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How you write emails no one ​can resist

Emails denen niemand widerstehen kann
 
Many things have changed in our professional lives over the recent decade: How we seek jobs, what tools we use, what approaches we develop, what positions and roles we crave for. Yet, there is one thing that has not decreased in its importance and relevance, and it doesn’t show sign of changing any time soon, and I’m talking about:

Relationships
Relationships have always been a driving force which explains why professionals win the job positions they dream about, why salespeople close deals, why some employees excel the rest of their team, why entrepreneurs manage to get their companies off the ground and upkeep their profit levels through crisis and conflict. As you might have already realized, relationships, especially meaningful ones, do not appear out of the blue. They require a wise and consistent networking.

What is the absolute perfect touch point to propel networking?
Twitter? Too impersonal and sometimes too loud.
LinkedIn? You know, news are deleted the same easy as they are posted.
Cold calling? You may be given a cold shoulder.
Networking events? Too crowded, and rather too expensive to organize.

Genius is when you take the complex and you make it simple.
E-mails.
As simple as that.
It persists in its title of being the dominant channel for networking. 91% of professionals in all countries and all types of jobs check their emails daily or a few times a day. However, most network emails, unfortunately, fall short of expectations leaving much to be desired.

This article provides an ultimate guide on email wisdom that will assist in drawing up emails that nobody would resist. The main focus here is directed on entrepreneurs, top managers or investors.

 

5 steps for network emails

Email has always been the simplest and most effective tool for networkers, even when today emails are perceived as something less vociferous. The keyword to be very careful about is „SPAM“. When you seriously intend to take a first network step towards a person who you need, it is going to take some extra effort for a beautiful result. There are five clear steps you can follow to produce a structured email by using some awesome, though often overlooked, email tool.

1. Research

2. Warm up

3. Connect

4. The Ask

5. Follow Up

This guideline is not so much about cold emailing, but rather how to increase your chances to start long-term and meaningful relationships. This acquires tremendous importance in traction channel of Business Development.
Let's go through every step together dwelling on the key points, familiarizing ourselves consecutively with a couple interesting ideas and templates that you can use in your everyday work.

1. Research

This step is critical, yet, many opt out to take it. I am talking about learning something about the person whom you are going to contact this email. So, take your time to find out about the person's history, interests, problems, and communication style. This basis usually increases the chances of getting a response

Get the email addresses (or receive an Intro)

Where it is possible to try to get introduced to a person who seems potentially important to you. For instance, your common acquaintance may introduce you to the desired person. It sometimes proves to be not an easy task but there can be simple unlucky coincidences when you start on the wrong foot. Then it means the time has come to get their email.
Please, do not email a generic address like info@company.com. Save yourself the time and effort. I’ve tested it.

You can use a small and super convenient tool in Google Spreadsheet Format.
 

How you find out the email address of an important contact?

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It has saved me a lot of time and enables me to reach out for really useful network contacts. The manual alternative exists for addressing companies to understand the email structure. The same pattern is going to be of a great help no matter who you want to contact - a CEO of a large company, or an investor, or some specialists in the HR department.

 

Find out what platforms your target person is active on

Online history of your target person’s life sometimes traces back to a few years and more, but always contains up-to-date information, which is priceless. Peep to Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing or their personal blog.

Then, you can dig even deeper and use good old Google to search on the following parameters:

First name + last name + [Social Media of your choice]

First name + last name

First name + last name + Website/Blog

Understand their interests

Look through their posts, tweets, and profiles so that you could have a better understanding of their needs, problems, challenges and interests.

Here are a couple of tips for your easy work with social media platforms:

Twitter
- Look for tweets of questions and personal things. This way you’ll learn about things that are relevant to your target person or thing where they need support. Exactly this approach made it possible for the founder of Uber to come up with his brilliant startup idea and raise millions of dollars in funding.
- Pay attention to personal interests like sports and hobbies.
- What types of articles do they share?

Quora / Reddit and similar Q&A platforms
- What kind of questions do they ask or follow?
- What questions have they answered? It can give a hint about what your target person is interested in.
- How does their profile on these platforms look like?

Facebook
- Most often people who are not befriended in FB can see only a restricted version of other people’s profiles. But that’s okay, since you still can have a peep at Info-Tab and find out what university they studied at, what city they are based in and also their previous employers. Sometimes photos and events are also visible.

