You’ve heard of cold calling. You’ve heard of email marketing. So what is cold emailing? Really, it’s somewhere in the middle. A cold email is to a person who has not engaged with you or your company, but one who you may think would benefit from your services. Because the person you’re reaching out to has not opted in to your communication, there are a number of rules you need in place to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act (but that could be an entirely different blog post!). We’ll provide some initial pointers in this blog post (like always offering them an Unsubscribe option), but we’ll mainly be focusing on how to craft an effective cold email that generates results (i.e., a reply, and better yet, an interested reply).
Here are some tips to knock it out of the park when you add cold emails to your prospecting strategy.
Remember, these people owe you nothing, let alone their attention for longer than mere seconds. Keep your action item to a simple question (setting a time to speak in the near future, for example). If your email is too salesly, it can be flagged as spam. All you’re trying to do is start a conversation.
Along those lines, ever heard of the KISS acronym (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)? Don’t even bother to introduce yourself; They don’t care. Lead with some enticing information (not an offer of any kind… that triggers the big ol “NEXT!” in someone’s head), why it applies to them, and next steps. That’s it.
I say “as much as necessary” because our batting average here is going to be fairly low. To make this an effective tactic, we need to create strokes broad enough that your time is not wasted while crafting these emails. We all know personalization reaps benefits in the email marketing world, though, and this is no exception. Personalization also helps muffle the spam alarms. Reference something they recently shared on social media or an article in which they were included. That should do the trick.
What could impact the deliverability of your email? An attachment. If you practice good “email hygiene,” even if attachments from people you don’t know do come through to your inbox, you do not click on them (nor do you click on links within the email, for that matter). Many phishing attempts rely on this method, so best to avoid it altogether. Sorry, you’re just going to have to find a way to keep your message short and sweet without linking to any other information. We didn’t say it was going to be easy, but you have to play by the rules in order to stay in the game. Other things to keep in mind regarding deliverability: if your subject line or any text within your email are deemed too “salesly,” they’ll be flagged and your email will not be successfully delivered.
Have your LinkedIn profile primed and ready to present yourself in a good light. Chances are, even if someone is interested enough to email you back, they’ll do their own research on you first to make sure you seem legitimate. In this case, you want your online presence to do your selling for you. Have a great LinkedIn profile, have a professional-looking website, highlight press coverage to establish credibility, etc.
Don’t just email everyone and everything. Create numerous filters to filter in/out people who would likely receive value from your services vs. not. There are powerful tools out there that can do this for you, such as LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. If you’d like to set off on a cold emailing campaign, great, but how about spitting it up into numerous campaigns so your lists can be as specific as possible? The more specific your lists, the more specific your offering can be. Again, personalization is key.
If you do a good job of prospecting, chances are the thought “I am annoying” has popped into your head a time or two. And if you believe it, your potential clients certainly will. The key is to convince yourself that you really do have a great service you’re providing, and you sincerely want to help this person out. Perhaps they did not see that initial email or sent, or were too busy to even give it a second thought in the moment. In that case, the best thing to do is to follow up with the best of intentions. Follow-ups may feel annoying, but they’re an absolute necessity.
Chances are everyone these days has experienced a “hurry, hurry, WAIT!” situation in their life. It’s fairly common in the workplace, but simply cannot happen during your sales process. In other words, if you do actually get an interested response, respond back immediately. If you hesitate, you’re only lowering the likelihood of an already low success percentage. That seems obvious, but one surefire way to determine if you were “spammed” is to reply back and see how long it takes to get a response. Try it for fun.
Bearing all this in mind, consider if adding in cold emailing to your marketing strategy makes sense. Be sure to consider other marketing questions to ask when you are also considering your email strategy. The goal is to generate quick, inexpensive top-of-the-funnel leads and business relationships.