Sales Email Cadence Fundamentals for BDRs
2024-03-30·16 Min Read
by Max Woo

Sales Email Cadence Fundamentals for BDRs

Entering the realm of sales, especially as a fresh grad, might seem like navigating uncharted waters. The first thing to understand is that sales aren't mere transactional exchanges—it's about establishing connections, delivering value, and igniting curiosity. Drawing insights from seasoned sales professionals, let's dive into creating an effective sales cadence, tailored specifically for those just entering the sales profession!

Key Takeaways

  1. Value-Driven Communication is Crucial: Every touchpoint in your sales cadence should aim to provide value to your prospects. Whether through insightful information, helpful resources, or solutions to their problems, value-driven communication establishes trust and credibility, setting the foundation for a lasting relationship.
  2. Personalization Wins Engagement: Tailoring your message to address the specific needs, interests, and pain points of your prospects not only captures their attention but also demonstrates that you view them as more than just another lead. This level of personalization fosters a deeper connection and significantly increases the chances of a positive response.
  3. Embrace Low-Friction CTAs: Encouraging prospects to take action without demanding significant time or commitment from them reduces resistance and makes it easier for them to engage with your message. Crafting low-friction calls to action can lead to higher engagement rates and smoother progress along the sales pipeline.
  4. Leverage the Power of FOMO: The fear of missing out can be a powerful motivator. Highlighting opportunities that prospects could miss by not engaging with your message or emphasizing the success of their peers who have taken action can create a sense of urgency and prompt a quicker response.
  5. Multi-Channel Approach Maximizes Reach: Implementing a sales cadence that spans multiple communication channels (email, phone, social media) ensures that your message reaches your prospects in the medium they prefer. This diversified approach increases visibility and engagement, accommodating different communication styles and preferences.
  6. Continuous Improvement is Key: The landscape of sales and communication is always evolving. Regularly review and adjust your sales cadence based on performance metrics, feedback from prospects, and emerging best practices. Staying adaptable and open to change will keep your strategy effective and relevant.

1. Deliver Value First

At the heart of every successful sales strategy lies the principle of delivering value. It’s not just about selling a product or service but about enlightening your prospect. Imagine initiating contact not with the aim to sell but to teach something new. This approach ensures that each interaction adds value, making your message more than just another sales pitch. It’s about fostering a learning environment where curiosity is piqued, and knowledge is shared generously.

I personally had a lot of insecurities in my early days as a fresh BDR because I thought I was insufficiently experienced to provide any value. Remember, you don't have to give them life advice, just educate them on the realm of expertise your product or service is suppose to bring, and they will appreciate the insight and effort.

One segment that LavaReach continues to excel in is helping SEO agencies acquire clients through this exact approach. Our platforms automatically surfaces all the key SEO and web data a prospect might care about if they are thinking about SEO, such as web traffic, current SEO ranking, web inefficiencies such as meta tags and speed indexes, or keywords that are not being targeted. Our customer can then use all of this information in their outreach. Our AI infused email sequencer even takes all this information and pass it through a prompt that we work on with the customer to frame the issue and provide maximum information and value to their prospects. On a cold call, our customer pull up the list of prospects with the most important information right beside their names, and go through where they can help improve their SEO and website, at a glance!

2. Infuse Positivity and Humor

Remember, the person on the other end doesn't know you. Your message might be their first impression of you, so make it count. Injecting a dose of positivity or a hint of humor can leave a lasting impression. It’s about making their day a bit brighter, a bit lighter. This approach not only makes you memorable but also helps in building a rapport that goes beyond the confines of a professional transaction.

For me humor doesn't come naturally, but the beauty of building email cadences and going back and forth online is that you have plenty of time to come up with something witty. I keep a notebook of phrases and sentences that I hear on podcasts, Youtube videos, books, songs, that I personally find very witty. Whenever I'm stuck, I open my notebook and find a line that might pique my prospect's interest. Anything to stand out and make their day more memorable is an opportunity for them to remember you!

3. Personalization is Key

In the digital age, personalization can set you apart. Tailoring your message to resonate with the individual’s interests or background shows effort and attention to detail. It’s about acknowledging them as more than just another name on your list. From mentioning a hobby to referencing a former colleague, these small gestures make the communication feel bespoke, enhancing the likelihood of engagement.

