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In a perfect world, every email we send to a potential client would be read and responded to right away. Unfortunately, many of our prospects are too busy to even look at all the messages they receive, much less act on them.

By avoiding the most common mistakes other people make, savvy sellers like you can move their way to the top of the inbox, and fill their sales funnels with new leads.

In fact, Sheila, one of our clients, recently reported that she got a response from a top prospect after only 20 seconds — and this after she’d tried to reach him by cold calling for weeks! She was shocked by how only a few tweaks to her prospecting email got such a quick response.

You can get the same results simply by remembering the three biggest reasons prospects ignore your emails — and then avoiding them.

  1. They never got your email in the first place.With the sheer number of unwanted email messages most of us receive, it’s no surprise that spam filters are becoming more and more aggressive. Messages with attachments (especially large ones), lots of links, extensive marketing graphics, and other gimmicks aren’t likely to make it to the recipient’s inbox in the first place. Keep your prospecting emails simple and image free, even in your email signature. They’ll have a lot easier time making it past SPAM traps and junk filters.
  2. You didn’t give prospects a strong enough reason to take action.Hard as it is to believe, few people care that your company has a long track record of success. Prospects are too focused on their own problems and issues to bother with any of that. Keep this in mind and use your email message to emphasize common issues and triggering events you can solve that really matter to your customers and prospects. Make them want to engage with you! The point isn’t to tell them more about you. It’s to give them a strong enough reason to begin a sales conversation.
  3. It seemed like too much to deal with at the moment.In “The Glimpse Factor”, I pointed out that you have three seconds — or less — to convince a prospect that they want to read your email, and that it won’t take up more time than they’ve got at the moment. Your goal is to make your email not just sound compelling, but also look easy to act on. The easier it is, the more likely your prospect will read the first sentence, and then dive in to continue and respond to yo

If your email is more than three paragraphs long, asks your prospect to fill out a lengthy registration form, or otherwise seems like something that’s going to take them away from what they were thinking about, then the chances are good they aren’t going to bother.

Your contacts are already too busy. Give them a clear specific call to action that you’d like them to take after they read your email. Reply. Call. Click here. Register.

Tell them what you want them to do using a simple sentence. Then make sure that what you’ve asked them to do doesn’t take more than a moment or two.

Even following these steps, you might never achieve a 100% response rate on your prospecting email campaigns. If you can take the time to incorporate these tips into what you do, however, I promise you’ll see an enormous improvement just like Sheila.

Derek, another seller who switched up his email approach using these steps, got a 61% response rate on his email lead generation campaign. In just a few days, his biggest problem went from needing more leads to finding the time to respond to all of them. Now that’s a problem many sales reps would like to have!

So take my advice and don’t fall for these three common email prospecting traps. Once you avoid them, you’ll start seeing significantly better results — both in your sales pipeline and your prospect’s attention.

By Kendra Lee

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