My University is GOING to win March Madness this year. Or maybe not, but I would be stoked if they were! Now as a sales development representative, I can still enjoy college basketball even without a team on the hardwood.
Some of my prospects are lucky enough to watch their alma mater play in the tournament. Their luck is my chance for an opportunity.
Betting on March Madness Responses
What’s your best way to make sure your email gets a response? Personalization? Sending direct mail? Focused follow-up?
Yes, to all of those.
The college basketball tournament always causes a buzz in the office (or with remote teams). So here’s how to take advantage of the tournament madness using a sending platform, like Sendoso, to fill your sales inbox with responses.
Filter College Searches
Use your LinkedIn Sales Navigator advanced search to find your target personas for your mailing list. Focus on prospects who went to universities playing in the tournament.
Here’s what mine looks like.
A search like this will bring up all marketing vice presidents in my customer relationship management (CRM) accounts who went to Gonzaga University.
If you have an email sequencer, create a sequence for weekly follow-ups and follow the steps below. If you don’t, you can follow up manually.
Build a Bracket Inspired Email Sequence
First Phase – Introduction Email
The first phase of the sequence is the introduction email. You can start right after Selection Sunday.
Use this for the first or second week of March Madness.
Reach out to anybody in your target audience who went to a school that’s playing, cause you know they’ll be rooting for them.
Next, tie in your value proposition and call to action. Here’s a basic example:
In this example, I offered a Gonzaga University tumbler to celebrate the team’s latest win. Using the Sendoso gifting platform and its Amazon integration I’m able to automate the sending process.
- Budget Saving Tip: Reach more people and save money by asking for permission to send the tumbler before creating the link. Replace the last line in the email with, “Can I send you an address confirmation link?” Address confirmation is a Sendoso feature. It requires recipients to confirm their address before triggering a send. The emails can be automated to send reminders to prospects who have overlooked your first message.
Disclaimer: This article is being written from a sales development perspective. Marketing teams might use different language in their outreach. But the overall strategy still works.
Second Phase – Follow Up
Phase two of the sequence is the follow-up. You might not be a sports fanatic, I get it, but making your tournament bracket and keeping up with big games and upsets is a great way to grab attention during your follow-up correspondence.
Reach back out to prospects with a value add and reference what happened with their team.
Big win? Congratulate them, mention anything notable from the game (if you can), and a creative tie back to why they should connect with you.
Big loss? Bummer. Wish them better luck next year and ask them how their bracket is doing.
Give them a recap from your last email and ask them for feedback on your outreach.
Third Phase – Repeat
Do this every week. Take out the losing teams and keep the winners.
The prospects with winning teams will see a higher email frequency and you will stand out in their inbox.
- Pro Tip: Since 1985, number 1 seeds have had an overall win percentage of 79.8 according to NCAA.
One Shining… Email Sequence
The magic of this sequence is that it gives you a reason to follow up after EVERY game. It also helps develop qualified leads.
Imagine what your prospect thinks when they read your email, referencing something they enjoy, every week. Especially if their team makes it to the final rounds.
How many other sales emails are they getting like this? Probably none, just yours!
In a world where prospects are exhausted by sales team pitches and meeting requests, personalization is key.
Give before you receive. Tell them what you do, offer to share in their excitement with a personalized gift, and watch your inbox fill up with responses.
Pitfalls for SDRs to Avoid
Don’t ask decision-makers for their time in the first or second email. Build the relationship and create value first. Use their interest in your gift as an indicator of interest in your product and then push for the meeting.
About the writer: Giano Fiore is a sales development representative at Sendoso where he connects prospects with personalization + Sendoso. He believes sending creates more deals, more conversions, and more meetings.
Giano is available for SalesNav, email sequencing, or Sendoso help. Get creative with Giano and book time with his creative mind.