Best Email Prospecting Tactics: Be Specific
The next tip on outbound prospecting emails in my series on the best email prospecting tactics is be specific.
One of the biggest mistakes that sales reps and BDRs make when sending emails to prospects is sending information without explaining the purpose of the email and what they are looking for in response. A good tactic the sales reps and BDRs can implement immediately is to be specific with a) why they are reaching out, and b) what they are looking in response in every email they send to a prospect.
As laid out in this great presentation by MECLABS’ Marketing Experiments, there are at least three key conversion points that you need to consider:
- First, the prospect must decide to open the email;
- Once opened, the prospect must decide whether or not to read the email;
- Finally, the prospect must decide whether or not to take action as a result of reading the email
My earlier posts in this email prospecting series on crafting engaging subject lines, and leveraging the prospect’s content focused on the first two conversion points listed above. This post is focused on the third point: getting the prospect to take action, whatever that action might be.
Keep in mind prospects are not mind readers — even though it may seem obvious to you that you want to set up a meeting to qualify them and pitch them your product that may rarely be the first thing that comes to mind for the prospect. The point is that if you don’t specifically ask for a response, you are much less likely to get a response. While this point may seem obvious, the truth is we see emails every day being sent by sales people that do not contain any explanation as to why they are emailing the prospect, and how the prospect should respond.
The simplest way to implement this tactic is to make sure that every email sent contains at least one sentence that either includes what you would like the prospect to do next or asks a specific question that the prospect can quickly answer with a brief email. If you are looking for a referral to the right contact, then ask for a referral, and if you are hoping to get 5 minutes of there time to find out what their current xyz strategy is, ask for 5 minutes of their time; but in any case be specific so that it isn’t left to interpretation.
Here are a few examples:
- Are you available sometime next week to discuss? I am available on Monday between 10:00am and 2:30pm, and Wednesday between 1:30pm and 4:00pm.
- Who is the best person to speak with at your organization about our solutions?
- What day would be best for a 15 min call to discuss?
- Could you please respond to this email to let me know if I should stop trying to contact you?
I’ve seen from experience that ending an email with these types of very direct and very specific questions will yield more responses than not; especially if your emails look anything like the ones in these examples: