How to improve the quality of your prospecting emails? Complete guide

Writing and sending emails seems very simple but is actually very complex. Use Growth Hacking to get the most out of your email prospecting
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Writing prospecting emails is first and foremost starting with your main objective in mind (making your offer known, organizing a call or an appointment, etc.). It is necessary to be clear and concise in order to ensure the best possible results for your emails.

Use the growing data of your prospects on the Internet to understand their expectations or needs. To help you in this process, we will together look at the concept of Buyer Persona and psychographic data to be sure that your emails will always be designed to get a return, and therefore to increase your response rates.

The companies that will be most successful will be those that know how to use this data to segment their prospects and do hyperpersonalization.

Why can email marketing become your biggest prospecting channel?

A channel that is often not used enough or misused

Above all, a “Cold Email” or Prospecting Email aims to create a relationship between you and the recipient around a common problem or interest. As you will have understood, it is nothing but the direct extension of your global marketing strategy.

It is necessary today On average 9 calls before succeeding to get a lead over the phone when a well-done emailing campaign can reach more than 80% of the opening rate and more than 20% of the response rate. Cold Emailing has a bad reputation because it has been far too poorly used by companies who have forgotten that it is a powerful growth vector.

There are no magic formulas for Prospecting Emails but the results will come directly from several factors:

  1. The quality of segmentation
  2. Your positioning
  3. The needs of your customers and the market
  4. Your value proposition
  5. The quality of targeting

Most prospecting emails miss their goals.  Moreover, even those who are well done and targeted generally achieve only one thing: “annoy their recipient”.

Emails have become an integral part of our daily lives.

Write and Sending emails seems very easy : after all, just press “Send” and that's it, right? Wrong. Emailing is a fairly complex channel, and reaching its true potential requires some work.

In figures (graph below), it's close to 344 Billion Spam Spams Who are sent Every day, representing more than 84% of all emails sent.

nombre de spams dans le monde par jour
Proportion between desired emails vs spam in the world every day

Now you understand why it's important to stand out if you want to make a place for yourself in your recipients' inboxes.

The fight then seems to be lost in advance... And yet think again! You should probably send more prospecting emails than you are doing it today.

Considering that you were able to obtain a response rate of 10% (1 out of 10 people) and that, in addition, you have set up an automated system to generate new leads every day (automated search and enrichment of information on your prospects, search for emails, send email scenarios targeted by segment, etc.): prospecting emails could become one of the main growth opportunities for your business.

Email is an acquisition channel that works on all the metrics of the AAARRR framework (see the article on AAARRR and the Pirate Funnel for more information). It has one of the best conversion rates. It is a complex and very rewarding subject that can be automated almost entirely.

Create your prospecting emails starting from your Customers

Most people ask themselves the following question: What type of email should I send?

From creating your lists of prospects to converting them into customers, you need to demonstrate a real strategy in order to:

  • Successfully pass the filters to land in the inbox.
  • But also create interest among the increasingly large volume of emails as we have just seen (personal, professional but also promotional).

You will develop the growth of your business by following a solid process. Or even better, by emulating a process that works, and improving it over time.

What do you want to achieve with your cold emails? Design your emails with the desired result in mind at all times. Here are a few examples:

  1. Suggest an appointment
  2. Arrange a call
  3. Get a person's contact information
  4. Giving value to prospects
  5. Etc...
Nowadays, we are inundated by a lot of information (emails, advertisements, notifications, etc.). As a result, our attention span is getting smaller and smaller.

Based on this observation, it is essential that your emails are clear and structured: You need to help your recipients clearly identify the purpose of your emails by being (ideally) as short as possible.

In addition, it has become imperative to precisely target the profile of your recipients. Prospecting if you do not have a precise definition of the expectations and profile of your prospects will have a negative impact in the short/medium/long term on your image and your deliverability.

Define the real needs of your customers to increase open rates

Our customers mean everything to us, but who are they really? The very first step is to have a clearly defined customer profile. The more specific it is, the better. You will be able to speak their language, understand their motivations, pain points, etc.

With a good knowledge of your market, you will be able to know the hierarchy of their needs thanks to the Maslow pyramid. This way, you can more quickly determine what your prospects are looking for and want.

Pyramide de Maslow
Maslow pyramid

Without real knowledge of your target audience, you may have chosen to sell to prospects who are not at the right level of the hierarchy. This means that we may never meet their needs and that you should probably spend more time defining the profile of your target prospects.

  • Do you think it is possible to prospect a CAC40 company and an SME in the same way?
  • A CEO and a Project Manager?
  • A Human Resources Director and a Sales Director?  

