Cold E-mail Domination
There is certainly no secret surrounding the fact that the vast majority of SEO’s and Digital Marketers out there try to grow their businesses using cold e-mailing techniques.
These techniques offer us the ability to reach out to the largest group possible and they also allow us to do this in record time.
The only problem is that most people aren’t very effective at writing an e-mail that doesn’t get immediately classified as spam and we all know the name of the game is getting the person on the other end to actually read our notes from beginning to end.
Why do you think that so many e-mails go out yet there are only certain individuals that seem to actually be able to convert those cold e-mails to something more tangible?
Could it be that the majority of e-mails being sent are poorly written?
Or is it more likely that something else is afoot?
Well, I believe it is actually a combination of the two and based on the successes I’ve had I’ll tell you why.
In order to do this we are going to examine the structure of the e-mails being sent and we will analyze why one may be opened and read yet another is being put in the trash bin with the utmost expedience.
The Subject Line
We are going to start with this section of your e-mails because not only is it the very first thing people see, it is also the most important aspect of any email you are going to send if you want to cultivate clients using cold e-mail.
The truth of the matter is that people spend so much time carefully and meticulously crafting the body of their e-mail that they completely forget that the vast majority of cold e-mails are deleted based on the subject line alone.
If you don’t captivate or intrigue your cold prospect enough using the subject line of your e-mail it really doesn’t matter if you have the most eloquent, impressive and compelling message written on the inside because no one will ever see it to even care.
That may sound a little harsh but we all know that it is cold, hard truth.
If you find that you are never receiving a response from your cold e-mailing then your subject line is the first place to start.
In order to ensure you get your e-mail opened you need to take a different approach than you have been.
The name of the game here is PERSONALIZATION!
While more time consuming than creating a generic subject line for everyone there is no better way to ensure that your e-mail gets opened than to do a little research and ensure you find a way to personalize your subject line.
You may be saying to yourself that you don’t have time to personalize each and every cold e-mail that goes out and to that I say….you’re right!
BUT you also know that you are reading something from SEO Cheat Guides and should know by now that we’ve tried every short-cut there is to cut down the amount of time this takes to complete and below I’ll outline some of the ways that we’ve been able to ‘personalize’ without breaking the bank on time.
I’ll order these based on how quickly you can pull them together but please note that BY FAR the most effective subject lines are those that have the most personalization.
1) The Completely Generic Personalization – This technique involves using very specific words/phrases in your subject line that imply you already know the cold e-mail target and gives them the impression that they may have already conversed with you in the past.
Some of my favourites are as follows;
The Word ‘YOUR’ – Including this word in the subject line immediately makes someone feel like you’ve sent the message to them alone. Any time you use this word you need to try to ensure that you remember to include a very specific statement of what you’re providing that ‘belongs to them.’
‘In Response To Your Question’
‘Your Issue Resolution’
‘Your Technical Difficulties’
‘Hope You Are Well’
2) The Intrigue Approach – This approach simply gives a prospect a modest feeling of familiarity with you however uses curiosity to get the e-mail opened;
‘One More Thing’
‘I Completely Forgot’
‘Sending My Apologies’
3) Name Dropping – This approach requires some mail merging skills however this is where you will simply include the name of the prospect or the company in the subject line of your e-mail. When properly worded it can make the prospect feel as though this e-mail contains a personalized note and not a generic pitch.
‘Good-morning [name of prospect]’
‘Results for [name of company]’
‘[Insert name of prospect] Here Is Your Industry Insider Information’
4) Web-site/Public Profile Research – While this is likely the most time consuming approach this is also one of the most effective. Not only does it make someone feel like you genuinely know them, it provides them with comfort that even if this is coming from a stranger that the message is worth reading because someone has clearly done their homework
For all targets where you have a specific name you can check the web-site and or Google their public profiles (LinkedIn, web-site blog/bio, Facebook etc.) and mine this for a piece of information that you can use in the subject line and can easily turn around to relate to the body of your message.
‘Quick Question From Your Blog Post On [Insert Topic]’
‘Connection From [Name of Charity/Organization]’
‘Your experience with [Name of Organization/Former Position/Specific Hobby]’
Are you beginning to see why these little tweaks can drastically improve the chances that your e-mail gets opened?
Each of the examples noted above quickly break through the noise of the thousands of e-mails prospects can receive in a year. The additional thought and effort you put into such a small aspect of your cold e-mail system will put you in front of the competition and more importantly well ahead of the tactics being used by the professional spammers.
You should also note when using these generic ‘personalization’ words/phrases that they only give the illusion you are familiar to one another so you’ll need to remember that the body of your message needs to be that much more compelling!
As noted above you MUST ensure that the body of your cold e-mail clearly relates the subject line and the rest of your note. If you don’t you will immediately run the risk of your prospect feeling deceived (and this is NOT the way you want to start a relationship).
You are going to want to keep each e-mail (including any follow-up messages) as short and compelling as possible.
1) Salutation – Ensure you personalize by including the name of your prospect. There is no worse way to start a cold e-mail than without having the name of the decision maker that you are targeting (and for the love of all that is good CHECK YOUR SPELLING).
2) Opening Line – Should be a very quick statement that ties in the subject line and sets up your pitch by lightly introducing the ‘cold e-mail tactic’ you are applying.
The tactics that have converted best for me include the following;
- Providing value through an offering (information/free giveaway etc.)
- Introducing a scarcity or limited time to act
- ‘Revealing’ a connection to the prospect/their company or the industry
3) Remaining Body Text – The text should remain short (within 6-8 lines) and must stay true to the tactic that you’ve chosen. It needs to clearly communicate the problem you are solving for the prospect NOT the product you are selling.
You want to focus on one problem they can identify with and then you want to agitate that problem by stating the issues/troubles that go along with it and finally you want them to know there is a solution available to them (without stating what it is).
The sole focus here is to sell your call to action!
This portion of your e-mail is simply stating the call-to-action (CTA) and providing the prospect with the ability to follow that CTA as easily as possible.
While I have achieved my best results using an online process (i.e. ‘click here to learn more’) and driving prospects immediately to a landing page there are many other approaches you can use (i.e. phone, sign-up form, appointment programs etc.) in your call-to-action.
The only thing you should remember is that you want the prospect to perform their part as soon after reading your text as possible so including a push such as the word ‘today’ helps make that happen.
Perhaps the most important piece of advice that I can give you is that you need to be different and you need to try various approaches with your pitches to ensure that you don’t become a one trick pony (or worse…a no trick pony).
If we can be serious for a minute, you and I both know that everyone in our industry has read the same books, taken the same courses, performed the same Google searches on cold e-mailing, downloaded the same templates etc..
Those same templates and resources have been used by the professional spammers who quite literally give us all a bad name but that’s the landscape we live in so we just need to deal with it and differentiation is the single BEST way to do that.
I am constantly trying out new cold e-mail theories and techniques so that I stay ahead of the game and if you want to be successful you need to adopt this approach as well.
Think of it this way by putting yourself in the shoes of the client you are targeting.
If you are receiving several e-mails a week all of which pitch the same services with claims of being the best then how really does the target client know you are the best?
Simply because you say you are? NOPE!
Taking that time to differentiate your pitch and demonstrating the value you are offering is what will take your cold e-mail program from chump to champ!
If you want to check out some of the value angles I’ve used in my various campaigns I’ve put together a series of strategies on our YouTube page that will offer you some help. You can check out the series by clicking here.
Enjoy and I hope your next cold e-mail campaign is the one that makes you the champ we all know you can be!