Cold Email. In the right hands, it can be an excellent tool, helping to reach a wide audience directly, bypassing some of the need for things such as SEO. In the wrong hands, however, it can put potential clients off completely and can be a lot of effort for no return. Here we will explore cold emails in depth, to help you develop a solid understanding of this essential tool, increase your response rate, help you nail a compelling subject line, and keep you clear of the dreaded spam filter.
What is it?
First, let us unpack what cold email copywriting actually is. Cold emails are unsolicited emails, which could be sent for almost any reason. Look through your own emails, you are sure to have a few in your inbox at all times, whether they are sales emails or cold outreach emails. You will likely be able to tell us the subject lines. Today, however, we are looking at how businesses can employ copywriters to use cold emails to their advantage. In this context, the cold email is sent to establish contact between the provider of a product or service, and a potential consumer.
Why use it?
Why write cold emails? A cold email campaign has all of the benefits cold calling used to have, without half of the drawbacks. Cold emailing allows a business to make first contact with a large body of potential clients, without having to manually begin the sales process anew with each new potential customer. It is more proactive and less static than something like a blog post, which relies on traffic coming to it. Instead, cold emails can go direct to your target audience. It is, therefore, a highly time-efficient method.
It is a highly efficient way to reach a target audience, as it allows for a copywriter to write one email, and then use it to cast a wide net reaching potential customers. From there, WIT those not interested will generally not, allowing the copywriter to then narrow down their focus and conduct follow-ups with those interested.
A good cold email campaign can also increase brand awareness; even if a potential customer does not respond directly to the e-mail, they are now aware of the brand and may consider it when they are in need of the product or service the company provides in the future.
Cold Email Copywriting Do's and Don'ts
It's time to explore the keys to writing effective cold emails. Follow these do's and don'ts and you will be writing engaging, successful cold emails that will grab readers' attention, and turn them into customers.
Do Hook Them In
The key to successful cold email campaigns lies in an effective subject line. The subject line is the first point of contact, the subject line must grab the reader's attention. It must frame what it is you are selling, and the essentials of what you want to get across while remaining simple and efficient. Research suggests 47% of recipients open emails entirely based on the quality of the subject line.
Don't fall into the trap of trying to include everything in the subject line, bombarding the reader with information. Think about what it is that is most appealing about the product or service in question, and try to write something that distils what is being offered in as succinct language as possible.
Try using an open-ended question in your subject line or opening lines. Or highlight a pain point for customers of competition, and imply that a solution to this lies within the email body. Ensure those opening lines are strong and quick to the point, as they will show after the title in the recipient's inbox. Once you have them hooked, then you can elaborate, but for now, keep it short and sweet.
Do Establish Credibility
The worst thing that can happen to your carefully crafted email is for it to end up in the spam folder. Or, for your subject line or opening lines of the email itself to be so suspect and full of spam words that it may as well end up in the spam folder. Avoid phrases like '100% per cent satisfaction guaranteed. Avoid suspicious words, and under no circumstances should there be grammatical errors!
Credibility can also be established by adopting the correct tone of voice. A B2B email should be more formal, and professional. It can be more data-driven, showing the results and the hard proof is more likely to entice a business, driven by the bottom line.
Whereas the email body for a B2C campaign can afford to adopt a more personal, familiar tone. It should appeal to the reader as a person, and read as though it is from a real person. This is a key component of a good cold email; it must have a touch of humanity. Recipients don't like to feel as if they're receiving automated, robotic stuff.
Personalized emails will always have an advantage over impersonal, generic ones. So take your time in writing it, and think about what it is that is appealing about your product or service to a potential customer, and accentuate it, to appeal to their needs and wants.
You are also advised to include the company name, and contact details in the email signature. Include a link to the company's landing page or a link to a blog post. Transparency is key to establishing credibility.
Do Include A Call To Action
Any good sales pitch should include a call to action. You could have written the most compelling email body possible, but if there is no call to action followed by a simple and clear link to getting the reader started down that path, then it was all for nothing.
Include links to a blog post, or reviews of the product on a trustworthy site, showing social proof of a real person showing the product or service's value.
Don't End Up In The Spam Folder!
This is the absolute most important mistake you cannot afford to make. Unfortunately, sometimes, it may happen, but that doesn't mean you can't do everything possible to prevent it.
Unfortunately, but for understandable reasons, email providers do not disclose what dictates their spam filters, so understanding how to avoid being consigned to the spam folder isn't an exact science.
Don't make outrageous claims in your subject line or body email. Make sure you make it possible for the recipient to reply to the email, as reply rates factor into whether an email will be considered spam or not going forward. Encourage readers to add the sender's email to their address book, which will prevent any future emails from being sent to spam or junk folders.
Avoid all capitals in the subject line or opening lines, and make sure the email feels personalised enough so that the recipient doesn't just assume it is random spam not intended for them specifically. Do all of this and your cold email copywriting will be done the justice it deserves by seeing the light of day.
Don't Be Vague
Related to the CTA mentioned earlier, cold emails cannot afford to be vague. The subject lines should be simple, but it should be clear who the target audience is. If this sound tricky, it's because it is; writing a simple subject line (and email copywriting in general) that is compelling is an art, but it is also essential.
If possible, the subject lines or the opening lines of your cold email should identify pain points, the body email should include social proof, value proposition, and should read as though it was written by a real person for a real person. This may sound silly, but too often cold emails can read like they were simply generated, and don't take time to communicate the way a real person would.
Leave out the boring stuff, vague descriptions and promises; be direct, concise, and compelling. Writing good cold emails is about sharpening what you have to say to its finest point. Your entire cold email should in a sense be a call to action generally, punctuated with a specific, easily followable call to action at the end. Don't hit at the general direction of the site, provide landing pages, or for example a blog post you recently wrote for your client, identify a unique pain point and demonstrate the solution to it; be specific.
Don't Forget Follow Ups
This is key. Cold email campaigns are, in the best-case scenario, just the beginning of an ongoing relationship between your client and their customer, with you as a silent middleman. Keep track of your response rate, conduct follow-ups, and obtain reviews for further social proof, learning lessons from every negative and positive response will allow you to build on your momentum going forward. All of this also helps your future emails continue to avoid the spam filter. Get feedback, and ensure your target audience is being reached.
You Are Now Ready To Write An Elite, Effective Cold Email Campaign
But don't forget this last bit of advice; never get complacent. Never assume that you are so good that you can't continue to improve. As with all digital marketing, and copywriting generally, it is a constantly changing game, and you have to stay up to date on current trends and changes in the landscape to remain as effective as you can possibly be. So never get complacent.