Cold email is a widely-used, time-tested, but still often misunderstood marketing tool. Cold email used incorrectly is at best unimpactful and at worst considered spam, the sending email address blocked. Used well, however, cold email can be an extremely valuable tool for starting conversations with potential clients, selling them on a product or service, and developing long-term relationships.
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The "How to Generate High-Ticket Clients Using These Cold Email Secrets" Masterclass was presented by Mike Mierz, founder and CEO of Sled Dog Media, a multichannel marketing agency that shrewdly combines sales and marketing to substantially grow their clients' businesses. Mike Mierz is an expert in the use of cold emails as a way to connect with and grow relationships with clients, and he shared his deep knowledge with the 10X community in a relevatory Masterclass.
These are the top 10 takeaways from that Masterclass.
10 Best Cold Email Secrets:
1) Use the right tools and create your own process for list building.
Your list of contacts is the foundation upon which your successful cold email campaign will be built. Mike recommends using a tool like Snovio to scrape Google or LinkedIn and pull in the initial contact info, but emphasized that you should take the time to vet each contact on your list. You can use a verification tool like ZeroBounce to ensure the contact emails are active and your cold email won't bounce, but create the initial list yourself.
Following a hands-on approach to building a list of contacts will pay off in more targeted cold emails and a higher open and response rate.
2) Send cold emails from your business account.
Your introduction email to a client should come from a legitimate account. As you may expect, many cold emails are created and sent without a lot of thought put into how they'll be received, and one of the indicators of spam cold email is a questionable email address. Mike Mierz suggests that you create an independent domain for your email campaign, let the domain index and integrate with your email service (G Suite, Outlook, et. al.), then use that email address for your cold emails.
3) Identify a niche and build your cold email list around it.
When you start a cold email campaign you probably feel as though you want to reach out to everyone on your contact list; this is a mistake. Spend some time identifying a solid niche your solution can appeal to, then your ideal customer within that niche. Who is your product or service for? Who feels the pain your product or service removes? Who is most likely able to spearhead the move to adopt your solution? Drill down into your contact list and pull the most appropriate people.
Then speak directly to them. People who feel as though you understand their daily issues are far less likely to consider your email spam, and are far more likely to open it, read it, and respond.
4) Start your cold email campaign small.
You're going to learn the most about the efficacy of your cold emails if you start slowly with extremely well-targeted contacts. Mike recommends that for the first 2 weeks of the campaign you limit your cold email outreach to 14 emails per day, then, if you're getting the results you want, bump it up to 50 cold emails per day. If you continue to see solid results, you should expand the outreach accordingly, but cap it at 200 per day. A huge, unwieldy campaign will likely bring diminished returns, one of the common failures with sending cold emails.
5) Write directly to your niche & target customers.
Now that you've identified your niche and target customers for your initial cold email, write the email as though you're speaking directly to them. Show that you understand their pain, and that you're able to relieve it. If they're Marketing Managers, talk about your product's capabilities and how it solves their problems. If they're CMOs, talk about past successes. Tell them you'd love to get on the phone to discuss what they're going through and how you can help.
Top Tips for Writing Cold Email Copy:
- Understand your target customer.
- Speak directly to their pain.
- Provide proof that your solution cures it.
- Personalize the top 10% and the bottom 10%.
- Include a solid call to action.
- Keep it short (100 - 150 words).
- Use a short, direct subject line (5 words max).
6) Cold email body: keep it short & to the point.
The shorter the cold email, the more likely the recipient will read it. Mike Meirz suggests you limit your initial email to 100-150 words max. And to keep it short - don't talk about who you are because nobody cares yet. Talk about what your solution can do. Provide proof - key client results and/or case studies. Offer to send them a PDF or short video.
Here's how to write a cold email: the breakdown of your copy should follow this recipe: the first 10% should be personalized to speak to the person you're emailing and what they're dealing with, their pain. The next 80% should discuss how you can solve their problem, and should provide proof that you've done that in the past for other clients. The last 10% should also be personalized and include a clear call to action: for example, say you'd love to schedule a short call to discuss how you can help them out.
