When thinking about how to reach customers, there are many different channels available to brands. Social media, print and video advertising, and of course email are all potential options.
Print and video are both quite well understood, however, digital technologies are still a mystery to many.
From a technology perspective, email has been around since the earliest days of the internet.
Its use in marketing in those early days was as a means of bulk mailing lists of individuals. But as the internet matured, how people used email changed.
Smart companies started using email not to spam people, but rather to send out personalized messages targeted to both potential clients and existing customers.
These messages included information about promotions and offers along with useful informational content.
Many pundits have long stated that email is dead as a channel, and that it’s been supplanted by social media.
But, that statement couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is that the marketing world still sends billions of email messages every day, and that volume is only set to increase.
While social media is growing in popularity, its reach is nowhere near that of email. But, it isn’t just a matter of volume that makes email more powerful.
For many businesses, getting in front of a new prospect is only the start. What’s more important is what happens next.
When discussing average engagement rates between social media and email, email wins hands down.
Rival IQ’s most recent social media benchmark report pointed to engagement rates diminishing in 2020 on Instagram and continuing to stagnate on Twitter and Facebook.
For example, Facebook Ads, with an average engagement across all industries of 0.09%, is considerably lower than the click-through rate (CTR) seen for email marketing initiatives.
With cold email, the average is much higher. A recent Get Response 2019 benchmark survey showed that 22.15% of emails get opened, with an average click-through rate of 3.43%.
Increasing Cold Email Response Rates
While email response rates are higher than social media, not all businesses are seeing these benefits.
It’s important to remember that a successful email marketing campaign requires skill. Companies need to understand the right time of day to communicate and the optimal frequency to make sure that messages are opened.
When done right with the right tool, email marketing can help improve relationships with clients and increase overall loyalty.
But it’s not easy getting people to open cold emails on their business email accounts. Without an established relationship, there’s often no reason for people to click on your email.
Spending time, effort, and money on perfect copy makes no difference in this instance. If they don’t open that email, they aren’t going to see all of your hard work.
Luckily, there are some tips and strategies that can be implemented to increase and grow the response you’re already seeing.
Know Your Target Market
This might sound a bit simplistic, but knowing your target market needs to be the first step, as many of the other strategies change based on who you’re trying to sell to. Knowing your market is simply good business and sticking to the basics can always be considered a good strategy.
Just having a list of emails isn’t enough.
You need to know what their likes and preferences are also. Try to segment your list based on interests and then market to them individually to increase their response rate.
Use Their Name
With a cold email, you’re trying to reach many prospects in a single message.
Personalizing emails might sound unintuitive, but the simple fact is that personalized emails are much more likely to be opened.
You can use multiple templates, but you should try to make sure that each email to a prospect includes their name and some other areas of interest that are applicable to them.
By showing that you’ve made some effort in this regard, you’re more likely to make the prospect feel as though the message is specifically for them and not just a mail blast.
The email below from LFA Capsule Fillers is a great example of this: the name of the recipient is in the subject line and in the body. The message is friendly and there is only one Call-To-Action, which makes it easier to track what your targets are doing.
Don’t Push Your Product
Building trust in a personal relationship takes time, and the same is true with business relationships.
You shouldn’t use your cold emails as an exclusive method of pushing your product. Instead, use it as an avenue for improving your relationship with your clients.
Focus on sharing useful content and information that can help them with their own personal issues and problems. By sending better emails that have more value, they’re more likely to engage.
In addition to not pushing your product, try to not push yourself. You’ve probably seen cold emails with a link to a calendar and a request to schedule a follow-up meeting.
Something like: “Are you available this Friday for 15-minutes to discuss further?”
Getting your prospect to agree to this meeting after reading a cold email is difficult, and that isn’t a reflection on your or your product.
Instead, suggest that they can “ask for more information” in your closing statement. It is more indirect and helps build a relationship much better than giving a hard sell does.
Make Your Subject Line Interesting
With the subject line, it’s important to make it as compelling as possible.
This is the first thing people see and, often, it’s the one and only factor in their decision to open an email or not.
The right subject line can have a massive impact on cold email response rates. As such, it needs to reflect the body of the email.
Focusing on a subject that matches the rest of the text is important. If there is too much of a discrepancy, then your reader labels it as clickbait and declares you a spammer in their mind.
This is a losing strategy.
Instead, make your subject line informative and useful as a first step. See below how engaging Somnifix is when sending their emails? Subject line is short, it creates curiosity which will definitely make your leads open them.
The same strategy applies to the follow-up. Often a single email is insufficient to build a new relationship or gain a new client. Email follow-ups are essential to keep the conversation going.
If your client has already discounted you, you’re not really losing anything. But, if they’re just busy and haven’t had a chance to get back to you (which is much more likely), you’re giving them another chance.
The subject line of your follow-up email should refer to the previous message you sent. This will help you stand out in their mailbox. Also, consider doing something different with your follow-up email to add more value for the client.
Use the Right Tools
With email continuing to grow in popularity year by year, ignoring potential prospects is almost criminal. Using a powerful email marketing tool can improve email outreach and drive an increase in a cold email response.
When discussing tools, one other area needs to be considered, also. That area is the template and design of your email.
Emails need to be customized and formatted to be accessible on mobile devices. With over 50% of emails already being read on mobile devices, that rate is only going to increase in the years to come.
Get to the Point
With a cold email, you don’t have time to beat around the bush.
While a catchy and informative subject line is instrumental in getting your email opened, valuable and useful content is the only way to make sure they continue reading.
With cold emails, you have something to say. Don’t waste time leading up to it.
Ron Stefanski, from OneHourProfessor explains, “I reach out to numerous experts in various fields of online business to discuss the opportunity of me interviewing them on my YouTube channel. In that outreach, I always lead with a question that explains exactly what I’d like. From there, I follow it up with how much value the interview can provide, along with other guests that have been on that channel. This works really well and I just recently secured an interview with an expert who is a very successful seller on Poshmark. I’ve found that leading with the question/ask directly is a much more direct approach to connect with busy entrepreneurs.”
Get straight to the point and demonstrate why the information you have to share is valuable to the prospect.
Try to give them examples as to why you can be of value without inundating them with statistics.
If you aren’t able to provide specific examples, show them you understand their industry and that you know how to help.
Talk to them in a way that makes it clear that there is value in their reaching out to you.
With cold emails, it’s important to show that you understand the current reality that your prospect is experiencing.
You need to know for a fact that they are already getting lots of cold emails, so if you want to stand out, you need to do something different from everyone else.
Your pitch needs to be customized to their actual pain points and address solutions that you can provide.
As a means of reaching customers and growing businesses, email simply cannot be beaten in terms of marketing potential.
In this post we’ve detailed some of the best tips that you can follow. If you’re looking for more secrets on promoting content through email check out this guide.
Close to 112 trillion emails are sent out every year, and that number is only going up year on year.
Companies cannot afford to ignore the potential of cold email in reaching new prospects and accounts.
Email is often the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing we look at before bed.
When sending a cold email, try to provide value and useful information. Don’t just simply stuff your email with figures and facts.
Remember, it’s not a report; it’s the first step in your attempt to build a relationship.
By making your email something that offers value, you become more credible and trustworthy. Over time, your arguments and offerings will hold more weight and show more promise.
Cold emailing can be difficult, but when done right, it can be a force for positive change and growth.
Vikas is a product-led growth hacker and B2B Marketing Specialist skilled in SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. He is a mentor at 500 startups and Newchip Accelerator. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.