Using cold email as part of your outbound prospecting strategy can be tough and frustrating at times. The average response rate to cold email is around 1%, a statistic that isn't too encouraging, especially for those that are new to cold outreach.
Don’t let the statistics get you down or prevent you from using email as part of your cold outreach. You can beat the statistics and improve your response rate if you follow the master a simple framework behind great cold emails.
It’s really not that difficult to get your cold emails bringing in responses in the 20% to 30%...and even 40% brackets once you understand a few simple strategies.
Here are a few strategies and things to remember when it comes to using cold email as part of your outreach strategy to help you land more prospects.
Know Who You’re Speaking To and Speak to Only One Person
Cold email is about having a conversation with someone. You are essentially a stranger to the person you’re emailing. Anytime you communicate with someone, it helps to know as much as you can about them.
Typically people will look someone up on LinkedIn and review their LinkedIn profile learning about the person’s title, employer, college or university, and some of their likes and interests. That’s all great information however none of that really gives you anything to base a substantial conversation off of.
When researching a prospect you want to reach out to, a few common questions to ask and research about someone before you email them are:
- What stressors do they face in their current job?
- How is their company currently performing
- What job-related thoughts may keep this person up at night?
- What are some challenges in their industry?
I know you don’t want to, but you have to do your homework on the person you’re writing to. It’s the only way you can truly have something meaningful to say to someone.
At a minimum, before you send a cold email, you should have criteria set up of who you are emailing. You should know the title of their job, where they work and the location of their work, and an age range. Remember, minimum work gets you minimum results.
Beyond demographics, you need to understand the people you’re emailing. You want to know their pain points and the cause of these pain points. That way you can help them with whatever you’re selling.
A cold email is a targeted email for a specific person that you think your product or service can help. You need to address their problems and how you can help. You are the solution they are looking for because you know your target audience so well and your product or service has helped others like them.
Spam is more than annoying…it’s illegal!
Before you send out a single cold email to your target prospect, you need to make sure you understand exactly what is spam. (The following advice is guidance. For specific questions on spam consultant your legal adviser)
In general, if you are not misleading with your subject line, sending emails that provide value, and are sending personalized emails to a single person or a small group of people, you will not violate the spam laws and not get flagged by the recipient’s spam filters.
Another work of the wise, you should also consider what email service provider (ESP) you use when you send out cold emails. Your ESP can get you flagged as spam or could themselves flag you as spam. There’s quite a bit to choosing a reputable email service provider to deliver your emails.
You can find reviews of s a few email service providers in the Tools section at ColdEmailFAQs.com.
Send your emails with a genuine and interesting Subject Line
Subject lines are the deciding factor as to if someone will open and read your cold email. Of course it is, it's the first thing someone sees when you send them an email along with the sender’s name. That’s why having your subject line is crucial to increasing your open rates.
Your subject line should be direct, to the point, and never misleading. You want to avoid sounding spammy. An example of sounding spammy is writing something in all caps or including emojis.
A good subject line should encapsulate everything you are going to say in the email. Don’t try to get too cute or too funny with your subject lines. If you’re emailing to the B2B crowd, some know the culture of the industry. Some industries might be more open to a funny subject than others. Your subject line should also be short so it can read on a mobile device.
Another tip is to avoid being vague or sounding like click-bait. For example, you don't want a subject line that says, "Hey George, did you know..." rather you would say something, "George, have you thought about this solution?"
Now George is curious about the solution and how it's going to solve his problems.
No one wants to have an hour-long conversation with someone they don’t know…keep it brief
Just like the subject line, the email body should be direct and to the point. It's fine to compliment the person if they are well well-recognized and have garnered awards. But it's also good to be direct and get to the point of the email.
When a person opens a cold email, what immediately pops into their mind is who is this person and what do they want. Poorly written emails, click-bait headlines, and emails asking for someone’s time are a big turn-off.
