Sales and marketing teams work together to bring your business the conversions it needs, but the approaches for each are fundamentally different. If done improperly, your sales and marketing outreach efforts could doom your perception before consumers.
Good outreach practices are the difference between getting consumers to open and read your emails, and being deleted on sight or worse, landing in the dreaded spam folder. The first step is to understand how your sales and marketing goals are different, then applying the key principles to your email outreach strategy. Learn more in the paragraphs below.
Related: How to Reawake Cold Leads with These 4 Types of Re-Engagement Emails
Sales Emails vs Marketing Emails: Your Goals
All successful campaigns must begin with clear goals, and the goals for sales and marketing are not the same. The goal of sales is to land conversions that began with marketing efforts. For a sales rep to have a meaningful conversation with prospects, they must know who the prospect is, and how your products/services will help them.
Marketing Goals and Emails
The initial step in marketing campaigns is to send prospects helpful, relevant content to foster engagement. As this continues, you should be collecting information to identify their persona, interests, and challenges. As you have more information, you should be able to share contextually relevant emails and pass on the information collected about prospects to sales teams for more targeted engagement.
Marketing emails should foster click-throughs to gated content according to the interests of the prospect. To access this content, interested prospects will furnish information about themselves on forms. As the level of communication progresses, you should send content that guides them through their buyer’s journey. You can glean more details as they move closer to sales-readiness.
After a prospect has been handed to the sales team, the marketer’s job is far from over. Instead, it shifts its primary focus to building trust with the brand.
Sales Goals and Emails
In sales, your overarching goal is to book meetings or make sales, but that shouldn’t be the target of every email from the sales team. It is crucial to understand where in the buyer’s journey your prospect is, and what the most appropriate call to action is for that stage.
All sales emails should have a ‘give’ and ‘get’ component. The ‘give’ is the value you provide – perhaps information on their industry, specific insights on their company/brand, or resources they need. The ‘get’ is the thing you’re asking the prospect to do.
While you can have multiple gives in one email, you should have just one get. Having multiple calls to action in a single email will overwhelm prospects, leading them to choose none of the options. This is especially vital for prospects who aren’t purchase-ready.
For prospects higher up in the sales funnel, you get maybe confirming the information collected from marketing efforts. You want to build rapport by having small gets, then ask for a meeting a few emails into your interaction, depending on their receptiveness.
Even while sales outreach goes on, the marketing team may still send a prospect emails. This is acceptable, provided that both teams have synchronized their messages to serve each other’s goals. Sales team pursues their goal of conversion, while marketing works on building trust using testimonials, case studies, and similar materials. At all points, both teams must be sure not to overwhelm the prospect with too many emails.
Related: Optimizing Your Form Strategy Where User Experience Meets Need for Information
Personalizing Email Messages
The biggest difference between sales and marketing emails is in the tone. While marketing teams must master the one-to-many type of communication, sales teams must master one-on-one communication, and both call for different tones.
Before, it was standard to send emails from generic handles like [email protected]. Today, however, the industry has shifted in favor of all emails coming from a specific person. This helps to humanize your communications and increases the likelihood of getting direct responses from prospects who decide to engage.
There are different styles of personalization, including letting some aspects of the communication be dictated by the person sending the email and their personality. Some companies have heavily designed content, while others send short, punchy emails that sound so personal, it feels like they are talking to you directly.
Somewhere in the middle is where most teams find themselves – an intro paragraph, subheadings and bullet points, and a clear call-to-action. Both ends of the spectrum can be successful; it really just depends on your skills and what your audience responds to.
Regardless of the specific style, elements of personalization will be essential to your marketing emails. Use personalization tokens or smart content in the email marketing automation software. Call the recipient by the name and include a detail you know about them, but the gist of the email body remains similar for all recipients.
Conversely, sales emails may follow templates or frameworks, but the actual text must be hyper-specific to the company and recipient. You can increase efficiency by having bare-bone templates where you simply fill in the blanks with customer specifics.
However, the most impactful sales emails will be highly customized to recipients – these drive better engagement than run-of-the-mill phrases that prospects hear often.
Take your time on sales emails instead of pushing large quantities of automated messages, even if you’ll only send a few emails every day. You’re likely to see double the responses on personalized messages as the templated ones.
Personalization in sales depends on the source of your leads. For inbound leads, their digital profile can help you understand them. For instance, what did they download, and what does that say about their pain points? Carry out initial research on their company and role; then your first communication will be based on these perceptions.
Outbound leads usually demand more research. You’ll need to find common ground between the sales rep and lead. Being unfamiliar with your company, building person-to-person trust is central to moving the relationship forward. A sales rep might look for shared connections on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, common interests, or other areas of convergence.
Trigger events in the prospect’s life provide great footing to start sales email outreach, e.g. getting new jobs or promotions, companies getting awards or funding, or other noteworthy events in their professional lives. Use trigger events to break the ice and show that you care about the happenings in the prospect’s life.
Frequency of Communication
Regardless of the type of communication, you shouldn’t send more than 2-3 emails per week, except if the recipient is engaging or responding. If a person is opening, clicking, and following your CTAs, you can reasonably send more emails. But don’t exceed 2-3 emails without seeing that level of engagement.
For sales emails, outbound leads will be colder, and so you should space emails and assess reception. Even with inbound leads, don’t be locked into a predetermined sequence. Instead, be reactive according to each prospect’s engagement with your outreach. You can send next-day follow-ups to recipients that engaged with the original email.
Follow-up emails will depend on the call to action of the original email. If you provided a resource, they need time to process the information, for instance. There isn’t one way to engage with prospects and trying to find it may not lead to the same success as following your recipients’ cues.
While marketing teams follow one-to-many communications and sales teams follow one-on-one, both teams benefit from working together and taking cues from each other. The goal, style, and tone may be different, but many best practices apply across teams. Sales and marketing teams should work together to make the company-wide email outreach efforts more fruitful.