When I first started emailing, I began with the same approach that every other business development executive was already using – templatized emails.
I was essentially spamming my prospects with a generic email and as a result, I was struggling with an ordinate number of bouncebacks, unsubscribes, lack of response, and the worst of all, abusive emails, an all too common scenario for too many sales professionals. The final straw was getting my email blacklisted.
This depressing scenario meant that I had to drastically change the way I was reaching out to my prospects.
Over time, I discovered prominent folks in my field such as Joe Girard (World’s Greatest SalesMan), Zig Ziglar, Geoffrey James, Brian Tracy, Jill Konrath, and several others. I decided to start implementing their advice religiously and tweak where required. This led to a series of experiments, some of which were a colossal failure while others have led to close some of my largest deals.
I learned over time to approach my prospects in a more streamlined, well structured, targeted and personalized manner from the get-go.
Here are 5 effective email lead generation techniques that worked for me and I’m confident will work for you too!
Build and structure your email lists
Your company may be providing a product, solution or service and you have a target market, geography or even specifically target companies you want to reach out to.
You can’t email everyone, you have to identify the right person and for that, you have to identify the department, function, a decision maker and possible influencer.
Structure your email lists in such a way so that your email to an influencer is different from the email you send to a decision maker.
You may want to split up your spreadsheet or customize your CRM tool to keep Industries, Companies, Departments, Roles, and Titles separate and structure your campaigns accordingly. Never mix them up!
Learn all about your target market and your value proposition to them
If you have a target list of companies or industries to go after, make sure you have done your homework and know everything about their industry, challenges and how you will be able to help them.
When you email your prospect, you need to show them that you understand their business and your value proposition is going to help them succeed or see results.
Keep your emails short and personalized
Sometimes writing a personalized email to everyone when you have a huge list of 10,000 contacts may seem very difficult. But have you considered that you could be generating 15 responses from 100 personalized emails versus 5 most likely vague responses from a 1000 bulk emails?
Short and personalized emails always work wonders, but for this, you need to spend time learning about the prospect and a common ground where you can relate to them and they with you.
You can talk about their recent achievement or a change in position or if you have a mutual acquaintance, that is a great way to get in touch too.
Your email should be read within 30 seconds. Most people use Apple Mail or Outlook and the right pane is a small column.
So your email should not be more than 3-4 sentences long and should provide three key elements:
- Value proposition
- Call to Action – Request for a meeting.
Your subject lines should not be more than 26 characters long.
I get emails from Greenpeace with subject lines that make me open the email instantly – these are informal subject lines.
In a professional environment, you may want to refer to the company’s competitor in the subject line or your value proposition to <Company Name>.
However, what you say in the subject line should align with the body of your email.
Keep your emails specific
Always keep your email templates separately and very specific.
For e.g: If you are focusing on Manufacturing companies in the US with revenues over $1B and you are trying to speak with someone in the IT department, you gather contact details of the CIO, CTO, VP IT, Director IT and few other contacts within that department. You should have a separate email template for each of the roles you are targeting.
For example, if you are writing to the CIO, you may want to first look at their Annual Report and talk about their technology roadmap, challenges, what their competitors are doing and how you fit in.
If you are writing to the Director of IT, you may want to focus on some of the relevant work you have done and how you can help them get quicker results or improved efficiency, you may also want to talk about some internal systems they are using and how your service offering can help extend its capabilities.
Structure your follow-ups
90% of the times you will not get a response to your first email.
You have to follow up to get a response and set up a meeting. I usually follow a 7 step rule and if I don’t get a response after my 7th follow up, I usually send a final closure email.
Don’t repeat the same follow-up email every time, your email content should include industry news, e-books or your blogs.
Always track your emails, I recommend using Yesware or SideKick by HubSpot, so you know who has been opening your emails and whether they are engaging with them.
On a closing note, here’s a quick recap of 8 ground rules you should consider following in order to maximize your response rate:
1) Never write long, exhaustive emails.
2) Do your homework before you email your prospect.
3) Write compelling subject lines.
4) Don’t make your emails sound salesy. The idea is to avoid pushing your product/service and instead pull them to engaging with you further.
5) Keep your message personalized.
6) Always have a call-to-action.
7) Structure your follow-ups.
8) Streamline your bulk mailing campaigns.
Hope you find these tips useful!
What innovative lead generation strategies do you apply? Do let me know in the comments below!