Cold emailing is way more complicated than many other forms of marketing because you have no prior relationship with the recipient. You don’t even know how often they open their emails or if they would be interested in what you have to offer. For these reasons, unfortunately, 45% of cold emails fail.
It is globally recognised as one of the most efficient and cost-effective methods to start business conversations geared toward promoting any new product or service if you do it right.
In this article, I will guide you through the processes involved in crafting killer cold emails that do what they were created to do.
What Are Cold Emails?
A cold email is an unsolicited email sent to a receiver without prior contact. It is described as the email equivalent of cold calling. Cold emails are a form of email marketing that differs from transactional and warm emails.
Cold emails are not spam. However, if specific rules are ignored, they may be treated as spam by spam filters or blocked by the recipients.
Cold emails are personalised and targeted at a particular individual. It aims to get into a business conversation with that individual rather than promote a product or a service to the masses.
Reasons Why Cold Emails Are Essential For Small Businesses
There are countless reasons why cold emails are essential for small businesses. Here are the three most important ones:
A good salesperson knows the importance of networking in business today. It might not always be possible to meet other small business owners in your niche face-to-face, but that shouldn’t limit you from connecting.
You can use cold email as a tool to reach out, especially on LinkedIn. You can share a short introduction about yourself and your business like you generally would if you met in person. And if the recipient likes your honest effort, they might connect with you and help you expand your network.
2. Lead generation
Cold emails are one of the fastest ways to get leads for your small business. If you do it properly, you start with building a relationship, which is the first step to converting a lead to a paying customer.
The most significant advantage of cold emailing is that it is highly targeted. That means you’re only focusing on an audience interested in your product or service.
Sending emails to several prospects is possible, and you can measure how successful they are. Based on the success, you can plan your following email strategically. The potential harm of using the cold email technique that people popularly argue about is:
In some instances, cold email can be irritating. However, you can overcome this problem by following proven cold emailing best practices. Adding an opt-out unsubscribe button to an email is one of the best practices. By doing so, recipients can opt-out at any time rather than report or block you, which may adversely affect your open rate.
Are Cold Emails Still Relevant in 2022?
In a blog post titled “This Is Why Cold Emails Are the Best Business Practice for Entrepreneurs,” Larry Kim, the founder of WordStream, explained precisely why cold emails are best. Any technology can be used, regardless of its age. Using it to your advantage is fine if it is working.
Here are three factors you need to know to make an informed conclusion on its efficacy:
- Cold emails will double up
It has been predicted that the number of emails sent in the next few years will multiply itself, and in 2025, it might reach 376 Billion emails per day.
- Millennials are obsessed with emails
Millennials are obsessed with emails. They would instead get an email for work purposes and then get a phone call. Reports suggest that 59% of millennials use their smartphone to check emails.
That means there are high chances of your email being noticed and opened if it interests them.
- Cold emails boost your productivity
Cold emails can be tracked and measured by using an emailing tool; based on the feedback of your analytics. You can change your perspective and techniques since you have been able to tell which approaches get you the most results.
Now that you have understood what cold emails are, the effectiveness of cold emailing, and its importance. Let’s move to the most critical aspects.
Best Practices of Cold Emailing
There are probably a million best practices for writing killer cold emails, but here are the few we have tried and tested and can assure you that they work. Try them out and tell us in the comments which worked for you best.
So let’s jump right at them.
1. Find the right person
If you can avoid it, avoid cold emailing departmental company email addresses (such as email@example.com). These email accounts are probably unmonitored or send most incoming emails to spam.
Even if they are monitored, it won’t be by the person you want to speak to. There’s the chance your email will end up being forwarded to the wrong department, filed away, or even left unread.
If you are a B2B business, take some time to find out exactly who would be the best person to send your cold emails to. Who is the decision-maker in the company you’re trying to do business with?
By finding the email address of the decision-maker, you significantly increase the chances of your cold email getting seen.
It tells the reader you’re not just sending your cold emails out to everyone. However, you’re carefully selecting those you want to do business with.
2. Don’t send out the same cold email to everyone
I’m sure every company in the world receives a lot of cold emails from other businesses offering their products and services.
Even if not all of these emails are read, those receiving them can likely spot relevant emails readily. Personalising your cold emails could potentially increase your open rate by 30%.
Generic cold email templates, on the other hand, put everyone off. Templates are fine to use, but that doesn’t mean those templates can’t be made unique for each recipient. Make sure you add copy images that speak to them and only show that they aren’t just one more company in a long list to you.
If you can, it’s always great to start your cold email with custom content to make a good impression from the beginning.
For example, instead of speaking about your business straight away, you could start the email by congratulating them on a recent achievement or perhaps by mentioning a particular aspect of their products or services that you find incredible. This flatters them and encourages them to read to the end and click your call to action.
