Special Guest, Shawn Finder

Season 1, Episode 16

Improve Your Email Conversion Rate

Entrepreneurs and salespeople — this week’s episode is one to help you improve your sales outreach with a killer sequence.

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Show NOTES

We’re talking about how to create a great sequence with Shawn Finder, CEO of Autoklose.

How to Build a Killer Email Sequence That Converts

Listen in to hear Shawn discuss . . .

  • The difference between a marketing email nurture campaign and a sales email sequence
  • Why you shouldn’t waste the beginning of an email talking about yourself (hint: it has to do with how people read emails now on their phones)
  • The do’s and don’ts for email subject lines in your email sequence
  • His thoughts on email personalization and customization
  • His take on the ideal number of touches per sequence
  • Using humor in the “kiss off” email
  • Persistence and getting a returned email
  • How video can improve your email outreach
  • The importance of social selling in your sale cadence
  • Tips on avoiding the spam filter with your email sequence
  • Calendly and the use of scheduling technology
  • A funny story about a 0% click-through rate
  • What he’d do as his dream job
  • Some final tips for selling

If you’d like to get in touch with Shawn, you can reach him as follows:

Email:  shawn@autoclose.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shawnfinder/

Twitter: @autoklose

Instagram: @sfinds

Website: www.autoklose.com

B2B Sales Handbook: https://autoklose.com/books/b2bsales

673 Years of Sales Excellence Book: https://autoklose.com/books/salesleaders

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The B2B Mix Show with Alanna Jackson and Stacy Jackson is brought to you by Jackson Marketing. Need help with your B2B online presence? Let’s talk!

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Latest Episode of The B2B Mix Show

Transcript for Season 1, Episode 16

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Alanna Jackson: 00:00 Hey everyone. I'm Alanna Jackson,

Stacy Jackson: 00:02 and this is Stacy Jackson. We're the co-founders of Jackson Marketing, and in case you haven't heard, we're also sisters. We're bringing you episode 16 of The B2B Mix Show. Alanna, what's the topic of today's episode?

Alanna Jackson: 00:17 Today's topic is perfect for our fellow entrepreneurs and friends in sales. This episode is all about creating a killer email sequence.

Stacy Jackson: 00:28 That's right, and we've got an expert here to give us all a little advice on how to accomplish that killer-level email sequence today. Joining us is Shawn Finder, CEO of Autoklose. Shawn has always been an entrepreneur at heart. At age 24, Shawn entered the entrepreneurial world after competing as one of Canada's top ranked tennis players. He started out importing packaging from the orient and selling to top retailers in North America. However, knowing he always loved selling and list building, he founded ExchangeLeads in 2013, which helps his company build quality lists for outreach to new prospects. This venture was followed by his new company, Autoklose in 2017. Shawn, welcome to The B2B Mix Show.

Shawn Finder: 01:16 Thank you Stacy and Alanna. So it was so excited to be here with you and and talk to your audience.

Alanna Jackson: 01:22 We're excited to have you here. I love that you played tennis. I played tennis in high school, but probably nothing at all close to, to how you did.

Shawn Finder: 01:30 Yeah.

Alanna Jackson: 01:31 Yeah. If you were top ranked in the whole country of Canada, that's, that's pretty awesome.

Shawn Finder: 01:36 Yeah. But you know what, you know, you guys are in Tampa, Florida, and actually the best tennis academies are in Florida. So when I actually was younger, now it's going to be about 18 years ago, I was actually training in Sarasota voluntaries tennis academy out there while I was competing.

Alanna Jackson: 01:52 That's pretty cool. That's just right down the road from where we are.

Stacy Jackson: 01:56 Yeah.

Alanna Jackson: 01:57 That's a fun fact that we get to learn about you. So, maybe you can tell us a little bit more about Autoklose and your company and how that came about and just give us a little bit of background.

Shawn Finder: 02:09 Perfect. Yes. I'll give you a little bit of background on myself. So I actually, I graduated with an MBA in finance was always wanting to go down that finance route. And then I worked a few years at some of the big banks, and I'd be on the elevator going up to my desk and nobody would talk. It would be everyone would just stare at the computer screen inside the elevator. And I'd be like, this is not going to be my life. Like I, I'm very social and very outgoing, you know, you say good morning to people and they would look at you like you're strange. So, what happened was I actually got an opportunity and because of tennis, I actually play it, like say all of it's because of tennis. I'm in my networking at a young age and competing at a young age and always talking to people.

