Do’s and Don’ts of Cold Emailing for Better Response Rates
Cold emailing remains one of the most-used tactics to turn prospects into customers. That being said, it can be quite tricky, though. After all, not everyone feels familiar with receiving sudden emails from someone they don’t even know and have connections with.
That’s what makes some cold emails fail to have a good open rate – let alone a better response rate. The sweat, blood, and tears you’ve to spend in collecting high-quality email addresses and crafting the email copy are gone to waste.
However, if you know how cold emails are supposed to work, they can work incredibly well for your business. It’s an ideal strategy to engage your leads and boost your conversion rates.
Now, the question is: ‘how to create cold emails that convert?’
In this post, we’ll break down some best practices and common mistakes to avoid in crafting and sending cold emails.
Let’s dive in!
Do’s: Best Practices for Cold Emailing
With the right technique, cold emails make it easier for you to achieve success in your email marketing strategy or overall business strategy in general.
To help you with that, here are some basic-to-advanced tips you can use to improve your cold emailing:
#1. Understand Your Prospects
First thing first, you need to make sure that you understand your prospects – those people you send the cold email to. It’s always better to research their demographics, the things that interested them, their values, and more.
Once you understand your prospects, it would be much easier for you to tailor your message and make it relevant to them. A relevant and thought-provoking message will most likely increase response rates.
Therefore, it’s crucial to collect relevant emails that align with your industry and niche. This way, you can target prospects that really care about the products or services you offer to them.
#2. Use the Right Tone
By understanding your prospects, you can also choose which tone you can use to talk with them. If your prospects are younger generations, you can use a casual and friendly tone – just like the tone you use when you talk to your friends.
However, if your prospects are mostly older and professionals, it’s better to add a bit of formality but still sound conversational.
The key here is to write as you talk to your prospects. You don’t need to write like a pro to sound smarter or more professional. All you need to do here is to be respectful while at the same time keep it conversational too.
Also, you might read your email out loud before you send it. It helps you make sure that all sentences make sense and sound appropriate.
#3. Customize and Personalize
Your prospects like it when they receive emails that specifically-crafted for them and speak directly to them. Who wants to read broadcast emails that seem so impersonal, anyway?
A high personalized email can easily grab prospects’ attention faster and tempt them to read your cold emails all the way through. You can try by starting your cold emails with friendly greetings that include their names so the prospect can feel like you’re sending a one-to-one email.
While it can be such a daunting task, you can utilize tools to help you with email customization and personalization like SalesBlink.
#4. Be Quick and Straightforward
Long-winded, rambling cold emails suck.
Remember, your prospects are busy. Not to mention they also receive tons of emails on their inboxes every single day. They don’t have all day to read through emails for a complete stranger.
In this situation, it’s more than crucial to send them a cold email that is concise and straight to the point. It will surely help your emails not to end up in the trash folder.
Since cold emails arrive in a prospect’s inbox unexpectedly, make it clear what it’s all about. Use your first few lines to state your purpose clearly; the earlier, the better.
#5. Offer a Solution to a Problem
Your prospects only take action when they feel like they have to. In other words, if something isn’t really worth doing or trying, they don’t even bother to perform the desired action.
In this case, you need to offer them an end-to-end solution to the problem they’re currently facing using your product or service. You can highlight their pain points in the first place and how your products or services can help them overcome them, making their lives any easier.
One thing to bear in mind is that it’s important to tell your customers what they’re actually getting from using your products or service and avoid making big claims that don’t even make sense.
#6. Include a Clear Call-to-action (CTA)
CTA is one of the most overlooked elements of cold emailing. In fact, this magic ‘button’ can guide your prospects to the next steps. A great call-to-action can make your prospects complete that desired action.
More often than not, CTA is best placed as a closing to your cold email – right after you talk briefly about your purpose and value proposition.
Here, you also make sure that the CTA you include matches the context or offer. Also, your CTA should be as detailed as possible.
Look at these two CTAs:
- CTA 1: Are you available for a call?
- CTA 2: Are you available for a 15 mins call on Feb 12 at 2 PM EDT?
Which one are you more likely to respond to? The second one, it is. It removes friction and sets the stage, making it easier for the prospects to understand your offer and tempt them to respond to your cold emails.
#7. Add Signature
Email signature acts as your electronic business card. Since you’re a stranger to your prospects, you need to let them know who you are and what you do in your business.
