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There are a lot of misconceptions about email prospecting. It is time to stop being afraid to use email
to reach new customers. Effective email prospecting involves contacting well-qualified prospects with
repeat touches that establish you as a trusted source. Email prospecting is about creating a connection.
What is email prospecting? Specifically, it is using email to
connect with targeted prospects. This is different from email marketing where you provide
company or product news and updates, give information about marketing-sponsored
events or advertise deals. Those marketing uses of email provide background and
brand awareness. Email prospecting is the opening of a relationship with a potential new
customer. Well-designed and planned prospecting emails can be sent out 1-to-many in such
a way as to appear to be 1-to-1.
When should you use prospecting email?
When your company is entering a new market, or if you have a strong offering, but limited
resources. It can be one of the most effective methods for reaching out to your target
audience to prime the pump for a big sales push. A well-crafted prospecting email puts
your organization “top-of-mind,” associating you with a solution to the issue that the contact
is tasked with solving.
Why should you use prospecting emails?
Executed properly, email prospecting enables you to extend your bandwidth and puts you
in front of the prospects who need you most. Email prospecting is one of the most cost-
effective ways to connect with new opportunities, communicate solution value and pave
the way to closed deals. But executing properly is the key.
Keep reading to learn how you can elevate your prospecting email efforts
to super hero status.
Your prospecting email is no mild-mannered guy who
sits in a dark cubicle all day long. No Way!
Once your fine-tuned bit of word-smithery heads out the door, he’s got to don his cape, see through buildings,
and make an impact on par with reversing the rotation of the earth. Nothing short of a prospecting super hero
will make it past the proverbial blockade of traps, filters, and honeypots to save the day for your damsel
organization in distress.
But, wait! Where is your hero headed?
Leaping tall buildings and getting through barriers to success require a great sense of purpose and direction.
Heroes have to pick their battles and focus on where they will do the most good. Instead of becoming a fallen
favorite from trying to save everyone, your hero must identify his ideal targets – the customers battling the
specific nemesis that your product squashes like an ant.
For each new service or product you bring to market, there may be a different ideal target. However, prospects
that would benefit most from your unique offering are the “well-qualified” patrons you seek to aid. Connecting
with this type of ideal target will open the doors of success for them and for you. Save the day and get new
customers – that’s a major win-win, right?
OF PROSPECTING EMAILS’
As soon as you hit send, the odds are stacked against your hero.
Every prospecting email must navigate past three lairs of his
fiercest foes before it can hope to reach the intended target:
• the Smog of SPAM
where over 90% of sales emails die
• the Deluge of Deletion
one false move and your superhero will be
washed away in the tide
• the Island of Ignore
here’s where it really pays to be super.
What is the impact of getting labeled as a spammer?
Spamming tactics annoy your prospects – no one likes to face an email inbox full of offers they neither want nor need.
Spamming also damages your company’s reputation. Getting blacklisted for spamming has a far deeper impact than
just failing to deliver your marketing messages. If you have been tagged as a SPAM sender, your ISP may block your IP
address or domain from sending emails for up to 72 hours.
You might think that SPAM filters are your hero’s adversary.
However, if you are investing the time to write and send prospecting emails to people you can actually
help, they are your secret ally. Think of it this way: spamming is the practice of plastering untargeted,
unsolicited emails to masses of contacts. It relies on quantity, not quality, for results.
If you’ve taken the necessary precautions prior to sending, then the SPAM filter clears the way for your
email to be noticed and actually accomplish the task at hand. But, even if you carefully target your emails
to selected prospects, one little mistake could get your email caught up in the Smog of SPAM and your
organization could be blacklisted.
Today’s sophisticated SPAM filters manage to
trash the majority of unsolicited email marketing
before it ever hits an inbox. In fact, 90% of emails
sent today are considered SPAM. To ensure that
your lead generation efforts produce maximum
exposure, you have to take steps to clear the way
for your outgoing messages.
Super HeroOF YOUR
Run your email through a SPAM checker.
2. Do not send attachments
Your super hero has enough accessories – with the cape and mask
and tights – he doesn’t need any more. If you absolutely need to
share a file, link to it within the text.
Using a link also allows you to track whether or not the prospect
clicks, giving you insight into his/her interest level.
1. Avoid SPAM trigger words
Spam buzzwords are like your prospecting email super hero taking
a detour through a bad section of town. This is not the neighborhood
you want to be in anyway.
