Prospecting is generally one of the activities salespeople dislike the most (along with reports requested from management). They find all kinds of ways to avoid making a “live” contact. And technology (email for example) gives a way out. We can just whip out messages, hit Send and cross prospecting off our ‘To Do’ list.

Email prospecting is definitely on the rise. And it has a bad rap because we are inundated with so many spam emails to collect lottery winnings from India, send money to save the orphans, save money on health insurance, etc.

So the question is: does email prospecting work? It must get some results since there are thousands of companies and people using this approach to gain your attention and asking you to call them or schedule an appointment. And some are more effective than others.

Here are a few tips if you want to use email as part of your prospecting approach and make it stand out from the junk.

Kendra Lee of the KLA Group offers some great tips on writing a compelling subject line. For example, if you’re attempting to secure an appointment or invite a prospect to a web event, try:

  • Shall we meet Tuesday?
  • Can you talk Wednesday at 2pm?
  • Can you attend Friday at 12?

What makes this work when the contact doesn’t know you? It feels personal to him.

Here are a few other tips if you use email prospecting:

  1. Use email as part of a larger nurture/touchpoint strategy, not THE strategy.
  2. Make the message focused on THEM, not you and why you can’t call, haven’t been touch, etc.
  3. Ensure the message is value focused, not feature focused.
  4. Don’t expect your prospect to take action or do your work – give them good information and how you will follow-up with them.
  5. Personalize the message.

Have you used email prospecting successfully? What tips do you have to share with the rest of us?  Let us know in the Comments section.


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