How to Write Emails That Sell – In 5 Easy Steps
How many times have you sat down to write an email to a client and been lost for words? What am I going to say? How am I going to be able to “sell” my candidate, services and company? The truth is “emails that sell” is an oxymoron.
There is no replacement for picking up the phone and building a relationship with a client directly and being able to ask pertinent questions, listen to their answers and tailor what you are selling, directly to them. How can you possible email a candidate profile and say “you will be interested in the person because…” without making the recipient feel as though you have sent it to 100 others? If you thought I would like them so much and it is so targeted why did you not phone me?
In exactly the same manner “e-shotting” candidates job specs – If they were really any use to you would you not have phoned them about it? Surely the only candidates you would e-shot would be those who we have not spoken to for a long time or those who are not a good fit?? That is assuming you really knew what you were looking for and were committed enough to put in the work required.
There is, however, that odd occasion when it is necessary to email a client or candidate with something “unsolicited”. When you have made numerous attempts to speak to a particular client or candidate, with no success and you have exhausted all other possibilities. Then it may be necessary to send through an email and it is important that it works!
The following format is designed to engage and differentiate you from the competition. The recommendation is less is more. The following five step process will create an engaging personal email to your prospective client, without being too verbose.
Step 1: Get the subject line right. The first step in getting your email read is to have a subject line that makes the reader want to open it. Too many emails shout “recruitment spam” with subject lines such as excellent candidate or Highly recommended developer or fantastic opportunity. Some alternative examples:
Subject: Can we arrange to discuss?
Subject: Recommendation from Insert name. (This could be a colleague of theirs, or a contact you have worked with at one of their competitors).
Step 2: Start the first line with the reason for the email:
“I noticed recently that your company has…..”
“I am aware that you are currently recruiting for a…..”
“I read with interest on your website that….”
Step 3: Briefly tell them what you do (briefly means one or two lines!)
“I specialise in assisting similar businesses in recruiting…”
“I regularly assist find genuine opportunities to develop their careers”
Step 4: Prove it to them! Tell them about recent work you have completed and more importantly what impact it had on that company. Alternatively introduce them briefly to an excellent candidate.
“Having recently worked with Bob Smith at Another Company Ltd…”
“I am working with an individual I know you will want to hear more about who has….”
Step 5: Close them on something. Go for a meeting, an interview for your candidate or at the very least get them to take your call!
“I am going to be in the area next week and would welcome the opportunity to meet…”
“I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this opportunity in more depth…”
“I certainly think that you may well find this to be of interest once we discuss further..”
“I shall call you over the next few days to discuss in more depth…”
This in effect creates a punchy email that clearly is not spam (as it can only been sent to one recipient). The only other guidance I suggest is no attachments. Save them for those who are expecting them, rather than as supporting literature to this email.
To: Bob Smith
Subject: Can we arrange to meet?
I read with interest on your website with regards to the record number of contracts you have secured for web development services for 2010. Congratulations on your success!
As a specialist recruiter in the web development market place I network extensively with people in the industry to ensure I can find the top talent when companies like you are considering recruiting or have particular business issues you may need to address.
I have worked with some of the largest web development agencies in the UK including company X and company Y, having saved them both time and hassle when recruiting for key positions in their teams.
I’d like the opportunity to meet with you. I am going to be in your vicinity next week, can you spare half an hour to discover how I may be able to help you at this time?