common prospecting email mistakes include:
- Emails need to be short and to the point. An email that is long and rambling may seem more like an intrusion than a request for a couple of minutes of conversation or consideration.
- The focus should be on the recipient of the email, not the person who is prospecting. If you make the email all about you, the prospect quickly loses interest.
- Benefits of doing business with you are not emphasized. Emails should clearly state what you have to offer, then quickly turn the focus onto what it means for them.
- Rushing through your message and not noticing spelling or grammatical errors
- Writing a generic message that could be sent to anyone
- Offending the prospect in some way, such as implying their website is failing or ineffective in some way
- Weak or missing call to action
These are some of the reasons your prospects may be quick to hit the delete button, and may not have read your email at all. If this is happening to you frequently, the next thing to consider is what should always be included in prospecting emails.
What All Prospecting Emails Need to Include
If your emails are typically boring, lengthy or generic, it’s time to make a change. The focus can’t be on selling to prospects, but instead how you can be of some help to them.
All prospecting emails should start with a salutation that addresses a particular individual person rather than “To Whom it may concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam.” This should be followed by an engaging statement about why you are contacting them and what’s in it for them.
A clear explanation of what value that you have to offer them should be included in your email. Credibility should be established so that they understand why they should believe you or trust you. Be sure to include a clear call to action that can’t be overlooked or misunderstood.
Understand the Prospect
Prospecting emails should be personalized and targeted. A generic email sent to dozens or hundreds of prospects isn’t likely to get the kind of response you are hoping for. No matter how similar the titles of different prospects sound, they are not identical people and each requires a different approach.
Take the time to learn a little bit about who you are approaching. What does each prospect care about the most? One may be focused on driving sales, while another is trying to increase revenue and visibility.
You can gain a lot of information about what matters to a prospect by doing a search on LinkedIn. Start by looking at particular job titles and considering what that type of job entails.
From LinkedIn profiles of a particular job title, you may be able to learn more about responsibilities, goals, and priorities. Drill down into individual profiles, and try to identify pain points that you can target. What solutions can you offer to someone who is trying to increase their visibility? Is it the same solution as someone who is focused on driving sales?
Speak the Language of Your Prospects
Browsing LinkedIn profiles can give you a lot of information about a particular industry. It can also be helpful to study a company’s website and their online conversations to find out what topic they are most often talking about and what language they are using.
Spend some time reviewing websites of job leads to get a clearer idea what a particular job title entails, and where this type of role fits into a particular organization.
Listen to social media conversations involving a person you are planning to approach. Does your prospect address people in conversational tones or choose more formal or technical sounding words? What keywords are likely to catch a particular prospect’s attention?
The more you study prospects and the way they interact with others, the more you start to grasp who different prospects actually are and how you can offer solutions to relieve their pain points, challenges or struggles. With this type of detailed information, there is no chance that your emails will be generic.
Find a Newsworthy Item
Can you find something your prospect recently did that made him or her newsworthy? This could be anything from a blog post that was recently published on a major blog to a press release to a share on social media that stimulated a lot of discussion relating to the industry.
Refer to this newsworthy item in your pitch, letting your prospect know that you were interested in the discussion or the published item and that your service may be ideal to help him attain future related goals. Keep in mind that current topics will become outdated quickly, so don’t take too long to act on something that you see on the news or in social media posts.
At this point, the prospect knows you have been paying attention to him and his business and that you have some familiarity with the industry and the jargon. This allows you to make a much better first impression than someone who simply offers a service but doesn’t prove interest about the subject and the company.
Deliver Value and Prove Credibility
A prospecting email doesn’t focus on you, and it doesn’t focus on sales. Your message should sound like a trustworthy individual that can deliver value.
The more you can prove that you have done your research and know something about their company and what their needs are, the more you prove your credibility and increase your chances of receiving a response to your email.
You don’t want your email to sound like a hyped up sales message. Your focus at this stage is to sound like a trusted advisor, not a salesperson. Think about what you can do to help, not what you have to sell.
Have a Clear Call to Action
Instead of trying to sell something in your email, your goal is simply to gain the prospect’s trust and interest. One way to conclude your email is to direct them to a blog post. Ask them if they could read the post and let you know their thoughts.
This is in no way pushy. Ideally, the post that you send them to will include information that demonstrates your ability to get results.
Another call to action would be to ask them if they have tried a particular marketing strategy, and suggest that they read a post which offers more information about this different approach.
Suggesting they look into more information is not likely to be threatening to them, especially if you have taken the time to get to know them and what they might be looking for.
In your warm and friendly email, you’ve demonstrated that you have a shared interest in their industry and have information that may be helpful to them.
Approaching prospects in this way makes a lot more sense than trying to send an email blast to hundreds of different prospects that you may not actually be able to help.
Prospecting emails are meant to help you find the right leads for your business. When you approach it the right way, you have a much better chance of getting replies.