Friday, August 12, 2011

 

Six ways to make your sales emails more engaging

Thought this was a good question last week on Focus.com. Here are six tips:

1. Define "engaging" (for you and the recipient)
What is a successful outcome of the email? What do you want the prospect to do, and what does the prospect need from you at this moment? Have a specific definition of success or results, even for something this tactical.

2. Focus on the subject line
Subject lines are like envelopes in direct mail. If your prospect doesn't get past the envelope, it doesn't matter what's written or offered inside. Also, the job of the envelope isn't to close the sale. The job of the envelope is to get you to open the envelope. Don't use that as an excuse to overpromise or deceive the recipient, but focus on content and copy that will drive interest and action.

3. Write to them (not for you)
Simple things like not starting sentences like "I" and "we" are important, but in a broader sense your content needs to tie directly to a pain or need the prospect has. If your email is a follow-up to a recent conversation, reflect that up front and reiterate the value delivered or promised in that conversation.

4. Tie it to something THEY did
Sales prospects are far more likely to respond to something they did vs. something you did for them. Their own actions and requests will have far more credibility, especially early in the sales process when you're still creating your own credibility and trust with the prospect. Tying back to something the prospect did or asked for will increase engagement and response rates.

5. Make a request, make it specific and urgent
Don't leave your email open ended. Tell the prospect exactly what you want them to do next if they're interested. Make it something easy, specific and quick to do. Your email is one of many they'll receive today, and will quickly get lost in their inbox. How easy are you making it for them to take action right now?

6. Don't make it look like a marketing email
Beware of overproduced templates. Don't let the design get in the way of the message. Good design increases readability and engagement, but your sales prospect isn't going to respond to great email design. And they might in fact be turned off by something that looks too polished or like a template. Be clear, be clean, and be efficient (with copy as well as design).


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