Email is a very effective communication tool during the sales cycle. Once introductions have been made, email serves as a great tool to keep prospects engaged for a few reasons. Emails are non-intrusive. The recipient chooses when they read it. They’re easily accessible at work, home or by mobile device. They make it easier to convey information and add credibility when designed properly. Email templates are also huge time savers for those standard messages that you send to prospects and clients. In fact, image-based business emails received 50% higher clicks through rates than text based business emails. Source: Silverpop
How Email Design Affects Your Pitch
The design is more important than you may realize. How info is broken up and formatted determines how effectively your message is relayed. The look and feel is especially important in this age of spam and phishing. Your company brand needs to be properly represented in emails to ensure they’re taken seriously. Imagine getting a plain text email from Nike with no swoosh, no athletes and no gear from a sales rep. Now imagine getting that email while getting other marketing communications with those elements. Now imagine that marketing email looking just like the website…but the unformatted sales email looking different from both. Inconsistent branding makes the sales email look like a sham, even if it’s legitimately from their sales team.
So how do we line up sales communications to look like all other branded corporate communications? Easy. Email templates in Salesforce.com.
Get sexy, attention-grabbing emails.
Salesforce lets businesses create beautiful email templates for use by sales for pretty much any contact:
- Congratulations after signing
- Birthdays and signing anniversaries,
The best part about these templates is that they’re flexible.
- Your prospect or customer details can be automatically merged in for personalization.
- Individual sales and support contact info can be merged in.
- You can edit and add text to customize each email before sending.
- You can send individual emails, for example, for follow up or mass emails for events like new reps introductions or promotions.
- They can be used to send emails to any kind of contact record – prospect or customer, by title, geography, products used, sales rep or individual account.
- You control when the email is sent.
- Salesforce keeps a record of the email activity, including open rates by your customers.
The email templates can be created to include text by marketing so that you don’t have to become a writer, proof reader and lawyer. But this text can be modified by each sales user. Blank templates can also be created with all the branding elements – logos, colors and images – where you write all the text, for those exception events for which no pre-written template exists.
The Salesforce.com Email Setup
Typically access to the email template section of Salesforce is controlled by Marketing, so you’ll have to work with them to get your templates created. The best ways to get the ball rolling would be:
- Start small to keep the templates manageable. As a group, create a “top 5” list of emails sent with 2-3 examples of really effective ones from the field. For example, the top 3 appointment confirmation emails; the top 3 post-signing emails; top 3 intro to product “X”.
- Assign 1-2 representatives from Sales to review emails as they’re being created and to work with Marketing before they’re finalized.
- Request that the entire field be trained on how to use templates before rolling them out. Salesforce seems easy, but is filled with functionality that you can’t guess at and get right. Check with your Salesforce administrator for access to Salesforce Success Plan training, where you can access 20-45 minute training tutorials on sending emails and other Salesforce functions.
- Periodically, discuss as a team how the templates are working, what adjustments are needed and what additional templates should be added. Send back group feedback to Marketing. They’re be more responsive to group feedback validated by all, instead of one-off feedback with which all reps may or may not agree.
Creating powerful, branded emails is a feature that is included at no extra charge with almost every level of Salesforce.com licensing (available free to all except Contact Manager only licenses) so why not turn it on today to add power to your sales communications and credibility to your pitch.
Taking Your Pitch Digital
Ever have to email a PowerPoint presentation or PDF collateral to a prospect or customer? You probably do it dozens of times a month. There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing that you’re presentation is a couple years out of date or that a mistake on that PDF collateral was finally fixed…but you didn’t get the latest version of the documents. Out dated and inaccurate information makes you look unprofessional and untrustworthy. Here’s how you can fix this annoyance – Salesforce.com libraries.
Authored by Yvette Montague, Director of at Salesforce.com Training at SFTC.
SalesForce Training & Consulting is a Salesforce.com training and Salesforce Management consulting firm based in Toronto, with training centers in Boston and Chicago, helping sales teams get the most out of Salesforce.com.