Dave Kurlan’s 10 Rules for Effective Sales Emails That Connect With New Prospects

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They aren’t personal, they aren’t written well, their messages are identical, you want to delete them and I know  you get these emails too.  I had already decided to save some of these worthless emails for an upcoming article when Keenan posted this rant on LinkedIn.  After you read his rant and related comments, please return to my article for a short tutorial on what’s wrong with these emails and how to make them stickier.

I didn’t include emails that were newsletters, promotions, or advertisements and focused only on the thirteen emails that were meant to appear as if they were sent only to me.  Of course they weren’t sent only to me. Some were undoubtedly created/sent using artificial intelligence and if artificial is another word for fake, then some of those emails were absolutely artificial in their intelligence!  In the image below you can read some of the introductions, subject lines, calls to action, highlights and lowlights of these emails.  Below that you can read their offerings, my 10 Rules for sending sales emails  and an example of what a good email would look like.  If your desktop, laptop or tablet supports zooming, you might want to try that to read the contents of the following table:



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Their Offerings:

  • 4 for Lead generation /appointment setting – a great example of poor targeting
  • 1 for Receiving Fees for Referrals
  • 2 for Magazine Recognition – an example of good targeting with an attempt to appeal to my ego.  Entrepreneur of the Year and 10 Best Performing Sales Management Solution Providers.  Undoubtedly Pay to Play or they would have called.
  • 1 for Software – mediocre targeting
  • 1 for  Outsourced Software Engineers –  mediocre targeting
  • 1  for Commercial Office Leasing – excellent targeting
  • 1 for Investment Opportunity – poor targeting
  • 1 for List of SHRM members – decent targeting
  • 1  for Candidate sourcing automation – mediocre targeting

Rule #1 – Target and Qualify Each Contact!  Do you have any idea how many cold emails I get offering to help me grow sales?  Really?

Rule #2 – Begin Your Email with Hi or it They Won’t Read it

Rule #3 – Avoid Inauthentic Comments.  If I don’t you me then why would I care if you hope I am well?

Rule #4 – Don’t Sell Your Product or Service.  You’re only attempting to provide them with a reason to connect.  If you provide your features and benefits in the email they won’t have a reason to connect.

Rule #5 – Keep it short and Simple!  I’m not going to read 14 paragraphs!

Rule #6 – Send 50 Qualified, Personal Emails Instead of 5,000 Generic emails

Rule #7 – Don’t Give Your Prospect a Job! When you ask them to call you that’s exactly what you are doing.



Rule #8 – Your Subject Can Not Look/Sound Like Spam

Rule #9 – Your Email Must be Believable!  Are you really going to grow my business because you combine email, social media, outbound, and inbound calling?  Maybe you can save me time but don’t promise something you can’t control, like whether those meetings you claim to schedule will convert.

Rule #10 – Your Email Should Read Like an Email to a Friend or Customer

Putting it All Together.

You’ve seen the lowlights of the absolute crap that passes for email introductions and you’ve read my 10 Email lessons.  If I were going to write a first email to a targeted (it would be the right person in the company), qualified (they would definitely use what I sell) suspect, I would want to introduce myself, offer my positioning statement (the problem you solve that they probably have), provide a couple of examples, ask if they are experiencing any of those problems, and whether they would like any help.  If I wanted to target the CEO of a SaaS company, I would write the  following.  The Italic font is just to differentiate the example from the rest of my article. Don’t send the email with italics!

Hi Bob,

I’ve helped a few other CEO’s in the SaaS world who were frustrated over all of the inaccurate revenue forecasts they kept getting. 

When I first spoke with other SaaS CEO’s, the two biggest problems they used to have were all of the opportunities that weren’t closing, and lack of new opportunities to replace those that didn’t close.

You may not have these frustrations but if you do, and would like to take a few minutes to discuss whether or not I can help, just reply to this email with something as simple as “OK” and I’ll make it easy to schedule a call.

Looking forward to talking with you.



Dave Kurlan
CEO
Objective Management Group

It’s still a cold but it’s a million times better than all of the pitiful emails that most of us receive each day. I would prefer that salespeople use the phone for a cold reach out but if it’s a choice between a cold email or nothing, I’ll take the email. It’s OK to follow up on this email by phone.  Remember, you can’t have a conversation over email so if anyone does respond to your email attempt, move that conversation to the phone as soon as possible.

Image copyright iStock Photos

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