This also shows them that you have genuinely done your research about them and their company and are serious about the business you want to do with them.
3. Craft an excellent subject line
The subject line is the first impression you make about your cold email. It could mean a reader enthusiastically opening a cold email or deleting it right away. In other words, a well-written subject line can save the day and your time and effort spent in writing the body of the cold email -literally.
Here are a few factors to note while writing a subject line that’ll get your cold email noticed from a glance:
1. Add first name and company name in the subject line
Adding your recipient’s first name in the subject line is a fantastic way to add instant personalisation to a cold email.
Personalisation is a guaranteed way to reduce your unsubscribers, increase your click-through rate, and lead to a higher open rate.
A personalised message that has been crafted considers who the recipient is, how they view the world, what triggers them, and what they want. You have developed a theory of mind concerning the recipient. This shows them you have put labour into understanding them.
Cold emails which include personalisation have a 75% higher open rate than those that don’t.
However, because this tactic works every time and everyone is aware and are already doing it in their cold emails, you’d have to do a bit more with your personalisation to stand out.
Which of these emails would you open?
- Hit the bullseye!
- Henry, hit the bullseye for Metricks!
Anyone who has an eye for good news would feel anxious to read how they can ‘hit the bullseye’ for their company, so I’m sure everyone would go for B.
You can always include their company name in the subject line for different results.
2. Ask interesting questions
It’s also very effective to ask the recipient a question in the subject line. Consider our ‘bullseye’ examples below;
Subject line A: Henry, are you ready to hit the bullseye for Metricks?
Subject line B: Henry, hit the bullseye for Metricks
If I received two cold emails with the above subject lines, which do you think I’d open first?
Which would you open first?
Subject line A, right? Eight out of every ten people would automatically answer a question they read in their heads. There you go. You have created your first call to action right from the subject line.
Of course, it’s also vital for a subject line to indicate what the email is about. A question is a concise, straightforward way to do that.
3. Keep it short
They say less is more, and that phrase is most meaningful when writing subject lines.
Reason this, if a subject line is cut off with “…”, do you bother opening the email?
Short cold email subject lines should be informative, engaging, compelling and fit within a subject line. That’s the trick right there, and you must get all the details right there while keeping it short.
Doing it right is quite challenging. There are many different ideas about what the perfect subject length should be. Copywriters have been contending around it since the first cold email was written.
However, as I mentioned before, the magnificence of cold emailing is that you can run A/B tests. Play around with your subject lines to different email list segments, and see what happens! You’ll soon find out what your unique audience is most receptive to.
I won’t give you any more advice on this. It’s best you discover it on your own.
4. Freely display your personality
When you’re cold calling, you can use your tone of voice, enjoy a back-and-forth rapport, and even share jokes during your phone conversation, right?
However, when you send a cold email, you do not have the opportunity to use your voice and friendly tone to win them over; all you can do is try since it’s a one-way conversation.
It’s then essential to try and create some of that character and personality that you would show during a two-way voice call.
5. Hit the right nail on the head with your email body
The human attention span is fast decreasing as new technologies change the way we consume content every day. Keep your email body as short as possible.
If you’re unsure where and how to go about it, just sip your avocado juice (eww) and answer these questions in your cold email. Pretend an impatient recipient is interrogating you;
Introduction– Be honest. Who are you?
Purpose– What do you want here?
Salutation – Would you leave without greeting me as I deserve?
Consider this template;
Greetings for the day.
I am Henry from Metricks, and I saw you’re looking for a new affiliate tracking tool to migrate your affiliates to.
At Metricks, we offer advertisers like you the opportunity to scale their businesses through cutting-edge affiliate tracking programs with the tools you need to seamlessly migrate up to one million affiliates in less than 5 minutes.
I would love to offer you a product demo and explore our app. Will this week be a good time to connect with you?
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-Through Rate or CTR is a cold email marketing term used to describe how often people clicked on the links or call to action contained in your email.
The CTR is different from the open rate, which measures the percentage of recipients who opened your email.
Many factors affect your click-through rate, including the creatives in your cold email (images and videos), keywords, call-to-action, copy and length.
Click-Through Rate compares the number of times someone, clicks on the links in your cold emails to the number of impressions you get (in simples terms, this means how many times the email was viewed or opened). CTR appears as an essential metric in cold email campaigns.
How to Calculate Click-Through Rate
Click-Through Rate helps to measure the success of your cold email. By determining how many people click on the links in your cold emails.
For cold email, the CTR formula is as follows:
CTR = Number of People Who Clicked A Link in your Cold Email / Number of Emails Delivered Successfully x 100
So, let’s say you sent a cold email to a list of 110 recipients, and 100 were delivered successfully. Of those 100 recipients, 35 of them clicked on your call to action and were sent to your landing page. Using these numbers, here’s how you would calculate your CTR:
CTR = 35 People Clicked A Link / 100 Delivered Emails x 100 = 35%
What is a Reasonable Click-Through Rate?
