I recently received an email from a savvy sales rep and client of ours who is in the middle of a lead nurturing campaign and prospecting for clients. He was reading Jeb Blount’s book, Fanatical Prospecting (which I highly recommend), in which Jeb says prospecting should not be done via bulk email -- rather it should be accomplished through one-to-one email. He also noted that these emails should not be repetitive.
Being in the middle of implementing a lead nurturing campaign involving bulk email, our client wanted to know if emailing 5,000 different prospects repeatedly was a good idea. Understandable question. And a sticky one, too.
Is Jeb right that we shouldn’t use mass email campaigns for prospecting? Is an email campaign to a large list a better way to generate leads?
Surprise: They’re Both Right
Prospecting and lead generation are two different strategies and you want to use both. They might sound the same, but they aren’t as I describe in the post “When to Use Lead Generation Campaigns versus Sales Prospecting.” Here’s how they work together.
Consider that you have two different lists of contacts:
- Those groups of contacts that fall within your sweet spot target market.
- Those top contacts you absolutely want to do business with.
With groups of contacts, lead generation creates a long-term stream of new prospects into your sales pipeline using nurturing content. For the top contacts, prospecting creates more immediate qualified leads through a one-to-one sales approach.
Think marketing versus sales. You want to use both strategies.
Using a bulk email campaign approach is very effective here because there are so many contacts that you want to reach. Those who are interested bubble up to the top and then you contact them.
Send them unique content that builds awareness and creates interest Keep your content targeted to your audience so it doesn’t feel generic. Then make each email in your campaign different so it doesn’t feel repetitive – even if you’re emailing them frequently.
The frequency and unique content about their issues is what will grab their attention.
As Jeb points out, prospecting is all about the one person and one email at a time approach. For those top contacts that you know you want as clients, as well as the contacts that bubble up to the top of your lead generation campaign, prospecting is the most effective approach.
Sorry, there’s no way out of picking up the phone here. Create a value proposition unique to each contact. Then combine it with a personal approach to gain access and start a conversation.
The uniqueness of your message is what will grab their attention and get you in the door.
Use both lead generation and prospecting as part of your marketing and sales strategy and you’ll find you have a pipeline full of ripe, qualified sales prospects.