Cold email is a complex topic to master, but if used correctly, it can be the most cost-effective marketing channel for your business.
At LearnEmail.com, we have experts who have sent millions of emails and know what it takes to get a high response rate when it comes to cold email marketing.
This blog post highlights the 6 most important steps to writing cold emails that get responses.
We will also teach you:
So let’s begin and take a closer look at what cold emailing is and how to really approach potential clients.
Cold email outreach is a great way to start a conversation with your ideal clients. Conversations lead to relationships and relationships lead to revenue.
To get a better understanding of cold email, let’s think of relationships in the real world. People will more likely interact with someone they are familiar with. By offering your potential client value rather than trying to sell right away, you’ll build a lasting relationship with your prospect’s business.
Let’s imagine your salesperson walks into a building to meet a potential client. Your plan is to grasp your prospect’s attention with a free demo.
Now, that’s a step in the right direction, but when presenting the free demo, there are some things to keep in mind.
The goal of your visit should not be to talk solely about your services or your product.
Instead, your sales rep should focus on your customers and solving their biggest pain point. You need to have a high level of understanding of your customer’s problems and offer solutions through your products or services.
Cold outreach also follows the same ideals. Cold emailing campaigns are used to reach potential clients who know little to nothing about your company. Since this is the first time they are hearing from you, we call them cold leads.
When you write a cold email, your goal is to build trust. Although your email reached your prospect’s inbox, the people you are emailing don’t know or care about who you are.
They only care to discuss ways how you can help them solve their issues. You can turn cold leads into warm leads by providing value, building trust, and educating your potential client about solutions.
Cold emailing has continued to grow in popularity since it was first adopted in sales. In the beginning, cold emails were just a simple pitch in an email to gain a new client. Typically, it was just one generic, non-customized email sent to numerous businesses without any personalization.
Since sending cold email campaigns was new and fresh, not many people used it for business. Thus, performance was at an all-time high, leading to mass adoption of this approach to generating leads.
These “copy and paste” types of messages flooded people’s inboxes, making the method less effective as more people began cold emailing with offers and even scams. People became tired and overwhelmed by cold emails and started ignoring them or marking them as spam.
The best approach to a cold email strategy has now evolved into a more complex process. Messaging with an aggressive sales strategy usually fails and one-off sales emails do not succeed either.
So what’s the new approach to successful cold email campaigns? It’s about building a relationship with intent.
Finding the right person to contact is key to a successful cold email campaign. The more you learn about your ideal clients, the easier it will be to win them over with cold emails. Your emails should be tailored to their particular niche and what you can do for them in a friendly manner. This is the best method to avoid their spam filter sending your message to the spam folder.
Cold emails should be focused on your recipient or their company. Do not waste your time sending details about your product or service.
Put yourself in their shoes. What challenges are they facing in their business and how can you personalize your solution to fit their needs?
Don’t jump too quickly into the sale! Build a relationship based on trust. Once you’ve proven how you can help their daily struggles, introduce your product or service as a solution.
Cold emails should be short, and by that I mean 2-5 sentences of no more than 200 words in total. Data suggests that 50-125 words are the optimal number.
That’s all you need to spark someone’s interest and start a conversation.
Hardly anyone would read a long email from a stranger, and yet many people still send lengthy pitches, describing their company and product or service. That’s not the way to go.
Be respectful of your prospects’ time. Keep it short.
Let’s get down to business, below are the 6 main steps on how to write the perfect cold email campaign.
It may come to you as a surprise that editing the “From” line is featured as a separate step here. We usually set it up for a new email address, and after this, we don’t pay much attention to it.
Even so, the “From” line is a great starting point to writing successful cold emails. It is just as crucial in cold emails as the body. It shows the message recipients who exactly sent the email, affecting their first impression of you and your business. It can mean the difference between your client opening the message and reading it or marking it as spam and forgetting it.
Because we are new to them, your email recipients will most likely be suspicious of your first cold email campaign. One of the first things they notice when they look at your email is the “From” line. You can either earn their trust or scare them off with that part of your message header. They may even delete our email without opening it first if the first impression is not right.
For that reason, it’s a good idea to review what’s in your “From” line before sending a new cold email campaign.
The “From” line is not set in stone. You can edit it anytime you want. You can mix and match the form of our “From” line every time you send a new email campaign, choosing a different persona each time.
You can edit your “From” line in your email account settings.
There are 5 possible forms of a “From” line:
The right “from” line for your cold outreach campaign depends on the context of your message aThe right “From” line for your cold outreach campaign depends on the context of your message, your target audience, and the goal you want to accomplish with your email: be it marketing cooperation, influencer outreach, or a possible sales deal.
There are a few guidelines when it comes to determining the best “From” line for your cold email campaign and fits within the framework of your email.
Rules to follow while editing a “From” line:
That’s just a couple of rules. They may give you more clarity on what to write.
Your cold email subject line is your one chance to pique your prospect’s attention. Think of it as the key that unlocks the door to your message. Your readers form their first impression of you while reading the subject line.
