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Using email to close the sale

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Marketers are often so focused on getting prospects into the sales funnel that they may forget that getting them to the bottom of the funnel is the real goal. After all, prospects aren't worth anything if they never convert. Paul Turnbull, product manager for email service provider Campaigner, suggested these 5 tips to help create your next customer via email marketing.
  1. Use persona and activity information to drive subsequent touches. Analyze what has gained traction with a prospect and provide more of the same. Also, use that information to create more personalized emails that mention what's come before and what's resonated with the prospect, Turnbull said. If you haven't already, you'll also want to introduce a specific salesperson or sales group that can help close the sale.
  2. Hit them early. Giving a customer an early-morning “poke”—an email that gets to them before they sign on for the day—can put you top-of-mind, Turnbull said. Everyone is inundated with messages throughout the day, so being the first one in the inbox may give you an advantage, he said. Consider asking prospects to put you on their calendar by saving time to read your materials and sales pitch at a later date and time.
  3. Tell them you're going away. Sometimes, threatening to stop emailing can be the push a prospect needs to take the next step, Turnbull said. “Tell them, "This is going to be your last communication,' so they know they are not going to be pestered all the time,” he said. Turnbull suggested layering in a limited-time offer—something that expires in five to 10 days—and using A/B testing to see if this strategy is effective with your prospects. He also said it is important to give people a way to stick around, too. “A simple in-line link that lets people stay within a follow-up segment will give people the option to keep receiving emails from you,” he said.
  4. Give them the option to talk “live.” At this point in a campaign, having a click-to-talk button is imperative, but you may also want to consider offering ways to set up live demonstrations or webinars as well, Turnbull said. One thing that can work is a click-to-schedule button that lets you get right onto the prospect's calendar. “It requires a little more work to set up, but a live demo is something that has the highest chance of success in getting the sale,” he said.
  5. Make sure you're not emailing from silos. You don't want to have too many emails going out or to be sending duplicate content. “It all comes back to CRM 101,” Turnbull explained. “In the end, data about every contact and their status needs to be pulled into one place so marketing and sales can see which emails are being triggered and can coordinate their efforts,” he said. And don't forget to include affiliates and outside sales in the mix, he said. “Coordination is key so customers feel like they are being catered to,” he said.
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