I get this question from fellow salespeople -- both inside and outside my company -- all the time:
How do you reach out to prospects for the first time? What’s your best prospecting email template?
I always feel a little funny when someone asks me this question, because I actually find email templates to be a hard thing. I don’t like using templates all that much because I love to personalize my emails based on my research and what I have learned about the company I am working and the person I am reaching out to.
That being said, there did come a point when I realized my process could use some streamlining. When HubSpot released the free email tracking and templates tool Sidekick (now called HubSpot Sales), I decided to give it a try, and started to create base templates that I would personalize.
If you want to speed up your process while still incorporating research and personalization, I would suggest using templates like the following. While the structure doesn’t change much from one company to the next, the content changes dramatically -- and that’s the key to great prospecting.
However, before we go any further, some ground rules:
- I never write a prospecting email unless I have a reason to reach out. Not sure about you, but I am not great at calling/emailing a prospect, and saying “Hey, yeah, I am calling you for no reason … but this is what we do.” I am a big believer in trigger events, and use them as the basis of my outreach. To learn how to prospect based on trigger events, check out this post.
- In your email, you should answer the core questions you would cover if you were to connect with the buyer on a call. What would you say on a call and why? Incorporate the main elements in your emails.
- Before deciding to work any lead, ask yourself two questions: 1) Why are you working the company? 2) What do you think you can help them with? If you don’t have answers, you haven’t done enough research.
And now for the templates. I queue these up to send as a Sequence, so I can just set it and forget it.
[Label: “PERSONALIZED: Email 1”]
Whenever I reach out to someone I have to have a reason. That reason needs to be timely and helpful based on research that I have done on your company.
Why I think HubSpot can help your company:
- [Research-driven reason #1 here]
- [Research-driven reason #2 here]
- [Research-driven reason #3 here]
Here is what an exploratory call looks like with me in case you are interested in seeing if we can help.
Do you want to talk and learn more? You can book a time on my calendar here [link].
[Label: “PERSONALIZED: Email 2”]
I called you and wrote to you X days ago about some of the research that I have done on Y Company that leads me to think we could help you improve your marketing.
Those reasons didn't get a response so I knew I needed to dig further.
- [Example of something I think we could improve, complete with specific ideas]
- [Additional idea(s) to help their company]
Is this intriguing or interesting at all? If so, book a quick exploratory call with me here. I promise not to waste your time.
[Label: “Should I Stay or Should I Go”]
I have reached out to you a few times and haven't heard back. I don’t want to give up on you without getting a yes or a no.
Please hit reply, type one of the following three numbers into your response, and I’ll take it from there:
- Thanks anyways Ali, but there isn’t any interest.
- I want to talk -- let’s schedule a time to chat.
- Timing isn’t right but I am interested in talking at a later time.
I really believe that I can help Company Y, but I don’t want to be that pesky, annoying salesperson that keeps reaching out.
Thanks for your response!
Note: I generally send a couple more emails between attempt #2 and the final “break-up” email, but these are one-off messages that can’t be saved as templates.
I have always prided myself on personalization. I don’t want to reach out in a generic, spammy kind of way to every company I am prospecting -- and I attribute my success in sales to this rule.
How do you balance personalization with productivity in prospecting? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Editor's note: Ali Powell is an inbound marketing specialist at HubSpot. Join the Women in Sales Slack channel to connect with like-minded ladies in sales here.