Cold Email That Delivers Results
A cold email strategy can be a powerful part of your sales process. Cold email can be a legitimate sales tool if used correctly. Unfortunately, most people don’t take the time to refine their process. They fire off a few hundred generic emails with boring subject lines, receive zero response, and decide it’s not worth their time. However, those who actually invest some time and energy into this can see real results.
Cold emailing tools
This could be its own separate article but, the main tools you need to have in place are:
Some type of CRM, even if it’s just an Excel sheet.
Followup schedule and content
The Subject LineDON’T BE BORING!
Too many cold emails are just plain boring. There are a ton of different strategies here, from the “Trying to connect with someone at [their company]” to “Congrats on [something newsworthy the person or company did]” to “hey.” Basically, as long as you’re being somewhat interesting here they’ll open your email. We have found that subject lines with actual meat do best. This requires some research on each prospect. LinkedIn is the perfect tool for this. If they’re a large enough company, LinkedIn will even show relevant recent news stories for them.
Here’s an example subject line we’ve had some success with:
“Congrats on the capital raise!”
To find out what’s interesting to your prospect, try a number of different things. If you’re sending out 100 emails a day, try out different subject line tactics and track which group gets the best open rate. The open rate is the only metric you should be concerned with here as that’s the only thing the subject line influences. The big takeaway here is to keep testing, even when the open rates are “good.” Sentiments change, and things get stale so by continually testing new lines your open rates will continually improve.
This should be incredibly short. Cold emails that look like a wall of text will be deleted instantly. You should be able to sum up what your company does in a single sentence. Keep in mind that the person on the other end doesn’t yet care about your company. They want something that’ll interest them (similar to the subject line). We typically use something like the following:
“This is Nick from Lumo. We help sales teams outperform their competition with better information.”
This introduction instantly tells the prospect the problem we’re solving and how we solve it without being boring. It hits the competitive nature of many sales professionals (we all want to win), and it is kept pretty informal which puts us on par with the prospect from the start.
The goal of this cold email is to begin a conversation, not to set an appointment or close a deal. Remove the short-term thinking from these interactions and you’ll see better results. If you get a response that “now isn’t a good time” then be sure to reply politely that you’ll check back in a month to see if anything’s changed. This is important especially when selling into enterprise level clients who have budget cycles and purchase cycles.
In the body, try to address or reference the subject line. This solidifies that you’ve actually done some research and that you’re not just sending out 1000x template emails with different subject lines.
We’ve used this in the past:
“Well done with raising your second round so quickly! We found that firms at your stage are typically ramping their sales teams and most don’t have great visibility into their end markets. If that sounds like something you’re experiencing, let’s set up a time to chat”
Here we quickly reference the subject line and then we go right into the problem we solve. We have zero interest in a hard sell here and we’re simply attempting to start a conversation. By asking if they’re experiencing this we quickly weed out those who have no use for our product. We’re lucky enough to be in an industry where there’s ample demand for our product. This means that spending time educating a prospect and convincing them on why this will make their lives better is simply not necessary. If you are in a spot where your goal is to educate and convince, then be a bit more broad with the problem you’re trying to solve. This will generate more replies but they’ll likely convert at a lower rate.
In a cold email the prospect typically doesn’t have a clue about you or your business. This is why the signature is a critical part of the email. Obviously, include your name, number, and company website but, consider tossing in additional information like a link to your LinkedIn, a link to a white paper, or ebook link.
The Follow Up
Most of the time you won’t get a response on your first cold email. This is where the open tracking and the follow up schedule come into play. If they haven’t opened or responded to your email by day two then there’s a good chance they don’t plan to. A good way around this is to send a follow up email two days later to everyone who didn’t reply to your initial email.
In this email keep it very simple. Don’t worry about explaining anything or saying how busy they must be. Simply restate your call to action.
Here’s a good template for what to say:
“[First name], when is a good time to connect about boosting your sales team’s effectiveness?
The entire email and signature are 15 words. Again, keep this very simple. The main reason people don’t respond is timing. For many people email is becoming more like twitter. A constant feed that you need to show up in at the correct time to get a response.
After this, a second follow up email should be sent 2-3 days after the first follow up email. Again, this one should be a restate of your CTA. This is also a good point to ask them to refer you to the correct person in the firm since we may not be clicking with them.
Finally, 4-5 days after your second follow up email we recommend sending out the breakup email. This is one where you say goodbye to the prospect. No need to be heavy handed here as the goodbye will likely make them worry about missing out on your solution.
This follow up is really where your cold email campaign can shine. There are very few people who will respond to the first stimuli (this is why you see the same commercial 100 times) so following up 2-3 times is critical.
We also only really want to spend our time on prospects who “get it.” This is why we’re fine with a hit rate of only a few percent. We would much rather have salesmen spend time on quality leads that will close, than on working to convince someone to let us make their lives better.