In the world of B2B communication, email is king. In most workplaces, almost all employees have a work email that they frequently use to communicate with co-workers. Whether it’s for confirming a task or asking to go to the bathroom, email is still an essential business tool.
This is great news for B2B marketers, salespeople, and entrepreneurs who wish to ‘break the ice’ with prospective clients, industry thought leaders, and just about anyone with an email. A cold email can be all it takes to get the conversation started.
A conversation that can possibly lead to a long and prosperous business relationship.
So what is a cold email? And how do you get started with cold outreach?
What Is Cold Outreach?
The goal of cold outreach is to identify an ideal customer, acquire their email, then send them a cold email to pitch your offer, product or service. If your business manufactures sofas, then you could identify the local furniture stores that sell sofas that are similar to what you have to offer. Create a list of emails, then send out individual, personalized emails to these stores to pitch your product.
Another example is a social media marketer that specializes in retail clothing. That person can identify stores in their area that are a perfect match for their services. They can then send out a cold email to each store to pitch their social media strategy while also displaying links to their previous work.
Many businesses and startups consider cold outreach as a crucial element of their marketing plan.
Is Cold Emails Spam?
In theory, cold emails share many similarities with spammy emails. The main characteristic being the fact that the receiver of the email did not display any interest in your product or service. However, under the CAN-SPAM Act, you are allowed to send emails to business people who you don’t know yet.
There are however a few simple requirements to meet when sending out cold emails:
- Don’t misrepresent who you are
- Don’t use misleading subject lines
- Identify the email as an ad
- Include your address
- Include an ‘opt-out’ option
- Honor any opt-out requests
- Carefully monitor others that send emails on your behalf as you both will be liable
The main difference between spam emails and cold emails is that a spam email is a single, misleading email that is sent out to a massive amount of emails. Cold emails are personalized emails sent out to a small list of businesses or customers that you identify as suitable candidates for your product. You can customize your cold email pitch to best suit the company that you are emailing.
Stats on Cold Outreach
Average Open Rate of 20.81%
MailChimp claims that the average email open rate for all industries is 20.81%. In their email marketing benchmarks, they found that average open rates for email campaigns range from 15.22% to 28.46%.
Consider your industry’s average as your benchmark when setting goals for your next email marketing campaign.
Short Subject Lines Are Effective
Keeping your subject line short and simple has the potential to increase your open rates. Shorter subject lines also increase visibility on mobile devices. B2B professionals love to cut right to chase and you should too with the message you place in your subject line.
Optimizing the subject line message for mobile is essential as more than 60% of emails today are opened and read on mobile devices.
According to a study done by Prospect.io, emails with subject lines between 3-12 characters have an open rate of 44%. A max limit of 12 characters can seem difficult to achieve, especially when crafting specific email subject lines. If you do plan to write longer subject lines, it is advised that you limit the subject line to 45 characters.
Personalization is Key
Highly personalized emails are crucial to any cold email campaign. After examining the results of a cold email campaign, Woodpecker found that personalized cold emails had a 17% reply rate as opposed to a 7% reply rate for standard cold emails.
It’s simple, people react to emails that are more personal, emails that speak directly to them, and emails that give the sense that ‘a person really took the time to type out this email just for me’. Personalized content is becoming more popular and is expected from consumers, which is why a bland email can be spotted a mile away.
Email is meant to be a personal and intimate communication tool between the sender and recipient. Generic emails that are robotic feel spammy, which is why reply rates are low.
Benefits of Cold Outreach
Email marketing is one of the most essential tools of any marketer. Seeing that cold outreach can be integrated into an email marketing strategy, cold emails are becoming increasingly beneficial to businesses.
Some of the benefits of cold outreach are:
- Offers high ROI
- Approaching a wider targeted audience
- Cold outreach can be automated
- Cold outreach is measurable
Sending out cold emails can be done entirely by you. If you allocate time during the week to research ideal clients and build a list, then you can simply send out personal email pitches to these clients.
If you have a large list of emails that are becoming difficult to manage, then you can invest in a cold outreach service such as Mailshake to manage your cold email campaigns.
Offers High ROI
Campaign Monitor conducted a study on email marketing and found that for every $1 spent on email marketing, $44 was made in return.
Focusing your efforts on effective cold email campaigns can potentially yield high ROI if done correctly.
Approaching a Wider Targeted Audience
Cold outreach has the potential to allow businesses to reach a wider targeted audience on a personal level. Something that even social networks cannot always achieve, as platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are restricted to their own active users.
With cold outreach, you can send out cold emails to those business execs and company owners who don’t care much for social media. Your cold email gets delivered directly to the recipient’s personal or work inbox, as opposed to a user’s cluttered Facebook feed.