Both the subject line and the body of your messages will be
filtered by ISPs to check for SPAM trigger words. Online lists of
SPAM trigger words demonstrate how these are really the language
of the infomercial or the used car salesman. You don’t want to
sound like thos guys, do you?
Always Avoid Using:
• Exclamation points
• ALL CAPITALS
• Promotional words:
Cheap, Free and Bargain
• Symbols $$
3. Steer clear of the ‘batch and blast’
Don’t overdo it. Emailing the same message to 5 or more contacts
in an organization is likely to get your email flagged as spam. Know
your targets, and choose contacts carefully.
4. Include your location
The CAN-SPAM Act requires email senders to disclose their physical
address on all email correspondence. All respectable super heroes
play by the rules, so be sure to include your coordinates!
5. Give recipients a clear way to opt-out
Sometimes while prospecting, even the most intuitive super hero
gets it wrong and tries to save someone who doesn’t think they need
saving. Never fear! Although CAN-SPAM does not require that your
recipients opt-in to receive email, it does require that you offer a
clear way to opt-out. Be sure to include an unsubscribe link in your
• Create an SPF Record at the
• Set up a DKIM Key
• Register your IPs and Domains at
• Sign Up for Blacklist Checker
technical tips to
Stuff to Send
your Allies in IT
MORE TOP SECRET DETAILS
THE FICKLE FINGER OF FATE
...No sooner than our hero passes through the Smog
of SPAM, an even tougher challenge awaits:
The Deluge of Deletion.
Your super hero has to prove he’s a good guy AND he
has only seconds to do it. This is the making of a
first impression, and you’ve got to use the most
powerful tools on your belt.
According to email service provider ExactTarget, the
average email has only 2.7 seconds before the reader
decides if they will read, forward or delete.
The best subject line answers why you are here and why the prospect should care in only a couple of words and in a
way that creates interest or intrigue. It should give the prospect a reason to want to open your email. Your prospecting
email will disappear in the floodwaters if you don’t get this piece right.
However, you also don’t want to overdo it. Simple subject lines often outperform those that are attempting to be funny or
clever – with subject lines that are less than 3 words having the greatest open rate.
What makes a highly effective subject line?
USE CASES WHY THESE ARE EFFECTIVE:
“Re:” Less is more. These can be used by themselves or with
“Fwd:” additional details. And either of these also imply a previous
relationship or conversation.
“Following Up” For emails after the initial email.
“Connect with key IT Decision Makers”
Highlights what the prospect will gain by opening the email
“10x the Traction in 10 minutes”
“Should we talk?”
“Can we set up a call?” Gives a clear call to action. Bonus points if you can
“[John] - Can I get 15 mins?” personalize it as well.
“Can we talk March 12th?”
“Confio saw 15x ROI in 2 months” Naming a competitor or customer always elicits intrigue.
“[Competitor Name]’s Last Customers”
“John Smith” If John Smith is a mutual contact or internal referral, or if it is
someone at the organization you’ve spoken to previously.
Even better, if you can name a colleague.
Timing is everything
Arriving at the right time to save the day is a cinch for super heroes.
But we mere mortals have to work a bit harder at it.
The time of day that your super hero email swoops in to deliver his
message dramatically impacts open rates. Email inboxes in time zones
across the US are read at differing hours, and emails sent at specific
hours have higher open rates than at others.
If you are doing mass email campaigns to
recipients across the country without
segmenting for time zones, the best time to
send messages is 11 a.m. EST. However, as any
good super hero knows, the better your aim,
the more likely you are to reach your target –
so, focusing on regional time zones is highly
the following works best:
• The peak Eastern Time Zone email activity is (in
order of activity) 6 a.m., 11 a.m., and 5 a.m.
• Usage in the Central Time Zone is not as
consistent around working hours as the East
with peak hours at 6 a.m., 10 a.m., and surprisingly
midnight (12 a.m.).
• In the Mountain Time Zone, peak email activity is
tightly tied to the 9-5 work hours. Top email activity
times in the Mountain Time Zone are 9 a.m., 8 a.m., and 11 a.m.
• In the Pacific Time Zone, high activity is concentrated
in the morning with peak hours at 8, 9, and 10 a.m., in
The worst foe by far that the prospecting
email super hero faces is being stuck
on the desolate and forgotten island
of ignored messages, which gather in
every executive’s inbox. As a marketer,
you don’t just want to avoid the delete
key, you want your message to hit
home and compel the prospect to
take action. You want the prospect to
take a meeting, have a discussion, and
consider your solution as viable to solve
The key to staying clear of the Island
of Ignore is communicating clear value.
