How to Extract a Warm Response with a Cold Email?
If you spend one dollar on sending a cold email, you will earn 38 back. Yes, that’s the Return on Investment (ROI) of outbound email outreach.
Email is one of the first gifts the internet gave us, and to this day, it is the most powerful and effective way to reach out to anyone on the grid.
The secret of its success lies in the vaulted secrecy it offers. Your Inbox is one of the most private spaces you cherish on the internet.
Given the number of emails exchanged daily, which runs into billions (3 billion to exact), a scientific genre has evolved to perfect the art of landing an email in the Inbox.
Email service providers like Google, Yahoo, and others try to protect the Inbox’s sanctity, and they have every right to do so.
But from the B2B marketing standpoint, a successful email campaign is still the work of dreams. Given the ROI and effectiveness, every B2B business aims to hit the Inbox and elicit the desired response.
This article is about the human aspect of cold email. The art of language that manages to capture the receivers’ attention in a wink and makes them open, read and respond to a cold email.
The more personalized an email, the better its chances of getting the desired result. But that’s easier said than done.
With so many automation tools that offer critical intelligence, the success of a cold email campaign still remains elusive. There is no silver bullet.
But there are best practices. That can be learned, and its impact measured.
These simple tricks can significantly affect response rates and improved with A/B testing.
Here we have listed some of the do’s and don’ts (mostly don’ts) that, rest assured, will fetch a warm reply.
Keep the Subject Line Short
Long subject lines give rise to suspicions that a machine is behind pressing the sent button.
Think about it. If there is no personal touch in the email, people usually don’t open it. The shorter the subject line, at least visually, it looks like a brief message from a friend who respects the receiver’s time and keeps it to the point.
That’s how personal emails are exchanged between colleagues and friends. A long subject line can instantly wake a feeling that it’s unimportant, and thus it goes down the silent road.
The Greeting Should Not Be Dramatic
Try not to sound over-caring. That’s a put-off.
You are a stranger, so act like one. Lines like ‘Hope you are doing great, ‘take good care of yourself, or ‘hope you are safe’ not only eat away at the crucial word count. But they sound fake.
Because you don’t mean it, even if you meant it, for the receiver, such words can trigger annoyance because they don’t know you and don’t wish to engage in a conversation with you.
So, keep it simple. Try Hi, or Hi there. Don’t go overboard and greet with Dear Sir/Madam. If you do that, don’t expect a reply!
Less Than 50 Words
This goes without saying—you are asking for unsolicited attention.
The less you seek, the better. Research indicates that emails that range from 30 to 50 words work best.
It also makes sense because a tight message only attempts to hit the bull’s eye, and that is it. So, try not to exceed the 50-word mark if you want some attention from the receiver.
Never Mention ‘I.’
Don’t take the high-school write-a-letter approach and introduce yourself first. That’s a recipe for disaster.
You are a stranger. The receiver is not interested in your life or work. The best bet is to start with something they find interesting – something from their business or work.
Because that’s the only way, you can get their attention.
If you waste the first two sentences bragging about your contribution to the world, chances are you will be relegated to the spam folder, never to be seen or heard again.
Each Thought Should Be a Separate Paragraph
For visual clarity and readability, you should always slice each idea into a sentence.
The sentence should ideally have enough white spaces between each other so that it is easy to read and digest.
It should not look choppy, but the information should be laid out in a way that looks clean and easy to absorb.
It is better than a cluttered block of paragraphs that puts one off the moment one opens the email.
Try to Put in the Fact That You Have Not Spoken Directly
In the first two sentences, establish that it’s an unsolicited approach.
This way, you gain the receiver’s trust and show that you are honest about your approach.
A mere two to three words can help you establish a connection because the receiver would lower their guard and care to read the whole email and can also click the CTA option you included.
The Email Should Flow from the Subject Line to the First 20 Words
Users mostly check their emails on cell phones, showing the first two sentences in the body. So, the subject line you picked should be in-sync with the message’s body.
It should flow naturally and read like a follow-through and not an afterthought. Because that could sound made up and unnatural.
Be Specific with Facts and Numbers
If you try to break the ice with a crucial data point or metric that you think will get the receivers’ attention, make sure you put in the details and they are correct.
For instance, you think the receiver will respond to a news item about a competitor’s achievement.
State the name of the business and from where you extracted the information. If you keep it generic, it smacks of a batch email shot and radically decreases the chances of a response.
Linear Thought Process
Don’t try to shove in too many ideas in a cold email. It does not work.
The email should establish the context and what action you expect the receiver to take from start to finish.
Anything that veers off this course can lead to confusion, which usually means the most dreaded response: silence.
Don’t Use This but That Approach
A hopeless cold email template is making rounds. People don’t realize this, but the approach usually doesn’t work.
It starts with identifying a product or service the receiver is apparently using, then points to a flaw in that product and claims to fit it with their product.
It’s called the ‘don’t use this but that’ approach. There are several things wrong with this approach.
First, in B2B business, if your prospect is using your competitor’s product, you don’t hit that with the first unsolicited email.
It’s through a process of gradual education you present your case. If you go all out, it sounds like a sloppy, unasked-for sales pitch that is doomed to fail.
Don’t Ask for Time in the First Email
SDRs continue to make this recurring blunder with the hope of shortening the email cycle from cold to discovery calls.
But research shows they don’t work. Because it does not make sense, it’s that simple.
Asking for the receivers’ precious time on the first cold email is like walking down the street, approaching a stranger, and asking
for a date.
It’s creepy, to say the least. Avoid doing that.
Don’t Put More Than Two Hyperlinks.
Though technically, it is recommended that your cold emails should not have more than two links or the chances of deliverability fall to almost half.
But even from the perspective of email composition that works, more than two hyperlinks look too spammy because it looks too pitchy. Keep the CTA hyperlinked (if needed) that’s all.
Avoid Doubt Words
In the business of sales, the most important asset one can build is authority. A golden rule for salespeople: Sound definite.
Your language should sound like you know what you’re talking about. It should exude confidence and lends authenticity to your
Words like ‘maybe,’ ‘if,’ and ‘possibly’ put the reader on the back foot and make them rethink your claims in the email.
CTA Should Be About Interest or Learning More
The call to action should be effortless. It should be put at the end of the email, and the reader should get it instantly without thinking about it.
If you wrote a brilliant email that manages to cast its spell, a CTA that’s not clear can put off a receiver in a second and change their mind.
But most importantly, the CTA should not be about an appointment or an invitation to something the receiver did not sign up for.
A simple click should lead to further information that can help them make an informed decision on time.
Try to incorporate these key elements in your email; you will see a marked difference in the response rate because they work.