Why Are You Sending the Same Value Message in Every Email?

EmailsToday’s post is written by Jeremy Boudinet of Ambition on the importance of testing and how to identify value messaging that resonates for email marketing.

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Let’s start with the numbers: 572 prospects. Half VP/Directors of Sales. Half Directors of Sales Operations. 1 Cold Email campaign. 8 touchpoints.

We engaged in a cold email campaign in November-December 2014 here at Ambition. The more important set of numbers about that campaign can be found below:
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The email campaign elicited a grand total of 73 positive responses out of 572.

Each email contained a unique value message. We sent 8 emails to each prospect, and everyone touched a different pain point, conveyed a unique feature, or proposed a unique value add of Ambition.

For 32 percent of our successful contacts, whatever we said in our first 5 messages — each of which, by the way, contained a different value message — didn’t resonate. Nor did the fact that we had reached out to them 5 times within a span of 4 weeks.
Which brings us to one of the most important lessons we learned from our very first automated cold email campaign:

Discovering and executing smart value messaging should be the goals (1) and (1)(A) of every cold email campaign.

The Importance of Testing Different Value Messages with Each Cold Email

graph-picIn our writeup of Tamara Schenk’s great article on value messaging, we asserted that high quality value messaging “requires empathy, and we’ve spent the last decade depersonalizing just about every level of the sales process — transitioning from cold calls to cold emails, from manually-typed emails to automated blaster campaigns, and from in-person prospect meetings to faceless web demos.”

In our own cold emails to prospects, we not only wanted to generate new leads, we wanted to test which kinds of value messages resonated most greatly with our prospects. For that reason, we invoked the services of Heather Morgan of SalesFolk, who specializes in delivering tailored value messages to prospects.

When we set up our eight touch points for our cold email campaign, we ensured that every single email contained a unique value message. Rather than send a prospect 8 emails that proposed the exact same value message, we opted to send prospects 8 emails that each attacked a different pain point, proposed a unique solution, or characterized Ambition in a divergent way.

As the graphs above denote, all four sub-campaigns had success that was spread throughout the course of the campaign. Let’s look at Campaign 1A, the first graph denoted, specifically, since it’s the lone graph where each email blast that was sent generated at least one new lead.

The Cold Emails We Sent

Here were the unique value propositions for 3 of the 8 emails sent out in that campaign:

Email #2A
SUBJECT: idea to gamify {!Company}’s sales team

Hi {!First},

I’d like to share a quick idea with you that has helped [Clients] gamify their sales team and exceed their revenue goals.

The concept is fairly simple, and leverages the game mechanics of competitions like Fantasy Football, and has powerful results.

When can we have a quick call so I can explain?

Thanks,

Email #5a
SUBJECT: {!Company}’s most important sales KPI

Hi {!First},

Do you know what changes you need to make with your sales team to ensure your {!Company} meets its quota for Q1 2015?

Tracking profit-per-sale doesn’t tell you enough. Companies like [Client example] realize improving sales performance requires knowing KPIs like profit-per call, email reply rate, etc. Our software shows them their sales teams’ stats in real time and plots trends so they can see what drives peak sales performance.

I’d like to share some important sales KPIs with you that {!Company} should be tracking. When can we do a quick call?

Thanks,

Email #6a
SUBJECT: {!Company}’s best and worst sales reps

Hi {!First},

Do you know who {!Company}’s best and worst sales reps are?

Our software creates real-time leaderboards of your sales team (like Fantasy Football) by aggregating CRM and other sales data. Companies like [Client example] are automatically notified who their best and worst reps are based on KPIs like email response per day and lead conversion rate.

When can I have 10 minutes to show you how easily you can rank {!Company}’s sales team?

Thanks,

As the numbers indicate, email Nos. 2 and 6 resonated with our prospects, generating 6 and 5 responses, respectively. By contrast, email No. 5 resonated only 1 response.

The Results of This Campaign and Importance of Value Messaging

Bar_chart_font_awesome.svgDo you truly know what matters to the recipients of your cold emails? Can you make an educated guess?

We can now. Because some of these emails (Nos. 2 and 6, for example) clearly resonated much more strongly with our prospects than others.

And our subsequent correspondence backs it up. While timing and structure of the email itself of course play a role, all of the follow-up conversations that occurred began with an allusion to our original value message, and a reiteration of interest based upon that value message.

The beautiful thing about enterprise software is that successful sales are always premised, foremost, on adding value. John Barrows explained it beautifully in a recent interview we did with him. And the numbers here back it up.

Look at Email #6. That’s a real situation Directors/VPs of Sales face. They don’t truly know who on their team is excelling and struggling (the latter especially). One of the premiere value-adds of Ambition is that we key in everybody — Executives, Managers, and Reps — about how their Sales Team members are performing based on relevant benchmarks of their choosing.

The result: Better awareness of who deserves recognition and why. Who needs more coaching and where. Which reps would make the best coaches to help a peer in a certain area. And so forth.

That’s what resonates with our prospects. 9 percent of the people who opened our 6th email responded to it. Through a mixture of persistence and finding the right pain point where we could help, we turned cold email recipients into leads.

That’s cold emailing done right. And it requires smart value messaging. For more information on our email campaign, check out our introductory post on the Ambition Blog and Heather Morgan’s original post on SalesFolk. We’ll be spending the rest of January fleshing out our campaign, stay tuned!

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