Representor Fall 2021 - Cover Story


Effective email marketing strategies: How salespeople can utilize targeted email marketing to start conversations and generate leads

by Patrick Knoelke

Even great marketing efforts will fall short if the person receiving them doesn’t know enough about what they are looking to purchase.

This isn’t really a numbers game. You can send general product email blasts to every person in your CRM and still get no tangible results. However, if you send emails specifically targeted to customers and prospects, using a system that provides you with information on who interacted with those emails, you now have information to help you engage those customers.

To paint the picture, imagine you live in Colorado and love flyfishing the shallow streams for Brown and Cutthroat trout. A sports outfitter gets your email address and starts emailing you general fishing promotions, followed up by more promotions that include deep-sea heavy-duty rods and reels because you are into “fishing.” You’ll probably ignore, unsubscribe, or block that outfitter from any future communications because it is not specific enough to your interests.

However, a second outfitter sends you periodic emails about fly rods, insights to flies and the streams they’ve been working on this year, or new state fishing regulations. You just might tune into these emails when they come across, even if you don’t have your next fishing weekend planned.

Email marketing for salespeople not only needs to be targeted to the viewer to get their attention but there is also the layer of having to provide information to a person that may not know enough about the products they actually need. Technical sales professionals and sales engineers exist because their customers can’t just open the internet and buy everything to fill their needs. Even great marketing efforts will fall short if the person receiving them doesn’t know enough about what they are looking to purchase.

Top tips

1. Send Something the Viewer Would Want to See
Most people don’t want more email, but will give their attention if the content specifically hits their needs or interests. Content that really hits their interest, not just close enough. If you are sending an email to aerospace engineers about a new product, make sure your text content and imagery highlight the aircraft applications of the product.

2. Small Batches
As a general starting point for each email campaign, every salesperson should sort through their contacts and find 15 to 20 that they want to engage regarding the products or lines highlighted in the email. It needs to be manageable, as each salesperson will hopefully be following up with most of them.

3. Stick to the Goal
The goal is to find out who is interested, so a sales professional can follow up with them. This works through the automated data collection your email blast provider tracks, so each salesperson can see a report from their target list displaying who showed interest by opening or clicking any links.

4. Make the Effort
This is always challenging because it takes time from each salesperson, but the effort to select the right contacts to receive the targeted email is the difference in generating actual leads vs. wasting your time.

5. Have A Call-to-Action
This is an absolute must. Provide any link or button for the viewer to click, which is used to capture data by the email platform, and then provide you with details on who’s interested. An email open isn’t enough to go by. Use links to technical documents, videos, pricing or even drawing files. Any person curious enough to click a link in an email immediately becomes a serious prospect.

Steps to avoid

There are a few common missteps users often make utilizing mass-marketing platforms and should be avoided to not damage a company’s reputation or push users to unsubscribe from future communications.

• Don’t get too detailed or technical within the email.
• Don’t just leave it to the marketing group.
• Don’t email large unvetted lists.
• Don’t send too often.
• Don’t overwhelm yourself with email marketing data.

Even before 2020, customers were starting to want information first before engaging in a conversation, and email marketing was a viable tool. However, most sales professionals really didn’t have any time to utilize these methods with their time spent on travel, in-person meetings and constant communication with current customers. If sales teams now have more time available for prospecting and need to grow their customer base, email marketing for featured products or new line announcements is a very viable option to start conversations and generate leads.

About the author

Patrick Knoelke is managing director and founder of Spyre Group.

Spyre Group is a digital design + technology company focused on helping frontline sales professionals, a Microsoft Partner and Mailchimp Partner.

Knoelke can be reached at


Creating an email marketing plan

Best practices to consider when devising a strategy for your email marketing.

Define your audience – have a clear idea of who your audience is in order to effectively communicate with them
Build email list – use your reps’ list of customers that you have directly communicated with and emailed previously to build your email list.
Build audience segments and groups – organize your list into categories by creating audience groups and segments to send more relevant campaigns to your recipients
Decide what to write – send emails with purpose, outline general content types you can include in your campaigns (upcoming events, news, new product announcements, etc.)
Set email marketing schedule – establish email frequency and goals and set an email marketing schedule (an email at least once a month helps keep your subscribers engaged)