Xing/LinkedIn
- The most open information is the profile with the info about professional skills and names of companies they have been involved in and what positions they embraced.
- We often overlook the „additional info“ in the footing of the profile where you can find their interests and other info.
- What information the person published or shared. What skills have they been endorsed for?
- What university did this person attend? It might quite well happen that you are graduates to the same university.

Personal Website / Blog
- Sure, it’s your lucky chance, but far from impossible. If your target person runs a website or a blog and regularly updates its content, then you have an opportunity to get access to the info which would otherwise be really difficult to obtain.
- Pages About / About me can sometimes tell a lot about a person’s likes, dislikes, and favorites.

Corporate Website
- Here you wind what positions and duties they are searching people for.

 

2. Warm up

In the case when a person you want to reach out for is not active in social media networks let’s just skips this step. It's just that the chances of your email to be opened and read get higher when you get acquainted in the social media platforms first, because.
We are more likely to give a letter our consideration when this came from people whose names are familiar to us and we have at least some idea of who it might be.

In this phase, your task is to make sure that your name seems familiar to your target person before you hit their mailbox.

How it works:
On Twitter/Xing/LinkedIn…
- Follow the person
- Put a contact request (special hint: always with an additional short note, like „Hello, FIRSTNAME, looking forward to your contact confirmation and an exciting exchange with you. Best, YOURNAME.") - retweet messages where they‘ve been mentioned, favorite their tweets
- answer the open questions that the person asks
- share a link with content relevant to their interests.
How many actions should you perform to make your email find its way? Well, it depends. But you definitely can be sure in one thing: the more your target person hears of and from you. The more you should work in the run-up. Because otherwise, if your pattern is inconsistent, it can happen that only some of your approaches are taken seriously.

3. Connect

Here is the moment you send your first email. You’ll probably think this is not the email you mean. It’s quite natural for many people to start the whole thing by going directly to the point. Well, it would be the same if you tried to arrange a date and would push, and it would most probably be misinterpreted and you would not succeed anyway ;-). The purpose of this step is to connect, to get an answer, to motivate the person.

The three key elements you will need are as follows:

#1: Skip the Intro

We quite often start with something like:
„Hello Christian, my name is André Wehr and I am a hardworking founder of [...].“
Doesn’t it sound much like a cold email? Any normal person would most likely discard this one to the trash. Instead, get to the point why you are emailing the person. Don’t beat about the bush, don’t waste your valuable time or simply use some super meaningful email-signature.

#2: Butter up the Ego

Ego or appreciation is the core component from the famous Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. We, people, will sooner respond to those people who pay attention to this step. We have been taught since childhood to never skip a reaction for a compliment when we receive it.
Here are a few possible ways you can choose from:
- mention them with the association with some respected brand
- address the person as a leader or an expert, in a certain field, or some other powerful word.
- inform them that you have shared their work with some other people (of course, only if you really have done it)
- mention what an impact they have had on your life/work
Tip 1: be specific: „I liked your [specific article], it really blew my mind, and I used some nice moments for our ongoing strategy.“ instead of „I love your blog.“
Tip 2: don’t exaggerate.

#3: Add value (so far, don’t ask for anything)

Okay, here comes the hard part. Refrain from any requests and use this time to add some value to the communication, make it meaningful for your target person.

It’s all about the Rule of reciprocity by Robert Caldini. All of us feel kind of obliged to pay back repaying debts of all kinds.

If you keep it in the back of your head then you can use a couple of chances to imbue your email with value:
1. Share the product, company or brand of your target person with others on social media
2. Mention this person in some of your articles.
3. Share a high-quality article or a book on a topic of interest of this person, something that would be relevant to their needs or problem. It would be even better if you send a version of it directly.
4. Introduce this person to someone they would find valuable. It can be someone in their field of activity, a candidate for some open vacancy they have, or someone who possesses some valuable knowledge in the sphere that your target person finds interesting or important.
5. Give the person feedback on their product, brand or work.
6. If you found some errors in their website or product, let them know. Important: it hast o look as your desire to help, nothing of the arrogant kind, please.
Tip: Track the emails so that you know whether it is opened and if yes, then how often. This number is important when you want to know for sure how much you spend on customer acquisition. BTW, you can find the article on Customer Acquisition Costs right here.

 

4. The ask

Here we go. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Now you can approach this person with whatever you actually intended. Here you should also pay attention to a few important details to increase your success chance.

