Last Updated: April 6, 2017
Whether you’re sending emails to land event sponsors, leads, or jobs, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to send cold emails in your lifetime. But despite the need for people to send cold (unsolicited) emails, there is conflicting advice as how to optimize the cold emails sent so that recipients actually reply.
Today, you’ll learn 10 cold emailing tips that have been proven to work. By incorporating all 10 cold emailing tips into your cold emailing process, you’ll experience better open rates, and better reply rates.
10 Cold Email Tips To Boost Replies
1. Write Personalized Emails That Show You Value The Recipient
Fast Company sent 1,000 emails to some of the most influential business people in the world. What worked best? The emails that were clearly tailored to the recipient had by far the best response rate.
Intuitively this makes sense, we are more inclined to engage with people who show that they respect our time. (click to tweet)
Conversely, we are more inclined to ignore emails that sound robotic or that indicate that the sender sent a template email to hundreds or thousands of recipients.
Of all of the cold emailing tips, this one might seem like the most obvious, but it is a practice that too few people actually follow.
Rather than wasting time sending a template email to hundreds of prospects, it will be far more efficient in the long run for you to properly research each recipient and write a tailored email to each person. GetResponse provides some great examples of how to create targeted subject lines in their Email Marketing for Beginners Guide.
2. Keep Email Headlines To 5-7 Words
Of all business emails, 43% are opened on mobile devices. Smaller screens means that less is more when it comes to email headlines. HubSpot recommends keeping email subject lines short, so that they can be easily read on any device.
Fast Company confirms that short headlines are an effective way to improve email open rates, they saw 50% open-rates for emails that used the headline “Quick Question.”
It’s better that you keep the headline short and to the point, and pair it with a highly personalized email body.
3. Provide Value To The Email Recipient
Right off the bat, you’re asking the email recipient to give you something: their time and attention.
In order to make a cold email more valuable to the recipient, and therefore increase the likelihood that they will engage with you, consider providing recipients with valuable content.
Since you should already be writing personalized cold emails (see cold emailing tip number 1), you should be able to find content that you think the email recipient will benefit from.
Whether it’s a link to an industry-specific blog post, or a free piece of content you’ve written for the company's blog, providing value to an email recipient incentivises them to interact with you.
4. Make It Clear What You’re Asking
Three-time New York Times Best Seller, Tim Ferriss, lists clearly communicating what you want from the email recipient as his number one cold emailing tip.
He receives a countless number of cold emails from people asking for mentorship, and as a result, he’s become very selective about who he replies to.
Ferriss says that by clearly stating what you want from the email recipient, you help to avoid confusion and frustration. He says the people in positions of power, tend to only reply to emails with a clear and simple ask.
Be sure to make your ask toward the top of the email, as most people tend to skim longer emails and ignore the information further down the page.
5. Don’t Ask Questions With Obvious Answers
If Google can give you the answer, why would you ask someone for the answer in an email? (click to tweet)
If you’re sending an email with a question in it, do yourself and the recipient a favor and make sure that the question you’re asking cannot be answered by other less-intrusive means.
Better still, incorporate the first cold emailing tip, and show that you’ve taken your time to research the question and were unable to find an answer on your own. This will show that you value the email recipient's time, and will encourage them to respond to you.
Pro-tip: This is extremely valuable for pitching content.
6. Use These Tools To Uncover Email Addresses
Cold emailing tips are only helpful if you already have the email addresses of the people you would like to reach out to.
So what are you supposed to do if you don’t have the contact information of an ideal prospect?
Today, there are a number of email finding tools that are either free or inexpensive to use.
Verify Email is another free tool that makes confirming an email address a snap. Just enter the email address you have, and email verify will let you know if the email is valid or invalid. That way, you won’t waste time writing emails to recipients you can’t reach. For more ways to find email addresses, you can check out this article here.
7. Monitor The Performance Of Cold Emails With These Tools
You can’t know how your cold emails are performing if you can’t track your emails. Fortunately, there a few free or freemium emailing tools out there that make it easy to track email open rates.
For a simpler but very useful tool, consider using Mailtrack. It's an internet browser extension that places a "read reciept" next to tracked emails - making it easier to know when to follow up with contacts.
8. Constantly Adjust Cold Emails
Once you have an email extension installed, you’ll be able to understand how your cold emails can be improved.
For example, if you notice that recipients are opening your emails but aren’t responding to them, you should consider changing the body of the email. The email subject line is likely good enough, since people are inclined to open the email.
On the other hand, if you notice that people simply are not opening your emails, then that is an indication that your email subject line, or the time that you send your emails should be changed.
For future reference, an excellent email open rate is about 50% and a great email response rate is about 5%. Note that these open rates and response rates will vary by industry.
9. Send Follow Up Emails As Needed
No matter how excellent your cold email is, you’ll likely need to follow up with contacts at least once. Since the average person receives 81 business emails a day, it should come as no surprises that a follow up email or two may be necessary to draw attention to your email.
Be sure to continue to personalize follow up emails, and to space out additional emails so as not to annoy recipients.
10. Utilize Your Email Signature
There’s only so much you can ask from an email recipient in a cold email. That’s where the email signature comes in.
This will help to provide additional information about you or your company, should the recipient be interested in learning more. It also helps to add an air of professionalism to any email.
If you're an event marketer, you're in luck! At Bizzabo we've created a FREE event prof email signature maker. Otherwise, we recommend checking out Wisestamp is a great email signature tool you can use to easily create a professional looking email signature.
Conclusion: How To Implement These Cold Emailing Tips
Cold emailing tips are only useful if they are actually implemented. To put these tips to use, first you must identify who you are writing the email to. Use the email finding tools found in cold emailing tip number 6, if necessary.
Next, try to find similar content to the content they share already and attach it to the email you want to send. Reference this content in the body of the email as a way of providing added value.
Be sure to have an email tracking extension installed, and be prepared to send a follow up email or two should the recipient ignore your first attempt to connect.
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