The body of your email should have a short intro of who you are, perhaps compliment the person's work, and then focus on their problem and how you have a solution for their problem.
Be a real person and attempt to start a genuine conversation
I can’t stress enough that it's critical that your emails don’t come off like you wrote one single generic email and blasted that email to thousands of people. On the same hand, you don't want to send an email that is way too formal that it reads like you’re some kind of robot or artificial intelligence software. You want to sound human and genuine. Your aim is to show that you understand your recipient’s challenge(s) and are empathetic toward those challenges.
Writing a genuine email will keep you out of the spam folder but, what’s more important, is that a genuine email won’t waste your prospect’s time.
There are many strategies that you can use to write a genuine email. At a very bare minimum, you may want to compliment the work they've done or provide real-life examples of how you can emphasize the struggles they are facing, which is a perfect segue to the products or solutions you’re offering.
Key Strategies to Follow When Writing Your Cold Email
There are two specific strategies to follow when you write a cold email. The first is called PAS, which is Problem-Agitate-Solve. The second is AIDA, which is awareness, interest, desire, and action.
Problem-Agitate-Solve https://www.yesware.com/blog/cold-email/#close is a great tactic when you are communicating with B2B prospects.
You want to discuss the problem they are having, which is to identify the pain. Next, you want to agitate that pain point. That means you want to talk about how it would feel if that problem worsened or if they did nothing about that problem. Lastly, offer a solution that helps them fix this problem.
It's good to talk about the pain because it motivates the prospect to get rid of that pain. If you only talk about the benefits, the prospective may never know the pain they do have.
Awareness, interest, desire, and action is a similar strategy.
Awareness is about getting your prospects' attention immediately. You can achieve this with an eye-popping subject line and the first few words in your body content.
Next, your email talks about how what you are offering can help them. You can discuss pain points as well as benefits here.
Desire is about increasing their interest in your offer. Help them see what their life would be like without your offer. Mention how it makes would make their life worse.
Lastly, always have action. This is where you would have a call to action on your email. A call to action is vital if you want your prospects to take action and make a purchase, make a phone, or whatever the next step is.
Here’s an Example Cold Email Template
The best place to start is from a solid cold email template. A template is not meant to be used word-for-word but as a starting point and you personalize for your prospect from there.
Here’s a cold email template that can help you land prospects.
I just noticed the ACME Widgets quarterly revenue beat analyst’s expectations. Congrats to you and your team.
I read an article on the ManufacturingInsight.com blog, that said widget manufacturers are having difficulty keeping their equipment at capacity due to software bugs causing crashes.
Our company has helped other widget manufacturers reduce downtime be scanning their software for the most known and common bugs that cause crashes.
In fact, we've found thousands of bugs leading to code changes that help them increase capacity by an average of 24%.
If you’re in a capacity issue due to software bugs, let’s connect for 10 minutes next week and I’ll give you a demo of our software.
Would Thursday work on your end?
This email cuts directly to the point without spending too much time talking about what the person's achieved or what university they went to.
After you send this email, you should follow up 7-10 days later. Always follow up with an email reinforcing the challenge, other results you’ve gotten for similar clients, and if they still wanted to schedule a meeting.
You should follow-up at least five to six times. The follow-up is critical because sometimes the recipient didn't see your original in the first place or they simply got busy and your email was no longer top of mind.
Now Go Write a Great Cold Email and Hit Send
Cold email can be extremely successful for B2B prospects. But it takes work. There’s no silver bullet. There’s no one template fits all. It takes trial and error along with extremely strategic that makes it work over the long term.
One word to the wise…before you send your email to a potential prospect, send a preview email to yourself. How would you respond if someone sent you this email?
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Michael Alos is the Founder of truDemand.
With over 18 years of experience in sales enablement, CRM, Marketing Automation, and sales & marketing strategy, Michael works hard to ensure that when your sales & marketing teams interact with a prospect or customer, each and every one of them has the skills, knowledge, and tools required to be successful.