How to Craft the Perfect Prospecting Sales Email

How to Craft the Perfect Prospecting Sales EmailWriting a great cold call email for sales prospecting is a hard craft to master. And like any craft, if you look at the results you're getting, think about how to improve and then hone your skills, you'll get better. Prospecting outreach that fills your pipeline doesn't happen by accident, but with a few evaluation tips you can make it happen more consistently. Most sales executives get three key things wrong when prospecting for new business.

Leading like you know the person you are contacting

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying cold emails need to be “cold” and informal, but using phrases like “I hope you are well” or “how are you doing?” are not great ways to make a first impressions and you’ll likely find your way to their junk contacts pretty quick. I realize some people believe that this is an appropriate intro line, but it’s an unnecessary risk you take. I can assure you this one line will not win you a deal, but could potentially cost you one. The only exception to using this intro is if you are not a sales person or if you’ve had productive or friendly conversations in the past, have a built mutual rapport, and you have a genuine interest in their wellness.

Failure to learn about who you are cold emailing

Take two minutes and do some quick research so you can personalize the first email to something business related to the contact like something on their site, a common connection, or an article the contact posted on LinkedIn. While crafting a personalized email, keep in mind, A CMO will likely have different problems, goals, and concerns than a Marketing Manager or a Content Strategist.

Writing more than a few sentences

Your goal in a sales prospecting email is to do three things: entice, disarm and get a response- That’s it. Shoving all your great features and benefits in a long drawn out email unless requested is not going to get you more meetings. Emails that look like you are delivering marketing content should be left to marketers. [Click to Tweet] Marketers are looking to drive in leads or move leads in a pathway to become clients. A sales professional should be concentrating on getting a call or meeting scheduled to address a potential problem you solve. For cold emails – live by the rule “less is more.”

As you craft your email, you should always remember that time is precious and a long email is likely to be dismissed by your prospect because they don’t want to spend their precious time reading it. More importantly, a long email can be a direct indicator of the amount of time you could potentially drain out of their life if they allow you to start a communication line with them.

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So now you know the pitfalls, how do you get it right?

What to include in your prospecting email

A first cold call email should include:

  • a very brief statement of your company or problem you solve
  • your intention for a next step whatever it may be

Something along these lines:

Hi Bob,

  I was just skimming your earnings call transcript last night and noticed your company has some digital advertising priorities for Q2 around new CPG products that are rolling out. ConsumptionDriver has patented new technology around sets of consumer data points that you may find valuable for product roll outs. I thought it might make sense to take a quick look at the technology to see if or how you can use it. Do you have 5 mins this week to discuss? 


Personalization of your sales outreach

A little personalization can be a determining factor in whether you get that meeting you are looking for or not. Keep in mind, a cold email is not the best place to bring up a ski trip you saw the fam’ went on via your Facebook stalking. A cold email is however a great place to reference the prospects previous company if they use your service or reference a common connection, or other relevant companies that value your services.

If you can use a common industry problem your company solves, quickly but somewhat vaguely reference that problem. You will drastically increase your response rate by personalizing a cold call to common interests, connections, companies, or problems.

For Example:

Hi Jimmy,

I saw you were at Big Top Communications prior to Fast Times Media. They recently started using our online tool to save time specific to content marketing. Since that’s your area of expertise, I thought it might be worth your time to see if it could put a few hours back in your schedule each week as well. Do you have a 5-10 minute window today or tomorrow to chat?




Adapt the sales message to the individual prospect

Taking the extra time to adapt each prospecting email to the individual will let them know that you are paying attention to them and that you have taken and few minutes to identify some sort of common interest or problem you could potentially solve.

Consistency is the key. The sales professionals that have a consistent prospecting process will schedule more meetings and more likely close more deals than others. I’ve had some instances where I’ve had as many as 20 touch points via emails, voicemails, and linkedin before I got my first response from inside a company I wanted to work with. I cannot look past the fact that my prospects could habitually fumble through 100’s of emails a day on their mobile device and I might not be on the “priority of responses to make” list. They could potentially be traveling or they might have forwarded it to right person but are not going to hunt you down to tell you.

Stay consistent and make sure each email is shorter and shorter. If you want real results, pick up the phone and leave a voicemail, then connect on Linkedin. Once you have every angle covered you are sure to at least get that response- which is what you should be shooting for.

Written by: Jeff Haley

Jeff is senior manager for media, marketing technology and sponsorship solutions at Winmo and The LIst Online.

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