A very basic email signature should include name, title, company name, website address, or social media profiles. Here’s an example:
Ignoring your email signature means that you’re reducing your credibility. It also makes you sound so amateur and unprofessional. Meanwhile, including it gives your recipients more options to contact your organization and get to know your business a bit more by exploring your information.
Don’ts: Cold Emailing Common Mistakes to Avoid
Now that you understand some best practices in crafting and sending cold emails that convert, now it’s time to break down some common mistakes that most email marketers make.
#1. Sound Like a Template
Crafting stunning cold email copies is indeed isn’t a walk in the park. But, it doesn’t mean you have to rely heavily on templates and send generic messages with a big blast.
Using templates can save your time and energy. We can agree with that. But, simply copy and paste email templates make you sound like a robot.
Not to mention that many marketers out there use the same templates as you; making your cold emails sounds too generic and stand no chance to stand out.
If you decide to use a template for cold emailing, make sure you tweak and tailor them to make it sound as if you wrote it. Adjust the language, tone, and context.
#2. Make It All About Yourself
Here’s a harsh truth: prospects don’t actually care about what you offer to them. They only care how it will benefit them in some ways.
They don’t know anything about you, so when they don’t see any value in you contacting them, they’ll just ignore your emails, letting it rot on their inboxes if not throw it away to the trash folder.
So, you need to make your cold emails all about the prospects. Avoid bragging about how great your products or even company is. Start talking about how your products or services can be such an answer your prospects are looking for.
#3. Write Heavy-Text, Bulky Paragraphs
When you write cold email copies, it’s better to have more white spaces. It makes your copies much easier on the eyes, helping the prospects to read them seamlessly.
You can leverage visual content like images, GIFs, or explainer videos to help you illustrate your points. Those such content will help you deliver messages in a way that plain text-based content can’t afford, so you don’t have bulky paragraphs to get your message across effectively.
However, you have to bear in mind that you also have to balance visual content with text content. If your cold emails are heavy on images and low on text, they are more likely to end up in spam folders.
#4. Talk About Several Topics on One Email
Only talk about one topic at a time. It makes prospects understand what you’re contacting them for and what they should do as a response.
If you send a single cold email to talk about several topics, it’s just too much to ask for your prospects since you’ve never had any connection before. It makes them overwhelmed and bored.
A clear short message with one single purpose is key to the heart of your prospects. If they can grasp what you ask them in minutes, it should be no problem for them to reply or respond to your cold email.
Talking about a single topic in one single email can also help you to convey the whole context in the subject line and craft an engaging CTA.
#5. Bombard Prospects With Lots of Follow-Ups
You must understand that not everyone feels comfortable when they receive an email from someone random who offers their products or services. That’s why you might need to create follow-up emails to stay in touch with them, giving them chances to establish a better connection with you.
However, you can’t be too pushy, especially in new relationships. Therefore, you need to strike the right balance. Never bombard your prospects with follow-up emails. Not only does it annoy them, but it also makes you look like a rude person.
Use follow-ups only for a reminder whether or not a prospect still valued this offer or relationship-building.
#6. No Proofread
After you finish writing your cold email copies, don’t forget to check the grammar and spelling. It might sound so basic, but not all marketers pay closer attention to this one.
Typos, grammar errors, and misspelled words are such a bad way to begin a connection. In other words, it’s definitely not a positive first impression to make on your prospects. Those clumsy and might-seem-so-little writing mistakes imply that you’re not serious about your emails.
Try to proofread your email copies before you send them to your prospects. Read it twice or three times at least, ensuring that all words you wrote make sense and are digestible. This is an example of a poorly-written cold email:
To help you with this, you can use writing tools like Grammarly, Hemmingway, and more. Not only do they help you to check your grammar and spelling, but they also give you suggestions on how to improve your email copywriting.
#7. Include Attachments
Attachments might seem like a smart idea to give your prospects more detailed information. But, it would be an unwelcome chore for your prospects as they most likely want your email to be as quick and as straightforward as possible.
Not to mention that including an attachment higher your cold emails to end up in spam folders. It’s also possible that your prospects decide not to open attachments as an extra precaution against malware attacks.
As an alternative to attachments, you can include a link to specific pages where your prospects can find additional information about your products and services.
Cold emailing can either make or break your business. Getting them wrong can reduce your business’s credibility and trustworthiness. Meanwhile, if you nail it, it’s a powerful strategy to establish a solid relationship with prospects that can lead to a boosted conversation rate.
Those cold emailing do’s, and don’ts above can be a precursor to a long-lasting business relationship. Now you should have no problem in creating a kickass cold email your prospects couldn’t resist responding – of course, in a good way.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).