26 Jul 7 outreach email mistakes and how to avoid them
42% of salespeople report that prospecting is the most difficult part of the sales process, according to HubSpot’s State of Inbound report. Between researching contacts and drafting a pitch, a lot of effort goes into outreach emails. Now, imagine the inbox of the person you’re trying to reach. They have to spend time sifting through several outreach emails exactly like yours. So, how do you write a message that will help you avoid the trash folder?
Let’s take a look at a great example:
Hi, we teamed up with *company* to write an article (with custom graphics) on old-school customer retention strategies. In it we cover four rules for keeping customers happy. After all, nearly 80% of a company’s future profits will come from 20% of its current customers.
Let me know if you’re interested in seeing the full article and its graphics. I’d be happy to forward it along!
Now that’s a great email. We were impressed by it because the sender was personal, pleasant, and proved their credibility as well as their article’s relevance to us in just a few sentences. Then, they followed up with a compelling call to action. The sender definitely spent time writing their email, and it shows.
Pitching to a stranger can be tough
To write outreach emails that are relevant and reply-worthy, try to avoid these common mistakes.
1. Forgetting to do your research
Don’t reach out blindly. It’s important to know who you’re reaching out to, and to have some understanding of their company and position. If you prove that you’ve invested some of your time before reaching out, your prospect will know that you’re less likely to waste their time. If the reader can tell that you know nothing about them from your email, you probably won’t get a reply.
2. Using an inappropriate tone
Once you’ve done research and have an understanding of someone’s business and role, use that information to tailor your message. The tone of your email should be appropriate for the person you’re emailing. For example, you probably want a more formal tone for a higher level executive at a large corporation than you do for a mid-level employee at a startup.
3. Writing boring or vague subject lines
Average email open rates usually fall well below 25%, and if the subject line isn’t compelling, your email may not be opened. Make sure your subject line is intriguing and relevant. Be compelling, but also use the subject line to set expectations for the content of your email. If the reader can’t gauge what your email is about from the subject line, they’ll be less inclined to read it.
4. Failing to establish relevance
Does your email offer insight and add value? Use this opportunity to tie your offering to something you’ve learned about your prospect. Comment on something they’ve recently done that you found insightful or interesting, and connect that to your sales pitch.
You can even use this as an opportunity to name drop and grab attention. Do you have a mutual connection? Establish why your email is more relevant than other messages crowding their inbox. The last thing you want is for someone to open your email, scan it, and think “So, what?.”
5. Being impersonal
Make sure your message is polite and customized enough for the particular situation. Your message shouldn’t seem like it’s been copy and pasted — even if it was. Being polite and personable can work wonders. “Dear Sir/Madam” is not an effective greeting.
6. Sending a novel (or a sentence)
Be sure to keep your email short and clear. Don’t waste anyone’s time by expecting them to decipher what you mean, or by hoping you’ll leave just enough info to have them follow up. Being vague offers the reader an invitation to disengage. Make enough conversation to connect, and always keep priority in mind. Tell the reader what they need to know quickly and concisely. Also, do your best to avoid meaningless buzzwords.
7. Being the annoying kind of pushy
Be sure to end every email with a strong call to action to encourage a response. If you don’t get a reply to your outreach email, there’s a good chance the person either hasn’t gotten the chance to reply to you yet or just isn’t going to respond. Bombarding their inbox with messages isn’t going to change that. This isn’t to say you should avoid follow up messages entirely, but avoid email subjects like “Final Attempt.”
Earning responses to your outreach emails is no easy feat, but if you put time into drafting insightful and helpful messages, you’ll have a better time connecting with the right people. Utilizing tone and voice to meet people with the right message at the right time is Modicum’s bread and butter. Reach out to us for help creating templates and custom emails for your next outreach campaign.