There is actually a science, if you will, in writing an email that sells and excels (a true Nicki Minaj right here) among the piles and piles of others. And trust us, we have been dealing with this for years, every single day for ourselves and our big and smaller clients.
What are some cold email tips which are proven to work? We do a lot of email outreach and during this process we found out what works and what doesn’t – so you don’t have to!
Here are 15 quick cold email tips which helped us close $200k in a Q, complete with cold email templates you can steal from us.
No one likes a hard-sell, that’s a no-brainer, but you still have to make sure your products and services are bought and sought after. So what do you do? How do you make them buy without actually shoving your offer in their face?
What is it that makes a good sales email good email?
There is no simple answer and there is no simple works-in-all-cases template. However, there are some proven tricks and strategic pieces of advice we can give you and help you start a successful sales email outreach.
Make it breezy by following these 15 tips on writing cold emails that get responses.
1. Don’t Allow Your Marketers to Write Cold Sales Emails, Please
Marketers are very good in nurturing a hot lead, feeding them with right info and data to convert or react. But as much as we love our marketers, the first thing a good marketer needs to know is that they don’t know how to write sales emails to cold leads.
As we all know, marketers’ brain is overstocked with value propositions and differentiation that sometimes make them unable to write a two-sentence personal email.
So tell your marketing to take a break, have a cup of coffee and leave the job to the professionals.
Cold emails that actually convert to sales are one of the hardest tasks that you may encounter, and that is why most of these emails..well, suck. You really really have to know how to compose a good one.
2. Know Your Audience’s Needs – Segmentation and Tailored Communication
You won’t sell anything and you will end up directly in a spam if you don’t target properly and don’t segment your email contacts. You have to know exactly what they need and whether your product or service can help them solve their problem.
There are three ways you can think of segmenting your email outreach.
One batch of variables is related to the company itself. The second batch can be derived from buyer personas you are aiming at and the third batch of variables is very time-sensitive as it may be based on popular or hot topics/trends.
Let’s take a deeper dive in all three, shall we.
For example, say you are offering eCommerce development services – not all people interested in developing their online sales have the same budget, need, want the same results, etc.
These variations can be related to a bunch of elements like the size of the company you are targeting, company age or the market or vertical they are in.
Make sure you are at least making an educated guess when segmenting the leads for a cold email campaign.
BUYER PERSONA RELATED
Here you should get info and help from your marketing department. Let marketers make a profile of decision makers and influencers within the targeted segment.
You should reach out to both, BUT with different messaging as these people want to hear different things.
For example, if you are writing email threads for influencers within the company who do not have the decision making power when it comes to your offer, but will be using your product daily – you should emphasize the benefits of the product from their perspective.
TIME SENSITIVE TOPICS
For the above two mentioned options, you can prepare your email threads in advance and automate the process. For this one, you may not be able to do so.
You may need to act very fast as the information you have is hot only for a few days.
For example, there is an issue with a specific eCommerce platform you know a certain portion of your prospects are using. You can ride in and land a call using this info as an attention grabber in your email outreach.
Not only will this knowledgeable approach get you more open-rates, but it will also position you as an educated seller and someone your clients can ask for advice.
The bottom line is – segment your audience as granularly as you can, based on anything that can influence what would be the attention grabber in an email.
3. Get Yourself Some Carefully Curated Leads
If you are a beginner in the biz and don’t have a developed customer base, hiring a specialized company to collect carefully targeted sales leads specifically selected for your business and the needs of your audience can be a time saving (and a life-saving) first step.
You’ll end up with a bunch of irrelevant leads and this will significantly increase your chances of being marked as a spammer. Additionally, you will spend an enormous amount of time cherry picking the right from the wrong ones and formatting them so they suit your CRM.
Instead, choose what’s best for you – highly targeted and freshly made lead list that is tailored for your specific needs by a company that can sync with your sales goals in their approach and support your account based selling efforts, thus increasing your chances to get a positive response to a sales email.
Now that you know who exactly your potential buyer is – it’s time to start writing those mouth-watering emails.
4. Always Put Your Prospect First
This one cannot be stressed enough – the sale is about answering the needs of your prospects not you.
