How to Write Highly Effective Sales Emails

Media Thumbnail
  • 0.5
  • 1
  • 1.25
  • 1.5
  • 1.75
  • 2
This is a podcast episode titled, How to Write Highly Effective Sales Emails. The summary for this episode is: <p>Get answers to your questions about what makes or breaks a sales email during this 45-minute webinar that will reveal the secrets that sales masterminds swear by. Kyle Coleman of Clari, and <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Gong's</a> Devin Reed share their secrets for writing persuasive sales emails that result in booked meetings and closed-won revenue. Now you’ll know what works. And what doesn’t. Start writing un-ignorable emails today.</p>
Why is email so important to salespeople?
01:35 MIN
What is the most effective email framework?
01:17 MIN
Identify your buyer's problem
01:32 MIN
Align yourself with your buyer's big picture goals
01:17 MIN
The data behind CTAs...which should you use?
01:32 MIN
Why you shouldn't ask for time in a cold email
00:39 MIN
Should you ALWAYS include a CTA?
00:59 MIN
How to measure the success of a cold email campaign
01:42 MIN
What's the right CTA to use after your prospect expresses interest?
02:25 MIN
Build a relationship with your prospect from the start
01:17 MIN

Devin Reed: All right, we are going to go ahead and get started, now that we have 675 people and counting. It's coming in faster than I can keep up with. But, hey, everybody. Thanks so much for joining us. Today, we are here to talk about how to write highly effective sales emails. And the outcome, you're going to book more meetings and win over buyers with these awesome emails. And now for the speakers... Now, Kyle, I was rude and accidentally put my face on the left. Maybe it was subconscious. I don't want to go first. I want you to go first. So, Kyle, why don't you introduce yourself for everybody?

Kyle Coleman: It is just so shameful, Devin. Hi, everybody. I'm Kyle. I lead our revenue growth and enablement team here at Clari. It's a combination of a few different departments that are both marketing and sales. So, it's demand gen, field marketing, SDR, as well as enablement. And prior to Clari, I was the sixth employee at a company called Looker, a data analytics and business intelligence company based in California. I was the sixth employee, grew the SDR team to about 65 people, globally, as the company grew to about 800 people, and then was acquired by Google in 2019 for about two and a half billion dollars. So, that one went pretty well.

Devin Reed: I would say a multi- billion dollar Google acquisition is pretty good. It's not bad at all.

Kyle Coleman: Yeah. The interesting part, and hopefully for a little bit of extra credibility here, the ARR at Looker, when we got acquired, was over 100 million, and about 50 million of that was outbound generated all from these processes that we're about to walk through right now. So, there is power in this. It's not just about booking meetings, it's about generating revenue.

Devin Reed: Absolutely. And I should have gone first because I don't have a multi- billion dollar Google acquisition, but I'll tell you a little bit about me. I'm currently the head of content strategy at Gong. Before that I spent six years as a sales rep full cycle. Also, always was doing my own prospecting. And the first job I had was prospecting to closing. And then a couple of years ago, I joined Gong as the second sales hire. So, we were the Wild Wild West days for anyone in the startup world, building out playbooks, and then I built out the mid- market playbook as we started to go up market and segment. And then, about a year ago, I joined the marketing team, so I can do awesome presentations like this, and share some of the cool research that we'll get into as well. Now, really quickly, Kyle, before we even started promoting this, we were like, " Hey, if we could get 500 people here, we would be pretty pumped." Registered. And then we were like, " Maybe we'll get 1, 000 people." And then a week ago I was like, " Maybe 2, 000 people, but that would be absolutely insane." We actually crossed 3, 000 people. 3000 people signed up for this webinar and we are at 882 live folks. So, obviously, the content is relevant. And so, let's just go ahead and get into it. Now, here's what we're going to cover today, folks. We're going to start with why. Anyone that knows Simon Sinek is probably synonymous with the word why or starting with why. We're going to say, why is this an important skill for salespeople? Then we're going to get into some effective frameworks, things that you can take home, put in your own information, and use it today. Then we're going to cover some CTA data, or call to action data. And we're going to share what's the best and most effective way to drive action, which will lead us to the second part, how to drive action. So, one's the CTA itself, and the next one is actually how you formulate the email, so it smooths into driving action. Then we're going to see some amazing examples of really good emails. We're also going to cover some not so good emails. And so, you get a live coaching session with Kyle and I. And we're going to go through things that we like, things we know are performing well, and then some things that you want to avoid. And then, we have a giveaway, just a little giveaway. I'm not Oprah. Just a small giveaway. But here's what we're going to do, if you're going through today's session, and you're like, " Wow, this is really awesome." Go ahead and take a screen grab, and post it on LinkedIn. Tag both of us. And what we're going to do is we're going to go through it at the end of the day, and we're going to pick two people who posted and we're going to do a one- on- one session. So, one person will get Kyle. One person will get me. Hopefully, both people don't take you Kyle, that'll hurt my feelings, but that's okay too. And we're going to do a one- on- one email feedback session with you. All right? All right. Now, a couple of people have asked, will this be recorded? 100%. You will get a recording tomorrow once we get time to do a little bit of editing, and send you a follow- up email. So, if you have to jump off early, if maybe you have a call in about 25 minutes, no sweat, you'll get the full recording, and the slides. All right, Kyle, let's start with why. Now, you were in SDR. Now, you're a VP. You've led a few SDR teams. Why is emails so important for salespeople?

