No one knows the importance of cold emails like an entrepreneur. As a small business owner, I know better than anyone how key sending cold emails can be to expanding my platform.
This fact holds true in a variety of industries, or for anyone that is performing outreach tasks. However, there’s nothing more frustrating than sending 100 emails, and not receiving a single response.
When I was in this position, I knew I had to rework my emailing strategy in order to garner a higher response rate, or I would never be able to achieve the full potential of my business.
I’ve learned a lot over the past few years, and have broken down exactly how you can write cold emails that get responses in the following article. Read on if you’re looking to take your projects to the next level!
Why Write Cold Emails?
It may seem daunting to send out emails without any prior introduction to the people you’re sending to. You may wonder if this really is an effective strategy, or if it’s just a waste of time.
The truth is, cold emails can go both ways. On the one hand, poorly crafted and targeted cold emails can lead you to spend a whole lot of time writing something that will go nowhere.
On the other hand, well thought out and compelling cold emails can help you grow your business and project tenfold. What better way to reach people than by connecting to them personally?
Let’s dive into understanding how to make your cold emails into game changers for the projects you’d like to grow.
Targeting Your Audience
The first thing you’re going to have to do when writing cold emails is decide who you’re writing them to. This is called targeting your emails.
When considering where you want to do outreach, map the companies or organizations you think would be most relevant to your work and most receptive to your requests. Try to understand their motivations, not just your own.
For example, if you’re a freelance lifestyle writer, you may love to write guest posts for the biggest lifestyle brands out there. But if you’re just starting out, those brands won’t have much motivation to work with you.
Instead, reaching out to a brand that has a solid base but is still starting out and could benefit from your name being on their site would be a better use of your time, as it would be more likely to garner a response.
Once you’ve identified which brands or companies you want to reach out to, you’ll similarly want to decide who in the company to try to reach.
Try to consider who will be the most likely to respond to you. Unless you have a personal connection or a very compelling story, it’s not likely to be the CEO. It’s also not likely to be the volunteer coordinator for an animal shelter, for example, who has an inbox full of urgent emails.
Think about what you’re offering the company, and what department that fits best under. Then, try to reach the head or the coordinator of that department. Even if you don’t end up working with that person, they’ll be the in that you need to contact others in the organization.
The Subject Line
Now that we know who we’re going to contact, it’s time to move on to the subject line. This part of the email is small, but it’s of the utmost importance because it’s going to largely determine whether or not your email gets opened in the first place.
Put some thought into this one- if you were in the shoes of the person opening the email, what would make you click on it? Try to avoid anything bland or generic. You never know what the inbox of the person you’re reaching looks like. It could be crowded, and you may need to really stand out.
Try to play on the curiosity of the person reading the email, or personalize the subject line to spark their interests. Better yet, anticipate the needs of who you’re reaching out to, and allude to helping in the subject line. If you’re out of ideas, you can always turn to humour to get your email opened.
Whatever route you choose, make sure to keep it short. Something quick and compelling is always better than something long drawn out that will lose your target’s attention before they even click open.
Congratulations! You’ve written an excellent subject line and your target has opened your email. What comes next is the opener- and it’s just as important. If the subject line is the hook, this is the sinker.
The opener is simply the way that you’ll start your email. Your reader will also likely see the beginning of the opening line as a preview before they open it, so you have a chance to hook them here too.
The goal here is to try to provide something different. Simply introducing yourself with your name is not very enticing. Instead, bring in something specific and non generic that shows thought into the person you’re emailing.
A good way to go is to mention how you found them. For example, you can say “I stumbled upon your page about fitness classes and was drawn to the focus on holistic health at your gym.” Then you can go on to briefly introduce yourself, and begin to delve into what you have to offer.
Personalizing the Email
While it can be tempting to create a template and copy and paste it to maximize your time, that strategy simply won’t work. Even if you do use a template, it’s essential that the body of your email is tailored to whom you’re sending it.
When you’re sending cold emails, you’re typically offering a service or partnership of some sort. While your services may be the same to whomever you offer them, you need to figure out what specifically the person you’re interested in will gain, and highlight that.
For example, if you’re offering consultation on landscaping projects, you should briefly research the type of landscaping the person you’re reaching out to does, and what gaps they have in their service that they need to fill.
This is tricky, because at the same time, it’s very important to keep your email brief. Long blocks of text simply won’t be read! You’ll have to use your writing skills here to be concise but targeted. Be as specific as you can without dragging on too long. Following the formula of opening line, brief self-introduction, and collaboration pitch is a good way to start.
Another important aspect to add to your email is testimonials. Try to provide some proof that your services are worth their time. Link to your blog, customer reviews, or successes in order to back up your claims.
The signature is what you’re going to end your email with, and can be considered equally as important as the opener. In your signature you have the opportunity to appear professional and trustworthy, and lead people to taking your email seriously.
You’ll want to write a clean and confident closing line first. Be assertive but not pushy. “Hoping to hear from you” is good, but “Looking forward to speaking with you soon” is better.
You should clearly include your full name, profession, and multiple ways to contact you. If you have a site or company site, link to it here. Better yet, including a professional photo in your signature will lend you credibility. It’s all about appearances here!
Sending cold emails can be a daunting task, but it is an essential aspect of outreach. While it is time consuming, it is important to set aside the time to dedicate to this task to ensure you’re going to receive the responses you need to help your business grow.
Researching your target audience is the first step to ensuring you’re reaching out to the right people. Then, composing a targeted subject and opening line makes sure your email won’t sit unread in someone’s inbox. Finally, personalizing your email, offering specific services, and adding proof of your work will drive the deal home.
Most important of all is not to get discouraged. It’s a natural part of the process that some emails just won’t receive replies. Feel free to compose another email and send again if someone you wanted to reach didn’t reply to the first time, or reach out to a different person in their organization who might be more receptive.
With a little bit of time and consideration, you’re sure to improve your response rate and see your confidence in yourself and your ventures skyrocket!
We hope this article was helpful in demystifying and simplifying the cold email process. It doesn’t have to be hard!
If you have any feedback or wish to know more about cold emailing, please let us know. We’ll answer all your questions as best we can.