These 3 email marketing strategies won't work for your MSP - but here's one that definitely will

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MSPs should stop wasting time on email marketing strategies that do not work for them, and invest in the one that does work.

One of the most important things to understand in the world of marketing is that not all industries are created equal. As someone who has been using MSP marketing to help IT pros generate more leads and scale for many years, I can tell you that I've witnessed this first-hand.

A technique that works perfectly well in one field may be woefully inadequate in another, because people tend to lose sight of that which matters most of all:

The customers.

Every industry has its own specific target audience and you need to use all of your marketing collateral—be it blog posts or white papers or emails—to speak directly to them. Come at them on their own terms and you'd be surprised what you'll be able to accomplish.

Case in point: there are three email marketing strategies in particular that work great for various other industries, but they'll do virtually nothing for you in the world of MSPs.

Poor Strategy #1: Breakup Emails

Breakup emails tend to happen at the tail end of a drip email campaign. You might make contact once or twice—first to establish contact, then to follow up—which is when the breakup email comes. You send something along the lines of "Just wanted to touch base, I assume your priorities have changed, let me know if you need anything else" and then never follow up again.

For MSPs in particular, this is a critical mistake. Just because someone isn't interested in what you offer right now, that doesn't mean things won't change down the line. Rather than a breakup email, you should get into the habit of reaching out to your prospects once every three months or so just to check in with them to make sure you still understand what they currently need and how you might be able to help them.

Poor Strategy #2: Hyper Personalization

For this technique, most people usually look up something about the prospect on a site like LinkedIn. You'll include some very specific detail in the first line to let someone know you at the very least researched them so that you know who you're talking to.

The problem is that for MSPs in particular, most of the time you're going to be reaching. The IT decision makers at companies tend to be CFOs or COOs, and in most situations they won't have anything you'll be able to use to hyper personalize. You'll be grasping at straws, so to speak. Because of that, you'll come off as pandering—which is the exact opposite of what you want to do.

Poor Strategy #3: Graphic Design

Make no mistake: there are certainly a lot of things that you can do from a graphic design perspective to increase conversions. You could include a call-to-action with contrasting colors to help it stand out from the rest of the message, for example.

The truth is that from a design perspective, the most successful emails we've sent at Tech Pro Marketing have always been plain text emails. Don't forget that the audience that you're speaking to is inherently savvy—they're not traditional consumers. They don't want bells and whistles. They want to clearly know A) who you are, B) what you do, and C) why they should be paying attention. Leaning too heavily into the graphic design element of emails only serves to detract from that message.

The Right Strategy: The Art of the 9-Word Email

The world of MSPs tends to be one that gets bogged down by the technical nature of it all. Yes, you're talking about sophisticated IT, but you still need to resist the urge to overthink the message you're sending to potential leads. That, of course, is why the 9-word email made famous by marketing guru Dean Jackson is so important.

Rather than sending someone a PDF filled with technical specifications and an outline of your qualifications, consider the following. Take the leads that you've generated that are more than 90 days old who have yet to convert, and send them some variation of the following:

Hi! Are you still interested in a reliable MSP?

That's it. Short, sweet and to the point. Take whatever they first inquired about—be it having you come in and take over the entirety of their IT operations or just providing additional support to their in-house staff—and flip it back on them. Remind them of what they wanted in a way that doesn't bog the message down in too many superfluous details.

The major reason why this works is that it feels like you're talking to only one person. It takes the disadvantages of hyper personalization and virtually eliminates them. It also creates a sense of urgency with language like "are you still looking for...", reminding them why this was a priority to begin with.

It’s Your Move

In the end, like everything in marketing, never let yourself forget that success isn't all about the latest technology or the newest artificial intelligence. It's about communication. It's about creating a connection between you and your potential customer—one that they won't soon be able to forget.

It's also about working smarter, not harder—meaning that you have to be proactive about guaranteeing your efforts are focused in the right direction. Why go to the effort of things like breakup emails or graphic design when a simple 9-word email will do?

Not sure where you need to put your marketing efforts? I’m here to help. Feel free to schedule a one-on-one strategy with us at Tech Pro Marketing. At the very least, we’ll help you get clear on the next big move for your MSP. Remember, the more energy you spend on those techniques that actually work given your industry, the more success you'll have—which is really what marketing is all about. 

Nate Freedman is the CEO of Tech Pro Marketing, a marketing firm specifically focused on helping MSPs grow their sales pipeline, nurture their prospects, build authority, and win more customers.

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