Kyle Coleman: Yeah. It sounds really obvious, but it's more complex when you start to peel back some of the layers of the onion. And we have three points up here that you can see. The first is efficacy. I'm a member of a group called Revenue Collective, and we recently pulled something like 400 leaders of SDR teams, and we asked them which channel is the most effective channel for your outbound SDR team? And 42% said email. So, a lot of people think that email is inundated, email is dead, it's ineffective. And according to the data, according to people that are leading teams right now, almost half said that email is the most effective channel. Now, this segues into the attention, middle column here, because you can't just send emails and be successful. The rise of marketing automation, the rise of sales engagement platforms like outreach and sales loft have created quite a bit of quantity out there. And so you need to stand out. And the way that you stand out is via personalization and writing good emails, not just sending a lot of emails. You have to send a lot of good emails. And you also have to have a good strategy on LinkedIn. You have a good strategy on the phone, video, everything. And you need to take an omni- channel approach. And good writing is the foundation for all of those other tactics that you can pursue. And the last really important thing here is you build rapport by showing people that you care. Instead of just thinking about personas, you want to drop the A on that word and think about the person that you're reaching out to. So, you need to understand what they're doing day- to- day, what matters to them, the pains that they have, and how your solution can help solve those pains. But you need to think about them individually as well. And because you don't talk about what they care outside of work. A company in Boston called Alice, they have a really interesting way of thinking about things. They say, " What is their 9: 00 to 5:00? What do they care about at work, 9: 00 to 5:00? But then what's their 5: 00 to 9: 00? What do they care about after hours? And if you can communicate it via email, or LinkedIn, or whatever it is when you're writing about both of those things, the 9: 00 to 5: 00, and the 5: 00 to 9: 00, then you're really building rapport, and you're creating a relationship that people want to have, that people want to buy from. Remember that people buy from people. And if you can create that relationship, you are, what I talked about a moment ago, you're creating true revenue opportunities for your company.

Devin Reed: I love that. And I would say too is the... It is funny, I've used the 5: 00 to 9: 00 thing as well is, I think that's the best way to grab attention. And we'll talk about how to grab attention with subject lines and whatnot. And this is my opinion here is when I've got 100 plus emails in my inbox all the time, and I'm a manager, I've got a small team, and I can only imagine as a VP you have even more folks, even more emails. A lot of the same type of words and names are on there, but when you see things like... What was it? The Last Dance, or in my world, because I love sneakers, and that's my 5: 00 to 9: 00, it seems like Nike, or these other things, those are words and phrases that are a pattern interrupt. You're not used to seeing those in your work email. And those are really good ways that you can grab that personal touch, put in a subject that might grab their attention, and then we'll get in some of the frameworks to make sure that you're being efficient as well. All right. So, for folks, if you have any questions, put them into the question box. I've already got a couple that I've checked out that we'll answer. So, go ahead and do that. Now, let's go and get into some frameworks. Now, I'm going to lead off with the framework that I think is effective. And what we're going to do here is show you the outline. Now, there's more than one way to do this, but this is one that me and Kyle say is very effective. Okay. So, let's just go top to bottom here, and Kyle, I'd love if you want to stop me and touch on any of these, we definitely can. I think one of the biggest mistakes that salespeople do on cold emailing, and in general, but we're going to focus a little bit more on cold emailing, it's a little more challenging, is they try to say everything that could be said in the first email, right? Which is like, why you, why now, everything that our product does, maybe some personalization. And this email becomes four or five scrolls on your phone. And it can just be overwhelming at first sight, like, " Oh, there's a lot of work to be done to read this." So, my personal touch and my advice is to go three to five sentences max. And the reason why it leads to number two is you don't need to just give a data dump or an information dump and hope that it resonates. Instead, what you want to do is drive some interest, maybe a little mystery here, and then you want to use a hook that should only apply to your recipient. And the reason I put these together is that hook should be the first line, and it should be a short email. So, if I look at this on my phone, and I can see it, I can see the whole email, and I will give you the first line. I'm going to give you attention for the first line. If you can hook me in with that, my barrier is lower, then I'm like, " Okay, I can invest another 30 seconds into reading this email." What do you think, Kyle?

Kyle Coleman: So, a few tips to extend what Devin is saying here. So, three to five sentences, and use white space in your emails. And the way that I like to think about this is that separate thoughts should go on separate lines. You want to make your email as easy to digest, as easy to read as possible. And if it's just one giant block of text, you're not making it easy to read, and I will delete it immediately. So, make it as easy to consume as you can. And another thing that Devin said is that you don't want to just throw up everything that you know about this person or this account at the same time. The way I think about it is if you're practicing bow and arrows, for example, or archery, I should say, if you try and get all six arrows at the same time, and shoot them all at once, you're going to miss a target completely. So, find that one piece of information, that one bit of research, and use that as your hook in the email, and have that be what the entire email is about. And then email two, three, four, five, six, you use those other arrows that you have in your quiver to extend the cadence, and also make it more scalable so that the research you do one time can turn into five, or six, or however many touches down the line.

