It’s difficult to connect and bond with your leads when people don’t respond to your emails. Especially in difficult times like COVID-19, when other businesses are less open to procuring new products or services.

In such cases, practicing empathy is one of the best ways to grab your leads’ attention and get responses to your emails.

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in your lead’s shoes and communicate ideas that would appeal to them. In a series of tips and strategies, we’ll explore how to be empathetic in your sales emails, and yield better response rates.

Why practicing empathy in sales email matters?

Being bombarded with a lot of marketing and sales content over time has desensitized people to promotional content. As a result, most of these sales emails get ignored or end up in spam.

This effect further enlarges during turbulent times like what we’ve faced (and continue to face) in 2020. As per Hubspot’s data, while sales teams sent more emails in Q1, 2020, response rates proportionately declined.

Empathetic email content stands out from your regular sales lines. It pushes you to know more about your lead and personalize the content. As you get to talk more about their problems and goals, your leads also start trusting you and becoming more willing to learn more, or even consider your product. This gives you an opening to “sell” to them and increases your chances of converting them too.

Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, states how crucial empathy has been to his success as an entrepreneur and investor. “As a salesperson, being empathetic enables you to understand what the other person’s goals are, which in turn can be re-engineered to map to your goals”.

So how do you incorporate empathy into your sales emails?

To help you with just that, we’ve listed out 6 simple strategies below that will help you drive empathy-driven conversations with your leads over email.

Strategies to empathize better through your emails

1. Research deeper to get more context

In order to know about your lead’s possible goals and problems, it is essential that you know everything there is to know about them. This could include their product, business and market conditions, org structure, revenue data, roles, and responsibilities, etc. Research backs this approach too — it was observed that personalized emails get 26% higher open rates.

Data can be found online across various platforms where your lead spends time, or you could simply use lead enrichment tools. You can also set up Google alerts to notify you of market, product, and industry updates relevant to your lead. The more you know, the better context you will have.

Once you have all the information you need, try to draw patterns and similarities between their potential or existing problems with your product. This will help you start meaningful conversations around their problems. Smallest of the details add up and help you better relate with your lead.

2. Help in more ways than one

It is pretty common among salespeople to offer discounts and extras in their emails to make their products more valuable. While there’s nothing wrong with this, we highly encourage you to go beyond traditional means to help your lead in other ways as well. Once you deliver value in unexpected ways, it really establishes your good intent to your lead and builds trust.

Apart from that, if they get to derive value from your emails, they’re likely to take your relationship more seriously and buy from you later on when they’re ready. For example, a report on how your lead’s competitors conduct affiliate sales, along with suggestions for improvement in your lead’s current sales process, will make for a great value add.

There might also be instances when your product or service might not be a fit for your lead at the time. In such cases, if anyone else in your network is in a better position to help your lead, go ahead, and connect your lead to them. Just because your product doesn’t turn out to be a fit, doesn’t mean the engagement should go to waste.

Build a deeper, more lasting relationship by helping your lead succeed, with or without your product. They might not buy from you now — but following this approach increases your chances of getting referred or being approached at a later time.

3. Be consultative in your follow-ups

Once you are engaged with a lead, make sure to keep the momentum going and follow-up persistently. 80% of deals close after at least 5 follow-ups.

If your lead isn’t responding or has stopped showing interest, there’s probably a reason for it. Predict what this reason will be and use it to your advantage in re-engaging with your lead.

While following up with your lead, make it a point to be respectful of the reason they might have lost interest. For example, if you suspect pricing is the reason that made the lead loose interest, follow-up with conversations that highlight the value in your product. This will later help you justify the pricing for your product and how it positively impacts your lead.

If you’re not sure of a reason, again, be respectful, and try not to appear too desperate. Respect your lead’s time and make sure you let them know about your timelines and sales cycle, so expectations can be managed on both sides. If you’re presented with problems that are within your control or reach, always offer to help them out and exceed their expectations at every such chance you get. This will signal your intent to be genuine and help you move forward without objections.

4. Use video and social content to connect better

Emails will only make a part of your lead’s online presence. There might be plenty of opportunities for you to engage with your leads on other web and social platforms. There you might find relevant (or irrelevant) topics of interest between you and your lead.

Make it a point to engage with your lead across these channels — by commenting, liking, and sharing their content. Use the stories and context from social platforms as hooks to start new conversations on emails or enrich ongoing ones. This will help you bond and connect with your lead better.

Also, experiment with video as a medium for communication. Sales emails are often purely text-based and aren’t great at communicating emotions.

Source: Vyond

Personalized video greetings and messages can be confidence-inspiring and help you stand out and connect better with your lead. In an experiment run by Intercom, emails with videos were found to be 52% more effective at getting a reply.

5. Step into their shoes

When starting out to write a follow-up email or a new conversation with your lead, gather the context of the entire situation. Imagine yourself in their position and see what would be favorable for your lead. Since by this point you know your lead really well, stepping into their shoes will give you lots of insights to help you plan the next steps.

How you empathize is completely dependent on your ability to see yourself in their shoes and understand their needs better than you otherwise would. If you sense doubts and concerns that haven’t yet been presented, you can pre-empt them and provide assurance regarding those. Above all, be invested in the outcome of your product to the same degree your lead does.

This will ensure everyone wins; your customer gets to solve the problem and better grow their organization, and you get to close a customer who can get the most out of your product.

6. Use emotions to drive action

When putting time into knowing more about your leads, draw out their possible emotional triggers like their pain points, key motivations, etc. This will help you address these points as part of your messaging, which will inherently be more effective since it emotionally drives them to act in their best interests.

Brennan McEachran, CEO at SoapBox says, “There’s something powerful about empathizing with the pain and frustrations that a prospect has. For example, as a marketer, if your message happens to be something like ‘Hey, would you like some help with backlink building?’, it wouldn’t be very engaging. Instead, you can empathize with that individual’s frustrations and pain and say, ‘I know backlink building is an absolutely dull and tiring process, even though it works. That’s why I wanted to chat.’”

The second message clearly outlines the pain the lead faces and pushes them to act. In this instance, set up a chat. This message is much more likely to get a response since the sender has broken the barrier by identifying a pain the lead needs to be solved, even though they didn’t ask for it.

Your turn to win with empathy

Empathy can be a superpower if deployed the right way— a lot of professionals, including salespeople, have based their success on their ability to empathize with their leads.

As salespeople, a lot of our productive hours are spent on maintaining our leads’ attention to move them ahead in the cycle. With this blog, we’ve learned how communicating empathetically cuts through the bloat and helps move things quicker. Apart from that, it also increases your chances of converting, and getting more referrals.

Do you have your own methods to express empathy? Share them with us in the comments!