Cold Emails That Generate Business
Five Pitfalls to Avoid
Writing cold emails versus writing a casual email to a friend or colleague is a totally different ballgame, unless you’re always trying to convince someone to do something you want.
There is 1 goal in mind when sending out cold emails, you are trying to generate leads for your business. Let’s take a look at what you want to avoid with your cold emails…
Here's What you want to avoid
Lack Of Personalization
It actually goes both ways though… you have to have some personalization, but not so much that you come across as creepy. We’ve found that personalizing the email in 3-4 spots yields the best results; an absolute must is to have personalization in either the subject or opening line, beyond that – be creative!
Split testing emails with & without personalization we found that open rates rise by 29%, and click through rates rise by 18%!
Messages Are Too Long
We’re all busy these days, and to top it off – we’re already flooded with too many emails each day… Messages that are long have a small chance of being read.
Don’t hit your prospects with a wall of text; be crisp, concise, to the point.
Failure To Grab Attention
You only have 7 seconds to grab the prospect’s attention and make a positive first impression… don’t waste it with meaningless bullshit, or boring email copy that doesn’t engage your reader.
Pushing More Than 1 Objective
When writing your email, stick to only 1 objective per that specific email.
It can be difficult to nail down your entire offering with only 1 objective, no need to worry though… you’ll have plenty of follow up emails to portray other values offered through your product or service.
Having Multiple CTA’s
It’s pretty simple, stick to one call to action (CTA) per email.
Don’t ask your reader to check out your latest blog article, look at some case studies, and ask for a time to schedule a call…
This will confuse the reader on what you want them to do. Whatever you’re asking them to do, keep it simple and stick to only 1 ask (CTA) per email.
General Approach To Writing Cold Emails
Put a Plan in Place
Cold emails don’t have to be super complicated, unless you make it out to be…
If you’re going to be successful in generating leads via email marketing, you need to clearly portray the benefits of your offering to your prospects… thus meaning you must first be crystal clear on what you’re offering.
I’ve found it best to start by writing down every benefit my product/service has to offer.
Example – benefits of B2B Data Guy managing campaigns for clients:
- Ability to reach new prospects
- Integrated database available to users
- Reach your perfect audience
- No wasted time/money with an unqualified audience
- 1/5th the cost of traditional lead generation
- Easy to use for everyone
- Real-time analytics to see what is working
- Personal connection to campaign manager + top tier support
- Retargeting & warmup options for prospects, export of opens/clicks available for sales team follow up
Now that I have an understanding of all the benefits my offering provides, I’m able to clearly portray the benefits to my prospects…
Starting with An Outline
Since you’ve already outlined the benefits that you provide, now is the time to figure out how to portray those benefits, and ask the prospect to continue the conversation.
The best thing to do if you’re new(er) to the email marketing field is to use templates. We’ll touch on that shortly, but first let’s go over one important thing you need to keep in mind…
Keep this in mind:
Before you start concocting your email, you need to know what you’re going to be asking for. I hope you’re not asking for an immediate sale, because that is quite unlikely… your prospects don’t even know you or your offering yet!
Think of it as a first date, you might hold hands or go in for a kiss after a bit of conversation… but you’re not asking to get married that first night! Just like a first date, your first cold email should set ground for a long, mutually beneficial relationship.
Once you’ve started a conversation with the prospect, then you can work on closing the deal. But, first things first, you need to start that conversation. Let’s look at some templates that are tried and true for cold email marketing…
Proven Templates That Convert
ATTENTION – INTEREST – DESIRE – ACTION
This is a copywriting classic that has been around since before any of us were born. It involves four easy to follow steps:
- Attention: Quickly grab your prospects attention
- Interest: Tell the prospect why you think your offering will be of interest to them
- Desire: Let them know what they are missing out on, demand their desire
- Action: Show them an easy way that they can move forward with your offering
Here’s an example of an AIDA formatted email:
Would you be interested in tripling your sales for Q3 2018?
I ask because our clients in the SEO industry – like yourself, are seeing an average of 3x more sales leads when using our software.
Just ask some of our enterprise agencies like California SEO Pros or MidWest Media, who are happy to speak on our behalf…
I’d love to set you up with a personalized demo if you’re interested. Do you have any time Thursday afternoon?
BEFORE – AFTER – BRIDGE
This template’s aim is to get your prospect imagining how your offering can solve current problems in their life.