Devin Reed: Got it. Got it. No, that's a great analogy with the arrows. And for folks, thanks for your patient. Looks like there's a lag. So, me and Kyle are going to do our absolute best here. Probably go to webinar delay here. So, I'm looking at Kyle, the audio is a little off, but we'll make it happen. If you keep seeing any issues, feel free to put it into the Q& A here. I'm monitoring that. We're doing the best we can here, I promise. Just a little tech issue here. But yeah, I think that's a great point. It's like you said, you don't need to use all your arrows right at once. And I think you can even save a couple for the follow- up email, whether they don't answer on the first one or maybe they do respond, and then you can continue a conversation from there. Let's get into identifying a problem, which I think is something that I think everyone knows to do, but there's a difference between identifying a problem, and identifying their problem. So, I said, the hook should only apply to your recipient, should be something specific to me in this example. And then, when it comes to identifying their problem, there's the things that your product and solution can do, but then also what you want to look for is what you think... Looking at persona and person, what do you think your recipient is specifically dealing with? Now, a line I like to use sometimes is like, " Hey, Kyle, as an outsider looking in, it looks like, or as an outsider looking in, it seems like." And then I paint a picture of what I think their problem is based on persona, based on my research, and based on what I know that my solution does. Now, that's the problem but what you also want to do is follow up with providing the outcome for solving that problem. Now, most people here if you're doing cold email prospecting, you're probably reaching out to decision makers. And so, what they're looking for is not the tactical things like, " Hey, John on your team will save two hours a week." That's all good and great, but that's not going to get them to prioritize your email and respond. And so, instead what you want to do is think, what are the three things on the CEO's whiteboard that everyone in the business is organized around, and trying to solve? Could be more revenue, could be onboarding faster, or could be a million things. What you want to do is tie to that what do you think that whiteboard problem is? Those key initiatives, because if you can hit that and say, " Hey, I saw in your recent press release that you guys just got$ 20 million in funding, and your goal is to get 12% more ARR in EMEA. Here's how I think we can help with that." Because that's a huge initiative and that's something that they're going to want to respond to.

Kyle Coleman: I totally agree, Devin. And a lot of people don't understand how to find this information. And it's readily available. If it's a public company, look at their 10Ks. You don't need to read a 10K cover to cover to understand what's going on in it, to understand what the initiatives are of the company. But a few nuggets and it's normally on the summary of the letter to investors that the CEO will write, it's right there. So, you'll know what we call the strategic growth initiatives. And then, it's up to you to develop that connective tissue between your solution and their growth initiatives, and make sure that you are helping them read the tea leaves about how you can help. If it's not a public company, then look at press releases. Look at the kinds of things that they're trying to take to market, products that they're developing. Look at hiring trends on LinkedIn sales nav. Look at all of these indicators. Devin mentioned raising money. Understand what they're doing with that money, instead of just saying, " Hey, you just raised$ 50 million, want to buy my product?" That's not good enough. You need to show that you've actually taken the time to read what they're trying to do, and why they're trying to do it, how they're uniquely positioned in the market. And then you need to have a perspective and bring a perspective about how you can help them. That's how you get attention of the more senior leaders at the company that you're reaching out to.

Devin Reed: Yeah, you're actually right, Kyle. I've even had CEOs show me their phone the day of a funding, and be like, "Do you think that any of this is getting through to me?" And he's just scrolling, and it's like, " Congrats on funding, 20 million funding." That's not enough. It is a trigger, but you have to go a step further because it's such an obvious trigger, and then it's just a flood that happens. Now, I want to ask you a question, Kyle. There's been a bunch of people that asked, what about COVID messaging? Should we be talking about COVID in emailing? Should we ignore it? And I think that the struggle is if I talk about it, I think it might be noise, it might come across almost like pain versus gain and putting negativity in my email. But then if I don't talk about it at all, then I'm being toned up. Now, I have an opinion. I have opinion about most things.

Kyle Coleman: If you have a product and a solution that helps people navigate uncertainty, that helps people make sense of the current environment, then talk about it. If your product does not help in the current environment or is not going to help them navigate some of this uncertainty, then there's no reason to bring it up. Especially, now, two or three months in where the fervor around things has died down a little bit, you don't need to be as forward about it. Now, that said, you should absolutely be empathetic to what they care about. And I'll tie this back to what I said before, which is, if you can align your messaging to initiatives that you know they're pursuing, then you're going to resonate, and you don't need to worry about the Coronavirus, COVID type messaging. You just need to know that the message that you've written matters to them, and will resonate with them. And that's really what this is all about.

Devin Reed: Yeah, you're absolutely right. And I agree. It was like a lot of times people say, " I hope this email finds you well, or I hope you're doing well." I know that there's good intention there, so, this probably sounds really harsh, I'm going to assume that all people always want other people to be doing well. I just hope that that is the general human state. And I do appreciate it. I know you're trying to open up an email, but here's the thing, when you open with I hope you're doing well, or, I hope you're staying safe, or anything with COVID, you have to remember too, is when you are looking at the email before you click it, you're seeing a subject line, and you get two to 10 words depending on the length of the subject line in the device. Right? And so, if your subject line hasn't thoroughly hooked them to click, then they're looking at the, we call it pretext. And so, if your pretext is, I hope you're doing well, or hope you're staying safe, that's not a hook. It's not adding to anything. It's just noise at that point because it's what everyone is saying. And so, again, take Kyle's advice because I do believe in what you said, but remember that you need people to open your email and read the email, and that hook, that first 10%, 20% of that email has to be really customized, has to be personal. And so, I think you're just doing yourself a disservice by playing it a little safe instead of just getting into it, and getting into the right track. So, there's my take on that. Now, the next one is CTA, ask for the conversation not their time. Now, that's for cold emailing. And what I want to do is get to our next slide here, our next point... Oh, Kyle, my bad. We have your section here. I forgot about this. I'm going to be quiet, Kyle. Can you run us through this test that you did? Because this was super interesting.

Kyle Coleman: Yeah. So, a few months back, I scanned all the various inboxes that I have, email, LinkedIn, phone, voicemail, all that stuff. And I just looked at how much correspondence I was getting over the course of 10 days. So, roughly as you can see, somewhere between 10 and 15 emails per day, a lot of LinkedIn messages, and actually not that many calls. And I mentioned before that the rise of marketing automation, and sales engagement, sales automation type platforms have made this outreach very easy, and therefore, have made it very easy to ignore, and really easy to tell when something is templated and when it's not. And more often than not, when I get something that's personalized, and I can tell it's personalized based on what we're going to talk through here in a moment, I always respond because, first of all, I'm very sympathetic to the SDR cause, so, I want to congratulate somebody on a well- crafted note. But secondly, it piques my interest. And more often than not, they've done research and they've provided, again, that connective tissue to why I should care in a way more compelling way than a templated email written by the product marketing team would. So, if you're ever curious about why you're getting ignored, why you're getting ghosted, or whatever it is, it's maybe not the recipient's fault. Their email inbox, or LinkedIn... Linkedin is just a whole other ball of wax. We can get into that in a later session, but they're completely inundated. It's very, very busy, and you have to find a way to stand out. And again, this personalization that we're about to talk through is a very, very good way to stand out.

