One of the biggest challenges for advisers when prospecting is to secure that initial meeting. Often the preliminary outreach to a prospect may take place via email and in that case getting a positive response—or a response at all—can be an arduous mission to accomplish.
According to The Radicati Group, a technology research firm, 1.9 billion non-spam emails are sent every day. To stand a chance to be acknowledged, email messages must be smartly crafted to grab recipients’ attention and motivate them to respond. Other consumer studies also revealed that it takes only 2.7 seconds for an average person to decide if they want to read, delete or reply to an email. This is in part courtesy of our increased use of handheld devices, which currently represent a preponderant portion of all email interactions.
A couple of industry statistics will help you gauge the impressive growth and usage of email on mobile devices:
- 53 percent of total email opens occurred on a mobile phone or tablet in Q3 2014, from 48 percent in Q2 2014.
(Experian, “Quarterly email benchmark report,” Q3 2014)
- Mobile email opens up 180 percent in three years, from 15 percent, Q1 2011 to 42 percent in Q1 2014.
(Campaign Monitor, “Email interaction across mobile and desktop, Q1 2014)
What are some of the key factors that prompt prospects to delete emails? Key culprits traditionally include convoluted language, use of industry jargon and failure to make a strong case for value—are you worth your prospect’s time? Will you be for her or him a valuable source?
Ultimately, it is not the service or product that you are pitching that will prompt your prospects to take action. Rather, your capacity to convince them that you understand their challenges and that you can help them achieve their goals will be the deciding factor. This is what will persuade them that getting additional information or requesting to meet with you will be a good investment of their time.
Here are some of the crucial factors you must bear in mind when crafting an email:
- Grabbing Subject Line: Use concise language. Do not exceed 50 characters. Be clear, consistent, use action words to inspire and, when possible, consider adding the recipient’s first name
Length: The statistics above make a compelling case for prospects reading emails on mobile devices. Consequently, keep your emails short—preferably under 100 words
- Personalize: According to HubSpot Science of Email research, personalizing an email increase click through rates by 14 percent. So, conduct some specific research that can help address the recipient’s challenges and openly quote it in the text.
- Credibility: Do not shy away from name-dropping. If the prospect was referred to you by a third party, mentioning that individual’s name may significantly increase the odds of a response
Value: The first couple of sentences should unequivocally state what you are offering and why it is valuable. To accomplish this goal, clearly state your value proposition. Also, go the extra mile by sharing any educational material you may have on the topic and clearly enunciate to the reader the benefits she will derive from reading such material.
- Closing: In closing your email, remember that your goal is to establish an ongoing conversation. Include a call-to-action and word it in a personal and engaging manner, be it a meeting request or a telephone call.
Claudio O. Pannunzio
President and Founder