If you work in a sales capacity, you know that cold outreach and prospect emailing takes up a lot of your time. You also know that it can take a lot of work to get a response from potential leads, no matter how good your offer is or how strong your pitch may be.
Even so, Freshworks reports that 91 percent of sales emails are left unopened. So, how can you change this? What can you do to make your sales prospecting emails more effective?
Let’s take a look at five things to keep in mind when emailing prospects. We will explore the different elements of a prospecting email, tips on how to increase open rates, and how to make your message more compelling.
What Is a Prospecting Email?
When a salesperson wants to attract a new customer, they send a sales email or reach out through LinkedIn. The goal of this email is to introduce the recipient to your product or service in hopes that they will show interest and want to learn more.
Ultimately, you are trying to do one thing: establish a back-and-forth with the prospect. This could mean:
- Arranging a phone call to discuss your product in more detail.
- Asking them to come to a meeting or presentation.
- Inviting them to join a webinar.
- Directing them to an important blog post or case study on your website.
- Offering an in-office visit or demo.
Your prospecting email should be clear, concise, and to the point. It should also include a solid call to action that encourages the recipient to take action. Often, sales representatives use optimized templates to save time and ensure that their message hits all the key points.
How To Write a Prospecting Email?
It can be daunting to sit down and craft the perfect prospecting message from scratch. So, where do you start? How can you make sure your email stands out in a crowded inbox?
1. Research Your Prospect
The very first step in any sales process is understanding your target audience. In the case of prospecting, it means taking the time to learn about the specific person or company you are emailing.
Before you start typing out a message, ask yourself:
- What are their main points?
- What are their goals?
- How can your product or service be useful to them?
- Have other companies with similar solutions contacted them?
- Do I have any personal connections that I can use to help introduce myself?
You can find this information by reading their website, social media profiles, and any articles or press they have been featured in.
2. Have a Captivating Subject Line
Believe it or not, 69 percent of email recipients mark messages as spam based on the subject line alone. In other words, it is crucial to spend time crafting a subject line that is both interesting and relevant to the recipient.
Your subject line should:
- Be short (no more than six words). No one is going to click on a subject line that is too long or confusing.
- Include keywords. This helps your email stand out in a crowded inbox and also lets the recipient know what the message is about at a glance.
- Be personal. Addressing the recipient by name is always a good idea. If you have any mutual connections, mention them in the subject line as well.
- Ask a question. “Can we help you with XYZ?” or “Are you interested in XYZ?” are great examples.
- Make a statement. Be bold and to the point. For example, “You are invited: Join our upcoming webinar.”
The goal is to make your prospecting email stand out from the rest so that it is more likely to be opened and read. Check out our complete guide to cold email subject lines for more tips, advice, and examples.
3. Keep Your Email Short
In a study by Boomerang, researchers collected data from forty million emails. They found that emails that have between 50 to 125 words had the best response rates compared to longer or shorter messages – around 50 percent.
Why is this the case? We are all busy people with short attention spans. No one wants to read a long, rambling email from a stranger. Especially if you are emailing busy entrepreneurs and professionals, they likely don’t have time to read a novel.
Quickly get to the point and explain how you can help the recipient solve their problem. If you must include additional information, consider adding it as an attachment.
4. Include Social Proof
When emailing a prospect, include social proof in the form of customer testimonials, case studies, or even just positive reviews. You can also mention any well-known brands you have worked with in the past. Try not to be overly salesy or self-promotional – focus on how you have helped other customers solve their problems.
However, emails can still be effective without social proof. Mixmax reached out to several LinkedIn marketers to hear about their experiences and insights with prospecting. Sarah Brazier, an Account Executive at Gong, reached a 73 percent open rate without ever mentioning her company’s product.
Instead, Sarah took a conversational approach that compelled the reader to think critically about one of their main points: “So, how do you plan to ensure your biggest initiatives are achieved this year? If the question is answered with a new [COMMON, BUT INEFFECTIVE SOLUTION] – there might be a better way.”
You can go either way with social proof – include it or don’t. Just make sure you are compensating for the lack of social proof in your email with a strong, interesting message.
