What’s your first thought about cold emails? You might be thinking about relentless emails about a product you’re totally not into at all landing in your inbox on a bi-daily basis. Or subject lines that read “HELLO SIR/MADAM BUY MY PRODUCT FOR FREE!”
You don’t want to be one of those guys. But cold emailing people can be a great way to find new clients, forge partnerships or even look for a new job.
Forget your 1,000 person email blasts. This technique I’m about to impart to you, will be more personalized, more targeted and will gain you more qualified leads for your goal.
Cold Email Tips For Sales and Marketing
You need to cast your net out to find potential prospects. If you’re a location-based business, like real estate or have a physical shop, you can network at local events and conferences.
Not sure where to start? Check out your local Chamber of Commerce - you’ll be able to meet and network with the biggest and brightest local business people. You can also try social events for professionals through organizations such as Internations.
If you’re like us, and your business is in the cloud, you’ll have to go to the next best thing - LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn’s Advanced search or sales navigator to search for decision makers, hiring managers and companies that fit into the market you want to target.
The key to this search is to get granular. For example, type in you want a marketing manager who works at a real estate agency, where there are at least 50 employees. You may not yield as many results than if you simply search for marketing managers, but you will get more qualified leads this way. It also saves you time down the road when it comes to customizing your template for your target. If they are similar then the less changes will be needed.
Figuring out emails
Your next step in the research phase is to figure out your target’s email address. Sometimes you’re lucky and a quick Google search will reveal this to you. But mostly you’ll have to play the guessing game. Here are the steps I take to find someone’s email
- Google search under their name. Sometimes it’s that easy.
- Search for their company domain with the @ symbol in front of it, like this: @companyname.com - you may come up with a colleague’s email address. If the colleague’s email address is something like email@example.com, so firstname.lastname@example.org, you have the email structure. Apply this structure to your prospect. If your prospect’s name is John Jones you’d try email@example.com
- Startups usually have the structure firstname.lastname@example.org
- Run a check on these emails, there are online email checkers, such as Email Hippo, which will send a “ping” to these addresses to see if they’re live.
- Use HubSpot Sales Gmail add-on. This will let you guess if an email is correct, and when it is correct it will show the profile of the person attached to that email.
You can also use a CRM to keep track of your progress. I use Streak CRM - a Gmail add-on which tells you if/when your email has been read, and moves your prospects through a pipeline that you define.
Craft Your Subject Line
Now that your research is complete, you’ve got to craft a subject line.
Your prospect should be able to tell just from reading the subject line if they want to read it or not.
Your best bet is a generic subject line, keeping in mind what your end goals are.
If you’re looking for a strategic partnership you can write “Hi FIRSTNAME about YOUR COMPANY NAME”
So if I were emailing John Jones, I’d write “Hi John, about PieSync”
If you’re looking for a job you can use the concise “Hi from YOUR NAME”
“Hi from Vanessa”
Another great one I use is “Quick Question”
Or if you want to get super-qualified leads you can have a very specific subject line such as:
“Hi John, I just built a tool that helps real estate agents sync their client data between business cloud apps. Would you be interested in it?”
These types of generic subject lines are the best bet. If you get this wrong and try spammier “click bait” subject lines, it could end up hurting you in the long run.
First Impression Count
Now that you’ve got the perfect subject line, you now need the perfect first line.
The first line of your cold email has to be custom crafted for the person you are emailing. Go check out their website, find something you like that they or their company did, and compliment them on it:
“Hi John, Just found your website, I’m really impressed with your work with Coca-Cola!”
When properly done, this first line is going to make you stand apart from 99% of the other cold emails in their inbox.
In Gmail, and a lot of other email servers, the subject line and first line is visible as part of the preview. So your first line is crucial.
If you come at them with a first line like this:
“Hi, I am Vanessa and I am sales person XYZ”
You’re going to be deleted or marked as spam.
Crafting a personalized first line helps you earn your prospects attention. It shows you’re a human, who has taken the trouble to take a look at their work and you see a match with what they’re doing and what you’re doing.
You’re already pre-qualifying yourself to your prospect and signaling this by the research you have done.
Take the extra time, find out about your prospect, and approach them in a personalized way from one human to another.
So you’ve got a killer subject line, awesome first line, what about the rest? My advice is to keep your pitch to 5 sentences to convey who you are and what you want from them.
Going into your pitch - keep them to 5 sentences convey who you are and what you want from them.
“Hi John, Just found your website, I’m really impressed with your work with Coca-Cola!
I’m looking for new business partnerships.”
Here’s where you can slide your template in. The template part of your email is usually about your product, your company and what you do. At the end of the pitch ask them a yes/no question.
“Does that sound like something you’d be interested in?”
If you’re staying local, invite them for a coffee. This conveys to them that you’re willing to invest time into the relationship, and shows them your sincerity. No spammer is going to waste their time with coffee!
I mentioned previously you should keep track of your emails in a CRM or Gmail extensions, and send at least 50 at a time. You’re going to send a lot more than you think you do to get results and if you send only 5, you run a much higher risk of getting rejected, and getting disheartened.
Because you’re going to be sending out relatively high volumes of emails you’ll have to take precautions to not end up in the SPAM folder.
Here’s some quick tips so your carefully crafted and pitched emails don’t land in the spam folder:
If you send too many emails Google will flag you - use a mail merge program like Streak CRM to send your emails. Quickmail.io sends your emails with a 30-second delay, so if you’re doing a mail merge Google won’t flag you.
Don’t use HTML, don’t use any red text. Keep your formatting simple.
Tie your LinkedIn profile to your email address, you can do this in LinkedIn. Your emails are less likely to be flagged as spam if there’s a person behind it. If your prospects are using apps like Sidekick or Rapportive your LinkedIn profile will pop up and they will immediately see who you are.
That’s it! Good luck on your journey to make your cold emails hot! If you have any tips that I’ve missed please let me know.
You might also like: Why You Have Customer Churn and What You Can Do About It.