Sales Email – A Walkthrough

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Cold emailing is, and always has been, a battle for attention. Even in cases where you’re approaching warm prospects, leads, or customers, getting an open can be a challenge (never mind your chances of getting a reply). On the positive side, finding email addresses is relatively easy and automation tools make sending them out a breeze. But overcoming the fatigue and scepticism of your potential customer has never been more of a challenge. People are getting so many automated emails every day that the good old [firstName] tag means next to nothing anymore. Let’s have a walkthrough of the sales email

The goal of cold sales emails

Before diving into fancy personalizations and tricks of the trade, always remember the purpose of cold emailing as a practice. You need to generate a response, not close the deal all at once.

Many salespeople—novices and experts alike—handicap their cold email conversion rates because they use this sales medium for the wrong reasons.

Simply put, cold sales emails are not a way to close deals with zero interaction, but a friendly and informative knock on the prospect’s inbox door. Your goal should be to get your potential customer to open the door and invite you in for a chat.

Cold sales emails are most successful when they’re employed as a tool to build meaningful relationships. The call-to-action at the end of a prospecting email should not be to purchase.

Trying to push for sales or offering a free trial at the end of a cold email will (for the most part) result in very few conversions and the loss of a potential customer. Instead, use a conversion CTA to push your prospect one step closer to a purchase decision with one of the following:

  • Content download
  • Demo/product walk-through
  • Kick-off call
  • Video conference
  • In-person meeting

What is email personalization?

Personalization, in the context of email marketing, is the act of targeting an email campaign to a specific subscriber by leveraging the data and information you have about them. It could be information like their first name, the last product they bought, where they live, how many times they log into your app or a number of other data points.

Personalization is a broad term, and it can vary in sophistication. Basic email personalization includes tactics like using a subscriber’s name in the subject line, while more advanced tactics can include changing the content of the email based on a subscriber’s gender, location, or other things you know about them.

Personalizing your sales email campaigns is a proven way to increase your open and click-through rates and can have a measurable impact on your ROI and revenue. Studies have shown emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those without, and revenue is 5.7 times higher in emails that employ personalization.

These results stem from the fact that personalized emails are more relevant to subscribers. Instead of receiving a campaign with generic offers and messaging, your subscribers will receive an email that is targeted directly at them, includes their name, and provides offers (products, promotions, etc.) that are relevant to their interests.

Email Personalisation Infographic

What makes up a personalized email?

One of the most commonly used personalization strategies is using the recipient’s first name. However, personalization in a sales email goes further than simply using your subscriber’s first name.

So what exactly is a personalized email? The following are 3 main elements that make up a personalized email:

1. Relevant

The main cornerstone of a personalized email is relevance. People’s inboxes are cluttered, with the average worker receiving at least 121 emails per day, and, often, those emails will address the recipient by name.

To take email personalization further and grab your subscriber’s attention, offer relevant content. If your content doesn’t directly impact your reader, your email has a high chance of being relegated to the trash box.

2. Timely

Another hallmark of a personalized email is that it has to be timely. By gathering enough data about your subscriber, you can know what kind of content they need at a particular stage of their customer journey with you.

3. Comes from a person

People are more likely to trust and relate to an email that comes from another person, as opposed to a business. You need to use a person’s name in the “from” field and use a face instead of a logo.

Level of Personalization in your Emails

Ideally, you’d want to send personalized emails to every prospect; to increase the chances of getting a response. But such a practice is not feasible. And why so?

When you are reaching out at scale, it is not possible to write a personalized email for each one of the prospects. Imagine the amount of time it would take you to research and write emails to 100+ prospects in a day?

Is it worth spending that amount of time on every one of them? No, not really. Considering different prospects bring a different amount of revenue for your business; it simply doesn’t make sense to put the same effort into each one of them.

Then, what is the solution? Use different levels of personalization for your prospects based on the deal size they would bring in. The greater the deal size; the higher the level of personalization in your emails.

Not enough time in the day for personalization?

Most marketers love to hyper-personalize but don’t feel like they have enough time in the day to get it done. Unfortunately, mass email marketing doesn’t do anything but waste your marketing budget and make it almost impossible to connect efficiently with consumers.

From a customer’s point of view, they’re simply not interested in talking to you until you know about their business, understand their pain points and know what they want.