7) Cold email subject line: see above.
The best cold email subject lines contain 5 words. That's it. And since these are arguably the most important 5 words of the email, you need to spend some time crafting them. What compels you to open emails? Make sure your subject line avoids being generic - you need to stand out in what's likely a long list of unopened emails.
You know you have a good cold email subject line If you're getting a good open rate - 20% is a solid result. If you don't get a good open rate at first, try another subject line.
8) Write back to everyone who responds.
This may seem obvious, but it's important to remember - understand the responses to your cold email blast and write back, even if the response was negative. If that's the case, there's still an opportunity to start a conversation and learn how to better target your copy. Maybe there's someone at the company who would be a more appropriate contact. Maybe your contact doesn't need your product now, but will keep it in mind for the future.
Whether it's positive or negative feedback, it's worth consideration and can be used to hone your cold email campaign. Also, thank people for the time they took to respond. Either way, you're getting actionable information, and saying "thanks" is a great way to leave a good impression.
9) Follow up.
For your cold emails that get no response, plan to follow up with another email in a week or so. Offer another piece of social proof - a case study, testimonials, etc. If you still don't get a response, add them to your next blast but be sure you're sending them new copy and a new subject line. Maybe you just haven't said quite the right thing yet. If they haven't unsubscribed, they may still be open to what you offer.
10) NO LINKS!
Unless you want to automatically end up in a spam folder, keep links out of your cold emails. Once you're communicating with someone and they've requested it you can send them a link to a video or some other asset, but not until then. This includes links in your signature, so make sure you're not linking back to your site there.
How to Ensure Your Cold Emails Comply with CAN-SPAM:
- Don't use false or misleading header information.
- Don't use deceptive subject lines.
- Identify the message is an ad.
- Tell recipients where you're located.
- Tell recipients how to opt out of future emails.
- Honor opt-out requests promptly.
- Ensure vendors are complying with CAN-SPAM.
Cold Email FAQs:
Should I build a cold email template to help automate my campaign?
While it may make it easier for you, a cold email template reduces personalization, and personalization is what's going to land you a response and potentially a sale. That said, the middle 80% of the cold email consists of copy you'll be reusing for each contact, so using that as a sort of cold email template shouldn't affect you negatively and should help you increase your send rate.
Should I cold call or cold email?
Some people still pick up the phone when they don't know who's calling, but chances are slim that a cold call will get you results, and could even be seen as intrusive and offputting. People are busy, and often don't enjoy having their day interrupted with cold calls; chances are you'll never get past their office assistant or get a response to your voice message.
As opposed to the cold call, cold emails rely on the recipient to take an action on their own time, which will likely yield better results. Also, cold emails are easier to perform A/B testing on so you can hone your subject line and copy and improve your open rate; there's not much you can do on a cold call to get somebody to answer the phone.
Aren't all cold sales email outreach campaigns just spam?
Not at all, if you take the time to personally build your contact list and personalize your cold sales emails to speak directly to your customers. When you understand the people on your list and their pain, you can speak about how your solution can make their work life easier and more productive. If your solution can help them, and they don't know that yet, cold email is the way to inform them and, in the best case scenario, take them on as customers.
That said, because others haven't taken the time to do cold email right and blast huge contact lists with generic emails a lot of cold email actually is, frankly, spam. That's a hurdle you'll have to keep in mind while you develop your campaign and write copy. You also need to be in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, which means that you need to provide a clear means to opt out of future emails, you need to honor all opt-out requests immediately, you can't use deceptive subject lines, and you need to be clear and honest about who you are.
Is sending cold emails illegal?
No, not if you're complying with CAN-SPAM, the 1993 Act signed into law by President Bush that protects consumers from email spam. The rules are commonsense, but penalties can be crippling so it's good to stay aware of the rules. Visit the FTC's CAN-SPAM compliance page for businesses if you've any confusion.