Business Email Marketing Tips

These email marketing tips are for one-on-one sales communications to individual customers. I have also writen about mass email marketing tips for newsletters and general updates to all of your customers and prospects and so make sure you check out related articles. I thought it was important to include an article on one-on-one sales and marketing emails because this is an integral part of the sales process for many organizations (...and because so many people are so bad at using email effectively!).

Email Marketing Tips

Once you have identified companies that you would like to sell and market to and have also identified specific individual contacts within those companies that you would like to establish a relationship with, that is when you can apply these business email marketing tips in order to most effectively communicate with customers for a sale.

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Business Email Marketing Tips: MADE™

I am indebted to Diana Booher for her book E Writing: 21st Century Tools for Effective Communication which I read many years ago and which introduced me to the concept of Message-Action-Details-Evidence for business communications. What this idea boils down to is that you should always communicate your key message immediately, in the first couple of sentences of your email. Then, follow up with whatever action, if any, the recipients should take and only after that provide the lengthy details and evidence to support you message. A simple example of this is:

”Hi John,

Is it possible to schedule a few minutes to chat with you about how you might be able to save money in [x, y, z area]? Our company, [company name], is a leader in [a,b,c solutions] and I would love to speak with you about how we have helped many similar organizations to yours achieve outstanding results in this area. Please let me know if there is someone else I should reach out to about this! I am attaching additional information on our solutions for your perusal and provide a general outline for you below.”

This simple introduction states who you are and what you do right away (message), as well as asking for a follow-up appointment (action). The important thing to understand is that your recipient only has to read these first few sentences before making up their mind as to whether or not they will even read the rest of your message. Many people only have time for the first one or two sentences and so if you do not state your message clearly right up front, you lose.

Business Email Marketing Tips: Long vs Short

How long should a sales email be? This is a good question and the answer to it is, “it depends!” The general rule you should follow is that if you do not know someone or are getting in touch with someone after an extended period of time, the shorter the better. All you are trying to do initially is generate interest without overwhelming your customer with a flood of details. If they are interested and want to engage further then they will ask you for more information.

Email Marketing Tips

Providing less information rather than more is a sales rule that applies to all forms of communication. It is always better to hold something back rather than reveal all your cards at once. That way you help build curiosity and also have credibility by not saying everything all at once like many beginner sales and marketing professionals tend to.

Business Email Marketing Tips: High vs Low

Who is the person that you are attempting to connect with in your target organization? Are they high up in the food chain or lower down in the corporate hierarchy? Are they a team lead, manager, director or executive or simply an individual contributor? As a starting point, the higher up a person is in the organizational structure, the less time they have and so your email to executives should be short and to the point.

Moreover, as you go up the corporate ladder, your communications should become less technical and more business oriented. That is to say that regular employees and hands-on managers usually know all of the day-to-day details of operations whereas directors and executives (VP and C-Level folks) speak more in terms of the overall business. Therefore, when addressing an executive, talk about general business objectives, ROI, revenue, market share and such and not specific business functions or technical details.

Business Email Marketing Tips: Periodic vs Often

How often you email a person is linked to how often you call them in completing a sale. You don't want to be the person who seems desperate for business and calls or emails at every opportunity, nor do you want to ignore your customer and act like their business is not important! Finding a balance is a matter of your personality and the relationship you have established with your client.

Email Marketing Tips

In an ideal world, you should only email a person – once you have established contact with them – if you have an update or to check in on a previous commitment. So, for example, you might say to your client, ”I will touch base with you by next Wednesday if I haven't heard back” or, ”I will let you know as soon as I hear back from my folks with an answer to your question.” As such, your emails become conversational and help establish trust and a rapport with your customer.

Business Email Marketing Tips:
Formal vs Informal

Deciding on the correct tone of your email is important as well and as a general rule, you should go from being formal and business-like to gradually becoming more informal with time. This is just the same as how your emails will become longer and more conversational as you develop a relationship with someone and they are engaged in the discussion. Similarly, your tone will soften over time as you get to know them.

Being too casual and flippant with someone you do not know is a bigger mistake than being too formal with someone you do. This is like dressing: it is always better to be over-dressed then under-dressed! In the same way, if your tone is ultra polite and professional at the start of a relationship, that should only lend to increasing your customer's own respect and deference of you. I can't tell you how many times I have been told, “You don't have to call me Mr.!”

Business Email Marketing Tips: General

Here are some general dos and don'ts to round off this discussion of sales email marketing tips:

• Email less, speak more

This is something one of my business mentors drilled into me incessantly over the years: don't email when you can just as well speak to that person on the phone or in person. The modern business world is too wrapped up in email and we often miss out on opportunities for genuine human interaction because of it. As well, email communications can often be misconstrued and so it is a good idea to be circumspect with jokes and humor as well.

• Don't break news

Major developments are often best communicated in person or over the phone as well. For instance, if you have quoted a certain price to your customer but find out you may actually have to charge them more, this is probably something that would be better communicated through a conversation. One of the problems with email is that it does not give you the opportunity to clarify the questions or concerns which arise when you want to communicate something of import.

• Don't Sell

It is okay to market with your emails but you should not use it to close business. What I mean by this is that, while you can discuss features and functions, do not expect your customer to simply read your email and place an order! That is what you are there for, to follow up in person or on the phone in order to confirm their needs and that you are offering a viable solution and then to close the sale. Email will not take the work out of sales and marketing, it is simply a tool.

• Don't Negotiate

In the same way, you should not use email in order to negotiate or for other kinds of sensitive discussions. If you want to send an email so that there is a written record of a discussion, that is fine. However, just like with the last point, negotiations and other important discussions require a back-and-forth that email is not designed for. It is much better to speak in person or on the phone and then strike while the moment is right and seal the deal verbally.

• Simplify

There is a great quote by Joseph Pulitzer at the beginning of Diana Booher's book on ”E-Writing”: “Put it to them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.” Stay away from fancy colors and fonts as well! Another great maxim to email by is that you should seek not to be misunderstood as well as being clear in order to be understood.

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Email Marketing StrategyMass Email Marketing Basics35 Email List Marketing TipsEmail Marketing ListsChoosing an Email Marketing SystemMarketing Communication MixMarketing Communication PlanMarketing Communication StrategyIntegrated Marketing CommunicationMarketing Communication ProcessInteractive Marketing Communication"You" MessagingEmail Marketing Tips Consultant

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