Remember the age-old marketing term ‘cold calling’? It was, or still is in some cases, a technique where you’d have a list of phone numbers and you would call them one-by-one, trying to sell an item or service. It was awful, tedious, and often times very obtrusive to the person at the other end of the phone.
When I first went into marketing, this is something I was taught to do. I hated it. And I never experienced any real growth from it either. While doing this, you may be able to convince one or two people out of the twenty to give in and buy your product or service, but that was very rare. Usually, these people would turn into one-time clients and after the initial contact, you would end up with nothing but crickets. This is how I view cold emailing, to me, it is the exact same concept. You’re sending an unsolicited email to someone that you’ve never met or had any contact with. Cold emailing is your chance at a first impression.
I wanted to write about cold emailing because I received two emails last week that were both very different from one another. Each description is below.
The first did their research. Then, they began to explain what they could do for my company, and even gave an example of the results I might see. It was short and to the point. It was not obtrusive at all, but merely a quick description explaining what they could do to fit my needs.
The second email did no research at all. They basically sent me a pitch telling me what they do, how good they are at it, and included a calendar link to make an appointment with them. That was annoying. I’m sure they found my email address on my website or LinkedIn page, which is fine, but after reading the email it felt very disingenuous and a waste of my time. Why would I want to schedule my own appointment with someone who may or may not be able to help me expand my business? Who is this person? Do they even know anything about me or what I do?
So if you must send out cold emails, please follow these principals first. That way you’ll refrain from sounding too ‘salesy’ and you’ll actually be providing something of value.
PRINCIPALS OF COLD EMAILING:
- Do your research!!!– This is the most important, have some knowledge about the individual or company and use that to your advantage.
- Personalize the email– Use your personal work email address. Speak to your reader by name, use some background information you may have found about the individual or company. Compliment them on some of their achievements. DON’T start the email with just a simple greeting. Be personable!
- Offer something of value– How can you help them? What steps will you take to help them? How might you be a good fit? A freebie wouldn’t hurt either, especially if it pertains to what you’re offering.
- Keep it short and simple– Busy professionals don’t have a lot of time to read through long emails. Try to keep it short and straight to the point. That way if someone just skims through the email, they’re still absorbing key points. Leave out photos, long signatures etc.
- Break up your points- Breaking up your key points will help the reader to easily identify what you’re talking about.
- Add a link or two- Make sure to add your website link so the reader can get further information if they’re interested.
Have you experienced any of these cold email disasters or victories? Would you like to add something to this list? I’d love to hear from you!