Book More Meetings with these Email CTAs

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This is a podcast episode titled, Book More Meetings with these Email CTAs. The summary for this episode is: <p>Your email is air-tight. You’ve done your research. The opening line is personalized. But something feels off.. and it’s your CTA. Should you ask for a specific time to meet? What about suggesting a conversation instead? Or… maybe just asking whether they’re interested? Join special guest Kyle Coleman, VP of Revenue Growth &amp; Enablement at Clari to uncover the best CTA for cold emails. Ready to hit ‘send’?</p>
What is the highest performing CTA for cold emails?
01:33 MIN
Data on the effectiveness of interest CTA
02:09 MIN
Tips on effective CTAs
02:16 MIN
The book every sales person should read
00:28 MIN

Devin Reed: What's up everybody? Welcome back and happy Friday, I know happy Friday's a little cliche, a little cheesy but it's a great day. My name is Devin Reed, I'm the head of content strategy at Gong, and you are here at Gong Labs Live. I always like to get started with an opening question. Get you warmed up, start talking to each other in the comments section. And we took a week off last week, it was 4th of July, I hope you had a long, nice weekend. And I admit if I wasn't watching basketball, because I'm a big NBA fan, I did let myself lax a bit and I got into some reality TV, it's a bit of a guilty pleasure. So I'm curious if you also have a guilty pleasure that is reality TV, do you have a favorite show? Go ahead and drop it into the comment section. Personally, you might be wondering what did I get into, the Great British Baking Show. Have you checked it out? It's surprisingly relaxing. I love the accents. And I'm not going to pretend like I learned how to bake any better, but I really enjoyed watching it. So go ahead and drop it into the comment section what reality show that you're into, if any at all. Okay, if you are joining Gong Labs Live again, thanks for hanging out with us, we love to see you here. And if you're here for the first time, here's what we're all about. We are the only show on LinkedIn bringing you real talk and data on sales. Every single week, I get to hang out with different sales experts to bring you data back sales, insights, and tactics that you can use immediately to help you be more effective. So if you want to increase your earning potential, if you want to become a better sales person, or if maybe you want to shatter sales records at your company or personal PR, this is exactly where you want to be. We're here every Friday at 9: 00 AM Pacific. And if you want to see any of the previous episodes, show producer, Nayhal, will drop a link and right now, you can go check out all the on demand content your heart desires. Now, speaking of things your heart might desire, we've got to give away for you. So we have a exclusive Gong Labs Live hat, it's a dad hat. You don't have to be a dad to get it, it says Gong Labs Live on the side here. But if you want a new hats, all you have to do is tag your best friend in sale, someone on your team, someone that you hang out with and talk shop about. If you tag them in the comment section so now they know about the show, we will reach out to you and send you a dad hat. Now mine's a little beat up, yours will be brand new. I went to Tahoe a couple of weeks ago and I took it with me. So go ahead and tag a friend and we'll make sure you get a Gong Labs Live hat. Okay, enough of the housekeeping, let's bring on our guest today. We have Kyle Coleman. If you hear background noise, you might've heard that, I don't know if you can hear the dog, Kyle? I know you've got two corgis, I've got the French bulldog in the room and he's just huffing, puffing, rolling around on the floor, so. What's up, Kyle? How are you doing, man?

Kyle Coleman: I'm living the dream, how are you doing, Devin?

Devin Reed: I'm good. I always love hanging out with you, and we've hung out a few times. We've probably made, of all the people in B2B sales, I think me and you have partnered the most.

Kyle Coleman: I think so, and I'm happy for it. So hopefully we can just extend our lead with this particular record.

Devin Reed: I'm hoping so, I'm hoping so. So we've done a few webinars, we've done a few shows... One sec, the dog is going insane underneath me. One sec folks.

Kyle Coleman: I can't hear it at all, but I think I'll steal some of Devin's thunder here and in the spirit of the live show and keep things moving. Devin and I have talked endlessly about best practices as it relates to emails, subject lines, personalization, email length, all these things. And one thing that we really want to focus on is the call to action. How do you close your email to get maximum results? And so I'm looking forward to having this back and forth today, Devin, because I think we have... Obviously, Gong Labs has a ton of data on this. I've got my own thoughts and feelings on this as the recipient of a lot of these emails, so I'll hand the mic back to you.

