A client asked if using highlighting features – changing fonts, adding color, using bold – could be effective in getting a point across to a busy prospect.
The answer: Yes and No
No. Pattern disrupt – doing something unexpected – is smart. But using a red font when the prospect expected black isn’t pattern disrupt. It’s just distracting.
Yes. When you’re providing info that is important to the reader (from their perspective – not yours!), highlighting with italics is a great idea.
Determine what is most important to them and highlight it, if you need to. But don’t go crazy with multiple highlights.
No. Ask yourself if it’s possible to reword your message using more widely “acceptable” punctuation effects – indent, bullet, a bolded sub-head – to get your reader’s attention..
Yes. Be careful to highlight only info that is presented with positive words.
No. Highlight something negative and you run the risk of your reader focusing on and, literally, seeing only the negative.
No. Your demographic matters. So does your industry vertical and your product. Would a 5-star luxury hotel selling to an older demographic be on brand with color in their email? No!
Yes. Would a 5-star luxury hip hotel with a younger stylish customer base be on brand with color? (You see my point.)
Yes. Consider what you’re selling. Can a sports team add their team colors to the email? Of course! It’s fun like what they’re selling.
No. How about an AI company selling B2B to a conservative brand? Not so much.
No. Bolding?* Some people still see it as yelling. This will always be true if you bold a negative word because, well, you are actually yelling. 🙂
Yes. Emojis? (I presented three full days of sales training workshops this week and have been asked about emojis at every program.) It’s time. Use them. Emojis are today’s body language. One emoji can save two sentences of writing. Tone is so easily misunderstood and a simple emoji clears it all up.
No. Would I use an emoji if I’m an AE prospecting to a C-level on my first outreach? I wouldn’t. (I’d find other ways to add personality, humanity, personalization, excitement, care and relevance.)
Yes. Once I have a relationship, or even on my third outreach to the C-level, I certainly might. (After all, my more serious attempts didn’t work, so what do I have to Iose? 🙂 )
Will highlighting your points make it easier for your reader to feel connected to your message? Will it amplify how you want the reader to feel after reading your email? Will it make the next step easier for them?
Ultimately, if you feel a need to highlight, maybe your email is just too darn long and making it more concise, rather than more colorful, is the key.
PS *Bolding in a blog is different than bolding in an email. But I can see the irony of it anyway.
Before you go—
The whirlwind is behind us and the future is bright! With two-thirds of buyers preferring remote interactions – digital and virtual – polishing your email selling skills is key to dramatically improving sales.
It’s time to stop sending email after email only to be ignored! You can write quick, strategic, smart messages that get results and drive sales!