Cold Outreach Can Be Automated
Manually managing your list of cold emails and tasks can become time-consuming over time. However, platforms such as Milkshake can automate replies, follow-ups, and even personalization options. These platforms can also be easily integrated into your current email client.
Cold Outreach is Measurable
Cold emails can be measured through analytics and data received through email campaigns. You can then further optimize future email campaigns by further tweaking your emails for improved responses.
Cold Outreach Serves Multiple Purposes
Your cold email strategy doesn’t have to be exclusively for sales. You can implement the same cold outreach strategy for reaching out to publications to pitch a guest blog post or to request a review of your product.
You can also use cold outreach to network with other businesses and startups or to find suitable people to join your team. Cold outreach can also serve as part of a startup’s customer acquisition strategy.
Types of Cold Outreach Pitches
As mentioned above, cold emails are not just reserved for your sales team. A cold email can be sent to just about anyone you wish to interact with, as long as the message is clear and not misleading.
Remember, there is a thin line between a poorly written cold email and spam. Trust levels have decreased considerably over the years due to the influx of spam-like emails and emails from people who don’t add value to their propositions.
- Requesting a meeting
- Music demo to studio
- Request to write a guest blog post
- Introducing yourself and your services
- Introducing your company and its products or services
- A friendly email to build trust and rapport
- A cold email that explains the features and benefits of your product or service
- A cold email requesting to collaborate on a project or new venture
Not sure how to get started? Here are some cold email templates for sales and general networking.
It’s crucial that you research your recipient and their company first before you send out an email. Getting names wrong or using generic copy, paste pitches can come off as being unprofessional.
Once you have sent out a cold email, you should wait for at least 2 to 3 days before you send out a follow-up email.
B2B Email Template Requesting a Meeting
The idea of this email is to show that you understand how busy the recipient is and how much they value their time. Keep things simple and to the point.
Hello [First Name],
I have a valuable idea that can get [Company] to its next 50 customers within a month. It will only take a few minutes to explain.
I have recently implemented this idea to assist my client [Competing Company] in doubling their sales figures over the last quarter.
[First Name], let’s schedule a call when you are available, so I can share this idea with you.
Suggested Subject Lines:
- We doubled revenue for another company
- Quick call tomorrow?
- Great idea for [Company]
Complimentary B2B Intro
Flattery can go a long way, especially if you truly are a fan of the service that you are pitching to. Show the recipient that you are a fan and you are as passionate about the success of the brand as they are. Don’t be fake or lie, you don’t want to get caught out at a later stage.
[Recipient’s First Name],
I love [Company Name]. I’m a regular customer and I love your blog.
I work with similar companies like [Company Name]. I assist them with [Your Service]. Here’s an example of [Your Previous Work].
Just checking with you to see if [Company Name] is interested in a similar [Type of Work You Offer].
I created a demo for you based on your brand’s requirements. You can view the demo here: [Link/Attachment]
Will this be something you guys will be interested in?
Suggested Subject Lines:
- Big fan of the [Company Name]
- A demo that works for [Company Name]
Guest Post Outreach
With all the benefits behind guest blogging, it has become difficult to feature your articles on other blogs. When mailing your pitch to a blog that you want to feature in, it is crucial that you go through recent blog posts and understand the overall message of that blog.
You can use this research to your advantage in your cold email to show the recipient that you have taken the time to read their posts. It helps if you can quickly build trust with one another.
I have been reading [Blog Name] for a while now and I love it.
I have recently researched a great idea for a blog post on [Blog Post Title] and I think that this post will be an ideal fit for your audience.
Heres a quick summary of the post I’m writing:
[Paragraph Summary/Bullet List]
I recently published similar posts on other well-known blogs like [Blog Name 1], [Blog Name 2] and [Blog Name 3]. See links below:
Let me know what you think? Can I get started on the post and send you a draft once I’m done?
I really look forward to working with you.
Suggested Subject Lines:
- Loving your blog – Guest post idea
- A guest post for [Company Name]
Cold outreach is a strategy that will take some getting used to. Your emails should deliver value to recipients in a friendly, yet professional tone. If you have not sent out cold emails before, then try sending out a few today by using the templates above. You can add your own wording to customize your message even further until you find what works best for you.
Do you currently send out cold emails? Are you a fan of cold outreach? Lets us know in the comments below and please share any tips you may have.
****This is a guest post from Jack Paxton .Jack helps companies scale using ads. Since 2011 he’s started an ad agency and accumulated $150 million plus in profitable ad spend. After identifying the power of virality (sharing) and incentivization. He then co-founded VYPER, a giveaway, referral, and rewards programs builder. ****