Tell us if you have ever received an email out of the blue, offering a product or service that you would never have found out on your own. This approach of reaching out to prospective buyers is known as cold emailing – we are sure every marketer has heard of it!
What Is Cold Emailing?
Cold emailing is a popular practice in the B2B world of communications. After all, it is not surprising given that 80% of individuals prefer that sales representatives contact them via email. A cold call can interrupt your workday, while a direct message on social media might be too personal for a prospective sales pitch. According to a McKinsey study, cold emails are almost 40 times more effective than social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook combined. This makes cold emailing the perfect channel for reaching out to prospects as it balances personalization with the formality needed for a sales pitch.
Email as a form of business outreach has been proven to be effective time and again. Consumers are more likely to respond to emails than any other kind of correspondence. If you aim to generate new customers and retain existing ones, cold emailing can be your best bet.
However, not every marketing team gets cold emails right. Think of the fact that the average ROI for cold emails in 2021 was $38. That is, for every $1 invested in cold emailing campaigns, marketers brought in business worth $38. Yet, in 2021, one in five businesses that used cold emailing tactics could only manage to achieve an ROI of less than $5 for every dollar invested. Several factors, such as the lack of personalization, the day and time of the cold email campaigns, and even the number of characters in the subject line affect how your cold emails are perceived by prospects. Hence, it is critical for every marketer to know how to send cold emails the right way.
How Important Is Cold Emailing?
Email marketing is probably the most effective outreach strategy for businesses. By and large, emails are how most of us in the business world communicate every single day. It is barely possible to find a marketer or salesperson who does not have an email address! This is not surprising when you realize that global email traffic peaked at 333 billion emails a day in 2021. This number is expected to reach 376 billion emails per day by 2025, as per Statista. Every marketer out there is looking to leverage this growth to get the maximum possible outreach. That is why cold emails can be the perfect solution for B2B businesses.
The most significant reason for using cold emailing is lead generation. Roughly 89% of marketers use cold emails as the primary channel for lead generation initiatives. Cold emails can also help businesses conduct market research to understand public opinion. This can be invaluable in identifying the inconveniences faced by your target audience and gathering their feedback. We are sure you would like to validate your ideas before a new product or service launch, right? Naturally, you cannot expect users to magically land on your survey page; you need to go to them. A well-crafted cold email can garner vital insights into your customers’ pain points, or offer insightful feedback.
Moreover, apart from catering to your consumers’ pain points, cold email campaigns are an excellent way for marketers to build new connections. If executed properly, cold emailing campaigns may not just bring in new customers but create loyal, recurring ones. Yet, the most important reason to leverage cold emails is it’s ease of outreach. If you simply reach out to a prospect via email after they recently searched for a solution that you offer, they are more likely to purchase from you again. Reaching out to people with genuine needs and problems that you can fix is a great opportunity to use cold emailing. You can develop a base of loyal customers by understanding what matters to them and offering them worthwhile solutions.
Yet, marketers can be caught in two minds between cold calling and cold emailing. Here’s all you need to know!
What’s The Difference Between Cold Emailing And Cold Calling?
A cold email is essentially the initial point of interaction between a business and a potential customer. For most of us, the concept of cold emails may seem similar to cold calling. Even though the approaches appear to be very similar, cold emails are actually less intrusive and show a better response. Here are some reasons why cold emailing tends to outperform cold calling.
Most people often aren’t receptive to receiving cold calls, especially on non-working days. Would you sacrifice your Saturday evening card game to talk to a sales rep? Absolutely not! On the other hand, calling people on working days can get them frustrated and less receptive to your pitch. Cold emails, however, can be viewed when the prospect has the time and patience to check their emails. Chances are, they would be more open to considering your pitch than if you call them during an important meeting. The fact is that cold calls can be intrusive, while cold emails are not.
Furthermore, cold emails are easier for businesses to scale. In the time it would take to make a single cold call, you could send out thousands of cold emails. You can also attach more visually appealing and informative content within a cold email. Videos and infographics can help your prospects better understand figures, statistics, and concepts that might be harder to convey over the phone.
However, there are certain drawbacks to using cold emails too. The most significant risk with cold emails is that of them being ignored. Numerous cold emails may be sent to prospects every day. In such cases, the cold emails will either be ignored or outright deleted by the prospects. Cold calls, on the other hand, often tend to have a personal touch. Cold calling can let marketers and sales reps gauge the likelihood of a prospect’s conversion much faster. Since cold calls are far more dynamic than cold emails, it allows salespeople to adjust their strategy and pitch on the fly, based on the prospect’s requirements and responses. The entire conversation can be guided and tailored to the prospect’s preferences to ensure a more acceptable response. No amount of personalization of a cold email can help change the outcome if your prospect isn’t sold on your pitch at the outset – sometimes just the subject line is enough for them to delete the email!
Yet, the fact remains: cold email marketing has an ROI that is two times higher than cold calling, according to MarketingSherpa. It is undeniable that cold emails are the way to go for most marketers. Hence, they need to perfect their cold emailing campaigns down to the last detail. What better way to do that than employing a comprehensive checklist that covers every aspect of cold emailing?