Devin Reed: That's a really cool test. I wish I had done this. Once I saw your slide, I was jealous. I was, " Man, this is such a good idea." But it's really true. And I get a lot of not personalized one, but we'll call it canned. Now, canned is, I know you copied and pasted this. I know I'm one of thousands of people, potentially, who've gotten this. There's a really good question though, Kyle, what is your threshold for what defines personalized or personalization? Now, because there's a lag, I'm going to ask the question and give you my two cents just to weather another seven seconds here. But in my opinion... And it is hard. There's no direct line in the sand of this. To me, if I can open it, and I say, " This is for me specifically, and if the person next to me got it, it wouldn't land, or the person did this, it wouldn't quite resonate, then that's personalized." It's not first name. It's not company name. Those are dynamic fields and everyone has that. So, what do you think, Kyle?

Kyle Coleman: Totally agree. If you can send this email to one person, and only one person, then it is a personalized email. If that is not the case, it still can be personalized to an account, but it's not for a person, it's for a company, and that's okay. You can find ways to scale this more account- based messaging, and that's completely fine. It's just not what we're talking about here. We're talking about ways to create and craft an email that is literally for a single recipient. And now, we'll get into more about this as we talk through best practices, but it does not mean writing an entire email bespoke for that one person. It means writing, tweaking the right parts of it, as Devin said, the intro of that email, and then the value prop, and then the CTA in a way that is for me, for the recipient, and that makes sense, and that flows well. So, it doesn't mean that you have to write every single one of these emails from scratch, but there are certain elements that you need to write and rewrite for that person. And that's what personalization is to me.

Devin Reed: Yeah, that's exactly right. And I'm glad you called that out because as I'm reading prospect emails, I don't expect it to go from top to bottom super customized from the thing I talked about on LinkedIn, to the sneakers I've talked about on Instagram, to my dog's name that I mentioned four years ago to post, that's crazy. And no one has time for that when we've got a lot of people you're trying to prospect, but I think you're right, if that first line is specific to me, the second line is based on working with other VPs of revenue growth or you, Kyle. Looks like this is the problem, and this is what I think we can solve for. That's enough. That's enough. All right. Let's get to it. There's tons of good questions in here, guys. Keep them coming. I'm trying to inaudible as I can. But I want to get to the CTA because there's some really interesting data. About a month ago, I published a Gong Labs post. Now, if you're not familiar with Gong Labs, I'm going to just put you up on game real quick here. Gong Labs is our research sub- team. So, it's a team of data scientists and researchers on the Gong team, and then myself, I'm the data scientist, but I get to work with these great folks. And what we do is we take millions of data points of the sales activities that our clients use. So, that's sales calls, web conferencing, meetings, emails, and we get to do a bunch of research, and find patterns and trends to understand what do buyers do so we can be more effective? And then what do sellers do, ineffectively, so we can change those things? And so, one of the things that always driven me crazy as I've written, definitely, thousands of sales emails, both cold sequences, and deals, and I never knew for a fact what the best CTA was. Should I be asking for time? Should I keep it open- ended? Couple of people asked, should I just do a deposit and not have a call to action? And so, here's what we did. We analyzed about 300,000 emails, and we specifically analyzed the call to action. And we put it into three buckets. Now, no CTA wasn't on here, but what we defined success as was not was there a response? Because you could write a terrible email and get a kick rocks, don't ever email me again. We don't want that. That's not going to help our day. And we looked at which one of these emails led to a meeting booked within 10 days? So, that's our success criteria for this report. And then we bucket it into three CTAs. Now, the first CTA, we call it a specific CTA. You're asking for a specific date and time. Example, " Hey, Kyle, are you available to meet on Tuesday at four o'clock?" This is one that's been not old school, but just it's been around. People have been taught to do this. I was taught to do this. The next one was open- ended CTA, which is you're asking for the meeting, but it's open- ended. So, do you have time next week to meet? Do you have time to chat? Just general, are you game? But then there's the interest CTA, which specifically ask for interest, but not a meeting at all. So, for example, are you interested in exploring X? Are you interested in learning more about Y? Now, before I show the data, I'm curious for the folks who are on the line, all 1,000 of you... We have maxed out the webinars, which is probably why we have this amazing lag, but I'm curious, what do you guys use when you guys are sending prospecting emails? Are you using specific, open- ended, or interest? Go ahead and put it into the questions. It'd be really interesting to see. Or one, two, and three as Davis has led. Yeah, one, two, and three is probably easier. Punch in the number there. All right. We've got a bunch coming in. They're all over the place. We've got a bunch of three. We say specific. All of them. That's fair too. Time and a place. A lot of number twos. All over the place, which is great. It makes me feel better about not knowing at all because people are saying, " Hey, I've used all of them." But here's what the data said, for cold emails specifically ask for the interest, not the meeting. Ask for the interest, not the meeting. Now, when I posted this, a lot of people were really surprised, but as I dug into it more and I started talking to people... And Kyle, I'm going to tee you up. You're ready here... Reps and sellers were surprised. They said they're using specific CTA, but decision makers were telling me, this is obvious, and the interest CTA is by far what they prefer. I'll get into a little bit of maybe the potential psychology behind that. But Kyle, what are your thoughts here? And what did you think when you saw this for the first time?