Devin Reed: Lovely, I appreciate it. And we're good at this because on one of our webinars my mic cut out completely, and I couldn't... It was something weird where you couldn't hear me or I could hear you and this weird thing, so I was talking at you and no one can hear, so it was weird but crosstalk.

Kyle Coleman: I remember that, Devin, I remember the feedback afterwards. Everybody's favorite part was when they couldn't hear you talk, when you were quiet, crosstalk surprising.

Devin Reed: Shocking. Okay. Well, hey, we have done a bunch of stuff together, so I've got a quiz for you to see how good your memory is, are you ready?

Kyle Coleman: Oh boy.

Devin Reed: Okay, so it's a bit of a pop quiz, a little friendship quiz for you. Do you remember, so you've been on the podcast, Reveal the Revenue Intelligence Podcast, do you remember the title of your interview?

Kyle Coleman: God, no, I don't remember the title of my interview.

Devin Reed: It's okay. It's, How to Bring Sales Floor Energy to Remote Selling.

Kyle Coleman: Yes, yes, that was a great conversation.

Devin Reed: If you haven't listened to it and you want to hear more Kyle and less Devin, go check that out. All right, next one, the most popular webinar that we created, do you remember what that one was titled?

Kyle Coleman: I know that it was about... Obviously, it was about cold email best practices, but I don't remember what it was titled. Was that the Seven Tips?

Devin Reed: Oh, you're close. You got closer and closer, it's the Seven Laws of Highly Effective Sales Emails.

Kyle Coleman: Laws.

Devin Reed: Yes. That was a good one, more content. And if you're wondering why we're talking about this, it's because, like Kyle said, we're going to extend that into today's show. Last question for you, last question for you, do you know how many people attended that webinar? Attended, were actually in seat?

Kyle Coleman: 1, 200.

Devin Reed: Ooh close, 1, 011 people because we got booted off. There would have been more people, but we broke GoToWebinar, it literally shut down and that's where we started getting those audio problems. inaudible. Well, fantastic. You didn't pass the quiz, but you're still my friend.

Kyle Coleman: No. Good, good.

Devin Reed: And so I'm looking over the comments, we've got a lot of people tagging for the hat. I'd love to see it. I was seeing if any Keeping Up with the Kardashians, I'll see if there's any reality TV shows. It looks like keeping Up with the Kardashians is pretty much all I see there. Do you have a guilty pleasure for reality TV?

Kyle Coleman: I don't think it's guilty necessarily, Devin, but it definitely is reality TV, which is Planet Earth. I've watched Planet Earth and the second Planet Earth, dozens of times. I'm captivated by it.

Devin Reed: I love that you've made a document... I guess, I don't know, a documentary kind of on the planet. You're like, it's about the earth and it's real, it's reality TV, even though it's scientific. I love crosstalk

Kyle Coleman: That's as real as it gets my friend.

Devin Reed: All right, so let's get into today's topic a little bit, and we kind of talked about it, right, the CTA. So back in our SDR days, how many emails do you think you would send per day? And I'm going to proceed this with saying I didn't have Outreach or SalesLoft. And that's not the like," Back in my day we walked uphill both ways to school." You just didn't have it, you just didn't have it. So how many emails do you think you sent every day, kyle?

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, we were sending emails one at a time, not to say every single one was personalized, but on a good day, Devin, we were probably sending close to 80 or 100.

Devin Reed: Wow, that's a lot. That's a solid crosstalk.

Kyle Coleman: And that came in waves. We prepped for those batches. So maybe on a weekly basis, it was maybe closer to 200 or 250.

Devin Reed: Yeah. Yeah, the batching was was necessary for sure. Well, I'm curious, let's bring up the poll real quick here. So we've got a poll for the audience and I want to know what you all think, So you're going to put number one, number two, or number three into the comments based on what you think here. Okay, so we'll get more into that in a sec, Kyle, but what do you think is the highest performing CTA, call to action, for cold emails? crosstalk.

Kyle Coleman: Devin, is this the first touch in a sequence?