According to MailChimp, the average email click-through rate across industries is 2.91%. Sectors that had some of the highest click-through rates included Government (3.99%), Media and Publishing (4.62%), Home and Garden (3.03%), and Hobbies (5.01%).
Optimising Your Click-Through Rate
You may want to take steps to make your email campaigns more successful once you have calculated your CTR and compared it to industry standards. Customers may provide feedback about your campaigns if you embed a survey link. However, most of your information comes from your A/B testing.
You should start by looking at your old email campaigns. Count the number of successful campaigns (relatively high CTR) and the number of unsuccessful campaigns (relatively low CTR). Pay attention to the differences and patterns in the messages.
You’ll want to examine:
Your Email Copy
Consider the possibility of making it shorter, more engaging, or simply adding GIF memes and other elements your audience might relate to. The words you use will either engage customers or drive them away. Make sure you speak the language that appeals most to your target audience.
What is the visual appeal and invitingness of your emails? Does it provide a clear path for the reader to follow?
Do you have a clear call to action? Find out what works best for your audience by trying different languages and placements. Limit the number of links and CTAs per email to one or two. Readers may become confused or overwhelmed with too many options.
Stay away from generic and demanding CTAs like “click here”. Focus on highlighting the benefits a customer will get by clicking on your link: “Get your free ebook”.
Consider your audience’s perspective as well. Just because you’ve created an impressive email doesn’t mean that it’s appealing to the people you are trying to attract.
A good email service provider will offer A/B testing to send one variation to one segment of your audience, a second variation to the other segment, and then compare the CTR to see which one performed better.
Regardless of whether you pay for a monthly subscription to an email service provider, you are still spending time and putting in the effort to reach your audience and convert them into customers. You want a return on your investment (time or money). You want your cold email marketing efforts to pay off.
Your email campaigns are more likely to build and sustain a customer base if written and designed effectively and reach the right audience. This can be determined by analysing your current click-through rates and optimising your content to create the best results.
Top 5 Email Automation Tools
Email marketing automation helps you create a series of automated emails automatically sent out to subscribers based on their actions. The best thing about automated email campaigns is that you can increase your ROI without even trying if you use the right tools. All you have to do is set up the email marketing automation software, and it does the hard work on your behalf.
Here is a list of our top 5 email automation software;
Over 48,000 small businesses use Hubspot, meaning it is one of the industry’s most preferred automated email software. To support your email marketing campaigns, Hubspot provides;
- All-in-one CRM
- Email marketing automation
- Landing page builder
Probably the most admirable feature of HubSpot is its analytics. You can track your email campaigns in terms of conversions.
Hubspot costs about $50/month. However, the pricing can quickly get out of control. For example, if you want to add bonus features and grow your email list, you may have to pay up to $2,000/month annually. So, better be careful.
2. Constant Contact
As an effective email marketing automation software, Constant Contact allows you to send powerful emails with unique designs. Also, it is simple to use.
It also provides an autoresponder. One of the crucial parts of this email marketing automation software is its affordable prices, starting at $20/month.
Drip has a fascinating and straightforward UI. If you can, drag and drop elements and pre-made templates in your emails.
If you have an eCommerce business, this email marketing software is best for you. For basic email marketing automation, it has affordable pricing options. For example, you should pay $49/month for 100+ contacts.
Sendloop is really one of the best marketing automation software on the market. It has an easy-to-use interface that doesn’t require coding. So, you can customise your emails with a simple drag n-drop email builder.
Sendloop enables you to track your customers’ movements on your site. Using this email automation software, you can run highly-effective email marketing campaigns.
One of the most popular on the market, MailChimp is another good email marketing automation software that allows you to customise your emails. You can automatically send a welcome sequence to new subscribers or send birthday wishes or any content you want.
Also, you can use it to prevent and recover from cart abandonment.MailChimp is for you if you want to personalise your order notifications from your store or re-engage with inactive customers. For those looking for effective email marketing automation software, it is a great tool to use.
Although pricing is not that affordable compared to other marketing automation software, it’s free for up to 2,000 contacts. However, it costs $425 or more per month, depending on your total number of subscribers.
Cold emails are great to create a buzz and get your business up and running with new customers taking action on your landing page – only if done well.
So, in essence, keep your emails short, personalise your subject lines and email, use the “show, don’t tell” approach to tell your brand story and use a compelling and easy-to-find call to action.
Henry is a marketing and communications specialist. He enjoys helping individuals and brands find answers to their marketing questions. He has spent the majority of his career in the SaaS industry, gaining experiences in areas such as corporate communications, digital marketing, branding, and community building.
Henry currently serves as the head of product marketing and comms at Metricks.