In 6 seconds, people decide whether they like you or not.
Given the statistic, it is no doubt that Tom Cruise’s strategy was an effective one – if he had not impressed Renée Zellweger at ‘Hello’, he probably would have never impressed her at all!
First impressions count- and all our personal and professional interactions count on it. In real life, we can work around this by presenting ourselves better, or by choosing our best jokes to impress new people we’re meeting. However, what do you do when you’re emailing somebody new?
What is a cold email? Simply put, cold emails are a natural successor of the cold calls of yore, and in an increasingly digital world, there are benefits of developing a cold mailing strategy for your business. Click To Tweet All you have to do is to learn how to cold email properly. Adopting a carefully planned strategy of execution, one where you can use cold emails as a powerful tool in your drip marketing strategy, and voila!
(If it was as easy as it sounds, I’d be out of business)
Rules of the Game- What you need to know about your cold email strategy
In 2017, 269 billion emails were sent every day- and 2017 was the peak year for Instagram, Snapchat, and countless other such apps. Email still dominates the communication industry, and as far as your marketing strategy is concerned, not an avenue you should be ignoring.
However, this does not mean that every single one of those emails was actually opened by the recipient. If you want to increase your chances of reaching out to your new potential client, you’re going to have to know the lay of the land. How can you do this?
Here are some of the things you need to know:
Ask yourself the key questions: who is your audience? Who are the people who tend to use your product/service/location? What group of people do you want to increase your reach among? What roles would the key decision makers be playing?
How much time do they have and when are they most likely to read your emails? Go through the research for your industry and determine what would be a good time to send the email, so that the response rate is higher. Ideally, the right time to send an email would during the person’s off hours- but when they are still active.
Is your email addressing the 4 key elements of ‘AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action’? Is this a relationship-building email to establish rapport or one to generate sales? Is this an email that has to be personalized, or one that can be sent out as a broadcast?
Types of Cold Marketing Emails that will have an impact
We’ve experimented with a number of different emailing templates, and given the range of industries that we have worked with, it’s no surprise there have been ups and downs. But our perseverance has certainly paid off- that’s how we managed to crack the code and achieve an open rate of 60% in our cold mailing strategy.
But our perseverance has certainly paid off- that’s how we managed to crack the code and achieve an open rate of 60% in our cold mailing strategy.
Just to put that into perspective, the industry-specific open-rate average is around 25%
We believe in the Cinderella principle when it comes to these templates: find the foot that fits the shoe! This would mean lots of personalization- but hey, when you do find the right foot, it’s definitely happily ever after.
What kind of cold call email can you use to create an impact and actually increase your open rate? Let’s take a look.
The First Look email
Here, you’re just introducing yourself to your prospective client. This is not an email with an intent to sell a product or yourself. This should be the first in your string of cold marketing emails. We know it can be very difficult to resist a small shout-out to your company or your services, but resist, you must.
How would a good first look email go?
This is a concise email that introduces yourself as a person, and what your organization does, with an open call to action the recipient can choose to take or ignore. It’s got great value if you’re trying to build business acquaintances, and can go a long way in personalizing your future relationship with the recipient as well.
Note: The tone of the email is informative, but it avoids a lot of awful mistakes you can make while writing an introductory email. It might seem intuitive to start an email with “Hi, I am <name> and I work for <organization>’ but that is a sure fire way of making sure that people immediately delete your email: the recipient already knows your name since they can look at the ‘From’ field, and mentioning where you work for is a shortcut to making the recipient feel like they’re being sold something.
The Personal Rapport Email
Networking is easier when done through people you already know- and you can apply the same for your cold mailing strategy. If you’re trying to reach out to contacts in the industry, and you know you have common connections, consider name dropping. (You should discuss this with your team, as there are some who feel name dropping in an email is in poor taste).
This email will definitely strengthen your credibility, and would make the recipient more likely to reply to your email as well.
But hey, that’s not the only way of establishing personal rapport through an email- after all, your network with your client might not only be through another person, it could be through a conference as well.
Another cheeky way of writing a personal rapport mail can be based on interests as well: you know your audience, and you know what they’d like (the Cavs just won, and you have a client base in Cleveland? You know how to build rapport with your customers in your next email!).
Writing an email to the hip and geeky crowd in the Valley? Just put in ‘One agency to rule them all’, like we did in one of our cold email marketing templates. Focus on where people’s interests lie: those are the kind of emails that work.
The ‘Only the Facts’ Mail
Data drives a lot of our business, and is a surefire way of grabbing attention as well. A data and fact driven email will not only grab your recipient’s attention, it will also cement your knowledge of the field, without making you look like a generic marketing agency.
This is a good follow-up email after the introductions have already been made. This email template will have to specialized for each industry, of course, which means you’ll definitely have to put in the effort to drum up those latest numbers.
Note: Notice how the phrase ‘Did you know’ didn’t turn up once in the email? The phrase ‘did you know’ does not fill the potential customers with intrigue- it just makes them feel like they’re watching an infomercial. Instead of mentioning a fact, and allowing the people to wonder why they should care about it, integrate the fact within the email, so it’s obvious why they should care!
The Sales email
This will be the most direct sales pitch you’ll make in your cold mails, and this is the one with the potential of reaching out to the largest number of people. Of course, you’ll have to personalize it to the industry/geography of the people that you’re going to be sending it to, but it won’t require as much personalization as the other emails on this list.
There are two approaches you can take for this one.
The hard sell
This is quite a direct strategy: one that can either get you a lot of conversions because of the direct and no-nonsense tone, or one that can definitely put people off. With these type of emails, your success would depend on your targeted audience, and at what time you manage to catch their attention.
The soft sell
Do you want to push your business, be clear about what you’re offering, without being too direct? The soft sell template might be for you.
The soft mail strategy is more natural (after all, when you meet a person for the first time, you don’t immediately start selling your product or service). However, keep in mind that a soft sale would be the start of a conversation- not a direct conversion to sale!
The Do’s and Don’ts
There’s no one template that you should use for your cold mailing strategy- we’ll be upfront about that. You’ll need to adapt to where you are in your business cycle, what your customers want and how the industry is changing, so you might have to adopt one or more of the above strategies.
Our advice? Play around with your strategy a little and see what gets your company the best results- for all you know, you might end up laying the groundwork for the most successful cold mailing strategy in your industry! But while you’re experimenting with your strategies, here are some operational instructions you should definitely follow, and some that you must avoid till your grave.
What you should definitely avoid
- Don’t presume the audience already knows you, and is already eager to engage with your service (this often results in short, extremely blunt emails that often start with ‘Hi, I’m with X company’). In an inbox that usually has about 200 unread emails usually, this is a surefire way to get ignored.
- Don’t do the opposite and wax eloquent about what you do and what you’re offering: you will definitely fail in the AIDA quotient by doing this.
- Don’t fill your email with marketing jargon and lingo. It might seem natural: after all, using the right jargon will make you look like the expert, right? Wrong. Throwing a lot of generic marketing terminology would make people tune out, without entirely enlightening your users about your organization and what it does.
- Don’t have the same cold mail marketing strategy for customers that you’re just building a relationship with currently, and those who you want to convert into sales. The call for action, and the amount of personalization required for either of these are different, and making a homogenized template for both might end up costing you dearly.
- Don’t expect to have a 100% open rate. No matter how good your strategy, your prospect list and your email content, this is still a strategy that seeks to reach out to the larger section of the populace- and this means that an open rate of 23% is actually the average.
What you should definitely do
- Do understand your prospects list, and change your email (including the cold emal subject line, the text, and the call to action) depending on the industry that you’re addressing. Working with startups in the Valley? Use the right terms. Trying to reach out to an older crowd? Change your call for action.
- Do personalize your starting lines. This does not just include starting the email with the person’s name: maybe you could reference their latest promotion, a successful sale, funding, or any big news to engage with them more. This can build a quid pro quo relationship- you’re treating your client as more than just a number, and in turn, they’ll treat you as more than a spam email!
- Do schedule your emails at the right time- if you send them an email when the client is most probably caught up in emails, or busy stuck in traffic, you’ll probably just get lost in the hundreds of other emails in their inbox, no matter how interesting your email is.
- Do keep in mind that you might have customers from different time zones: if you have a prominent business presence in some other time zone, it would be worth your time to set up an email strategy for that time-zone.
- Do track your email data: including bounce, open, and reply rates. You can compare these stats for the different strategies suggested above, and prove, with data, what strategy works best for you.
- Do customize the cold email subject line and headline: this is the best way to ensure that your message gets delivered within a second, even when a user is reading on a small screen.
- Do follow-up on your email. Having a single email template that performs well might not translate into sustained sales, as the customer might not be aware of how to further their relationship with you.
- Do give an easy way for people to contact you: put in a personal email ID, instead of a generic ‘info’ or ‘contact’ address, and if possible- even a photo! It makes it easier for people to care about the email when they can see that it is an actual person sending the emails, and not just a bot!
Tell us how we helped you in getting that perfect email for your business. Leave your comments below or email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.