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Email prospecting: how to increase
the response rate to an email?

Email is a very popular prospecting channel for salespeople. However, the high level of competition on this channel forces you to work in depth on your messages (in other words, each email) to stand out from the crowd.

Indeed, most of the prospecting emails remain unanswered. To be successful, you need to adopt the best practices in commercial emailing. In particular, you will gain by focusing on the triptych personalization – contextualization – automation of each email.

Summary of the article

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Personalize your sales prospecting emails

Email prospecting is a common practice used by sales people to get appointments. Inexpensive, emailing is affordable for most businesses. It is also perceived as less intrusive than telemarketing by decision makers. Indeed, they can consult an email at the time of their choice without necessarily interrupting their current activity.

Nevertheless, the success of email as a marketing channel has led to saturation in customers’ inboxes. In B2B, a decision-maker receives up to 100 prospecting messages daily.

Therefore, if you want your messages to be opened, read and generate engagement, you must optimize every element of your email campaign. Recipients quickly detect messages that are sent in mass and without real added value. These will be deleted or placed in the junk folder.

To achieve your goals, you need to create emails that stand out. And, for that, it is advisable to bet on the personalization of each email.

Segment your contact lists

The e-mail prospecting file you have built up probably includes different types of target customers.

Indeed, they can be differentiated by the position they hold, the type of company or the sector of activity. In addition to socio-demographic data, behavioral data can also show you divergent interests. But above all, not all of them have the same maturity with respect to your offer. For some, the intention to buy is strong, while for others, it is not yet evident.

In your prospecting campaigns, you will not address the same message to a mature prospect as to a prospect who barely knows you. In the same way, you will create separate messages for recipients with different profiles.

To do this, you need to define segmentation criteria that are relevant to your offer and your objectives. Then, you will create messages tailored to each segment. By segment, we mean a homogeneous group of individuals with similar characteristics.

The segmentation allows to:

  • Select the most mature prospects for commercial contact
  • Personalize your messages according to the segmentation criteria chosen

Sending automated emails to segmented lists is useful when prospects are not yet mature enough, in a lead nurturing logic. However, further along the purchase path, in the context of a commercial contact, personalization must be refined.

Conduct preliminary research on your target prospect

Segmentation allows you to group together prospects with common characteristics. It is therefore a good marketing starting point for building a sales pitch that addresses shared issues.

Nevertheless, it is not enough to guarantee high performance for your commercial emails. Indeed, the competition in the inbox is so severe that only the most engaging messages will deliver results.

To be successful, you need to create emails that are perfectly aligned with the issues of your recipients. This is why it is essential to do some preliminary research before sending a prospecting email.

First, you can display the prospect’s record in your CRM tool to view their profile information and history. Then, you’ll also find relevant information on LinkedIn in several places:

  • Its recent activity
  • Recent news or events of his company

By doing this research, you’ll have a better chance of finding an engaging hook for your message. Indeed, you can bounce off one of his latest posts or a recent company success or important industry information.

For example, if you are an international management consultant and discover on LinkedIn that your prospect’s company will soon be opening new offices in England, you have an ideal angle of attack.

Adapt your message to the position of the contact in the buying process

Prospecting marketing emails work well when they provide value to the prospect. That’s why personalization is imperative. But personalizing a message does not only mean integrating the « first name » field in an emailing template. This is not nearly enough.

More than personalization, we should even talk about contextualization. An email is effective when you send the right message to the right person at the right time. The level of performance of an email campaign depends largely on the sender’s ability to understand and use the context.

For this, it is necessary to :

  • Know your target (profile and history)
  • Conduct preliminary research to find a relevant hook
  • Know your position in the buying process

Indeed, you must adapt your messages by bringing value to each stage of the sales cycle. Emailing is built in sequences. Most contacts will not react to the first message but only after several contacts. With each new message, you need to think about providing value and not creating rejection. The first contact email is not for selling. It is used to provide the means to engage the prospect to continue the conversation.

