Write cold emails for better response rates in 5 steps

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by Sandra Fernandez

Marketing
Digital
Email
Port Group
Despite rumors of its decline in recent years, email is a go-to channel for marketers that remains growing. Today, there are many ways to contact prospects, but getting into their inbox is still one of the most effective ways.
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According to the Direct Marketing Association and Demand Metric, email has a median ROI of 122% more or four times higher than other marketing formats such as social media, direct mail and paid search.    Cold emailing can be a powerful tool if you write a message that is brief, personalized and provides real value to the prospect. In order to get replies, a cold email has to be short and intriguing. For this reason, each part of this brief message must be meaningful.     Cold emailing is a way to initiate a conversation. It’s a message you deliver to someone who has never heard of your company or knows very little about it. The purpose of a cold email is to start a conversation with a stranger which develops into a relationship with a business partner.   To boost your cold email response rate you could use this 5 step guide:   
  1. Craft a “from” line that stands out
  Since they don’t know you, they may be suspicious of your email. With a string “from” line we can gain their trust. Otherwise, they may even delete your email if the first impression is not right.    Here we share some possible form of “from” lines that would make you stand out.   
  • First name + Last name, Title (Robert Sullivan, Head of Marketing)
  • First name + Company name (Robert at Portgroup.us)
  • First name + Last name + Company name (Robert Sullivan at Portgroup.us)
 
  1. Write a subject line that represents your value proposition
  The subject line is the most important component of your cold email. It determines whether or not your email is read or sent to the trash. Your subject line should be intriguing and demonstrate to the prospect that opening your email will benefit them.    Use the subject line to pique their interest. Make them think about their pain points and how your email can solve these kinds of issues. Also, make sure your subject line is short enough so that the whole subject is readable.   
  1. Focus on the prospects needs 
  After you persuade your prospect with the “from” line and an intriguing subject line to open your email, you are halfway through. Usually we tend to talk about ourselves and the company we work for. Instead, try to relate to the person receiving the message, their knowledge, accomplishments and the company. That’s how you will catch their attention.    The first lines of your email should also communicate how the email offers value to the prospects. The prospect didn’t reach out to you so it’s all about their problems and needs.    
  1. End always with a call to action 
  You need to conclude your email with a call to action (CTA) that will encourage your prospects to respond to your cold email in the way you want them to. Your request should be easy for them to complete. Usually, asking to set up a 10 minute phone call or a skype conversation works well.    Keep it simple. Make it easy to schedule the call by linking to Google calendar or Calendly. The CTA shouldn’t take more than a single sentence and it should be as clear as possible.   
  1. Use a conversational tone
  Avoid sales pitch. Remember we are not writing the prospect to close one more sale. We write it to start a business relationship with a potential buyer. Try putting your prospect at the center of the pitch and provide as much value as you can.    Read your email outloud to make sure that it sounds truly conversational. This can also help you identify some words that might sound pushy or as a sales pitch.

How long should a cold email be?

Your email should be short and easy to read. What we recommend is writing an email with 2-5 sentences of no more than 200 words in total. No one will read a long email from a stranger. 200 words is everything you need to spark someone’s interest. Cold emailing could be one of the most successful prospecting methods when done correctly. You may boost your response rate by following these steps. If you are interested in hiring an outbound agency with a team of experts focusing on your lead generation and business development processes contact us and get a free business development health check!