We recently showed you how cold calling can generate hot leads. But picking up the phone and calling a stranger isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, there’s another option: cold emailing.
The concept is the same. You’re reaching out to someone who doesn’t know you from Adam or Abby, hoping to establish a connection that will (eventually) lead them to your customer corral.
But cold emailing differs a bit from cold calling in the fact that it’s relatively one-sided. When you have a prospect on the phone, there’s a certain give and take. When you’re emailing someone, they and they alone get to decide whether they’ll open the email or trash it. Even if they do open it, they can choose not to act on it — and you don’t have the opportunity for a rebuttal.
There’s a different set of rules for cold emailing. Here they are:
Create a Great Subject Line
Less than a quarter of emails were opened in 2017; just more than 75% of them went straight to the trash. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200, do not get a new customer.
However, 64% of people who do open their email do it because the subject line grabbed their attention.
Generic isn’t going to work here. The more personalized the subject line, the better. “Check out this deal” isn’t going to fly. “Sabrina, we have a deal for you” is only marginally better. You have one chance — and one chance only — to get your target to click.
Add a hint of mystery to your subject line and appeal to your target’s natural curiosity. “Sabrina, have you heard the news?” can provide just enough mystique to get her to open the email. Or try humor. “Sabrina, it’s dark in here! Will you let me out?”
Really, the key is to try anything to distinguish your email from the thousands of other “You don’t know me, but buy my stuff” emails that most of us see every day.
Get Your Message Across Quickly
Congratulations! Sabrina has opened your email! And you’re now on the clock, attempting to get her attention before she decides you’re not worth her time.
Get to the point quickly. Make it very clear what you want her to do. Click on your website link? Call for more information? Set up a free trial? Don’t make poor Sabrina scroll past two dozen pictures and a giant wall of text before she finally figures out the point of it all. Five to six sentences should do it for an initial email — and if you can’t make your pitch in five to six sentences, go back to the drawing board!
Write Like You Speak
These days, we’re inundated with junk email, and most people can spot it a mile away. Ditch the marketing-ese — talk to your prospects in plain, simple English, just like you were sending a casual email to a friend.
You shouldn’t need a thesaurus to compose a cold email — or any email for that matter.
Incentivize a Reply
People are busy. Even if they’re interested in what you have to say, they might not be willing to take the time to do what you want them to do.
The trick? Bribe them. “Thanks so much for taking the time to consider this, Sabrina. Click here for your [/free sample/free eBook/free puppy].” When a prospect feels like they’re getting something (even if that “something” doesn’t cost you anything) for free, they’ll be more likely to open your email the next time you send one.
Just like with cold calling, your prospects aren’t always going to be receptive the first time. Unlike with cold calling, you don’t know whether they accidentally deleted the email, set it aside to be read later, or just aren’t interested. So try, try and try again — but never send the same email twice. Word each subsequent email differently and try different subject lines and incentives.
Important: Let your customers know how to stop receiving your emails and honor their requests. If you haven’t heard back after three or four attempts, cross them off your list — at this point, you’re wasting their time as well as your own!
When you send a cold email, you put all the power in your recipient’s hands. But when you send an amazing cold email, your recipient won’t be able to resist the pull of your awesome small business!
Next week, we’ll show you how to get results from cold mailings – but while you’re waiting, check out the rest of the Mischa Communications blog, and as always, reach out with any small business marketing questions or needs!