A poorly written subject line can make your ideal customer biased against your email. They might decide not to open the email, or worse, manually mark it as SPAM. That may cause problems with your sender reputation, email deliverability, and can influence a spam filter to send your future emails to the spam folder.
We can avoid such situations as long as we stick to these rules:
An interesting thing we’ve noticed is that great subject lines follow three “need” patterns.
They either refer to a prospect’s:
Touching on what prospects care about the most, plus personalization is what makes these subject lines so successful.
We recommend you A/B test your subject lines to find out which one brings the highest open rate.
Right after you persuade your prospects to open your email with your killer subject line, you’re halfway through. Now you’ve got 3 seconds to catch their attention and make them read further than the first two lines. That’s why we need an intriguing introduction.
A cold email introduction shouldn’t be longer than 2-3 sentences. It’s not supposed to introduce you or your company to the prospect. Instead, it should focus on the message receiver, their expertise, achievements, work, and their company. A personalized greeting catches their attention.
A hint of flattery may be the way to go. But don’t overdo it. Enlisting all of their recent activity is a step too far.
Don’t be a stalker either. Don’t look for info about their family. Stay in the professional field.
You should use those few short sentences in your cold email introduction to ask about their problems. Or better yet, offer a solution to the largest or most-frequent problems you notice within their niche industry.
Above all else, treat the introduction as an opportunity to show your prospects that they received the message because you meticulously chose to contact the right person. You’ve done your homework. You didn’t just decide to reach out to them on a whim. You were deliberate about it.
If somehow, the person is no longer working there, or that person is not a decision-maker on the matter, ask the email receiver to kindly refer you to the appropriate person to contact.
To get replies, cold emailing campaigns have to be powerful, short, and intriguing. Each message should have a clear objective to get a reply and qualify whether the prospect company is a good fit for your product or service.
Here comes the part where you tell the message recipient what you want from them, or in other words, your pitch.
So how do you write a good cold pitch?
We know that our sales process should have a ready-made formula at hand that we use whenever we talk about the product or service we offer. It should be spiced up with benefits so that a potential buyer has a clear idea of what it is that you sell. However, that’s not the best approach when we write a cold email.
In a B2B sales outreach, we have to be subtle with our pitch. We don’t write it to close one more sale. We write it to start a unique business relationship with a potential buyer. And that calls for a personal approach.
When we write a standard pitch in unsolicited emails, the only type of response we’ll evoke in our cold prospects’ minds is “Good for you.”
In other words, it will leave them cold. Just as we’ve found them. They won’t care. Why would they care about some stranger and their business?
Instead, try putting your prospects in the center of your pitch. Provide as much value as you can. Find out what problems they may face that you can help them with. Use storytelling to show them how you might relieve them of those problems. Prove to them that you’re here to help and learn.
Don’t enumerate product features. Stop yourself from writing about the value you offer. Highlight the benefit your prospect may gain from it. Remember to be specific. Benefits that are too vague will dilute your message.
Another thing is that a pitch should be seamlessly linked to the previous part of your email. It should seem just like a natural continuation of an ordinary conversation. By all means, avoid making it forced and salesy.
You’re almost done. You just need to write a call to action (CTA) that will persuade your prospects to do what you ultimately want them to do with your cold email. It may be scheduling a Skype conversation, giving you feedback, replying to you, etc. Anything you’re ready to take care of. Any action you ultimately want them to perform. Keep it simple and straightforward.
To make sure your recipients will take action, your cold emails’ CTA should:
Check out the awesome post on how to write a persuasive CTA.
When you write a cold email, don’t ask for too much – requesting a simple action or a quick response may probably work better than an invitation for a 30-minute call. Start small. Even if you are eventually going to invite your prospects for a meeting, perhaps the first email they will ever get from you is not the place to do that.
And last but not least, the often and widely ignored signature. The signature is a fully-fledged part of your cold email templates and you cannot ignore it. It should tell your recipients who you are and where they can find more information about you and your company.
A well-constructed signature can help you shorten the email body and make the message more digestible and recipient-centered.
Even a perfectly written cold email may not be enough to hook your prospects on the first try. Sometimes they may miss your email or forget to reply to you. Or simply they won’t feel interested enough to set up a call with you. Don’t worry, though, this is a totally normal thing. That’s why you should always follow-up after not getting a response.
Follow-up emails are a must for your cold email strategy. Having just one follow-up email is okay, but the most optional number is two or three. Do not treat follow-up emails like reminders that you’re waiting for your prospect’s response. Smuggle some extra value in them: link to an interesting case study, relevant blog post, or invite your prospects to an upcoming webinar.
Cold email campaigns have given email marketing experts an alternative to traditional phone calls.
Short, highly-personalized cold emails that are dedicated to a specific audience are a great way to start some new business relations and get more new hot leads for your company. And if you add a sequence of automated follow-ups, you’ll get a pretty powerful lead generation machine for your business development efforts.
Just make sure your outreach campaign follows these most important rules:
Hope our tips help you write cold emails that reach your prospect’s inbox. Good luck!