First – let’s admit that we’re guilty of the bad e-mail tactics. Let’s review a few here:
- E-mail subject lines that are too "salesy" - these are an immediate turn-off and an instant delete for the buyer. (LINK: Get my list of the Top 100 Best & Worst Email Subject Lines to help you.)
- Long-winded e-mail body with a call to action without establishing value. You know the one – the e-mail body that has eight paragraphs and three benefits listed in bullet points with a call to action and it even ends with a p.s.! Ugh!
- And we say things like in our e-mail, “I would love to have the opportunity to share this more in detail with you . . .” You know what? Your reader really doesn’t care what you would love to do.
- We ask for a phone call in the first e-mail. As in – “Are you available for 15 minutes sometime next week?” (Hint: many of us HATE talking on the phone these days, so this is a big ask!)
- Or we use the same cookie cutter e-mail template over and over again without personalization, Buyers can smell a template a mile away.
- The worst – we don’t bother to take the time to do research to make sure we’re sending it to the right person.
The majority of people check their e-mail on their mobile devices these days. (Source: emailmonday.) That means that you have the space of your subject line to catch the buyer's attention so they don't delete you immediately.
Start out with a short question in the subject header. Yes - asking a question in your subject line can also draw readers in -- especially if you're asking a question you know is relevant to your recipients' buyer persona. I prefer something simple like "Coffee next month?" or "Is this of interest?"
"The majority read their e-mails on their smart phones. You only have the space of a subject line to grab attention and avoid deletion."
Once you've gotten them to open the e-mail. Keeping the buyer’s attention is tough. According to an article in Time Magazine, the adult attention span is a mere eight seconds, it’s important to make every moment count
The e-mail body should be short – do your research, make sure you are reaching out to the right person and keep it short with the e-mail focused on the buyer and establishing a relationship. Be real, personable and when possible – use humor where appropriate. IMPORTANT: If your email looks and sounds like every other sales email that comes into the buyer's email inbox, you're a goner. Professionalism, wordiness and bullet points with features are what every other salesperson is doing, so BE DIFFERENT!!
Do make the e-mail about them. Here’s a challenge – refrain from using the word, “I” in the first paragraph of your e-mail. That is the suggestion made by Jonathan Tisch, co-chairman of the Board of Lowes Corporation and co-owner of New York Giants. (inc.)
Do ask when and how you can follow up in the e-mail. Then respect what the buyer says. I like to give a respectful wide berth here, i.e. "Do you have time in the next month to connect?" If the buyer says follow up in three months, then follow up in three months. A follow-up hand-written card in the maill will do wonders afterward to increase your stock with the buyer.
Next month we’ll discuss your e-mail signature and video e-mails.
*Parts of this blog was taken from Shawna Suckow’s book, “Don’t Become Extinct! Join the Sales Evolution” – available for purchase on Amazon.