Focusing on a small segment allows you to:

  • Responding to desires and needs with much greater precision
  • Write to your prospects in your emails in a way that speaks to them and that is specific to them (you don't talk to a CIO, a CEO or even a CFO in the same way)
  • Adapt your sales process in such a way that it matches their buying process.

Only decide to send your campaigns “en masse” once you have made sure you get the right emails and the right strategy!

Define your Persona profile (“Ideal Customer”)

Buyer Persona
Buyer Persona (+ psychographic data)

Definition of a buyer persona

A persona is a fictional representation that allows brands to know precisely the motivations and behaviors of their customers who choose to buy their products or services. It is based on demographic and behavioral data.

READ MORE: What is Persona Marketing and how do you define it?

More data = more results

Consider every time you create your personas that they don't know your brand at all.

In order to get the maximum result, I advise you to study your five most successful customers. In particular, look for those where the investment of your time spent has the best ROI. It is necessary to identify the behaviors and motivations that are reproduced within this group.

Among these 5 customers try to identify the DNA and the common denominators of these companies:

  • What is the size of the business?
  • How many employees do they have?
  • What software tools do they use?
  • What are their titles/functions?
  • What social networks/media do they use?
  • Where can you reach them as easily as possible?
  • What is the average amount of contracts you sign with them?
  • How long have you been working with them?
  • How did you convert them into a customer?
  • Etc...

You'll need to ask yourself a ton of questions and then filter the answers to determine the most relevant common denominators.

Based on this, you will create an “ideal” and fictional customer profile called a “buyer persona”.

Once done, try to replicate what has worked in the past. Prepare a highly targeted and personalized speech that “speaks” to your “buyer persona” to maximize email response and conversion rates.

Enrich your profiles with “Psychographic” data

Knowing the evolution of the buying journey in customer behavior can help to sell products or services better.

  • What are all the thoughts they are going to have before making a purchase?
  • What are the methods of influence that they are not aware of?
  • Each year, this buying journey evolves constantly on the web (visit your products or services page, read reviews, feedback, benchmark products or services from several suppliers, etc.).

For this reason, businesses need to differentiate their digital approaches through personalized, relevant, and up-to-date communications.

Tools help you understand the mindset and personality of your customers to better adapt your approach.

plugin Crystal Known
Known Crystal Chrome plugin: https://www.crystalknows.com

Hyperpersonalization is the key to a successful email marketing strategy: the more targeted your emails are, the higher your return rates will be. It's not mathematical, but not far away. Thanks to the growing data left by prospects on the web, it is possible nowadays to obtain ever more precise definitions of these Buyer Personas.

How do I find emails?

In this regard, did you know that about 20 to 30% of the information contained in a database became obsolete after only 1 year? The ideal for sales and marketing teams is to use solutions that offer the possibility of work on a database that is updated in real time.

But the temptation can be great (even tempting) to use “ready-to-use” databases purchased from suppliers or collected on the Internet (moreover, generally not compliant with the RGPD for information).

In general, the more email addresses you are able to collect, the lower the quality of the data collected will be. There are 4 “basic” strategies for collecting email addresses, let's look at that in more detail.

1) Purchasing customer databases

If you buy databases from vendors, expect a certain percentage to be out of date. Even though control tools are increasingly used by these suppliers to obtain better quality, that's not it yet...

Generally, nearly 30% of this data is already out of date: not all suppliers are equipped to effectively manage the obsolescence of this data (daily, or even in real time).

So imagine the real cost of these databases taking into account the following parameters:

  1. Contacts whose email address is valid but whose job has changed
  2. Email addresses that no longer work at all
  3. “Manual” time spent cleaning the bases yourself (and not used to find new opportunities)
  4. The potential cost of an external tool to clean these bases
  5. Etc...

If you still want to choose this option, I advise you to ask them about their information validation process, the frequency of testing email addresses, RGPD compliance if they store the data, the origin of the data (Linkedin? Mass scraping on the Internet? Facebook? Other sources?) , how do they ensure obsolescence, etc...

2) Data collection on the web

What is web scraping?

Many websites use Web Scraping to gather the information they need for their prospects. This method consists of extracting data or information from any website using “homemade” software or script. The information extracted is used by companies or individuals for different purposes (to prospect, predict events, analyze markets/trends, etc.).

READ MORE: What is web scraping? Understand everything
How do you choose the right data sources?

Information about prospects exists everywhere on the Internet, from directory sites to social media platforms. The better you gather and use this information, the more successful your prospecting efforts will be.

Choosing where prospects come from also has a direct impact on lead quality and, as you know, better opportunities translate into more sales. On the other hand, if you buy databases, you will have very little chance of knowing the origin of these lists.

