May 6, 2019

I spend way too much time writing follow up / sales emails

Philip Imperato @philipimperato

There must be a better way of going about this. I can take 10-15 minutes writing and rewriting a simple response to a prospect client.

I have 100 other things that need to be done... and spending an hour to write 5-6 emails is just awful. Not to mention the amount of mental energy it takes to focus.

Any advice? I can make my emails more generic and copy/paste responses.

My average client package is $81 and a I have 30-40 hot leads with 100s of warm to cool leads.

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    1. Chrome plugin (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/gorgias-templates-email-t/lmcngpkjkplipamgflhioabnhnopeabf?hl=en-US)

    2. I personally use SuperHuman ($30/mo) - they have the ability to save "snippets" - happy to extend an invitation if you'd like to give it a whirl.

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    Hi, I don't know if it's applicable 100% but you have a couple of options:

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    Sounds like a mismatch between price point and channel. You'll simply never make money if you're spending your own time to close an $81 sale. But there are plenty of options.

    If possible, increase the price for the sales-heaviest customers. At $250-500, life gets a lot easier. But I recognize that isn't possible for every product.

    Alternately, look for ways to reduce time cost:

    • If you always answer the same questions, write them down and then either paste from another doc (always open) or use a tool like Text Expander
    • If there's a ton of info, you can build knowledge-base pages and just link people there instead of explaining it to them again (e,g. I do a minimal-but-sufficient version of this for teacher's questions about my book at http://momtestbook.com/teacher-resources.html)
    • Improve the main website itself with enough additional information/confidence that some of the email questions never even appear

    The mindset of the above is to treat every customer email as evidence of a "bug" in the process, and then look for a way to improve the process/resources so that issue stops interrupting you in the future.

    You can also potentially hire a low-wage helper (if they can do 5/hour, that's $400/hour in closed sales which means it should be fine to pay them something either per-close or per-hour. It's a good flexible job for someone who works mainly in a bar/cafe or who is still at uni or is a stay at home parent). But you'll need to keep an eye on at least a few of their emails each day to make sure they aren't going off the rails, so it's not exactly zero time cost.

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      Ugh, I know you're right. I am in a funk though. I don't seem to to have the time to put into scaling. I deal with bugs, support and marketing full time. I need to grow quickly...

      Either raise my prices or scale more efficiently. Thank you for the reminder and a closer look at the core of the issue.

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        If you are drowning, it's okay to simply put a "pause" on accepting new customers for a week or two, allowing you time to build process. Although you can perhaps take it step-by-step to avoid the cost of doing so.

        If I was in your shoes, I would start by spending 5 minutes after each email looking for pieces of it (or even the whole thing) which are reusable snippets. I would then paste them into an always-open document. Before responding to the next email, I would scan the doc to see if I already had a close enough answer to tweak, gradually tightening my set of X standard responses.

        Then, later, you those snippets can act as the start of a FAQ or knowledgebase, or even modified homepage copy. Or you can use the snippets as the "operations guide" for a low-cost hire.

        It sounds like a big thing to do all at once, but you can just tack a lot of the task onto your existing tasks and processes, and end up with less busywork after a few days of it.

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    Have you tried TextExpander? Handy tool that lets you paste various amounts of text using custom shortcuts. It takes a while to get used to, but it seriously speeds up emailing. If you know there is a certain type of response needed to a certain category of message, you can use the shortcuts to fill the email with the information, and spend a minute or so making it more personalised.

    Sorry I can't offer anything more advanced or exciting.