This is a very simple template, it’s kept short and sweet:
- Before: Describe a problem that your prospect is facing right now in their life
- After: Let them picture how your offering will be the perfect solution to making their life better
- Bridge: Show them how they can reach this destination they are yearning for
Here’s an example of an before-after-bridge formatted email:
If you’re like most start ups, you probably know how frustrating it is constantly trying to pull in more business…
Our software changes all that; saving you as much as 60 hours/month from prospecting – and delivering you higher quality sales leads to boot. Don’t just take my word for it though… you can ask other startups like Float, Hoigaards, and Buddy Board.
If you’re willing to take 10 minutes out of your busy day, I’ll show you how you can achieve these same results with our innovative software.
Do you have time next Monday for a personalized demo?
The Bandage Email
Another great template is the bandage email. In this structure we’ll be tapping into your prospects pain points, and providing the bandage for their wounds.
- Step 1: Talk about the current problem your prospect is facing, be fierce but not too fierce…
- Step 2: Rub a bit of salt in their wound. Let them know they are only facing this problem because they aren’t taking advantage of the solutions…
- Step 3: Let them know how you plan to fix their problem. Give them a clear cut next step for their road to recovery.
Here is an example of a bandage formatted email:
I noticed that you were with the Timberwolve’s[COMPANYNAME] sales team. Did you know that the average professional sports team wastes 835 hours a year on their sales team prospecting?
Would love a few minutes to discuss how outsourcing your campaigns to The B2B Data Guy removes all of this wasted time…
We help other team like the Colorado Avalanche, Seattle Mariners, and Milwaukee Bucks save their sales team countless hours of time each year. Our partnership allows you to:
- Cold prospect thousands of surrounding businesses
- Only reach out to business owners that can afford your packages
- Have your team focus on closing sales instead of opening doors
Would you be open on Thursday for a quick 10 minute call?
Custom Temlate Example
This is a template that we’ve built in house and have had a ton of success with over the past few years. Remember, we’re not going in for the kill right away, we’re simply starting a conversation.
- Step 1: Let them know that their service/product is valuable and there are tons of people in need of it.
- Step 2: Challenge why they aren’t currently at full optimization.
- Step 3: Paint them a picture of what your service/product can do for them.
- Step 4: Sell them on the dream.
- Step 5: Give them an easy way to start moving forward.
Here is an example of our formatted email:
SEO services are needed nation-wide, but the problem is that most business owners don’t know the benefits of SEO, yet.
I was looking at your site, and I’m assuming that you’re still taking on more customers… can you handle a handful of new clients each month?
With us, you can reach out directly to business owners that fit your perfect audience profile…
If your team has room to take on more clients, the time send out invoices, and ability write a cold email (just like this), you’re only one step away from opening the flood gates.
If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, let’s set up a time for a personal demo of our software. Would next Tuesday at 11am work for you?
Easy Call to Actions
The goal for any email you’re sending out is to generate new leads for your business. The caveat to this is that you don’t want to ask for too much right away… keep in mind that they they are speaking to you for the first time – you’re still strangers.
Below are a few “easy” asks that you can end your email with, these have proven to be most effective for us:
- Set up a time for a call
- Agree to sending more information
- Arranging a time to demo your product
- Ask them to check out your website
- Ask if they’d be interested in case studies and/or references
- Ask if they are interested in your product/offering
This is a pretty blanketed list, as each product or service that you’re offering is going to be different from someone else’s.
Take for example trying to generate leads for a service that cost $5k/month compared to a service that costs $50/month… With the $5k/month service, it is likely that you’re going to have to nurture them for a longer period of time, therefore I’d start by just asking something that they have a hard time saying “no” to. This will at least start a conversation between you and the prospect, giving you the best chance at generating more business.
Taking Notes From The Pro's
If you’re looking to instantly become better at writing your cold emails, there is no better way than studying what the pros do.
A lot of articles have been published over the years on writing great ad copy:
- Wordstream: “Our 8 Best Ad Copywriting Tips EVER!”
- Kissmetrics: “David Ogilvy’s 7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells”
- Hubspot: “Copywriting 101: 6 Traits of Excellent Copy Readers Will Remember”
Writing cold email copy is a bit different than your average ad copy… but the principles are all the same:
- Use language that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
- Speak to your audience the way they speak to peers.
- Focus on your headline (for cold email, it’s the subject line and opening line).
- The goal of every sentence / statement is to get them to read the next line.
- Make the ask (CTA) easy to accomplish.
- Make your message easy to read. Incorporate line breaks when appropriate. A great big wall of text is to be avoided at all costs.
- Build credibility within your copy. People are looking to work with those that they trust.