Email marketing

The salesperson's first test: Making an appointment via email

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We all use email to agree on a meeting time. Unfortunately it's terribly inefficient, especially when it’s done incorrectly. A salesperson who is sloppy about it will drive the new, potential client nuts and make the client wonder if she really wants to do business with the salesperson. It is the salesperson’s first test. You'll want to pass it.

Here's an example of good form:


Running business on email: The mighty subject line

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Email has become the message medium of our age. Just as we learned how to address and stamp an envelope, just as we learned how to fill out a FedEx form, we are now - still - learning how to use email effectively to run our businesses, and to buy and sell products and services.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time this week talking about how frustrating it is when someone doesn't do what I'm about to recommend. Suffice it to say that stream-of-consciousness, flaky subject lines don't help you manage your business or increase your revenues.

Email and your revenue

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Salespeople (or, I should say, order takers) who are used to taking calls all day are still having a hard time adjusting to the email-driven business world we live in now. The same is true of many small business owners.

The phone is no longer the "instrument of choice" for today's busy buyers. Their preferred way of contacting companies when they are interested in a product or service is via email. And yet, too many salespeople and entrepreneurs are still treating email as an intrusion into their busy day. Because they get so much email and spam, and because they don't want to spend all day typing notes to people, they just aren't giving incoming email buyers the attention that they deserve.

Email success absolutes

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What is the most important part of every email you send - whether to one person or to your entire email mailing list? The subject line.

What's the second most important part of every email you send? Your signature.

Marketing is often considered a very subjective exercise. But the expectations and behavior of email recipients have created certain absolutes associated with subject lines and signatures. Use them well, and you will add a lot of success to your work day. Use them poorly, and you will generate inefficiency, confusion, frustration, and a lot of wasted time - in your day and in the working days of your recipients.

The Mighty Subject Line

What's inside? Should I open this?

Want to sell? Ask, then tell.

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We had a lot of reasons for moving from Silicon Valley to the New England coast, about ten years ago. None of them had anything to do with the weather, though we liked the idea of having "seasons." We also wanted to live on the water for less than, say, seven million dollars. We had many family members here, and both of us were born here - although we also both moved to California when we were young. Many of our clients were on the East Coast. And we knew it would be a great place to sail.

This background sets the stage for my little salesman's story - a perfect example of selling the wrong way, using the "tell, tell, tell" method instead of the "ask then tell" method.


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