You can usually find information about prospects by visiting sector-specific websites, social media platforms, or business directories. In the case of B2B, LinkedIn is a gold mine for prospecting.

Extraction de données publiques sur Linkedin
Extraction of public data on Linkedin
Find a web scraping tool

Now it's time to find the data collection tool that will help you put all of this information together. Be sure to read our selection to guide you:

READ MORE: List of tools for collecting data on the web

3) Inbound Marketing associated with Growth Hacking

Definition of inbound marketing
Inbound marketing was invented in 2006 by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, co-founders of HubSpot. Internet users are interested in quality content that can influence buying behavior. ” (source: blog.hubspot.fr)

Now that we've briefly looked at the different stages of inbound marketing, let's go over the various stages of the process.

Details of the stages of Inbound Marketing by example
  1. The visitor arrives on your website thanks to relevant content that you have written and that interests him
  2. The visitor clicks on a CTA, which takes him to a Landing Page where he fills out a form to get an offer.
  3. You retrieve their email address using the form and this visitor becomes a prospect
Note : The offer should be of sufficient value for the visitor to provide their personal information (email) in exchange for accessing this content.

Advantages of combining Growth Hacking and Inbound Marketing

In short, Inbound is very powerful because it allows you to retrieve email addresses from “lukewarm” prospects, that is to say prospects who already know you and who have agreed to give their email addresses to receive your offer.

Growth Hacking acts as an accelerator at all stages of Inbound (attracting more visitors, converting more leads, etc.) Investing in inbound marketing can really effectively target prospects who are already looking for your product or service to solve their problem.

By creating quality content that brings added value to these prospects, Inbound Marketing will allow you to get more qualified leads, a better return on investment, and inexpensive resources.

READ MORE: What is growth hacking?

Does the RGPD prohibit prospecting emails?

Understand the GDPR (quickly)

We hear this acronym a lot: RGPD (“General Data Protection Regulation”) or even RGPD but its scope of action is still quite vague for many and this is even more true in B2B.

This new regulation, in force since May 25, 2018, applies to all companies that collect, process and store personal data. It aims to strengthen and harmonize the protection of personal data.

But what do we mean by personal data? Any data whose use makes it possible, directly or indirectly, to identify an individual.

For example:

  • Company names and contact details are not personal data
  • However, the email prenom.nom@societe.com is one because it concerns a “natural” person

So is it still possible to send prospecting emails? Let's take a closer look at the CNIL regulation:

In cases where the processing is based on consent, the controller is able to demonstrate that the data subject has given consent to the processing of personal data concerning him or her. (source: cnil.fr)

If we were to stick to these rules, you would have to prove to each of your customers that you obtained their prior consent before contacting them. By following this reflection, this means that you could no longer reach a prospect who gave you a business card...

In the context of B2B, the CNIL nevertheless specifies the following:

The object of the solicitation must be related to the profession of the person approached (example: message presenting the merits of a software to paul.toto @nomdelasociété, IT director.) Generic business addresses such as (info@nomsociete.fr, contact@nomsociete.fr, commande@nomsociete.fr) are contact details of legal entities. They are not subject to the principles of consent and the right to object. (source: cnil.fr)

In simple terms: It is possible to prospect in B2B if the solicitation is in line with the function of your prospect. Let's take a closer look at this now.

Relevance and Suitability

As we have seen previously, the data you collect must be adequate and relevant to your target audience. That means you need to consider two key things:

  • The adequacy of your data collection (“how much” data do you really need?)
  • The relevance of the collection (is the data you collect the insightful for your goals)
Ensuring suitability

Don't collect Only what you need, only the data that is strictly necessary for you.

There is no concept of “preservation” or “just in case” in the case of GDPR compliance.

A simple way to find out if you really need them is to ask yourself, “Am I going to use them?” If not, then make sure you don't ask for them. Here are a few examples:

  • Only take a phone number if you intend to call your prospect.
  • Only take their home address if you intend to send them something by post.
  • Etc...
Ensuring relevance

If your targeting is accurate, no prospect should ever wonder why you emailed them. That should be obvious. Make sure you are as specific as possible in choosing your prospects and the segments you are addressing. It is important to adapt your content and campaigns to these prospects to reach their interests or pain points.

Here are a few parameters you can use for segmentation:

  • Localization : where are the prospects you want to talk to? Where will your service or product be most relevant?
  • Industry : who are you already working with? Among your customers, who need your service or product the most? What experts can you consult to assess industry needs?
  • Business size : Are the businesses you are looking at big enough to need your service? How many employees do they have? What is their annual turnover?
  • Job title : are you contacting the right contact person in the company? Does he have enough power to make a decision? Is he part of a department that needs your product or service?
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Stephen MESNILDREY
CEO & Founder

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