It’s been over a year since we’ve launched InspireBeats and in that time we’ve sent out over one million cold emails, which have generated tens of millions in closed sales for our B2B clients.
Today we would like to share with you the best-case practices we’ve learned, and how you can use them to effectively sell your product or service via email.
Quick note: Though these work best when selling to other businesses, the principles can still be applied to any sales email you send.
DON’T Introduce Yourself In The First Line
There are hundreds of articles online that detail how to write a good subject line, but what many of them miss is that the second line in an email is just as important for open rates. This is because most apps offer a preview of the first line, so be sure to make the most of it.
Originally we started our emails with “My name is Alex and I’m a business development guy from InspireBeats” starting that way led to much lower responses.
DO Use The First Line To Build Interest
The ultimate first sentence in an email is something that’s customized to a recipient, states how you found their site, and presents either a compliment or a business problem.
A great example:
“Found your site and super impressed by your work for KFC. Also saw you were looking for new designers on AngelList and thought I might be able to help.”
That is a straightforward intro paragraph that will get your potential customers to read on.
Another thing that most companies do – especially if they have a list of one or two thousand contacts to reach out to, is write what they think is an awesome template, and “blast” it out everyone on the list.
Doing that is a fantastic way to get your domain marked as spam.
DO Research Each And Every Prospect
What works instead is to spend a minute or two researching each prospect.
Here’s how we break it down:
- Minute One: Review the client’s website and determine if they’re a good fit for your company. Do they have the right number of employees? Do they fit your buyer profile?
If not – don’t email them.
- Minute Two: Social media. Time to get personal by looking on your specific contact’s twitter account for something interesting that you two might have in common. For instance, if they mention a favorite football team in their bio you can write something like:
“Sorry about the Bucs performance last night…” Calling out personal details and customizing each email makes readers more likely to respond. I’ve even received thank you’s from people that weren’t interested in our service, solely talking about how great it was that we did research before emailing them.
Of course, individually researching each contact will take more time, especially if you’re new at it, but with enough practice eventually you’ll know exactly what to look for and where to find it.
When sending out follow up emails, it’s easy to hand off the responsibility of responding to the recipient.
For instance, I’ve seen emails that end with “If this sounds interesting, let me know.” or “I’d love to find a time to chat if this makes sense.”
The issue with these endings is that there is no pressure for the recipient to respond. Keep in mind that some of the potential customers you’re emailing receive hundreds of messages a day, and it’s up to you as a good sales person to make their lives easier with a yes or no question.
Here are a few questions that work great as conclusions to an email:
- “Does that sound interesting to you?”
- “Are you available for a call later this week?”
- “Would you mind if I send a free trial link?”
DON’T Give Up Too Soon
So you’ve sent out hundreds of emails, waited a few days and only received a few responses back. Does this mean that the ones that haven’t responded are dead leads? Of course not!
DO Reach Out At Least 5-7 Times
What we’ve found is that it takes most prospects 5-7 “touchpoints” before they respond, because they’re so busy.
A sequence that works great for us is:
- Send the initial email
- Follow the recipient on twitter
- Favorite or retweet a few posts by the recipient
- View their LinkedIn profile
- Send another email a few days later
- Connect to the email recipient on LinkedIn
If none of that works – you can always call the prospect. The best time we’ve found to call is within 5 minutes of them opening up your email.
The reason this works is because if your contact is checking their email it means they aren’t busy with other things.
By reaching out at this moment your team has a much higher chance of connecting with the right person.
DON’T Stay At The Same Level
Cold emailing is a skill, which means that at the beginning your team is going to be bad at it. Our response rates are currently very high, but that’s a result of several years of experience.
You now have the advantage of knowing what we didn’t. Use this system and make it your own.
DO Keep Testing & Improving
The easiest way to get better is to use a tracking tools like YesWare to measure what’s working and what isn’t.
Measure the open rates with different subject lines, completely different frameworks, email copy, and send times. Find what works best and change your emails going forward.
DON’T Stop Asking
Another strategy we use with our higher lead gen plans at InspireBeats is to repeatedly follow up with prospects until we get a definitive answer. We keep going until they give us a yes or a no.
The reason for this is if you did all the research we described earlier, and you’re sure everyone you reach out to is a good fit, eventually the time will come when they need your service.
DO Conclude With Each Prospect
We have prospects that have been getting monthly emails for up to seven months in a row, some of whom end up buying.
Also, be sure not to take delayed or negative answers personally. You’re one of the 100 people per day trying to get your prospect’s attention.
No email can guarantee they’ll buy anything, but using a system like this drastically increases your chances.
You can check out more email etiquette tips here. If you think we’ve missed something or have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below.