TRANSCRIPTION OF EPISODE
Chris Battis: On this episode of Intent Topics, we’re going to tell you about a framework we call The Four C’s of Writing Effective Sales Emails. All right. What’s up Logan? How you doing today?
Logan Kelly: What’s cracking, dude?
Chris Battis: Not a lot. Not a lot. So today we’re going to talk about writing sales emails in a framework you have created called the Four C’s. What do you say?
Logan Kelly: Yeah, man. I love it. Let’s go into it.
Chris Battis: I love a nice framework. Who doesn’t love a nice framework? Let’s get into it. What are the Four C’s? Can you list them off real quick for us?
Logan Kelly: Yep. So, email, copy, sales email copy needs to be conversational, it needs to be concise, it needs to have a conspicuous point, and it needs to be contextual.
Chris Battis: Love it.
Logan Kelly: Bam.
Chris Battis: The Four C’s. So, let’s go.
Logan Kelly: Four C’s. Dodge, dip, duck, dive, and dodge.
Chris Battis: Is that Dodgeball?
Logan Kelly: Mm-hmm (affirmative). It’s Dodgeball.
Chris Battis: I’m going to have to dust that one up.
Logan Kelly: [crosstalk 00:01:16] Yeah, dude you need to dust that up.
Chris Battis: Yeah, that is a classic. That was a great era of movies right there with Vince Vaughn.
Logan Kelly: Dodgeball. Yeah.
Chris Battis: They’re all the same characters in every movie, right? Vince Vaughn’s the same guy. Ben Stiller’s the same guy. It’s great. A great time to be alive. It must be the Four C’s of comedy. Anyway, let’s get back into it. So the Four C’s of writing good sales emails. Alright let’s start with conversational. Go into that for me.
Logan Kelly: Cool. And disclaimer, I didn’t come up with this. But as we’re trying to scale the company we need to build these frameworks to be able to get them into the hands of the people who are creating our content. And also now with the people who pay attention to what we’re doing. So, conversational …
Chris Battis: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on.
Logan Kelly: Yeah?
Chris Battis: You didn’t create this? This whole time I thought you had created this. I thought you were just this framework guru. I feel like I just learned that maybe the two, three …
Logan Kelly: Let’s be real. Let’s be real. The words in the framework, yeah, sure, but we’ve been working on how to write good sales copy and match it to intent data and all this data that we use for the last couple of years. So I would say the framework, the words, yeah, sure. I was just jamming out on my computer on the way up to Vermont a couple of weeks ago.
Chris Battis: And voila, a framework was born, I’m giving it to you. It is your framework.
Logan Kelly: I’ll take it. I’m not going to fight you anymore.
Chris Battis: So the first C, conversational. Tell me about what you mean there.
Logan Kelly: Cool. So the idea is we want the email to be written like you you saw the person’s name and you said, “Ah Bob, I know Bob. I want to let Bob know what’s going on. I want to start a conversation with him,” okay? It’s not this super sort of flowery language, it’s not dramatic, it’s not well structured like we see in direct response copywriting, you see two sentence lines and it’s very sort of candid. There’s a way of making an email sound like I was just a coworker, I shot an email with an article in it or a coworker I wanted to chat about this thing, so hey, here’s what I don’t want to chat about, here’s the idea and let’s go. So conversational, if it sounds like a marketing message or if it sounds salesy, it’s not a good sales message and that’s what I mean by conversational. And I think it’s a hard thing to quantify, but you know when you see it. It makes me want to take a shower if it’s direct response or something like that.
Chris Battis: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it’s like, A, sound casual as if you were talking to someone and B, write an email that somebody would even have a response to, right? So many times you’ll get an email and you’d be like …
Logan Kelly: Yes.
Chris Battis: … so now what? You know? Right? And so, it’s not a call to action per se, but it’s definitely to inspire conversation, right?
Logan Kelly: Yeah, exactly. I think that’s number three, conspicuous, but the idea is write it in a way that you could conceive somebody responding to, and I think that’s the point you’re making, which is really powerful.
Chris Battis: Better said, yeah, yeah. All right, cool. So number two, the second C of writing a good sales email is to be concise.
Logan Kelly: Yeah.
Chris Battis: Tell me about that. How do you go about that? What’s your advice there?
Logan Kelly: So a concise email is a virtue, okay? Concise sales copy is a virtue. Even though I think people who are really proud of what they do or are passionate about what they do like, I’m talking, I’ve just said a bunch of words and I haven’t made a point, but I’m really passionate and I can’t quite get it out because I just want to keep saying stuff, right?
