I had some positive feedback from last weeks post about cold calling clients, so this week I am following it up with one about doing it via email…
Here are my top 10 tips for contacting a client via email:
1. Use a professional email address: Use an email address that’s professional and represents your business, not your private email. Don’t laugh – I have seen this done – you are reaching out to a client to make in-roads with them – and you forget to change your email server… DOH! They get an email from ThingyWotsit2000 at Gmail rather than your business email address – always check before you press send!
2. Personalize your message: Address the client by name and make your message personalized, how do you find that out? Simple – check their website – most of the time they have a CONTACT US page – extrapolate from that email contact what their email might be – or simply send it to the gatekeeper to forward on. Personally I have always found that LinkedIn and Facebook are great ways for getting email contacts – so always use their full name in the “Dear NAME” and not “Dear sir or madam” – that will get your email deleted faster than your internet speed is.
3. Be clear and concise: Keep your message brief and to the point. Use short sentences and avoid unnecessary details. As a copywriter working in sales you should be good at trimming and editing down your message to it’s salient points. Contain enough detail to intrigue and then ask them to contact you for more information – don’t give everything, prices, schedules, etc – just give them enough to think to themselves “I might call them and find out more!”
4. Use a clear subject line: Use a clear subject line that summarizes the purpose of your email. This is where writing a headline works well in our favour. As copywriters we should be able to structure a great hook to get people to read more – not just have “Here’s a proposal for you to join the ZXZ-FM family of clients” you want something that is clear, positive, and leaves them wanting to know more.
5. Provide value: Offer value in your email by providing useful information, insights, or resources that will benefit the client. We do this at our station by providing new, and prospective clients a document called “Just The Facts” – it contains details about our: listening area, our surveys, our individual stations/jocks/promotions and finally about our social media and website data – throughout we have testimonial messages and contact details – so even if they only read the first 2 pages, they will know who and how to contact us.
6. Use a friendly tone: Use a friendly and positive tone in your message to establish a connection with the client. Professionalism is (in my opinion) best kept for lawyers and doctors, you want to write as you talk and keep it conversational and brief.
7. Proofread your email: Check your email for spelling and grammar errors before sending it. Even if you think you couldn’t have had a typo in a simple “will do, see you then” comment – trust me – you might have typed (or auto corrected) something that turns out to be “will poo, see you then” ARGH!
8. Include a call to action: Encourage the client to take action by including a clear call to action, such as asking them to schedule a call or reply to your email. This should be obvious, but like everything in sales, “DONT FORGET TO ASK FOR THE SALE!”
9. Follow up: If you don’t hear back from the client, follow up with a polite reminder email. I find that reminders are best sent between 2-3pm daily – I get a better response rate than if I send them first thing in the morning, or last thing in the afternoon.
10. Respect their time: Respect the client’s time by keeping your message brief and to the point, and by avoiding excessive follow-up emails. Reach out via phone, or pop in and see them – Sure entire campaigns can be done, written and scheduled via email but face to face will get better results – so respect their time, ask if you can see them for 5 minutes to confirm some details (and sign paperwork) then thank them for their time.
Email contacts are not hard, and by following these tips, you can increase your chances of getting a positive response from your client and building a strong business relationship.
While some people prefer email contact, others social media, or via text message, others by phone and some will only deal when it is face to face – find your clients comfort zone and go with that – don’t do what makes you feel comfortable – it’s not about you.