As the world slowly opens back up and more in-person meetings are being set, it’s important to know how to ask for those meetings. To do that, you’ll have to send an email that not only gets opened, but replied to, which can be a difficult task in a world where everyone is inundated with emails every day.
If you’ve struggled with unopened or unanswered emails, you’re not alone.
In fact, there are several reasons why this may be the case. After all, if an allocator’s inbox is overloaded with pitches, how do you make yours stand out?
It comes down to providing support, and making a genuine connection with the person on the receiving end of that email. From the subject line to the body of the email, everything should have a purpose.
At Dakota, we have a dedicated sales team who spends a great deal of time setting up meetings and conference calls, reaching out to clients and prospects, and of course, consistently following up. We’ve overcome the challenges of unopened emails, and want to share some of our best tips and tricks for getting your emails in front of allocators.
Sending an email may seem simple, but at the end of the day, whether you’re trying to start a dialogue with a new prospect, or build a relationship with a partner, how you go about it matters. No one wants to be bombarded with information or have something asked of them with no clear next steps.
In this article, we’ll outline the five reasons your emails aren’t getting opened or replied to. We’ll also show you the things you can do to change that and start setting more meetings with the right people. After reading this article you’ll be able to send engaging emails that are read.
The easiest way to get your email ignored is to send it to the wrong person. Ensuring that your contact information is up to date and accurate is the first step to ensuring it gets opened and responded to.
Make sure that you have not only the appropriate contact information, but the appropriate contact, specific to the asset class that you’re raising capital for. It could be that they’re sending the email to the wrong person who is not responsible for your asset class, or not the person responsible for starting the conversation.
Allocators can get hundreds of emails per day, and if the email you’re sending doesn’t have a clear subject line, it could easily get skipped. It’s critical that your subject lines are direct and specific, calling out the strategy you’re introducing, and what you’re asking of them.
When doing outreach, the Dakota team includes three key pieces of information in each subject line: the strategy name, the purpose of the email (setting a meeting, reconnecting, etc), and the date you want to meet. This way, the allocator knows exactly what waits for them inside the email.
Including the person’s name in the subject line is another way to grab someone’s attention, while making the email feel more personal and stand out that much more in their inbox. In fact, including the person’s name in the subject line can increase open rates by as much as 17%. The Dakota team has found success when including these thoughtful subject lines rather than more general ones — as well as an increase in meetings.
If the content of your email is too in-depth, especially for an introductory meeting, it will likely get skimmed and ignored. Many investment sales teams are tempted to include extensive details about their firm and their strategy, and while this may seem like the best way to cover all your bases, it can make the email too long and overwhelming, especially for an introduction.
You can easily remedy this mistake by keeping things simple and to the point. Introduce yourself, your firm (at a high level) and ask for the meeting. Adding superfluous information and attachments too early on can be overwhelming and presumptuous. Instead, stick to a simple format, and send more information at a later date, once the relationship has been established.
We’ve talked about subject lines, now let’s get into the body of your email. If you’ve done the heavy lifting, introduced yourself and your strategy, what comes next is setting the meeting, which is where a lot of people struggle. We mentioned being specific in your subject lines, but also holds true for the body of your email.
It’s important to finish strong by including a clear call to action. Without this, they have no reason to reply to your email.
Tell the person on the other end exactly what you want, rather than simply asking if they have time to meet. Instead, include data and time that works for you, and see if it works for them. This gives the person something to respond to — either that time works for them or it doesn’t, but it prevents them from having to do the work on the front end, allowing them to confirm rather than set the meeting.
Another thing that gets people reading and responding is giving additional context within the body of the email. This could be something topical within the industry that is relevant to their field or interests, but again it is important to be specific here rather than including details for the sake of it.
Like we mentioned above, it can be tempting to include every detail about your firm in these initial emails, including every piece of marketing collateral. But this can be very forward, and many will not get looked at by the recipient.
If you’re sending an initial, cold email, be thoughtful about what you’re sending. The goal of these initial emails is to lay the groundwork and establish a relationship. Don’t overwhelm the person on the other end by including countless attachments with marketing materials. When it comes to these initial emails, less is more.
The first step to drafting your perfect outreach email is to ensure that you have the right contact information. This is as easy as setting up a CRM for your team, and making it a part of your day to keep it as updated as possible. From there, you can test which subject lines work and which don’t, including details and relevant information to get your email opened. Finally, it’s important to be direct and up front about what you want from the email.
Even small changes can make the difference between your email getting ignored and setting a meeting. Start with your contact details and subject lines and iterate from there.