Struggling for Sales Email Opens & Click-Throughs? Get Over the Hurdle with These Tips
Who doesn’t want their emails opened? Whether you’re shooting off an email to a friend or reaching out to a prospect, you click send with every hope that your email will get noticed, opened and read. But let’s be honest here: Your friend is much more likely to engage with your email than your prospect. And why not? Your friend knows you and knows what to expect. He could be eagerly anticipating that email from you. Your prospects? Not so much. But still, we really want all of our emails to be worthy of attention, no matter who they are sent to.
Every sales rep wants their email opened, read and action taken—perhaps even more than they want their friends opening those emails, because emails to prospects are tied to compensation. Yet emailing prospects is fraught with rejection, as so many emails go ignored. While you can’t get all of those emails opened, you can still increase your odds.
You’ll likely not have the same success rate emailing prospects as you do your friends, but you can improve the results with your prospects with the four tips below. Start increasing your chances of actually engaging with your prospects.
But first, set your benchmarks
As with all things sales, you first have to know where you’re starting from so you can know if you’re improving. What are your open and click-through rates right now? Determine those benchmarks first. You might want to compare your results to industry-wide numbers to help understand how your emails stack up. MailChimp ran an Email Marketing Benchmarks study this year 2015. Two of the industries we look at closely found the following results:
Business and finance
Software and Web App
What are your typical email open rates? Click rates? And how about click-through rates? Know these and then work to improve them, starting with the open rate since an email can’t get clicks if it doesn’t get the open first!
Tip 1: Send the right message to the right person
Before you spice up your current emails, make sure you’re segmenting and targeting properly. Marketing and sales alignment is crucial here. If prospects download content from a marketing campaign, you better understand the marketing campaign it came from. What asset did they download? What’s the topic of the asset? What are the talking points to follow up on the asset? You don’t want to send an irrelevant email to a prospect who has just engaged with your company by downloading a whitepaper, for example. If the whitepaper addresses one need and your email follow-up addresses another, you’ll train that prospect to ignore any future emails from you.
Tip 2: Make your sales emails mobile friendly
This point is non-negotiable. Every email must be mobile friendly if you want your emails to get noticed and opened. According to Kissmetrics, only 28% of email opens happen over the desktop email clients. And, if that’s the open rate, the CTR is most likely lower. With 72% of your emails showing up on a smart phone first, why wouldn’t you want them optimized for mobile?
Many sales reps are working with on-the-go prospects who need an experience that is tailored to their mobile needs. Therefore, your sales emails need to be user-friendly on all platforms, although the #1 and #2 highest percentage of opens are on the Apple iPhone and via Gmail respectively. You can be mobile ready every time if you develop your email templates to make it easy to open, easy to read and simple to click through on all platforms—mobile, desktop and web.
Tip 3: Find the frequency for follow-up
Many people say there is no such thing as emailing too often. However, every one will agree and say there is such a thing as emailing not often enough! As a sales rep, you need to find the frequency that gets your prospects excited without coming across as a spammer. You also need to pace your emails according to what others in your organization are doing.
You could pace your emails based on marketing’s schedule, assuming marketing has tested to determine a cadence that works. Know which campaigns are going out when, and then maintain the same cadence and reach out to these prospects in a timely and relevant manner in follow up to the campaigns. Have a cadence for follow-up when someone takes an action such as downloading an asset too. Test to find out how soon after you should send that first email, and how many emails (and when) you should continue to send until the prospect is engaged.
We can’t tell you for sure what the frequency and cadence might be. But we can tell you timing is everything: Reach out to them soon after the marketing campaign sends or they’ve downloaded the offer/content with relevant follow-up information. The “soon” part is for you to figure out.
Tip 4: Keep your content short yet useful
Keep your sales email short and focused. Truly, less is more with email copy. People are inundated with emails every hour of every day. Keep yours short and they are more likely to engage with it, because they will see at a glance that doing so won’t take hardly any time.
Being brief doesn’t not mean being boring, however. Make sure your email content offers value. Rather than simply trying to make a sale, try taking a consultative approach by sharing information about your industry, not your product. This way, you can demonstrate your expertise and become a resource for your prospects. When this leads to engagement, then you can focus on discovery of the prospect’s actual needs and wants.
Tip 5: Provide a single call to action
It can be all too easy to include more than one call to action (CTA) in an email when thinking along the lines of, “Well, if they don’t like that offer, I had better include another one in case they like that one better!” Yes, you’d think the more effective sales email is the one with lots of choices—but it’s not. The most effective sales email has one call to action, because it keeps people focused. Some experts even suggest including the CTA in your subject line, and then reinforcing it in the actual email copy. Clarity is key here!
An effective CTA lets recipients know what you expect (and want!) them to do, and it explains the benefits of taking that action. If you let your prospects know what action to take with a clear and direct ask, they’re more likely to do it.
As a sales rep following up with prospects, you can steer the conversation on phone and email in any direction you’d like…but first you have to get the attention of the prospect. Take control of your email sends with these tips to get your prospects opening your emails and interested in learning more.