(Isn’t this pic great? This guy is hilarious. Thanks Kevin Phillips, via pixabay.com!)
I’ve been in various sales roles for over a decade, from suggesting wine with your entrée to recommending media packages. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about sales in that time it is this: always communicate for the benefit of others, not for yourself.
If you’re in marketing, you know better than anyone that you have to reach people the way they prefer to be reached. Phone calls are convenient for sellers, and some prospects still prefer a phone call to hear about an opportunity. Others see cold calls as unwelcome interruptions. Sometimes the only way to capture their imagination is through a well-crafted email they can read at their leisure.
That means you need to put the work into becoming a skilled sales writer, starting with the …
Ask yourself, “If I were the recipient, what would I not want to see?”
- ALL CAPS.
- Lots of exclamation points!!!!!
- The word “Sale” or “Deal” or “Offer”, etc.
You get the idea. This is not a marketing email (not that the above are good examples of one anyway). This is a personalized message. The subject line should make it clear this email is specifically for your recipient and help them understand what they are about to read.
Ask, “If I were the recipient, what would be helpful for me to see?” Here are a few ideas:
- Exactly what you’re emailing about. (“The ___ package we discussed yesterday”)
- A reminder of how you met. (“Nice meeting you at ____”).
- A specific question. (“How did you feel about ___?”)
I don’t have to tell you how to be persuasive (unless you’re brand new to sales … maybe that’s a good subject for a future blog post?), but be as brief with your pitch as possible. Write out what’s on your mind, and then edit it down to something your prospect can read and comprehend in under a minute.
Next, format that sucker:
Avoid Long Blocks of Text
The more solid text your prospect sees when he or she opens your email, the more daunting the idea of reading it will feel. If you must present a lot of information, break it up into short paragraphs of no more than three sentences each.
Why not? We put headers into business letters all the time to help readers digest the information in chunks. There is no reason why you can’t do it in an email for the same reason. Your prospect won’t know to thank you until they see the alternative: a pile of unlabeled paragraphs.
Bold the Key Takeaways
Assume your prospect is going to skim your email. It’s not that he or she doesn’t value what you have to say, it’s just that everyone’s busy. Crazy busy. Hundreds of emails to tear through. Pare what you have to say down to a few brief statements (as I have done here).
Don’t overwhelm your recipient with too many attachments. Limit them to the minimum of necessary information. Then organize it for your prospect. Books have a table of contents so readers know where to find what they need. Likewise, take out the guesswork by adding an attachment list to the body.
“Attached, you will find:
- Item 1
- Item 2
- Item 3”
Need Help with This?
I’m always looking for marketing partners who need a content writer. Maybe we can help each other? If you use email to sell marketing packages to prospective clients and you want someone to critique your sales writing, send me a sample at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to let you know what I think.
Then maybe you let those prospects know you have all their content needs covered because you’re working with Matthew C. Bloom Copywriting Services?
Y’know. Just a suggestion.