Reaching Out? Bold is Best.

Jessica Smith
Jessica Smith
In Culture, Engagement, Inspiration, Sales
Jessica Smith is a tech recruiter and personal branding enthusiast. When she’s not networking, you can find her hosting a show for her podcast, ‘Career Coaching with Jessness’ over on iTunes.

Whether you’re in Sales, Recruiting, looking for a new job, or perusing the latest dating app, most people are getting a lot of emails thrown their way these days. Are there certain things you notice or look for when someone reaches out to you? Certain things that inspire you to respond? It boils down to some pretty simple factors: you have three seconds tops before someone decides to respond back to you, and most of the time your subject line makes or breaks the entire message before anyone even opens the email. That’s why it’s necessary to go out on a limb and be bold.

When I’m sending an email out to a potential candidate for an opportunity here at Xactly, I first take a step back and keep in mind the objective of sending the email. Not just the ‘why’ in why I’m sending this out, but why should the person on the other side care to open it. Think: What’s in it for them? I’m not saying that everyone should send emails solely to benefit the other person, but what’s the point? Obviously you want to reach out for a reason, and you should make that known. It increases your chances of inspiring action from the person on the receiving end. If you are curious to find out how to increase your email responses, I suggest you read on to find out why, when it comes to reaching out, bold is best.

Think Outside the Inbox – Be Bold

To get the attention of the company, you must think outside the typical inbox. Get creative! When I reach out to a candidate, each email is unique and personalized. I want that person to feel like they are the only person I’m reaching out to all day. Of course, they know that isn’t the case, but if I make the initial outreach email about them, I know for a fact that I’ve doubled my chances of getting a response.

At the end of the day, people just want to be heard. So I showcase the fact I’ve read their information online, took it in, and am now sharing with them what I like most, what stood out to me, etc. If we went to the same college, I might add a little, ‘Go Wildcats,’ at the end of the note. Building a personalized  connection goes far. If you’re a sales rep or a recruiter, it’s so important to stand out and not get lost in the other broken record robot emails everyone gets 100 times a day. If you follow these tips, you will soon be sure to see some forward movement.

Include a Bold Call to Action

This relates back to your objective, and requires that you ask yourself the question, “What is it I’m trying to do by sending this email?” For me, I’m looking to gauge the person’s interest for new opportunities, network with them, learn about industry trends, and more. Out of all of those things I still have one specific main call to action, which is to set up a call. The email is the hook, the call is the goal.

I’ve seen far too many recruiters leave blah emails devoid of personality, emails that I’m almost certain were straight up copied and pasted to 50 other people with my same title. And the worst thing? These emails often end abruptly with a lackluster, “Hope to hear from you soon.” When you make contact, you need to be specific and ask for all the information you need upfront to avoid the back and forth. You want to show genuine interest, share what you like most about their experience, explain why it may be a good fit for your open roles, and figure out if they’re interested. Make bold moves. This is how you will ensure a classy first impression, while still keeping the ball in your court.

Get Weird

Perfect is so 90’s; leave the need to be perfect back in the past with the spaghetti strap tops. Don’t be afraid to show your real personality. Emails that show a little bit  about you, the human behind the ‘send’ button, will make a huge difference. Most people don’t feel like hopping on the phone with a stranger when they are unsure of the reason for the call, and they especially won’t want to take a call if the initial outreach isn’t interesting whatsoever.

One of the ways I like to let my personality shine through is by using puns in my emails, and hoping to make the person smile when they open it. Playing off the word Xactly is a real hit! Some may find that corny or ‘weird,’ but those who are reading this who know me, are 99.9% smiling, because I AM CORNY AND WEIRD. The real you is your best representation of you. I take being the initial outreach point for potential candidates very seriously, but not so seriously that it doesn’t showcase the fun, creative, and dynamic culture we have here at Xactly.

If you’re a podcast fan like me, feel free to hop over to iTunes and check out my latest podcast episodes, especially the one that goes over email tips if you’d like more details related to this post: http://xtly.co/1UmlDYK


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Reaching Out? Bold is Best.

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