4 Pillars of Excellent Email Prospecting

Thursday, Mar 23rd, 2017

Mixmax is a communications platform that brings professional communication & email into the 21st century.

If you are planning to construct a great building, you must have a strong and stable foundation. You can invest as much as you want in the exterior but if your support pillars are shaky, your investment and work can easily crash down leaving you with little to no results. And, as you know, buildings are not constructed from roof to bottom, so you might want to be familiar with these 4 pillars of excellent email prospecting before you start your email campaign.

Let me take you to our email prospecting factory and show you what these pillars are made of and what material combination makes them highly resistant.

The Pillar of Relevance

You are right at the beginning, you have your safety helmet on and you’re looking at the vast construction site. To make the first pillar durable and strong you’ll have to add 3 ingredients of relevance.

Start with yourself

Have you watched the iconic TV show Mr. Robot? Elliot said something we can all think about. “People always told me growing up that it’s never about the destination. It’s about the journey. But what if the destination is you?” And I couldn’t agree more. The destination is always you. Before you start with everything else and everyone else, complete the first and the most important step - know yourself, know your product or service.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What can I offer to my customers?
  • Who needs my service?
  • How can I help them?
  • How can my product resolve their problems?

The market is built on the dependent relationship between demand and offer. By knowing your product you will be a lot closer to know your prospects.

Find relevant prospects

As you know what you are offering, it will be easier to know who you should offer it to. Prospects should be your perfect future neighbors in your well constructed building and what you have is something they all need and have in common. You want to make a great community that you can nurture and lead.

Take your time. If you thought about buying an already made email list, please, don’t do it. Email lists will do more harm than good. Most of them are outdated and not valid. After all, no one knows your business better than you, and you should be in control of choosing your prospects. There are a lot of ways to find prospects’ emails and many great tools that can help you out in the process and save you time (Hint: Etools*wink*).

Segment your prospects

Do your research. Every business is different. You will have to figure out what kind of segmentation makes sense for you. This will, like everything else, depend on what you are offering and what your target market is. By segmenting them you are also defining them. This process will help you a lot later, when you start reaching out to your prospects. If they were your new neighbors you might want to give them apartments in the same floor so you can visit them all together.

There are plenty of variables for segmentation that you can use, such as geodemography, language preferences, type of business, roles in a company, prospects’ needs and problems… You will have more success with some types of prospects than others, and after you do the analysis (we will talk about it later) you will know what works best for you.

The Pillar of Personalization

The first pillar is done and it’s looking great. You’ve finished finding and segmenting your relevant prospects. To make the second pillar all you need is some sugar and spice and everything nice. Don’t forget to be creative while adding these ingredients.

Everything is not for everyone

Like everything in life, prospects come in different shapes and sizes, and so should your email marketing campaign. After you segmented your prospects and learned something about them, it’s time to reach out and make your first impression memorable. Sending one email template to thousands of prospects will get you minimal results. And it won’t make much sense, like it wouldn’t make much sense talking in the same way to a grandma from the first floor or a university student form a third floor. You will be able to communicate, but the question is - Will this communication be successful? After all, what you want to do is to make the grandma and the student feel special at the same time.

Craft your emails

Make different email templates in accordance with who you are sending them to. Do a little research about your prospects’ names, companies, roles, achievements, needs. If your prospects see that you’ve spent time to find out more about them, they will be more interested in your proposal. Imagine this, you saw grandma Mary in the hallway of your building and you asked her how she was doing, you mentioned her name once, or even twice, she was flattered so she stopped to chat with you.

You can do the same thing with your emails. Add your prospects’ company in the subject line or prospects’ name in the body, furthermore, use more advanced options, like changing the content of the email to be in accordance with your prospects’ location, role, achievements and many other things you know about them. According to Experian Email Marketing Study, emails with personalized subject lines have 26 % higher unique open rates than non-personalized emails. If just one personalized part of your email can make a big difference, think of what you can achieve if you implement advanced options of personalization.

The Pillar of Maintenance

Congratulations! Two pillars are done, and one is on it’s way. For the construction of the third pillar you will need to include all your future neighbors to help you out. A nurtured relationship and trust between you and them will make this pillar super resistant.