Kyle Coleman: Yeah. I'm not surprised by it at all. And the reason for that is because that interest CTA flows really nicely from the email that hopefully you've written, which should be adding value. And again, like I said before, providing that connective tissue between what they care about at a persona, or company, or person level, and the kinds of things that your company can do for them. And so, are they interested in learning more? They should be because you should have just teed them up to be interested in it, as opposed to asking for their time or asking an open- ended CTA. It's a bit more of a non- sequitur. It doesn't flow quite as well with the spirit of the email that you've written. Whereas, the interest CTA really should flow pretty well based on what you've written for them. So, I think it makes perfect sense, and it is definitely something that I personally would feel more inclined to respond to.

Devin Reed: Yeah. And it's really interesting you say that because I completely agree, the body of the email has to tee up the CTA, guys. It absolutely has to. Please, you can't write a bad email, or canned email, but throw an interest CTA, and it'll work out. But it is interesting because I actually wrote that framework about two or three months ago. I had just gotten a bunch of emails one week. I don't know, maybe inaudible ZoomInfo. I don't know, but I was getting a bunch of cold emails, and I was like, "Man, I'm really just tired of people asking for time when I haven't responded. I haven't even told you this is a priority, but people are asking me for time." And so, what it triggers is loss aversion. When people ask for your time, their guard goes up because time is a very finite resource, and people are, especially decision- makers, really reluctant to give it away. But what you can do is take the time to ask if they're interested because once they say yes, I'm interested, or yeah, I'd like to learn more, then it's almost implied that they're going to give you some time because they're interested in investing time into this conversation. And so, we had another one. There's one interesting... Couple of questions. Does this apply to all emails in the sequence or the first couple? We're just looking at, did this specific email in this report, whatever it was, did it get a response? And did that response lead to a meeting booked? So, it could have been the first, could have been the 20th. Now, Kyle, what are your thoughts on no CTA? Because this is something I've heard a little bit more and more. Maybe as a ripple of this post. Maybe not. I personally feel like no CTA is a miss. Now, your goal is to book meetings. Your goal is to drive revenue. I personally doubt that reps and teams have enough time and resources to, I'm going to say waste of touch that isn't going to get you to that outcome. When I think that you can just follow some of the steps we're covering today, and you can do it all in one. You can give value. You can be interesting, and you can get that meeting all in one. What are your thoughts on that?

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, I agree. I feel like there has to be some call to action, and it doesn't necessarily need to be framed as a question to be a call to action, which I think a lot of people think it does. Even if you just link to a piece of content that you think would be interesting for them, your implicit CTA is that they look at the content, and they read, and consume it. And so, the phrasing doesn't necessarily have to literally be asking for something, but there should be some action baked in whether that's implicit or explicit that you're hoping that they take because of your email. Otherwise, why did you send the email? If it's just to raise awareness or put a face to the name, or whatever it is, that's what a LinkedIn connection is for. That's not what a personalized email is for. So, there has to be something that you're hoping that they do. And a lot of times, for us anyway, at Clari, a lot of times it's just clicking through and learning more based on content that we think is going to be useful for them.

Devin Reed: Yeah. I'm glad we agree on that. And I was not too surprised, I thought you would. A couple of questions that came in, one was, what is your expected response rate for this? And in general, to the framework, what's expected, what's normal? It is going to vary. Now, Kyle, I'll let you answer that if you think there is a specific answer. I know there's probably some industry benchmarks, but it's going to depend on what you sell, the time of year, if you have a seasonal business. It's going to depend on who you're reaching out to, how good of an email writer you are. So, I would love to say I have an answer for you. I don't. Kyle, maybe you do.

Kyle Coleman: It depends, again, like you said, Devin, on a confluence of factors. When it comes to personalized cold emails, I hesitate to think about what was the literal response rate for the one email you send? I think way more about the response rate that you get from the prospect that's getting that series of emails from you, or that sequence or cadence of emails from you. So, success to me, is getting a response throughout the course of a prescribed cadence for a person. So, maybe they don't respond to email number one, and that's totally fine, but email two builds off email one. So, if they responded to two, was it because of the content of two or was it a combination of one and two? And I don't know. But I like to think more holistically about email programs like that because it forces you to create a narrative and to walk people through some story, and some arc that's going to be more meaningful because you get multiple touches for it. And if you're doing this well, add target accounts, ICP, AE and SDR are working together to do this, we see response rates up to 15 or 20% of account outreach. So, account penetration. If I'm going after 10 accounts with this methodology of hyper- personalization, I should expect to get responses from no less than two of them, typically, is what we see. And often, it's much, much more than that over the course of time. So, it's useful to look at email templates, and the exact open to response rate of those templates to inform how you tweak things moving forward. But I would encourage you to take a broader view and think about the outcome that you're trying to drive with regard to account penetration, not just the little, microscopic view of the single email that you're sending.

