Making the most of email marketing?

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email-marketingThe arrival digital marketing technologies drastically changed the sales environment. In the past, salespeople made phone calls, and then met with clients and prospects in person. E-mail changed this process from a handful of face-to-face meetings to a more complex round of e-mails, phone calls, voice mails and, if a salesperson is lucky, face-to-face meetings. 

Today’s sales environment involves more back-and-forth communication between the salesperson and prospect, and less face-to-face time. This undermines the “information equation,” which states that the frequency and quality of face-to-face meetings between a salesperson and a prospect improve in proportion to the caliber of the data the client provides. To make e-mail work for you in sales, leverage it to speed the sales process and facilitate more in-person meetings.

E-mail as a Basic Sales and Marketing Tool

E-mail can start the process of building a relationship with a prospect, but don’t bombard potential clients with introductory e-mails, follow-up e-mails and more e-mails asking if they received your earlier e-mails. This routine can turn you into that “crazy person who keeps e-mailing me.” As you build a relationship, make sure that any information you share with prospects is easy for them to agree with and helps them. These tips apply to all your sales communications, not just e-mail.

E-mail offers more opportunities to connect with prospects, but it may also generate false promise. Some people mistakenly think that writing a clever e-mail will magically produce sales. But that approach focuses on taking orders when, in actuality, you should focus on moving each sales relationship up to the next step.

Initiate your relationship with a prospect by phone or face-to-face before relying on e-mail to communicate. E-mail can launch the sales process, but it seldom succeeds in completing it. E-mail is a necessary tool that supports, but does not replace, other tools in the sales kit.

Buying a list with thousands of e-mail addresses and sending a mass e-mail to everyone on it may sound like a good idea, but it is not. This method is more likely to lead to anger than to qualified leads. Sending bulk e-mails also puts a salesperson at risk of noncompliance with U.S. CAN-SPAM legislation. Building productive client relationships means connecting with other people on a personal basis. A blind e-mail does the opposite. Most prospects won’t receive a mass e-mail and won’t read it if they get it. But, don’t ignore e-mail’s sales potential; just deploy it strategically.

Use the time spent on crafting e-mails wisely. Never ask a prospect, “Did you receive my e-mail?” Nothing useful comes from this question and it seems like badgering. Instead, take the conversation in a different direction that encourages moving to the next step. For example, “I have some ideas on how your sales team can beat its quota. Could we meet tomorrow at 9 a.m.?” Keep the three “universal communications principles” in mind:

 1. “People respond in kind” – And the salesperson “controls the flow.” Raise your hand for a high five or put it out for a handshake, and what happens? Most likely, the other person responds in kind. You can control the flow of conversation by what you write or say.

 2. “All responses can be anticipated” – Experienced salespeople have an answer for every possible question or rejection.

 3. “People communicate through stories” – When a client shares a story, it may indicate that your relationship is moving in the right direction. Stories help people connect.

These principles explain, for example, why asking if a prospect got your e-mail doesn’t work. You control the flow of communication, so brace yourself for an awkward response. How do you think a person will respond? Most of the time, the response won’t be positive. The question could provoke a person to go into a story about how busy the day was, so reading your e-mail wasn’t very likely. The lesson: Avoid that question. Do something else to reconnect.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patrick Murphy
SiliconCloud provides high-quality, customized solutions to satisfy business objectives by leveraging the online space to drive leads and nurture customer relationships. SiliconCloud's integrated solutions of Web Creative, Analytics, Search Marketing & Social Media is designed to elevate your image, inform sales strategies and drive business. SiliconCloud means having a clear vision. Dozens of organizations in B2B and B2C arenas have counted on SiliconCloud to pave their road to the future by securing their online presence

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