Can you sell when you’re on vacation? Sure you can ... but dragging out your laptop and taking calls from the beach is sure to annoy your family. There’s another way to keep selling when you’re out of the office, and this option doesn’t require any work on your behalf.
Instead of thoughtlessly scribble an out-of-office reply five minutes before you board the plane, put a few more minutes of thought into what you write. The right words in your out-of-office reply and your signature could spark prospects' interests and lead to a sale down the road.
Here’s how to get two undervalued email assets, your signature and out-of-office replies, to work for you -- even when you’re not working.
Your Out-of-Office Reply
There are ways to put your Out-of-Office (OOO) reply to work for you while you're on a break. I see too many people with the generic, “I’m out of the office with limited access to internet and will be back on [date]. If it’s urgent please contact [coworker].”
How many emails do you get per day? I might get hundreds, so this is a key time for me to advertise.
Instead of a generic out of office reply, try something like this:
I’m currently traveling with limited access to Internet and will be back on [date]. In the meantime, check out our most recent article [link to company blog post, personal blog post, or recent good press]. If it’s urgent, please contact [coworker].
This way, you’re not wasting those eyeballs you’re getting while you’re offline. Want to spice up your OOO reply? Try HubSpot's Out-of-Office Email Generator for some added inspiration.
Your Email Signature
A picture does not a good email signature make. For starters, too many people throw a bunch of images in their email signatures. I don’t care if it looks pretty -- don't go overboard.
Instead, make your signature as simple as possible. The only thing you should add to your basic information is a link to recent positive PR. If the title of the story isn’t that good but the article is awesome, change the title in the link that you share.
[Name] | [Twitter Handle]
[Title], [Company name]
[Mobile/Skype] | [Office/Skype]
Forbes Names [Company Name] Top 10 Fastest Growing in 2015, Find Out Why!
The article you link to should be customized to who you’re trying to sell. For example, If you’re selling experts on signing up for Udemy, you can include an article titled, “Udemy Raises $32 Million to Democratize Education” and rename it in your signature as “Udemy Raises $32 Million from Top Investors to Make Experts More Money.” An expert who gets this in an out of office reply is likely to click the link -- and become even more interested in Udemy.
My friend Scott Britton does this with his blog to increase traffic. Scott explained to me, "Instead of including a link to my blog in my signature, I link to each post individually with the precursor 'Most Recent Thoughts.' This more compelling copy is likely to inspire a click."
What’s the ROI on this? Scott said, "It took me about 20 seconds to change the hyperlink in my email signature within my Gmail settings. To measure the amount of traffic this drove, I used a bit.ly tracking link. It turns out that 45 people clicked on my 'Most Recent Thoughts' link over the past three days. From those 45 clicks, three people reshared this content via Twitter. Assuming an equal number of referrals per tweet, I used Google Analytics to project that this link was responsible for over 100 page views. Not too shabby for an extra 20 seconds of work."
Editor's note: This is an excerpt from the new book Hacking Sales: The Playbook for Building a High Velocity Sales Machine. It is published here with permission.