Devin Reed: I can't say anything better than that. That's fantastic. I have nothing to add. We have one question here. Thoughts on threading emails, replying to the previous thread versus sending a new email. I believe in threading. I believe in threading because it shows persistence. The only thing I will say is don't say, " Hey, I noticed you haven't responded or just following up." Those are non- value ads that guilt your recipient. Just keep the thread going. Just keep driving value, keeping interesting, keeping relevant, and you'll get your response. Kyle, because of the lag, I'm just going to get to the next slide. Now, you drastically disagree with me. We'll save time at the end and we can combat over that. Okay. So, the next thing we did, guys, is we looked at cold emails, but then I wanted to know, okay, once you get the deal started, does the interest CTA still work? Does it maintain? And here's what we found. Not true. Once you're in a deal, it flips. And in fact, the interest CTA is the least effective from our report, and the specific CTA becomes your best friend. Now, my theory on this is that once you're in a sales cycle, once you've had a call, your interest is established. You're in the sales cycle. You're talking to each other, you know what the conversation is about. So, you can remove the interest CTA, and instead get real specific." Hey, Kyle, I know you wanted to talk about coaching in Gong next week. How's Thursday at 4: 00 look?" We've already talked. We know what we're doing, and you can just get right to the point. And so, it's really interesting if you have any sellers, any AEs in here that have pipeline opportunities. This is what you can do. You can be more direct, and you can just say, " Hey, day and time, day and time. Let me know when works." And then that way, what it does is it removes friction from your buyer. Because instead if you say, " Hey, do you have time next week?" They have to go to their calendar, they have to look at the white space. Oh, you're in East Coast and I'm in West Coast. Now, they have to do some timing stuff. It sounds minimal, but there's actually a lot of friction in this process when people are in the flow of their day and they're doing other projects and whatnot. And so, what I like to do is say, " Hey, Kyle, how's Tuesday at 4:00 or Thursday at 1: 00?" Because then what it does, and one or two doesn't matter, by the way, there's no difference there. But what it does is Kyle can go to his calendar, he looks right at that spot, and he goes, " Oh, you know what? There's no white space there, but how about an hour earlier?" And then, you're off to the races because typically that works. So, Kyle, you're probably getting this a lot. I know you could surely purchase some software in your day. What are your thoughts on this specific approach once you're in a deal?

Kyle Coleman: I think this is right. Yeah. You want to give people options that are moving the deal forward. And what you said at the jump there, Devin, is that you've already got their interest. You wouldn't be in this deal cycle without their interest. So, use the specificity of the ask to ensure that you're project managing this deal cycle properly, and give them confidence that you understand what the next steps are because you do this for a living. Remember these buyers are not buying the same product multiple times a year. They're buying it once, hopefully, for a long time. So, you are the expert, and you understand what needs to happen, what the sequence of events needs to be. And driving that action forward is really, really useful.

Devin Reed: Absolutely. Theme questions I saw too, what are some examples of CTAs for interest and specific? You guys are in luck. We have a cheat sheet, a list of 43 highly effective CTAs that everyone that registered will get after the webinar. So, you'll be all set. There's a big handful for interest, and there's a handful for specific. Copy and paste them. Put them into your Outreach, your SalesLoft, your group sequences, whatever you use, your Gmail. Put them in there, and you'll see some really big impact. It was actually really cool. After this post came out, there was a CRO who shared, he said, " Hey, I saw your report, and I A/ B tested you." So, I was like, " Oh, this is the real deal. Let's see how it works." And he said, they did it for, I think, a few days, and they had no responses, no meetings booked when they did specific CTA for prospecting. And then the B test had interest CTA, and they got five meetings with the exact same message. But a few other people emailed me as well and said, " Hey, I literally did it the same day I read your post, and I got more meetings out of the same messaging I was already using." And so, I'm a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell and The Tipping Point. You guys want to check it out, but his whole thesis is, sometimes really small changes can make a huge impact. And this is a really small change that can help you book a lot more meetings, or in this case, push deals forward. All right. Let's get to our next tip here. We've got about 18 minutes, Kyle. And I know there's some really good emailing coaching we're going to do. So, let's skip... Not skip through, but we'll go quickly on driving action. And this was some of the really cool things that you had shared with me when we were prepping. So, the whole point is to get people to say yes, right? We want to say yes to our deal. We want to say yes to the next meeting, whatever it may be. Now, we covered CTA, but there was a point that you were sharing, Kyle, when we were brainstorming through this. And I'd love to just let you talk over the next couple of slides here specifically what you mean by this one here.

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, sure thing. So, when you're creating any relationship, and sales relationships and with prospects and customers are no different, the expectation that you set can't just be that you expect them to continually give, and give, and give, and give with no reciprocation from you. And if you condition your buyer from the jump that that's what's going to be happening here, you're going to ask for their time, you're going to ask for more of their time, you're going to ask for their money, and you're not providing anything in return, you're setting yourself up for failure. And so, the best thing that you can give to your prospects, to your customers, at this point, is an education on how you can help them, and a perspective on them as a person, and them as a company with regard to how you can help. And so, really showing them that you care, that you care enough to do the research on them, personally, that you care enough to do the research about them from a company standpoint. That is how you build that relationship. That's how you establish trust. And you can't have any real relationship without that level of trust. And so, it really does go a long way. And so, via education, you can build trust, you can build relationships, you can build that rapport. And that's how you have a really good synergistic relationship with the people that you're reaching out to.

Devin Reed: It's a good point, because I think, in sales, we always talk about build relationships, build relationships, get close, get champions. And yet, if you zoomed out and looked at these relationships, a lot of times it's salespeople... And I've done this too when I was a seller is, you're trying to get so much all the time, and that's not really, I don't want to use the word friendship, but that's not a good friendship, is someone who's just always taking and never giving. And so, a lot of times salespeople do this accidentally, not really just thinking through it that they are just asking for things constantly. And I think it even goes back to the CTA is, let's say you're threading, which is just emailing, " Hey, I sent you an email Monday, same thread on Thursday, and then following week, and following week." Maybe you're reading these emails, but it's just not enough to get you to respond, but you keep getting that, do you have 15 minutes? Do you have 30 minutes? Someone is just asking you for something, and your conditioned before you even meet with that person that you're giving. And so, I think even going back to the no CTA approach, I think you can do that in a deal cycle. Like, " Hey, Kyle, I know we met yesterday and you mentioned... " It could be a personal thing like, I don't know, you're a Michigan Wolverines fan, or you mentioned, " Hey, you're really interested in CTAs. Well, here's a really interesting post. I thought you might enjoy. Maybe we can talk about it in the next call." And then just send it and go. That's a good way where you can condition a little bit more give than get. And then you also made a good point about the buying experience. And this is really interesting about how you can differentiate yourself, not by your products, but by the selling experience. What did you mean by that exactly?

