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July 28, 2014

Want a 90% Response Rate On Prospecting Emails? Read 30 Articles in 30 Minutes

Written by | @

When it comes to tactics for connecting with prospects, we all hear the same thing - Google Alerts.

But who am I even setting the Google Alert up for? How do I actually generate my own leads? 

Traditionally, poor sales tactics have involved buying lists and hoping someone responds. But I need to prospect everyday, and I need people to actually respond.

So I devised my own system: I read 30 articles in 30 minutes everyday. I then strategically use a narrowed down list of posts as ammunition to reach new prospects in a tailored, relevant way.

The results? A 90% response rate. I'll share my process here for anyone who would like to try this strategy out themselves. 

Pre-Reading Prep Work: Set up a Digg feed.

Before you begin your 30 minutes, you'll need to identify companies that you want to work with. Then set up an RSS feed full of their content. I use Digg reader and subscribe to 50+ blogs. 

TIP: You can use this chrome extension to add blogs with one click! 

set-up-a-digg-reader-signals-blog

Now it's time to read. Split your 30 minutes like so -

5 Minutes: Skim the headlines to select posts for a deep dive.  

Then, open up each post in a new browser tab that caught your eye from a good headline. You should now have your browser populated the articles you're going to review.

5 Minutes: Quickly skim every post.  

Without skimming the post, you won't know if the article is what you thought it'd be about - and if you're wrong, it could hurt your credibility when connecting with the writer. You may need to close a bunch of tabs for the articles that what you thought they were something differen.

20 Minutes: Dive deep into each of the posts left.  

Typically I have between 20-30 articles left. Since you’ve already skimmed them, comprehension should be easier and it won’t take as long to read the full article.

TIP: Be in a prospecting mindset as you’re reading these articles, look for pain points and trigger events that the author is writing about.

Post-Reading Action: Pull the best articles and connect over email.

Pull each article with a pain point or trigger event into a new browser window. Then go through each and connect with a tailored email.

Below is the email I wrote to Anum, manager of this blog, that led to this post. 

TIP: Use HubSpot Sales to know when your emails have been opened.

KYLE-VAN-PELT-30-articles-30-minutes-signals-content

Why this email worked:

  • It was short. Any quality cold email is no longer than 3-6 sentences.
  • It was personal. I specifically mentioned a post that she wrote and tailored it with a solution to a problem she mentioned in the article. It made Anum feel special that I wrote to her specifically about something she created.
  • It was timely. I sent this email right after I read the post not a week or month later.  
  • It was human. Mentioning a holiday and that I was feeling awesome about using her company's product were simple touches that make it feel less sales-y and more relational.  

Using this system consistently, I add around 10-12 hot prospects to my pipeline every month. And those 10 highly qualified prospects can make the difference between hitting my number, or not.  

If you give it a try, share your results in the comments below. And if it's not working as desired, I'm happy to chat about that as well.

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