Targeting ideal organizations can enable
our hero to confidently speak to the
needs of the specific prospect that he is
hoping to rescue.
Jump into Action
The prospecting super hero email is not trying to solve every person’s problem,
every day – he focuses on the ones where he can make a real difference.
He wants to get the prospect to do one thing: take action.
The email should contain a single call to action, and it should provide a clear next step.
Know Your Target
Our super hero is an informed seller. He knows his prospects. Medium and large companies are going
to be most impressed with a solution provider who presents an understanding of their environment,
issues, industry, and current initiatives. Small companies may not expect as much, but you should
demonstrate that you are familiar with their industry, the needs of companies like theirs, and the
growth phase of the organization.
No One Gets Left Behind
Multi-stakeholder account management addresses the fact that many people are involved in a buying
process. By email prospecting to various stakeholders, you not only eliminate the possibility of a
single point of entry failing, but you also present your solution to all who might be involved. You can
easily speed up the decision making process by enabling them to all agree on a single solution
earlier in the sales process.
Speak to their Needs
Role-based email messaging enables you to speak to the concerns of each specific role – sales managers
think about closing, finance managers think about budgeting, etc. Your solution provides different value
to different decision makers. Consider crafting several different messages for contacts with specific
roles so that you can speak to the issues that concern them most. Specific, targeted messages
enable you to send 1-to-many messages while sounding like 1-to-1.
SUPER HEROANATOMY PROSPECTING EMAIL
THE OF A
“If there is nothing
but what we make in this
let us make it good.”
– Beta Ray Bill
Subject line = your super hero’s face
Honest and compelling, this gains the prospect’s trust.
• Keep subject lines short. Your subject line should be under 50 characters. The iPhone
screen only shows the first 27 characters – so make them count!
• Design subject lines with the audience in mind – what value are you bringing them?
• Be careful with capital letters – more is not better. Capitals are powerful, but they lose
impact when in crowds and will get you caught in SPAM filters.
Structure = Strong Bones
There isn’t anything wimpy about how your super hero prospecting email is crafted.
• Sentences should be short and informal.
• Use multiple linebreaks – keep the text light and airy.
• Use bulleted lists for key points, and bod important content.
• Highlight the sphere of influence: “Bob mentioned I should contact you,” or “I wrote to
Jen the other day and thought I should loop you into the conversation.”
• Express gratitude. A little thanks goes a long way to making a connection.
Salutation = the neck
Connecting the brains to the brawn.
• Believe it or not, a greeting is optional – when you’re writing emails to colleagues, don’t
you sometimes skip the hello and jump right to the message? If so, consider leaving it off
for your prospects as well.
• If you do use a greeting, keep it informal – such as “Hi Bob,” not “Dear Joe Smith.”
• Whether in the greeting or within the body, personalization using mail merge or
marketing automation tools is critical to making a personal connection.
Value statement = Your hero’s cape
Intriguing and streamlined, this is what enables the super hero to fly.
• Your reason for contacting them has to be focused on helping your prospect achieve their
goals, not yours. Show that you have done your homework and that you have a valid and
pressing reason for contacting them.
• Put the value proposition right up front. Indicate what you can do for them – reduce
overhead, minimize customer churn, etc. If you are sending role-based emails, make sure
to speak to the concerns that pertain to that specific role.
• People trust those that others have trusted. Provide “social proof” whenever possible
through customer examples - “Our customer Bob’s Office Supply increased appointments
set by 40% in the first month”. The more specific, the better.
• If you have knowledge of the prospect’s current pain points (cited for being wasteful by
the EPA?) and you can make a difference – let them know.
Call to Action = The Strong and Agile Legs
A good and clear CTA will carry the prospect to the next steps.
• Drive the prospect to the logical conclusion that they need your help. But remember: it’s
not about you.
• Ask only one question or initiate only one call to action within your first prospecting email.
• Be a helpful expert/colleague, not a sales person.
• Provide the path to follow up – don’t ask the prospect to reach out to you.
sign off = the solid ground on which he stands
This gives the prospect confidence in the organization your hero represents.
• Use your full name, company name, direct-line telephone, cell number and website. A
link to your LinkedIn profile can be powerful if you are active and update your profile
• Leaving off titles is sometimes beneficial if you are trying to establish yourself as a peer,
and your title isn’t at the same level as your prospects’.
