We get emails every day from business owners scrambling to survive the Coronavirus recession. Everyone is looking for strategies and ideas to weather the storm.
The vast majority of people completely forget about an incredible asset that is sitting right under their nose… their dead leads.
If you do any kind of outreach our outbound marketing, you probably have a huge list of old contacts:
- Cold emails that were never replied to
- Prospects that asked for information but you never heard back
- Leads you talked to but they decided not to sign up
- Conversations you started but they weren’t the right fit for your offer at the time
Many of our clients track their outreach with a spreadsheet, or with a CRM like Pipedrive. If you do as well, this is a great resource to start generating new business.
Here’s how to heat up those dead leads and start making sales…
A Sample Script
This is an email script we’ve been using in one of our businesses with a ton of success. Read the email first, and then we’ll unpack the psychology underneath each sentence:
It’s short and sweet, but there’s actually a reason for every sentence. Let’s unpack it:
Hi ______, we had talked X months/years ago about posting every day on social media for your business, without you ever having to log in to Facebook again.
You’ve heard me say this before: you never want to “follow up.” I see emails all the time that say, “Hi, I just wanted to follow up and see if you’re interested now.”
What this actually says to your prospect is, “This wasn’t worth your time enough for you to reply before. How about now?” But they’re not going to magically change their mind- you need to convince them. So don’t “follow up” hoping that things have changed on their own.
Another common mistake is saying, “We talked before about my business called XYZ.” The thing is, they don’t care about your business. They care about their business. So remind them of the value you provide to them and the problem you solve.
And if you can do it in just a few words, explain that value in a way that grabs their attention. “We give you [big benefit] without [big objection].”
With everything that’s happening now, a lot of my clients have been struggling with telling their customers about essential services and getting them to make appointments.
This sentence does a few things…
First of all, it’s a break with the past. Your prospect is going to think, “Great, this person is going to keep pushing me on his/her service.” But this sentence preempts that. It says, “A lot has changed since the last time we talked, and now there’s a new problem that needs to be solved…”
Essentially it sets the stage for a new conversation. It cleans the slate and introduces the idea that there’s a new reason why we need to talk.
Secondly, it touches on a key pain point your prospect is feeling. You don’t need to write a novel to bring the emotions to life- keep it to one sentence. But you still want the reader to think, “They’re right, it’s painful to have this problem and I want to solve it.”
Of course, it also shows them that you understand what they’re going through, which builds rapport.
So I put together a service that helps veterinarians send out multiple communications a day, without having to do anything on your end- and in fact, if you get just one new appointment a month it pays for itself.
You want to tell them about your new service in a single sentence. And don’t get stuck in the weeds. Don’t tell them how it works. Don’t tell them why it’s great. Don’t tell them about other clients’ results. Just tell them the one big benefit or result they’re going to get.
Try to tell them about the big benefit in a way that is surprising or hard to believe. If we said, “We help you post more often on social media…” OK, that might be interesting, but there are probably countless digital agencies that offer the same thing, right?
But if we say, “We help you post multiple times a day without doing anything on your end.” That introduces a huge dose of curiosity. The prospect is going to wonder how that’s possible. If you can make the benefit intriguing enough, they’re going to want to learn more even if they’re only moderately interested in your service.
Would that be helpful for you? Can I tell you more about it?
This is really important: once you create the intrigue, stop explaining.
Don’t lay out a feast for someone who isn’t hungry. Instead, dangle a carrot in front of them. Whet their appetite and get them to ask for more.
By getting their permission first, you’ll establish rapport. It’s no longer an unwelcome intrusion. It’s their idea. They’re inviting the sales pitch- or at least the explanation.
Also, this gets your first “yes.” Before your prospect buys your service, they need to “buy in” to your idea in the first place. They need to buy into working with you. They need to buy into the idea of solving this problem. So getting them to say “yes” to learning more starts moving them down this path of buy-in.
P.S. I wanted to start helping right away so I attached a couple pieces below. Feel free to use them!
If it’s possible, give them something. In this case we have social media posts that any veterinarian can use. We include a few so that the prospect can see the value that we offer. And hopeful they use it, get a ton of value from it, and they want to continue.
If you can’t give them something “tangible,” get creative with how you can provide value. It’s important that whenever you reach out to someone you want to provide value in some way.
If you’re always pulling at your prospects, they’re going to stop opening your emails. If every time you follow up you’re asking, “How about now? How about now?” the impact of your follow-ups decrease with every email you send.
But if instead, you’re always giving value- whether that’s marketing materials, ideas, strategies, even just encouragement- then the value of your follow-ups actually increases with every email. Eventually, your prospect is going to think, “Wow, this person has provided me so much value, I have to work with them!”
A Bonus Tip
I want to share one more valuable tip.
If you’ve corresponded with this prospect before, it’s nice to contact them again on the same email thread. Now rather than a brand new email showing up in their inbox, they’ll see an ongoing conversation. They’ll see the “Re:” and think, “I better open this because it’s someone I’m already talking to.”
The only problem is it’s an old subject line. Whatever you were talking about before isn’t the same offer you’re making now. And they already said no- or ignored- the previous subject.
So if you use gmail, go to the top left of the email and click the back arrow. Click on “edit subject.” This will let you change the subject line and now you get the best of both worlds: you get to customize the title to grab your prospect’s attention, and you also get to keep the email thread so they’re more likely to open it.
A Quick Summary
This script works for us, but your mileage may vary. Feel free to adapt it to your own needs, but follow these main principles:
- Remind them of who you are by talking about the benefit for their business, not yours.
- Explain what has changed since the last time you talked.
- Dangle a carrot in front of them by teasing an intriguing/surprising result.
- Ask permission to tell them more.
- Provide fresh value.
- Update the subject line.
And I want to leave you with one last thing. This applies to sending these “warm up” emails, but it applies to everything else in business right now too…
Don’t seem desperate!
Right now your prospects are going to be on the defensive. When you reach out, their initial reaction will be, “Their business must be hurting and they’re scrambling to make more sales.” Obviously you want to avoid this perception at all costs.
Instead, you want to give the impression that you’re calm and collected, and you’re here to help. You’re not reaching out because things are hard for you, you’re reaching out because you know things are hard for your clients and you have solutions.
And that’s not a line or an angle. As entrepreneurs and as digital agency owners, that’s our job. We solve problems. We provide ideas. We offer guidance and reassurance.
So take these ideas, use this script, and go help businesses weather this storm. They need you!