Just like mentioned above, make sure that your target knows right away, in the subject line and the first sentence of an email why you are contacting them and how you are going to solve their problem. Not what you offer, but how that product/service which you offer benefits them.
Are you just selling a business and data analysis system or giving them valuable information that can help your customers save time and money? We suggest the latter because that is the issue that needs to be resolved.
Features tell – benefits sell. Always keep this advice in mind when thinking about your sales email and marketing in general.
Needless to say, it’s much more effective to use a personal name and “you” instead of “we”.
Their needs are more important than explaining why your product/service is the best since the beginning of the universe. Let them reach that conclusion themselves.
Just be sure not to overwhelm them with information and make their decision even harder. Guide them through the buying process and reveal only what is relevant to them.
5. Make it short and sweet
Forget long sentences explaining how long you’ve been in the business, how many clients you had and how you started your company in your parents’ garage.
People only scan the big bolded letters and don’t have the time to read in detail, especially the ones higher in the hierarchy whom you’re probably writing to and trying to attract.
Focus on the one thing that you’re selling at this very moment with this very email and keep it simple and short. Not more than a few easily comprehensible sentences.
Hey John, I’m Mark from XY,
Would you like to try our Commerce Management Software that helps improve your company’s performance?
They need to know right away what is it that you sell and why it is different from others.
When they show interest you can introduce them to the exact specifications, different accounts and how they can implement it so that they get most out of the solution/product/service.
Most people read on the eighth-grade school level and your writing doesn’t need to be more complicated than that. Big words and large chunks of text won’t make you an expert, but an incomprehensible sales bot.
This is a decent cold email template 🙂
6. Humanize Your Emails and Your Brand
This is what Seth Godin has to say about selling like a human:
Nobody likes emails from bots, and we all know where those emails end up.
Be funny, be approachable, be insecure, be compassionate.
Add a (pop) culture reference and try to bond with them over the fact that, yes, you too are watching Game of Thrones (how about that last episode, ha?).
Create a simple email signature that clearly explains who you are and makes it easy for them to contact you.
Case studies show that prospects often read just the postscript, so if possible add a P.S. at the end of the email.
7. Try the “Powerless Communication”
Long gone are the days when a salesperson would aggressively shove all their information in your face hoping that they would successfully close the deal right then and there, while all you really wanted at the moment was pepper spray to make them go away.
Aggressive sales don’t work anymore and you are probably well aware of it.
Instead, try to be less assertive in your emails, try to express doubt and not be afraid of vulnerability.
Ask some questions and show that you are not the dominant know-it-all, but you want to hear from your potential customers because they can make your product and service better and tailored to them.
People react better to empathy and they enjoy being asked for help and opinion, rather than asked for “15 minutes of their time”.
8. Mind Your Subject Line
As a sales email expert (to be), you probably know that if your subject line is not good enough nobody is going to read the email.
Your subject line must be so clear that the prospect knows what to expect in an email i.e. you must align your subject with your email copy.
If this is not the case, your consumers will lose interest, mark you as spam and then you’ve lost them for good.
Using actionable language and a prospect’s name in a subject line is always advisable, but it’s up to you to decide when to implement it.
Pick two similar subjects for the same email and see which one brings more open and clickthrough rates. Discover what works and what doesn’t work not only for your brand, but for specific offers as well.
According to Sumo.com, some of the best subjects are: How To (Achieve Desired Result), (Desired Result) Mistakes You’re Making, Experts Share Best Ideas to Achieve (Desired Result), etc.
Once you’ve convinced your marketers not to meddle in your outreach, carefully selected your audience and got an idea about how your subject lines and emails should look and read – you’re halfway there.
9. Call To Action
One thing you should always add to your email is a Call To Action. Without it your effort of contacting someone is practically useless.
Help your customer understand what it is that you want them to do. Make sure your call to action copy is clear and interesting.
- View offer.
- Apply For Improved Sales.
- Learn More About Lead Generation.
- Call us for more information.
- Get advice…
Make it easy for them to make that crucial step. One click and they can make that business problem go away. Having one CTA is the best way to go, especially if you’re writing a cold sales email to a person that you’ve never contacted before.
