There are a lot of subtleties when writing good copy – you can make a fool of yourself or you can impress the other person to the level where they trust you, in less than a minute.
The question here is a simple one: why should I read your email and not any of the other 20 in my inbox? Why should I click on your subject line and not just send the email to trash? Because you convinced me that it would be worth it. How? Through the copy, you’ve used. Just as spoken words make all the difference during calling campaigns, when it comes to outbound lead generation, copy is king. It’s also the only way to differentiate yourself and establish a relationship with the person you’re writing to.
The aim of this article is not only to highlight the key points to why copy matters in outbound lead generation but also to give you some tried and tested tips and best practices on how to do it right. Stay tuned!
Copy acts as a main differentiator
There are many other people who are sending emails to the same prospects as you do. Copy matters because it’s the only way to get the latter to click on the subject of your email, read it all the way through and then contact you, not someone else. Therefore, the number one benefit of good copy is differentiation.
Writing in a clear and concise manner helps you set expectations and create a good impression of your company. Straight and to the point, as well as very well structured and personalised email copy immediately sets you apart from all the other emails that your prospects are receiving (we’ll be posting examples in one of our follow up posts – so stay tuned).
Good copy triggers trust and builds relationships
Copy matters because it’s how you establish a relationship. In order to achieve this, you need to tell your prospects what’s in it for them and make that as clear and concise as possible.
People usually don’t want to do anything with emails that are not clear and don’t show the reason why they’re being emailed from the very beginning. What happens is that, unless the copy is very clear, concise, targeted and relevant, it will in general be performing less successfully than the copy that’s very targeted, well-written and structured. In order to build trust and create a relationship, you need to explain the reasons why you’re contacting your prospects, how you found out about them, what you can do for them (specifically them, not the company, but their position). What’s in it for them for talking to you?
If you’re clear about that, you’ve gained their trust from the very beginning and have set the foundation for a solid collaboration.
Good copy delivers results without pissing people off
Although you can improvise everything when you call your prospects, you’ve got very limited time and you get very little attention from the person. Cold-calling is very much annoying for both sides – the caller and the person he or she is cold-calling – because it is something that happens without permission. I’ve outlined the key problems with cold-calling and gave some alternatives in one of my previous articles. With emailing, you have the chance to create something that they can read over and over again. If you get their attention, make the email good and concise, they will be able to come back to it anytime they want. Good copy matters because it can replace actual dialogue in a successful and non-intrusive way.
Remember that, with email, people can see you. They click on your profile, see what you look like, what your experience is, etc. They can actually run your background check. These are the things you talk about anyway when you are meeting someone for the first time. All the information is now available on the internet. When you email someone, it is as if you were having a conversation. Whereas when you call someone it’s less personal these days. You can’t tell based on a phone conversation what this person looks like, what his or her background is, etc. And after the prospect hangs up the phone, you don’t really know if they’ll remember your name, do you?
What are the attributes of extraordinary copy?
Great copy is written as a one-on-one personal email. It’s not a mass marketed email even though it’s sent automatically to several people. The tone of the message is very much “I’m talking to you.”
It’s got a point of reference
The copy should have a point of reference: how did you find them – to avoid that “out of the blue” impression? What is the reference point? It doesn’t need to be a very strong link. A connection is a connection and it doesn’t make that much difference if you’ve met them personally or not. Just explain why they are being approached by you.
It helps build a connection
You need to build some sort of a connection with your prospects. You can do that by saying something relevant about their title. What you can typically say is something like: “I’ve found your profile on LinkedIn and had to say hello to a fellow salesman.” – convey a personal touch.
Once you’ve established the “why are you targeting them?” and some personal touch, the next step is to answer “why are you mailing them?”. Are you mailing them to explain who you are? Do you want a job? What is the reason? The “why” oftentimes occurs simultaneously with “what’s in it for them.” Take this text as an example sent to a CEO:
“As a CEO I can understand you are focusing on scaling your company. The reason I’m emailing you is that we’re working with clients in your industry and we support them with these kinds of activities (+company names). What we have typically seen with our clients is that we are the lowest customer acquisition cost with a very high ROI.”
The structure of a good outbound lead generation mail
The email should be about 80-100 words, very focused, respectful of their time, targeted, etc. Be upfront about “why” and “how”.
- Why are you targeting them? – something personal.
- Why are you emailing at all?
- What’s in it for them?
- Why should they follow the call to action?
- Then the call to action (CTA).
The CTA is usually that last sentence where you’re kindly asking your prospects for a few minutes of their time. Why do you want a call? To understand their process better so you can determine whether there’s a fit. Why should they follow the call to action? Because at this point they understand why you’re mailing them, they know what’s in it for them and they appreciate you saving them the time and the trouble to qualify you and determine whether there’s a fit. Even if the prospect doesn’t need your service at this point, a good email copy will trigger an answer.
How HubSell works in this direction
HubSell’s copy is customizable to the bone. You can target people using automated personalised copy based on different titles, in different industries, different locations, who started out x months ago, who are located in one city as opposed to another city, and more.
Over to you – why does copy matter for your outbound lead generation efforts? Are there any lessons that you’ve learned along the way?
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave comments and questions in the dedicated section below.