Thirty years ago, all an SAP sales rep had to do in terms of prospecting was to pick up the phone. Large organizations and enterprises around the world were clamoring to buy ERP software. Now, the average B2B tech salesperson has to call and email four to five times to get a response from a prospect, as they are competing with 44 other companies, a significant increase from just 6 competitors in 2014!
This means, as a salesperson, you not only have to be incredibly persistent (fun fact: the average salesperson gives up after 1.7 attempts), but also creative to stand out from the masses. Think about this. If 44 other salespeople call your prospect multiple times, your email or your call has to make a positive and lasting impression if it's going to lead to the desired action: connecting with you!
So you need something big, almost revolutionary! Something magical and irresistible!
I am not sure it is the biggest innovation (emailing prospects or moving from cold calling to Inbound Sales could be considered huge too, right?), but it certainly is a movement that has an enormous response rate! For example, according to a Vidyard infographic:
Including a video in an email has resulted in a tripled response rate and a 500% increase in the number of meetings.
Adding a video to your email can boost your click-through rates by 200-300%.
65% of executives visit a company's website after viewing a video.
75% of late-stage prospects decided to make the purchase after receiving a personalized email message.
While it looks snazzy, there isn't much magic to it. Here is how you can send video emails for free today in five easy steps:
1. Do Your Homework: Research Your Prospect!
Whatever you do, do not skip this step. You have got to do your homework and research your prospect because the secret to a successful video email is to personalize it. This is a one-on-one conversation, so be sure to tailor your email. Past experiences show that the average retention rate of videos is 35% higher if the videos are personalized.
Look up your prospect on LinkedIn. What is her role and how long has she been in it? What does his picture tell you about his personality? What type of education does the person have?
Find out more about their personality. There are lots of apps, like Crystal Knows, that use Artificial Intelligence to tell you about your prospect's personality and even give you advice on how to approach them.
Look at the company's blog, press releases, and company newsletters for sales trigger events. In the B2B Technology world, a recent change of management, a reorganization, or an announcement (e.g., to upgrade to Windows 10 or embrace Digital Transformation) means budget and a possible need for your solutions.
This step should be part of any inbound sales outreach and takes about 15-20 minutes per lead. Use this information as an indication for how long your video should be, what your voice tone should be, how fast you should get to the point, what connection points you want to mention, and much more.
2. Decide On An Outreach Strategy
Depending on whether your lead is an inbound lead (they came to your website and filled out a form, and you call/email them to follow up), they are already in your sales funnel, they are a referral, or a warm outreach as part of your Account-Based Marketing efforts, the way you use video email is different.
For example, for an inbound lead who downloaded a top-of-the-funnel eBook, you could email them a video that shows you in a bubble on the bottom of the landing page they downloaded something from. It helps to trigger their memory and fires up their lizard brain — as Seth Godin calls it. The purpose of this video would be to make a personal connection and ask what they were looking for help with.
If you want to move a deal faster down the pipeline, it helps to know from previous touch points what their pain points are. Maybe you just released a new feature that would solve that point? Or you have a new case study that explains how another customer solved exactly the same problem? Use the video to show them first hand!
If they are a referral, you might want to go on their LinkedIn page and mention in the video how you know your common connection and why this person referred you.
3. Hit The Record Button
Confession time: It took me about six months to get over myself and hit record. So, if this sounds intimidating, you are not alone, but know there is really nothing much to it. Here are some tips:
Sign up for Vidyard and download their Chrome Extension. If you are using HubSpot, you will be pleased to know that this is the platform HubSpot video functionality is built on and it integrates fully. If you don't like Vidyard, there are other options like Soapbox.
Find a quiet spot with an uncluttered background. Since we are talking about video, looking professional is important!
Think about what you want to say. It is best to have a standardized sales process that you can follow to provide your prospects and customers the same customer narrative across all touch points with your organization. But remember, a standardized process doesn't mean you shouldn't personalize it.
Now stand up, smile, breathe, and hit record.
Once you have recorded your video message, you can preview it. If you like it, you can copy the link by clicking the "Share" button on the top of the page. Copy the link and the thumbnail and head over to your email.
4. Write An Engaging Email (Including A Great Subject Line)
Now that the hard work is done, all you have to do is to write an engaging email to entice your prospect to click on the message. Again, use your initial research to determine your tone of voice and approach.
For example, if you are dealing with a fun looking marketing executive that has a dog in their LinkedIn image, you might have a lighter tone and refer to the dog. The email could read something like this:
I just recorded you a video email inviting you to our upcoming webinar.
Please excuse my dog barking in the background — I think he wanted to say hi to yours. Haha! Anyway, be sure to watch the video, and I hope to see you at the webinar!
(Make sure you have a dog barking in the background, otherwise this is weird...)
Whatever you decide to do, keep it short and sweet. Once you have written the body of the email, you have to find the right five to seven magic words for your subject line to entice people to open your email! Run it through Grammarly and give it one more read through.
5. Hit Send (And Track Your Email)
Now you are ready to send your email. But rather than hitting send and praying, you could use HubSpot to track your emails. This way, you get notified if/when your prospect opens the emails, clicks on the video, and watches it. This helps you to not only keep track of your performance and better learn what works and what doesn't, but also enables you to follow-up better.
Video email is an engaging, personal way to connect with your leads, move prospects further along in their purchasing decision, and even create a wonderful customer experience. The sky is really the limit in terms of creativity here, but keep in mind the secret to mastery is "Practice, Practice, Practice".
If you liked this blog post and I inspired you to try it out, feel free to send me your first video email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!