Shawn Finder: 02:51 Um, I always wanted to be come an entrepreneur, but I figured I knew the finance from my, my schooling, but I need to learn more sales. And I had a little bit of sales. So, my first venture ExchangeLeads, which is a data company -- I was a VP of Sales after my financial life. And what happened was we would have sales reps and they'd be, you know, trying to prospect, cold calling or emailing and the data quality was very poor. And I'm not going to mention the company we're using, but it was $1 billion company. I was like, how's a $1 billion company providing not high quality data? So with ExchangeLeads, I basically took a model that already exists, and my goal was instead of providing quantity, to provide quality, so I built ExchangeLeads, worked with top top data companies like VMware, Microsoft, etc.

Shawn Finder: 03:40 And then our clients would say to us, "well, we love your data Shawn, but we don't know where to email to. Like now we have the data where do we go and email these people?" So funny enough, and I'll tell you the honest truth, it was instead of paying the Canadian government a lot of taxes, I said, let's do some R&D and build a new platform, which is Autoklose. So, Autoklose is a sales engagement platform that allows you to automate your outreach, personalize your outreach and followup sequences. But we are the first and only with a built in database from my first company. So if you want to target 50 VP of Sales in Florida, you can go in, you can build out your cadences, you can go in, choose VP of Sales in Clearwater, Florida, press start, start that campaign, travel the world and, and Autoklose runs and automates everything for you.

Alanna Jackson: 04:32 Okay, cool. So is it, it primarily helps them to engage with using email?

Shawn Finder: 04:40 Yeah, so we do provide phone numbers inside the platform. You don't have the access to call directly from the platform, but yeah, it would be more for emailing or sales outreach to try and nurture people through, you know, seven, seven followup sequences or a killer email sequence, until they reply and say, "Shawn, Stacy, I'd love to have 15 minutes to talk to you."

Alanna Jackson: 05:01 Okay, that makes sense. So that's pretty cool that you combined your previous company, the data with this and it gives you a really good robust tool is what it sounds like. So that's awesome.

Shawn Finder: 05:13 Yeah, exactly. When we found, you know, I found sales leaders, we're looking for kind of consolidation of different tools because now you have marketing tools, CRM tools, sales tools. So we felt having the database inside would be a great asset to sales leaders. That's the reason why we built it.

Alanna Jackson: 05:26 The database, is that available to everyone or do people need to bring their own data to upload into it? How does that work?

Shawn Finder: 05:33 Great question. So you have both options. So option A for Autoklose for the sales engagement, you can actually upload your own CSV, you can upload your own contacts and target your own contacts. The database inside is only U.S. contacts. It's only B2B contacts, and it's an added cost. You would pay to lease the database, which has about 30 million contacts. You pay an annual price and then you get search and filter and email those people from our database for a lease. Okay.

Alanna Jackson: 06:01 So, Stacy, you got any questions before we dig into some email sequences?

Stacy Jackson: 06:05 Let's get onto killer email sequences.

Alanna Jackson: 06:16 All right. First off, Shawn, can you explain for our listeners a little bit about the difference between a sales email sequence compared to like marketing, email nurture campaigns?

Shawn Finder: 06:28 Yup. Perfect. So you know, for example we, you, we, we do a lot of marketing campaigns as well. So the difference between a sales email sequence and a marketing email sequence would be the following. If you have a newsletter or you want to your, you just publish a nice blog or some content that you want to send to your, your newsletter subscribers, you might use an email marketing platform or marketing automation platform to send those pretty HTML emails that would try and nurture them and you know, obviously, create value and provide them content. The sales side is more of a personalized text email approach so that we, we actually combined both as we have our weekly newsletter that might be sent through, for example, a MailChimp. We send that out and then we'll take our four to five stars -- the people that kind of like, you know, raise their hands from the marketing and then throw them into the sales funnel where it's more, okay, now that they've been, they've heard about us, they've heard about our company, we want to get them on a 15 minute demo with one of our SDRs, or they want to give him a 30 minute call with one of our account managers, etc.

Shawn Finder: 07:27 So that would be the difference -- it's the text versus more of the html pretty, content-driven emails.

Alanna Jackson: 07:33 Okay. And those would be more of like a one-on-one, one-to-one email?

Shawn Finder: 07:39 Exactly. Exactly. So you'd personalize as much as possible by, you know, doing your due diligence, knowing some interests of that person. For example, I'll give you, you know, if you're a property manager, maybe in that email sequence you might put what the dimensions of their property are, etc. So you want to make sure you make, you have that really personal touch in that sales email where on the marketing side, it's more you want to, you want to build that brand, you know, and, and get that done, that prospect to trust you.

Stacy Jackson: 08:05 So when it comes to actually creating them that, that personal, one-to-one email sequence, is there a magic formula that you would recommend following? We have, I have this little lists of several different points, like emailing -- is there a messaging approach you would recommend?

