Why Email Still Matters for Prospecting – And How Inside Sales Can Make the Most of It
Chances are, your email inbox is full. And if you’ve dutifully cleaned it out, chances are it will be full again soon. That—in part—is due to email marketing, a means of selling so widespread that people are turning to apps to try and manage the daily deluge.
However, the other reason for your full inbox is simply that email is one of the only channels available that reaches people on a one-to-one level. In fact, email is the most consistently used Internet marketing channel available.
Email reaches people where they are
There are many reasons why email marketing still works despite the sheer volume of it. One reason is probably sitting in your pocket or possibly even in your hand as you read this: your phone. Emails can reach people on their smartphones. That helps to keep it effective as a prospecting tool, because people are much more likely to be away from their desks when they first see your email.
Email integrates with other marketing and sales channels
Another reason for its effectiveness is email’s integration with other marketing channels, such as websites. Technology can even tie together email marketing with social media marketing, meaning you can interact with an email in your inbox and then see a related ad the next time you log into Facebook.
Email works especially well for B2B marketing
Finally, email still works as a sales tool because it is so effective for B2B email marketing. According to eConsultancy, B2B email marketing has the highest open rates, at almost 28%. Another study from Software Advice found that 40% of B2B marketers rated the leads they generated with email marketing as high quality. And Epsilon reported that the average click-through rate (CTR) for B2B marketing emails in the second quarter of 2013 was 1.7%, which—although it looks like a low number—is pretty good as a CTR.
Custom content can help you stand out in the inbox
Despite all of these reasons why email still works—or maybe because of—email requires effort due to the sheer volume of it that people like your prospects receive every hour of every day. The challenge for you as a sales person is getting through all of that inbox clutter so your email marketing stands out and gets noticed, not deleted. And one of the best ways to stand out is to deliver content that’s customized to your audience.
When a prospect receives content that’s relevant to their current concerns—and not just generic messaging that’s sent out to everyone on a list—they are much more interested in engaging with that message because it means something to them.
After that initial engagement, content can also help to move prospects along the sales funnel by delivering the right types of content at the appropriate time. Customized content can also help to drive sales, because it demonstrates an understanding of a prospect’s situation and need for a solution, speeding up the sales process,
Technology helps teams deliver customized content
That does not mean, however, that each sales rep has to sit down and write personalized communications to each prospect. That would take far too much time to write, and the sales reps would have to do all kinds of research to discover a prospect’s interests and stage in the buying cycle too.
These days, technology can do all this heaving lifting instead. With current marketing automation systems, specialized tools enable sales teams to understand what their target audience is interested in and looking at, in real-time. It then enables a salesperson to trigger relevant customized messages based on a prospect’s behavior. Marketing automation with email takes us well beyond the old days of simple personalization that used a first name as the sole means of personalization, by working as a combination of a collaboration tool, a communications tool, and yes, a sales tool.
Naysayers have been declaring the impending demise of email for years now, but one look at your inbox will prove to you otherwise. But that crowded clutter of your inbox should also indicate to you that your use of email as a sales tool needs to be well thought out and executed in order to get noticed and lead to sales!