Devin Reed: It doesn't matter actually, it's a good question. As long as it's a cold email, so you're still doing your outreach, you haven't gotten any traction yet, good clarification question. So viewers, is number one the specific CTA," Are you available to meet on Tuesday at four o'clock?" Again, very specific. Number two, the open- ended CTA. So you're still asking for time, but something more like," Do you have some time to meet next week?" So it's kind of loose. And the number three, the interest CTA," Are you interested in learning more about blank?" More about whatever that topic is? So go ahead and drop it in the comments. Kyle, I'm curious, I know you know the answer because we've talked about this a hundred times, but when you were sending those individual emails, did you have a go- to CTA? Were you unsure what the CTAs... Were you just random? I didn't even think about it, I kind of just threw it in there and ask for the meeting.

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, so before I answer that question, Devin, and as people's answers in the chat here come in, I want to say one specific thing that I learned really early on, and a principle that I think a lot of SDRs don't follow and then therefore it get worse results. Which is, I found that the fewer things I asked for in the email, the more responses I get, the better results that I got. And what I mean by that is, a call to action, a lot of times people only think about the call to action being one of these three options. What am I literally trying to get from the person I'm reaching out to? But a call to action is more than that, it's, check out this case study, read this one page overview, look at this customer story, whatever those things are, those are all calls to action that you have so you need to be really careful about designing your emails so that you're asking for one specific thing. And it's okay if the case study bleeds into your ask for time or your ask for interest or something like that, but for the most part, try your best not to distract people. And this is what I was guilty of in the early days, Devin, when I was starting my career is I was so excited about my product and to show off my knowledge and to show somebody that I really understood them by inundating them with information in the first note. And what I found is people got confused and people didn't respond because I was asking them to do too many things. So that was the big learning from me, before I even got to this level of specificity, numbers one, two, and three here, I learned pretty early on that really focusing on one desired outcome in your email and structuring your call to action around that outcome that you're trying to drive is super, super important.

Devin Reed: Very well said, it's message dilution, right? Pick one thing, hit it really hard, make it really compelling and make it a really clear CTA. Because like you said, there's so many ways, Clari, Gong, all these companies, we do more than one thing. You can umbrella it under more revenue or something like that, but there's dozens, maybe hundreds of different benefits that the software can can provide. And it's easy to think," Hey, the more I throw at somebody, the more likelihood of getting a hit or interest." But clearly not the case, as you said. So if you look at the comments, it is almost all threes. There's an avalanche of threes here. So either people have read the article or they are just on top of it, hopefully a little bit of both. But if we go to the next slide here, here is the answer. So it is the interest CTA, the interest CTA, and here's how we figured this out. So we analyzed over 300, 000 cold emails and specifically analyzed the call to action, and what we looked at for success wasn't a response, because you can always get the," Please remove me. Don't ever email me again. No thanks." And we don't want to... That's not success. And so what we looked at was was the meeting booked within 10 days of that email, was a meeting held within 10 days of that email. So the interest CTA was two times more effective than the specific CTA and the open- ended CTA was a bit of a dud in this comparison chart. So I know that you've seen this a little while ago, Kyle, when we first talked about it, but what was your first knee jerk response when you saw this?

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, not at all surprised. It was validating actually for what I believe to be true, not just as somebody who's coaching SDRs, hundreds of thousands of SDRs over the years, but as somebody who receives a lot of these emails, when you're coming in cold to hitting my inbox and asking for time immediately, this guard comes up sort of subconsciously, I don't even really think about it. It's just time to me is the most valuable thing that I've got and it's irreplaceable. And this is especially true, I look at my CEO's calendar every now and again, and it's horrifying, just back to back everything, it's just booked every single second of every day. And so you really, really have to earn the right to ask for time. And if you don't earn that right it's going to fall on deaf ears and you're just not going to find success. And so I learned that pretty early on in my own SDR days. And then of course, coaching teams to say," What we want to do with inaudible is not necessarily to get the meeting after that first email, it's to create conversations, it's to peak interest." And you peak interest by asking for their interest. Are you curious to learn more? Are you interested in learning more? Be soft about it and try your best to create conversations and get responses, that's the key. You're not going to get a meeting if people don't respond to you. So getting a response first is really, really important, and the interest based call to action is the best way to do that as the data shows.

