In today's marketing world, you simply can't turn a prospect into a customer without email. And with each passing day, electronic communication becomes the most common way prospects first respond to a prospector. The telephone will always play a crucial part—you still have to speak live with that prospect at some point to fully qualify them—but a well-crafted email strategy will go a long way toward making that dialogue happen.
These are the three rules to live by when email's in your prospecting mix:
1. The Three W's
WHO I am, WHY I'm calling, WHY "you" should call me back. If you write the first draft of your pitch email and these three items aren't clearly addressed, you need to get out your virtual "red pen," delete something you've already included, and make sure all three W's are in there.
As a rule, don't devote more than one sentence to any of the Three W's. In short, your email needs to pass the "smartphone test." For example, if I'm one of your prospects, there is a 70 percent chance that I will read your email on a mobile device as opposed to my PC. You had better not make me scroll down, because I won't.
3. The Hypocrisy Test
This one is simple. Whenever you finish writing a prospecting email, take a slow read through it and ask yourself, "Would I read this if someone sent it to me?" If the answer is "no," then you need to go back to the drawing board. Most of our best and most effective emails have resulted from multiple revisions before we hit send.
Many of us have a tendency to make our emails too wordy and complicated with product information and outlandish promises of efficiency improvements and mountains of savings. Never forget that you're talking to a human being. The fact that you're using a less intimate medium (email) than a phone call or face-to-face meeting doesn't mean you need to treat them any differently. Always respect your prospect's time and remain aware of their inherent skepticism by following the three rules above. You'll see more of those outbound emails begin to turn into living breathing conversations with living breathing customers.