Have you been sending out the same stale cold email to all your prospects all year long?
This year I started a crusade to save B2B sales organizations from sending crappy canned cold emails. Because cold emails are often a company’s first touch point in their sales cycle, it kills me to see great companies pollute their brand by blasting rambly and irrelevant bloated emails.
In 2014 I was able to write cold emails that yielded 20-35% for myself and clients, while the industry’s emails hover between 3-5%, and one of my own cold email campaigns got 37%. But many companies sadly only seeing 1% response rates. Of all the campaigns that I created, tested and optimized in 2014, all the email copy had one thing in common: they were able to capture their prospects desires, fears and intrigue in only a few sentences.
And if you asked the most effective inside sales organizations about their best cold email templates, they’d tell you the same.
In the spirit of turning over a new leaf and having a strong sales kickoff for 2015, here are 5 resolutions that can help you makeover your cold email campaigns that are guaranteed to improve your response rate:
Cold Email Resolution #1: Craft Hyper-Personalized Messages
Cold emailing is a lot like online dating: everyone wants to feel special and important; your prospects are no different. Bland, generic emails that are obviously mass just don’t get your prospects excited like the feeling of something that seems one-on-one. If you want responses, your emails need to be written for a highly targeted audience with extreme personalization.
This personalization should come in the form of a highly relevant email copy crafted specifically for each buyer persona, and should be segmented by vertical if those buyers’ needs are different enough.
PRO TIP #1: Leverage the Power of the CSV Instead of creating different emails for every different industry, you can oftentimes personalize emails by appending a column with industry data in your CSV file of leads. After creating a specific phrase for each industry, you can use and reuse that phrase as a custom insert for every company in that industry.
EXAMPLE: For SaaS companies, an industry phrase for a custom insert might be “increase the LTV for the average SaaS business by 32%.”
Cold Email Resolution #2: Build Credibility With Your Prospects
Why should a stranger trust you or offer to give you their valuable time just because you’ve cold emailed them?
You only have a few sentences to build credibility and trust with your prospect before they hit the delete button. Instead of telling your customers that you have an amazing product, demonstrate your value with social proof that disarms your prospects fear.
Countless research shows that social proof is a stronger motivator for consumers than the allure of saving money. Including a number or statistic in your social proof also adds credibility.
Cold Email Resolution #3: Tap Into Your Prospects’ Pain Points
Are you sending the same email template to multiple personas? Prospects don’t respond to emails that don’t address their needs, so don’t send the CTO the same email as the VP Sales. Think about your prospects’ responsibilities and priorities.
What are their goals for 2015 and Q1? What hurdles are they facing on a day to day basis? Building customer personas takes some extra time, but you can’t create good cold emails without them.
Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about making your prospects’ lives easier. Instead of listing out all your cool features, frame your message in terms of a strong benefit that incentivizes a response.
PRO TIP #2: Focus on one benefit per cold email. You can test different benefits in following emails.
Cold Email Resolution #4: Make Your Prospects’ Brain Work
No one wants to be fed endless information about your product–no matter how cool your business is, that’s just dull. You need to engage your prospects on a deeper level. Some of the most compelling email copy starts with an inquisitive question that is highly relevant to the persona.
Great emails often start by asking prospects smart and thoughtful questions about their business or offering actionable advice.
Cold Email Resolution #5: Start a Conversation
Prospects don’t want to read through an encyclopedia entry about your product. A cold email is not a blog post, and paragraphs and bullet point interrupt the flow of your message. Your prospects, like all people, want to interact with a real human being—so treat your cold email like the start of a conversation.
Conversations should be easy and natural. Avoid sales jargon and wimpy, apologetic language that weakens your message. It’s all about establishing a relationship with your prospects, so don’t put your prospects off by being too pushy or self-focused. The more your prospects like you and can connect with you as a person, the more likely they are to say yes.
PRO TIP #3: Standard canned emails are a dime a dozen, so don’t be afraid to be different when writing your cold emails. Make sure your emails and questions are relevant, and avoid gimmicky marketing tactics, but be conversational.