Shawn Finder: 08:22 Yup. Perfect. So there's a few different things that I always recommend in your email sequence. What I find a lot of people are doing nowadays is if they're going to email someone, they say like, you know, the first email in the first line, I'd be like, "hi, my name is Shawn Finder. I'm the CEO of Autoklose. Well, when you're emailing somebody in a sales sequence and they already probably know somewhat about something about you, you don't want to talk about yourself, you want to talk about the challenges or something that can resonate to that prospect. Therefore, if I said, if I was talking to a CEO, I might say, "If I could triple the revenue of your . . . or triple the revenue your sales reps are bringing it . . . ." You know, because the CEO's buyer's persona might be, you know, they want to make more money for example. Or an SDR might want to get more demos. So if I said to an SDR, if I can, you know, triple your bookings on your calendar a weekly basis. So I think the, the biggest mistake people are making is that kind of that first line where the talking to much about themselves and not enough about what the challenges of that prospect are.

Alanna Jackson: 09:23 Do you find that that's what a lot of salespeople do? Because I know . . . I don't know if you've ever heard of Benjamin Dennehy, but he does training for cold calling and he says, don't even introduce yourself. Just tell them it's a cold call. Don't even introduce yourself and just start finding out, do you have this problem? And I'm sure it's the same thing with emails because you can't help it. A lot of people just want to say "hi, I'm so and so." And, you know, is that something that you find a lot of times that people just have a hard time breaking that habit?

Shawn Finder: 09:51 Yeah, I find a lot of people just say their first name and their company, but if you think about it, if, if you email me right now, I know your name is Stacy and I know you're at Jackson Marketing Services because of your email says "stacy@jacksonmarketingservices," I already know that because I've opened the email, I already know that information. So I don't, I don't . . . So, a lot of people, the biggest mistake is, they talk too much about themselves and they try to introduce themselves. But if you go right into a problem in that first sentence that your prospect might have or a challenge they have, you'll get a lot better open and response rate by doing that. And one more thing I want to say is whenever you send an email, 75% of people now open their email on their phone. Well guess what? They can only see those first eight words. So if you're saying, my name is Shawn Finder at Autoklose, they're not going open because that's all they're going to see. But if you say, "I can save you seven hours a day in prospecting," they might open it.

Stacy Jackson: 10:45 That's so true. I read that little intro part, and I decide whether I'm going to open it or delete it.

Shawn Finder: 10:52 Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Stacy Jackson: 10:53 Is there a recommendation that you would have to go along with that opening line that is in regard to the subject line?

Shawn Finder: 11:01 A hundred percent. One thing, at Autoklose, we're finding a lot of people love the platform, but a lot of people had trouble with the content. They didn't know how to write an email or they were writing, I don't want to say this, but very poor emails. So, we had to figure out a way how can we help them with their subject line and their body. And a lot of people in their subject line would be like "offer" or "50% discount" or like anytime you use a number, free discount, a number, something like that or you have eight to 10 words, people aren't gonna open it. A) they know you're just gonna promote your product you're trying to sell, or B) if you're writing an eight to 10 word or seven word subject line, it's the same thing on mobile. People aren't going to see it.

Shawn Finder: 11:36 So what I like to do is keep your subject line between two to four words, and funny enough, the number that I would say . . . the top two subject lines that we find is A) hi first name. So I can be like, "Hi Stacy," and B) If you just say, like, "quick followup," "quick update" or something with "quick," you guys, it feels like the reader almost says, okay, this is only, this is going to be very quick for me to read this or quick for me to reply to it. So those two subject lines work really well or keeping them short and concise is the recommendation I would give.

Alanna Jackson: 12:05 For personalization or customization, are there tips that you would recommend? Like, I know you don't want to say, "Hey, I see on your LinkedIn profile you live in Florida. I went to Florida 20 years ago." That's not a good connection. So are there personalization tips that you recommend that people should use?

Shawn Finder: 12:25 Yep. And that's, this is later on in the sequence. So what we do is we try and track what people click or what actions people take. So for example, let's use Stacy again from example. Say Stacy, either A) went to my website, B) clicked on my Calender to book an appointment but didn't book, C) went to my Twitter account, or D) . . . . We actually track all that. So then you can create a custom campaign to those items. And I can say, you know, so say for example, I get all the people that clicked my website, I go, "Stacy, I noticed you were on my website but didn't book a demo. Is there anything I can help you with?" Or something like that. Because, because I know they visited the website or I know something about them, people know you kind of did a little bit of research. But if you just cold spray and pray, I call it, your results will be a lot less. So personalization is key. I always try and personalize inside my subject line as well, simply because you want the person to feel . . . the whole feeling of the sale is you want it to feel one-on-one and not like a mass email market to, you know, a thousand people, for example.

