How to send your first email to prospects

Take the plunge

Let’s say someone visited your website, gave you their business card, or responded to a social media post, and asked for more information. Now you’re probably wondering how to send your first email to prospects, right?

Well, that depends on how close they are to buying.

According to recent research, 63 percent of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least three months, and 20 percent will take more than 12 months to actually buy. So, when you figure out how to send your first email to prospects, you really need to focus on building rapport and nurturing the relationship.

Importance of nurturing the prospect

When a potential buyer asks for more information about your company, you never want to leave them in the lurch.

Turning that prospect into a customer is the lifeblood of your business, so you want to make sure you contact them right away — and keep in touch until they make that purchase.

Here are some sales statistics that will help you see value in keeping continued contact with your prospects:

  • More than 40 percent of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process.
  • More than half of prospects want to discuss pricing and see how the product or service works on the first call.
  • 19 percent of prospects want to connect with a salesperson during the awareness stage of their buying process when they first learn about the product or service.
  • 60 percent of prospects want to speak with a salesperson during the consideration stage, after they’ve researched their options.
  • 20 percent of prospects will engage with a salesperson during the decision stage, when they are ready to buy.

Ways to nurture the prospect

As you start learning how to send your first email to prospects, the name of the game is multiple touch points. On average, prospects receive an average of 10 touches from the time they enter the top of the funnel until they’re a closed-won customer.

The name of the game is multiple touch points.

 

You might find it very helpful to map out your prospect’s buyer journey — an illustration or diagram of all the touch points you will have with prospects — to get a 20,000-foot view of all the opportunities and ways with which you can connect.

Send First Email Map

There are plenty of tactics to keep in touch after figuring out how to send your first email to prospects. Consider the following to keep your prospect engaged until they are ready to buy:

  • Check-in phone calls.
  • Holiday cards.
  • Birthday cards.
  • Handwritten notes (post phone-call is very effective).
  • Monthly email newsletter.
  • Industry update email campaign.
  • Promotional items like magnets, stress balls, etc.
  • Small gift basket.
  • Bottle of wine with custom-branded label.

Ultimately, different tactics will be appropriate for different industries. Measure the response and leverage those tactics that get you the most bang for your prospecting buck.

How to send your first email to prospects

You understand the importance of the nurturing process, but it all starts when you figure out how to send your first email to prospects. As you draft your email campaign, keep in mind that the average prospect deletes 48 percent of the daily emails they receive within five minutes or less — so you need to be impactful and timely.

In fact, those who attempted to reach prospects within an hour were nearly seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations with decision makers than those who waited over sixty minutes.

Some considerations for your first email to prospects:

Include personalization

By adding the prospect’s first name and/or business name, you demonstrate that you took the time to write a thoughtful email. According to recent Epsilon research, 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience, which begins with your first email.

Send First Email Phone

Use a direct subject line

Most prospects are used to receiving hundreds of personal, business and promotional emails in a given week. After learning how to send your first email to prospects, you need to make sure you’re catching their attention and getting to the point. Consider a tool like the CoScheduler Email Subject Line Tester to get some expert insights and best practices when crafting your subject line.

If you can’t come up with anything on your own, consider these examples:

  • ProspectBizName – YourBizName: Following Up
  • About your inquiry on XYZDomain.com
  • Following Up: Ideas for your event/launch/business

Be contextual

Be sure to mention how they became a prospect. Did they submit an online form? Call and leave a voicemail? Reply on social media?

Re-mention whatever product or service in which they showed interest.

 

If they submit a form on your wedding cakes page, then mention your wedding cakes. If they download an eBook about selling their home, be sure to mention your winning history of getting top dollar for home sellers.

Talk about them

Remember that this prospect is contacting you to see what’s in it for them. Mention how your product or service is dedicated to their customer experience, and tell them the features and benefits they can look forward to by doing business with you.

Consider sharing a testimonial from a positive online review to show them how people like them experienced your product or service. The power of social proof could just drive them to make a buying decision faster.

Include a strong call-to-action

Although this is the first of many emails you’ll most likely send to this prospect, you still want to finish strong. You might be worrying about how to send your first email to prospects, but don’t be afraid to ask them for a reply, a call, or to schedule an appointment. One of the easiest ways to “hook” your prospect is by having them schedule a date to speak or meet live.

Consider a tool like Calendly, which allows prospects to choose a time and date when your calendar says you’re available — a huge timesaver.

Editor’s note: If you’ve got a GoDaddy GoCentral website, scheduling appointments is a snap with the built-in Online Appointment Scheduling feature.

Another way to drive engagement from your prospect is to ask them a question in the email. A simple question like “What is your favorite cake flavor?” or “In what town do you see yourself living?” prompts them to answer and can expedite your prospect nurturing timeline.

Putting it all together

Odds are you will not close this prospect in your first email, but you know that by now. By taking a look at your buyer journey and plotting your different interactions, you can create an effective prospect nurturing plan. It all starts when you learn how to send your first email to prospects.

Bryan Caplan
Bryan Caplan helps businesses elevate their digital marketing. A national speaker for Google's Get Your Business Online program and award-winning CEO of BJC BrandingBryan travels the country, presenting on a wide range of digital marketing topics to help small businesses grow and succeed. Bryan has provided digital marketing strategy to well over 1,000 businesses since 2010 and is a guest lecturer at Suffolk University School of Business. He is also a contributing columnist to several publications including GoDaddy, Constant Contact, BusinessTown, and the Boston Business Journal.