10. Do Not Use Cliches
You should be very careful when writing an email for two reasons:
- Some phrases or words are triggers for spam filters. You should never include words like “Free”, “Buy” or the “%” sign. They have just been overused and people shut them out before they’ve even read the subject. Your offer may be excellent and perfectly fit for your prospect, but they will never see it. Also try to avoid any large images, because they are rarely downloaded, as well as hyperlinking on more than one place in an email.
- Make sure your subject line is not tacky. Even though asking for 15 minutes at the end of your email is recommended (Tip 14), be sure not to use it in your subject line. The cold prospect doesn’t even know who you are and they won’t give you 15 minutes of their time. The same goes for your company name. Check your spelling in the subject a 100 times if you must, because a misspelled word makes you seem unprofessional and sloppy.
11. Make a No-Risk Offer
A risk-free guarantee, gives your customer a chance to try something before they buy, or at least commit to buying and it works best for the high-cost products, services, and products with promising, but yet to be proven claims, such as Internet Marketing products.
Sometimes a little added value with your offer can go a long way.
Maybe you can suggest a trial of your software/program for a certain period of time and let them experience your remarkable services first hand without a penny spent.
Giving someone an opportunity to try your product/service is the oldest sales trick in the book, but it still works like a charm. The great thing about an offer like this is that it pushes people over the edge and moves them from “I’m considering it,” to “I’ll try it.”
12. B-A-B and P-A-S Principles
All your cold emails can be written in these two very simple principles that are easy to remember.
By using the BAB (Before-After-Bridge) principle. Explain the current state of their business (Before), how it can look After they’ve used your service/product and what they need to do to achieve the desired result (Bridge).
Then again, the P-A-S (Problem-Agitate-Solve) principle functions by pinpointing the Problem that they may have, then offer your help in solving it (Agitate) and finally explain how exactly they are going to benefit once you are involved (Solve).
Here’s an example of how you can do it:
13. Always Ask a Question
Ending of your email can be just as important as the subject line and the first sentence. So make sure you ask your prospect about how you can help them reach their goals and how your service or product can benefit them.
You can use the standard cliche “Let me know if we can help you”, or instead go for it and ask a more precise question, for example:
- “Do any of these issues bother you as well?”,
- “Do you have any unanswered questions about lead generation?” or
- “Who is the right person to speak to about this?”.
This will add the necessary human touch as well and prove you’re not just a sales bot.
14. Don’t Ask Too Much From Your Prospects
As we mentioned a few times before, keep in mind that your prospects have a limited time and receive hundreds of emails every week. That’s why you need to ask them for as little as possible.
For example, suggest a 10 to 15 minute long conversation about your product or service BUT only after you have already sent some examples and options for a prospect to get to know your company or service.
Once you receive a positive answer from them keep your promise and make it only 10 to 15 minutes long. Unless they want to find out more, of course.
It is much easier for key decision makers to agree to a chat with a salesperson once they know that it won’t take hours of their time.
15. Test, test, test
All of the tips mentioned above and in the previous part are just guidelines to help you write a good email, but you can never be sure of what will work until you’ve actually tried it.
Just like with subject lines, compose two or more email bodies and using email automation tools see which one works best for a specific audience and a specific product.
This will help you tremendously when writing all your future emails so you already know what works and what doesn’t.
Your CTAs can be tested as well – different CTAs appeal to different prospects.
The better you target – the more likely you are to sell. Simple as that.
If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again…That’s how the old R&B saying goes.
Always follow up and do not give up. And then follow up your follow up.
Up to 70% of sales email stop after their first unsuccessful email. Don’t be that person. Don’t quit at the first sign of rejection or a negative answer.
Be the Wolf of Wall Street. Make sure you have 5-12 email touches before you pause your email campaigns for a couple of months.
And yes, pause, but do not give up.
You can always circle back in a few months to those who never replied and you should definitely do this if you know your lead gen is very targeted.
You never know why your prospect didn’t answer to your proposition. Maybe they were busy and missed your email. Maybe they had other priorities at the time.
Let your salesperson persona shine and be persistent until you close that deal.
If you still need help with composing your perfect email – let us know.
READ MORE: Effective Sales Emails With Examples