Most of us hate cold calling, and this job has became more difficult with the advent of voicemail. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to speak to anyone directly. Instead, I recommend sending carefully targeted and well-constructed e-mails.
It is important to research your prospects carefully, identifying the right person in the company that theoretically should be interested in your products and services. If you do not have the skill or time to find these e-mail addresses, a reputable telemarketing company can do this task for you, without their attempting to do any selling on your behalf at this stage.
Then, the skill is in composing a very short initial e-mail. Most people think that the more features that are crowded into this first-e-mail, the better; in fact, the exact opposite is true. I always recommend a four-line e-mail, which is designed specifically to raise some interest for an initial fifteen-minute meeting.
The first line is the most important and should be specifically tailored for each individual client. It should suggest the specific problem that you can solve, such as improving their revenues or reducing costs.
The next line should be a simple premise of what you do; how you have acknowledged expertise in helping customers solve that problem. People are generally sceptical about sales pitches, so your third line should feature some proof, such as a similar customer you have worked with, who could potentially provide a reference.
The final line should suggest a short meeting at a specific time and date. Ideally, they will be able to agree immediately; if they are interested but cannot make that specific date, they might suggest another.
This type of “Magic E-mail” (as I call it) is inexpensive and unobtrusive. If they are not interested at that particular time, they will delete the e-mail and swiftly forget you. People who have used this approach tell me the response rate is much higher than for more traditional methods.
It has the added advantage of significantly reducing your unanswered voicemail messages and the curt, dismissive customer replies that are often endemic to cold calling.
Copyright ©Mike Southon 2012. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission in writing. Mike Southon is the co-author of The Beermat Entrepreneur and a business speaker.
Testing, testing, testing. It’s a word that every skilled email marketer knows well. The data available to email marketers means that, if used properly, campaigns can be honed and updated in real-time in order to deliver the best results.
So what are the components that can and should be tested in an email marketing campaign?
Here are the key ones to consider:
Every company’s audience or recipients will have different preferences or behaviours, therefore testing and segmentation really is the only way to find out what will work best for your business.
Social media is the latest buzzword in the marketing industry. But social media does not work well in isolation. By integrating your social media activity with your email marketing, you can improve the effectiveness and results from both disciplines, bringing outstanding bottom-line results.
Unfortunately many marketers just aren’t taking this on board. In fact, our recent Hitting the Mark study found that only 17 per cent of email marketers from the UK’s top retailers included social media sharing links in their emails.
Here are my seven top tips to better integrate email and social media marketing:
1. Include ‘share on social network’ links in your email messages – chances are your email recipients will have many like-minded friends on social networks that could also be potential customers. Encourage them to share your email content with their friends by including ‘sharing’ links in your email newsletters.
2. Encourage social media ‘followers’ and ‘fans’ to sign-up to your email newsletters – the reverse is also true: you probably have lots of followers on Twitter or fans on Facebook that would be interested in receiving your email newsletters. Have you asked them? If not, why not!
3. Use blog posts as content for email newsletters – by using your blog posts in your email newsletters, you not only have a great source of wonderful content, you also raise the profile of your blog and encourage your recipients to check it out!
4. Add social network ‘subscribe’ buttons to your email messages – if recipients like the content in your newsletter, then they are likely to be potentially interested in following you on social networks too, so make it easy for them.
5. Ask for social media details during sign-up – you ask for a range of contact information when recipients sign-up to receive information from you. So why not ask for their social network details as well? And if they give them to you, make sure you follow them and add them to your CRM database.
6. Use metrics from email campaigns to identify most popular social networks – your email platform should be able to give you a range of metrics, allowing you to see which of your recipients added your content to which social networks. This will give you very valuable information relating to the social networks that are the most popular, helping you to focus future activity.
7. Ask for feedback – stuck for content for your next newsletter or just keen to get some reaction to your latest email? Why not ask your community on social media? Get them more involved and make them feel part of the process.
Have you tried any of these? Are there other tactics you find work well? Let us know in the comments.
This article originally appeared at the dotDigital Blog
Emails are the lifeblood of your communications.
That is all your email has to do.
It doesn’t have to close the deal. It doesn’t have to take the payment. Leave that for your website to do.
Then your reader has the option whether to click on the link and take it further or just consume the information you have provided.
To test the sort of content that is right for you, call a couple of prospects or clients and give them the information you want to send in an email. If you find your hands going clammy at the thought, then perhaps your message is not right at this time.
People will buy when they are ready to do so. There is nothing you can do to get them to buy quicker or differently to the way they will do so. It is your job to understand how your prospects buy and map your communications accordingly. A couple of things will happen – less of your emails will be found in the spam box and the number of sales will increase.