Cold emails are a primary tool in every sales professional’s kit. Most meetings today are scheduled by email, and meetings scheduled by email are often preferred because the recipient can immediately add the meeting to their calendar, can RSVP, and can confirm the date and time later on.
The problem for sales professionals is that business leaders are getting inundated by emails. The average business leader receives about 121 emails daily and spends 28% of the work day reading and answering email, according to a McKinsey analysis.
How do you weed through the noise so that your cold emails get noticed? Here are a few tips:
Target the right recipients.
Make sure you have good data so that you are targeting the right recipients. Nothing is more frustrating than spending time on a well thought out campaign and not getting any ‘bites’ because your target list was off. Some professionals will refer to the correct colleague, but many (especially those drowning in emails) will simply delete it if it doesn’t apply to their position.
Write an engaging subject line.
The subject line is the first thing a prospect will see. Make sure the subject is short, to the point and engaging. It’s great to be creative when it comes to subject lines. Your cold emails will be coming from a name and address the recipient doesn’t recognize, so the first goal is to get your target to open the email. If he or she doesn’t open it, it doesn’t matter how great the text of the email itself is.
Personalize your emails.
Generic emails get deleted, period. Personalize your email messages if you can – at the very least, most email systems have ‘first name’, ‘last name’, ‘company’ auto-imports that make this easier. If you can find out anything you have in common on LinkedIn (maybe you went to the same college or have a mutual acquaintance in common), this will significantly increase your chances of a response. If you can add a detail about the target’s company to show you’ve done your research, this is also helpful.
Be short and to the point.
Delete all the filler you may be tempted to add. Execs have short attention spans, and if your email looks like an encyclopedia, it’s likely to be deleted before it’s even read. Try to get your email to a few sentences. Make sure the email is also on point to the business problem you’re solving. You want the exec to recognize the problem as one that applies to their company, and want to read on to see how you can help them solve it.
Give to get.
Add value with your cold emails. Offer something before you ask for something. For example, you can offer thought leadership tips, statistics from owned research, or best practices. The point is to add value and show the prospect that you understand their business and have a potential solution that can help.
Always, always have a call to action.
You’re never just emailing someone to let them know that your product or service exists. Make it clear what you’re asking in your email.
Do you want to schedule a call, a Zoom meeting, or an in-person meeting?
Do you want to schedule a demo?
Is the purpose of your email to get a referral?
Have a clear call to action so the recipient understands what you are offering and what you are asking.
Don’t get discouraged.
Very rarely will you get a ‘bite’ on the first cold email, so it’s a best practice to incorporate your email into a sequence of multiple value-added messages. Repeated outreach is more likely to get you an eventual response. In fact, 8 out of 10 prospects say they prefer to be contacted by vendors through email. That means email remains your best option to reach most prospects.
Sales has changed a lot in the past twenty years, and with new technology, it’s still changing. The “cold call” has now given way to the “cold email”, and while this is easier for some reps, it can be more challenging for others. It’s important to track when you’re getting (or not getting) a reply so you can figure out the tactics that work best as you try new formats, asks, and other changes.
Writing Follow-Up emails? Read Sales Skills: How to Write a Follow Up Email