Does it feel like your inbox is getting more and more crowded?
*Spoiler* It is.
In 2020, the average person gets up to 150 emails a day.
That’s up from just 100 just two years ago…
Yet, email marketing is still one of the top ways of starting and developing relationships with your customers that lead to sales.
With so many messages clamoring from your prospect’s attention, you need to know how to stand out from the crowd.
Over the years, my team and I have generated leads and sales for thousands of businesses using a process that is built upon effective messaging. Knowing WHAT to say and, maybe even more importantly, HOW to say it is the difference between success and failure.
Today, I’m going to show you the 5 pillars of effective messaging that have worked for us and for our clients.
1. Personalize As Much As Possible
Ever get an email addressed to “Dear Friend”? Or dear “Valued Subscriber”? Doesn’t exactly feel personal does it? No one would ever start off an email or message like that to a friend or colleague like this.
Non-personalized messages are basically “junk mail” - you are not going to grab someone’s attention if it isn’t clear that the message is for them specifically.
In 2020, there is no excuse for non-personalized messages. Technology and automation make it easy. In our Connect 365 software, we provide messaging templates that can be highly customized and personalized so that each recipient receives a message that seems as if it were created “by hand” - just for them.
Here’s an example message that shares a quality 3rd-party article that should call out some specific details of your recipient. Not in a way that’s overly creepy and feels like a message from Big Brother.
But that references similarities between your prospects that makes them feel like this is just for people like them. If you are messaging software company business owners, make it clear why they’d be interested in this article by name-dropping.
Connect the dots for your recipients to make it clear why this message is relevant to them based on their role, business, or interest.
2. Make Your Message ‘Exclusive’
Everyone likes to feel like a VIP.
You can create that feeling for your prospects by reaching out and personally inviting them to your “exclusive” online group. In many cases we recommend starting a LinkedIn or Facebook group, but any type of group, online or offline, will work just fine. Additionally, you can simply be the inviter. Is there a current group that is ideal for your prospects that you are a member of? Share an invite. If there’s value in the group and for others just like your prospects, they’ll appreciate the invite.
This type of community can create a perfect icebreaker with your prospects that the majority of your competitors will never do.
By differentiating yourself and NOT cramming a cold sales pitch down their throat, you are putting a premium on creating a stronger relationship from the get-go. That’s unexpected from a salesperson and can lead to better long-term results.
If you don’t have a group, invite people to be interviewed as part of a new blog series or email newsletter. The point is to make people feel special (a little flattery ;-)) and to connect them with others just like themselves .
Below is an excerpt from our Connect 365 template for inviting prospects to join a LinkedIn group of “top business and executive consultants” and then single the prospect out as a member of that exclusive group.
Flattery will get you everywhere. Everyone loves to be part of a group of like-minded individuals.
3. Write Like You Talk (Unless You’re A Robot)
Nothing makes me delete a message faster than someone whose initial messages are either way too “salesy” - “$$$$Open For A 50% Discount Today $$$$$” or too formal “I am writing today in the hopes that we might discuss …”
At the end of the day, people buy from other people - not from autoresponders. Sounding robotic in your emails makes you come off as unprofessional and amateur. Even more so than a simple one sentence email. That’s because it’s inauthentic. The most effective messages are the ones that “sound” like you. This also helps to build trust. When you eventually have a phone conversation with your prospect, you’ll sound just like you write. This builds trust.
A good test is to read your messages out loud before you send them. Do they sound like a human wrote them? Is there a line in there that you would NEVER say out loud? (This also helps catch any typos your spell checker might miss). If the message doesn’t sound like something you would say to a person face to face - then you’re better off smashing the backspace button and starting over.
4. Drive Their Attention To One Single Next Step (The Paradox of Choice)
A confused mind never buys.
And it’s easier to confuse someone than you’d think. One of the most common messaging mistakes is trying to give their prospects too many choices for next steps.
