Sending out a prospecting email is a simple and useful way of connecting with someone who would benefit from what you have to offer.
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for sales pros to get caught up in the numbers game and send off lots of boring emails that fall flat.
While it’s important to be able to connect with enough prospects, using the right level of detail and customization in your emails is essential. A genuine connection sparks rapport and boosts your response rate through the stratosphere so you can start building trust.
What Is a Prospecting Email?
These are the emails that salespeople send to potential customers, aka prospects, to introduce themselves and their organization. The goal is to make a connection that will eventually lead to the prospect converting into a customer.
Key Elements of Good Sales Prospecting Emails
In order for your emails to actually perform in any meaningful kind of way, especially if you're practicing cold emailing, there are three essential elements to consider:
A Reason For Reaching Out
This might sound a bit ridiculous. Of course you have a reason to reach out, right?
You should always stop and ask yourself that question, though. You likely have one or two emails in your inbox that feel completely irrelevant to you. This happens a lot, actually.
Before you send an email out, read it to make sure that there's a clear purpose in your messaging. Can you provide true value to this person? Do they fit any of your buyer personas? Are they going to find your email compelling or enticing?
Double check yourself before you hit the send button.
A Sense of Urgency
We don't mean rushing the prospect or demanding immediate action. There needs to be something to motivate them to act now, rather than ignore whatever you're offering them.
You can present this sense of urgency by calling out their pain point, offering a low or limited quantity solution, or promoting an internal event.
For example, if you were a consulting agency and had an upcoming seminar, encouraging them to sign up and learn more about you and your business would be a great move. Not only does the offer feel time sensitive, it also earns you engagement and more details about them.
A Call to Action
If you send an email that doesn't ask the prospect to move to engage with you further at some point, then you cut the line before they even bit.
There should be an opportunity to drive the sales process forward within every interaction. Make sure your message provides value and then ask them to step forward in the conversation with a compelling CTA.
Prospecting Email Tips For More Engagement and Better Leads
With the right prospecting email techniques in mind, you can send out amazing customized messages to as many people as possible without having to spend a ridiculous amount of time hammering out all the details – it simply becomes second nature.
Here’s where to focus your attention to get the best prospecting email results:
1. Add Value With New Content.
Connecting over a quick piece of content can get a conversation rolling with almost any prospect. For example, you could include a short infographic that demonstrates the ROI your solution has to offer.
A relevant blog post or other piece from your archives shows you’re thinking in terms the prospect cares about, but remember to keep it short and easy to digest.
Even if prospects don't engage with the content you send, there can be an impact. They might find themselves checking out your backlog of posted content, which will get them into the sales funnel.
2. Use a Custom Video.
Product videos have an incredible influence on landing page performance, raising conversions by double digits – in some cases, even when the viewer doesn’t actually look at the video.
Sending an overly edited or scripted video in a prospecting email can leave the wrong impression, though. Instead, use your phone to shoot some quick footage with that enticing, authentic feel.
3. Close With a Question.
The main purpose of any prospecting email is to start the conversation. Most prospects aren’t going to be ready to buy when you reach out to them, and some might not even be ready to hop on a call with you.
However, if you ask the right question at the conclusion of your email, you can inspire a real one-on-one meeting of the minds. Make sure it's not a generic, “Would it make sense to chat?” Be creative!
4. Focus on Relevance and Personalization.
The more personalization you can put into your email, the better.
A prospecting email can (and should) go well beyond using the person’s first name. Think in these terms instead:
- Do you know anything about the company’s CEO? Can you mention him or her?
- What do you know about the company’s pain points? How can you underscore that?
- What do you know about your prospect personally? What do you two have in common?
- Can you tweak your email template visually to align with your prospect’s branding?
- How else can you show attention to detail that will raise confidence in your offerings?
5. Use Urgency with Trigger Events.
Trigger events are one of the core elements that make the difference between a regular “cold email” and a warm prospecting email that sets up a relationship.
These are recent events – usually positive ones – that represent significant changes in the prospect’s business you can help them with.
Launching a new product, opening a new location, completing a merger or acquisition, or even welcoming a new executive leadership team are all examples of trigger events. Building your prospect email around something like this makes it more effective and relevant.
6. Don’t Forget Your Tracking Pixel.
Ok, so it’s not a prospect-facing issue, but it deserves to be mentioned. You should track the results of every prospecting email.
Sometimes, you’ll find people look at your email many, many times over before they reply. They might click through and check out your content, then get back to the issue much later.
And, of course, raw open rate data can help you optimize your subject lines.
5 Prospecting Email Templates to Try Today
We get it. Coming up with the perfect email can be hard, if not a little intimidating to start in the first place.
To help get you on the right track, we've written a handful of prospecting email templates for you to use.
The more in touch you are with what's going on with your prospect, the better.
Make a point to shout out any accomplishments like promotions or company achievements. If you find an opportunity to do so, offer to boost their mission somehow too.
Here's an example for when a prospect gets a new role:
2. Flattery Gets You Everywhere.
Compliments are a great way to get a prospect's attention. We all like to be told we're cool, but they'll appreciate the fact that you see value in their work also.
3. A Friend of a Friend.
Sometimes, looking at your six degrees chart pays off. If you and your prospect have mutual connections, don't be afraid to use it to your advantage. Here's one way to try:
4. I'd Love Your Feedback.
This one is kind of a spin-off from the flattery template, but it prioritizes starting an actual conversation about industry topics.
Asking for advice from a professional who has seniority over you shows you're capable of humility and respect. Two traits everyone admires.
5. I'll Pass Your Name Along.
There's more than one way to provide value. If you see an opportunity to do your prospect a favor upfront, go for it. Not only will you win their trust, but think of the good karma that'll come with it!
This template models making introductions for a prospect:
When you master the art of the prospecting email, you take control of your sales pipeline and, ultimately, your business results.
Although there are many moving parts that all work together, a good prospecting email isn’t really a mystery. It all boils down to some basic ideas:
- People want to work with those who have a genuine interest in their success.
- You demonstrate interest with research and personalization – in any context.
These ideas will serve you well in all inbound sales and marketing initiatives. Implement them consistently and you’re sure to find your prospecting emails get much better almost overnight.