Stacy Jackson: 13:26 So maybe we could talk about, because you mentioned something being later on in the sequence, what is the perfect sequence: the number of touches, what should the point of each email be?

Shawn Finder: 13:38 Yup. Perfect. So the length of the sequence varies, and that all depends on A) is this a very, very cold prospect that's never been nurtured through some sort of marketing campaign. If so, you might want to do between eight-to-ten followups over 30-to-45 days. However, if it's somebody that was, you know, going through my newsletter and getting my weekly newsletter or, for example, coming to this, you know, coming to the podcast we're doing today. They're coming every week to the podcast -- they're more warm because now they've heard of Stacy, they've heard of your team, they've heard of, you know, Jackson Marketing Services. For them, I would probably do a five-to-seven sequence. Now, so the difference between cold and warm would be, you know, five-to-seven and eight-to-ten. And then, one more thing I think a lot of people do inside those sequences and is a big mistake is, do not write long emails.

Shawn Finder: 14:31 Your initial email should be almost 50 to 75 words, like literally two paragraphs. But each of those followups should not be more than two or three sentences. One tip that we do is, I'll start a campaign, for example, let's say I start, you know, on this, this coming, you know, mine on Monday, let's say on Monday. My second, might be on a Friday. And I'll just say in the email -- my first one might be just, "I'm just following up as we close out the week," and I know I'm sending out on a Friday, so they're going to get that on a Friday saying just as you know, as we close out the week. My next followup might be on a Monday. And as you can guess, my first email might be, "Just checking in as we, as we open up the week," or "Just checking in as we start the week." So keep it as personalized as possible and making sure that they feel like it's one on one is very important in that sequence. And lastly, try and have it all in one thread. Meaning, if you're going to send an email or six, seven emails, make sure it's all followed up with maybe, the RE: in your subject lines. So they know that you've, you followed up more than once because most, most people aren't going to reply to your first or second email. People are just busy nowadays.

Alanna Jackson: 15:41 That's interesting because I get a lot of sales emails and they don't keep the thread. It's a completely new one. So that's a, that's an interesting way of doing it because it does, it helps them to remember that you have connected with them already.

Shawn Finder: 15:58 Yeah, and if you're lucky, I mean, I know, for example, me, when I get a first or second email, I might not reply, but when I got an eighth to 10th and I'm like, this guy's being persistent. Even if it's a "no," even if I'm not interested, I might still reply to, you know what, I'm not interested, but I appreciate the persistence.

Stacy Jackson: 16:13 What do you think about people who, in that final, I guess I'd call it a "kiss off email" or whatever, where they're trying to rattle somebody. That last attempt where they use humor like, "Oh, you must be stuck in a burning house" or whatever. Does that, is that starting to backfire on people? I know. . . . So, at first I thought it was kinda cute but now it's getting a little . . . .

Alanna Jackson: 16:36 yeah, it annoys me.

Shawn Finder: 16:38 Yeah. I'm going to tell you. So funny enough, I used to do that. I used to be that guy, and I'm, I'm going to tell you why I changed and what I said. So I used to say, I don't remember, I used to say my last email. I'd be like, "I've emailed you 14 times now. I've called you 17 times now. I've checked your LinkedIn. I've visited your Twitter, and I still can't get a hold of you." Like you know something very funny. And this was like three, four years again. People like when I originally like five years ago, people loved it, but now people don't. So what I do in my last email now is I don't mind if I get a "no" or "yes," but I'll send an email like this, "You know, I've followed up with you a few times now. Can you let me know which one of it is it? Is it A) you're just not interested in the product, B) you're using a competitor, C) you don't have the budget, D) you know, you're just not ready yet. You want me to follow up in a few months."

Shawn Finder: 17:15 And then I'll get like an answer A, B, C or D. But at least I got that answer, and I can engage. So if somebody says, "Well, yeah, we're using one of your competitors, we're not interested."

Shawn Finder: 17:38 "Oh, which competitor are you using and what do you like and dislike about my competitor?" So I actually help my engagement by getting the A, B, C, D and, and stopping with my funny humor, which I used to think was funny, but the prospects definitely didn't think so.

Stacy Jackson: 17:52 I think because more people do it now that it's become less of a surprise and a delight and more of a, "ugh."

Alanna Jackson: 18:00 Yeah, exactly. And, and people just start trying too hard with it, and I think that that's where it, it was good at first, but now it's like, Eh, just tell me what you want.

