7 Laws of Highly Effective Sales Emails

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This is a podcast episode titled, 7 Laws of Highly Effective Sales Emails. The summary for this episode is: <p>Sales emails are a science, and we’ve got the formula after analyzing 300,000 emails. The best part? We’re sharing it with you in this webinar that will uncover the 7 hidden laws of sales emails. Write un-ignorable emails and book more meetings with less emails. Hear insight from guest Kyle Coleman, VP of Revenue Growth &amp; Enablement at Clari and book more meetings without sending more emails.&nbsp;Hosted by Gong's own Devin Reed. </p>
Law #1: Don't Use ROI in Cold Emails
01:39 MIN
Law #2: Don't Ask for Time in Cold Outreach
02:11 MIN
Law #3: Ask for time for in-pipeline opportunities
01:31 MIN
Law #4: Do Single-Thread Follow-ups After Group Calls
01:56 MIN
Law #5: Use Email Engagement to Forecast Your Deals
02:59 MIN
Law #6: Make it About Them
01:24 MIN
Law #7: Use Words That Sell
02:39 MIN

Devin Reed: And we are live. What is going on, everybody? Thanks for joining the session. I'm your host or your co- host today, Devin Reed and I'm joined with Kyle Coleman. Now if you're here right at 10: 00, fantastic, you're on time. We're going to hang out for a minute or two to let everyone else get dialed in, to get connected. However that works. So if you want, give us a shout out in the chat. You might notice this is a new system, at least for us. We're testing out Livestorm for the first time. So we'd love for you to give us a shout in the chat, where are you from? Where are you calling in from? Wow, we got international inaudible.

Kyle Coleman: inaudible.

Devin Reed: India, France, Amsterdam. Wow, I had no idea we were so international with today's session.

Kyle Coleman: Austria, Brazil.

Devin Reed: Minnesota. Wow, this is phenomenal. We've got 100 area codes time zones going on. crosstalk.

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, seriously.

Devin Reed: I don't know if there's actually 100 times zones that even exist, but if there are we're representing all of them today.

Kyle Coleman: Oh, I just saw Denver pop by I'm in Denver as well.

Devin Reed: inaudible.

Kyle Coleman: Man.

Devin Reed: Phenomenal, if you're just now joining and you're wondering why there's only geographic locations in the chat that's because we're giving a shout out of where you're calling in from. San Francisco, there we go. Now we're both represented, we've got someone from our current location. All right, well cool. So continue to use the chat. You can continue to tell us where you're from or you can use it to talk to each other and there's also a questions panel as well. Do you want to ask us questions? I believe those are private. So it'll shoot over to me, Kyle and we have Nehal from my team in the background, behind the scenes and she'll be answering questions as well. You also notice there's a poll section, we'll have a couple of polls going on where you can interact with us as we go through today's content. All right. Now the moment of truth, is sharing my screen for the first time on Livestorm. So let's see how this goes. We're going to go ahead and get started inaudible. All right. Well, perfect. We got to authorize screen share on my screen, because of course I have to authorize screen share on my screen. So, let's see if I can figure this out. Kyle, while I'm figuring out the early tech issue, which we're used to, this is nothing for us. We've had much worse crosstalk. Why don't you... I don't know. Do you have a fun fact or maybe an SDR story that you have, that why today is so important for today's content and I'll work in the background here.

Kyle Coleman: Man, a story or a reason, a rationale. I don't know if it's necessarily a story. But, what we're going to talk through today, these seven laws of effective sales emails are going to be useful for SDRs but also for AEs. I think I talk a lot about this. So for those of you who are familiar with me or have heard me do webinars before, I apologize if I sound like a broken record. But I really, really think that very good writing skills are fundamental to your success in whatever you end up choosing to pursue in your career. Becoming a better writer makes you a better thinker. It makes you a better speaker. It's just so foundational to your success. So, kudos to all of you for taking the time to invest in yourselves, to learn about these rules that aren't just for sales emails, it's for any sort of communication that you do. Whether you're talking to your significant other or you're talking to a colleague or anything like that, a lot of these rules translate. A lot of them are just about human psychology and what appeals to people. So I'm really excited for that reason that this is not just about becoming a great account executive. It's not just about becoming a great SDR. It really is just about being a more well- rounded person and that for me is pretty exciting. So hopefully that gets other people excited. And if not, I can see if people left the webinar after that little monologue, it looks like not too many people left, so that's a good sign.

Devin Reed: That's great. No, that's great. So, folks, we're going to get... the folks in the background are working on screen share because we're using Livestorm for the first time and of course having some screen share problems. So, Kyle, thank you for the intro. Why don't we also do quick intros about ourselves, we don't need slides to talk about ourselves. In case you're unfamiliar I'll lead off since Kyle just did a phenomenal job setting the table for us. My name is Devin Reed, I'm the Head of Content Strategy here at Gong. And before this role, I was a sales person. I was an individual contributor for about six years. My career was a lot like inception and that I was a salesperson selling sales software to sales leaders. So I've had my teeth kicked in a few times, I guess that's the best way to learn. But it was a phenomenal experience. And most recently I was the second sales hire at Gong back in 2017. And right on cue here's our slides, phenomenal. And so, yeah, now I lead content strategy which includes all of our things from Gong Labs and our data backed insights, which we'll cover some today. I could do awesome events like this. And then my team is also in charge of content strategy. inaudible content marketing, social media and email marketing. So, with that Kyle hand it over to you.