In an email, there’s a real risk of diminishing returns. While personalization seems like a smart idea, many people get it wrong because they can’t do it fast enough. If you can personalize email faster, you can capture things that will put you on the cutting edge. That’s a challenge that many people don’t get: time-based personalization is more essential than personalization in general.

Sales Email – Finding the Right Approach

A sale is not made based on the tools used, but rather the process. Nail down the process, and use the tools to make it scalable. Before we begin, let’s make sure this approach is the right fit for your business model. An effective sales process maximizes the productivity of both the SDRs and the AEs. You may also have a look at remote sales.

The two main models for sales development are setting introductory meetings and generating qualified opportunities. Further, if your team is taking an account-based selling approach, then there’s an even stronger argument for taking the time and focusing on quality.

1. Setting Up a Process for Personalizing Emails at Scale

If you’re not already taking an ABS approach, you won’t be able to flip a switch and transition into this model overnight. It begins with a really good implementation of your CRM, such as Salesforce, and outbound sales platform.

You need to be meticulously tracking data and useful information in your system. If you’re starting from scratch it may seem daunting, but if you don’t start now you’ll never have the data. Note the importance of working hand-in-hand with your marketing team. Yes, sales and marketing often butt heads but remember ultimately you’re on the same team.

2. Identify all the possible decision-makers for your ideal account

At this point, all savvy sales teams and managers know to create an Ideal Client Profile or ICP. However, what many misses is the need to create an Ideal Account Profile or IAP. This is one level above the ICP. After you identify all the geographic and firmographic data of your ideal account, then you can start creating your ICPs within that account.

3. Collect relevant data on your prospects

You’ll use this data as your variable when you’re sending out the sales emails. Not all variables are created equal. There are standard variables, but there are also things we call snippets, which we’ll get to in a minute.

First, collect your standard variables. You’ll input this data into the appropriate field in our CRM or cell in your database. Use your favorite sales intelligence platform or lead sourcing service to get as much basic information on your prospects as you can. During this step, you can, and frankly should automate with the right technology in your sales stack. Standard variables at the very least should include:

  • First and last name
  • Email
  • Company
  • Position/title
  • Website
  • Phone (direct line if possible)
  • LinkedIn profile

Next, connect deeper. Use your detective skills to discover more meaningful and personal connections with your prospects. You get the idea — this is any and all information that would help you build trust and rapport with a prospect. Once you find a good point of connection, don’t just stop there – keep going; you may need additional points in follow up emails.

4. Create an outbound email template for each ICP

Each ICP will have their own unique pain points. Therefore, each should have his/her own communication personalized to fit specific needs. Using standard variables and snippets, you can start writing templates. You can even take good cold emails that you’ve received and turn them into templates.

Make sure each variable has its own column in your spreadsheet, and fill them inappropriately for each lead. Then make sure your email template is set up correctly, import your spreadsheet, and you’re almost ready to send.

5. Launch Your Campaign and analyze the results

Drop your list of leads and your templates into your favorite outbound sales platform and hit send! Wait about a week for people to respond, then evaluate your results. If you want to become a true expert at outbound sales, you’re going to have to constantly and scientifically test your outbound campaigns with different elements, analyzing the results and adjusting.

6. Follow up

Following up is extremely important, especially if you’re taking an account-based selling approach. If you don’t have at least 7 touches in your outbound sales campaign, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. You must take into account the 4 critical factors for follow up success: number of touchpoints, channel diversity, the time between touchpoints and content of touchpoints.

Conclusion

Personalizing emails is critical, but the tactics are changing. Fortunately, simple things like personalizing on the persona, abandoning the requirement to hyper-personalized, personalizing on three points only (name, problem and a piece of content that relates to the problem) and spending more time on the follow-up emails than you do on the initial emails can make a massive impact on the success rate of your sales email campaigns.

By identifying your customers’ problems correctly and helping them find a solution, you can make your outbound emails more successful than they’ve ever been before. While it’s easy to scratch the surface with personalization, these smart and technology-driven personalization approaches make it easy for brands and companies to personalize more intelligently and ensure the personalization they are doing is ideal not only for their clients but for the health and wellbeing of their funnel and productivity as a whole.


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