Persistent Email Sales Tactics That Work

This tutorial zooms in on a favorite topic of mine, and it’s one of the most actionable i.e. have the pen and paper out while viewing! I can (almost) guarantee you will find immediate applications in how to improve upon current email systems and sales fundamentals in your own business model(s).

Common Email Sales Errors

One of the most common email sales errors – in email auto responders, email newsletters and broadcast messages – is the lack of persistent effort in selling (not communicating benefits is a close second).

Just as in face-to-face selling, few salespeople have the gusto to try and try again – they give up too early, despite the fact that most people understand that more attempts equals more likely to sell the prospect. Let’s look at a few examples.

Example 1: Educational Emails Series

The most obvious problem in this hypothetical offer is that there is no real push to sales; in fact, there’s no chance for the customer to buy at all…until email 6. The owner assumed that if the prospect doesn’t buy, they’re not a good lead.

Error 1

The first thing that any serious business person needs to bear in mind is that open are rates far from 100%, so to throw a sales opportunity in only one email in a 6-email sequence (at the end) means a low conversion rate by that 6th day (maybe 15% open, if lucky). Not to mention the prospect only gets exposed to the sales opportunity once. This business will have a hard time selling

Example 2: Consulting Business

We work with a lot of companies that sell expertise (whether that be a PR consultant, crowd-funding consultants, or even a brick-and-mortar business) – clearly, CLVboost is in the same market. An important questions to ask is, how many times do we get on the phone with qualified people (emphasis on qualified) when we send out emails? The answer should be; every time we send out a newsletter or email. This is a step that is often neglected.

Error 2

Too many businesses make the error of sending out a random newsletter with no calls to action and no sales initiative – maybe it only mentions the company happenings. A company might spend years using email as a bragging – I mean branding – mechanism, and see no effect on the bottom line. The fact is that we can be professional and still drive sales.

Methods of Persistency in Email Sales (for eCommerce or Service Businesses)

Let’s examine common selling situations in which persistency would be effective. Put yourself in the following sales roles and open your mind; make the idea click for your business – this is the goal of this section of the tutorial.

Example 1: IBM Salesman Selling Super Computers

What do you do if you’re successful? Use (not limited to) the following tactics, based on context:

  • Call at different times of the day
  • Use a secretary to call when you’re not around
  • Show up to companies at different times – knock on the door when the boss shows up or at closing – you might even bring food
  • Research and use different sales approaches (opportunity vs problem solving)
  • Frame your newsletter with a sales push – “I know who you’re using now, I know we’re better, let’s find a time to chat”

Example 2: Amazon.com (Book Sales)

  • Sell on thank-you page of first purchase
  • Sell immediate follow-up email of recommended books
  • Sell on next Amazon visit
  • Sell with discount codes/seasonal specials

Example 3: Child who wants ice cream (simple analogy for convincing people to move forward with an action)

  • Try mom first, dad second
  • Use expecting enthusiasm i.e. ” it’s such a nice day outside, wouldn’t it be great…”
  • Use a pout/grovel approach i.e. “it hasn’t been sunny in forever, I don’t even remember what ice cream tastes like”
  • Throw a tantrum
  • Convince mom or dad that they want ice cream too

Picked up on the common theme yet? To boil it down, the thread that ties is trying many times over and trying a a variety of effective approaches.

Why don’t most people use the persistent and varied approach to selling in email? Often, it’s because they’re simply unaware of the various tools available, or unaware of how valuable persistency is (unlike the above examples).

Persistent Email Sales Tools

What are the tools in the email sales arsenal? Make sure you’ve got that pen and paper handy and brainstorm with me!

As we discuss, think about which might be the most applicable for your audience? For your autoresponders and newsletters, which will solicit the next steps? Which can you integrate now – you know better than anyone else!

Selling ideas

  1. Message: This basically boils down to however you’re conveying the purpose of your content. A big no-no is sending people to completely unrelated web properties. For example, if you send people via a link to YouTube, and people spot a Katy Perry video in the sidebar, they’re leaving your page and not coming back, whereas if you have a video on your own site, you control the call-to-action.
  2. Incentives: Are you using any of these incentive ideas? eCommerce examples (in red) include coupon codes; bundles; buy-one-get-one free (BOGO offers); price drops (maybe you drop the price on a certain product line over the weekend). If you’re a brick-and-mortar service business (in blue), you might have seasonal specials on a product; periodic price reductions; a free assessment for management strategy if you sell services – whatever it takes to get the foot in the door to build the relationship.
  3. Action Steps: eCommerce companies have lots of follow-through avenues available, including the ever-popular Paypal; however, a lot of people marketing to older niches will ask for the check/order on phone option – this is something that can make sense, depending on you audience. You want to know your audience so that you can shake out additional sales if you offer multiple ways to purchase. Service companies can ask people to call or book independently through a calendar  app such as Calendly or TimeTrade – lots of prospects are more comfortable doing this than calling. You might also allow customers to enter information at their own leisure into an appointment form. If you only have the “call us option”, you’re losing out on money; people are at work, or on the bus, or they’re simply too scared to call – your job is to find ways to help them make that next step.

Immediate Action Steps to Improve Your Email Sales/Overcoming Sales Excuses

If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and map out the following:

  • Which kinds of offer forms or incentives might be most effective in your email marketing?
  • How can you add these methods into a healthy/balanced rotation so that you constantly keep sales opportunities open with your email list?
  • Determine 3 immediate changes you can make to your business’ existing email routine/systems.

Tell us your success stories via comment or email. We love to hear from our customers and other businesses who gain value from shared strategies.

Bear in mind that persistency is just one of the many factors in improving ROI. If you’re interested in finding out more about our services, reach out to us at clvboost.com to schedule an initial assessment of your business project or strategy needs.

-Daniel Faggella
Founder of CLVboost

About The Author

Daniel Faggella

I grow businesses with marketing automation, email marketing, and conversion-rate optimization. I’ve spoken on business and emerging technologies internationally and at some of America’s finest schools (Yale, Stanford, Cornell, etc…). My marketing strategies have been featured in the Boston Business Journal, MarketingProfs, Direct Marketing News, and much more. CLVboost is where I share marketing strategies, TechEmergence.com is my major pursuit.