An Effective Sales Email Cadence: More Than Just Timing

Timing of sales prospecting touchpoints is important. But when deciding on a sales email cadence, avoid focusing on timing of messages alone. Communications technique is vital to earning responses and qualifying prospects for meetings.

EmailTiming of sales prospecting touchpoints is important. But when deciding on a sales email cadence, avoid focusing on timing of messages alone. Communications technique is vital to earning responses and qualifying prospects for meetings.

The power of a good sales email cadence is obvious. But a good conversational cadence is even better. Optimal conversational pacing helps your prospects qualify or disqualify themselves.

Timing Your Sales Emails

Sales expert Jeff Hoffman recommends the best timing touchpoint model. He says to express urgency wait after making your first (cold) attempt to follow up — around 12 days to two weeks. But then apply a half-life rule with each subsequent email and/or phone attempt.

Most of my students follow slight variations on this cadence — and it works.

Here’s what this timing might look like:

  • First attempt: June 1
  • Second attempt: June 13 (12 days later)
  • Third attempt: June 19 (six days later)
  • Fourth attempt: June 22 (three days later)
  • Fifth attempt: June 24 mid-day (one and a half days later)

In the above scenario the buyer senses your message is growing in urgency (yet doesn’t feel you are pouncing on them out-of-the-gate).

But what about getting your series of email messages read, responded to and wrapped-up with your appointment booked?

There’s More to Cadence Than Timing

Timing combines with your messages’ content. Proper timing (above) and provocative message content help buyers feel an urge to reply (over and over) and (later in the conversation) ask for help.

No urge? No reply. No invitation to talk about helping. No purchase. Conversational cadence is what makes the difference. It’s the speed at which your discussion moves.

Based on my work with sellers, these two trends are universal and cannot be ignored.

  1. Prospects value more what they ask for than what’s freely offered.
  2. Customers value more what they conclude for themselves than what they’re told.

Thus, your email cadence helps provoke the initial discussion. Your conversational cadence helps the prospect discover why they want to buy, when and how.

You can call the span of conversational time the “buyers journey.” I don’t like the term.

“Have you ever heard a prospect or customer say they are on a ‘buyer’s journey?’” asks Michael A. Brown of BtoBEngage. “Neither have I. They talk about their circumstances, requirements, and preferences and their process for fulfilling them, and we should too. If they do mention a journey, it is because they are making travel arrangements.”

Helping Buyers Buy on Their Own Terms

Helping a customer realize they want to buy is a tall order. But an effective conversational cadence is the key to selling complex B-to-B products using digital communications tools.

Helping buyers understand if (and when) they want to buy — on their own terms — is non-negotiable.

As a starting point ask yourself:

  1. How will my email cadence and message combine to help buyers feel an urge to ask for a discussion?
  2. Then, how will my email pacing and message content help buyers get comfortable with buying on their own?

Author: Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc., where he built the sales team. Today, he is the authority on effective prospecting communications techniques as founder of Communications Edge Inc. (formerly Molander & Associates Inc.) He's been in sales for over 2 decades. He is author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.Jeff is a sales communications coach and creator of the Spark Selling technique—a means to spark more conversations with customers "from cold," speeding them toward qualification.

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