5. Send Your Email At The Right Time
Different sources will recommend different times to send your email, but the truth is, there is no perfect time. The best thing you can do is experiment to understand what works for you.
However, there are some general guidelines you can follow:
- If you are emailing someone in a different time zone, take that into account. You do not want to email them at 3 AM.
- Generally speaking, weekday mornings are best for getting attention. People are fresh and have not been bombarded with emails yet.
- That having been said, avoid Monday mornings. Everyone’s inbox is overflowing after the weekend.
- Late-night emails can actually be effective because the recipient will see it first thing in the morning. Just make sure you don’t send it too late – again, you do not want to email someone at 3 AM.
- Fridays are usually a bad day to email people because they are already thinking about the weekend and may not pay much attention to your message.
Test different days and times and see what works best for your audience. And once you find a time that works, stick to it as much as possible. Consistency is key.
Key Benefits of Prospecting Email
Prospecting emails are a source of mutual connection and benefits. Let us take a look at some of the key benefits to be gained from sending prospecting emails:
- Predictable Revenue Growth. Unlike inbound marketing and social media outreach, email prospecting is easy to scale. As your business grows, you can simply add more email addresses to your list while increasing the frequency of your emails.
- More Targeted Strategy. Emails are more direct than other outreach methods and allow you to target specific individuals with a tailored message. You can segment your list by industry, company size, job title, or any other criteria to make sure you are sending the right message to the right people.
- Easily Measured and Optimized. Email prospecting is easy to measure and optimize. You can track your open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates to see what is working and what is not.
- Less Interruption and Frustration. We have all been on the receiving end of a sales call or DM – and most of the time, it is really inconvenient and frustrating. With email prospecting, you are not interrupting someone’s day or trying to catch them at a good time.
- Personalization at Scale. Email prospecting allows you to personalize your messages at scale. The right tools will make it easy to insert personalized information like the recipient’s first name, company, or industry into your emails. This personalization can go a long way in making your prospects feel valued.
- High ROI. Amazingly, email marketing has an average $36 return on investment for every $1 spent. That’s a 3,600% ROI, which is much higher than most other marketing channels.
As you can see, there are many good reasons to start using email prospecting in your business. It is direct, easy to scale, highly personalized, and it has a great ROI.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is email automation?
Email automation is the process of sending emails to prospects without manual intervention. Once you have set up your email sequence, your prospecting emails will go out automatically at predetermined intervals until the prospect responds or unsubscribes.
What is the ROI of email marketing?
Email marketing has an average ROI of 3,600%. This means that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect to see a return of $36 (although results will vary depending on your industry, list, and email sequence).
What is email prospecting?
Email prospecting is the process of sending emails to potential customers with the goal of developing a new business relationship. Prospecting emails are usually part of a larger sales or marketing strategy and are designed to introduce the recipient to your product or service.
What is the difference between email and a channel?
Email is a channel, but it is not the only one. There are many other channels you can use for marketing and sales, including social media, paid advertising, direct mail, and events. Email is just one of the many tools in your toolkit.
What is the average response rate for email prospects?
The average response rate for cold outreach emails is often estimated to be around 10 percent. However, response rates will vary depending on your industry, list, and email sequence.
Why are sales email templates important?
Sales email templates can save you a lot of time by giving you a starting point for your prospecting emails. They can also help you stay on track and avoid veering off into unrelated topics. Plus, well-designed sales email templates will give your messages a professional look and feel, which can help build trust with your prospects.
What are follow-up emails?
Follow-up emails are emails you send to prospects after they have received your initial email. They can be used to answer questions, provide additional information, or check in to see if the prospect is still interested.
What are sales prospecting tools?
Sales prospecting tools are software programs that help you automate and manage your email prospecting campaigns. They can include features like contact lists, email sequences, templates, tracking, and reporting.
Email prospecting can be a great way to connect with potential customers and grow your business. Not only are emails a more personalized and direct method of outreach, but they are also easy to measure and optimize. Plus, email prospecting has a high ROI, making it a great use of your marketing budget.
When you are ready to start your email prospecting campaign, keep in mind that plenty of powerful tools exist to help you automate and manage your campaign. And, as with any marketing effort, be sure to test different approaches to find what works best for your business.