by Dante Fabro, Customer Success and Marketing Manager at Communications Edge Inc  

Everyone needs an effective email script when conducting outreach. However the problem doesn't lie in the use of scripts. The problem lies in the scripts themselves. Let me explain and offer you a cure.

The Truth about Scripts

If your email message is blending in, and not creating conversations, you're using a static (or template) script. Most of us are. However, effective messages provoke response by generating intrigue. They also transmit an "executive presence"... a higher level of status to prospects.

Email scripts achieve the exact opposite. They tend to lack the curiosity element and project "I'm beneath you"... a subservient, lower status.

For decision-makers, receiving templated messages has become the norm. They're conditioned to seeing cut-and-pasted, static scripts.

Result: They your prospects are probably

  • marking you as spam based on a subject line which signals "sales pitch"
  • opening the email but quickly sensing your insincerity 
  • seeing your value as an attempt to sell

Instead, have you considered helping them suspect your "potential value?" This can be the game-changer.

You cannot achieve this if the script is blending in with all the other template noise. You'll need a way to stand out. Let's examine how. 

Why email scripts don't work

Why cold email scripts don't work

When we need to know how to do something in life, or what's working for other people with similar challenges, we often rely on Google, LinkedIn and other online sources. I mean, who'd blame you? A lot of the information found is free, easily accessible and overall, appealing. Not to mention useful.

The problem is, a majority of cold email scripts found online don't work. Because everyone has access to these, they're all using and saying the same phrases.

"Hi, Jeff. I wanted to reach out and see how we can build a reciprocal relationship."

"I noticed from your LinkedIn profile that you..."

"My name is Emily and I'm with the company ABC Inc. We provide an SMS marketing platform..."

"Hi, Jeff. I wanted to follow up from my email I sent the other day."

"Thought to check when you might be free today/tomorrow for a quick call."

"How is it going? Tired of expensive business phone service that's outdated and unpredictable?"

Customers see these patterns and quickly become conditioned to messages -- finding them easy to mark as spam. Just like Pavlov's dog -- when he heard the bell, he knew it was time to eat. It didn't take long to condition him... bell = food.

Customers are the same. What's worse, this conditioning ends up training anti-spam software we all rely on -- to reduce the noise. Every time a decision-maker sees your script they (literally) train the software to identify the sender AND the word patterns within the spam message.

Soon, deliverability suffers. Not just for you but for everyone using these templated email scripts.

You've heard of Cancel Culture. Well, this is Copy Culture. 

The majority of scripts/advice found online causes more harm to your messages than good. For example, most cold email scripts you'll find recommend tactics which customers are already conditioned to.

For example, you should always refrain from:

  1. Asking/requesting for a meeting -- Don't rush. You can't lose what you never had.
  2. Presenting a clear opportunity -- They don't want it and are conditioned to seeing opportunities every day.
  3. Listing your benefits -- Message becomes less sincere, more "salesy".
  4. Providing links or attachments -- Again, don't rush. Handing out information only serves to reduce response.
  5. Educating -- Buyers value less of what is offered and more, what they ask for.

We refer to these as the worst "best practices." Sadly they're handed out widely only as they sound good... but in fact, these are toxic to your messages. Stay away at all costs. 

Instead, we're finding increased response by using a provocative message formula. The technique is a behavioral science-based methodology. 

Exemplify an executive presence buyers have never seen before.

What to do instead

Today, unconventional methods are starting conversations:

  1. Sparking Curiosity with your subject line and message copy.
  2. Provoking Response by helping buyers to speak about THEMSELVES.
  3. Avoiding call-to-actions by saying less. Less is more. 

Remember, you're selling to people. Behavioral science teaches us how humans value less of what is offered/suggested and more of what they ask for.

It's natural, instinctive. Think about it in your life. The moment someone offers you something you value it less. But if they figure out a way to get you intrigued... well, you ask for it. You become piqued.

How, exactly, does that work? Well, not with my promising you "this is the best cold email script." That would be a lie. There is no best, effective email script.

However, there is a better way to provoke curiosity -- get customers interested in getting clear on the curiosity you just created.

In other words, having their itch (you created) scratched a bit more.

The goal is to have them, suspect (on their own) your potential value and pique their curiosity enough to warrant their reply... invitation to converse.

One way you can do this is using a Facilitative Question. These kinds of questions provoke curiosity because they are unlike most questions sellers ask... and therefore biased to the seller's desire to sell.

"How would you know publishing insights on LinkedIn was paying you back?" is one such Facilitative Question.
"What has stopped you from being as successful with LinkedIn marketing as you want?"

Think of Facilitative Questions as "questions you should be asking yourself -- but aren't." They are highly unconventional and provocative. Because they're unusual... they break the typical pattern customers are conditioned to.

Not grasping the concept? You can learn more in the Academy... if you're up for the challenge.

Your blind spots

Just like driving a car, it's difficult to see ... or be aware ... of what's blocking one's ability to earn conversations. You can't know what to change without knowing WHY current tactics aren't working. 

These are your blind spots.

What we're suggesting may seem easy. However, it is not. It takes understanding, experimentation and practicing. There are no shortcuts, hacks or scripts you can lift from Google or LinkedIn.

You may not realize how your messages:

  • Have a "marketing" tone (sales copywriting is distinctly different)
  • Come off as needy (this instantly lowers your status)
  • Sound insincere (due to using common, transparent ploys others are using to sell)

These are your blind spots. We can help you to limit these in our Office Hour Clinics where Jeff coaches members in the silver and gold levels of the Academy

All the best.

About the Author

The Customer Success and Marketing Manager of Communications Edge Inc. Dante gives our customers and internal team everything needed to stay focused, on-task, effective and successful. He gives us an organizational, marketing & customer support edge. When he's not directly supporting others you'll find Dante facilitating discussions in our member Forum -- and provoking thought on CE's LinkedIn company page. In his free time, you'll probably catch him watching football and monitoring his favorite leagues and players.

Dante Fabro

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