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Prospecting: write a powerful email subject line

You can have a great offer and write the best sales emails in the universe. All this is useless if the recipients do not open your messages.

At the time of the first contact, your recipient does not necessarily know you. In this case, the subject of the email is the only thing that can decide to open your message. The average opening rate in B2B emailing is between 20 and 25%. But this is not inevitable. These scores can be greatly exceeded by adopting a few good practices.

Let’s assume that you have properly segmented your base and done some preliminary research on your recipient. Now you know that in their inbox, your message will be competing with other commercial messages. In fractions of a second, the prospect will decide if your message is going to the trash can or if it deserves his attention. What will make the difference?

The object has only one objective: to make the contact want to see your message. Don’t try to sell or say too much. This would be counterproductive.

To optimize your email objects, you can adopt these 4 tips:

  • Keep it short and to the point (7-8 words maximum)
  • Personalize your object with the contact’s name or company name
  • Adopt a natural and honest tone (don’t overact)
  • Do not include your company name in the subject line

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The body of the email: value and conciseness

How to create a sales email that brings value?

The hook

The prospect has opened your message. Bravo ! But the game is still far from being won. At the first sign of boredom, they may still decide to throw your email in the trash and cut short the business relationship you wanted to initiate with them.

After the subject line, the catchphrase is your second opportunity to make a good first impression. That’s why it’s important to contextualize it based on your preliminary research.

A common mistake is to introduce yourself in the introduction of the message: « Hello, I am Jean-Pierre Durand, sales manager of Dupont Mobilier, the leader in office furniture for companies in the Franche-Comté region… » . At this stage, your contact is not yet interested in who you are.

If you start out this way, you have every chance of being left out in the cold. Decision-makers are already receiving dozens of messages that start this way. So you don’t differentiate yourself. Worse, you don’t provide value.

Therefore, it is best to focus on the prospect and his issues. This tells them that they are not just another contact in a mass emailing. You know its context, you understand it. And, so, it might be worth reading you all the way through.

The introduction of your offer

Once you have set the scene with the catchphrase, the prospect understands that you are aware of his problems. He or she identifies you as a valid interlocutor and is ready to continue the conversation.

This is the time to introduce your offer. Here again, subtlety is required. It’s not about presenting all the features or even all the benefits of your offer. It is to say: «  we have put our finger on a problem that is holding you back. Well, we have the solution « .

You can show that you are an expert in your field, for example, by sharing content on the topic.

The call-to-action and the email signature

The purpose of the commercial email is often to obtain an appointment. Either way, you want an answer. The best thing to do is to ask. The structure of the message is as follows:

  • You have a problem
  • We have the solution
  • Shall we talk about it?

This third step is the call-to-action. You want to encourage the prospect to take a step in your direction, to take an action. For example, if the goal is to obtain a sales appointment, your call-to-action could take this form:  » Will you be available on Tuesday at 11am to chat for a few minutes about your new workspace design? « .

Finally, the email signature provides the recipient with the necessary contact information to continue the conversation. But, in addition to this practicality, you can also use it to push content or an event you are organizing.

The form: favour conciseness to prospect

Decision makers have little time to spend on prospecting emails. So this is not the time to get into big developments. If you say too much, you’re cutting yourself off from a future date. And, worse, you are more likely to bore your interlocutor.

Remember that the objective of your message is not to sell but to initiate the conversation that will ultimately lead to a sale. The nuance is important. To arouse curiosity and desire, you should not reveal everything, just the bare essentials.

Build your contact emails in 4 to 5 sentences based on the following model: teaser – introduction of the offer – call-to-action. Between each phase, skip a line to make your message more airy and readable. But also to allow the reader to take a break between each step.

Also, go for a natural presentation in terms of design. Your email should look like a classic, warm message. By opting for a sought-after template and multiplying the images, you are already in overdrive. The risk is that the prospect will see you arrive with your big sales clogs and will not want to go any further.

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How to create an effective sequence of prospecting emails?

Why do you need to schedule follow-up emails?