Shawn Finder: 18:12 I just, I just made a note here saying, do not send Jackson Marketing Services funny emails.

Stacy Jackson: 18:20 Oh no, we love funny emails...just don't send us that funny kiss off email.

Alanna Jackson: 18:27 What about video. How do you think that that putting a little video in the sales sequences is a good thing?

Shawn Finder: 18:36 100%, which is why we just, we did an integration with Vidyard. We just did it, and we have a partnership with Vidyard, another Canadian company, where, especially nowadays, not a lot of people are doing it. A lot of people are starting to do video. They're all over LinkedIn. They're all over everywhere. Instagram, every, every marketing channel is all about video and YouTube. But no one was doing it in email. Some people are, and I do it in our sequences. I do it for a few things. So, in my sequence, if somebody after three, four emails, you know, does not reply, I might actually send them a quick recorded demo inside Autoklose saying, "Hey, I know you're probably busy. You don't want to hear from me, but here's a three-minute video of how it works." But what I'll also do, for example, I had to do a webinar.

Shawn Finder: 19:15 We did a webinar yesterday with Calendly that had about, I think, over 400 people. And what I did was this morning I sent the video, and I personally sent a video inside to everybody that attended and that didn't attend, and said like, "Hey, I'm so glad you attended. Thank you for showing up. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me." I did an actual thank-you video to all the people that attended the webinar. And a lot of people like that because they feel like it's more personal touch. They don't have to read an email. They just click play, and they can watch it. Now, one thing I will say about video and emails, and most people don't know this, is for example, if we use Vidyard inside our platform, you get an email with how much of that video that prospect watches. Therefore, if I see that Bill watches 92% of my videos and Kevin watches 8%, well, you know where you should spending your time when you're prospecting. So that's a great tool that Vidyard has. And they actually send you that email.

Stacy Jackson: 20:09 That's nice because you know how long they were engaged and maybe where they started to get disengaged and you can adjust accordingly.

Shawn Finder: 20:18 Exactly.

Stacy Jackson: 20:19 So, are there things that salespeople should be thinking about when it comes to spam, compliance, and GDPR? I know a lot of people think of those as marketing concerns, but are there things that salespeople should think about when it comes to monitoring those issues?

Shawn Finder: 20:38 Oh, a hundred percent. I mean, so what we do . . . there's spam, there's GDPR, and there's CASL and there's CAN-SPAM, which is, which is the exact reason why in our database, we only actually provide U.S. contacts because of GDPR and CASL here in Canada. But what I would recommend, and which is one thing we've implemented, is we actually highlight spam words that are in your content now. Because the way you're going to go into spam is a few reasons. If you have, you know many words like you know, discount, free, millions, great. Those are all spam words. And there's a lot of spam words that people don't know are spam. So inside your email sequence in Autoklose, we highlight those spam words in yellow, so you can actually adjust them so you get a higher chance to being delivered. Now the second thing I would recommend is links. Try not to have too many links in your email. As a call to action, you should probably have one. But even in your email signature, if you're putting a link to your Twitter, your Facebook, your website, your other social channels, your g plus channel, your YouTube channel, those links all will also contribute to putting into spam. So you want to make sure you have the most importantly spend. Not too many.

Stacy Jackson: 21:41 And I know I have a lot of links in my email signature, so that's something to think about. And I know we marketers love to put our pretty logos and images. Does that kind of prohibit some emails from getting through if you've added a logo or whatever?

Shawn Finder: 21:57 It does. Yeah, it does to a certain extent. Again, I have my picture in my signature, but it does add a little bit. You know, nowadays though, you know, the Googles, the Microsofts and the servers are very smart. So they send a lot of the emails that come from marketing into like a marketing or promotions folder, which is why with ours it were more of the text emails. but to be honest, you know, it all depends on how many spam words you have, how many links you have, you know, if you're using the word free or discount or stuff like that. Try and take those out of your vocabulary because those are the keywords that actually throw you into the spam filter.

Alanna Jackson: 22:30 Are there other things that we haven't talked about related to the email sequences that you think is important that they need to know about when you're creating those sales emails?

Shawn Finder: 22:41 A tool I love, and I actually did a webinar yesterday with is Calendly, and you know, nowadays sales automation is great, but having a scheduling automation in there as well. So it's as easy as, you know, for example, Calendly you could actually embed in your sequence. So, whenever I do a sequence, I always say, you know, if you can find 15 minutes on my calendar. So instead of having that back and forth email back and forth saying, oh, well, what time are you available, Bill? Well, I'm open Tuesday, Thursday. Oh, I'm not available Tuesday, Thursday. What about Friday? Are you going back and forth? Get a Calendly link. I think you could get for free actually, or you can pay like $9 a month. You get a Calendly link, put those in your email sequences because it's basically you can have somebody click on your calendar, book a time with you, have it automatically with your screenshare and your description.

