Have you ever been on a site and started with a one survey-type question? You think sure, it's just one question, and give it an answer.
Then the next page reveals another question, and before you know it, you think, "I may as well finish, I've already come this far."
Each time you click an answer, you've committed a little more. This is known in the direct response advertising industry as a "micro-commit." And with each small ask, the advertiser has increased his chances that you'll complete the process.
I like to apply this micro-commit thinking when I send my first email to a prospect.
Rather than dumping an entire "about us" or "about me pitch" into an email message, I've hacked a little campaign that pulls in small commitments with each email I send. I try to ensure these emails -
I've used email this strategy to coordinate with over 140 hard-to-reach thought leaders in the tech space.
Here's an example workflow I've used where the ultimate goal is a distribution partnership. I use sales automation to schedule out the sequence, so I pre-plan each ask. Keep in mind that these are call-to-action examples, so they don't show your first sentence - where you have a personalized introduction / explanation.
Micro-Commit Email Call-to-Action 1
We have identified a possible opportunity that could result in X, can I send you a little more about the benefits XYZ company we've found?
Micro-Commit 1 Outcome: Contact only needs to respond with "yes," "no," or "possibly."
Micro-Commit Email Call-to-Action 2
Your userbase is very interested in X, which is very relevant to Y that we offer. The benefit for you is keeping them as paying customers longer.
Would you be open to discuss some possible synergy?
Micro-Commit 2 Outcome: Contact only needs to respond with "yes," "no," or "possibly."
Micro-Commit Email Call-to-Action 3
Could we jump on a quick 5 minute call to talk about this opportunity and avoid lengthy emails?
Micro-Commit 3 Outcome: Short ask for a call focused on THEM saving time. Another "yes" or "no" answer.
Now, the subsequent phone call should close on the idea of our business with more depth and a personal connection. You may notice my final email doesn't provide a specific time to connect, but rather a general ask for five minutes.
I never use a specific time to connect in my micro-commit emails.
Many people swear by the philosophy of doing so, but this hasn't worked in my own testing. Even if someone is interested in talking to me, the time I proposed may not match their schedule. And rather than checking their calendar and proposing open times, they just ignore the message.
Using the micro-commit on time, I can get a "yes" to chat for a set length of time, and then move on to set a time later or with an assistant.
Overall, micro-commits allows us to move on ideas and establish a connection without coming off as pushy.
If you're interested in more email tactics like this, I publish often in the recipes section of Growth Hacker TV.
Originally published Jul 10, 2014 8:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017