As salespeople we want to have the maximum impact in the most efficient way possible. Many on us use email for prospecting, following-up and closing deals. But we often feel like we can do better, reach more people—or reach the decision makers in a more streamlined manner.
With that in mind, we at Yesware, wanted to share with you how to use email to make your prospecting process better—and more profitable. Below are the key learnings of our survey of 6,000 salespeople who sent out 19,146 emails. We conducted it over a 15-day period in December of 2011, in 132 countries. Here’s how you can optimize your email prospecting to close more deals faster and make more money:
- Three’s a Deal: When it comes to prospecting, finding the right person to send your email to is key. But finding a couple more people to send your pitch to is ideal. Our study revealed that when you send an email to 3 people, your open rate increases from 22% to approximately 33%. So when you’re getting your decision-maker’s email address, also ask “is there someone else I can send this message to as well?” You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.
- The Sunday Sweet Spot: We live in a 24/7 world where email is constantly being opened, social media is bombarding us with marketing and prospecting, and our phone gets more loving than our family. Business doesn’t stop for the weekends anymore, and what’s most interesting is that Sunday is a very productive day for many prospects. On average, 27% of emails are read that day—more than any other day of the week. So send your most important email on Sunday to increase your chances of it getting the attention it deserves. If you’re emailing during the week, hit send early in the morning. The majority of email is read between 8am and 10am ET, before people get busy and distracted by other tasks.
- The First Hours Are Critical: You want your email opened…STAT! If your email isn’t opened quickly—within the first 4 hours—it’s dramatically less likely that it will be opened at all. But here’s the good news: In most cases you’re not actually dealing with life or death situations, and with email tracking features from Yesware, you know whether your message has been opened or not. Make sure to follow-up with your prospect in a timely fashion to keep the conversation going and keep building the relationship.
- Small Clicks Lead to Big Breakthroughs: Only 12% of emails are forwarded on to decision-makers or higher people within the organization and beyond. Knowing which of your messages resonate with your clients, prospective clients and their partners is essential to your business. Having this kind of insight can mean deal or no deal. Find out which pitches have traction and what you can do to improve the ones that fall flat. Try to also learn where your emails finally landed. Those are the people you want to target directly next time.
- Short & Sweet: Words are enchanting. But don’t get overly creative—or verbose—in your subject line. We found this magical formula: Shorter subject lines = More opens –>More deals. The ideal subject line contains 3 words—ideally your company name, their company name and a connector. Think, Yesware Company Deal. We know that some times you’ll have to break the 3-word rule. That’s OK. What we’ll hold you to is a 12-word maximum. Because there’s no way you’re going to recover from that one.
Finally, promise to add value—for free—and do it. In our social media-connected world, plenty of companies (most likely including your competitor) are publishing free resources as a way to showcase their expertise, how they can help others maximize their potential and how they differ from the crowd. Use your white papers, slideshares and newsletters as a way to keep in touch with prospects, even those who turned you down in the past. A well-placed piece of advice just might peak their interest—in 3 words or less.