Email marketing is one of the most popular marketing tools in existence. Today it is used by over 93% of B2B businesses and 80% of business experts believe that this type of marketing boosts customer retention, reports HubSpot. However, even with this excellent tool there are many opportunities which businesses often overlook, and cold email marketing is one of those. In essence this method is rather similar to cold calling, but whereas the latter is more of an annoyance in the eyes of an average consumer, cold emails can be a fantastic way to hunt prospects.
Why Cold Email Marketing Can Work for Your Small Business
The answer to this is simple – cold emails can work for you because they give you a chance to reach a wider audience. Of course it’s great to have people sign up for your email newsletter personally as you’ll be able to use this connection to encourage loyalty to your brand. But at the end of the day that is the limit of what you can hope to achieve. There won’t be much sharing of your letters to attract new customers, even if you embed social media sharing buttons into the email template.
But with cold emails, reaching new audiences with the hope of converting prospects is exactly what you will do. You will be able to boost your email marketing ROI further.
How to Make Cold Email Marketing Work in This Day and Age
- Build the right kind of email list
First of all, for cold email marketing to work you need to compile a list of email addresses of viable prospects. Buying an email list is not an option as it can be brand suicide. Therefore, you need to build up your own list using sign up forms, LinkedIn, Twitter, or even Google Search. You should be searching for public accounts of people who match your targeted demographic and post their emails for everyone to see.
But even then you should use an email verification tool so that you can make sure that those emails are valid. This is necessary to reduce the risk of your cold campaign being perceived as SPAM. You should also look into what SPAM filters are so that you know how to avoid them. Unfortunately, cold email marketing campaigns are too often mistaken for SPAM so you need to be extra careful in making sure that your message is taken seriously instead of simply reported at first glance.
- Write a letter that will be taken seriously
By now you should know that the best performing content is educational content, right? So, in order to create a cold email that will generate a positive response, you need to apply the same email writing guidelines. These include being precise, getting straight to the point, and ‘priming’ the reader’s mind by offering some cues to the email content through images (which are sure to catch the reader’s attention before text), and word choice for the headline and first sentence of your message.
While you are at it, you should also update your knowledge of the most damaging content attributes. Things like clickbait subject lines, poor design, or a missing CTA are all contributory factors to your cold emails remaining cold. What’s worse, they might be the reasons why the readers click Report SPAM instead of binning the message right away. Obnoxious subject lines elicit this reaction the most often, because no one can take a message that starts with “You could make $10,000 on this deal!” as anything but a scam, and not a particularly good one at that.
If you want to get responses and conversions, you have to send out a cold email which will be personalized, professional, and intriguing. Your goal is to arouse the reader’s interest enough so they click the CTA button at the bottom to learn more about your brand or offer. This means they need to take your message seriously, even though it was unsolicited. Thus there is no room for fooling around and making lighthearted jokes in a cold email. It has to be all about business and with a definitive description of the benefits that the message recipient will receive if they choose to do business with you.
It is also essential for your cold emails to be highly personalized. The more details you can put into them the better, so work on your targeted demographic thoroughly and segment the email list as much as you can.
And remember, no one wants to bother reading a 1,000+ words cold email. The message must be short and to the point. Its basic outline should look like this:
- Your name and proof of credibility (why should a person bother reading what you have to say?)
- Reason for writing (what is your offer exactly?)
- CTA (what do you want the reader to do?)
Never forget that a CTA must be motivational, so an invitation to a freebie will work best, like “click here to download our free guide”.
Include a cool email signature
A cold email must be short and rather limited in its advertising power (only a single idea per letter). You should not say too much about your brand or your services/products in this message. However, your email signature offers a way to convey this information as well as an invitation to your website or to an event.
These days you can make extremely effective, dynamic signatures which contain videos. If you use this feature, choose a caption that your targeted audience will not be able to resist.
Always, always follow up
A cold email marketing strategy cannot be based on one email only. A follow-up is as important as your first message and must be directly linked to it. Yes, this means that you definitely should mention something like “remember that email I sent you last week?”
In fact, you shouldn’t be placing a lot of hope on getting responses to your cold emails. It’s the follow-ups that usually do the trick.
But never forget that you aren’t a spammer, so you shouldn’t go overboard on those follow-ups. Instead, increase the break between them with every iteration. And most importantly, stop immediately if the recipient unsubscribes. Building a reputation for your brand is very much like building a reputation for yourself in society. This means that you must never forget about the importance of consent. Therefore, an ‘unsubscribe’ link must be at the bottom of every email you send out.
Is Your Cold Email Marketing Campaign Working?
This campaign is like any other digital marketing tool, so you need to monitor it and make regular adjustments based on gathered analytics. But remember, CTR means nothing for cold email marketing. The only metrics you should take into account when assessing these campaigns are the ones that show that the recipient has not only opened the letter but followed the link there and started interacting with your business in some way.