12 Best Practices for Email Prospecting (With Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Prospecting is one of the earliest stages in the sales process and can affect each stage after it. Identifying these sales opportunities can build an organization's contact list that matches its target personas. Learning about how to prospect effectively can help your company increase your customer base and revenue. In this article, we discuss the benefits of email prospecting and share 12 best practices you can follow when contacting potential customers through email.

What are the benefits of email prospecting?

Email prospecting can help you identify and qualify potential customers for your business. These are often people that fit your ideal customer persona but may not be aware of the products or services you offer. There are several key benefits to email prospecting, including:

  • Wide reach: With email prospecting, you may send hundreds of emails at the same time to people globally. This allows you to reach more people more efficiently than standard efforts, like individual cold calls or visits.

  • Website traffic: With email prospecting, you can include links to various pages on your website. Different from cold-calling, this provides people with an easier way to learn about the products and services you offer.

  • Communication timing: You can often time your emails based on data that shows when people are more likely to click links or make purchases. This can help you automate standard emails to reach prospects and focus on selling to qualified leads.

  • Simple measuring: There are many easy measurements you can record with email recording, including the number of emails opened, links clicked and purchases made. These metrics can help you improve your marketing efforts over time by reviewing trends.

Related: What Is Prospecting?

12 prospecting best practices for sending emails

Here are some of the best practices for prospecting with emails:

1. Schedule time

Though you might spend more time educating existing customers or finalizing sales, scheduling time for prospecting can help you increase your customer list. Try determining a few hours every week for prospecting to help ensure you have more customers in your pipeline. You might spend the first half-hour every day emailing a new batch of people that fit your customer persona. Building these habits can help you reach more customers and perform your duties more efficiently.

2. Conduct research

It can help to research individual prospects if you hope to qualify a high percentage of them. Once you have an email list, you might research individuals' social media profiles or websites to see their common behaviors and what they follow or respond to in an email. Though this can take time, this can help you target people more likely to buy your products and services and help you personalize your emails.

3. Practice traditional methods

Though there are often innovative new ways to prospect, traditional methods like cold-calling and cold emailing often work. Traditional methods can help you develop routines where you can use templates in many situations and reach large numbers of potential customers. Combining email prospecting with phone prospecting can help you reach different customers who respond to different technologies.

Related: 14 Prospecting Ideas for Salespeople

4. Rank your prospects

You might use certain criteria such as job title, company, existing pain points or buying power that each prospect has. This can help you determine the prospects that are more likely to purchase your products. You might send automated emails with little personalization to the lower-ranked prospects but personalize emails for higher-ranking people. This can help you manage your time and focus on more likely sales.

Related: 14 Examples of Personalized Marketing

5. Understand your ideal persona

Knowing your ideal customer persona can help you identify new prospects. After researching potential customers, you can compare them to the personas your company establishes. If you know your ideal persona, you can use the ranking system to identify how similar individuals or companies are to your target demographics.

Related: 4 Steps To Build Your Buyer Persona

6. Leverage referrals

One way to earn more prospects is to ask current customers for referrals. You might create a loyalty program where people who refer potential customers to you can receive a discount or a product to reward them. Referrals can help inspire trust in new customers, as someone they know has already found success with your company.

7. Use technology

There are many technology programs and applications you might use to help with some time-consuming tasks. For example, you might automatically send emails to many people at once to reach different prospect groups. You might also have responses automatically filed to certain folders or send automatic responses to provide prospects with quick answers and information on how they might purchase your products.

8. Consider your timing

Timing can be very important in email prospecting because people might be more likely to respond to emails or take action at different times of the day or on different days of the week. Understanding when your prospects are more likely to interact with your emails can help you target other prospects in similar ways. Similarly, many customers depend on a quick response time, so you can try to respond to all queries within 24 hours.

9. Define your purpose

Establishing a clear purpose from your prospect emails can help you design templates and customized emails. Though the ultimate goal is to sell your products, the goal for your email might be different. For example, you might send an email to schedule an appointment where you could discuss your services in more detail. A strong purpose can also help your customers know exactly what next steps they can follow to buy or learn about a product.

10. Provide value

Besides links to purchase your products, you can provide an additional value that can influence the prospect. Consider including links to articles or videos that they might find relative so they continue to engage with your emails. This additional value you can offer in emails can be what persuades them to shop with you over your competitors.

11. Be selective

When prospects respond to your marketing emails, you might be selective about how you qualify them or pursue a sale. For example, you might customize your responses to those with high buying power, like executive leaders and automate responses to sales assistants. Being selective with your prospects can ensure you spend more time with people that can bring your company more revenue.

12. Be patient

Like with all prospecting, it's important to be consistent and patient. Though it might take time to develop or qualify prospects, your habits can help you continuously build a pipeline. It can still be valuable to follow-up to on emails you send to people who fit your ideal persona, as they might simply need a reminder to review your products.

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