Shawn Finder: 23:29 And it basically automates the whole scheduling side of the of the funnel. So I would definitely have a scheduling tool. And the other thing is always have a call to action. Don't just send emails to send emails. In your mind, you have to know what you want from that email and what you want that prospect to do. So if you want to book a meeting with you, do that. If you want them to listen to your podcasts, tell them to do that. So make sure you have that call to action inside your sequence. And one more thing I'm going to mention about sales emails is, and it's probably the most important, know your buyer's persona. Okay? Every person that's buying your product is buying it for a different reason. Your email to each person has to be different. So for, I'll use Autoklose for an example.

Shawn Finder: 24:10 If I'm going to reach out to a CEO, CEO's want to make their company more money. If I'm going to reach out to a marketing person, a marketing person's probably going to want a database of high quality contacts. If I'm going to reach out to a national sales manager, they're going to want their regional sales manager to outperform or get more meetings and an SDR might want to be able to book more appointments. So make sure you know what each person's buyer persona is, so you can actually build your sequence to those buyers' persona. And that will really, really help with the opens, the deliveries, and the replies you get.

Alanna Jackson: 24:40 So on the part where you were talking about Calendly, we've used Calendly before, so we're very familiar with it. But, I was listening to a podcast a couple of weeks ago and it was a CEO and a CMO. And they were talking about -- they hate it when people say, "hey, find some time on my calendar," because they feel like it's making it all about them and not about the customer. But they did say it's all in how you say it. So have you noticed that that is the case as well, but even though you're giving them, they're your calendar, is it dependent on how you say to book the meeting?

Shawn Finder: 25:17 Yes, 100%. So, I'll say for example, I mean we, I do have people that sometimes when I send the calendar out, they're like, "I want to have a call, I don't want to put on a calendar." But the way you say it is very important. So what I do, and it works, and it's maybe a little bit pushy, but I always never ask. I never say "please find" or "can you find," so I don't really ask them to find, I almost make like where do you have the meeting. And so I'll be like, "Here's my Calendly so you can find a time that works for you." So not a time that works for me but a time that works for you. So I try and make it about them and not about me when I'm sending that email. But I try not to ask. I almost try to like to tell but without telling.

Alanna Jackson: 25:55 Yeah, I remembered that and I was like, you don't really think about it being that way. But I guess a lot of times on the other side, "you're making me do all the work." Just the way that it comes across that the way you ask can have a huge impact. So, what would you say the number one or the most prevalent error people make when setting up sequences are? Is there something that you see just constantly all the time that you're like why are you doing it this way?

Shawn Finder: 26:26 Yeah, I'll tell you something and I'll even give you a funny example of what happened with one of my clients. So I think the biggest thing is people talk too much about themselves. They don't talk about enough about the challenge like we discussed earlier with that first line. I think that's the biggest mistake. The second mistake is buyer's persona. They don't know who their buyers actually. So they might be sending an email that might not resonate to the person that is reading the email. The third thing that I would say is that they don't focus on what they want the prospect to do. You have to have a call to action. You have to have a reason why you're sending the email, and you have to be able to how to analyze those results. And here's the funny story. I got a call two weeks ago. Client calls me and goes, "Shawn, I've been using your platform. I have to tell you. I have a 0% click rate, and it's really bothering me and I don't know what it is, but something's wrong with your platform." And I'm, like, sorry, let me, let me find it.

Alanna Jackson: 27:19 Obviously it's your platform, right?

Shawn Finder: 27:23 Yeah. So I'm like, I'm looking at, well, I'm like, I'm like, what do you mean? I'm like, can you please? Like, he's like, well, you know, you guys say you're gonna get results, but I have a 0% click rate. I'm like, well, I'm really sorry to hear that. Um, my customer success team will look at it. So, and when it escalates that high, I like to get involved to see what exactly is wrong. Like what's going on with, with Autoklose. So we go in and he sends us his template. His email that he sent. Now I, I didn't know how to say this in a, in a, in a nice way. I said it in a nice way. I'm like, "Well, sorry, John. The reason why you have a 0% click rate is because your email actually had nothing to click."

