How to write a killer introductory email pitch

If you’re like me, you probably receive upwards of 10 introductory emails or LinkedIn messages every day pitching all manner of product and services. Do you read any of them? Probably not. I know for a fact that most of mine don’t even get opened because of the email subject line and those emails that do, rarely get read below the first line. That’s not because I don’t need their products or services. In fact, in the time it takes me to hit the delete key I probably don’t even know what half of them are selling. The point is – they are selling and I don’t want to take time out of my busy day to be sold to.

And that’s a problem. What if you or I want to use an email pitch to reach out to relative strangers and stoke up new business? Is email dead? Should we give up before we even start? Not so fast. You see, out of the hundreds of unsolicited emails which arrive in my inbox every month – very rarely, one does catch my attention and I do go onto (i) read it and (ii) take action. So what makes this rare email pitch different from all the others? Here’s a few observations, which if followed – are much more likely to lead to your email being picked up and read.

Get Personal

Blanket, impersonal, generic emails are of no interest to anyone. If you are sending volumes of unsolicited emails (i.e. spam) – don’t. Respect your receiver. Learn a bit about the person, their role and their business through their LinkedIn profile. Be sure to demonstrate that you have spent time doing this in your email. It shows a more considered approach.

It’s not me, it’s you

Here’s a golden rule about introductory emails. It’s not about your products or services, it’s about your reader’s problems and their pain points. If you’ve not spent time understanding the trigger point which makes people think “I need to buy one of those…” about your product or service – do it now. Make everything in your email about their pain and how you can take that away.

Cut the Crap

Have you ever read an email and thought “I don’t even understand what this is about”?  I had a sales email the other day exactly like that. In fact, it was one of the few emails that made me read past the first line, purely because it made no sense whatsoever and I was intrigued to understand how bad the email could get (it actually motivated me to write this). The bottom line is – cut the jargon, the over familiarity and the clichés and tell it how it is. Your reader will appreciate the normality and honestly of what they’re reading.

Don’t do the Loop

There’s a common thought process in sales, that the more you contact someone, the more likely they are to buy from you and to an extent that’s true. However, some very lazy people are taking this to the extreme and simply setting up repetitive, automated email loops containing four or five messages, hoping that at some point the recipient will finally break down and buy (or cry). DON’T DO THIS. WANT TO KNOW WHY? Your domain will be blacklisted. Take a look in your spam filter and you’ll probably see hundreds of emails from people putting this lazy practice into practice. Why are they in your spam folder? Because their domain has been listed as junk. Do you want to risk all of the emails addresses in your entire organisation being listed as junk? If you are sending out junk you deserve to be classed as junk so don’t take the risk.

Size Matters

When we work with clients to create an email pitch, they often want to squeeze every last possible bit of information they can think of into a message. Who they are, how long they’ve been going, why they’re great, what they offer, what this means, who else they’ve done it for, what else they might be able to do and an infinite number of ways they can be contacted. Your recipient has no time or interest in this. All they want to know is what’s in it for them… and rightly so.  Keep your email pitch short, simple and to the point. Here’s quite an extreme example of a good message that does the trick:

Dear <name> . I notice that you <demonstrate you know who they are> . We help companies do <value add> .  We could <explain exactly how you could improve their circumstance> . Would you be Ok with me dropping you a phone call at some point this week to tell you a bit more / demonstrate our product?

I look forward to hearing back from you shortly,

Provide an Incentive

If you want to add extra spice to your email, try adding a time-limited incentive. Maybe the reader can get a free upgrade to the next service package. Maybe they’ll get entered into a prize draw or receive a tempting discount. The choice of incentive is up to you. Just make sure it’s something that will motivate the recipient to take action. The offer of a free “consultation” is about as popular as a leaky pen.

Be Precise

As I’ve shown in the short email example above, be precise. There’s a temptation with emails to write an elaborate play on words, a war and peace email showcasing your literary prowess. But every unnecessary word your type is taking the reader’s focus away from your message. Be precise in what you’re offering and be precise in what you want. Leave the storytelling for your blogs and other extra-curricular activities.

That’s all from me for now. If you like this article, please share it and if you need help with any area of your marketing, drop us a call today on 0207 458 4788.

10 Ways to Increase Sales in 2017

Yep, we know – there are probably a million articles on the net this week about how to increase sales in 2017. But this post is different – why? Because it’s actually useful. It’s full of real, no nonsense, genuinely implementable things you can do to increase your chances of getting new business in 2017. Are you ready? Let’s begin.

