Over the years, I’ve discovered a handful of sales hacks that dramatically improve the effectiveness of my emails. Some of these tactics have helped me close over $50k in sponsorships for the web entrepreneur and developer conference over several years.
Here are the 5 most impactful hacks you can easily implement in your emails:
1. Do not email your prospect — email their boss or their coworker
Find your prospect’s boss or direct co-worker using LinkedIn, inside information, or Facebook
E-mail the boss/coworker with a suggestion that would be relevant to your prospect, but only mildly relevant to them
The boss/coworker will (hopefully) then forward your e-mail giving you a semi-warm introduction to your target
If your plan works, that email will look a little something like this:
Check these guys out please. Seems like it could be interesting.
— — — Original Message — — –
Subject: Jon, here’s a way the marketing dept can increase sales by 10–15%
From: [email protected]
Date: Mon, Nov 05, 2014 10:37 pm
To: [email protected]
My name is Auston, I work with userpath.co. We’ve found a super easy way to achieve a 15% lift in marketing departments at companies in the Startup space. I put together a video with some suggestions for you guys here: youtube.com/?v=s0m3vId30.
I’ve been a big fan of Startup, Inc. for a while now. First used it when you guys launched in 2013. Feel free to connect me with your marketing department for more information on how to implement this on your site. If you’d like some more background on us.
UserPath.co — Customer Success
The prospect, in this case, Stephanie doesn’t have her guard up.
She’s approaching the information with the idea that it might be helpful, and your contact information is embedded if she has any questions or happens to find it compelling.
I think the reason this works well is also that your prospect (often the decision maker) is used to receiving a pile of cold-emails every day. This is a great way to slip past that filter.
2. Retarget based on email opens or your email list
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All major retargeting companies have e-mail-based retargeting:
Perfect Audience: (http://support.perfectaudience.com/knowledgebase/articles/257969-how-to-use-email-retargeting)
Ad Roll: (http://blog.adroll.com/boost-retargeting-email-marketing)
When your prospect or their boss/coworker opens the email you send, you can have ads follow them around using e-mail retargeting. All they have to do is open the e-mail and they will start seeing ads for your product over and over and over again.
If they don’t open your e-mail — you can use an awesome Facebook feature called “Custom Audiences”, just upload a CSV with your prospects e-mail addresses and you can easily target those users if they have Facebook accounts.
Now, no matter what, they’re going to see an ad for your product.
3. Use Mechanical Turk to create your lead list
Be efficient with your time — don’t source leads on your own. Dialing the phone or e-mailing people is the best way to generate business. It’s that simple. Create a well described data-collection task on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and you’ll be able to get a steady stream of leads sourced by hundreds of people that meet your qualifications.
Here is an example of a “well described data-collection task”:
Find the website, name, and email of the person at this URL: website.com
Extract the email address from this kind of format: [jon (at) website +dot com]
Include the name by visiting the website or extracting the name from the text
Do not include peoples personal website as the website, find the company they work for using google, yahoo, bing or duckduckgo
Page example: https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=jasonlbaptiste
4. Flip the sale around when salespeople email you
Everything is an opportunity to sell. Even when people who are trying to sell you on their product. It takes a certain amount of finesse but it can be pulled off. For instance, take this e-mail I received earlier today…
On 3/26/15, 11:06 AM, Sales Person wrote:
— — — — — — –
Long time no see (2 years ago at Stripe dinner party). I hope that all is well. A quick hello to let you know that I left [Previous company] at the end of 2014 (great product and team yet, time to move on).
I’m now focusing on providing digital marketing (conversion, retention, and optimization) expertise for several clients ranging from initial audits to ongoing funnel optimization.
My goal is to sustainably scale our clients revenue and profits without increasing advertising or promotional spend. Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me. As well, any introductions would be greatly appreciated.
All the best,
How would you respond to that? Would you even respond to it at all? Here’s how I moved the conversation from what he’s selling to what I’m selling.
On 3/26/15, 11:19 AM, Auston Bunsen wrote:
— — — — — — –
Good to hear from you. Glad to see you moving on! I checked out the site and I think you might find what I’m working on pretty interesting. I’m working on a product that helps companies increase customer acquisition, activation and retention by giving them widgets.
I’m calling it UserPath.co and I’d love to tell you more about it if you’ve got some time next week!
And his response:
On 3/26/15, 11:23 AM, Sales Person wrote:
— — — — — — –
Absolutely! You’re talking my language. What works for you next week?
This person ended up referring me to his previous employer and current client who I have a demo scheduled with in the middle of April.
5. Trade notoriety for sales.
When I ran my conference for web entrepreneurs, about 1 out of every 3 sponsors would ask before signing if the sponsorship came with a “Speaking slot”. My answer was always “We’d love to have you involved in other ways” or “We’re waiting on [Person X] to tell us if he’s available for the last slot, I’ll let you know if that falls through”. The takeaway here is that you can trade recognition and notoriety for dollars.
How? Well, you can ask them if they’d like to contribute to a white paper on the topic du jour, you can ask them to lead a webinar, speak at a conference, you can ask your prospect to be a case study, ask them to guest blog about a topic or if you have the connections — ask them to be part of an article in a publication.
Bonus: Use Conspire!
I highly recommend using Conspire to get an introduction. Everyone knows that getting a recommendation from someone you know with a great existing relationship with the prospect is by far the easiest way to make a sale. It’s low pressure and low effort, in other words, a slam dunk. You don’t always know who you know that knows the person you’re trying to reach — but that’s not really a big deal anymore because Conspire provides that exact service. It will show you who is connected to your target and the quality of that connection.