#1: Length

The longer your message the more likely it is that it’s going to end up in a trash bin. Keep it as short as possible. It’s like with all of us, we open it, and we scan it and make a decision whether we want to go about it somehow. If it is a bit longer than you’d like, then do not make many paragraphs. Make sure your letter breaks down on catch points. Get rid of everything extra.

#2: One email, one result

Keep your message focused. The more things you’re asking for, the bigger the probability is that you may not receive anything Ask about one thing you really need.

#3: Be specific

Okay, make the wording of your request as clear as possible. Asking about something generic would eventually mean more fuss and effort for your target person, and no one likes to spend time for something seemingly not rewarding, and your email goes to the trash bin. In situations where the business concerns time, do not promise anything you can’t fulfill „we’ll need only 10 seconds, I promise!“.

#4: Small asks, then bigger asks

Think about what would mean for your counterpart to grant your wish, The smaller and the more precise your request is, the likelier it is to be responded to. As long as your relationships with this person indeed keep developing, later you can comfortably ask for more.

#5: Do the work for them

The smaller effort your request implies for your target person, the likelier he or she to address your request. Do maximum to make it easier for your target person to do what you are asking them for. Compare the following examples:

a) „When and where would it be comfy for you to meet for 30 min?“ b) „When would you say if we met, say, on Tuesday/Wednesday at 3 pm at your office?“
Option a) means that your target person will have to go back to you and find date and time, to have a meeting with you. Dismissed immediately.
Option b) your target person looks at his calendar and circles the date and time. You’ve made a decision for them; they don’t have to make an extra effort.

#6: Get the timing right

When you have taken care of all the 5 steps above, it’s time to think about timing. At some days and time, people seem to be less accessible and approachable.
The statistic shows that sending your emails in the evening increases the chance of receiving a reply, and there are two reasons to it:

1. If your email is the part of the day-time bunch of letters and it follows your other messages directly, it will most likely be answered later or not answered at all. But in the morning, what do you expect to see? Right, a series of letters you should immediately reply to while combining it comfortably with morning waffles and coffee.
2. Most emails get read within an hour after they were received. So, try tot think when your target person would be chilling in their Inbox. Lunch time, commuting home time, or dinner time with their families are all bad times for you.
Tip: When you get the chance to meet with the person, try to find out those tiny little bits of valuable info for you. Maybe they are planning a vacation; maybe they belong to a classic „family type” personality, what are their interests and challenges? Because these are the bits that are so important in the next stage

5. Follow Up

There are two cases for your follow-up.

A) Follow Up because you haven’t received any answer

In case of not receiving an answer, many people feel somehow guilty and most likely would not send any more emails to this person. But you can be smarter and exactly because you did not receive a reply, you should send a follow-up. Be different. You’re honest in what you’re doing; you have nothing to feel awkward about.
The person whom you contacted and who did not reply to you most likely also feel uneasy, because they did not answer you. So, take it easy, write a follow-up.

B) Follow Up after your ask was replied

Deeper and more effective relationships can be built only in the course of interactions; it does not happen after the first email. People tend to forget about it today when Xing and LinkedIn can provide you contacts of almost any person.
You should look for the ways to make your relationships with your target person deeper and more meaningful for both sides, because this is how more extensive and elaborate requests will get their grace in the future.
So, what you should do while composing a follow-up and what you definitely should not do?
Bad example: „Hello Christian, it’s been a while. How are you doing?“
How is your target person supposed to such a follow-up?

1. Use a trigger
When you have met or/and talked to the person, you must have got for yourself some bits of valuable information about them, something concerning their ongoing business or even private life. Research phase could have also given you a lot. All these little things you have learnt about this person can be successfully used to ask something specific, something that would be relevant and interesting to think of for your target person.

2. Be specific
Do you have a topic on your mind? Scope and breadth makes it all a bit difficult for your target person. Just keep it specific.

3. Be helpful and value adding
Start with tactics from the connection phase. It’s just a human nature: we like those who help others.

4. Say thank you
As the person has fulfilled your wish, again express your gratitude. Its just a simple sign of your true gratitude and appreciation.

 

Conclusion

Email is far from being dead, even if many people underestimate its value and potential. In short, you can read an article with handy tips and tricks for long-subject and signatures.

Here, once again a reminder about a little effective tool to find out the email of your target person.

You want more Impulses to Email Marketing?

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André Wehr
André Wehr
As a founder and entrepreneur, I experience every day how important Traction and Customer Centricity is. It makes the difference between a nice idea and a viable business.

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