Business to business cold calling can be made easier and more successful when you use a well crafted e-mail targeted to a specific prospect. Some studies indicate that an e-mail and voice contact strategy can increase closing by as much as 20%. So, it pays to have an e-mail address.
Of course, the problem is getting the prospect’s e-mail address.
This article provides you with 7 ways to obtain an e-mail address. The techniques tend to take time and effort, and they assume that you’re crafting a 1:1 approach to your prospecting effort (versus a mass mailing effort). If you are a financial advisor, trainer, consultant, or if you sell high end products or services, this article is for you.
WARNING: Some of the techniques below are a little edgy and must be used with integrity. What this really means is you need to follow the processes described so that you never misrepresent yourself or your company.
1. Receptionist – Just Ask
Start with the easiest of tactics. For the amount of time and effort it takes to dial a company and speak to the receptionist this approach is a no-brainer. Just call and ask. You might get lucky.
2. Website – Look for the Code
Sometimes the most obvious spot to find an e-mail address is the most overlooked. Check the website. On occasion, e-mail addresses are as bold as brass.
Look for the ‘code.’ You might not find your prospect’s e-mail address but if you can find any e-mail address chances are you’ll discover the address code.
A great place to look is the “sales contact” page. Sometimes the name of a marketing or sales rep is listed. If you see, firstname.lastname@example.org chances are your client’s first name, dot, last name and the company name is all you need. (Be careful with this tactic. Sometimes the name is fictitious and is used only to garner inquiries.)
3. Call Sales or Customer Service – Direct and Indirect
Direct. A quick and easy way to get e-mail addresses is to call your prospect’s sales or customer service department. When calling sales, be candid. Explain that you are sales rep (just like them) and you’d like the e-mail address of your prospect. Sales reps understand your plight and will often help you out. This is a powerful and effective technique.
Customer Service departments can be helpful too because most CSRs have been taught to be helpful. Simply ask,
“I am sending Mr. Big an e-mail but I don’t seem to have his address. Can you help me?”
Simple as that. Always be candid if asked what you are sending.
Indirect. Some sales or customer service departments won’t give e-mail addresses as a matter of policy. One way to tackle this is to treat the call as an information gathering contact. Ask the rep for information about the company, products and services and then request his/her e-mail address in order to send then a thank you note. Et voila! You’ve got the code.
Or, if you ask the rep for Mr. Big’s e-mail address and they refuse, ask the rep for their e-mail address. They will know what you are doing but some will chuckle and give it to you. You can figure out the rest from there.
4. Experiment – Try Different Addresses
This tactic takes some time and effort but it sets you up for the next step (#5) listed below. Most e-mail addresses are standardized. For example, first name plus company name or first name last name and company name. Or maybe it is last name with an initial and company name. The variations are obvious.
If you have a handful of prime prospects and you haven’t been able to get an e-mail address despite trying a number of avenues, try sending your e-mail to the variations you’ve created. Usually you’ll get an error message on those addresses that don’t exist. Meanwhile, one of your variations is bound to get through.
But if they don’t here’s what you do next.
5. Back to Reception, Sales or Customer Service – The E-Mail Error
If the variations do not work, call reception, sales or customer service. Explain that you have attempted to send an e-mail to Ms. Decisiononi but the e-mail address does not seem to be correct:
‘I have been trying to send Ms. Decisioni an e-mail and I am wondering if I have the right address. I have, email@example.com. Is that correct or did I get wrong?”
The beauty about this approach is that it is legitimate. You can honestly say that you have attempted to reach the prospect and that the e-mail address is truly wrong. This protects the integrity of the relationship. And while the approach does take considerable time and effort, it works well. Use it for prospects that have great potential.
6. Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn offers a vast amount of information on your prospects. First, use the search feature to determine if your prospect is a LinkedIn member. If so, review the information provide in the profile. Sometime you will find an e-mail address. Or, you can contact the prospect via LinkedIn e-mail service.
7. Use Traditional Marketing – Send Something
The final way to gather an e-mail address is to send the prospect a card or letter and request an e-mail response. Offer a special report or copy a company newsletter or send something of value (anything from an industry report to something more personal like a jar of BBQ spices) and then ask the client to respond by sending you an e-mail.
There is no question that e-mail prospecting enhances telephone prospecting. Getting an e-mail address may take time and require a little creativity but the ‘synergy’ that the e-mail provides in the cold call processing in considerable. Give yourself an edge. Do what it takes. For more information here is my e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org There, I made it easy for you.