Sales Email Prospecting – Optimization Tips!
Emails are one of the most effective ways for salespeople to get prospect attention today. Moreover, for both marketing and sales teams, email as a primary communication medium is not going to go away anytime soon!
According to research from Mailchimp, 21% of prospecting emails are opened by readers. While both marketing and sales teams the world over use emails to prospect with or nurture their target audience base, the core fundamental always remains – just sending emails is not the way to ensuring success!
Besides the fact that every sales team, sales rep and sales strategy should be driven by a comprehensive email prospecting strategy that allows sales teams in the organization to observe a centralized messaging and flow, there are few other tips (over and above this) that can help sales teams drive better success with their email prospecting efforts.
A few creative, out-of-the-box sales email prospecting optimization tips that can help:
Refer to your Prospect’s Key Interest from their Social Media
Most of today’s B2B prospects will be active on some online social media channels, more common than not its LinkedIn besides other platforms like Twitter. How can you use this to your advantage? Many sales reps already use LinkedIn successfully for their prospecting purposes, but, this can have its drawbacks as well. Email is considered an official mode of communication and most prospects would be more open to sales and marketing emails than direct selling initiatives via channels like LinkedIn.
But sales reps can use their prospects latest LinkedIn activity, for instance, based on what they’ve liked, shared or commented on to understand them better and to personalize their next set of sales prospecting emails. For instance, if your prospect has shown a key interest in a “digital ad buying media guide” and you sell for a company that has its own adtech product, drawing a reference here can be useful in getting more traction from your sales email.
Or, if they have recently shared an article they have written, congratulating them on their well-written piece is one way of getting the conversation started.
Be more creative with your subject line
Your subject line has to pique the interest of your prospect and induce them to open and read the rest of the email. A good subject line can boost email open rates. But while subject lines have to be both short and enticing (short, to ensure readability across multiple portable devices!), this is where sales teams and sales reps can put more thought.
Subject lines can be personalized to include your prospect’s first name or simply be crafted creatively using a question-format (Can I have your thoughts?), if asking for a meeting time when something like – (What’s your favourite day of the week?) to entice readers to open the email. There is no dearth to the creativity that sales reps can come up with when figuring out what kind of word, question or short sentence can be used to optimize their email prospecting efforts.
The best part: sales teams, with their sales automation can divide their target list and even run an A/B test to further deepen and optimize this step and to understand what kind of tone and creativity helped here.
Knowing if prospects are in-market for your product or service
Sales automation is great, it allows sales teams to automate sales emails to hundreds of prospects at a go. But is there really a point to this if sales managers and leaders haven’t compiled data on whether these prospects are in-market for their product? Different buying signals can be tracked to not only understand buying intent of prospects today but to understand how to optimize email and other prospecting efforts – a breakdown of whether a certain subset of prospects use your competitor’s service or product, a deep dive into what kind of products the company is currently interested in (based on surveys, etc), an understating of whether your prospects has used a similar product or service in the past, etc are basic steps towards this.
Focus on creating a long-term connection
Selling is difficult. But by focusing on creating a long-term connection with prospects, you can drive better outcomes in the future. Prospects might be interested in a product at the moment but not be ready-to-buy, for instance. They could have shown interest and gotten on a few cold calls with you but might have faced budget cuts and might need time to make a buying decision. This is where sales leaders can step in to identify a strong nurturing cadence that can just be used to stay in touch with prospects who can be potential customers in the future.
Sharing industry updates, interesting reads, or even humorous content to keep prospects warm for a later stage can add to overall email prospecting ROI. Keep in mind, sales teams who forget about prospects who have shown interest but aren’t ready-to-buy at the moment lose a lot of potential revenue by not nurturing these accounts.
Email prospecting will be a part of typical B2B sales strategies for a long time coming. While the basic fundamentals surrounding keeping emails short, relevant and value-driven remain critical, how well sales teams craft their emails to drive action from their prospects end can help take email prospecting efforts to new heights.