One of the secrets of success for the most successful salespeople is perseverance. For many reasons, the first email often goes unanswered.

This does not necessarily mean that it was bad or irrelevant. Maybe the recipient put it aside and forgot to come back to it. Maybe it didn’t come at the right time. Or maybe you haven’t focused on the right hooks.

In any case, unless the person you are talking to has expressly refused your proposal, you can try your luck again. You can even go up to 7 or 8 reminders.

How to organize your reminders?

Much like the reminder at the end of concerts, you will benefit from organizing your reminder process. To do this, it is necessary to prepare email sequences and automate them according to specific criteria.

For example, you will not send the same follow-up message to a prospect who opened the message and clicked on a link as to a prospect who did not even open it. With your tracking tools, you can see how the recipient interacted to your first message. This way, you can adapt your first reminder and send it within 24 to 48 hours.

The first email reminder can be used to:

  • Address a second value proposition to the prospect
  • Ask him if he could see your first message

In any case, the creation of emailing sequences implies that you have not unpacked all your sales arguments in the first email. You need to be able to add value to each new message you send.

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4 commercial email templates

2 examples of contact emails

The first message of the sequence, the contact email is particularly sensitive. While it may not generate immediate engagement, it is common for the recipient to read it and form an opinion about you.

This message can therefore strongly determine the opening of the other messages in the sequence and its outcome. You should pay particular attention to your tagline to make the prospect want to continue reading. When it comes to commercial email, you have to write each sentence to make your contact want to read the next one.

In the catchphrase, you can for example rely on the recommendation of a common contact:

Hello Antoine,

Jean-Pierre Durand recommended that I contact you. We work together on the content strategy of Dupont Mobilier.

He told me about your difficulties in generating qualified traffic to your site. This is precisely one of the problems that our offer addresses.

Will you be available next Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. to talk about this for a few minutes?

If you do not have a common contact, you can rely on a company news

Hello Antoine,

I just read the article in the Courrier Franc-Comtois about Antoine & Co’s international expansion project.

I noticed however that your website was exclusively in French. Do you plan to translate it into English? This is precisely one of the problems that our offer addresses.

Will you be available on Wednesday at 3pm to talk about this for a few minutes?

2 examples of reminder emails

For the first email reminder, you can start with a reminder shot. The idea of this first message is simply to repeat the terms of the commercial contact message.

RE : Antoine & Co content strategy

Hello Antoine

I wanted to make sure you received my email from last week. As a reminder, I propose to discuss the declination of your website content into English.

Will you be available tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. to talk about this for a few minutes?

Or can I contact one of your colleagues to discuss this issue?

Thank you.

Have a nice day.

To bring even more value to your contact, you can include in your reminder a link to relevant content related to his problem. For example:

RE : Antoine & Co content strategy

Hello Antoine

I wanted to know if you were able to read my message from last week. As a reminder, I propose to discuss the declination of your website content into English.

I recently published this article on the benefits of having a multilingual website.

Will you be available next Monday at 2pm to discuss this?

Why use Magileads for your email marketing?

Prospecting by email requires perseverance. It is common for a salesperson to only engage a prospect after the 6th or 7th message.

Obviously, making these multiple reminders manually would be extremely tedious and time consuming. That’s why it’s a good idea to look for a solution that allows you to create automated sequences.

With Magileads, you can easily create workflows for prospecting emails to send messages adapted to your interlocutor and his maturity level. For example, you will only need a few clicks to follow up with a prospect based on an action taken following your previous message.

Thanks to its lead scoring functionality, Magileads also allows you to finely evaluate a prospect’s buying intent. This way, you can decide to send a personalized proposal or schedule a sales call if you see that the prospect is mature enough.

When you take over, the tracking data of your emails is automatically integrated into the Magileads CRM. At the time of the call, you know exactly how the prospect interacted with your messages, which ones they opened, if they clicked on any links or performed any other action.

This behavioral data allows the salesperson to adapt his or her pitch and boost performance.

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