Qwertyuiop – The odds are that this was the copy of the first email ever, at least according to the recollections of Ray Tomlinson, the man who invented the electronic mail technology back in 1971.
Almost half a century later, email is very much alive and kicking despite being declared dead many times. Any proof? How about 86% of business professionals who say that email is their preferred work-related channel of communication? Or the fact that people who make their purchasing decisions based on email marketing spend 138% more than those who don’t receive email offers.
Previous statements call for a disclaimer:
All this applies only if your pitch is carefully crafted and compelling. Otherwise, your messaging is doomed and headed for the spam folder.
Here are some of the most important psychological factors that should be considered when tailoring your outreach email.
Less Is More
We live in an age of information overload. A study by the University of California, San Diego found that in 2009 the human brain was exposed to 34GB of information on a daily basis. This amount has been increasing exponentially over the past decade, given that nowadays there are more social media networks and news outlets bombarding us with tons of images, videos, and other media 24/7.
The thing is that your recipients have reached the saturation point.
So, if you want to have their attention, cut to the chase and tell them exactly what you want, and do it in a concise and clear manner.
Beating around the bush won’t get you far, and it’s important to make your message actionable – suggest a meeting, ask them to read your blog post, invite them to try your product, or offer them to download your report.
This brings us to a CTA. Make sure to always include it in your emails, but stick to just one per email in order to avoid confusing your recipients regarding what action you want them to take.
The quality of being concise is even more critical in the B2B industry, where elaborate actually means verbose, and detailed stands for long-drawn-out. Remember that your prospects are busy and unless your message is brief, to the point, and easily digestible, they will hit the delete button before you could say P.S.
A word of caution – don’t try to impress your recipients by using high-flown words. Assiduous is the same as hard-working. It only sounds more pretentious.
Draw the Line
Your email subject line should be all about making a great first impression. Again, brevity plays an important role both from a psychological and practical point of view.
Namely, by keeping it short and sweet, you show that you respect your recipients’ time, and since at least 50% of all emails are opened on mobile devices, it’s essential that your subject line displays correctly on every screen.
In other words, keep it under 50 characters.
Relevant and relatable questions which hit the right note with your target audience tend to perform much better than subject lines phrased as statements.
“Problems with lead generation? We get you.”
“How to boost your low open rates?”
Also, spice it up with a hint of urgency because FOMO is a powerful psychological phenomenon which drives engagement (and conversions) like crazy.
“Order today and the shipping is on us!” Who could resist such an offer? But bear in mind that certain words such as “free” are spam triggers, so try to avoid them, particularly in your cold outreach (just like we did in our example.)
We all know that all caps are a big no-no; on the other hand, using all-lowercase subject lines can be an interesting hack since they add a more natural and informal feel, as that’s how people write when emailing their friends and family.
No Pain, No Gain
I checked out your new website and noticed that it’s not properly optimized for SEO.
Wanna hear my ideas on how to fix this?”
Ouch! Pretty harsh, right?
Actually, this approach works like a charm. Psychologically speaking, pain works better when it comes to motivation because it motivates people to take action and keep negative things at bay.
Basically, the Peter guy from our imaginary example won’t be happy to hear that his new website sucks when it comes to SEO, but this negative feedback will prompt him to do something about it and accept the offer from the email.
So, don’t be afraid to focus on your recipients’ problems and pain points in your outreach, but make sure to appropriately align them with the solutions you offer. Paint them a picture of how their reality looks like now with that glitch in their lives, and let them have a vision of their potentially rosy future in case that they accept your offer. Of course, this should be formulated in a compelling and yet subtle manner, which is why it’s wise to go through a list of marketing agencies and find the ones that specialize in outreach. When you partner with experienced professionals that understand your business’ needs, you can leave everything to them. Why waste time on a hit-and-miss tactic when you can ensure that your ROI lives up to the expectations?
Let’s Get Personal
Generic email blasts are luckily a relic of the past, but if you have automated your outreach, it can be complex to avoid that one-size-fits-all approach, nuance your email messages, and achieve the next best thing to the 1-on-1 personalization level.
Personalized outreach has become a staple in email marketing, but you’re wrong if you think that using your recipients’ names will do.
In order to establish a deeper and more meaningful relationship with them, you need to go beyond these superficial attempts. It’s particularly important to segment your target audience into smaller groups in order to create unique and personalized messages.
After you’ve sliced and diced your contact list based on different criteria, including age, gender, location, income, job, seniority level, interests, and anything that you could think of, it’s time to compose the right message for each segment and refine your copy so that it addresses their needs and interests.
Besides implementing these obvious personalization methods for establishing rapport, it’s also important to “speak” the language of every segment and use their jargon.
Finally, don’t forget to mention why you’ve singled them out among others. People love when you make them feel special and unique, so tap into this psychological trick and reach the next level of personalization.
Of course, personalization will be effective only if what you say sounds genuine, which means that you need to know and understand your audience well. When the stakes are high, such as when you want to contact top decision-makers and big shot CEOs. Do your research and find out as much as possible about them on their company website, or social media.
Warm Up That Cold Shoulder
Many cold emails get a frosty reception.
Using different tactics to break the ice can help you warm your recipients up, thus increasing the likelihood of a significantly warmer welcome.
First of all, referrals are a surefire way of making your recipients give your email a second look.
So, if you have a mutual connection, do mention it in a subject line if possible. This kind of name dropping will prompt your suspicious prospects to give you the benefit of the doubt. Your existing customer, co-worker, or a former boss, in a way, vouches for you and helps you come off as a credible, trustworthy person.
Contacting your prospects through social media and starting a conversation with them is another great method of laying the foundation for successful outreach before you get in touch via email. After this initial contact, your outreach won’t be considered cold anymore.
These tips will help you find out what makes your target audience tick and tailor your outreach accordingly.