How much do you really know about your prospects?
Maybe you don’t need to know how they take their favorite cup of coffee, but you do need to know enough about them to get in their heads.
If you want to get responses to your outreach emails, you need to offer your prospects value. But before you decide what benefits your emails should focus on, you must first understand your prospects’ desires and pain points in order to craft a relevant and persuasive message.
Although researching 500 prospects one at a time probably doesn’t make sense in terms of time and resources, you should still make the effort to create targeted messages that feel personal. With about 10 minutes of research, you can learn enough about your buyer persona to double your email response rate.
So, if you don’t want your prospecting emails to feel bland and impersonal, here are 3 questions about your prospects that you must answer before you write a single sales email.
1) What does your ideal buyer persona care about the most?
Your prospects are not identical, and so your emails cannot be one-size-fits-all either. The VP of Sales for a Fortune 500 company and the manager of a restaurant have very different jobs. Different buyer personas require different messages that appeal to their specific pain points and desires.
Discovering what matters most to your prospects is as easy as conducting a simple online search before you start writing your outreach campaign. LinkedIn profiles can offer a treasure trove of valuable information about your prospects’ mindsets and behavior.
For example, if you’re targeting CROs in the Greater Boston area, your LinkedIn results would look something like this:
Let’s take a closer look at one of the profiles that came up in our search: Mark Roberge, Chief Revenue Officer at HubSpot Sales Division.
Understanding your ideal buyer persona is key to crafting highly targeted messages that will engage your prospects on a more personal level. Think about the job of a CRO. What types of responsibilities do they have? What are their priorities? What types of goals are they looking to accomplish?
Pro Tip #1: We know from a simple Google search that CROs are primarily concerned with managing sales and generating revenue for their companies. Therefore, your message needs to address the pain points we know are of the most concern to your ideal persona. By looking at Mark’s profile for a minute, we can see that he puts a heavy emphasis on accelerating sales and therefore your messages should discuss how your product can help improve the quality of HubSpot’s leads and increase sales.
2) What language or keywords resonate best with your prospects?
If you want your prospects to take your emails seriously, you need to speak their language.
Pay close attention to the words in your prospects’ online profiles. Are they using highly technical or industry terms in their about section or role descriptions? Do they use a formal or conversational tone? Formal writing might just be copy-pasted from their marketing team, or it could be the way they like to engage in writing. Do they have a sense of humor? How your prospects communicate helps us understand the tone and words that resonate the most with them.
Looking through Mark’s profile we notice a few words that give us better insight into how he thinks.
Mark’s BSE in Mechanical Engineering and his recent publications indicate that he’s the type of person that probably responds better to messages that include hard data. He’s not the type of guy that’s going to be fooled by salesy jargon and cheesy pitches.
Pro Tip #2: Any message you send Mark needs to offer solid numbers, like percentages and dollar figures, illustrating exactly how your product could help HubSpot increase its revenue and make Mark’s life easier.
3) How do your prospects interact with others?
When searching through your prospects’ LinkedIn profiles, make sure to look beyond just their background and experience. Your prospects’ “Recommendation” sections often contains gold nuggets that give clues to how they do business and engage with others.
We can see from Mark’s recommendations that his presentations are “dynamic and full of actionable insights.” From this we can gather that Mark likes to offer practical solutions to his clients, so gimmicks and fad products probably aren’t going to grab his attention.
People like Mark will respond better to short and concise messages that center on the benefits of your product. Avoid emails that are too long-winded and self-focused. Make sure to include a clear call to action, so that your prospects know exactly what type of action you want them to take next.
Pro Tip #3: Another takeaway from Mark’s recommendations is that he likes to use case studies in his presentations, so we know he appreciates the promise of value. Including a “case study sentence” that points to past results that demonstrated ROI for a client in your email would help build credibility with Mark. This not only proves that your product works and has happy customers, but also makes it easier for data-driven prospects like Mark to say yes.
If you’d like to get more advice about prospecting research and writing laser-focused cold emails, you should check out the “Human’s Guide to Cold Email,” a free resource available for you on the Salesfolk website.