The Best Emails Are Conversations
The Secret Weapon in B2B Email Sequences
As a B2B email copywriter I specialize in renewing dead email lists for my clients.
Now, every email sequence has a specific and often widely varying goal. But no matter what specific goal my clients hire me for, it is also my goal to implement one very crucial B2B email strategy.
At the forefront of my email philosophy is that email, even when it comes from a company, should feel like a personal email. This means that the email is intended to create a conversation with the recipient, one that feels natural and engaging and keeps the reader coming back for more.
One of my secret weapons is asking for responses to my emails. These are not the overly salesy type of questions. I’m not asking, “Can we set up a call to discuss?” or “When’s a good time to meet?” Or anything that is asking for more than a simple response. These are open-ended questions that ask the reader to tell you something about their life, their problems, their struggles, their needs, etc.
I could write an entire article about creating these types of questions that beg a response…
But instead, today, I want to give some guidance on how to respond to a customer who replies to a question in one of your emails.
The Philosophy Behind The Response
Whenever a customer responds to an inquiry in one of your emails, it’s a chance to engage in conversation with that customer, building their “know, like and trust” in you and your company.
Your response should have a natural flow, like a conversation.
Keep the conversation going by keeping things simple, focusing solely on the next step you want your prospect to take, and helping them take that next step easily.
Too many people want to rush things with prospects. They are so eager to convert that prospect that they miss out on the larger opportunity that email dialogue gives you; building a bond of trust that will pay off in a huge way down the road.
If you push the conversion right away, you risk losing the customer completely. They may not be ready… or they may smell a trap. But if you put the brakes on a little, and allow the relationship with this prospect to unfold more slowly, you will get the conversion once the prospect is ready,
By building trust and connection with your prospect, you can actually increase their lifetime value as a customer.
Understand the Customer Journey
The key to offering a good response is both patience and planning. Before I even sit down to write a B2B email sequence, I first figure out where the audience is in their customer journey related to my client’s company.
While some email sequences are geared to a wide audience (for example broadcast, aka newsletter, emails and some cold emails) most emails are speaking to a very specific kind of prospect or customer, at a specific point in their customer journey.
You need to have a clear understanding of all of the steps your prospect has to take in order to get to the final goal of conversion. And by conversion, I don’t simply mean the sale. The conversion could be an intermediate goal like booking a sales call, or starting a free trial. But you don’t lead with that goal in mind.
The reason we ask a question and ask for a reply, is because we want to call out the specific people in your email audience who are ready to take the next step. Often, their answer to the question will give you a clue as to where they are on their customer journey, and your response to their response should be aimed at bringing them simply to the next phase of that journey.
You finish off the response with another compelling question, and the conversation goes on from there.
Here is a guide to responding to a general question from your email
A B2B Example: “How long have you been in business?”
Response Email Template
Instructions for using this guide
Replace the [bold type in the brackets] to customize this template to your specific product and audience.
Line 1: Short sentence referencing their answer.
That’s great to hear.
Wow, that’s impressive.
Line 2: Introduce yourself
As I mentioned, I’m [mini bio statement].
Line 3: A question
Do you mind sharing what’s going well vs. not so well in your business?
I’m curious, are you having any issues with [a common problem your product solves]?
How have things been going for you lately? Are there any issues I might be able to help with?
Have you ever considered [a solution your product provides]?
I’d love to hear how you [common activity your product can help them improve]?
Line 4: Ask for a response
When you have a moment, reply and let me know.
Hi! I’m Annie Aaroe, a b2b email marketing strategist. To find out more about story-driven, conversion email copy and strategy that’s tailored for e-com apps and SaaS brands, visit my website, aaroewriting.com, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.