With 124.5 billion emails sent and received each day, it may seem like email isn’t that useful for salespeople trying to get potential leads’ attention. It’s true that consumers have become more accustomed to emails asking for their business. They’re far more likely to go straight to the “Delete” button than to look at the same check-in note you’ve sent every week. That’s why sales teams need to become more strategic about how they maintain their leads’ attention. Forget the boring “I just wanted to follow up…” email — you need to use other tactics that will actually get readers’ attention. Here’s how you can craft more effective emails and convert more leads into sales. Embrace Email Automation One of the most helpful resources for any sales team is a workflow automation tool. Email automation allows your salespeople to send quicker responses, utilize email templates, and touch a larger number of leads more effectively. Because a lead is 21 times more likely to become qualified if contacted within the first five minutes of showing interest in your product than after 30 minutes, automation can help you make the most of your leads. If a lead performs a certain action, your email automation software can send an immediate follow-up email to the prospect. Say the lead has opened an email with a proposal in it four times but hasn’t yet responded to you. Set your automation tool to send a quick note to the lead to ask if he has any questions about it. Automation can also help you sort through customer data to send your leads more targeted content. You can create several different workflows, based on the factors discussed in the next section, to meet your leads where they’re at. Be sure to connect your tool to the CRM you use to really make the most of what automation can offer. Segment Your Audience Once you have email automation in place, you can use the data you have on each lead to segment your list into different categories. Sort your leads into a few distinct sections based on the key types of consumers your business attracts. For example, you could have one for small business owners, one for marketing professionals, and one for high-level executives. After distinguishing your demographics, further segment your list based on how long they’ve been in your system, how close they are to making a purchase, and which products they’re interested in. Once you have all of these different paths that a lead can take, create specific emails for each path so you can nurture leads in a more personalized and targeted manner. Take advantage of templated emails based on where your lead is in his buying journey. Use those templates as a base, then personalize your emails to speak to each individual lead. Educate, Don’t Sell Rather than simply ask for the sale in every email, send out meaningful content to allow your leads to engage with your company, learn why they might need your product, and develop a real understanding of what you’re selling and why your company is the best. Offer them information about industry statistics and trends. Provide free webinars or downloadable PDFs that can offer a taste of what your business is all about. Share customer success stories and reviews. You can also look at common issues, such as pricing, and send out targeted emails and offers meant to address these pain points. If you can meet some common objections with helpful answers and information, your lead will develop more trust in your company and be more willing to give you his business. Your goal is to boost the ethos of your business so you become the place your leads turn to when they’re ready to make a purchase. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize Most of the methods we’ve discussed have played on the theme of creating personalized content. Not only should you personalize your emails based on demographic or pain points, but you should also consider personalizing each email you’re sending out. Simple gestures, like including your lead’s name or the name of his company, can go a long way toward building trust and connections. At each point along the way, make your potential clients feel noticed and cared for on a personal level. Your leads are probably sifting through dozens of emails every day asking for their money. Making a personal connection, even if it’s over email, can put your business a step ahead of the rest. Increase Your Touchpoints More often than not, your lead isn’t going to commit to a purchase after your first follow-up — or your second, or even your third. In fact, it takes an average of 10 touches to convert a lead to a sale. If your sales team is considering a lead dead after only a few emails, it may be leaving a lot of great opportunities on the table. Building a robust email strategy that includes frequent emails and occasional check-ins can make all the difference between a dead lead and a converted one. The prevalence of email can be both a blessing and a curse in the world of sales. Email is more accessible than ever, meaning it can be a great way to reach leads quickly and effectively. However, as most of us have probably experienced, inboxes can quickly become overwhelming, and emails can go unread and become the victims of a bulk delete. It’s time to evaluate your email strategy so you can maximize your open rate and send great content to your leads about why they need your product. Combining personal touches with email automation can take a lot of the daily pressure off your sales team while generating impressive results.