There are several mission-critical reasons to consider reversing the common marketing strategy of first emailing a list of prospects that have never heard of you before, and second, calling them to follow up. Sometimes called cold emailing, this practice puts the cart before the horse. Here are a few reasons to introduce your company via the telephone first and email second.
More Prospects will Actually Read your Email
If you email strangers, there is a greater chance they will delete that message that you crafted so carefully, and paid so much to have designed – without reading it. You have essentially accomplished nothing if folks are deleting your message, or never receiving it because it landed in their junk folder. Instead, consider the reverse: prospects who open the email are those with whom we have had recent conversations. The more conversations we have, the higher the open rates. This is one of the best kept secrets in modern marketing. If you want your clients to “feel” each touch of your multi-touch campaign, the initial contact with a prospect should be the phone call, with an email follow-up, not the other way around.
Clicks Do Not Qualify Prospects: People Do
If you get acquainted with your prospects via phone first, there are a number of things you can do more meaningfully. Perhaps the most important element of a call is to qualify the prospect. In today’s world of automated marketing, it is more likely than ever that you are actually nurturing the wrong prospects. Prospects may be opening, and clicking on all the right things, however, they may not meet any number of qualifications that can be vetted in one phone call – Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline – all those details that matter to many B2B sales.
Taking the Wrong Approach When Following-up on an Email Can Stall Sales
If you are planning to conduct phone follow-up to that email (and this applies to direct mail investments as well), this is a challenging form of outreach that can also lead to a dead-end, rather than a new opportunity for your sales pipeline. When the phone follow-up to a marketing piece revolves around whether or not someone received the collateral, the action item is invariably to re-send the piece, versus taking the next step in the sales process. For example, “Did you receive my email?”….”No I didn’t”…”Ok, I’ll re-send it to you!” Or, “Did you receive my email?”….”Yes, I did”…”Did you have any questions?”...”No I didn’t”….”Ok, thank you.” Don't waste an opportunity to talk with a prospect, phone ahead to build the rapport.
The more you reach out by phone, the more you are emailing acquaintances and not strangers. Email then becomes an anticipated resource that helps establish you as a thought leader, familiarizes your market with your capabilities, and increases the odds of keeping your solution front-of-mind. An ongoing cycle of calling and emailing can work wonders for your sales pipeline. But the first place to start, in order to get your firm on your prospects’ radar, is more often than not, the phone.
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