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There’s something fundamentally powerful about an email that no other medium can match.
For one, you have your subscriber’s undivided attention inside their inbox. No ads, funny memes, or competing products to worry about.
Email also offers a quiet cadence and consistency in messaging. Subscribers know what to expect and when.
These reasons are perhaps why email’s popularity goes on to climb despite the competing options cropping up around it.
But, cold emailing is easier said than done. Remember, your subscribers are getting dozens of emails every single day. Some of them are actually well-thought-out.
So, here are eight expert tips to help you land your cold emails in style.
#1 Create Follow-Up Sequences
For the most part, marketing is concerned with hitting as many prospects as possible. A lot of $$ is spent driving those leads to a database.
But, that’s by no means the whole picture. Did you know that the average cold email response rate is 22%? And, that’s if you do your part properly. Cold emailing is easily the hardest form of email marketing there is.
There’s a caveat in that piece of statistical trivia, though. It’s only for one-time sends. In fact, it takes 3-4 follow-ups to get a response from a prospect.
First off, you will want to discover how well you have historically performed. Ideally, the data in your email marketing software should suffice. Programs like Mailchimp have very robust reporting features.
But, you can also use a workflow analysis software for deeper insights. Unlike email suites, these tools can help you discover bottlenecks in your company’s processes, and request company resources, too.
Now, go through the emails that got a response. Are there any commonalities between them? Did you ask specific questions? Did you use a template? If so then, it will make the perfect foundation for your follow-ups.
Your follow-ups need to be short and succinct. If you made a specific point to your recipient, then repeat it. Again, don’t overdo it. If a recipient doesn’t respond after four follow-ups, then it’s safe to say they are not interested.
Here are 16 follow up templates to get some ideas from:
#2 Test Different Send Times
The perfect newsletter send time is a hotly debated topic in marketing circles. And, it doesn’t have a good answer yet for a simple reason — there is no perfect send time. It all depends on your market niche and consumer behavior.
Truth is that your subscribers have their own preferences.
Some will check their mail as soon as they get it. Others may wait till their lunch break and clear their inbox in one sweep. Finally, there are those who wait until they are back from work.
The only thing you can do is find the best average time when you’re likely to get the most open rates and stick with it.
Even so, there is some evidence you can work off. For example, a study of 4 billion messages by Optinmonster found no difference in open rates during the weekdays.
The study does show that it’s best to avoid the weekends though.
According to Brian Greenberg of True Blue, “Sending emails at the right time heavily depends on your niche and customer base. I recommend utilizing an A/B testing tool and splitting your list into segments. Test 3 different times in a single week, for multiple weeks straight to understand which times perform best with your list.”
Something to keep in mind — Your prospects will be busy regardless of the time you send your email. Consider using an online calendar to help them choose a time for a call. It helps speed things up without needlessly bouncing several emails.
#3 Plan for the Holidays
Of course, sales shoot up during the holidays, that’s (kind of) well known. But, what’s not known so well is the importance of email marketing during this time of the year.
A study by CommonThreadCo on e-commerce holiday marketing found that November and December are responsible for 56% of an email’s annual revenue. Surprisingly, customers who opened an email before the holidays made up 89% of all Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
In other words, better holiday engagement needs prior work.
But, there’s a catch here too. People may expect emails from subscriptions, not from people they don’t know.
Here, it would be best if you make yourself seem like a natural fit into your prospects next year plans.
Try and find what they may be working on. Social media and networking can prove valuable here.
#4 Add Some Humor to Your Emails
I get it. You want to look like you know your stuff. You want to seem professional. But, since when did being professional become synonymous with boring and stuck-up?
I’ll go as far as saying that there’s a great opportunity here. Why? Because everyone’s trying to look as professional and “I mean business” as possible.
Which means you can steal the show by adding a bit of personality to your emails. Humor can increase response rates by twice as much. That’s not surprising, everyone likes to laugh and smile.
There’s a way to use humor in email marketing. It’s best not to shove something funny in every email you send.
Rather, you should look for opportunities. For example, here’s a great cold email that hits all the right notes:
#5 Don’t Just Focus on Your End-Customers
There are two ways you can go about building an email list.
The first is the old fashioned way. Create a website, drive traffic to it. And, slowly build a list over time as leads trickle in.
But, there’s a smarter way to do the same as well. You can partner up with an experienced reseller and promote your products to their list of subscribers.
Also known as affiliate marketing, the second strategy helps you get a better bang for your buck.
But, good resellers are hard to find and even harder to convince. Chances are that many of your competitors are after them.
So, a simple email sequence won’t suffice. You will need a marketing program to help them see your value.
Start by creating a landing page specifically for resellers. Check out this landing page from Joy Organics.
The page offers all the information that a reseller will need to decide if they want to opt-in.
Next, specific email sequences can be created to pair resellers with the right products. For example, if a reseller is primarily selling dog treats, then they may be directed to this page.
If you are selling direct to consumer or B2B, send users to a curated, sorted landing page like WFHAdvisor:
The name of the game is: deliver what users are expecting, forcing less clicks and more conversions.
#7 Learn to Deal With Negative Responses
No one likes unsolicited messages. So, no matter how well you personalize your messages you will end up with some backlash. That’s just a cold email eventuality.
But, a negative response to positive actions on your part is no excuse to lose your cool.
While a happy customer may stay contently silent, an unhappy one will plaster his/her views all over the internet. You don’t want to add fire to that.
So, when you do end up with that $%#@# of an email in your inbox, here’s what you need to do:
Apologize: There’s no other way to put it. You sent an unwelcome email to someone after all.
Take them off the list: The last thing you want to do is send another email. Unfortunately, too many times a name is not removed from a list and hell ensues.
Learn from the experience: Was there something specific in your message that annoyed the recipient? If so, then consider taking it out.
And finally, just learn to live with it. If you’re using cold emailing to build your business, then angry emails will be a common sight in your inbox.
#8 Don’t Forget Social Media
One of the foremost reasons why traditional cold emailing fails is because companies go straight for the pitch.
This is where social media offers the perfect pitching opportunity. You don’t have to be formal, or even make a pitch to get a conversation started.
Cold emailing on social media is fundamentally different from pitching through email. People log on to their social media to catch up with friends and be informal. A solicitation will be treated with hostility.
Instead, try to use social media to get to know your prospects a little better, focusing on organic growth. Follow their posts and interact with them. Share your own views and see if they respond.
Be willing to offer free help wherever you can. Message your prospect on any free promotions your company is running through the social media’s messaging service.
Here’s a great strategy on how to message prospects on LinkedIn. It’s for recruiters but, it can be modified to suit any role with a bit of work.
Always remember — never make a direct pitch on social media. The recipient will think of you as a spammer and remove you from their connections.
Cold emailing is often (unfortunately) called spamming by marketers and business people alike. Done properly, it’s anything but.
The reason why cold emailing doesn’t work is simple. People plug a template into an automatic emailing software with some personalization tags and expect awesome results.
When they don’t get the responses they were looking for, they simply mail more people in the hopes of hitting their quota. And that’s how they end up spamming instead of cold emailing.
Proper cold emailing requires understanding the prospect first. You should only send an email if you know your product/service will add value to their enterprise.
If you’ve had success with cold emailing, feel free to drop your views in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.