Shawn Finder: 27:59 So, there was no link in the email. So he should be judging replies, which he had a 6% reply rate, which the average is one to three, which is great. He had a 0% click rate. And he was mad because of a 0% click rate. But I'm like, he didn't even have a signature. He had nothing in there you can even click. And that's why he was. So, so those are, so those are the things why I say content and, and stuff like that. But that was a really funny story. And, and in our Intercom support chat, we're all like in our notes are like, "Oh my God," like we have to be nice to the client. Sorry, John, but you need to have a link to click, to get a click. So that's kind of a funny story. We had a few weeks ago.

Alanna Jackson: 28:35 So, when somebody's sequence isn't working and they're frustrated, do you have like a checklist of, you know, here's where you should start and try to find out where it's maybe gone wrong.

Stacy Jackson: 28:47 I guess number one is did you have a link to click?

Alanna Jackson: 28:49 Well, yeah, that's a good one.

Shawn Finder: 28:51 You know, for that answer . . . . That's an amazing question because that was something we had about five months ago where we had a lot of our clients saying like, you know, our template, it was, it was doing so well and now it's kind of stale. So, what we actually did now, we measure inside the platform, we measure per email. So, now we can see emails one to six, which ones are performing, which ones are not performing, where people are falling off, etc., in that sequence. So, that's a great question. We find that it all depends on the process. Like you gotta have a plan when you're sending, but like you can't just send the email without saying, you know, for example, maybe, you know, in the second email maybe doing a case study. Build more trust. Maybe send a marketing blog or sending out, you know, you know, for example, we're doing a podcast on email killer sequences.

Shawn Finder: 29:37 So in my next sequence, you know, to a cold prospect, I might, you know, in email number four, like, hey, you know, like, I, I know, I know, I haven't heard back from you. We actually just did a podcast, and it was about killer email sequences. It might help your sales team. And we might send him this podcast. So always nurturing them and helping them. But, we've had, we've had some clients that if I, I can, I can sit here and tell you stories that, and make you guys laugh, but I'll only tell you the click one right now.

Stacy Jackson: 30:04 So, obviously, email sequences can have a big impact on making more sales, but are there other things you'd recommend to do throughout that sequence for a full multitouch or multichannel sales cadence

Shawn Finder: 30:21 100%, and one thing that has worked really well for us, and I'm a big -- I do it all the time, it's kind of like the social touches. So what I mean by that is, inside the sequence, what I will do is if I see somebody to open my email or taking an action, I'll do different things like add them on LinkedIn. Okay. Then I might like share, comment or endorsed -- those four things. And the reason why is you can do all four of those things on LinkedIn. You could like share, endorse, or comment on a post and don't have to talk or send them an email. So for example, if I actually do it with contracts even sent out. We have a, I have a campaign inside Autoklose, a campaign that is with quotes are sent out. So if I, if I send a quote to somebody I haven't heard back in about a week, I'll just like something they did on LinkedIn, or I'll just comment or I'll endorse them, and anything you do there will automatically on LinkedIn show, "Shawn Finder just endorsed you for a marketing skill," and they'd be like, "oh, I forgot to email Shawn back. He sent me that quote last week "

Shawn Finder: 31:20 And I find it really helps to get engaged. It helps to build trust. So social touches for sure. And then if you want to mix in some, some cold calling, you can as well. But I find the social touches, you know, using Twitter and LinkedIn really, really works well with cold prospects, warm prospects, existing clients or even quotes are being sent out.

Stacy Jackson: 31:40 I notice you didn't mention, "send an InMail to pester people," which is my biggest pet peeve when people do that.

Shawn Finder: 31:47 I usually tell people just actually connect, but don't actually, don't just connect and say, oh, I'd like to join your network. Tell them why. So say, you know, you know, "Hi Stacy. I'd love to join your network because I'm a really big fan of your podcast," something like that. And then you're more likely to get them to connect with you. And once you have a connection you've won because now you can share, you can tag, you can endorse, you can like, you can do all these different things and touch them a hundred times. And for example now, because we post all our content and videos and stuff on LinkedIn, whenever we send a cold email to our, for example, our MailChimp list, we have people that respect us because we provide high quality content. We do a lot of videos, we do a lot of podcasts. I don't even have to really sell them in a sequence anymore because I've already built that comfort zone and that trust with all my clients and prospects.

Alanna Jackson: 32:32 So, how do you recommend they go about the endorsement part? Because most likely you've never worked with this person to be able to endorse them on certain things. And like if somebody that I don't know endorses me for something that I'm like, "well, they don't know how I am with this. They've never worked with me on this." So how do you go about picking what you're going to endorse them for? Because there are some things that you can endorse them for based on activities that they're doing and things like that. So how do you make that determination?

Stacy Jackson: 33:03 So it seems authentic.

