January 29, 2013

Five Steps to Persistency in your Sales Outreach


Time and time again, we find studies and reports that prove email's incredible efficacy as a marketing and sales tool, even in the midst of popular platforms like Facebook and other social media. That being said, it's important to keep their nature in mind when using emails as a business tool. When we're reading an email, we typically skim the message briefly, paying attention to key fields like the subject line and sender before giving it more attention or ignoring it. Even if an email falls into the former category, sometimes human nature gets the best of us and we end up letting an email slip through the cracks.

Once you get them into your sales funnel, your persistency will reel them in for good.

If you're tasked with using email as a tool to drive sales and marketing growth for your business, what are a few things that you can do to make sure that your email is actually read? Obviously, we strongly recommend using a small business CRM like Contactually, especially in conjunction with email content management platforms. Once you've done that, one of the most important, yet difficult, things to do in your email marketing campaigns is staying persistent without overburdening your recipient. Follow these easy tips, and you'll be well on your way to increasing your email ROI.

1. Keep your email simple. Remember that an email is not a direct route to arrive at your end goal, but rather an opportunity to advance a conversation. When's the last time you made a direct sale without picking up the phone meeting someone face-to-face? You're probably hard pressed to find a solid example! With that in mind, keep the content of your emails detailed enough to hit a specific pain point that your recipient has, but simple enough to encourage them to reach out and continue the conversation.

2. Leave them wanting more. On a similar note, space out the benefits that your company or product can offer the recipient over a sizable chunk of time. If you offer everything there is to know in your first or second piece of communications, you leave little incentive for the recipient to respond with the intent of learning more.3

3. Set a varied content schedule. When you "drip" benefits to your recipients over an extended period of time, you increase the number of opportunities that you have to advance a potential deal. The best way to ensure that you do this effectively and routinely is by setting a content schedule. In this case, you won't want to rely solely on emails, but rather a mix of emails, calls and whatever other forms of communication you rely on for this type of outreach. This Marketing Sherpa case study will give you an idea to help get the ball rolling.

4. Cycle your content. This goes without saying, but keeping your content fresh and relevant will only increase your chances at advancing a sales conversation. What types of content are you including in your messaging? Videos? Whitepapers? Case studies? Chances are one of these content forms will resonate with the recipient better than another, and there is no universal solution for this. By rotating through these different sources at predesignated intervals, you're sure to find something that makes your message stick.

5. Review and revise. Using some sort of campaign management tool like Pardot, go over the messaging and the content you've sent out once a month, and look into the analytics behind it. Which pieces got the most amount of traffic and converted best? Which underperformed? When you have these critical pieces of analytics, you'll be able to adjust your content calendar and schedule to maximize your selling opportunities for the months to come.

What are your favorite tips to staying persistent in your sales cycle? Are there any huge "don'ts" that you'd like to share as well? Let us know in the comments -- we'd love to learn from your expertise!