Don’t lose your hopes

Some of your prospects replied and some of them didn’t. If they didn’t reply it doesn’t mean they are not interested. They might have read your email but something else distracted them so it slipped their mind. In another case, they replied and they were interested but somehow they disappeared from the conversation. Don’t lose your hopes and be persistent.

Remind them of your offer and try to establish a relationship or nurture the one you’ve started. Make a few follow up templates and set up 2 to 3 follow up emails to send in case they don’t reply. Try to make them less generic. A little bit of well-thought-out humor can lighten up the conversation or even start one. You will be more likable if you put even the slightest smile on their face.

Nurture your relationship

Your new relationships have just begun and beginnings are never easy. Do your best, give your prospects value, engage them in conversation, recognize their problems and needs and give them solutions. Here is what you can do:

  • Write as you talk. Be casual, your new neighbors are not Queens of England, they all just want to be familiar with you.
  • Respond promptly, no one wants to wait too long. On the contrary, they might lose interest in your proposal.
  • Ask questions. To keep the conversation going simply ask questions. Questions are also a great way to make your proposal more about them without imposing what they should do.
  • Prepare an FAQ document. Imagine what they might want to ask you and have your answers already written so you can reply faster. Your FAQ document will develop over time.
  • Hold their hands. If they feel lost or indecisive, make sure to offer your help and guidance through the whole process.
  • Offer to schedule demo calls. They might need to hear from you and have firsthand insight of your product or service to be able to make the decision.
  • Stand out from the crowd. Emphasize on what makes you different from the others and how your product or service is a better choice for them.
  • Don’t hesitate to close the deal. Ask your prospects directly if they are ready to take the next step.

Pillar of Measurement

To make the fourth pillar you have to check how your already built pillars are doing. Measure them, check the material, look for the possible cracks and repair them. The pillar of measurement will be based on all your previous knowledge.

Do your homework

There is no universal answer about what gives best results for your product or service. Like every excellent student, you need to research, write, and later analyse your results. Knowing where you made a mistake will help you evolve and become better.

Test your emails.

To see what email templates give better results select one variable to make an A/B email testing. You can choose to test your subject line, body text, position of call-to-action. On the web you can find great advice and examples of how your email template should look like. However, depending on your specific audience these tests will give you a real answers and show you which version of the subject line or body text formatting works best for them. You might be surprised with the results.

Track relevant metrics.

If you know what you are trying to achieve with your email campaign it will be easier to determine the metrics you want to track. Here are a few examples of what you should be tracking:

  • Bounce rates. These are the rates that show how many emails couldn’t be delivered to prospect’s inbox. Verify all emails to avoid getting hard bounce rates which can discredit your email sender’s reputation and qualify you as a spam.
  • Click-through rates. You can check them on daily basis and you can observe how they change over time. Click-through rates are often used for A/B email testing results.
  • Conversion rates. In an email your conversion will be represented by a call-to-action (CTA). If your prospects complete the desired action they will be converted. You can later track the sources of best conversion rates. At Etools, they noticed that emails from Thalamus had ~16% conversion rate, compared to only ~6% on LinkedIn. We also discovered that roles that include the keyword “media buy” had a conversion rate of 23% for email signups, while roles that had the keyword “sales” had 4.5% conversion rate only. These results will show you in which direction to go and where to put more efforts.
  • Return of investment (ROI) rates. These rates will show you if the investment in your email marketing campaign was successful or not. Just for the record, according to National client email report, email has an average ROI of 3800%. By building a strong email marketing campaign you can see great results for a much lower investment.
  • Hold their hands. If they feel lost or indecisive, make sure to offer your help and guidance through the whole process.
  • Offer to schedule demo calls. They might need to hear from you and have firsthand insight of your product or service to be able to make the decision.

Conclusion

Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? Rome is still standing, shining, growing, changing and adapting. This is what you want for your new building. Take your time and consider every step wisely. It may take more time to master these important basics, but when you do, you will reap the true benefits of email prospecting.