August 29, 2013
Since we introduced our email templates feature last year, countless Contactually users have implemented this critical feature to supercharge their messaging and networking ROI. We surveyed some of users who have invested a lot of time and energy into developing their templates to figure out exactly how they use them in order to get the best results. Read on for some great best practices and advice!
Remco Tuinman of Emineo Business Consulting:
"Email templates really help me quickly get in touch with the many people in my network. It helps me to get in touch more easily since I, more or less, have to think about reconnecting and what to say/write just once. I often change the mail after template application a bit to make it personal to the recipient, but the text frame is already there. Figuring out which templates to use takes some practice, so I'd recommend starting with a simple one and building on it once you've started to gather what works and what doesn't."
Karl Bimshas of Karl Bimshas Consulting:
As an Executive Coach it's sometimes difficult to know where a prospect is in their decision making. By sending an email to a small group of like-minded contacts I'm able to send what I think is relevant content via templates. Their actions based on my email determine whether I was correct and also dictate which buckets they should be moved to.
I use the templates as a base email and then customize per contact. I'll be revamping some of my emails to create a logical flow from prospect to client to customer care and using them in conjunction with the Programs Tab. For example,
Matthew Nederlanden of Security Camera Warehouse:
One of the best things we use templates for is for soliciting reviews. It saves us about $50-250 a month to use Contactually to get these reviews instead of an automated review request program like Reseller Ratings. Contactually also gives us substantially more control. We like to wait until someone compliments us before we ask for a review: that way we can make sure that we aren't sending a bunch of spammy review requests, aren't bothering people, and can expect a better percentage of good reviews. Contactually and the templates give us a lot of flexibility here and saves us money.
Marni Evans of Marni Evans Consulting
"Be careful what you wish for! Contactually templates make me TOO successful in that I can send personalized messages to hundreds of people in the click of a button, and get about a 40% response rate. Contactually templates and the ability to personalize email allows me to reach multiple clients while keeping it personal and helping to build my brand. With a desire to be non-salesy, non-douchey, and totally authentically me, my templates are the perfect tools. And the value of that? Well, it's priceless."
Matt Hounsom of Pixelwrench
My company produces short explainer videos for web startups. I contact previous clients, potential clients & simply companies that I'm interested in with several main themes:
1. Your competitors are doing this, we can help you do something better: I may contact a business that I am interested in with a unique way of showcasing how their product is the best on the market. I use this template to structure the communication, list features, etc.
2. Nice work - Here's some of mine that's similar: When I see a piece of work I like on the website of another animator or design agency, I may show something I've produced that is maybe in a similar style or uses the same techniques. In my field, the work can be quite sporadic so this is a good method of getting in contact with other designers & animators, whether I need their skills or they need mine. Again, this communication follows a template that makes sure I don't forget to include important points such as the software used, time taken etc...
3. Check this out: Now and again, I will find a great subject that I may want to refer lots of people to. I will create a template for each resource, listing how great it is, with space to tailor how it would be relevant & beneficial to the contact.
Erann Zlotnik of Take Control of Change
I am currently building my business as a consultant so I need to use my time wisely to make sure I spend as much time as possible generating leads. The "template" feature in Contactually allows me to send relevant and personal emails to different audiences (buckets) in no time. I have built different sets of templates in 2 different languages so I can introduce myself, follow up or share stuff with dozens of people in literally 5 minutes. Through Contactually and its template feature, I can effortlessly and in a timely manner build and nurture my relationships, leaving me plenty of time to be "out there" generating new leads. The templates give me the ability to "talk" to many people about different things at the same time... I love it!
Windy Keefe of REONetwork
To be honest, I actually go back to Contactually's default template the most as it seems to get the best response. I have a similar one that says, 'It's been a while since we've connected on LinkedIn...." that I send to people I only know through LinkedIn that gets responses too. In general, I notice that I really have to make sure I ask a question in the email to get a response. If I just send them information I rarely hear anything. But that's OK too. Many times I just want to keep in touch in order to stay top-of-mind, especially before and after networking events like conferences."
Jeremy Jones of AskJeremyJones:
I'm a marketing coach, and teach my clients about systematic processes to create referrals, one of which is using the email templates in Contactually. I have two examples to share:
1. For my contacts I value and want to stay in touch with: This basic template in which I simply check in with my contacts lets them know I'm thinking of them, and allows them to fill me in on what they have going on so I can offer help if they ask.
2. Referral campaigns: If I am offering a service to a particular industry rather than making a bunch of cold calls to Personal Trainers as an example I'll put together a referral campaign template. In it, I'll ask the recipient if he or she knows personal trainers in the area as well as for an introduction. I do this for my own referrals, but I also do this for new clients to add more value. When I bring on a new client I ask them who is a good connection or contact for them. This kind of campaign always makes a new customer happy when you introduce them to 2-4 contacts who may be good customers for them with a warm introduction. It allows me to provide a dream come true, first class experience with my best clients.
Mike Johnson, Mortgage Banker
If you are curious as to how I created my templates, the truth is I didn't. I went to my managers, other professionals in my field, and got my customers to send me the emails they received from my competitors. Once I have the foundation, I constantly make adjustments to meet new regulatory standards, look for ways to shorten and simplify the message so that it can be read in 3-5 seconds on a smartphone, and if necessary, I customize the email to the individual customer. Adding a short bit with some personalized information is also a nice way to increase the response rate, i.e. "I hope little Kimmy wins her tournament!".