The arrival of email changed marketing and sales without a doubt. Today there is much more written communication than actual face-to-face interaction, which saves time but has also, unfortunately, undermined the “information equation.”
In order to make email marketing work to increase sales today, a salesperson needs to first use email to speed the sales process which, in turn, will facilitate more face-to-face meetings.
Start by building a relationship through email with the prospect slowly and surely, not bombarding them with email after email that can sour a relationship before it gets to the sales stage. Sending them information that is easier to agree with as the emails progress is also an excellent idea.
Keep in mind that you should focus on moving the sales relationship ahead with every email rather than trying to produce a sale with one email alone. Also, whenever possible you should initiate your relationship by phone or face-to-face and then use email to build on that relationship until a sale is made.
Many business owners purchase email address lists thinking that a “mass mailing” is a great idea. In many cases, however, it’s not and can anger potential customers rather than create an affinity for your company. Building a productive relationship is incredibly difficult if you start with a blind email.
Wasting email messages is also something to avoid. Sending an email to your client asking them if they received your email is not only impractical but could be taken as badgering. An email that encourages moving onto the next step in the sales process is a better idea, including something along the lines of “I have an idea of how we can increase your productivity. Could we meet tomorrow and 10 AM?”.
Finally, remember the three universal communication principles:
- Typically, people respond in kind. Use emails to control the flow of conversation, and get the response you desire.
- Anticipate every response. Any experienced salesperson should have an answer for every question or rejection possible.
- People use stories to communicate. If a client happens to share her story with you, this usually indicates that your business relationship is moving in the right direction.
Use these principles, and the advice above, to take your email marketing to the next level, increase conversions and connect with prospective customers on a much deeper level. When done correctly, email marketing is still one of the most powerful, and least costly, marketing tools available today.