Kyle Coleman: Awesome. Yeah, thanks Devin. My name is Kyle Coleman. I am a VP of Growth and Enablement here at Clari. I've been working with SDR teams for about eight years or so. And was an SDR at a company called Looker, a business intelligence analytics tool based in California, and grew that SDR team up to about 65 people globally over the course of about six or so years. And then jumped over to Clari and now I lead our SDR team as well as demand generation and marketing operations and sales enablement. So, a pretty wide purview but an important one to have all under the same umbrella and just really useful to create and accelerate revenue. So all of the principles that we're going to be talking about today translate to pretty much every component of my job which is the demand gen side. So how to write good marketing emails. I know that's near and dear to Devin's heart as well, but also SDR obviously. And then enablement as well, because we're going to talk about not just how to get a foot in the door from a meeting maker standpoint, account penetration standpoint but also best practices for moving deals down the funnel. So I'm really excited about that.

Devin Reed: Absolutely. I always talk about Kyle as my friend who is an SDR turned VP, because not too many people have done it from been in the trenches and now receiving hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of cold emails. So, fantastic. Let's get into our agenda. We'll move quickly here so we can get time into the laws themselves. And so really how this came about was, you might have noticed or you might have been at the last session with Kyle and I where we covered some of the data back insights that Gong had recently found, this year. And so what we did at Gong, was we did another round of insights and we did a lot of testing. And what we found were seven laws of highly effective sales emails. Some of them are backed by data, some of them are best practices that we've seen over and over again and Kyle and I will talk about them today. So we'll talk about the importance of constructing the winning email. I think Kyle, I've done that pretty good job so maybe we can float by that one. I want to get right into the seven laws because I think those are the most important for today and probably, why you signed up for this session. And so like I said, we'll go through each of those. We've got some groundbreaking data and also some email examples that Kyle will walk us through. Finally, we have a giveaway. So if you see anything, if you see a takeaway, an interesting fact, something, you want to screencap it because later we're going to have a giveaway and we're going to want to use that screenshot. So, don't be afraid to take the screenshot, we've got a give away at the end. All right. Let's move on here. All right. Kyle, did you want to talk to these ones?

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, sure thing. So some people in the chat are saying that the slides are looking a little small, we're working on it. Sorry, hopefully we can correct that. But if you're having an issue, there's a little hide the sidebar button in the top right of the presentation screen. You'll lose the chat but you'll be able to see the slides a little bit better. But, now about this content. So 306 billion emails, billion, emails sent out every single day. That is a staggering amount. It's an ocean of noise. And so what you need to do, your job as an SDR, as an AE is find ways to break through that noise. And so what we're going to talk about today are strategies for breaking through that noise. And now you see that center box here, the average person receives 120 emails every single day. I know the first thing that I do when I pop open my inbox in the morning is, just rapid fire on the archive button. Just getting rid of all the things I can, unsubscribing from all the things I didn't even know I subscribed to. Just trying to get the stuff out of my brain so that I can focus on the things I need to focus on. And there are important things and we'll talk a little bit about this as we go through. There are important strategies to use to not get auto deleted. So we'll put a pin in that, we'll come back to it. And then to that point, only a quarter of these emails are ever opened. So you need to do whatever you can to make your email stand out, not just in the body content but in the subject line, in that first line that you send, to make sure that your email gets opened. Because guess what? If they're not opening your email, they're not responding to your email and that's a major problem.

Devin Reed: Absolutely. And the waste of time. And I'm also glad you inaudible every day as well. It's like as I'm drinking coffee, I'm just swiping right. Not swiping right, swiping left which is archive and then also unsubscribing from things. So yeah, we want to avoid that, which is what today's session will help with. All right. Oh, you just said this, we could have flipped the slide but we've got a meme here. We could have pasted your face over, but yeah, you can't make the sale if they don't open your email. And I think that's one thing is like, you don't get the end result that you wanted but it's also such a waste of time for those times that you really craft the email or anytime spend during the day is really valuable. And so that's why the best practices that we'll cover today are going to be really helpful. All right. Really quick outcomes, we'll just slide through these. You know what we're all about in sales, we want to set more meetings. If you're trying to do pipeline gen, we want to move deals forward faster once we get them in the pipeline. And then ideally we get them to that close signature as often as possible. With that I believe we have inaudible. Here we go. Okay. So this was a fun one, Kyle and I know also... I'll do a disclaimer here. These are all going to be data backed and we'll cover the data. But I also want to implore you to test these things yourselves. Everything that we cover today are best practices because they've worked for me, they've worked for Kyle and we've seen a large set of data that says that these work. But at the same time, you always want to do your own AB testing and make sure that it's right for you, your approach and your audience. So here's my disclaimer, but law number one and I've seen this time and time again. Is don't use ROI in cold emails. And here's an example of that, right? You're reaching out to someone and you're saying, " Hey Devin, my company is going to help you increase revenue 14%." Or, " We're going to help you save 20% of your team's time." And so what we did at Gong is we wanted to test this and see if this was true or not, because it's something I've done. I've done this multiple times Kyle as a seller and I've noticed, as I'm starting to get more prospecting emails it didn't land with me. I'm not feeling compelled by these stats. And so what we did at Gong, and if you're new to Gong I'll explain to you really quickly what Gong Labs is, which is our data team. And so what we do is we look at all of the different sales interactions that are captured on Gong's Revenue Intelligence platform. So that's emails like today, but it also includes phone calls and web conferencing meetings. And so what we do is I work with a team of data scientists and researchers. I think I'm the only one on the team without a PhD or two. And they help me close through all these different sales interactions and we start to find trends and best practices. Things that work and things that don't. Some of the examples are the best way to start a cold call. Others are, is it good or bad or harmful to curse on a sales call? That's another report we did back in January. And so for this one what we did, is we broke apart cold emails that use ROI versus emails that don't use ROI language and the ROI language is specifically ROI and specifically things like two X or four X or 100% increase those types of things. And so we broke them apart and we tested and what we wanted to look at was the success and success was defined by, was a meeting booked within 10 days. So you're not going to see inaudible response rate because response rates can be misleading. You can get an unsubscribe, you can get a kick rocks, don't talk to me. And that might be misconstrued as success. And so here's what we found. Not using ROI language or I should say another way, using ROI language, had a 15% decrease in success rates. So this might be surprising. What was interesting to me, Kyle and I'd like to hear from you because you're at that VP level, is when I talk to sellers, people in the trenches, practitioners as we call them now. They're like, " Yeah, of course I'm going to hit them with the hard facts. It's compelling, you cannot argue data. I'm literally showing data to hundreds of people right now, how can you argue with it?" But when I talked to senior leaders, it was the complete opposite. They're like, " Yeah, that's just a stat. It doesn't feel real to me and it doesn't work so I delete it." So I'd love to hear from you, if this is something you teach, if this was surprising and then you as a recipient how you feel about this.

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, for sure. But before I do that, Devin, I have to say there's a little bell icon in the top right of your presentation screen, hit that bell icon to turn off the notification sounds. The people in the chat are losing their minds. And rightly so, I got to say, those little blips were pretty annoying. Now...

Devin Reed: inaudible I'm like, " I guess this is a part of life on this platform and I'm doing it." So I'm glad you guys told us, yeah. I would hate for you to have to inaudible for 40 minutes as well.

Kyle Coleman: All right, cool. So was it surprising? Yes and no. It's surprising for the reasons you mentioned, Devin. I'm a data guy, I cut my teeth at a data company and you would think that the hard facts are going to win people over more so than the opinions or the qualitative facts or the, we do this better than XYZ competitor. But, when I started receiving more of these emails, always, always my reaction to them is a complete eye roll. Because my initial response is, you and I have never talked. You don't even know what our priorities are, you don't even know how we make money. You don't know what our initiatives are, what strategies we're pursuing. You don't know what value you're going to be able to add to us. Rather you don't know as precisely that value that you're going to add to us. So that's one reaction is like, " You don't actually know me or my business well enough to say this with any real certainty." It actually does more harm than good I found. And then the second thing is that, a lot of times the ROI numbers that are issued in these cold emails are astronomical and for that reason, unbelievable. I couldn't find the email this time, after this presentation. But there was one where, I kid you not, somebody promised me 21,000 times ROI. And I was like, " You're going to make me a couple billion dollars, I don't understand." So avoid it. It does more harm than good. It's more discrediting than it is affirming of what you're doing here. And it really is not about them, it really is about you. You're trying to make it about them, you're trying to make it sneaky like we're going to save you this much. But really you're just tooting your own horn. And we'll get to this in some of the later laws here, but you really want your cold outreach focus on them. So while it seems like it's a good idea, hold it in reserve until you actually are further down that sales cycle where you have more time to investigate their business. You have more time to understand the revenue model. You have firmer ground to stand on to say, " Now that I know you, now that you have collaborated on what the inputs are for our ROI model now I can give you something that carries a bit more weight and the data is a bit more believable." And so that would be my recommendation.

Devin Reed: inaudible it perfectly, I love it. Let's move on to the next one here. Oh, yeah. We have a quick example here. And I think this is inaudible in case folks are curious what this looks like in practice, maybe you just cover this really quickly.

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, for sure. So it's the middle line that we're looking at. It's got two yellow arrows pointed at it. So it's what I just mentioned, if you're increasing my leads by 40% how on earth do you know that that's 10 times my ROI? That to me just seems like you're throwing numbers out there to get my attention and there's no validity to that statement whatsoever. I really just don't believe this at all, I have no reason to believe this. And so this type of email to me, it's not about me. Like I said before, there's no compelling reason for me to respond. So this is the type of thing that you may think is customized, you may think is personalized but really... Yeah, Danny just said in the chat, it makes my eyes glaze over. It's the immediate scan and archive motion that, unfortunately, I'm pretty well- trained in at this point. We're going to talk a lot about this, but use that real estate, use these emails to show me that you've actually done some research about myself or my company instead of just this blanket statement that has no real backing, no real validity.

Devin Reed: inaudible quick question too, how many emails were analyzed for this one? This was North of 300,000. So around 319, 000 for this report, strictly cold emails. And yes, now that the dinging is off in my ear, I'm happily looking at the chat. It's much more fun.

Kyle Coleman: Hey Devin, can I chime in real quick? Because a couple of people have asked in the chat, Ashley just asked, is there a better way to do this? And if you flip back a slide to look at that email real quick. So, Ashley and the scores of other people who are asking a question here. You should know your product well enough, you should know the persona that you're reaching out to well enough to issue a value statement to them that carries more weight. How are you going to help somebody who is in my role? Somebody who leads a demand gen and even SDR team, an enablement team, how have you helped that person before? Or, can you give me some sort of content that educates me about what your product or solution does or how you've helped another person or another company similar to me or mine? Your role needs to be one of educator in these early emails that you're sending to people and not just brow- beating me in for a meeting. And so we'll talk about the best way to continue a conversation or earn a conversation with rule number two.

Devin Reed: inaudible lots of versions in the other one I've seen a lot of success with, which is bringing up a problem they might not know. Like, " Hey, there's something going on in your org you might be missing." Or, " I've talked to other leaders like you, they didn't know this was happening. We opened their eyes and then this is what they saw," right? Or also just putting them in the driver's seat of the story, we're saying, " Hey, we..." Kind of like what you said Kyle, this is how we've helped people. This is what they were trying to do. This is what they... the obstacles they ran into and they were unable to, here's how we remove that. Would you be interested in learning how that would apply to you?

Kyle Coleman: Exactly.

Devin Reed: All right. Let's jump over to law number two, don't ask for time in cold outreach. Now I'm going to pause, there's probably going to be a small fire starting in the chats because a lot of people like myself were coached throughout my entire career to always ask for time. And not only to always ask for time, but to ask for a specific time. And so that would be things like, " Hey Kyle, are you available at 4: 00 PM on Thursday for 30 minutes?" And the thought process was, you're making it easy to say, " Hey, I need to go straight to their calendar, I'll look if there's a white space or not and I can tell Devin yes or no." That was the mind frame there. So what we did was, I wanted to test it. All these things were things I was curious as a seller, like, " Is this really the best way?" And I've sent hundreds if not thousands of prospecting emails and sometimes I use the, ask for time, sometimes ask for interest but I never really got a gauge of which one works. And so we did some research on this and we looked again at a couple of different things. So, here's how it panned out. Now what we did was the same set of emails around 300,000 emails and we put them into three buckets. So the first one was the specific CTA. That's exactly what I just described, are you available at this time for this amount of time? Option two was an open- ended CTA, things like are you open next week for a call? So I'm asking for time, I'm asking for a conversation, but it's not too firm in terms of when or how long. And then the third bucket was interest, which is seeing, are you interested in this thing I'm talking about versus asking for time specifically? And I was really surprised by this. I really wasn't sure, when I asked the research team to look into this, I had no idea what was going to come out. I wasn't too surprised that open- ended didn't work. Feels a little loose, it doesn't really feel firm enough in either direction. But here's what it came out to. And so, yeah, it's actually two times more successful to ask for interest instead of the specific CTA. And this was another one where I think sellers and senior leaders were on different side of the spectrum here. Because again, I had a lot of VPs reaching out and say, " Yeah, of course I hate when people ask for time."

Kyle Coleman: So for me, I wasn't terribly surprised by this because again, the goal or the role of the outbounder is to create interest. It's an educator, to create curiosity, it's to show the person that you understand them well enough that they want to have a conversation with you. And so a lot of times what you're doing, what the best emailers are doing, is they're basically creating this little page for themselves that the recipient should care about them. So line one is personalized, it's why I'm reaching out to you. Line two, is the value that I can provide. And then line three, is are you interested in learning more? And if they've done lines one and two well, then they should do a nice job of creating that interest, earning the right for a further conversation.

Devin Reed: Yeah, absolutely. I noticed some folks in the chat said, " I know at SalesLoft..." I think it was Jeremy Donovan who reached out or posted. And he was like, " Hey, we did a report..." And it was a larger data set and they said, " Actually we saw that it was asking for time that was more successful." I was not surprised by this. Both reports can be accurate, they're different data sets. And if you look in the scientific community, there's people that say the world is warming, there's people who say the world's not warming up or for different reasons. So there's always going to be different views on these things. And so even though they're both data backed, again I always implore you to go AB test this after today's session. I've had folks after we reported this, CRO specifically said, " Hey, we did the AB test the next day, interest versus specific CTA. We got five meetings with the interest CTA and none from specific." So he's like, " I changed the playbook and now that's what we do." So again, this is a great North Star for you to follow but always go out and do your own research. Not your own research, but do your own testing. And I see some folks also asking what the interest CTAs look like. So Nehal if you want to post it, we actually have 43 highly effective CTAs that you can use and we'll go and put them in there now.

Kyle Coleman: Cool. So this is an example... Can you mute Devin, I think you're picking up my... Yeah. So this is an example of the type of email that as Devin mentioned, he was trying to send. I certainly am guilty in my early SDR management days of training our team to send these types of emails. Because we thought, that asking for a short amount of time made it a lower barrier, the person wouldn't be so concerned. However, time is the most precious resource that anybody has. And any bit of time that you're asking for without real justification for it, as I've mentioned before, without really earning it makes it a pretty tough hill to climb and it makes it very difficult for me to say yes. So when I get an email like this that doesn't really offer any value, that doesn't really seem to show that they have done any research on me or my company or what I'm trying to do, what we as a company are trying to do, but they're just asking for time and they're making it easy because they give me their calendar link. Thank you so much. Why would I do this? There's nothing here that is justification for me spending time with this person. So that's what we're talking about here. You need to educate a little bit more. You need to show them that there's going to be some value in the time that they spend with you. Whether it's five minutes or 60 minutes, there needs to be equal value that they're getting by giving you their time.

Devin Reed: Absolutely. I always laugh at the calendar link. I don't hate the calendar link, I only hate it in this scenario. It reminds me of people who text me they're like, " Call me." You reached out to me, why don't you just call me? Why are you putting it on me to reach out? And so, yeah, I think calendar links once you know someone are fantastic. Kyle's like, " Hey, let's talk about this session on Monday." Sends me a calendar link, that's easy. Because we're already interested in talking. I've already decided I want to invest time with Kyle. But for cold emails, I don't think we're there yet. All right, let's get to the next one here. And I believe we have a poll, see if I timed it. We do. Okay. So, things in sales are very nuanced. What works in one scenario might or might not work in another scenario. So, go ahead and jump over to the polls. If you inaudible chat there's question, there's polls not for the election, that's over with at least I hope. Please don't start talking about the election. But in the polls, go ahead and type in the answer here. Now think about this, the buyer, your buyer just entered the sales cycle, which CTA should you use in the email? So imagine, you've had your discovery call now you're moving on to demo or presentation, let's say. Should you use the open- ended CTA, the specific CTA or the interest CTA? I'd ask you Kyle but I have a feeling you already know because I think we've talked about it before. Well, let's see here. I got a little over 100 people, folks are still going in. Give you 10 more seconds, if you want to answer. It's interesting. All right, let's see what the next slide says. See how many people got it right. It's getting even here. Law number three, or you can go ahead. We can share. Is ask for time for in-pipeline opportunities. I gave it away a second ago when I was giving my Kyle explanation when I was like, " Hey, once Kyle and I already know we're interested." But yes. So if you want to jump to the next slide real quick, we'll just cover the data. It's the same data set, we just looked for something different. We moved the research from before in cold emails. So before the pipeline sales cycle started I moved it over to once you're in an opportunity. And as you see here, specific CTA outperformed interest CTA by quite a bit. So it flipped and then open- ended CTA even did better than interest. So you see quite a difference here. But I think the answer is pretty straightforward Kyle, right? It's like the interest CTA does not make sense because interest is already established, right? If someone already had a call or two or 10 with you, I don't think it's as effective. It doesn't really make as much sense to say, " Hey, Kyle are you interested in a proposal call?" I think you want to drive it forward and say, " Hey, Kyle, how's Thursday look for us to talk about that proposal?" That's how I'm reading this. Did you read this any differently or was this surprising to you?

Kyle Coleman: No, I think that's spot on, Devin. And again, I don't want SDRs to lose interest here. And Devin, I'm going to ask you to mute again because we're getting an echo. I don't want SDRs to lose interest here because this is really important for any SDR who is not on a meeting booked or a meeting completed comp plan, but is rather on a sales qualified opportunity comp plan. Where that meeting happens and you are still responsible. Like your job isn't done. There's still work that you can do to get that meeting to be qualified. So, you've probably got the meeting with maybe one person in a buying group. But typically there are over six or seven people in a buying group. And so what you need to do as an SDR is help your AE reach out to other members of that buying group. And now is the time where you could say, I met with your colleague, name, can we chat Tuesday at 2: 00 to talk about the opportunity for X. And so you can be the one who's forcing the issue there. Once you've already got interest established, as Devin said, and you can help those opportunities move down the funnel. Same is true for all the AEs on the call here, as Devin mentioned, you need to guide your buyers. Your buyers are very likely only making this decision one time. Versus you, who hopefully anyway is making the sale many times. And so you need to show that you know the pathway that leads to success and you need to take the impetus upon yourself to chart out that path for them so that they understand the milestones. And they don't have to think about what is next for them and just show them you understand your sales cycle well enough. You need to show them that you understand the value that you're bringing to them well enough to suggest specific next steps to keep your deals on the rails.

Devin Reed: inaudible I love that, it's exactly right. You want to lead them through the process and it shows confidence by telling them and inviting them along the way. There's a good question, do these rules apply regardless of the outreach channel like text, video, social media, et cetera. So caveat, we only did this research for email. But I don't think it's a channel specific distinction, right? It's a psychological thing. Have you decided that you're interested in something? Because you decide if you're interested and then you decide if you want to invest your time, it goes into that order. And so that's why I think this would apply even if you're sending a video, you're texting somebody. I think it applies across. But of course like I've mentioned, test it for yourself.

Kyle Coleman: That's right. We got 15 minutes to get through the rest of these laws.

Devin Reed: Pretty quick. So this was actually a little surprise so maybe you guys in the chat have experienced this. But you just had a discovery call with, let's say a VP, one person. Then you have a follow- up call with that one person. Then they're like, " This is fantastic, I'm going to introduce you to my four directors. We're going to have a group call." So you have the group call, that also goes well. And then, afterwards you send the follow- up email and no one responds and then you follow up a couple of days later, no one responds. You're like, " This is crazy. There's five people on that call that said, 'This was a great call and it felt really good.' Why is no one responding?" Well, there's this weird phenomenon that happens with people and what it is is that there's actually this study they did where, they had four, five people in a room. And all of these people were in on this test except for one. And so this test subject, what they did is, they're all waiting for an interview or something. And the scientists or the researchers that were doing this test started putting smoke underneath the door as though there was a fire. And what they did was they asked the four people who were in on it to not acknowledge it, stay put, pretend everything is okay. And most of the people, the test subjects, they saw the fire. You can see them looking around and they don't do anything. Because what they do is that people in moments of uncertainty or where there's an action required, people look around to see, " Hey, are you going to respond first? Is this a real threat? Should I be moving?" And so that's what I think happens on these multi- threaded group conversations, right? It's like, if you ever have a bunch of people on a call and you say, " Hey, does anyone have any questions?" You get radio silence because no one wants to be the first to move, everyone's looking around. And so we put some research behind it and we saw that response rates are highest when there's two people. And then once there's three participants or more on that thread, you start to see the response rates decline. And so my bystander theory... thank you Jessica. And so what it is, is... and I had noticed this, I wanted to solve it. So I had started testing and I'm like, " I'm going to hit a group message. Let everyone see all the follow- up items that I promise." But then I would start single threading. Hey Jane. Hey Megan. Hey Scott. Hey Shannon. One- on- one and I was getting many more responses and then I was starting to build relationships faster and getting more next steps done on the individual basis. This is new Kyle, I haven't actually shared this one with you before the sessions. I'm curious what you-

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. This is super important. And I think a lot of people, yeah, bystander effect is coming into play here. But I think more important is that your email to a group is not addressing specific value that you're going to bring to a person. And you may try to do that but it's going to get lost when you have a super long email. Nobody likes reading super long emails. So rather, single thread, address it to one person and then say what the value is that they should have realized in that initial call or that they will realize with your product and what the next steps are that you need from them and do that in a one- off basis. Yes, it takes more time but yes, it's far more valuable. You give everybody an opportunity to ask you specific questions that are about them, how they're going to use your product, your solution, your tool, whatever it is. And that's super important. If you ever find yourself writing an email that says, " Hey team," or, " Hey all," immediately, you lose people. Address them by name, this is coming up in another law, and you're more likely to get their attention. And then you can guide them through the processes we talked about before on an individual basis, as a co- member of that buying team instead of trying to move an entire team at once.

Devin Reed: inaudible everyone. I don't know why my eyes glaze over too, for some reason it just doesn't feel right. All right. This is an interesting one and probably not one that you would expect signing up for today's session. But you can actually use email engagement to forecast your deals. So it was last year I was working with the research team and we were trying to find the number one signal if a deal was going to close. Now, been in sales long enough usually you just trust your gut. You're like, " I've worked enough deals, I know what good feels like." But that's really hard to scale if you're a sales leader and it's not very objective, right? It's very subjective. And so other times if you're in leadership, you might ask your reps, you might just slack them, tap them on the shoulder back when we were in the office or maybe check your CRM. And so what we wanted to do was find an objective metric that we could look at and say, " Hey, what are healthy deals that are on track to sign look like? And what do losing deals look like?" So that we can start to increase our deal predictability and increase our forecasting. And so what we came up with was email velocity, which is essentially the amount of emails sent back and forth between a buyer and a seller over the course of a week. Now it's different than email activity, because email activity is one way. That's just how many times did I email? How much time did I email Miriam, for example? But what this was looking for is the back and forth effect. And so over the course of a week, winning email inaudible winning deals have about eight emails exchanged back and forth. Versus losing deals floated around two. And I don't know if we have a slide for the next one on the last week of a deal. But on the last week of a deal, it actually increases up to about 11 emails per week. And so Kyle, I laughed earlier when you said there was 21000% increase. This is the highest percentage I've ever published, which is 753%. But when you start at 1. 8 and you compare it to anything, you're going to get an enormous percentage. But, really what you can do whether you're forecasting your own deals, I've been there a bunch of times where you're in that kind of a best- case scenario. You're not really sure, it could come in but, I don't really feel good telling my VP that this is definitely going to come in. You can look at your accounts as you see the screenshot here. Those little circles are just email activity. And you can look and say, " Hey, this account looks like a ghost town and I'm more in that hoping stage, hoping I get a really positive email." Or, is it looking really good? We're interacting back and forth multiple times. And something to think about too, if you're like, " How am I going to email someone eight times in a week, back and forth? That might be a lot." That's on an account basis. So if you're multithreading, if you're working with multiple people in that account, emails is really easy. That's only one email exchange for four people or inaudible you can do the math however you want to break that down. But if you're working with multiple people, eight emails per week is actually quite easy.

Kyle Coleman: And again, I want to speak to the SDRs in the audience here. The same is true, although we don't have the data on it. But the same is true, I've seen time and time and time again for pre- opportunity or pre- meeting whatever you're creating for your reps. When you see an email that's getting a lot of engagement, when you see an account that are opening your emails, clicking your emails, doing those things, those are the most likely accounts that are going to turn into meetings and turn into opportunities. And the same thing is true here, when you're forecasting deals. The more emails that are going back and forth the more engaged they are, the more you're doing a good job communicating value to those people the more likely it is that your deal is going to close. So use the tools you have at your disposal to rejigger your priority list and ensure that you're focusing on the right accounts or the right opportunities at the right time, based on engagement.

Devin Reed: inaudible can see visually here, when an account is heating up. It's warming up or that you're getting email opens or clicking links or getting involved. That's when you know you're getting close, you're educating them and they're showing interest. And the same thing later in the sales cycle, you can see deals heating up with this interaction, right? Good question from Andrew. Majority, I would say about 95 ish percent of the stats that we're showing are US- based. So they are pretty specific to North America. Again, I always advise testing these things for yourself. But I have to imagine a lot of these things aren't too culturally specific. They're a little more on the psychology side of things, so they should apply to most human beings because we're all relatively the same. All right. Let's jump to the next one here. I say relatively. Yeah, Kyle, I want you to take this one away because you're phenomenal at it. If you guys don't follow Kyle on LinkedIn, you definitely should he posts, I think every single day, maybe even on the weekends. Just phenomenal tips and this is something I know that you talk about all the time, which is making the email about them, them being the buyer.

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, 100%. We've alluded to this before but, I'm sorry everybody. I really don't care about you or your company. I'm trying to do everything I can to make our company successful. And so when I see or receive an email or a LinkedIn message or a phone call or whatever it is that's entirely about what you do or what your clients are doing or statistics that you're proud of but it doesn't really mention me, it doesn't translate to me, it's not about myself either as a person or a persona that you sell to, I'm not going to pay attention. And so the best way to get my attention is to use these pronouns, you, you'll, your team. Those are the types of things that I know it sounds really small, but it makes a huge difference. And you can see the differences in the gray box and the purple box. It's not just about the anonymous set of users that are going to maximize their time. It's that you'll be more efficient. And that directness of that statement, it just stops me a little bit more. It's less ambiguous and more specific about the value that I will realize. And so the little tweaks like this really do go a long way. It goes from sounding robotic to sounding much more personal. And I think that that is a really large reason for the success of these pronouns.

Devin Reed: Absolutely. If you think about it, even when you meet someone in person. I always think of industry events, you end up meeting a lot of people from a lot of different companies and the elevator pitches are often like, " We are the number one, this platform. We do this for our clients." And it just feels like this very... like you said, ambiguous. It's this third party, it's not here, it's not there. I don't really know where they are but it doesn't feel very personal to me. Versus when someone sends an email and they're talking to you. To you Kyle, to you Devin. It naturally makes you lean in because it feels like they know you because it is more personable. And so the other thing too is make it about them. I think another one of the biggest mistakes is people open up the email with, hi Devin, my name is Joe I'm the SDR on this account. Our company is X and this is what we do. Now by then I will keep reading just to continue. It's like, you can't help but finish a bad movie. I just want to know how bad does this email go. But what I think about is, if you're sending that type of email, you're not even looking for a needle in a haystack. It's even smaller odds than that because what are the odds that, that person you're sending it to, are like, " Oh, perfect." That's like, " This was on my to- do list this week, was to find this type of company." It's so small. It's never going to happen. But if you can make it about them, center it around a problem, center it around their team, you're more likely going to get them interested in listening as well. Simon says mystery helps, mystery is phenomenal.

Kyle Coleman: This is a huge thing. And another corollary to this law, is avoid the word I or we as much as you can. And I know it sounds strange, but literally the smallest things. Instead of saying, I saw that you. Just say, saw that you. And avoid that word I as much as you can. Again, it makes a really big difference. I've tested this just so many times, I can't even tell you. It increases open rates, it increases response rates. The sentiment that you get back from the person is just more positive. So avoid I, avoid we, avoid these general terms and make it specifically about them as a person or again as a persona, if you don't have enough personalized research on them.

Devin Reed: inaudible thing on that I think too is, and someone put it in here, should I use the company name or should I say your team? I personally when I'm reading, I know and I think most people know there's a little dynamic field that's your company. And it's like, " Does this sound like something interesting at Gong?" It's not bad, I wouldn't say. But it's not as personal as like, " Is this something you'd be interested in for your team?" I know I work at Gong. I know you know I work at Gong. I don't think it's really adding anything to say that. But to be more specific with, your. I guess it's actually less specific because you're not using a data field. But yeah, I personally don't love seeing my company name or my personal name throughout the whole email. It feels like it's a dynamic seal just plugged in there all the time. All right, let's run home base here. I guess we're on third base and get to home. Law number seven, and we touched on it just now, is use words that sell. Now before we flip the screen here, I'll give you a little background. This was a different report that we did. And I was curious as to what words do top sellers use to sell? I'm an English major from college, I love linguistics. I geek out on these things. But as we've been covering these things so far, you can start to see there's really subtle differences that can make a large impact. And so what I did with the Gong Labs team was we took a group of SMB and enterprise reps, which had top performers and we had average and bottom performers. And we simply looked through and see, between calls, excuse me, on their emails, what type of language are they using? And what was really interesting is the words we looked for are very simple words. We joke around, you're not going to win Scrabble with these things. These aren't four or five syllable words. These are very, very conversational, casual words. So let's go and flip the screen here and I'll show you what some of them are. Imagine this is one of my favorites. So this is about half of the report. If you guys are interested, we have a full list you can download. I love the word, imagine Kyle. Because it naturally, I'm going to say the word forces, but it naturally pulls you really into visualizing something. So when someone's like, " Devin, imagine never having to do that anymore," super simple one. I'm immediately like, " That would be great. That would be phenomenal. I don't like inaudible." Now that's a very lazy example, but there's tons of ways if you can say like, " Position the problem..." Why are you in your email? Position the problem and then I love to say, imagine that being gone and this new desired state being the case, and it actually puts people in that realm. And then that's what I like to follow up with an interest CTA. Would you be interested in learning more about that? And it's like, " Yeah, that desired state sounds great." Because I'm already imagining it in my mind's eye. Kyle, do you want to take on their name? I know that's a big one.

Kyle Coleman: Yeah. You know we've talked about this before, but part of the reason that I'm such a fan of Devin's is because he uses my name a lot over and over and over again, he's won me over that way. And I know, again, these things, they sound so simple, they sound so silly. But it really does make a big difference when you are using their name in your emails, on the phone, in the voicemails, it makes things more personalized. Have you ever been at a party, obviously not in 2020. But think back to a simpler time where you're at a party and you hear your name from across the room and then your attention is immediately drawn to that. That's the effect that it has. Your body, your mind is trained to listen for that set of sounds, that is your name. And so that's how you get people's attention. So yes, use their name as much as you can. You don't want to pepper it a million times through your emails, but just make sure that they know that you are writing to them. And if they can tell that by your use of their name, by your use of things that are valuable to them, their persona, whatever it may be, that is how you will sell better.

