As part of your sales cycle, you probably send emails to follow up with prospects. Some companies take short cuts to save time. Short cuts are great, as long as you avoid the ones that make a poor impression.
Here are some common mistakes in sales emails and how to fix them:
1. Using the bcc line to send bulk messages to a group at once.
Email software can tell you when you are bcc’d on a message. If your recipient’s name or email address is nowhere to be found in the “From” fields, you create a very impersonal feeling. They see you are blasting the message out to a lot of people and that they are just one of many.
Sales is about building relationships. Sending a sales or marketing message by using the bcc line degrades that relationship rather than making it stronger.
2. Omitting a personalized greeting.
Unless you know the recipient very well, using just the words “Hi,” “Hello,” or “Hey” without their name can also leave a poor impression. Marketing Sherpa got a 137% increase in opened emails by personalizing their message. MailerMailer’s Email Marketing Metrics Report found that personalized messages resulted in a dramatic uptick in clicks within the links in the message. This indicates that adding the recipient’s name to your message give you a much higher chance of invoking action.
3. Missing a clear call to action.
Without a clear indication of what you want your prospect to do next, you are expecting them to make the leap to contacting you. In his book Don’t Make Me Think, author Steve Krug drives home the point that you should remove all possible obstacles that can stop a prospect from reaching out. Be very clear about setting up your next call, demo, or other action.
4. Not providing incremental value.
When a prospect doesn’t reply to one of your emails, you might have the urge to send a follow up saying “just checking in” or “just making sure you got my last message”. Sometimes, your prospect may have missed your earlier email. More often than not, they got it and weren’t motivated enough to take action.
One way to encourage a response is to include something useful to the recipient in your follow up messaging. Things like white papers, articles, guides, and case studies are ideal material for this. They add value to your emails and allow you to stay in touch without being a nag.
More so, these additional documents promote your thought leadership so that your prospect gains more trust in your expertise. (See our library of content to use in your sales process.)
5. Writing text-heavy emails.
Long emails that are text-heavy take time to read — time that most of your prospects probably do not have. Adding an image or two to the message, even if it is simply your logo or some other design element like a boldface heading, can help break up the visual monotony of a long text message. If you are prospecting, use short bites to communicate your information.
Readers can digest short messages quickly, which means you probably have a higher chance of getting a response quicker. If you send a verbose message, recipients may skip it thinking they’ll get back to it later when they have more time. That time never comes and your long essay will get deleted when your recipient cleans up their inbox a month later.
Avoiding these common mistakes can help ensure that you are not inadvertently creating a poor impression that is affecting your sales close rate.