Telemarketing Software Featured Article

Avoiding 'Spray and Pray' Email Marketing

February 02, 2017
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor

Companies live or die by leads, and it’s generally the job of the inside sales team to take the leads generated by marketing and work them – warming them from cold to hot – for the more senior members of the sales team. While this is often done by telephone in the form of telemarketing, email has its place in the lead generation mix, as well. Email, however, isn’t what it used to be: prospects mercilessly cull their inboxes to keep being overwhelmed by spam and even marketing messages they opted in to.

Email marketing is particularly important in a business-to-business climate, where prospects can be hard to get in touch with by telephone. (Who picks up their phone anymore every time it rings?) So how do you get your email to stand out and hit the right tone in a b-to-b environment?

In a recent article for Inc., Geoffrey James wrote that many inside sales professionals have yet to learn the “right” way to craft emails for prospects. They’re often tempted to use an overly friendly and informal tone, or focus on elements other than proposing benefits for the buyer. James noted that any attempt to force friendship causes people to raise their emotional barriers.

“In face-to-face meetings, this tendency among salespeople to be too friendly manifests itself in handshakes that last too long, compliments that are too fulsome and too frequent use of the other person's first name, etc.,” he wrote. “In sales emails, the ‘too friendly’ tendency manifests itself in phony inquiries about the other person's health or vacation, over-enthusiastic praise for trivial matters and (again) too frequent use of the other person's name.

Another error commonly made in email marketing includes providing too much information: what James calls the “spray and pray” method. Most buyers are looking for a solution that will address a specific problem they have. Listing every feature of your solution in your email may simply overwhelm the prospect. It’s for this reason that the inside sales team member must do a little research and try to understand which features to emphasize so they can personalize the offer for the prospect.

“Many customers are turned off when they're confronted with too much information and put decision-making on hold until they have time to sort everything out, which may never happen,” wrote James. “Effective sales email present a single, meaningful, unique benefit rather than a ‘spray and pray’ list.”

Email marketing solutions, which can work in conjunction with telemarketing software solutions, can help inside sales teams hit the right tone, personalize the message and customize emails for different groups of leads with different leads, particularly if they operate in conjunction with a company’s customer relationship management (CRM) or marketing automation solution. Ultimately, the goal is to craft emails that feel more authentic and targeted.

“Some salespeople seem to think that they live in a world where customers believe something just because somebody tells them it's true,” wrote James.

Random, non-personalized emails with fake friendliness and a laundry list of features are about as effective as slapping a “new and improved!” label on a jar of peanut butter. Nobody’s going to believe it. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi