In September, I was on a call with my CEO and Head of Marketing brainstorming ways to get emails through spam filters. One idea that came up was using a oneliner email to get attention to try and book a meeting without adding any additional information in the first email, then follow up that email with another email that contains more information.
By using this method, not only did we discover that we could get almost anything through spam filters if they were attached to the original plain-text email, we also discovered that people don’t care that much about what you have to say and are willing to meet if you can provide just enough value to make it intriguing.
For example, I started the test to prospects saying that they had recently visited our website and that I wanted to make an introduction. That’s it. What was interesting about this test was that not only did it get several meetings booked after people got curious and visited the website in the signature, it also got a few people to admit they actually had been visiting the website in question before I sent the email.
Next, I tried this approach asking people if they had received a package. All I asked was if they received a package of wine, I didn’t say what wine or why I sent it. This test resulted in meetings with several high value prospects for my client and reduced my direct mail budget to next to nothing. The only wine I sent out was to people who replied to the emails and started a conversation, which had over a 50% conversion rate.
Finally, I tested this approach from a top-down approach with a client targeting CEOs. I sent an email to a group of CEOs stating that someone from their company had visited our site about X topic, could they connect us with them. Not only did this approach get a decent number of responses from CEOs, it also got several meetings booked by employees who were told by their CEO to talk to us about that topic because we happened to get in front of them at a time when that topic was relevant.
Was this a typical A/B test? Absolutely not. But testing a new approach like this across a variety of clients, topics and approaches not only saved a few clients at the end of the quarter, it proved that the standard approach of emailing someone over and over with information is less becoming effective than creating the image that you’re emailing the prospect for a good reason, and it’s in their best interest to understand why. The mixture between brevity and assumptiveness proved to be invaluable for the end of our quarter and resulted in dozens of meetings in just a few weeks.