Sales prospecting is incredibly difficult. If you have a manager-level title or above, you’re probably inundated with a stream of emails and InMail from B2B sales reps trying to make deals. Let’s be honest, none us us have time to read them all, let alone respond. According to research from TOPO, only 29% of sales emails ever get opened. So if you want to get your emails read, you can’t send the same impersonal form letter to hundreds of prospects and hope for results.The days of spray and pray sales emails are done! If you want prospects to respond, you need to research your prospect and then tailor-fir your sales message to that prospect. Yes, I know, this takes more time. But TRUST ME, this is time well spent.
I get a lot of salespeople emailing me every day. And most of the emails I get are horrible. But every so often I’m pleasantly surprised by a fantastic, highly personalized sales email. Last year, I revealed the awesome email I got from Uberflip’s Adam Brophy. And I thought I’d carry on the tradition this year by revealing the best sales email I received in 2016.
The best sales prospecting email I received this year was from Kevin Yang, Sales Executive at Visually. Here it is:
Subject: Jesse – loved reading through your eBook
Jesse, I just downloaded and read over your eBook “The Ultimate Sales Cheat Sheet for B2B Discovery Calls” – definitely saves me a lot of time prepping in advance before a sales call! At Visually, we’ve helped many companies like Revenue.io increase lead generation and sales enablement through visual content generation- think infographics, animated videos, Interactives, eBooks, social micro content, etc. I know you have eBooks covered for visual content, but do you have any plans on repurposing any of these eBooks into infographics, social micro content, etc? Would love to set up some time to chat with you before we head off for the holidays. Let me know if you have some time next week Jesse!
Here are the reasons why Kevin’s email worked including actionable takeaways that you can use to make your own sales emails pop.
Right from Kevin’s subject line I knew that I wasn’t in for a boring form letter. Before even reading the email I knew that the sender A) knew my name and B) had read an eBook I had written. Fun fact about marketers: we like when people actually read what we write. Your subject line is the most important part of your sales email. So take the time to personalize it, pique your prospect’s interest and get them to click on it. I usually recommend that at least 30% of your email effort should go into crafting the subject line. They’re that important.
Takeaway: Put your subject’s name and/or company in the subject line to let them know you aren’t an evil spam robot.
From the first line of Kevin’s email, I liked him. He had downloaded my content and actually read it. He mentioned the offering by name and specified how it had helped him. He had invested his time in order to build a relationship, which is something that most people (myself included) really respect. He began by discussing me rather than just launching into a sales pitch, and that goes a long way.
Takeaway: Your first sentence is important. Begin by discussing your prospect rather than yourself or your product.
When Kevin did make an offer it was a targeted one. We make plenty of eBooks here at Revenue.io. This is clear to anyone who does their research. A general offer of “Do you want someone to write eBooks for you?” isn’t particularly appealing to me and yet I get offers like that all the time. Kevin, however, offered specific services around repurposing content that I’ve already created. Kevin acknowledged that we probably have eBooks covered, but listed the services they offer that might be relevant to us. As a result, I let Kevin know that I’ll keep Visually on my shortlist if a need arises.
Takeaway: Only offer a product or services that you think will be relevant to the company. And always be very specific about what you do.
I always like to ask a question in a sales email. I think it makes prospects more likely to respond. But one of my pet peeves is when salespeople ask multiple questions in a sales email.
Takeaway: Ask one questions and make sure that the question you ask is compelling enough to elicit a response.
Kevin’s email was fantastic. Not only did I respond, but I’m featuring it on my blog as an example. So clearly I think he did a lot of things right! The only thing I might have changed is the line where he said he has “helped many companies like Revenue.io.” I would have actually listed two or three. Saying that he helped a company “like mine” doesn’t necessarily do much for me. If he had actually named a company that I respect or even linked to a case study, it may have made his offer even more compelling.
If you’re looking to break new ground in 2017, take a tip from Kevin Yang and put some effort into those sales emails!
For some more highly actionable personalization tips from top sales experts, get our free eBook here.
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingRevenue.io
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at Revenue.io, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 11 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.