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Cold Email 101: The Whats, Wheres, Whens, Whys, and Hows of Cold Emails

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Cold emails, if done correctly, can be a wellspring of magic for your business, regardless of what industry you are in.

Table of Contents

Section One – Understanding Cold Emails

The-Ultimate-Cold-Email-Outreach-Guide

Ever gotten an unsolicited box of sweet German chocolates from a secret admirer? How did you feel? You weren’t expecting the dessert.

Perhaps you don’t even like the sweet taste of German chocolates, but you smiled when you tasted them, and voila! You discovered that you did like the taste after all.

Okay, now back to business.

  • Think of a cold email as an unsolicited gift like this box of sweet German chocolates you’ve just received in the mail (or not).
  • Think of ‘your secret admirer’ as a marketer or salesman trying to win your attention.
  • You didn’t ask for the box of chocolate, and you weren’t even expecting it, but it sure did brighten your mood when it arrived and you tasted it. Now think of that sweetness as a need you have but perhaps didn’t even realize you did.

By now, you should know what a cold email is.

What is a Cold Email?

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A cold email is sent to a recipient without any prior contact.  Cold emails are a form of email marketing that differs from transactional and warm emails. The term cold is used to describe the unsolicited nature of this form of email marketing.

Cold emails are personalized and targeted at a particular individual or business. It aims to get into a professional conversation with that individual rather than promote a product or a service to the masses.

If you’re new to cold emails, you might think that it is spam. Cold emails are not spam. However, if specific rules are ignored, they may be treated as spam by spam filters, blocked by the recipients, or worse, you may get reported, or a recipient may unsubscribe, which could mean losing them, forever.

By the end of this course, you will learn everything you need to know about sending cold emails that convert. 

Section Two – Cold Emails as an Important Marketing Tool

A Guide to Writing a Killer Cold Email [With Template]

Cold emails are a great way to reach new prospects and help them through your sales funnel all the way to the bottom. If you do it the right way, you can get as much as a 2% conversion rate for each of your cold email campaigns.

By leveraging the power of cold emails, you can push your sales pitch into the faces of hundreds or even thousands of interested prospects and have them talking to your salesman in no time. This presents salespeople with an excellent and cheaper opportunity to reach their target market without hassles.

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Cold emails are also great for networking with other businesses. Networking is essential in sales and marketing. For a number of reasons, a prospect may not be interested in buying a product right away, but when they are ready to buy, your product should be top of mind. This can only happen when you build the right relationship with them through your cold emails, especially using LinkedIn as a tool.

The following sections will explore how to leverage cold emails to establish meaningful relationships with your audience.

Why Are Cold Emails So Important?

Now, for your understanding, let’s briefly revisit the story about your admirer who sent you the box of sweet German chocolates. We shall begin by discussing these three questions;

  • Why did they send you the box?
  • How did you feel after receiving the box?
  • What did they achieve by sending the box?

Why Did They Send You The Box?

Your secret admirer obviously wants to win your heart and get you to trust them, but first, they have to find a way to attract you and make themselves known.

The box of chocolate, though unsolicited, was a token of this goal.

In short, cold emails are essential because salespeople use them as a tool to make their offers and businesses known to potential customers. As aforementioned, a customer may not be willing to hit the ‘Buy’ button right away, but if you do the right things, they’ll have your product in mind and buy from you when they are ready.

How Did You Feel After Receiving The Box?

To some, it feels delicious knowing that a person has seen them worthy enough of their time and gifts. This is the same as cold emails.

A salesperson has sent you that cold email because they think you are a successful business that could get even more successful if you accept their offer and try out what they have. That feeling is surreal.

Understandably, some people do not go well with gifts from strangers but many do, and that’s why in cold emails, although highly personalized, we do not send them to only one recipient.

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The goal is to get an open rate of at least 15%-25%. To arrive at 15-25 people opening and reading your cold email, you’d have to send that cold email to a hundred recipients.

What Did They Achieve By Sending The Box?

Simple, they got you to learn of their existence and figure that they want something. If you liked the gift, you’d be interested in a follow-up. You might even want to find them and text them out of curiosity.

Once you have identified that your cold email was sent to the right audience, people with a need or potential users of your product or service, this is the role of a proper cold email follow-up. You’ll have your recipients keep you in mind even if they do not want an interaction just yet.

Also Read: A Guide to Writing a Killer Cold Email [With Template]

Experts suggest you follow up with even the recipients who left your email unopened in cold emails. They might not have ignored it. Perhaps they got busy or missed the notification.

