Cold calling and cold emailing have a lot in common, with many parallels that can complement each other. Yet too many people use cold emails as an excuse to hide behind their computers and ask for too much too soon. In reality, you’ll find that a well-executed cold email can crush a cold call simply by focusing on what works in cold calling and eliminating the rest.
Cold email is a powerful tool that can do everything from help you launch your startup to help you land your dream job. You can also reach just about anyone right in their inbox without dealing with assistants and a phone call shuffle. It’s one of my favorite tactics to use for outreach, content promotion, and relationship building.
But how do you use cold email to your advantage and actually see results? Here’s what cold calling can teach you about writing emails.
Do Your Research
You wouldn’t call up a business leader and ask them lots of questions about their business and background before asking them if they wanted to buy a product from you. The same goes for cold email. Make sure you come prepared to your emails with thorough research about who you’re talking to.
Cold calling success requires getting the exact person at a company on the phone and getting them to actually talk to you. Meanwhile, cold emailing gives you the opportunity to do some legwork in advance and get access to a specific inbox. There are not as many gatekeepers when it comes to email.
Rapportive can help with this process, but you can also up your game with a service like ours, which helps you find anyone’s corporate contact information for your lead research, talent acquisition, PR or HR. The more informed you are, the more your emails will look impeccably through.
Make it Entertaining
It’s not unusual to see hundreds of new emails in my inbox that take time to weed through. There are plenty of duds in the mix, but the ones that are highly entertaining are worth a read.
Think about what your recipient would enjoy reading. Are they sports fanatics? Really into politics? Maybe you have a mutual friend and have some stories to share. Take a risk and write the most absurd cold email you can think of. We talked with Jon Buchan about absurd cold email writing and how a few too many drinks led to one of his best cold emails ever, earning responses from some of the world’s largest corporations.
Offer Something Valuable or Helpful
Cold sales calls often offer a free trial or discount to get the ball rolling. But a good cold caller listens and offers some insights or advice without selling anything in the exact same breath. You can take the same approach in your cold emails by offering to help with an issue, make an introduction, or offer early access to a product or service your recipient needs.
Just asking to meet for a quick coffee or lunch and bending over backward to really listen can go a long way towards turning that contact into a warm lead. Or, if you really want to make yourself stand out, offer to fly out during a conference or other event. If they see you’re willing to endure airline customer service just to spend time with them, they’re more likely to take your email request seriously.
Avoid Sounding Spammy
Sales calls that focus on high-pressure tactics and slick marketing speak meet a dial tone. People don’t seem to realize their emails can also sound spammy. Read through your email. Are you droning on about yourself, your services or a “buy now!” irresistible offer they can’t refuse?
Just focus on being authentic and using your real voice while emailing. Think about how it feels to send an email to a friendly acquaintance. It’s respectful and personable without assuming too much about the person.
Don’t Ask For Too Much Too Soon
Imagine if someone asked you to buy a product the moment you answered the phone. Cold calls that convert require the caller to spend time working up to the ask and figuring out exactly what their lead needs first.
Your own email process should be respectful and work up to the ask in the second or third email. It should also be something realistic and relatively small. Asking for a meeting, the chance to guest post or passing on information about your product can all be executed without pushing the lead into saying ‘yes’ immediately. Give them the time and space they need.
Be Respectful of Their Time
Cold callers know they have mere minutes to go through a proposition before the person on the other end will move on. In fact, only 1% of cold calls actually result in a meeting. While it’s important to make your email entertaining and conversational, it’s more important to be respectful of your reader’s time.
Keep your email short and to the point, and recognize that the other person is spending valuable time considering what you’re saying. There’s no need to detail out your entire idea or your qualifications until the next email. Give them a chance to be curious and ask for more information.
Learn to Follow Up
Your follow up may be the most important email you ever send a prospect. It takes an average of five cold call attempts to close a sale, yet 70% of salespeople give up after they don’t get a reply to the first email.
The follow-up email should also be short and to the point and serve as a check-in to your reader. You can also try including a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question like, “Do you have five minutes to talk more about my idea this week? I’m open Monday and Wednesday at 3 p.m. or can work around your schedule.”
However, remember that following up isn’t about bombarding their inbox. You can get to a point where you’re making this person angry and they’re likely to feel spammed. One or two follow-ups works fine. You can always circle back after a month or two and see if they’re interested.
Focus on Relationship Building
It’s time to rethink your outreach strategy if you’re sending emails with the hopes of getting a quick answer and moving on. Venngage uses cold email as a way to open the door to new relationships and grow their network, and not merely as a way to get their content seen.
A simple mindset shift to relationship building can change how you approach both cold calling and cold emailing. Turn it into an opportunity to make stronger connections and grow your relationships beyond just looking for a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a request.
Have you had success cold emailing? Let us know about your experience by leaving a comment below: