Cold emailing is something I did originally to scale lead generation for a seven figure digital marketing agency.
Now that I’ve moved on to LeadFuze, I’ve really started to perfect the art of cold email.
Noticing a Problem
We were running into issues where users were not having success with the software because they weren’t able to get positive responses to their emails. This is where we realized 95% of users just didn’t understand how to do cold email effectively.
So we decided to do something rather rare in the online software tool world, and actually provide a service to help users with this conundrum. On our top two paid plans, we actually help companies with their cold email sequences.
This takes a lot more resources, but luckily we have developed some amazing frameworks over the years to ensure cold email success.
Creating a Checklist of Cold Email Errors
We soon discovered that there were usually a handful of things that were leading to low response rates. The most common things were:
- Poor subject line (33% of recipients base their decision to open your email on the subject line alone).
- An introduction in the first line of the email (this just screams of “I don’t know you so you can delete me”).
- The message itself is all about “I”, “we”, “us” instead of “you”.
- It’s too long and boring and obviously canned.
- It ends way too passively or way too aggressively.
So we spent time creating best practice procedures for these (and several more problem areas).
Changing the Way You Close Out Your Cold Emails
One of the easiest things to do is to nail down the close and then working your way back to the beginning.
Most people just want leads to call them, or book a time. Sometimes they want the lead to just go ahead and buy from them based on that initial email.
This just makes you selfish. You are clearly not thinking about what makes sense to the recipient.
You haven’t brought ANY value yet, why should you expect people to respond favorably to these asks you’ve made?
Using Questions to Start a Conversation
Your goal for a cold email should be just to start a conversation. You want just a small commitment from your prospect. In this, just hit the reply button.
Getting a reply (good or bad), actually helps your future deliverability because it shows higher engagement.
You have to think about what makes sense though. For example, a cold email sent on behalf of LeadFuze will usually end with something like:
“Are there any times of businesses in particular that make good clients for you?”
This invites the prospect to respond with a “no thanks” if they’d like. Or, more likely, they’ll tell me something like “I service contractors” or something similar.
This gets the conversation going and leads them down the next step. So, from here, I might follow-up with some example leads for their target market as an attachment to my follow-up. This means I’ve now delivered value to them and all they did was spend 5 seconds replying to an email. When I deliver this value, NOW I can look at seeing if they’d like to book a quick 15 minute demo to show them how to get more and how to turn that contact information into actual leads.
Maximizing the Close
Use your email signature for your business address to ensure you are following CAN-SPAM laws.
You can use this area to link to a helpful resource as well. I recommend having only one link in your entire email at MOST. The more links you add, the more likely it is to end up in a SPAM filter.
Add a P.S. to your email to comply with the “opt-out” law. This does not mean you need an unsubscribe, you just need a way for people to opt-out of future emails and then ensure you don’t follow-up with them. I suggest saying something like:
“P.S. If you’d rather I not follow-up with you, just reply and let me know!”
This generates a response (again, good for engagement) while also allowing you to comply with CAN-SPAM.
This keeps a more personal feel since having an unsubscribe link smells of automation.
Not Getting Any Responses?
You won’t ever get 100% responses. I recommend adding at least three to four follow-ups.
With each follow-up, you can switch up the close. You might gradually increase the ask, and/or highlight different benefits. In your follow-ups is where it’s more acceptable to ask for an appointment, or link them to a relevant lead magnet.
This is because you’ve already tried your “conversation starter” method and now you want to mix it up.
Just like most marketing and sales efforts, you will want to test various messages to see what resonates with your target market.
Don’t just throw your hands up and say “cold email doesn’t work for me.” That’s like saying “sales doesn’t work for us”.