In my work, helping sales people developing qualified leads, I often come across a misconception about email communication. This holds especially true since the rise of content marketing. Sales people often rely on responses from marketing campaigns and those campaigns have become more “salesy”. The emails that I get from companies that prospect me look more like an advertisement, than a vehicle to communicate with me. People buy from people and we should never forget that. Every interaction with our prospects and clients is an opportunity to connect , leave an impression and communicate value. If we treat email like a mass communication vehicle, it will be perceived as such. Of course, there is value in content marketing, but once there is a response, all the old fashioned rules come into play when interacting with our clients and prospects.
Emails are the new Snail Mail
Just remember when we used to get letters, not flyers but actual letters. We would sit down, read them and then take an action, or not.Emails are not that different. It’s the “new letter” where we want to be as careful in the way we write, phrase and format, being mindful of grammar and spelling and making sure that we are heard. Get attention with your Subject LineFirst off, there is the subject line. It needs to draw you in and it needs to be eye catching, but not to the point of sounding like a commercial. One of my favorite subject lines is “Discussion on (fill in blank). Whether it’s a Discussion on Sales Training, or a Discussion on Internet Connectivity, it gives the person on the other side of the screen an idea what you are all about. Focus on the ValueThen there is the introduction. You want to get to the point quickly, focusing on the value that you would bring to the table, should they partner with you. In order to communicate the value you need to research your audiences carefully, because value means different things to different people. For example, a Finance Person will be interested in a product/solution that can save them money, while an Operations Person will be open to hearing about efficiencies. What’s your call To Action?And then you want to incorporate a call to action, such as “I will call you again tomorrow” to let them know that you are serious. That means however, that you will actually have to call them the next day, otherwise you will lose credibility.All of these areas need time and research to develop. Good emails don’t grow on trees and they are not whipped up in a minute or two.Remember, people buy from people and if we forget that it’s people who will be reading our correspondence (no matter what format), we shouldn’t be surprised if we don’t get responses.