We’ve all been at meetings where a lead we’ve been pursuing is present and we have to approach them cold. There’s a persistent rumour that some people are a natural at this but there’s little doubt introducing themselves to strangers is a skill learnt by multiple failures and successes. Using emails to secure leads for an email marketing list requires different skills.
Even the ‘natural’ at putting leads at their ease might struggle with an email as the smile, the extended hand and face-to-face signals such as mirroring are not available. It’s easy to make simple mistakes. A word or phrase out of place in an email and the lead can delete it without fear of embarrassment.
First rule in approaching a lead via email is that it is not all about you. In fact, it’s not about you at all. That’s why an email opening with, “My name is . . .” stands little chance of success. It’s the same with, “I’m with . . .”. Say something about them. Another option is the route by which you’ve gained their email address as a lead, such as, “You contacted [your company] a few weeks ago about a . . . I’ve been giving the matter a great deal of thought and I have a solution for you”. Solution is such an attractive word.
If you obtained his email address via colleague in common, then, “John Smith suggested I get in touch with you,” works well but only if John Smith did indeed say so. As in email marketing, don’t tell lies.
I mentioned smiling in face-to-face meetings. It generally puts people at ease, so something similar in the email can help. However, don’t be familiar. Accept you can come over as too spooky. You know the demographic the person might fall into, so use that knowledge.
They will sign up to your email marketing list if you can show you will be good for their company or them. Push that aspect. Discover what their needs are and cover those in the lead email. Tread lightly, don’t spook them and, it all goes wrong, try to work out why.