Revise your message

Take a look at the wording on your website and in your marketing literature. Is it still relevant in 2017? Are your clients still facing the same challenges? Do they still want the same things? What are your competitors saying? Is it time to modernise your message to remain relevant in the year ahead?

Go through your existing clients and upsell or cross sell

It’s a simple as it sounds. Pull up a list of your existing clients and ask what more can you do for them. Can you sell them a higher volume of the same product or do you have an alternative product that they would also benefit from? It might pay to look at their website and their social media and find out what’s going on in the company to give you a better idea of how you can add value. Unless you have hundreds or even thousands of clients, it pays to go through each one and create a unique offer just for them. It may be more time consuming but you’ll see greater returns. Send each client an email with their bespoke offer and follow up 24 hours later with a phone call.

‘Happy Meal’ your offering

This is an extension on the idea about and is a great way to increase sales and cross sell your products. Just like we do here at businesshands, why not try bundling a selection of your products and services together at a discount price and offering this as a package to your customers. This works well if you have a large client / prospect database. Try to create 2 or three different bundles to meet different needs and budgets.

Lure your old clients back

If you lost some clients in the past year or two, now is the time to put in a quick call or email. Acknowledge them as a previous client, ask them about their plans for 2017, find out about their current arrangements and if they’re happy with them. Next be brutally honest and ask them if you could do anything to bring persuade them to give you another shot, what would it be?

Turn your invoice into a sales tool

This is a real winner. Add a special / time limited offer to the bottom of every invoice you send in 2017 and we guarantee it will deliver results.

Ask for referrals and recommendations

Don’t be afraid to ask clients with whom you have a good relationship to recommend you to their connections, whether that be clients or suppliers. You may want to put a referral scheme in place. There’s been a lot of negativity around these schemes but done well, they can become a real business development asset for your business. Here at businesshands, we offer a 10% referral payment to our existing clients (in the form of a discount on their bill) if we get a new client based on their recommendation. We only pay out when the new client pays their first invoice. Our referral scheme is mentioned at the bottom of every invoice as are the T&C’s around it so our clients get a reminder of the scheme every month.

Invest in a quality social media strategy

Here’s two questions for you. (i) Is your business on social media? (ii) Has social media delivered any value to the business? Your answers are probably (i) Yes and (ii) No. We talk with countless start-ups and SMEs every month who are not getting anything out of their social media. Done well though, social media could be one of your greatest business development assets. If it’s not working in your business, get an agency that specialises in it to help you out… preferably us of course!

Do 5 prospecting calls every day

Nobody likes to make sales calls but if you really want to see your business pipeline skyrocket it’s a necessary evil. Try doing your sales calls first thing in the morning before opening your emails or getting distracted with other convenient tasks. 5 calls can take anything from 10 to 30 minutes of your time after which you’ll be free to carry on with your normal daily activities. Best of all, if your morning calls go well, you’ll be set up for a great day ahead. If you’re selling B2B (business to business) – you can create your prospects list from research on LinkedIn and prepare the day before.

Combine blogs and LinkedIn

If you’re a B2B business and you’re not writing regular high quality blogs/articles – you should be. Blogging is not only great for your SEO but it helps to define who you are as a brand, it helps to show your expertise and it helps to demonstrate you can solve your (potential) customer’s problems. A great way to maximise the visibility of your blog and get it in front of people who will find value in it, is to set up a LinkedIn InMail campaign. This will allow you to introduce your company to a very specific list of people which can be filtered by Job title, seniority, company size, location and many other factors. If you’d like to know more about this option – get in touch.

Exhibit

Exhibiting at a trade show is a great way to gather new leads and it doesn’t have to be expensive.  We have just booked a stand at a local trade show in February for just £130 + VAT. Don’t be afraid to haggle on price and plan the event carefully. You’ll need to think about what you do in the build up to the event, what you’re going to do and say at the event and then how you’re going to follow up afterwards.

So there you go, 10 ways for your business to increase sales in 2017. And because we’re full of new year’s cheer, here’s another one on us…

Network within your industry

Networking events might seem superficial but they’re not just about finding new clients. These events provide a great platform to make more contacts within your industry and make more people aware of your business. By growing awareness of your brand, you’re more likely to receive referrals and who knows, you may even be able to build a partnership with another non-competing business in your sector to help sales really take off.

If you would like any more information or advice on the above tips, why not give one of our team a call today on 0207 458 4788. Thanks… and don’t forget – if you’ve found this article useful, please share it with your network.