Spending the time to research each and every one of your prospects can be a painful process, and it could add up to hours if not days of work in any given week. I hated this, but felt tremendous anxiety for potentially missing out on positive conversations because I wasn't doing my research. I hated it so much that I started LavaReach, which at it's core tries to research prospects with AI at scale, so at a glance sales people can know more about their prospects, or incorporate the relevant research into their email cadences. AI has made this possible in the past year and not only can we capitalize on it to research, we can use it to write the email as well. I believe that if you're not doing this, you might already be behind the game. Some people ask, what will happen when everyone starts doing this using AI, will you still standout? To that my response is, would you really want to be the last one?

4. The Art of Low-Friction Calls to Action

A call to action (CTA) is where the rubber meets the road. However, the secret lies in making it as low-friction as possible. Rather than demanding a chunk of their time, pose a question that piques their interest or offers a glimpse of potential value. It’s about opening a door for them to explore, not pushing them through it. This subtle invitation encourages engagement without the pressure, making it more appealing to take the next step.

Here's what I think the different CTAs are and how I would rank them in terms of friction for your prospect to respond on a scale of 1 to 5.

#TypeExampleWhat is itFriction (1-5)
1Light Touch InquiryCould this be of interest to you?A low-pressure way to gauge interest without asking for anything specific.1
2Feedback RequestWhat are your thoughts on this?Seeks the recipient’s opinion, making them feel valued and potentially opening dialogue.2
3Resource SharingHere’s a resource you might find useful. What do you think?Provides value upfront with the possibility of further engagement based on their interest.2
4Time Commitment AskCan we schedule a 15-min chat next week?Requests a specific amount of the recipient’s time, indicating a higher level of commitment.4
5Direct OfferI’d like to offer you a free trial. Interested?Makes a direct offer, requiring the recipient to make a decision on engagement.3
6Curiosity ProbeCurious to learn more?Invites the prospect to express interest in more details, fostering engagement.1
7Personalized Demo OfferOpen to see a personalized demo?Offers a personalized demonstration, showing commitment to meet their specific needs.3
8Sample OfferWould you be interested in getting a sample?Proposes sending a sample of the product, which can lower the barrier to trial.2
9Event InvitationInterested in attending our upcoming event?Extends an invite to an event, potentially appealing to their interests or professional development.3
10Quick OpinionCould I get your quick opinion on something?Asks for the prospect's opinion on a specific topic, encouraging interaction with minimal commitment.1

My favourite is the sample offer, because it combines the 1 and 3 above which is to provide value and also personalization (as long as the sample you're giving is personalized). Optimize for low friction, high value CTAs at all times and you'll be on your way to improving those reply rates.

5. Relevance and Pain Points

Understanding and speaking directly to the recipient’s pain points can significantly increase the relevance of your message. It’s not just about showcasing what you offer but about highlighting what they stand to lose by not engaging. This approach taps into a powerful motivator—avoiding loss. By reframing your proposition around the pain points, you make your message impossible to ignore.

How do we communicate on a email sequence which needs to be short and sweet but also be personalized? Again, leverage the tools on the market today, especially AI infused sales tools. Before I started LavaReach, I used to have chatGPT on a side screen and prompt the AI to generate 2-3 solutions to pain points the customer have, e.g. "Given that the company does X, please generate 2-3 pain points and solutions in point form under 10 words each". I would then fit this into the body of my email. This was still a tremendously painful process because you have to do it one by one, and again I hated the time suck this took. When we built LavaReach, we wanted all the research such as company mission, contact LinkedIn bio, LinkedIn job description in the prospect table, and have the prompt all the information in at the right times to personalize every step of the way. We can provide personalized value and essentially demonstrate how we can solve their pain throughout a 7 step email sequence. It's like free consulting over 21 days!

6. Leverage the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

FOMO can be a potent tool in your sales cadence arsenal. Highlighting successes within their industry or mentioning how their competitors are benefiting from your offering can create a sense of urgency. It’s about painting a picture where they see themselves missing out on a valuable opportunity. This strategy can turn passive recipients into active participants eager to discover what they might be missing.

