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7 Tips for Writing E-mails That Won't Get Deleted

Crazy-busy people read their e-mail with their finger on the delete key. Sales strategist and author Jill Konrath shares her guidelines to increase your e-mail prospecting success.

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Is your growing company trying to land bigger clients? Or is your sales team looking for leads? If you ever send e-mails that don't elicit a response, there's probably something you could improve about your strategy for crafting an introduction letter. We at Inc.com have asked Jill Konrath, an internationally recognized sales strategist and author or SNAP Selling, to share her tips for writing e-mails that won't get deleted.

1. Eliminate Delete-Inducing Words

Get rid of all verbiage that activates the delete response. Here are some serious offenders: exciting, state-of-the-art, solution, partner, leading edge, passion, unique and one-stop shopping.

2. Keep Your Message Simple

Your email needs to be less than 90 words. Use 2-sentence paragraphs so it can be scanned. Stick with common black fonts (no colors) and never include more than one link or attachment.

3. Align With Their Objectives

Research your prospect's specific company, industry or position. Make sure your e-mail mentions an important business objective, strategic imperative, issue or challenge. Relevance is essential.

4. Focus on Immediate Priorities

Identify key business events that may be impacting your prospect's priorities and tie your message into that. Examples might be: relocations, mergers, management changes or new legislation.

5. Be an Invaluable Resource

Your product or service may be a commodity, but you're not. In your e-mails, focus on the ideas, insights and information you can share that will be of value to your prospect in reaching their goals.

6. Craft Enticing Subject Lines

Your subject line determines if your message gets read. Avoid sales hype and focus on business issues such as: "Quick question re: outsourcing initiative" or "Reducing product launch time."

7. Launch a Campaign

Do eight to 12 touches (via e-mail and phone) over a four-to-six week time period, with each contact building off the previous one. Provide links to resources. Spotlight the value of changing from the status quo.

Jill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales strategist and bestselling author of SNAP Selling. Her previous book, Selling to Big Companies, has been an Amazon Top-20 Sales Book since 2006, and has been called a "must-read" for salespeople. She has consulted with companies such as IBM, GE, and Staples. These tips were written by Konrath, and provided by Konrath and GoToMeeting, on which she presented a webinar of the same title.

Last updated: Aug 9, 2011

JILL KONRATH | Columnist

Jill Konrath is a sales strategist whose clients include IBM, Microsoft, Accenture, Staples, Hilton, and numerous midmarket firms. Her books include Selling to Big Companies, SNAP Selling, and most recently Agile Selling.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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