In today’s selling trend, the ability to deliver an effective sales email is one of the most important step toward your success.
The phone marketing is still a critical channel, yet it is highly inefficient. It takes 22.5 dials before you can have a real conversation or transaction. As a matter of fact, Coca Cola just discontinued their corporate voicemail. Nowadays, connecting people via email is more important than ever and the industry is responding. This is also supported by the rise of numerous sales email applications such as YesWare, ToutApp, and SalesLoft.
On the other hand, corporate buyers are getting more emails than before, with the combination of sales emails and those being sent via marketing automation. It means, while email is essential, your email will be ignored if you are unable to pierce through the high volume of emails your prospects receive daily with compelling email copy that provides value to your prospect.
In today’s post, we will explore four good examples of effective prospecting emails sent by real salespeople and sales development representatives. There are many critical tactics associated with the successful sales emails, but there are three notions to notice:
- Create buyer-centric email copy. Every message from voicemails, emails, social outreach, and live call should focus on the prospect, not you. They must answer the question: Why is it worth their time to speak with you? As you will see from the examples below, these emails are carefully crafted to connect with the buyer and not necessarily sell the product.
- Research the prospect to craft a personalised message. It’s very difficult to create buyer-centric email copy without researching the prospect. Great sales emails typically reflect a deep understanding of who the prospect is and what they care about. Before writing your sales email, try to identify 2-3 key findings that you can mention and tie your value prop to. The emails below are great examples of emails written following prospect research.
- Combine touches within seconds of each other. Leaving a voicemail within seconds of your email will increase the likelihood of your prospect opening and responding to your email. This important best practice is not represented in the emails below but is worth including as you send your buyer-centric prospecting emails.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at these email examples:
1. How Twilio Leverages Ideas in their Outbound Prospecting Emails
The goal of this email was to get an executive level meeting with Starbucks. The sales development representative, Emerald Maravilla, wanted to start at the top (the CEO). Her approach was to email Howard Schultz a short list of new ideas for Starbucks that could be delivered using her company, Twilio. Before writing the email, she obviously had experience with the Starbucks brand, but nonetheless performed deep research on Starbucks to understand their current initiatives. That research enabled her to propose specific ways that Starbucks could leverage Twilio.
Emerald’s approach is a great way to interest executives. Executives respect new ideas. As the sales author Jill Konrath once said: “People respond to ideas even if they are wrong.” This type of email requires heavy research and thought. As such, it is a tactic best suited for high value prospects.
- Show the prospect that you are excited. In the opening paragraph, she uses the word explicitly: “excited.” Prospects have a choice on whether to spend time with you and what she is saying to the buyer is: “I have been thinking about you and I am excited to share my ideas.”
- Come up with a set of interesting ideas crafted for their business. The ideas Emerald shares in this email are very specific to Starbucks’ business and are actually a fun read. You can imagine the reader getting excited about the possibilities.
- Close it with value. Many outbound emails default to “setting up a demo to show you more” but the focus on Emerald’s close is to continue “idea-sharing” and to talk about how other companies are using Twilio. A hard close on a sales presentation would not be nearly as effective as her approach.
2. How YesWare Creates a Business Case for Engagement
This email came from Dakota McKenzie from YesWare. Whereas Emerald chose to share ideas, Dakota makes a business case for us to engage. Like Emerald’s email, it is thoughtful and full of respect. Step one in any relationship is to earn trust and Dakota earns mine by showing the audience that he has a deep understanding of their business and has thought about why we should we connect.
- Tell the prospect that you should talk whether they buy something from you or not. That is what Dakota’s first sentence said to me. Dakota set the table for this email by emphasizing how much we have in common and tells me he is focused on the value of an equal business relationship.
- Provide a reason “why” we should engage. Dakota provides a business case for us to connect. When you read it, you get the impression that deep research was involved. In actuality, Dakota was able to take publicly available information and tie it back to YesWare. This results in a very compelling case for engagement.
- Close for a business relationship versus a product relationship. The emphasis of Dakota’s close is on exploring how we can work together to achieve common goals. Based on the rest of the email, I don’t see why I wouldn’t.
3. How Kapost Makes Trial Follow-Up Emails Buyer-Centric
For many organisations, this type of follow-up email is canned and sent via automation. For many lower-value trials, a canned response is probably the right thing to do. However, if your goal is to actually talk to someone and ultimately sell to them, the most effective strategy is to craft a compelling, buyer-centric email. What I really liked about this email was the amount of research that Teddy did on me in advance of writing the email. It gave me the impression that the email was a personal note, which stands out from the rest of the canned trial emails one receives on a daily basis.
- Connect with the buyer immediately. As with most inbound emails where a buyer has performed some type of activity, Teddy mentions the fact that I downloaded a trial in the first sentence. What got me to keep reading was the fact that he mentioned me in the second sentence and in this case, he mentioned the blog post. Because the email was about me, the reader was immediately compelled to read on.
- Provide a personal perspective. Today, many sales emails mention your content (if you create content). They might write: ‘I loved your piece on XXX.” What made Teddy’s email different was the fact that he wrote a very personal opinion on the topic the particular topic.
- Deliver a more specific call-to-action. Maybe Teddy didn’t want to connect, but he had his audience gripped and then let them off the hook by only offering to answer questions if they had any.
4. How Switch Merge Uses Video in Emails to Increase Response
This email is a bit different than the others. The company, Switch Merge, had identified the right executive to connect with and just had to get their attention. While this email is more product-centric than the other 3 examples in this blog post, it still represents a personalised way to engage with hard-to-reach prospects. The technology that powered this email is actually provided by Switch Merge and it allows organisations to take explainer videos and personalise them to the recipient such as including name, company, etc. These types of emails can be very effective with busy executives who can view an explainer video and understand who you are and why you are unique in a quick, visually appealing way.
- Personalise the experience. This video stands out from others because it is personalised to the prospect’s name, company, and title. These personal touches give the prospect the feeling that this video was for them.
- Deliver a call-to-action in your video content. Sales people often send content without a significant call-to-action: “Here is a piece of content you might find interesting.” In this case, the call-to-action is built into the video to help support your real request — to get a meeting.
- Use video viewer data to determine your next steps. Many sales email tools are powerful because they tell the sales person whether someone opened or viewed their email. In this case, the sales person will know whether someone actually viewed the video and can continue to pursue this prospect knowing they have a high-level understanding of what you do.
These emails are distinct in their own ways, but they offer great examples of how to deliver a differentiated email experience to the prospect. Not surprisingly, each of these emails achieved successful outcomes. Choose the one that suits you and see what will happen in the future.