Devin Reed: Yeah, you're completely right. Because before we decide to invest our time into something, we decided we're interested in that thing. And it seems obvious, because it happens so fast, you kind of assume it all happens in one motion, but we want to make sure we want to invest our time in it. And so it was interesting for me when I was coming up in sales, I was taught, I remember being told," Use this..." They didn't call it specific CTA, but they said," List this specific time and date." So if I'm reaching out to you, Kyle, the logic was you would look at your calendar and if 4: 30 Tuesday wasn't free, but 4:00 was, you just saw the next white space responded with that time. And then as I kind of matured through my sales career, I kind of got to this point where I was like, I feel a little aggressive, not pushy, but... Or maybe a little pushy, not too aggressive, do you know what I mean?

Kyle Coleman: Yeah.

Devin Reed: I'm asking for time and, Grate Amy, this VP of marketing, she doesn't know who I am and I'm just hitting her up out of the blue asking her for time, and we both know that time is to sell her something. So the other part that was interesting when I posted this was in the comment section, all the sales pros, super surprised. They're like, " Wow, this is super enlightening, this is really helpful." All the executives and buyers said exactly what you said, which was, " This is not surprising at all, I can't stand when people just ask me for time out of the blue."

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, I'm not surprised to hear that sort of a dichotomy of how people had to think about the training that they received and then versus the reality of what's working and what isn't. I really don't have too much else to add here, really think about if your email is persuasive to you. Take off your company hat, forget everything you know about your product, your solution, whatever it is, and read your email again, is it really compelling? And what are you asking for? And is that ask a good continuation from what you've tried to do to peak someone's interest? And if the answer is no, then you need to go back to the drawing board in a couple of different ways. But closing strong, showing that empathy is super important. And I think one other important thing about calls to action that few people do is even with this interest based call to action, and literally an interest based call to action is, are you interested to learn more or are you curious to learn more, one of those two things is totally fine. But there's still a little bit of pressure there on the recipient to respond, to say something. And what I really like, and this is something that's relatively new, maybe in the last 12 or 18 months that our team has started to do, is they'll put that interest based called action, but then they soften it even a little bit more where they say," Either way, thanks for reading." And just that little bit of softening, that little bit of that frictionless ask is really helpful. It's just that little bit of extra empathy. We talk a lot about empathy in sales, and it's not like," Hope you're doing well in these unprecedented times." That's not what empathy is, empathy is really understanding what your prospect or recipient cares about and they care about the work that they're trying to do. And if you show them that you also care about the work they're trying to do, it's just a nice way to create an actual good relationship and not feel pushy, not feel aggressive. So, are you interested to learn more? Either way, thanks for reading. And that one, two punch for us has just led to a lot more conversations, more responses and I'm not always going to say the responses are positive, Devin, because a lot of them... We still hear nos and that's fine, but those nos have changed from the," Go to hell, stop annoying me." To," Thanks, but no thanks, now's not the right time. Here's a better time, reach out in three months." Type deals. And so we're getting more momentum by just thinking more about putting ourselves in those buyers shoes and then trying to do something that is going to be well received from them.

Devin Reed: Yeah, that's absolutely right. You might not get the meeting now, but you can get a conversation now for a meeting later.

Kyle Coleman: Right.

Devin Reed: Well, great tips, Kyle. And I love that additional add there. Nayhal is going to drop, we have a cheat sheet for viewers. We have 43 highly effective CTAs based on this, and it's for cold emails and for in deal emails, because it switches actually. A quick giveaway, the specific CTA actually works better once you're in a deal and the interest CTA doesn't work as well once you're in a deal. So how's that for a curve ball as if sales wasn't challenging enough. Lovely. All right, Kyle, we're going to move to the last section of today's show, which is the rapid fire. So I know I put you on the friendship quiz earlier, but now you're going to get the rapid- fire, how's that?

Kyle Coleman: I'm looking forward to it. I failed before, so hopefully I can redeem myself.

Devin Reed: It was a redeem team, here you go. You have five seconds or less. Now I don't have a shot clock, I'm not going to look at my watch while you do this, but honor code, do your best. All right, here you go, who is the sales expert that you have to follow on? LinkedIn?

Kyle Coleman: I really like Josh Braun.

