According to a recent study by Microsoft, humans now have attention spans shorter than that of a goldfish. A mere eight seconds is all we can muster, while our fish friends can concentrate for nine.
But this is no big surprise. We prefer food delivery in less than 30 minutes, videos under two, and laughs in 140 characters or less. We even prefer our articles as lists.
What does this mean for salespeople? We have less time to capture our prospects' curiosity than ever before. So, like the best bull riders, saddle up, and use these eight tactics to grab a prospect’s attention in eight seconds or less.
1) Insert a custom or funny GIF.
Visuals are often more impactful than words. Depending on what you’re selling, think about the picture you want to paint for the prospect, and literally paint it.
GIFs are quick to create at scale if you use a combination of PowerPoint or Keynote and my favorite free utility: Licecap.
Here's a custom GIF I made to ask for a meeting with Movoto:
2) Reference the prospect’s LinkedIn bio.
The prospect’s LinkedIn summary is your best friend. Insert a reference in your outreach to something that genuinely caught your eye, or a relevant responsibility that makes the prospect a good fit for your offering.
Here’s an example:
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3) Use a social one-two punch.
We’ve found that favoriting a prospect's tweet and then requesting them on LinkedIn before sending an email can increase response rates. Social media can take a static, professional relationship and loosen the necktie -- and maybe even create a digital or real-life friendship.
4) Write a clever subject line.
Prospects are receiving umpteen “junk” emails a day. You’re setting yourself up for failure if your subject line mimics those of the usual junk. Mailchimp has some great stats and ideas to think about when it comes to subject lines and open rates. In our own testing, a mention of the prospect's company name gets you to at least 65% opens.
5) Call out specific company figures.
Many public sources and articles reference company-wide goals. Use them to your advantage to catch a prospect's attention.
For example, here’s an email I got from a service provider Lesson.ly ended up partnering with:
(Click to enlarge)
This worked because the salesperson caught our attention with something we knew well: Our annual revenue targets. But it doesn’t have to stop with revenue. Tools like Mattermark will help you surface growth, traffic, and social influence data points, among others. Use them wisely, and you’ll be surprised at the response.
6) Be funny.
Take a look at the following screenshot. The prospector's first line is relevant to me, he uses specific fundraising amounts, and then ends with a clever remark: “How was the company party?”
Recipe for success.
7) Provide choices.
A sales manager once taught me about the "Dear Gibby" email. When you’ve gotten to the point where you’re out of ideas but you haven't been able to prompt an answer, giving the prospect options (with the goal of soliciting some response) will definitely catch their attention.
Here’s an example:
Hey [first name],
Apologies we haven't been able to get in touch! Holler if we (Lesson.ly) can help at some point. To make it easy, feel free to respond A, B, or C.
A) Interested, let's chat ... or
B) Interested, bad timing though ... or
C) Not interested, you failed ... kind of like this poor cat!
8) Revamp your email signature.
We've found that a surprising amount of clicks come in the P.S. line, or in a well-crafted signature. Pro tip: show some personality. Reps that include “My favorite blog today is ... ” or “Current song on repeat ... ” get more human responses to their outreach.
In addition, we use a service called Sigstr to help turn our email signatures into marketing opportunities. Our best campaign to date has been to let potential buyers “meet the team.”
By using any of these eight tricks, you can catch your prospect’s attention fast. Imagine if you deploy a combination of them! You’ll be closing deals with time left on the clock ... to close more deals. Just make sure you're adding value in your email so your prospect gets something out of reading it.