It’s shocking to me how many terrible emails I still receive from sales professionals. Literally every day I receive at least 1-2 emails from sales reps pitching me their product/service that leave me completely dumbfounded.
As discussed in my previous post, Why Buyers Never Call You Back, you may encounter a non-responsive buyer for a multitude of reasons at differents stages of your sales process. But there’s also always the potential that you’re not receiving replies because your messaging is just plain crap, especially if you’re forgetting some of the following core messaging principles.
For some reason, every SEO sales professional in Australia seems to think I care about their “website optimization” services. I regularly receive TONS of emails like the one below. And those are just the ones making it through my spam filter! There’s undoubtedly many others that don’t get through into my priority inbox.
Let’s dissect what went wrong...
We’ll call this terrible email culprit John. What John has done is used a lot of seemingly personalized jargon in an effort to make it sound like he’s done a lot of research and that this email was meant specifically for me. But I, like most buyers, see right through this lame attempt.
He hasn’t included my name once. He said, “Hi, I hope you are well.” This is not personalized whatsoever and is immediately a red flag. Though he did include our website address in the subject line, that’s a pretty easy thing to find and swap out. Or to automate through HTML functionality (personalization tokens) offered in most email clients when sending blasts.
He doesn’t specify the industry. He just said, “I was doing some research on your industry.” He could have mentioned the industry we’re in, which is consulting or professional services. This is obviously copy and pasted and probably sent out to hundreds of people.
He doesn’t specify his search. John mentions we landed on page 2 of Google. Compared to what? What did he search? There are many different factors involved in SEO including geographic location. So depending on what the heck he’s actually searching in Australia would likely bring up very different results than in North America, which is where a lot of our clients are.
He hasn’t mentioned any competitors. John hasn’t given me a single example of another business. He could have quickly done 30 seconds of research and made mention of at least one other company that’s currently ranked on page 1. He could have even included a screenshot of his search in his email. This would have added a lot of authenticity to his claims.
As it stands now, this email is super broad. The average buyer is pretty intelligent so emails like this without any specific information are going straight to the trash bin.
If we further examine the email, we can see John also started the majority of lines in the email with ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’. It’s all about him, him, him! There is not a single component of this email, that would actually make me think:
John has done research, and/or
His emails are meant for me as opposed to thousands of different companies.
The only bit of value is at the end of the email when John said he could provide a free website audit. However, had he taken a quick look at my very public-facing LinkedIn Profile he would have instantly known that I have absolutely NOTHING to do with the backend development of our website or SEO and therefore don’t care about his services at all.
All of this adds up to a very poor email strategy, which is going to 1) translate into a very low response rate and 2) waste a lot of John’s time reaching out to the wrong people. Buyers these days want to get personalized messaging and see right through fake attempts at contextualization.
Formulaic Success: Context, Value, Call-to-Action
The modern buyer has so many options already available to them through their network of peers. When they see an email that’s unpersonalized they’re not going to bite.
In the first line of your email you make it very apparent to the recipient there is no one out of the 7 ½ billion people on earth this email could have been meant for other than the individual recipient.
To help achieve this, here is a 3-sentence email formula I’ve seen tons of success with.
Hi [Buyer Name],
Line 1: States the relevance for your buyer receiving your message. This could be a referral, trigger event, commonality, etc.
Line 2: Displays the value of your communication to your buyer. This is typically a good opportunity to state a relatable success story you’ve had with similar clients or share a piece of valuable information.
Line 3: Builds intrigue/call-to-action. End your messages with a direct question or action. Do not be vague. Make it very easy for your buyer to respond to your request. If you want to schedule a call, ask them for a specific window of time on a specific date. If you want to be referred to someone else in the organization, be specific about what department they are in or what their responsibilities include.
Following this method will ensure better response rates with your initial messages and your buyers will respect you more for taking the time to craft a well thought out communication.
Although John offered a free website audit, he waited until the very end of his email to do so. It could have been much more effective if, aside from addressing his email to the right person in our organization, he delivered value sooner. If a buyer doesn't see immediate value, the majority of them will just stop reading the email and never come back to it.
So in closing, if your sales emails look anything like John’s, change your strategy now before wasting any more of your and your buyers’ valuable time.
Best of luck! And as always, let me know if you have any questions/comments via the box provided below :)