Chris Battis: Yeah.
Logan Kelly: That’s what happens in a lot of emails, right? I’ve gone through with clients where it’s like, all right, you edited my first email before we have an understanding of hey, I know what I’m doing when it comes to my team’s, right? But hey look, we know what we’re doing when it comes to writing a sales copy. You just took the sentence, you made it twice as long. You haven’t said anything different than what we said. Now read that out loud and don’t take a breath in between. And it’s not a grammar thing, it’s if you’ve got two commas or yeah, two commas in a sentence, there’s a lot of words. There’s a lot of stuff there.
Chris Battis: Yeah, yeah.
Logan Kelly: It’s like, respect people’s time, but also respect that what you’re saying is powerful enough that you don’t need to dress it up with 9,000 adjectives.
Chris Battis: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And respect how little time you have to make your damn point, right?
Logan Kelly: Exactly, exactly.
Chris Battis: That’s more long windedness, right? There’s a different flavor of that that you’ll see a lot. I feel like I see it more working with clients than I do in my inbox, but actually when I think about it, it’s there. But say it’s a product or a service or whatever that does a lot of things, covers a lot of ground, has a very wide reaching kind of umbrella of what it could do, and I feel like especially with a small business owner too, right? They want to squeeze it all in. They want to cover every base to make sure that nothing is left unsaid, right? And it turns into, I would even call it an elevator pitch, this is the biggest building in the world maybe that elevator ride.
Logan Kelly: Sure, sure. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, that’s kind of where two and three, once again, you just love harping on number three, man. This is good. So yeah, the idea is yes, keep it short, but not so sure that it says nothing but not so long that you could say the same thing with a shorter email, right? And then if we move into number three, the idea is the point of the email is conspicuous and I think that’s what you’re talking about with this elevator pitch, right? It’s like, you assume that you are going to have more than one communication that is read or received, whether that’s a phone call, email, live chat, text message, whatever that is, assume that you’ll have more than one interaction with that prospect.
Chris Battis: Yeah. So I will just defend myself a little bit. They’re not the same, right? I see what you’re saying, but also as part of number two being concise is don’t try to explain how the world was created but also to number three it is stand out, be clearly visible, attract attention, right? Right away, there’s some overlap there and I also think those two can work together because B, attention getting by being so concise, that’s actually attention getting in its own way.
Logan Kelly: Yes, absolutely. Yes, exactly. So I agree with what you’re saying and I think we go back to conspicuous, the point is very clear why this person is reading it and I think being concise helps with that. And then I think that yeah, these two definitely play off each other, but I mean at the end of the day, the four of them play off each other because they’re the Four C’s of good sales copy. So I think that’s a great point.
Chris Battis: Four C’s, one email, right?
Logan Kelly: Yes. Four Cs, one email. Yeah, that’s like the Jack Welch, what is it? The Four P’s? One E framework? No, four E’s, One P framework, Jack Welch book winning, pick it up. Favorite book ever.
Chris Battis: Yeah. Okay.
Logan Kelly: Love my Jake Welch.
Chris Battis: You’re the studied business nerd I’m the art degree guy, so don’t forget, know your audience here, all right?
Logan Kelly: Yes, yes. Marketing versus sales, right?
Chris Battis: Yeah, yeah.
Logan Kelly: So, now we go onto the fourth one, which I think is kind of a total change of flavor here but number four is your email should be contextual. And in marketing we’ve known that segmenting lists is very, very powerful, right? And there’s a million ways to segment a list. When we’re looking at sales emails and we’re looking at sales copy, the way that we here at Union are typically segmenting is something that allows us to relate the conversation or relate the sales copy to a conversation that is very relevant to that person. Now this isn’t rocket science, but these things that we’re talking about are not rocket science, but they are frequently ignored.
Logan Kelly: So the idea would be use geography, like a geo selling campaign. Use technographic data to relate problems or solutions that are specifically related to what software somebody might be using. Intent data is great, be careful, buyer beware, and then firmographic data, right? So the size of the company, are they Fortune 500? Are you writing to a Fortune 500 executive? There’s probably a lot of news we can build very nice contacts there. So I think that’s where things like personalization is a sort of sub of this, but if you’re trying to do at scaler or it’s really cold, fall back to contextualization through data and then get more personalized to provide that over time.
