I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in my inbox—creepy sales emails. I’m sure plenty of you also receive these, and like you, I shake my head and hit the delete button. When an email comes in with a subject line “Should I stay or should I go,” I wonder—what was the thought process that went into crafting such a lead in? Even worse, when the follow up email comes through that has the opening line of “Don’t mean to be a bother, but haven’t heard back from you after my previous e-mail”—I seriously wonder which customer engagement playbook this person is reading. If you want to engage me, that is not the way to do it. And it is certainly no way to put your brand’s best foot forward and make a great first impression.
A few tips to those who send cold sales emails:
1. Be creative—not creepy: The goal is to persuade me to open your email, not hit the delete key. Craft subject lines that have a positive and professional tone. Also, be descriptive, not mysterious, as to the content of your email, as this will set the stage for why yours (out of the hundreds I receive) is worth reading.
2. Be respectful—not irritating: Sending increasingly aggressive notes about why I haven’t responded to you is irritating. It might be time to try a new approach, considering I have not yet engaged. Instead, find a way to engage in a respectful manner, or better yet, share helpful insights that might be of use. A great way to do this is to pass along interesting articles, video clips, and points of view you feel would be relevant to my world, and that also tie to your service/solution. I think HubSpot does a fantastic job of being a central hub of marketing automation knowledge and sharing this content to build a relationship with me. As Gary Vaynerchuk accurately advocates, “You have to constantly give value to others before asking them to buy your products and services.”
3. Be smart—not smarmy: Admit it, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. So don’t act like you are my new best friend. Instead, do your homework and engage me on a topic that I’m interested in (hint: look at my LinkedIn Groups). Granted, this will take a bit of effort, but it indicates you took the extra step to develop a smart, authentic approach to grab my attention. At the end of the day, you and the brand you represent must make a great first impression. When done well, it can set the stage for a meaningful and profitable engagement.