LetterClick on the image to the right to reference my comments below. The image will open in another tab or window.


I recently received another unsolicited email from a company hoping to engage with me and my company regarding B2B services they provide.

Looking at their message, I doubt it’s very effective.

Here are four thoughts on their message and how I’d change it to create more compelling interest:

Paragraph #1

The company contacting me would like to arrange a time to talk about the things they do and through that discussion identify something I need. They hope to find things they can do that will drive more traffic to my website and increase sales volume.

This is close, but a miss.

I’d open the letter by letting me know they consciously contacted me because, from their research and experience, my business meets a profile of success similar other companies they’ve helped in meaningful ways. This takes the randomness out of their contact.

Then I’d cite actual numbers in terms of the increased traffic and sales volume they’ve help others like me achieve — this is what I would ultimately buy.

This approach states upfront who they are, why they’re contacting me, and what’s in it for me. The things they do are only meaningful to the extent they do something meaningful for me. So, start with the results I may enjoy and work backward from there.

Paragraph #2

This is just a list of stuff they do. None of it is tied to a result I would want to buy. They cite some advantages (tracking visitors, appending contact information, etc.), but they miss tying it to a benefit to my business.

In other words, this list should have a result tied to it that I’m actually buying. The things they list are prospective proof that benefit exists.

Features, functionality and advantages aren’t benefits. And benefits are the only things worth buying. The things you do are merely a means to an end worth spending money on.

They should highlight the benefit and offer the things they do and advantages they offer as reason to believe the benefit is real.

Paragraph #3

Another list of things they do. This is OK if they added a follow-on sentence or two telling my what results those things produce that would benefit my business.

Paragraph #4

I don’t know of any business owner that wants to attend a meeting to talk about a vendor’s services or problems in their own company.

That said, if the implied result of their services are increased website traffic and sales, they should make the meeting based on a discussion of how their profile of success can be extended to my business: increasing targeted website visitors and sales volume by x%, based on their experience working with clients similar to me.

Closing Thoughts

The thing to remember is benefits are the things people purchase. The things you do (features, functionality, and advantages) only matter to the extent they enable a benefit or make it real. There is a time to talk about the things you do, often in detail, but not until a benefit is established and valued.

What say you?


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