Chris Battis: Yeah.
Logan Kelly: That make sense?
Chris Battis: Uh-huh (affirmative), yeah, totally. And then I would add this. This bullet could be a part of other kind of rants we go on, right? And we were doing this a little bit yesterday, but to do your homework kind of factor, right? And it’s a part of being contextual is knowing the context, not to be overly obvious but research who you’re talking too. It’s more than just looking at on Owler and seeing what news article, like sweet.
Logan Kelly: Right.
Chris Battis: It’s like no, come on. Get to know the product, maybe understand the projects they’re doing, whatever it could be. Know who you’re talking too, know the title, get to know how the business operates, right? What’s their [inaudible 00:12:50], all that stuff because when you get that email that’s so blatantly the person didn’t or maybe the robot that sent it and I’m not going to even go so far as it was a person, has so little context into what I actually need and it’s almost offensive when you get those emails, right? And we went off on this yesterday and we decided to tap the brakes because we were just …
Logan Kelly: [crosstalk 00:13:14].
Chris Battis: Yeah, we wanted to shed it in a positive light. So anyways, my point is oftentimes to be contextual requires research and requires not being …
Logan Kelly: Planning.
Chris Battis: … totally lazy.
Logan Kelly: Yeah.
Chris Battis: Yeah, planning.
Logan Kelly: I think it depends on what stage. As I said, if you’re super cold, don’t spend all the time in the world to highly, highly personalize this. Understanding that it’s this kind of organization, that they’re using this kind of technology, that they might be having these kinds of problems and you can solve this, if you’re being concise and you’re being conversational, you can get pretty fricking far without needing to know where they went to grade school.
Chris Battis: Yeah, yeah, first dog’s name. And the other thing is, you mentioned this too, part of the context is what do you call it? Altitude within the company.
Logan Kelly: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Chris Battis: We were getting into that industrial marketing kind of concept …
Logan Kelly: Marketing framework, yes absolutely.
Chris Battis: … that Don was talking about, that could become a very big piece if you unpack that, right? Like who’s the decision maker, who actually needs buy in? Who needs to be the champion? Whose problem are you actually solving? That’s all contexts as well.
Logan Kelly: Absolutely, absolutely. I think it was episode, what? 29, the last Intent data overview we did.
Chris Battis: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Logan Kelly: If you haven’t listened to it, listen to it, but we talk about this, right? So it’s like where somebody is geographically that’s context. Where they are in the organization, that’s contact level context clues. That’s wonderful and that doesn’t take that much work to do in the grand scheme of things. So I think it’s a great point, the industrial marketing framework, understanding the stakeholders, all that can really play into this. And I think number four, contextualization gives you a good base to be conversational to be concise and to be conspicuous because it’s doing a lot of the work for you. You don’t need to come up with what to say. Like, what problems you’re solving, what problems that person is facing on a daily basis and how they’re interacting with the problems, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It’s if you can find that it really will start to write the copy for you.
Chris Battis: Yep. I like it. So we’ve talked about this in other podcasts, but I want to bring in a couple of other other tips though. I wanted to share in case someone’s only reading this podcast, the data you had, I don’t remember the exact data points, but using a link in an email, the long link rather than a hyperlink text is significantly more productive.
Logan Kelly: Yeah.
Chris Battis: So I wanted to call that out again because that’s changed my thought when I’m doing stuff like this. But the other thing is in an email or within this framework, where do URL’s lie? Do you want to add a link to something in here? Are you sharing something? Like is there anything in that vein that it’s worth noting?
Logan Kelly: This is a shout out to my colleague Mark Troy here. Seeing some of the content over the last couple of years that he’s just thrown together quickly and it’s so powerful. It’s good stuff, right? It’s like the link should go where you would put it if you were just thinking about the content that you’re doing right now. Think about it in the moment. If I was going to write you an email, I might use bullets being conversational because I need to organize my thoughts because it’s a concept that needs a couple of bullets. Like, here’s a link, here’s a article, here’s a link, right? You can use bullets. It still looks conversational, right? Or it should be an afterthought. I write the piece of content, I throw the link at the bottom, right? It’s natural. It’s like doing a podcast for a long time or for the first few episodes, I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to say next before I’m even done saying the … and that’s what I feel like a lot of marketing content is. It’s so bland. Sales content should be planned but not look planned, you know?
Chris Battis: Exactly.
Logan Kelly: That’s what I think about links and all that kind of stuff.