Devin Reed: Absolutely. I see inaudible in here just dropping knowledge in here. Thank you inaudible. Yeah. And so the next one here is use case verbiage. Now verbiage isn't a word I would probably say too often, but I think it's applicable here. Talking about the valuable tasks and jobs the product will help the customer do. I think it plays along with imagine as well, right? Well it could be things like achieving a strategic goal. It could be publishing more content. And so what it is, it's using strong verbs to really help people understand the outcome of what you're presenting or what the problem is that you're solving. People want outcomes, people don't care about the feature and how it works, people care about the outcome that they will get from that. And I'll take us home on decisive language as well Kyle. See how I keep saying Kyle's name all the time. Is using decisive language, so and remember, these are all just for cold emails, by the way. These are across, could include the sales cycle too. But what we found is they use more decisive language. Things like definitely, certainly and we can do that. If you see a we phrase in there, that's okay, it's not that you can never use a we phrase. It's just avoiding it in cold emails. But what this does is, what we covered earlier when you're leading people through the sales process and you're providing them with the next step and a time to do so. Is you're showing that you're confident and you're knowledgeable by using this decisive language, right? No one wants a, " Hey Kyle does Clari integrate with Salesforce?" " Maybe." I think those are things that don't exude confidence. And so buyers want to be led, they want to trust you. And so when you use these decisive languages, it really pays off. Kyle's also in the chat, I see you. What are inaudible three word subject line? You're everywhere, man. All right. Let's go here. So yeah, we've covered this before and I'll say it again. Don't be afraid to experiment with these things, test it in your next email. Start using pronouns, start using these different CTAs and AB testing. And by the end of a week, you should know, " Hey, this works better for me or this doesn't work better for me." Right? You'll be better off inaudible. All right. We've got a quick recap here. I'm going to go super fast because I know we're about to wrap up. I want you to have time to make it to your next call or to your lunch. So, using ROI language and time, asking for time in cold emails decreases your success rates. Instead, focus on interests and outcomes. Follow up immediately with each meeting participant after a group call, you'll get more responses, especially at groups three or more. And then focus on pronoun heavy emails and words that sell. If you've missed it Nehal is in the chat right now, she's dropped links where you can download 43 highly effective CTAs, as well as the words that sell chichi. I believe we have our giveaway, if I remember the order of our slides correctly here. Oh, we've got a poll. Fantastic. Well, if you enjoyed today's presentation, if you're interested in having better email conversations and visibility across all of your team's interactions, as well as your pipeline, Gong can help, shameless plug. If you enjoyed this, we can help you apply these things to your team. So, go and jump over to the polls. If you want to hang out with us, say yes, we'll get you set up. If you're saying, no, I'm good, not right now. That's fine. Or maybe you're somewhere on the fence. You're like, " Let me see that PDF first, I'll have to think about it," and we'll follow up with you accordingly. So you can answer that over into the polls. All right, now we have our giveaway. So I have, Kyle has offered his time as have I. At the very beginning of this presentation I said, " Hey, if you saw something that you like, if you learn something that you want, that you're going to apply, take a screenshot or write it down in your notepad," and now is the time to collect. So jump over to LinkedIn and post whatever it is that your favorite takeaway was and make sure that you tag Gong. On Friday, so you have about 48 hours, probably lunchtime on Friday I'm going to go through all these posts and Kyle and I are going to pick two people, completely random by the way. And you're going to win a one- on- one coaching session with one of us. So we're going to cover for 30 minutes, we'll go over your... If you want to have us look at your email cadences, if you want to just do a Q& A, if you want me to tell you the worst and best stories of cold emailing I've ever done, whatever you want, it's yours. So go ahead and jump over to LinkedIn, post your favorite takeaway and you'll hear from us on Friday, if you've won.

Kyle Coleman: We did this last time and the person that I spent 25 minutes with said that it was the best time he's ever spent with anybody in his whole life. No, I'm just kidding. We had a really good talk though and it was really useful. I enjoyed learning from him, inaudible a nice exchange. So please do, post your learnings, tag us and catch us next time.

Devin Reed: inaudible there's over 2, 800 people signed up for this, so you'll be in good competition. But a few hundred people showed up today, which we're really grateful for. So, we hope that you enjoyed this session. Kyle and I had a lot of fun and like I said, our goal is really to help other salespeople be as effective as possible. So, hope you enjoyed it. Everyone after this will get the recording, everyone will get a list of the seven laws. And I know there's been a bunch of content in the chat as well. Now, if forecasting is a nightmare, if you're tired of hearing the word forecasting, if you just need more sales tech, clari. com/ demo, Kyle will personally demo every single one of you. I'm just kidding, I can't sign him up for that. But you guys can check it out. And as I've said, Gong is here as well to help you have better conversations and help with deal predictability. Make sure to follow Gong on LinkedIn if you enjoy these sales stats, if you want to see more of it, we publish about once or twice a month. And as I mentioned, follow Kyle and myself on LinkedIn. Both of us are continually putting out great sales content. If I may say, it's great. You guys can decide if it's great. I think Kyle's great at the very least. Thanks again Kyle for joining me, always a good time. Anything else you want to say before we head out?

Kyle Coleman: Just one final thing, thanks to you Devin and the Gong team and to everybody who joined really appreciate it. Let us know if we can help you in any way.

Devin Reed: inaudible good rest of your Wednesday and thanks again for joining us.


Sales emails are a science, and we’ve got the formula after analyzing 300,000 emails. The best part? We’re sharing it with you in this webinar that will uncover the 7 hidden laws of sales emails. Write un-ignorable emails and book more meetings with less emails. Hear insight from guest Kyle Coleman, VP of Revenue Growth & Enablement at Clari and book more meetings without sending more emails. Hosted by Gong's own Devin Reed.

Today's Guests

Guest Thumbnail

Kyle Coleman

|VP, Revenue Growth & Enablement at Clari
Guest Thumbnail

Devin Reed

|Head of Content Strategy at Gong.io