Email marketing can provide some great statistics - but it can be horribly destructive if you use it in the wrong way.At a recent industry trade show, I saw some ridiculous statistics about the effectiveness of email marketing. Yes, email can be highly effective. However, done the wrong way, it can be destructive. How do you take advantage of email to get results without the risks?

Consider these two stats from recent Rain Group research:

  • Only 5% of sellers say sending bulk emails is effective.
  • 77% of buyers have responded favorably to an email from a new provider in the last 12 months
  • 31% of sellers say sending 1-to-1 emails manually after doing research and customizing the message is very/extremely effective.

Dangers of Bulk Emailing

People have become so frustrated with bulk email in Europe that they essentially made it illegal with the new GDPR regulations. (See What Would You Do If Cold Calling Were Illegal?) Bulk emails to purchased lists are not only annoying to buyers, they also create some risks:

  • The Junk Button
    The recipient could hit the “Junk” button meaning that it will be challenging for your sales reps to communicate with them during the sales process. Competitors emails may get through while yours will land in the junk folder, unseen by the buyer.
  • Blacklisting
    Your email domain could get blacklisted by the organization making it nearly impossible to communicate once they become a customer. If your domain gets blacklisted by spam filters like Barracuda SPAM Firewall, you could face big challenges in trying to communicate with anyone.

Power of Customized 1:1 Emails

At the same time buyers hate mass email, they also said that 1-to-1 emails are effective. The research also showed that 80% of buyers prefer to be contacted by email.

While bulk emails are ineffective, customized emails from sales reps can be very powerful. These emails need to share relevant insights with the buyer while also demonstrating that you know something about them and their business.

So, how do you get there?

The Middle Ground: Semi-Homemade Email Sequences

Semi-homemade email sequences allow sales reps to share useful information while easily customizing emails. Reps can select from a menu of pre-written email sequences with information relevant to a vertical market or horizontal function.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sales reps can quickly research a prospect on LinkedIn and their website.
  2. Next, they select a pre-written email sequence relevant to the buyer. Sales reps can quickly customize parts of the email stream to be relevant to their buyers.
  3. Emails automatically go out in a preset sequence. Reps get notified on their mobile phones when the prospect interacts with the emails.

At this point, the reps have the signals they need to reach out and offer an appointment. As a bonus, this creates activity metrics for email prospecting that can be tracked.

What’s Your Email Plan

If you’re blasting out emails to lists, I encourage you to balance the open rates and effectiveness with the risks. Instead, what if you could take advantage of the trends and empower your reps to send 1:1 customized emails?

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