Section Three – How To Write A Good Cold Email

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Cold emails are sent to drive conversions and increase sales with one thing in mind. To encourage your recipients to part with their money, you have to put some things in check in the content of your cold email.

To achieve your email goals, make sure to add the following points while writing your cold email.

1. Don’t Trade A Great Subject Line For Anything!

This is the first thing your recipient sees in his inbox. What you write would determine if your email will be opened or deleted right away.

Let’s see the power of a good subject line.

E.g., If you receive two emails from two marketers inviting you to try out their product, which email are you more likely to open?

Email 1 – Try Our New Product!

or

Email 2 – Grow Your Brand With Our New Product for Free!

The first email seems like a spam invitation to try a product that probably doesn’t even exist. Personally, I’d slide the email to the right. Straight into my trash can.

The second email builds curiosity and provides value because;

  1. Every business wants to grow its brand.
  2. You’ve included a power word, “free.”

I’d open the email and take a quick look even if I am busy. So, always add a catchy subject line. If your subject line catches your recipient’s attention, it will move them to open it.

Personalization also works wonders in subject lines. You could use the name of the recipient or their brand name.

For example;

  1. Henry, Try Our New Product!
  2. Grow Sloovi With Our New Product For Free!

However, in a bid to add personalization, keep it short in a way that no words hide behind an ellipsis. I personally never open emails like “ Grow Sloovi With Our New Prod…”

2. Keep It Short.

The phrase “less is more” is never more meaningful than when writing cold emails.

First, your recipient is a very busy professional who doesn’t know anything about you, your offer and your business. You do not expect them to stop everything and read the memoir you’re writing as a cold email.

The cold email should be informative, engaging, compelling, and hit the nail right hard on the head. That’s the trick right there. However, getting it right is quite challenging for beginners.

There are many different ideas about the perfect cold email length. Copywriters have been arguing this since the first cold email was written, but ideally, you should be able to pass all your message in less than 50-100 words.

Also Read: All You Need To Know About Flodesk Email Marketing

There are four parts of a cold email body:

  • Introduction– A section where you introduce yourself and your business.
  • Purpose– The reason to contact the prospect this usually your offer and how it can solve their problem (focus on the prospect’s needs)
  • Action button – Push them to take action. Never use a “Buy Now” CTA at this stage. A “Learn More,” “Schedule a Call” or “See A Demo” works at this point which could be described as the top of the funnel.
  • Salutation – A greeting to thank them for their time
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Add these four points to make your email friendly and stay within the context of your approach.

And once again, never forget to personalize. “Hi, Henry” always works better than “Hi Prospect”.

3. Have A Professional Email Signature

Your recipients must know that your cold email was sent by an actual human and not a robot. An email signature is the best way to achieve this.

It also helps the prospects know to whom they are replying if they choose to respond and other company details such as its location, social handles, and website.

4. Never Use A No-Reply Email

Nothing destroys your cold email marketing efforts than using a [email protected] email. You want your recipients to send a response, and using a no-reply email would discourage that from happening.

It’s like sending your crush a box of chocolates with no form of identification. What if they want to meet you afterwards? You’d lose that chance.

5. Always Include A CTA

What is the point of a cold email without a CTA? The CTA is the very essence of your cold email and the flavor in the chocolate.

Without the CTA, your cold email is just like any random greeting card because your prospects can do nothing but just read.

We strongly advise you never to use the Buy Now CTA in your first cold email campaign, and these are very cold leads that need to be taken through your sales funnel.

CTAs like “Learn More,” “Visit Our Website”, “Read Blog,” etc. work better at this stage.

Cold Email Best Practices

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It’s not enough to write the best cold email; sales and marketing professionals must also ensure that they check all the boxes before sending out their perfect email copies.

Here are a few boxes to check before sending out cold emails to your recipients.

1. Find The Right Recipients

As easy as this may sound, many sales emails land in the inboxes of people who do not need them. Your product is designed for an audience with a strong need that your product can meet.

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In your cold email outreach, target the most likely audience to show interest and take action because you do not want to send out emails to people who would read and discard them because they feel they do not need what you offer.

That would be a total waste of time and money.

Once you have the right companies that potentially require your products, the next step is to find the decision-makers in these companies. Go for the CEO, Vice Presidents, Managers, and other top employees in the company.

You do not send a cold email to the graphic designer or an intern; they do not have the power to make decisions in the company.