Shawn Finder: 33:04 Yeah, so what I do is I'll usually go inside LinkedIn, I'll check either posts, articles, or stuff they've commented on, and I will look at them. And if they did a big post on, for example, killer subject lines, like say I did it, some say they did a post on killer subject lines. I would then go in and if one of the things that can I endorse him was subject lines, I would endorse him that because I can easily even comment on their posts saying, "Hey, I read your killer subject lines. I was really impressed." And then go right endorse him two days later. And now they've known, I've commented on them so they know I've read their posts in their blog and then when I endorsed them, they know, oh, he read my blog and endorsed that was really nice of him.

Alanna Jackson: 33:39 So that makes sense to kind of go about it that way. But there are some people that definitely do not do that.

Shawn Finder: 33:48 I, I'm not going to lie. I might be one of them.

Alanna Jackson: 33:49 We have a fun question for you. So, if you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would be your dream job?

Shawn Finder: 34:07 Um, my wife. Okay. Professional Poker player. I love, I love, I love, I always been competitive. So as you know, I used to play tennis. I've always been a big, big poker player. Not In fun games and stuff. I played in some tournaments, but it's been a hobby of mine simply because there's a lot of thinking, a lot of stuff you have to do at the table. It's relaxing for me. Even on my spare time when I travel to Florida or Vegas, my two places. I'm at the Hard Rock Hotel a lot when I'm there. So, so, uh, yeah, I would say professional poker player, but uh, yeah, I just said don't -- let's not tell my wife, there. She'll not like the, the gambling part. She already thinks I gamble a lot.

Alanna Jackson: 34:44 Well, at least you could potentially make some money from it.

Shawn Finder: 34:47 That's what I say. I say, you know, I when you go shopping, you're spending, when I play poker, there's a chance I could win.

Stacy Jackson: 34:53 Right.

Alanna Jackson: 34:55 Well, are there any additional tips you want to share with our audience about sales? Emails?

Shawn Finder: 35:01 Yeah, I mean, the only thing I would say is, for salespeople in general is, you know, and I don't like to say this word, but a lot of salespeople nowadays I find are, are lazy or they give up after one email or two emails. Keep in mind that now everyone in the world gets hundreds of emails a day. Everyone is busy. Most people are not going to reply to your first or second email, so don't get down on yourself. You have to be persistent, but you have to have a sequence of at least six, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten emails to get, especially someone in C-level or VP level. Because the last thing they want to do on a Monday to Friday is, um, is answer cold prospecting. So he persistent, don't give up, don't be lazy. Spread out those sequences and hopefully you'll see those leads and those high qualified leads come in.

Stacy Jackson: 35:47 Awesome. Thank you for sharing that. And everyone now you have the info you need to get your email sequences performing at their best. So take Shawn's advice, take his tips and make it happen. So if people want to get in touch with you, Shawn, what's the best way for them to do that?

Shawn Finder: 36:05 If you want to get in touch with me, email me, shawn@autoclose.com. You can try and connect with me on LinkedIn, but I think I have too many connections. You might have to follow me on LinkedIn, so you can follow our content. Or you can go to our website autoklose.com. But if you have any questions, email me or our support team on our chat on our website with any questions about sales. It doesn't even be about Autoklose -- just about sales in general. Ask me and I usually respond right away.

Stacy Jackson: 36:30 And we'll include that contact information in the show notes as well as some links that you gave us, Shawn, earlier about some B2B sales handbooks and 673 Years of Sales Excellence book. So, we'll make sure all that's in the show notes for our listeners to review.

Shawn Finder: 36:49 Perfect.

Stacy Jackson: 36:49 Thanks so much for joining us.

Alanna Jackson: 36:51 Yeah, thank you.

Shawn Finder: 36:52 Thank you. That was a lot of fun.

Stacy Jackson: 36:53 Yeah, and if people want to get in touch with either me or Alanna, you can hit us up on social. On Twitter. You can find me at stacy_jax, and you can find Alanna at alanna_jax. Not a Twitter fan> You can find us on LinkedIn, and you can also download the Anchor mobile app to leave us a voicemail. We might use your message on the next show.

Alanna Jackson: 37:22 Thanks for joining us and have a great week.

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About Our Guest: Scott Rogerson

Shawn Finder is CEO of Autoklose. Shawn has always been an entrepreneur at heart. At age 24, Shawn entered the entrepreneurial world after competing as one of Canada’s top-ranked tennis players. He started out importing packaging from the Orient and selling to top retailers in North America. However, knowing he always loved selling and list building, he founded ExchangeLeads in 2013 which helps his company build quality lists for outreach to new prospects. This was followed by his new venture Autoklose in 2017.

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