Ten years ago, many sales managers would have argued that emails were an easy out for outbound prospecting reps — “don’t waste your time with emails, just pick up the damn phone and talk to these people!” Phones were the KEY vehicle for getting your target buyers live, aware, and ultimately interested in your product/services, or at least interested enough to take a next step.
photo: Alan Cleaver
A decade later it’s still true — there is NOTHING more important in outbound prospecting than having a live conversation with your target prospects.
The difference now, however, is that emailing absolutely needs be a MAJOR component of your efforts getting targets on the phone. If an outbound prospector is making straight phone calls and not utilizing email touch points to compliment their efforts, they will absolutely miss out on a ton of opportunities.
Why? Well, because there are a number of different types of prospects out there:
- Those who always pick up the phone and never respond to email (pretty much an anomaly these days)
- Those who will never pick up the phone when an unknown number is calling, but who always respond to email if it’s compelling enough
- Those who will never answer the phone from an unknown number, and will sometimes respond to email if it’s compelling enough (this is me – I’ll admit it!)
- Those who will sometimes pick up a call from an unknown number, and sometimes respond to email if it’s compelling enough
- Those who will respond to your email once they’ve received multiple calls and email attempts so long as they’re compelling enough
- Those who will call you back once they’ve received multiple calls and email attempts and your proposition is compelling enough
- Those who will never pick up the phone from an unknown number and never respond to an email (boo!)
I probably missed a couple of variations, but you get my point. There are many different types of people out there, and all of them have responding habits/preferences. If you are only calling, you are missing out on the email folks. If you are only emailing, you are missing out on the phone-lovers.
Okay, so you get it. You know email is important, and it’s definitely a part of your strategy. Good stuff.
Now answer me this: How often are you testing your emails, analyzing the response rates, and making tweaks to increase your success rates (i.e. response rates)?
I work with a lot of teams who absolutely send emails, but who send the same boring, unsuccessful emails OVER and OVER and OVER again, just to check the box. It’s scary!
What can you be doing to improve the success rate of your emails? It doesn’t need to be time-consuming or over the top or involve redoing all your emails. Slight tweaking makes a big difference, I promise. Here are some things you can adjust on a weekly basis, even if you don’t have a huge marketing effort by your side to help you:
- Take out any extra verbiage. Can you cut out a few sentences and be more succinct? The shorter/crisper the email the better.
- Adjust the subject lines. Your prospects are likely getting the message on their iPhone, and this is the one thing that will catch their eye.
- Make the approach more consultative than pitchy. Are you selling hardcore, or highlighting relevancy between yourself and the prospect?
- Have a clearer call to action. What do you want from the prospect? Make it simple and easy for them to help you!
Paying attention to this kind of stuff is what makes the difference between being a good outbound prospector and a phenomenal outbound prospector.
Sign-up for our Free Weekly Newsletter to get the best new ideas for building technology companies.