2. Proper Follow-Up

You do not send one gift to a headstrong crush and stop right there. 80% of sales require at least five follow-ups after the meeting because achieving your goal on the first attempt is rare.

It is almost impossible to close the deal with just one email. Content consumption is so high these days that prospects have short memories, and emails are needed.

3. Send Your Emails At The Best Time

Getting a positive response from a cold email campaign requires you to consider two different aspects when deciding when to send it.

Time of day – Based on a study of over a billion email addresses, it has been discovered that the best time to send your emails is just after 10 a.m. Emails are open at that time anyway, so you have more chances of being opened then.

Don’t send your email before this hour unless there is a good reason for doing so. It is never a good idea to send emails to prospects at 3 or 4 AM, as they will look weird in their inboxes.

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Day of week – Generally, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to reach business executives if you’re trying to get to business leaders. B2B email marketing is at its best these days.

Section Four – Conversion Metrics For Cold Email

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This is the last session in course 1. You have learned how to write and optimize your cold emails and the best practices, and it is not time to examine the essential metrics used to measure email campaigns.

Measuring performance improves performance. Keeping track of the below metrics will enable you to identify areas you can improve.

In addition to tracking, it’s important to know what the metrics are telling you to respond appropriately. For example, if you have a low open rate, what exactly can you do about it?

Also Read: How To Generate Targeted Leads With Email Marketing

You will find answers here.

1. Bounce Rate

Bounce rates measure the percentage of cold emails that did not reach their intended recipients.

An email may fail to deliver for a number of reasons, which are divided into two categories:

Soft bounce: When you have the correct email, but the recipient’s inbox is too full to receive your new messages. In this case, there’s little or nothing you can do.

Hard bounce: When the email address you are sending to does not exist, the server cannot deliver it. You can crosscheck and confirm the email id.

In essence, bounce rate is the best indicator of your email list data quality.

2. Open Rate

You can calculate your open rate by looking at the percentage of successful recipients who opened your email. Cold email open rates alone don’t provide a very convincing measure of success, but they can help you determine whether certain aspects of the communication are performing well, such as:

Subject lines: You might have a low open rate because your subject line isn’t descriptive or compelling enough. Try A/B testing different variations or experimenting with personalization as we earlier discussed. Include the recipient’s name or business name in the subject line.

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Timing: Obviously, you’re not the only person crushing. Your crush probably receives more gifts from other secret admirers, and other marketers are looking to get the attention in your prospect’s inbox.

Reply rate: Optimizing your cold emails so the prospect feels compelled to reply is not an easy task. Cold emails are typically plain text emails that solicit some sort of response or action. Your response rate is the number of people who open your email, read and reply.

If your open rate is low, try sending emails at different times to see if you can make it to the top of the inbox. A generally accepted measure for email campaign success is an open rate of 15%-25%.

If you’re looking to improve your response rates, evaluate the following:

  • Body content: Make it clear, who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? How can you help them? Remember, keeping it short is the key.
  • Target the right audience: If you target the wrong people, then you won’t get any replies because they do not need you.

3. Conversion rate

The conversion rate measures many recipients opened the email, clicked through, and signed up for your proposed offering (a demo, a free trial, etc.) or purchased an item.

This metric is the most substantial measure of how well your cold emails perform and move people into the sales funnel.

How To Increase Your Conversion Rate

  • Be clear with your CTA.
  • Design a compelling landing page with minimal distractions.

How To Measure Conversion Metrics

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Conversion rates can be measured with simple calculations. In addition, any good email service provider should be able to provide these throughout your campaign dashboard so you can easily see and analyze the information in real-time.

Simple formulas to calculate your conversion rates:

  • Bounce rate: Number of unsuccessful deliveries / total number of emails sent.
  • Open rate: Number of unique opens/number of successfully delivered emails.
  • Response/reply rate: Number of unique responses/number of unique email opens.
  • Conversion rate: Number of unique conversions/number of unique email opens.

That’s All For Now

Cold emailing is way more complicated than many other forms of marketing because you have no prior relationship with the recipient. You don’t even know how often they open their emails or if they would be interested in what you have to offer. For these reasons, unfortunately, 45% of cold emails fail.

It is globally recognized as one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods to start business conversations geared toward promoting any new product or service if you do it right.

Roll up your sleeves and type away, your prospects are waiting for your email. Follow the steps here to book 3 times more meetings.

Drop us a message. We’d love to hear your success story with cold emailing.

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