10 Cold Email Outreach Practices to Optimize Conversions

Creating a perfect cold email template to capture the attention of your prospect is quite similar to a first date. You want to make sure you look perfect, smoothly grab the attention of your date and engage in a manner that you have many more dates in future 😀

Though personalization is the key to grab the prospect’s attention there are several other tricks & tips that can make you stand out from the ‘crowd’ of emails which a user gets every day, 147 approximately.

When I first started with email marketing, I was disappointed everyday with how my campaigns actually performed ? and how I expected it to perform ?. Thinking like a user, I asked myself questions like;

  • Why will someone, who doesn’t even know me or my brand, take out time for going through my email when they have several messages lined up!
  • Even if I manage to grab their attention, how can someone trust that I am legit and not a scammer.

Thinking like a user gives you the solution to 90% of the marketing problems at least in my case it definitely did :D. Here I am sharing a few guidelines which helped me and I believe will improve the performance of your email marketing campaigns resulting in better conversions.

1. Identify the Ideal Prospect & Focus on Their Needs

Day 1: I will use email marketing to establish & increase conversion

Day 2: Morning –  I have multiple email lists, will use that

Day 2: Evening – Template ready, tool ready. Tomorrow I will start the campaign,

and soon double my sales, increase the conversions etc etc.

Is this you? If yes, then please snap out of the fantasy email marketing world you are living in!!

Many people just dive into email marketing without understanding the pros, cons, precautions and efforts it requires. You cannot expect results without first taking time to actually get inside the head of the customers and that is the main reason for cold emails getting deleted immediately or being marked as spam.

Do your homework on finding out what your prospect cares by segmenting  the leads as and when you receive them. The general segmentation can be based upon where they work, at which position do they work and where are they located.

Accordingly, you can come up with their common pain point and what can resonate with them. Don’t think twice to give a personal touch which shows you care. For eg: If you know they are lead managers, talk about your perception of their leads getting decayed after a point of time, the loss they might suffer due to it. Make them understand if their team doesn’t achieve its goals, their job could be on the line. After this, introduce your solution in the simplest words which can convince them in further interaction with you.

2. Eye-Catching Subject Lines, Not the Cheesy Ones

As per survey in 2018, 77% of the sales emails are just ignored! since then the number has been increasing. One major reason being – the boring, repetitive, unprofessional subject lines.

What an eye-catching subject line would be, depends on the time, situation and the kind of person you are dealing with.

For example – FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OF $35 OR MORE!!!!

In general situations, I would outrightly delete such an email, but in today’s condition when the world is fighting back the deadly COVID-19, cost-saving is what I would look for and check out this email.

Examples of headlines, which are cheesy according to me (plus what my brain speaks in the background 😉 )

  • Hey, do you have 30 seconds to read my email

(Sorry I don’t)

  • COURTESY REMINDER: YOU MAY GET DROPPED OFF MY LIST

(Fine, do as you like and these capital letters are hurting my eyes,,,,,deleted)

  • A WEBINAR FOR EVERYONE…CHECK OUT UPCOMING WEBINARS

(Webinar for what, should be mentioned in the subject line itself. Why will I open and check it)

  • Are you busy?

(??..hell yeah)

Finding a perfect subject line needs A/B testing, as what might work for one, might not work for others. So test, track, tweak and in addition, remember:

  • The personal, the better
  • Exclusivity keeps the user on toes
  • Be authentic
  • Have a clear reason to reach out

3. Cut to the Chase

Fluff and formalities are not required as no one has time to go through them. The template should focus on ‘them’ rather than your offer.

“ How are you doing” or “hope this email finds you” or “how have you been” etc are strictly prohibited and avoid giving an introduction as they don’t know you, they hardly care.

Do you think the recipient is even going to even read it? I bet the writer himself gets bored writing it in the email. Get to the point and they will appreciate you for respecting their time. What I want to convey is,  the first paragraph of your email plays a major role in grabbing the attention of the recipient so try keeping it short, informative and to the point.

Avoid giving too much information or writing everything in a single paragraph.