Devin Reed: Mm- hmm( affirmative), Josh is good. He's got some good stuff out there for sure. We already kind of talked about it, but what are you currently binge- watching? Maybe it's different than Planet Earth.

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, so I'm a culprit of the NBA finals and NBA playoffs. I don't have a TV though, so I don't watch a ton of TV.

Devin Reed: YouTube TV is solving that issue for you, sir. They're streaming it up. Go Suns, I love Devin Booker, not because we share a name, but maybe also because we share a name. What's one book every sales person should read?

Kyle Coleman: This is a bit of a non traditional recommendation, I think, because it's not a sales methodology and it's not spin selling or challenger or something like that, although those are useful. I recently read a book called Subtract, and I can't remember the author's name and it kills me when I do this, but the book is called Subtract. And it's about how taking things away can be more useful than adding things on and on and on. And it's just a different way of thinking about what people respond to and what makes for an effective solution, and there's so much power in subtraction. So I thought it was really interesting, it was a pretty quick read too.

Devin Reed: Love that, love a quick read. What was the highlight of your most recent vacation? Because I keep up with you.

Kyle Coleman: I moved to Denver, Colorado last July, and most recently went up to Estes Park, which is where The Shining was filmed. And I had an Old Fashioned at the hotel where The Shining was filmed and that was pretty damn cool.

Devin Reed: Have you had good or bad luck since then? And I don't want to say your cursed, but you kind of asked for it at the same time.

Kyle Coleman: I mean I'm here with you today, Devin so is that good luck or bad luck, you tell me.

Devin Reed: Well played, I was waiting for the dig. The dig has to come at some point. Okay, here we go. Last question, what's one thing that people should do every single day to continue growing their skills? Or nearly every day, because we're all human.

Kyle Coleman: Find little micro experiments to run and don't be afraid to fail. Think about the little things, experiments don't have to be huge, groundbreaking things. It's the little things. It's little changes to your subject line, to your calls to action and structure those experiments and find a way to track them and be intentional about it. It can be a sheet, just a Google Sheet where you're just keeping track of the things you're doing, and what you're trying, and what's working and what isn't. And if you continually do that, it means that you're thinking about your role. And a lot of people just come in and they just turn on autopilot and they go through the motions, but if you're really thinking about the experiments to run micro or larger experiments run, you can't help but improve because you're really thinking critically about the job and you're finding ways to improve it on a daily basis.

Devin Reed: And what better thing to test next week in some email CTAs, am I right?

Kyle Coleman: There you go.

Devin Reed: All right, Kyle, I always like hanging out with you, how can other people hang out with you? In other words, how can they get ahold of you? Where should they follow you?

Kyle Coleman: Yeah, connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm Kyle Coleman on LinkedIn, it should be pretty easy to find, I hope. It's really the only social platform that I'm active on, so find me there.

Devin Reed: Fantastic. I will co- sign and say, Kyle, you have some of the best sales content specifically around a lot of sales dev stuff, because I love reading it. And thanks for joining, man. Always a pleasure. Thanks for hanging out with us. For viewers, if you're not already, make sure you follow Gong on LinkedIn. You'll get alerts next time we drop a Gong Labs, which is the research you saw today, as well as the next time Gong Labs Live goes live. So if you like data backed sales tips, sales related sessions, we also have one more benefit, one more offer for you and that's our annual, or now quarterly, Revenue Intelligence Summit, and it's happening virtually. So if you want to get a free ticket, there's going to be a link in the comments, you can sign up. I'm going to present brand new Gong Lab Data that's never been seen before. It could be interesting. And you'll also hear Angela Duckworth crosstalk grit. So grab your spot there. Kyle, thanks again for hanging out with us. I hope you have a great Friday, and make sure you give both those corgis a belly rub for me.

Kyle Coleman: I will do my best, Devin. Have a good one. Bye.

Devin Reed: All right, see you folks. Thanks for watching.


Your email is air-tight. You’ve done your research. The opening line is personalized. But something feels off.. and it’s your CTA. Should you ask for a specific time to meet? What about suggesting a conversation instead? Or… maybe just asking whether they’re interested? Join special guest Kyle Coleman, VP of Revenue Growth & Enablement at Clari to uncover the best CTA for cold emails. Ready to hit ‘send’?