I received an email today from a guy named Mike.
I don’t know Mike, and I don’t know his company.
But Mike still sent me an email. It began like this:
I'd like to get on your calendar to speak with you about how my company DayBreak can assist your business development efforts.”
I can’t say that Mike had me at hello, because he never said hello. Mike didn’t bother introducing himself – he just told me what he wanted from me. (Like I care - I don’t even know this guy!)
Mike’s email went on for three paragraphs – not short, concise, bullet points that I could easily scan and digest, but three self-centered paragraphs that were painful to read.
The first paragraph was all about what he wanted from me, and the great and powerful stuff that his company does.
The second paragraph told me about the great achievements of his CEO.
And in the third paragraph, Mike told me that that he asked his assistant, Beth, to call me to schedule a conference call and presentation. If Mike really cared about me, and wanted to have me for a customer, he’d call me himself, wouldn't he?
Business development is about developing positive, trusting relationships between two people. The best way to begin any relationship with another person is to show a genuine interest in that person. It means being relevant to that person. And it means delivering value. Mike’s message didn’t do any of those.
So, what three things can you do, to make a good impression, and convert more prospects into customer, starting with your email campaigns?
1. Be Relevant by Segmenting.
Don’t send the same email to everyone on your list. Segment the list by industry, geography, role, or some other criterion. Then send a segment-specific message to each group. For example, send a technology-oriented message to the technology companies.
Send a retail-oriented message to retail sector companies. There was nothing in the email that mike sent to me, that reflected anything unique or relevant to my business. Segmenting makes your messages more relevant.
2. Deliver Value.
Whenever you call on a prospect, whether through an email, a phone call, or a face-to-face meeting, deliver something of value. It may be a point of research from your prospect’s industry; a recent article of interest; anything that your prospect will consider worthwhile knowing. If you make a habit of delivering value upon every encounter, your prospect will make a habit of reading your emails and taking your calls.
3. Be Polite.
Your mother was right on this one. Manners do count. Even in email blasts. Draft your emails with a courteous and professional tone, and don’t say anything in an email that you wouldn’t say face-to-face, upon meeting a complete stranger for the first time. Baseball great Yogi Berra said, “Swing hard. Just in case you hit the ball.” Similarly, you might say, “Write polite emails. Just in case the recipient reads it.”
If email campaigns are a part of your marketing mix, then don’t be like Mike. Instead, be relevant, bring value, and be polite. Your prospect will respect you, trust you, and maybe even buy from you.
What do you think?