Time to read: 4 minutes. True, we need templates to be effective sellers. But here’s the problem: Nothing screams “impersonal, un-researched email” louder than a standard template.
In working with my students, I’ve found a communications formula of sorts works better. Psychological triggers.
A way of writing that provokes response—at scale and slightly personalized.
Most cold email templates fail because readers see through ’em. Right?
Effective cold—or sequential—messages are different. They’re not 100% cut-and-paste. That’s why they provoke response.
Think about the last inside sales template message you received. You, yourself.
How quickly did you delete it?
How easy was it for you to spot?
Was it the subject line—warning you about contents of the message? (a terrible pitch)
Was it the subject line tricking you into opening it? Did you get angry … or laugh to yourself because the first sentence was intellectually offensive?
Your email is an interruption. So make it SUPER short. Whether you’re starting from cold or trying to continue a conversation; with email it’s gotta be brief, blunt and basic … and damn provocative.
I admit, provoking response isn’t “cut-and-paste-easy.” But it isn’t brain surgery either.
The Spark method works. It is based on years of helping sellers start more conversations using cold email messages, LinkedIn and calling/voicemail.
I’ve learned a lot from experience—and from my customers.
Bottom line: My students having the most success use a “flexible template” approach.
Do you know your market well? Their pains, worries, fears and goals?
Are you monitoring competitors’ email techniques & messages?
If you answered yes to the above this increases odds the Spark technique will help you.
The technique is most effective when combined with a seller’s own strengths.
Oh… and bye the way. If you take advice from marketing pros on creating sales prospecting messages read on. This is 80% of the problem and I can help 🙂
Effective “first touch” email and cold InMail messages are slightly customized based on 5 key factors.
Think of them as questions:
1) Who are you selling to and how do they buy?
2) What exactly are you selling?
3) What do you know (certainly) about prospects?
4) What are your strengths? (what provocative story/fact do you have to work with)
5) What are your competitors flooding buyers’ inboxes with lately?
Appropriate (effective) subject lines and message creation becomes easier when answering these questions.
Different sellers answer each of these differently.
Homework. Showing your homework.
Because this signals to your prospect:
– this is not another offensive, mass, cut-and-paste message (spam)
– you’ve invested time in researching them (via specific proof, an observation)
Templates do not work. Especially for inside sales reps who need to scale.
But a formulaic approach to message design—that is mostly template-able—does.
Customization is key. Psychology is front-and-center to triggering response.
These days one element provoking response for my students is quickly showing their homework.
Showing homework is one of the strongest elements you can have in a first paragraph (of the first cold email touch). Proving you’ve done homework dramatically increases response rate.
It grabs attention … big time.
Aside from getting opened (subject line) this “homework element”, alone, is often enough to earn a prospects’ attention. From that point the rest of your message (the “meat”) requires provocation. And there are a few different ways to provoke curiosity that I can show you too.
Why not come see a few in our upcoming, LIVE email writing workshop next week. It’s fun. Join us!
Remember, nothing screams “impersonal” more than a standardized, impersonal email. The reason sales email templates rarely work is simple: Most use the same, “telling” communications format.
Your success with using email for sales prospecting hinges on this: Stop craving lazy short-cuts. Instead, consider a communications technique that takes a little effort BUT is
1) effective and
I call these “Spark Formulas” because they spark curiosity in buyers’ mind.
Curiosity about a thought your message just created—not about buying.
This provokes conversation—which leads to discussion about buying.
And isn’t that what you want?
Here’s how to get started (right now) with an effective technique …
Jeff Molander is the authority on starting conversations with busy people. As founder of Communications Edge Inc. he teaches a proven, effective communications technique to spark buyers curiosity in sales outreach & marketing messages. He's a sought-after sales communications trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe. Jeff served as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.
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