It’s a common problem in the business world: You want to reach out to someone, but you’ve never met him or her before—and you have no connections in common who can introduce you. So, you’re left with two options. One, giving up. Or two, sending a cold email and hoping it works.
Cold emails can leave people feeling, well, cold. But that’s because most people don’t know the tricks to get them read and responded to.
Want in on some of those tricks? Ok, you asked, we delivered.
Use Laser Targeting
Make sure that you send your email drip campaign to small batches of leads and that the leads are all similar to each other. For example, put all the VPs in one campaign, the managers in another.
How you phrase each email should depend on who you are writing to. Don’t cut corners and just send everyone the same email. Each interaction should be customized to that group of leads you are targeting.
Show Your Value
Do you know what does work? Providing value that is related to what you do and making your ask as specific as possible. The worst cold emails ask for a great deal without an explanation of what is being offered in return. Think about it: Would you help a stranger out who messaged you out of the blue saying, “Hey, give me a job?”
Instead, ensure your email explains what you do and how it’s related to what the recipient does. It helps if you fill in this blank before crafting your message: “In exchange for [X], I can offer you [Y].” While you don’t want to write it so robotically, you do want to make sure there is a Y.
Make Your Request Small
You should be upfront and honest about why you have sent the email, and make your request a small one, or something that would take very little effort for the recipient to comply with. No matter what some marketing gurus might say, very few strangers will be prepared to meet you for lunch or take time out of their busy day to book a long meeting with you just because you would like them to. I mean, would you?
So, instead of heading into a cold pitch with the biggest ask, you can think of, start small. What’s the bare minimum you need from this person? A short phone call to ask two or three very specific questions is almost always a better place to start than a one-hour coffee meeting.
Create a Great Subject Line
Remember that 80% of the success of a cold email is in the subject line. Yes, you may not know the person, but if the subject line is enticing enough, then you have a chance.
You can usually judge an email by its subject line. While a good one gets you excited to open that message, a bad one makes it easy to send it straight to the trash without a second thought.
When it comes to cold emails, go one of three ways with your subject line:
- Be flattering (“Inspired by Your Speech at Conference X”)
- Leverage connections (“Friend of Tom Brown’s Interested in Talking to You About Y”)
- Be specific (“Fellow Small Business Owner With a Quick Question About Z”)
- Whatever you do, though, don’t make subject lines an afterthought. Take the time to craft yours and make it good.
Keep it Short and Enthusiastic
Be direct, quick, and enthusiastic. Nobody wants their time wasted. Everyone wants as much info as possible. Nobody will respond to you if you don’t excite them. If you can keep it under six sentences, that’s good.
Don’t include too many links or images
If your cold email has links and images in it, it will most likely be flagged as spam. So don’t attach any images or videos and minimize the number of links that you include in your emails.
Interact on more than one medium
This tip can really help you increase your open rates. Message the recipient using a different medium – their LinkedIn profile, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Then reference that message in the subject line – “Hey X, I just messaged you on LinkedIn” or “Replying to your LinkedIn Message”
If you interact with the lead on more than one platform, your open rates will increase dramatically.
Mention the pain point
People rarely take any actions if they don’t have to. So it’s really important to mention the exact problem that your product or service is solving. Your leads will are more likely to open an email if you phrase it as a question “Struggling to 10x your product/service?”. Customize it to their specific niche, and you got yourself a winning formula.
On the flip side, you should also mention the exact benefit of your product with a really impressive statistic. For example, I would open an email that said this: “How we made $100k in 30 days from lead generation” any time of day.
Perfect the customization
Take the time to research each of your cold email leads and write one sentence about something that you liked. This could be a recent project they did, an article that you read on their blog or something personal they posted on Facebook.
Put that customization into a spreadsheet and upload it to your cold email tool. That way, it will automatically go into each email, and you will be all set.
Upgrade your signature
Never leave your signature empty or boring. Spice it up. Add a link to a video showing your service or product or a recent success you’ve had. Post a link to one of your social media posts that was particularly successful.
Make it easy to respond
You need to tell your prospect what to do when they read your email and make it really simple for them to connect. For example, if you are sending them a study, you could say “just hit yes, and I will send you the full study”.
Or if your goal is to schedule a demo with them, then say something like this “how about a call this Wednesday at noon”? It’s so much easier for a prospect to answer a yes or no question, or even a counter with a different time that day then to go back into their calendar and start from scratch.
Put their name in the subject line
According to a report by Adestra, putting the prospect’s name in the subject line can increase your open rate by 22%. Combine that with the personalization inside the email as well, and you will get better click-throughs and conversions.
Put emojis in the subject line
You might think that emojis are cute, but they can be used for a very specific purpose in your cold email campaign. Emojis attract the eye and stand out from all the other emails that people normally get (I guess the world hasn’t caught up quite yet). So when you include an emoji in the subject line, it will stand out in the recipient’s email box and will get you another open!
Add 5-6 follow-up emails
The magic of cold email campaigns is in the follow-up. You can literally 2-3X your open rate and response rates by sending 5-6 follow up emails to your first cold email. Space them out to 3-5 days each and make the last one on the humorous side.
Here’s my favorite one we use for the end of our cold email campaigns:
My guess is that you haven’t replied yet for one of three reasons:
- You don’t see a fit
- You are busy X [something related to your business]
- You are secretly a superhero and have been too busy fighting crime to reply
If any of these are correct, then they may be the exact reason why we should talk now…
Send the email at the right time
Most people don’t think about this but sending emails at an optimal is critical. If you are targeting busy executives, by the time noon hits their inboxes already fill up, so you schedule your email to come to them first thing in the morning, when they get into the office.
The optimal time may vary depending on your industry and the type of leads that you are targeting, but there are some general rules. In a study by Mailchimp, they found out that the optimal time to send emails was 10 am in that person’s time zone.
The day you choose is important as well. The Mailchimp study found Thursday to be optimal, but again, this will depend upon the industry that you are targeting.
Use a branded email address
Don’t use your personal address or some generic yahoo email you created a few minutes ago. Make sure that you use a branded email address so that the recipient doesn’t wonder if it’s spam and doesn’t doubt your authenticity.