Not all communication between a prospect and salesperson must be manually completed. Based on customer buying timeframes and the average amount of opportunities that sales professionals handle, it is unwise to expect quality follow-up to be personally hand-typed every time and ongoing. Moreover, any organization expects some continuity and consistency in messages from their company’s personnel to their clients. The same look, feel, language and experience must be embedded in your company’s messaging. In the end, relying on automated email templates as part of your follow-up process is advised.
Today’s Customer Relationship Management tools (CRMs) give us the ability to automate messaging to our prospects, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be basic, bland, or elementary. The words you choose are important, and there are far greater messages your business should be sending than “Just reaching out”, “Want to follow-up”, and “Haven’t heard from you”.
Here are the 5 Steps to Writing Good Automated Email Templates
Personalize the Message
How do you personalize an email if it is automated? Simply put, by using the merge fields within your CRM, you can leverage the ability to auto-populate the prospect’s name (first, last, or full), product of interest, your business name, your name and title, and even the lead source or website where their inquiry was submitted. By embedding these merge fields from your CRM into your emails auto-populate this information. Your message appears more personalized to them and their inquiry and a lot less “To Whom it May Concern”.
Keep it Concise
They say patience is a virtue, but unless you are writing a novel, readers don’t want to wait for you to get to the point. Do away with all of the gobbledygook, long-winded openings, and personal introductions. Get to the reason for the email quickly, and then keep your message short. Based on a study from Hubspot, it was determined the best email length is between 50-125 words. Even making sure all emails are under 200 words is a great place to start, but the shorter you keep your automated email templates, the better. Since most emails are opened on mobile devices, do your reader a favor and save them scrolls down on their phone by keeping it short.
Choose the Theme
At DealerKnows, we believe that there are only two goals any email you send to a prospect can have. It is to either Elicit a Reply or to Build Value. If your sole intention is to get the customer to reply back, you can achieve this by asking smart questions (that grow conversations, not kill them) and keeping it increasingly short. If the goal is to build value (in you, your organization, your product, or your process), then you may need to be a little more detailed in your messaging, but still follow stick with that topic. I personally prefer to rotate emails to customers between one focused on eliciting a reply, and the next with a brand-building message, back-and-forth. Decide on the theme before writing your automated email templates and it will help keep your message to them focused and succinct.
Pick Your Trigger
So often, automated email templates seem to appear as if the sender is jamming everything they can into one solitary email. Instead of trying to answer every question the customer has in a lone email, pick a single trigger that they may respond to. Just one answer they may be asking themselves. Educate them about one aspect of your product or company. It could be an email focused on a feature of your product. Or the email could be about alternatives to what they are considering. You can have one email template dedicated to questions about financing whereas another just talks about your specific purchase process. Multiple topics need not be included in one long email. In the end, the “trigger” is what will influence that customer to react. It isn’t meant to be everything to everyone. We’re seeking out that one thing important to them, email by email.
Make an Invitation
For the most part, your goal from any automated email templates is to start a conversation or to re-engage one back to life. The key to any conversation is a back-and-forth dialogue. Review your automated email templates in your CRM and see just how many are not asking anything of the customer. Just count the question marks? Do you have too many or none at all? Are you making them an offer? Is there a call-to-action with a question? Are you inviting them to see you, or asking to schedule time to see them? Are you asking questions to identify their needs? You always should be inviting them into a conversation, meeting, or purchase with you. If your emails don’t have questions and look to be a “Keeping in touch”- style monologue, you are not giving them a reason to contact you. If your outbound messages to prospects aren’t receiving replies, they should be revisited and rewritten.
The easiest thing you can do for your organization is to improve your outbound communication with your clients. Whether it be conquesting new customers or retaining current clients, the messaging in your emails (and calls, texts and videos) will determine if they stay in the sales funnel. How much thought you’ve put into these curated emails determines how many conversations you have. By following these 5 steps to writing good automated email templates, you can save your team time while still building quality relationships with customers.
If you would like to learn more about how we can refresh your CRM with the best templates and processes, contact us at DealerKnows.