Kyle Coleman: Yeah. So, I mentioned earlier on in the presentation here that people buy from people and people want to have a good experience. And if you really show them that you care about how they're learning, and you care about educating them, and you care about the relationship, and you're going to help them get step by step along the way until they find the solution that's right for them, and maybe it's not your solution, but you really care enough about them to find the solution that best fits their needs, that fits their growth initiatives, that solves their daily pains, that aligns with their longer- term sorts of goals, that is what creates a solid relationship. And that's what creates a really good buying experience. And so, all of the little things that happened from the cold outreach, to the meeting set, to the steps in between where you nurture them ahead of the meeting, and you set a good agenda for the meeting, and you make sure that your notes get in front of your AE so that your AE doesn't do any repeat discovery, all of these things make a really big difference, and it starts with the cold email. It starts with you showing that you care enough about them to build this relationship. So, I think that we need to keep moving here, Devin. We can go to the next slide and just talk through some emails that are maybe not so good.

Devin Reed: Let's do it. I'm going to hand it back to you because you sent a couple of the first ones. So, why don't you just walk us through the first one is not so good. First one is not so good.

Kyle Coleman: Yeah. So, it's going to hopefully be pretty obvious to everybody on the call here that asking for time in the subject line, not great. We're already at that specific call to action. That is just a major turnoff because as Devin said, the time is really valuable. And if you're asking for time with no other context, I have very little incentive to look at this. The first line of this email is one of the worst first lines you could possibly show because it is admitting that the sender did no research on me, no research on the company even. So, terrible way to lead that off. And then, again, really no proof that they understand what I do or why I should care. They're just telling me what they do and expecting me to care. And it's not the same thing. So, this, overall, good length, but very poor execution for pretty much everything else. I'm realizing now that I'm showing my email address. Fortunately, it's not my real email address. It's an alias. If you send an email to that email alias, I'll know that you don't actually know me.

Devin Reed: Yeah. There you go. You got to say it's a decoy. But yeah, and that's what I'm saying is when you're writing an email, it's oftentimes people think about what you want, which is I want the meeting, but the email should read about the outcome for the recipient. And so, if we just go top to bottom here, Kyle, subject line, " Are you open to chat on Tuesday too?" Clearly what the sender wants. My team found some stuff that might work for you. Super generic. Doesn't catch my interest. Two, " We'd like to confirm a short consultative meeting." Again, asking for time. The next paragraph again asking for time. There's nothing about this that would make you respond and want to give you time. So, I'm going to get to the next email here because I know we are getting short on time, and I'm trying to avoid the lag that's here. I'm going to go ahead and go top to bottom, Kyle, and then you just tell me what you don't like about this. So, we started off, " inaudible CEO of Market Republic here. Found Clari on LinkedIn portal. Wanted to reach out directly. Sales organizations, big or small, local or international, use our services to find new target companies and relevant... " Yada, yada, yada. And literally, this is how I would read it out loud if you lost me already. And then, " Would you be available for 15 minutes to talk this week, Kyle?" And then, the disclaimer is weird, honestly. It's just this long... It's inaudible backtracking like, " Well, by the way, if you don't like any of this and this isn't relevant, just ignore me, or tell me." Which is really wishy washy and not ideal. Kyle, I'm guessing I nailed it, but you tell me if there's anything more that I missed here. But here's a really good one. Here's a really good one. Now, I'm just going to say this caught my eye because there's a picture of just sunglasses from Amazon. I call those speeders by the way. But why did you like this email? And then, did you respond? And why don't you talk about it?

Kyle Coleman: Yeah. So, first we give this sender here, her name is Karen, on our team here at Clari, gives a little nod to the fact that you're working from home and we want to help out with that. We're empathetic to what your lifestyle may be like. And we, now, doing some research, Karen learned that this person is a biker. And so, the really cool thing that we have here is we use Sendoso typically for direct mail. We don't want to ask people for their home mailing address. So, instead what we're doing is we're sending Amazon gift cards, and then suggesting the gift that the person might want based on the research that we've done about them. And some people think, " Oh, that's a bribe." Or whatever. I don't fully agree because the quid pro quo, they don't have to take a meeting with us to get this Amazon gift card. We're just giving it to them outright. But the most important thing here is that send the gift card or not, you maybe don't need to, this email would work without the gift card because what Karen has done is she has taken the research, and then in the line you see below the image, nothing ruins your day faster than poor visibility. So, making a nod to what this person does in their 5: 00 to 9: 00, what one of their hobbies is, and then brilliantly transitions into the poor visibility line about how Clari helps sales leaders have visibility into their pipeline, make decisions, forecast better, et cetera, and then goes into a really nice call to action about finding time to connect later in the week to talk about things that we think would be interesting to you. So, not a literal interest CTA, but a pretty good outline of a lot of the other things that we've talked about here. And I'm just a huge fan of this email because I think it flows really, really nicely.

