Email is one of the most effective channels for prospecting. In fact, the Sales Development Benchmark Report by TOPO shows that email remains to be the core channel for reaching out to prospects. Naturally, email prospecting is any sales professional’s game. The challenge is standing out and getting prospects’ attention. One way to make that email copy really stick out is through great copywriting.
As a B2B sales rep, copywriting is one of the most important skills in your arsenal. If you can write a great sales email, you will have many more opportunities to sell your product to prospects. Even increasing your response rate by a few percentage points can make a huge difference for your sales numbers.
It’s okay if you don’t feel super-confident in your writing abilities. There are methods you can try to improve your copywriting skills. Here are a few:
1) Get into the habit of brainstorming many different subject lines
Professional copywriters don’t just go with the first subject line that comes to mind. Try brainstorming at least ten subject lines before determining which one is the strongest. It’s likely that one of your later ideas will be better than the first. You should also familiarize yourself with best practices for writing email headlines to guide you.
Keep track of which headlines get the highest open rates. This may vary across different market segments. Lean into what works and keep refining your subject lines for the best results.
2) Force yourself to write to a word count
It’s tempting to try to cram in every single selling point for your product in a single email. But that’s exactly the wrong way to approach a prospecting email.
Think about it from the perspective of your prospects. Your email is one of dozens they have sitting in their inbox. If your email gets opened, you still only have a short window to capture their attention. Brevity is key. You need to cut words ruthlessly.
As a general rule, keep your prospecting emails to 100 words or less. If you can do 80 words or less, that’s even better.
Writing to a word count doesn’t just help you to engage prospects, it also forces you to focus on the most important points in your pitch. Avoiding empty adjectives can also help cut words.
3) Read and analyze successful prospecting emails
When you’re first learning to write great emails, it’s invaluable to look at examples of highly successful prospecting emails. Don’t just read them. You should also analyze why they’re effective. What kind tone does the writer use? How do they describe the product? What techniques did they use in crafting a call-to-action?
Use successful emails for inspiration, but don’t simply copy and paste. You want the email to read as authentic to your product, brand, and persona as a salesperson.
If you have a colleague who is particularly good at writing emails, reading their emails will be particularly useful. Ask them to read your emails and assess them with brutal honesty.
4) Create a list of common clichés and buzzwords to eliminate
Clichés kill the effectiveness of prospecting emails. Even if you know this, it’s easy to slip into cliché-mode when writing. Make a list of all words and phrases that you want to avoid in your emails. Check every single email you send to make sure the clichés haven’t crept into your writing by accident.
5) Practice adapting tone to match different audiences
The tone you assume in your prospecting emails can be just as important as content. Different audiences will have different preferences. The C-Level executive and small business owner have unique needs, and that should be reflected in your emails.
You will become better at adapting your tone as you send more emails. Take note of what tone resonates best with each market segment that you contact.
6) Avoid saying “I” and emphasize “you”
By sending a prospecting email, you are taking up space in the prospect’s inbox and asking them to pay attention to you. You need to show them that it’s worth their while by focusing on their needs, not yours.
Read through all of your emails and critically evaluate every usage of the word “I.” Is there a way to rephrase so that you’re instead focused on “you”—the prospect? It’s not possible to eliminate every single instance of the word “I,” but by reducing them to a minimum you show that you are truly focused on the prospect.
7) Learn how to use statistics effectively
Although space is limited in a prospecting email, it’s oftentimes worth devoting space to a powerful statistic. Numbers back up your claims and show the prospect that you’re not just spinning them a nice picture without evidence.
At the same time, you don’t want to overwhelm the prospect with numbers. Select one or two statistics that best speaks to your point and highlight that in your email. The statistic should be part of your overall story, not just an add-on.
8) Use a tool that analyzes the reading level of your work
There are many free tools that analyze your work for reading level. They take both vocabulary and sentence structure into account.
Write prospecting emails that are no higher than a fifth-grade reading level. Even though your prospects are well-educated, don’t force them to use a lot of brainpower to read your emails. You want the process to be as easy as possible for them. Writing to a lower reading level instills good copywriting habits. You will need to avoid needlessly complicated jargon. Do away with complicated sentence structure that obscures your points.
Keeping your email simple means that it will be conversational in tone and accessible to prospects.
Copywriting is a skill that improves with care and practice. By deliberately working on improving your skills, you can level up your copywriting and see more sales opportunities come your way.
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