If you are shooting off generic emails to prospects, your emails will be ignored and trashed. At the same time, customisation does not mean simply addressing the recipient by name. Effective prospect emails are deeply customised at various levels of the prospect organisation.
What will help you to achieve the level of customisation that will evoke a positive response?
The prep begins much before you start writing that email. Here, we share the five crucial steps that you will need to do before you reach out to prospect organisations.
1. RESEARCH THE ORGANISATION
Of course, everyone does a preliminary research about the prospect. However, few do it to the level of detailing that is required to develop that incisive email.
Know everything about the organisation – product/service; revenues; goals; key executives; partners; competition, mergers and acquisitions and latest announcements. In addition to relying on the organisation website, look at industry articles, annual reports, and analyst briefings to get deeper insights. Make sure you assign sources to quotes, analysis, and data.
Develop a one-pager or 2 to 3 slides that will showcase the key details about the prospect in a sharp and brief format. This will be useful for future internal reference.
2. DRAW OUT KEY INSIGHTS
From the information that you have collected, draw out key insights:
– What are the key challenges for your prospect organisation?
– How will the market evolve for them?
– How will competition change?
– How is competition responding to the changing landscape?
– What are the prospect’s customers saying on social media?
– Is there a government announcement or policy that will impact the prospect’s business?
– What needs to improve or change on their website?
– Dig out research reports for key revelations that will prove invaluable to your communication later.
3. MAP THE SALES/SOLUTION OPPORTUNITY
Create a table with two columns. On the left will be your prospect’s goals and challenges. On the right, map your solutions to the goals and challenges. Be very specific in the mapping endeavour. Ask if your solution will resonate with the client. The gems for your email will be discovered in this exercise. We will do ABC to help you achieve XYZ, which I believe is your goal for this year. It will also help you later during presentation stage to your prospect. The table can be integrated and adapted into a slide to show how your capabilities will be aligned with client requirements.
4. IDENTIFY THE TOP EXECUTIVES WHO BE WILL BE TAKING THE DECISION ON YOUR PROPOSED SOLUTION
Don’t baulk at the thought of writing to the top executive – the CEO, Executive Director or the SVP. Don’t worry if your job title does not match with that of the CEO to whom you are writing. What matters is the depth of knowledge you are demonstrating and the sincerity of your purpose. Focus on crafting a creative, effective and highly targetted email. The person at the top (the decision maker or the senior influencer) not only has the maturity to recognize and respect a creative and customised outreach, but also the authority to make a decision about your email and solution. This will prove to be highly advantageous, especially in shortening your sales cycle.
If you feel that your CEO should be sending out the email, you can take that call. Remember, your CEO is equally busy. So, you will have to provide the final email template along with the prospect email address to help the CEO to simply hit the “Send” button.
5. FERRET OUT DETAILS ABOUT THE TOP EXECUTIVE WHO WILL READ YOUR EMAIL
This is the most important thing you will be doing to help develop a highly effective email.
The Executive bio on the company website is your weakest link. Look for quotes in industry articles; views shared through media interviews and speeches; awards and recognition conferred; books written; insights revealed through executive blogs and articles; interesting snippets and quotes.
Listen. Read. Absorb. Something in there will provide you with a brilliant opening line for your email.
READY TO WRAP IT UP AND WRITE THAT EMAIL?
It usually takes two to three working days to do a thorough prospect analysis and to organize it into a ready-reckoner. All the research you have done will now pay off. Armed with information and insights, you will be able to write an email that the prospect will find it very hard to ignore.
WANT TO SEE SOME GREAT OPENING LINES FOR PROSPECT EMAILS?
Come back here in a few days’ time and we will share some exciting opening lines of prospect emails that have worked for our clients.