Chris Battis: That could be the overarching title to the framework is make your emails look unplanned.
Logan Kelly: Yeah.
Chris Battis: [crosstalk 00:18:06].
Logan Kelly: It’s like in the 90s the messed up hair look for dudes. Like, you just rolled out of bed bro.
Chris Battis: And one of my dad’s favorite phrases is a city plan’s better than no plan at all. And he lives by that. I’ve seen some shitty plans. But it’s always good to have a plan. Shitty plans out of myself not him. So let’s talk key takeaways of this framework and then we’ll wrap it up and get on with your day.
Logan Kelly: Cool. Cool. So number one, have somebody edit your sales copy. And I’m not talking about edit for grammar. I think that’s kind of table stakes. You got to nail your grammar, but the thing about it is my colleague Beth is great at making sure that the amount of words, the tightness of the sentences, all those kinds of things can improve the power of your writing. I’m not saying make it so formal that you’re missing your audience, but there’s a lot of times where you use passive voice on accident just because that’s what you were writing. Where conversationally you might use passive voice, but you don’t want to do that, those kinds of things. So have somebody edit your sales copy to drive that conciseness and really kind of make sure that the structure is getting the point across and really being conspicuous.
Chris Battis: Yeah. And I’d say if you can’t find anyone to edit it, read it out loud. The things that will come out of that are pretty incredible. Be ready to do that before you have someone edit it. Save them the time.
Logan Kelly: Yeah, exactly, exactly.
Chris Battis: All right. Next takeaway.
Logan Kelly: Okay. So just because you think it sounds good doesn’t mean it will be productive. I remember that the early days of Facebook advertising, the ads that I was the most excited about because the production was great and everything. The landing page took me two weeks to build it just did …
Chris Battis: Perfection, right?
Logan Kelly: … nothing. Yeah, it just did nothing. And then the stuff that I went into HubSpot and threw together [inaudible 00:20:27], there’s one that took me 15 minutes to build and then five years later that store is still using the page and it’s their most productive landing page on the planet. So the idea is just because you think it sounds good doesn’t mean it will be productive and this goes back to my first takeaway, which is have somebody edit your sales copy. Just because you like the way it sounds doesn’t mean that your audience will. In fact, a lot of times it won’t. Go ahead.
Chris Battis: My early HubSpot years, pre-HubSpot when I was in agency and early on at HubSpot, before HubSpot leaned more into a space that could accommodate more design savvy looks and feels of websites and landing pages, I used to hear Brian Halligan say all the time, a beautiful site is not necessarily a productive site and some of the ugliest sites are the most productive and that’s what’s important. And it’s a really good point and it applies here.
Logan Kelly: It’s about your audience it’s not about you, better put, right? That’s the reason. It’s like, your audience isn’t you. Write it for your audience.
Chris Battis: Yeah, beautiful designs and pixels are beautiful, but they don’t necessarily convert, right?
Logan Kelly: Exactly, exactly. Yeah.
Chris Battis: All right, so third takeaway.
Logan Kelly: Cool.
Chris Battis: Yeah?
Logan Kelly: Yeah. Don’t try to tell your whole story in one outreach [crosstalk 00:00:21:52].
Chris Battis: Yeah, yeah. So I was kind of jamming on that earlier, right? Don’t try to explain how the earth was created in your outreach emails, right? And again, I think especially for someone close to it, especially a small business, a business owner, the passion for their baby, right? They want to tell the whole story because every moment of their life is spent thinking about this, right? And they just want to tell everything and they’re so emotionally attached to it that they just want to tell you everything, right? And you’re like, I don’t even know you. So I think that’s actually one of my favorite takeaways is just don’t tell the whole story. Be quick and say stand up. All right.
Logan Kelly: Leave people with and we’ll talk about this in another episode around calls to action in the sales copy, but leave people asking you to take the next step, right?
Chris Battis: To learn more. Yeah, yeah.
Logan Kelly: Yeah. Exactly.
Chris Battis: Yeah. Cool. Cool. All right man. Well great chat. Thanks for introducing the Four C’s of Writing Good Sales Emails. I’m watching Dodgeball tonight. That’s it. I’m going to see if my kids like it. All right, well that wraps up today’s episode of Intent Topics. I am Chris Battis.
Logan Kelly: And I’m Logan Kelly, thank you so much for stopping by. Please give us a five star review on whatever podcast app you listen on. We’ll alk to you next time.
Chris Battis: Take care.