The overwhelming majority of the emails in my “bad cold emails” folder have one thing in common: they’re too company centric. Every day I get emails that drone on and on about about how great their company or product is, while failing to acknowledge my needs as a customer. This week’s cold email critique focuses on how to make your outbound efforts more customer driven. So if you’re cold emails are falling flat, take notes.
1.You’re focusing too much on yourself instead of the customer
“ We’ve been getting ready for a huge year here at _______after helping scale 16 companies in 2014. We’re gearing up and scheduling our next few companies that are preparing to scale in 2015. “
Your opening sentence should be engaging and dynamic enough to reel your prospects in and keep them reading. The issue with this line is that it’s far too self-focused. It’s not exciting and it doesn’t keep me interested.Your prospects don’t care what you’re up to; they want to know how you can help them be better. How can you expect your potential customers to buy into your services when you haven’t even explained the very basics of your product?
Cold Email ProTip #1: Be specific about how you can improve your prospects’ business or life. Speak to the customer like they’re your only client; not one of many on a list. Think about issues commonly associated with scaling a business: How can your product or service help ease those pains? The more you can personalize your cold emails, the more your prospects will connect with your message and respond.
2. You’re reaching out to the wrong people
“ We have 4 spots before the end of March and wanted to see if it makes sense to dig a bit deeper and explore if we are a good fit.”
The recipient of this email was not a qualified lead for this company, and so they shouldn’t have been emailing them in the first place.
You should be building a good targeted list instead of relying on your cold emails to disqualify leads. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re talking to a potential customer, don’t send the email. Remember, it’s all about quality over quantity. Sending out 3,000 emails isn’t doing anything for your business if you’re reaching out to the wrong people, and will brand you as a tactless spammer. While buying large pre-made lists might seem like a convenient way to cut corners with your outbound, they can actual cause more harm than good if you don’t check the quality and filter out noise. Bounced and untargeted emails are a waste of your time and money. Worse yet, bombarding the wrong prospects with unsolicited emails can get you labeled as a spammer, which can hinder your ability to execute cold email campaigns in the future.
Cold Email ProTip #2: Spend time building a solid list for specific persona(s) based on title, company size, industry, location, etc. The higher quality list you have, the more effective your outbound efforts will be.
3. You’re distracting your prospects from your core message
“Here’s a quick program overview in case you have any questions:________ “
Don’t overcomplicate your message with links and graphics in cold email. Save these things for your content marketing campaigns; not your cold emails. If you have a high quality product, you don’t need bells and whistles to make is appealing to customers. When you ask prospects to click away from your cold email, you risk losing their attention. Your prospects don’t have time to be redirected to another site, so give them an overview of your product in as few sentences as possible.
Cold Email ProTip #3: Keep your cold emails to 2-5 sentences. You don’t need to sell potential customers on all your product’s features in your first email. Focus your cold email efforts on intriguing prospects enough to get them on the phone, where you can explain your product in greater detail.
4. Boring your prospects with generic facts and figures
“ PS. We have done 8 Marketplaces and 8 Saas companies since March. The first 5 raised over $215 Million in follow on funding from Top tier VC’s such as Sequoia, Google Ventures and NEA.”
Numbers mean nothing to your prospects without context. $215 million sounds like an impressive number, but your customers are looking for specifics. How did you help company X reach this goal, and how can this be applied to them? The problem with this line is that it’s not clear how this product/service helped these companies raise this level of cash. If you’re going to include figures in your cold emails, make sure those numbers are directly related to the performance of your product.
Cold Email ProTip #4: Invest in creating a quality case study with hard numbers that convey your strongest value add. Providing social proof (like the names of companies you’ve helped and your measurable impact) is a great way to instill confidence in the minds of your prospects. Remember, you’re asking potential customers to invest money in your product, so you need to lower their risk in trusting you and ease their doubts with a good track record.