Devin Reed: I agree. There's a few questions, and you use the word bribe, and I think bribe has a negative connotation to it, right? It is. This is not a bribe, in my opinion. Here's the thing is, one is you can send people a gift and they can say, no thanks. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. What you're doing though is you're unlocking the principle of reciprocity, which is like, " Hey, I did this thing for you, and would you like me to send it? And then if you feel compelled, we can meet about Clari, or Gong, or whatever afterwards." And I've received gifts. I think it goes like this is I respond to them, and if it's not interesting, or it doesn't apply to me, I'm still going to say that I'm not going to give you 30 minutes of irrelevant timing just because you sent me sunglasses or offered to. And so, I think you want to be careful, I guess, with the way you word it. You don't want to say, " Hey, Kyle, I'll send you these sunglasses, but you need to take a meeting with me." Because that feels gross. That isn't really how business is done. A lot of questions here. I'm going to try to get through a couple. Great alternative. People have said they've used Grubhub as well. Yeah, who doesn't want a free lunch? That's a great way to my heart, giving me some free food. Could offer a link to a blog. Sure. You don't have to be physical gifts. You could just send people that information. And so, here's the thing, we do have more examples. There's just one more here we're going to cover. And I know that I'm getting funny comments. This is like a dialogue. The audio is bad. Again, I'm sorry. Here's a really good one I'll cover, and there's a couple more in the deck. So, we'll send the deck after, guys. So, if it's a challenge to listen, I totally get it. Here's one that I got. And this was from Pearse. I actually took this call today before the webinar. And so, Pearse had reached out to me a few months ago. I told them I'm not interested. And then, he saw my post about CTAs, and then wrote me an email saying, " Hey, Devin, how is my CTA?" So, I knew immediately he'd probably read the blog. And so, I'm like, " Okay, well, let's find out." And you can see this. So, he said, " Hey, I just finished reading your post. I found this study intriguing. I'm going to incorporate it." So, now, what he told me is, " Hey, I checked out your content." Makes me feel good. I write content so people read it. I like compliments. That's okay. And then he said, " I understand you've been in contact with few of my colleagues. I know Sava, Jeremy's reached out to me." And I basically told him, " Hey, I'm not really interested." But he's like, " Hey, you mentioned this might be a better time. Are you interested in reconnecting at this time?" Now, I responded to him, and I said, " Pierce, to be honest, I'm not super interested, but you did a great job following up. This is a really good email. I'm happy to take 15 minutes and see maybe I'm missing something. Maybe you can help." And guess what? We had a call today. And it wasn't a fit right now, but that's okay because it was a great... Like you were saying too, is the deposit mindset is you had great touch points. We had a nice 10, 15- minute call, and now I know what you do. And it might be something in three, six, 12 months. But when that need arises, I'm going to go back to my guy Pearse here. So, I wanted to present this example because it wasn't just a pure cold email. And also, for some of the folks who wanted an example, you don't have to send something. It can be this simple. It can be this short and to the point. There's one more example in the deck. I'm going to wrap up here with our final slides. There's one more here, it's from my guy Harris, and I go and check this one out in the slide deck. I'm going to save the recap because I know it's a little challenging to hear. So, I'm going to get to the last part. So, last thing is a reminder. If you enjoyed today's session and you want to post about it, go ahead and do so because here's what we're going to do, and speaking of give, get here. Is this a bribe? I don't know. You tell me. But what we're going to do is Kyle and I will meet with you one- on- one. There'll be two sessions today. We'll sit down with you for 15 or 20 minutes, coach you on some emails you can maybe bring one, we can coach together. Maybe you just want to pick our brain. There's a ton of great questions in here. And obviously, we couldn't answer them all. But go ahead and post it on LinkedIn, tag myself and Kyle, and I will announce the winners tomorrow. We'll reach out to you. And then the final thing, as promised, all attendees will receive a list of 43 highly effective email CTAs. That's both interest and specific. You'll get the recording. I'm going to have my editing guy. I'm going to reach out to him. I'm going to pay him extra to cut these lags out for you because I know it was painful. I'm sorry about that, but what are you going to do? So, you'll get the slides, you get the recording. And then, if forecasting is a nightmare for you, hit up Clari. com/ demo. If you enjoyed this, you want to learn a little bit more, feel free to, and then also, make sure you follow Gong on LinkedIn if you like the Gong Labs approach, a lot of the data that we share. We do about a monthly report. We share a ton of this stuff on social media. So, I just had a long monologue because I want to avoid the lag one more time. But Kyle, I know we're going to have a lag here, but just want to say thanks so much for joining us. And I hope everyone that tuned in learned something, something you can take home, and help you book more meetings.

Kyle Coleman: Yeah. Cool. And my team writes phenomenal emails. I try and spotlight as many of them as I can and do breakdowns of what's good about the emails that we write. So, if you're curious to see some of those, I post them on LinkedIn a few times a week. So, check that out. And if there's anything we can do to help, just don't hesitate to reach out.

Devin Reed: Kyle's one of the truly great people to follow on LinkedIn. Kyle, I know I've told you this a lot of times. It's not just two guys juicing each other up on a webinar. Kyle actually posts every single day, and it's something that is actually good every single day. I don't know how you do it. I don't know how you come up with the time or the brainpower, but yeah, there's good stuff of what to do, what not to do. So, give Kyle a follow. And if you like me, you can give me a follow too. Connect with me. I'd love to connect with you guys. Thanks again. I hope you have a good rest of your day. And yeah, that's it for us. Have a good one, guys.

Kyle Coleman: Thanks, everybody.


Get answers to your questions about what makes or breaks a sales email during this 45-minute webinar that will reveal the secrets that sales masterminds swear by. Kyle Coleman of Clari, and Gong's Devin Reed share their secrets for writing persuasive sales emails that result in booked meetings and closed-won revenue. Now you’ll know what works. And what doesn’t. Start writing un-ignorable emails today.

Today's Guests

Guest Thumbnail

Kyle Coleman

|VP, Revenue Growth and Enablement at Clari
Guest Thumbnail

Devin Reed

|Head of Content Strategy at