A use case that we serve very well at LavaReach is security and compliance, where we can automatically research a prospect's competitor and how they recently underwent a data breach, or some other type of bad event. We'll highlight this in the first line of the outreach email to illicit some fear, the fear that this could also happen to me, and then we swoop in to provide a solution or assurance that comforts them that we can the solution. This is just one way to create FOMO, another way is to showcase the results you can get for other competitors, and what they stand to lose if they don't at least take a look at your offering. For example, use this line: "LavaReach customer stands to gain 20% conversion increase, just like your competitor X who's crushing it out there!"

Multi-Channel Approach: Meeting Them Where They Are

In today’s fragmented digital landscape, relying on a single channel to connect with prospects is just not enough. Whether it’s LinkedIn, email, or calls, diversifying your approach ensures that your message lands where your prospects are most receptive. This multi-channel strategy amplifies your presence, giving your message the best chance to be seen and acted upon.

Do all of the right actions through the different channels and you'll never wonder if you're missing out on any crucial steps. The hard work of hitting a prospect through multiple channels multiple times will provide you the peace of mind that there's nothing else you should be doing, other than improving your messaging, or unleveling yourself in terms of understanding the product/service you're selling.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on a sales journey requires more than just understanding the product or service you’re selling. It’s about up levelling yourself as a excellent communicator of value and story telling in your own unique way. Communication, personalization, and value delivery are at the core of every good sales person. For new grads stepping into this arena, these insights serve as a foundational guide to not just reach out but to resonate, engage, and ultimately, succeed. Remember, sales is not a one-way street; it's a dialogue built on trust, value, and mutual respect.

FAQs: Foundations to a good email cadence

1. What is a sales cadence?

A sales cadence is a sequence of activities and contacts with a prospect, designed to establish and nurture a relationship. It typically involves a mix of emails, calls, and social media interactions aimed at converting prospects into customers.

2. Why is delivering value important in a sales cadence?

Delivering value is crucial because it transforms a sales pitch into a beneficial exchange. By providing valuable information, insights, or solutions, you not only gain the prospect's attention but also establish credibility and trust.

3. How can humor and positivity enhance sales emails?

Incorporating humor and positivity makes your communication memorable and can improve the recipient's perception of you. It helps to humanize the interaction, making it more likely for prospects to respond positively.

4. What role does personalization play in a sales cadence?

Personalization shows that you've taken the time to understand the prospect's specific needs, challenges, and interests, making your message more relevant and compelling. It significantly increases the chances of engagement.

5. What is a low-friction call to action (CTA)?

A low-friction CTA is a request that requires minimal effort or commitment from the prospect. It's designed to be easy for them to agree to, thus lowering barriers to engagement.

6. How can I make my sales messages relevant?

To make your sales messages relevant, align them with the prospect's industry, role, challenges, and interests. Demonstrating an understanding of their specific context makes your message more impactful.

7. Why is focusing on the prospect's pain points effective?

Focusing on pain points addresses the prospect's immediate concerns and challenges, creating a more compelling case for your solution. It taps into their desire to solve these problems, increasing the likelihood of a response.

8. How does the fear of missing out (FOMO) influence prospects?

FOMO can motivate prospects to act by highlighting what they stand to lose by not engaging. It leverages human psychology to prompt a response or decision.

9. Why should a sales cadence be multi-channel?

A multi-channel approach ensures that your message reaches the prospect through their preferred communication method, increasing visibility and the chances of engagement.

10. How can I improve my sales cadence?

To improve your sales cadence, regularly review and analyze the outcomes of your interactions. Adapt your strategy based on what works best in terms of timing, frequency, messaging, and channels. Seeking feedback from prospects and colleagues can also provide valuable insights for refinement.

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About Max Woo

Max Woo is a multiple time founder with years of first-hand experience in B2B sales and revenue leadership. He has a consistent track record of helping companies experiment and implement outbound in SaaS and other industries. Throughout his career, Max has set up numerous outbound motions for the first time for companies that previously had not found success with sales led customer acquisition. Max also regularly shares his insights on LinkedIn in areas such as trigger based selling, AI enabled customer acquisition, outbound automations, prospect research, and more. He is dedicated to empowering sales leaders and individual sales people to not only become better professionals, but also learn to embrace unique strategies and build experiences that are tailor fit for the way their prospects can realize value, and he believes that empathy for customers and prospects always triumph against tactics that just closes the deal.