Email is a big part of our business development toolbox. We all send a lot of emails and we receive a whole lot more. I suspect I am not much different than the people you are reaching out to and I get more than 150 emails per day. My biggest challenge is making sure I don’t miss any that require an urgent response. Your greatest challenge is making sure people like me don’t miss your emails. 

So why is it so hard?

The problem in getting the attention of a key player is they, too, get 150+ emails a day asking them to attend webinars, provide directions to the right person, attend meetings and everything in between. We are all busy and the “urgency of now” makes it difficult to break through the noise.

At FRONTLINE Selling, we help sales people turn leads into first conversations. In fact, we built a software solution and methodology to do just that. Fifteen years ago we began a study of 1.8 million outreach efforts to see what worked and what did not. One of the things we looked at was the role that email plays in getting positive responses.

The study revealed certain practices that will dramatically increase the effectiveness of your emails.

  1. Feature your call to action – The first paragraph of your email should have your request/call to action featured. If that happens to be an appointment, registration for a webinar or a return phone call, make sure that request isn’t buried in the body of your email.  When emails initially talk about other things (like the company, an industry study, etc.), the reader often stops reading before they get to your request.
  1. Re-send your emails – When you follow-up with a prospect that did not respond, go into your “sent” folder and re-send that email with a short note featuring your call to action. An example:“John, I know you are busy with a number of initiatives, but wanted to see if Monday or Tuesday at 10AM or 2PM would work best to set up a meeting to discuss…….” Doing so will remind the prospect that you have reached out before.
  1. Send with permission – This is something many know to be true, but often fail to do. If you did an A/B test where you sent 100 emails all with permission from the key player or the admin; and you sent 100 emails where you did not have permission; you all could guess which group of emails will have a higher response rate. The difference is significant. Ask the admin if you could send an email to that person and you’ll enjoy a much higher open and response rate.
  1. Combine emails with voice mail – Again, this is something you know to be true, but may fail to do. Combining emails with phone calls drives greater response rates from the emails. Even though the phone calls often end up in a voice mailbox, these voice messages make your emails more effective — and vice versa.
  1. Be truthful – When you send emails, don’t make statements that are not true. If you didn’t previously send an email or if you weren’t really referred from the CFO’s office, do not say you were. Any goodwill that you build up within the account or with the key player will instantly be destroyed. People want to do business with people they respect and trust.

By incorporating these elements into your outreach efforts, you will drive greater outcomes from each and every email you send.

If you’d like to learn more about making your outreach more effective, let’s have a conversation!