Super heroes and super powers often
Armed with DiscoverOrg, the leading sales intelligence
platform for SUPER sales and marketing professionals,
you (and your email) will possess the ability to pump up
your pipeline and rocket your sales into the galaxy.
CAN HELP YOU
YOUR TRUSTY SIDEKICKSDiscoverOrg refreshes each record in its database at least every 90
This work is incredibly time consuming and we have a team of
researchers - your trusty sidekicks - who are devoted to the
task. Our data integrates into popular CRM and marketing
automation platforms to create incredibly easy to
assemble lists and email marketing programs.
X-Ray Vision: Org Charts, Technologies Installed, and
Real Time Triggers
DiscoverOrg’s sales intelligence enables you to see through the walls of your targeted accounts to
identify key stakeholders, gain insight into the current technology landscape, and learn of prime selling
opportunities like changes in leadership or new spending initiatives as they happen.
It’s as if you have X-Ray Vision!
Prospects today typically go more than halfway through the process of learning about solutions and providers
before ever engaging with a sales rep. The most successful sellers don’t wait for the customer to come knocking
before flying in to save the day.
However, no one in their right mind is going to take off with just any guy in a cape. You’ve got to establish trust and show
that you are bringing real value in order to be deemed “the hero.”.Understanding who your prospects are, who they
report to, and what pain points they are experiencing are key prospecting tactics of our super hero.
Offered in the form of a constantly refreshed database, DiscoverOrg specializes in mapping out the organizational
charts of the IT, Finance and Marketing departments of over 20,000 global Enterprise, Mid-Market and SMB
companies. This actionable intelligence allows sales reps to quickly identify all points of entry into a target account and
access all of the decision makers at once. In addition, each company profiled includes insight into company growth
trends, the technologies installed, and recent leadership moves and new projects – giving our super hero the ability to
deliver the right message at the right time.
Accurate and Verified Contact Data
No super hero can save the day without
knowing where he is going. And, like our
hero, your email prospecting campaigns
can’t be successful without having
accurate email addresses either. A well-
crafted, perfectly-timed email message
doesn’t do you any good if you either
don’t know, or don’t have the right email
addresses of your ideal prospects.
DiscoverOrg’s contact data on more than
400,000 IT, Marketing, and Finance buyers
is verified and refreshed at least every 90
days to guarantee accuracy - and enusre
that your super hero prospecting email
will actually reach it’s intended targets.
Armed with current intelligence and
verified email addresses, your prospecting
super hero email will arrive at the right time
to the right contact with the right solution.
And with the added punch of direct dial
phone numbers, your prospecting super
hero can effectively follow up to make sure
he’s the one to save the day.
Helping you close more deals faster
The average sales rep spends less than 1/3 of their time actually
selling. The rest of their time is spent on administrative tasks,
researching, and spinning their wheels trying to reach their ideal
contacts. A super hero cannot possibly be performing at his best if
he is only out saving the day one-third of the time!
With DiscoverOrg’s accurate and comprehensive sales
intelligence, sales teams are able to speed up the sales cycle
and close more deals in a shorter period of time. With insight into
your target accounts and constantly refreshed and verified data,
DiscoverOrg helps you:
• Identify the key stakeholders before the first conversation,
not 3 steps later
• Stop wasting time navigating phone trees or trying to get
• Eliminate the need for extensive online research of target
• Improve the response-rate or contact-rate with accurate
Your cape is waiting.
Learn more about DiscoverOrg’s SUPER sales
intelligence solution or schedule a
personalized demo today.
Prospecting Email Super Hero Spotlight:
Company: RealLinx provides managed broadband, voice, security and
hosting solutions at affordable prices to a broad range of
clients – from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.
Problem: The sales team was running out of leads. In order to sustain
the .company’s growth, RealLinx needed to fill its pipeline and
find a .way to uncover additional sales opportunities within
Solution: Using DiscoverOrg’s sales intelligence to fuel its prospecting
email .campaigns, RealLinx was able to send a highly
targeted email to a .specific set of 900 IT buyers in the
• 32.5% response rate on the first email campaign
• Five immediate sales opportunities from the same campaign
• Less than 30 minutes of setup time to run an email
campaign targeted at .ideal industries and contacts within
This was a significant accomplishment for a service provider with most of its
customers bound to multi-year contracts.
[Read the Full Case Study]
Tel: 800-914-1220 | jjones@DiscoverOrg.com