I wrote recently about the importance of having an effective follow-up system in place to dramatically (and more easily) increase your sales closing rate. Autoresponder emails are a key component to effective follow-up and no follow-up system should be without them.
Setting up a series of automated emails not only saves you time, it puts your follow-up on autopilot while helping to ensure you stay top-of-mind with prospects. And it is equally effective with B2C and B2B sales.
You may be surprised to read here that email continues to be one of the most utilized and effective marketing channels, even with millenials who, it was projected, would stop using email altogether. But that has not been the case.
Consider for a moment how you engage with emails. Checking emails is often done as a “filler” activity. We check our emails while watching TV, on public transit or in a waiting room. Also, mobile phones have increased email open rates because of the accessibility to multiple email accounts on our phones. Users review emails on their phone and either deal with them instantly or come back to ones that are deemed important later on, often on a laptop or desktop computer. Texting and chatting apps have not fully replaced email, so don’t overlook this important communication tool in your sales process.
In my training on effective follow-up, I stress the importance of providing value instead of focusing on hard sell tactics. Too much selling will turn off your prospects. The same rule applies to email communications. Send value-based emails that address your prospects’ pain points (i.e. Marketing 101), and you’ll find yourself with highly engaged prospects who are more likely to approach you when they’ve made the decision to buy.
Below are five of my top tips for effective emailing as part of a sales strategy. One note of caution: emails are not meant to replace the ultimate communication tool in the sales process – that of live, verbal communication, whether it’s face-to-face or on the phone. So don’t use email as a crutch to avoid talking with your prospects. Consider emails a valuable complement to your sales process as you move along with your prospects on their buying journey.
5 Tips for Effective Emailing
- Use an email marketing software instead of your regular, everyday account. This will keep you anti-spam compliant, put your emailing on auto-pilot and allow you to track open rates as well.
- Learn how to write an effective subject line. Keep it brief with less than 45 characters and build in urgency that piques the prospect’s interest. A good test? Send the email to yourself and a friend or colleague to see if the subject line piques interest.
- Unless you’re sending out an educational series, keep the emails brief. 2 to 3 short paragraphs are more likely to be read completely than a long-winded email. If you’ve got more to say, include a link to a blog post related to the email’s topic. This also helps drive traffic to your website.
- Include enticements in the email. Do you have a special promotion? Are you doing a draw for a free giveaway? Do you have an exclusive offer? This helps encourage your prospect along their buying timeline. But you need to build in urgency with a deadline to encourage the prospect to take action.
- Include a call to action in every email. This can be done as a “P.S.” as well. P.S.’s are one of the most read components in emails and letters.
Creating your autoresponder emails will take some time up front, but once they’re done, they’ll work for you on auto-pilot behind the scenes while you’re doing other sales activities.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a suggestion. List your typical hot prospect’s 5 top pain points. Start by writing 5 brief emails that each respond to one of these pain points. Once you do this, you’ll be amazed at the ideas you generate for more email content.
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