You don’t want to ask someone to download your e-book, watch a webinar and/or schedule a phone call all in the same message.
Stick with one “next step” per email. If there are multiple ways for clients to move to the next step then present those over a series of emails. One message could be for sharing content, the next might be an invitation to join your group, and maybe after that asking for a phone call.
Psychologist Barry Schwartz wrote a book about the concept of the Paradox of Choice.
Essentially, what he found was that the more choices presented to a consumer, the more anxiety it caused.
One typical place you see this concept in action is restaurants. Now restaurants are notorious for all sorts of psychological triggers in their menu. They’ll list high-margin wines as the second lowest price bottle on the menu to incentivize customers to choose the option that benefits their bottom-line.
Or in fast food restaurants, you’ll see the Paradox of Choice on display.
Often they limit the options available. You don’t often see a ‘Value Menu’ that has dozens of options available to choose from.
The Paradox of Choice is one that we often see ignored in novice email marketing campaigns.
An email sender might think - ‘Hey, I’ve got a lot of great content this person is going to want to read and see.’
But in reality giving them more options often leads to less action.
Focus on driving your prospects to one key action and aim to make the strongest case for that in your copy.
Our Connect 365 Long Term Nurture Sequence does a great job of keeping you top of mind while offering many different ways for clients to engage.
The sequence starts by adding some valuable content.
Then pivots to a more direct message about what you do and why they should care.
Then asks for a referral within their company (if they are not decision maker)
Then invites them to join a LinkedIn group or online community.
The sequence works well for 2 reasons
It keeps your name popping up in their inbox with different ways to educate themselves or to move forward with a conversation
Because the recipients are only offered one option or one step at a time they know exactly what to do.
5. Provide Real Value (No...This Doesn’t Mean Your Products)
Ever been to a party where one of the guests keeps following you around talking about their new “amazing business opportunity?”
I’ll be the first to say... I hate that stuff.
They think they are networking and “having a sales conversation” but in fact - you are signalling to your friend across the room to rescue you from this annoying person.
Once, you’ve been rescued, you see them move on to the next person, business cards in hand… Not only does this guy make no sales, he actively has blocked himself off from developing any relationships that could lead to sales… don’t be that guy.
When people open and read your email - they are not interested in your business. They actually don’t care about you or your products at all at this point.
They are looking for “what’s in it for me?” If they can’t see anything of value (even if they really need what you have to offer), they’ll delete your email and move on.
The key to getting your messages opened and read is to always provide value to your prospects. Be hyper-aware of what *they* have to gain from the email - besides the opportunity to work with you.
Key Point: Don’t rely on email to ‘close’ the deal. Email should ‘open’ the door to a relationship.
This is what the pros know.
And what the amateurs overlook.
Starting from a place of “how can I give value?” vs. “what can I do to get this person to buy now?” will ultimately result in a sustainable messaging strategy and more consistent sales opportunities for your business.
Plus you’ll piss way less people off. Which is nice. 🙂
Sign up for my upcoming L.E.A.D Blueprint Workshop
Creating a solid messaging strategy is only one part of an effective lead generation strategy.
I’ve recently developed a new workshop that goes step by step through the process that has been so successful in our clients’ businesses -- the L.E.A.D. Blueprint.
In the workshop, we’ll be teaching:
Exactly what an Authority Leadership Platform is and how you can leverage our Authority Amplifier process to position yourself above the competition, putting your business in an entirely different playing field.
How to target high-end prospects using online platforms (social media + email) in a unique way that builds instant trust by doing the polar opposite of what most ‘salespeople’ try
How to develop real relationships online using a highly-personal Multi-Touchpoint Messaging Campaign to naturally guide the conversation towards an appointment
The right way to automate processes that build trust, improve credibility and increase responsiveness in your campaigns.
Want to be a good friend?
Help us spread the word and share a positive message by sharing this content with them. Just click the share button. Thanks!