The template that worked out for me 

4. Stick to One CTA

One CTA in one email, that’s it. Too many options may leave the user confused, leading to the closure of the email without any action. I have seen emails with multiple CTA like

  • Register with us
  • Book a demo
  • Call to speak to us directly
  • Click this link for a general enquiry
  • Read this article for more details

Give one CTA, check the response and go ahead with another CTA in the upcoming email what’s the rush! The CTA should be low-investment and easy to accomplish.

Pro tip: A CTA like “Let’s chat over a call for further discussion about this” with a link where the user can easily select a preferred day & time helps to capture your prospect’s attention while they’re interested. I would further suggest locking down the number of days allowed to schedule the call since the goal is to get a meeting scheduled as soon as possible.

5. Focus on ‘Their’ Benefit

Do some research and work on

  • The persona of your prospects
  • What is their business related to
  • Any major change to be expected in the industry they belong to
  • How can you help them out

For example: If you are a digital marketer you can reach out to clothing stores that are still into offline marketing, enlightening them about how they can increase their sales by getting into digital marketing. In the 1st email itself, you can trigger scheduling a call or a demo.

Be careful with the words you use for communication, we don’t want to sound like we are trying to make a sale.

6. Include all Contact Information & Social Proofs

Include signatures in all your email sign-offs. The more the information in the sign-off, the better – name, business, title, address and phone number even the social media platforms you are active on.This not only legitimates your business but develops a bond of trust.

Traditional spammers do not include such kind of information in their email messages.

Using social proofs like testimonials, any industry award etc, as a reference in your email signature lends more credibility. Using a personal photo is also a good choice to show you’re a real human.

7. Automation for better sales volume

Use of the correct subject-line and copy writing techniques is important for higher response rate but at the end of the day successful cold e-mail marketing is mainly about volume. as you need to send out bulk emails day after day.

It can be simplified using cold e-mail automation tools that allow you to send out e-mails quite efficiently and can even automate your follow ups.

But before rushing in the automation ensure cleaning up your email list using an email verifier to remove all the invalid emails from your list to avoid email bounce and damage to your sender reputation. 

8. Use a Business Domain

A business domain establishes a  professional identity. Avoid using Gmail, Hotmail and other free domains as they smell of spam, using a business domain establishes instant credibility.

Supposedly I am working at XYZ, an email verification service provider, and I communicate using two different email addresses – abc@xyz.com & abc@gmail.com, which one will you instantly trust?

If you require heavy cold emailing, I’d suggest purchasing an alternative domain just for your cold emails to keep your domain protected in case people do flag it as spam. Ensure domains forward the communications to your main domain though. 

9. Consistent Follow up emails

Consistency in follow-up emails is crucial to bring in good results from the cold outreach. The follow-ups are to be framed according to the reaction of the prospects to your initial cold outreach.

  • Prospects who did not open your emails
  • Prospects who did open your emails but did not respond
  • Prospects who have responded to emails in a negative manner
  • Prospects who have booked an appointment
  • Prospects who have booked the appointment but not responded further

Most people take their conversion ahead only with the ones who have responded (which are less than 50% in most of the cases), which is a mistake because. The sixth follow-up e-mail receives a massive 27% response compared to an 18% response rate to the first email, as revealed in the iko system

Source: Singlegrain.com

10. Follow the Referral Technique

Referrals are considered the most effective & efficient ways to get new customers. With cold email referral practices, you can grow your business easily.

By asking your current clients to recommend others, the biggest barriers in cold emailing can be removed, which is establishing trust

For obvious reasons, people trust their knowns more than random strangers, so adding a shared connection to your prospecting cold emails can bring weight and authority to your offer or let’s say they can warm up the cold emails.

But the reference should be at the right time, once your original customer has had a good chance to experience your service or not even when they have stopped using your services.

I would suggest the first 30 days of your relationship with the client is the best time to ask for the referrals or maybe when they are the happiest with your service.

The conclusion for it all is that though email marketing is a great way to generate leads, it needs to be done right. What cold email tips do you wish to share? Leave your comments below!

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