6 Critical Elements You Need To Get Right For Successful Cold Emailing
To be fair, cold emailing is much more challenging to perfect compared to other outreach mediums. Firstly, there is no real relationship between the business and the prospective audience. The prospects have no incentive or motivation to read your cold emails. More importantly, marketers lack real-time feedback, which means they cannot modify their campaign approach till they analyze and understand the results of the previous campaign. (Remember how we mentioned that cold calls allow for instant feedback?) These are the two main causes behind most cold email campaigns failing.
Think of this: According to a SuperOffice study, 33% of cold email recipients choose whether to open an email based on the subject line alone. You simply cannot afford to lose out on a third of your prospective audience before they even open the email. The most practical approach is to understand how cold emails work and build a solid campaign that covers each aspect of it. From the subject line and the CTA to the timing and its optimization, here are six elements of your outgoing cold email campaigns that you need to ace:
1. Assemble The Right Outreach List
Even the most meticulous cold emails won’t have the desired effect if you are not sending them to the right people. Like trying to sell snow to an Eskimo, as the sales adage goes. It is crucial to understand the intentions and needs of your prospective customers. In fact, according to HubSpot, 40% of sales reps say that prospecting is the most challenging part of their job.
For example, knowing that a customer has visited your website and looked up information about your service or product is a surefire indication that they are interested in your business. Cold emailing that potential customer has a higher chance of success. Based on the prospect’s intent, professional domain, geography, budget, and other factors, you must first identify the right prospects. Creating a solid outreach list for every cold email campaign is difficult, but it is also necessary.
2. Warm Up Your Cold Emails By Adding Some Personalization
Do we really need to tell you that personalization is the core of every successful cold email campaign? A report by Customer.io shows that personalized emails have 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click rates than emails without any personalized content. Marketers can use simple tactics such as mentioning the prospect’s name, company name, or other personal details to build rapport and improve the chances of getting a response.
If your cold emails are not showing any improvement even after adding personalization, try to tailor the subject line. A study published by Experian Marketing Services demonstrated that cold emails with personalized subject lines get 50% higher open rates. Using the same standardized template for each prospect is convenient and hassle-free, but personalized cold emails will get you results. You cannot ignore this aspect when it comes to cold emails!
3. Optimize Your Cold Emails
Optimizing your cold emails can go a long way toward increasing open rates. Most marketers underutilize optimization strategies, which is why they can provide a significant advantage to your cold email campaigns. Here’s a handy list of what you need to optimize and what to keep in mind:
Subject Lines: The most common advice when it comes to writing subject lines is to keep them short and crisp. This allows for better visibility on a smartphone screen, as roughly 1.7 billion users check emails on their mobile phones, compared to around 0.9 billion users on desktops. Yet, research from Writecream shows that the open rates for cold emails with longer subject lines are higher. Based on the number of characters, emails with subject lines between 98-111 characters deliver an open rate of over 50%.
Moreover, according to YesWare, subject lines that include a question get about 10% more open rates on average. Marketers can try experimenting with subject lines of varying character lengths to find the sweet spot for their target audience.
- Email Body: Avoid writing unnecessarily long introductory statements – very few prospects want to know about your founding principles. Aim to quickly get to the part that offers the greatest value and incentive to your prospects. A HubSpot study showed that the best email length for a sales pitch is between 50 and 125 words. Think of it this way: you readers should not have to spend more than a minute reading it through. Additionally, ensure that the font in your email body is readable across devices and email clients. Although, just to be clear, don’t go for Comic Sans either!
- Call-To-Action (CTA): Your Call-To-Action should be direct and instructional. Either make it clear to your prospects what you want them to do or construct your email so that they can consent to you keeping the conversation going. Marketers may be tempted to ask potential customers to contact them at a toll-free number or to reply to the cold email with a contact number to set up a meeting. However, cold emails with a single CTA can increase the clickthrough rate by 371%. Additionally, make sure that your CTA is visible and easily clickable.
- Signature Optimization: Since cold emails are your prospect’s first interaction with you, they might be curious to learn more about your business. You can establish trust with potential customers by optimizing your cold emails to link back to pertinent content. Links to the home page of your website, recent blogs, accolades, or social media profiles can help you establish credibility. However, a word of caution: the more links you include in an email body, the more likely it will end up in the spam folder rather than the prospect’s inbox. Although an important element of cold emailing, don’t overdo it.
4. Find The Right Time
Often a challenging aspect to fine-tune, the timing of your cold email campaigns can make a huge difference. As most people are responsive early in the morning and late in the evening, you should try to schedule your campaign during those times. According to Yesware, cold emails sent between 1 PM to 4 PM on workdays get the best response. Campaign Monitor also analyzed 100 billion emails and found out that Mondays have the highest email open rates while Tuesdays get the highest click-through rates. Although, keep in mind that your target audience may not follow this same trend. However, emails sent on weekends always get the lowest open rates. It is therefore best to refrain from contacting prospects on Saturdays and Sundays.
5. Proofread And Then Proofread Again
Nothing ruins your cold email campaigns like having grammatical or spelling errors. A prospect may (rightfully) be put off by a single typo or incorrect spelling. Hence, marketers need to ensure a professional level of proofreading before hitting send on their cold emails. Using paid tools such as Grammarly or PerfectIt is advisable. Besides, you can create a checklist outlining all grammatical issues and inconsistencies that need to be checked to ensure your cold emails are pristine.
6. Develop A Follow-Up Strategy
Sent your cold email campaign? Good! But that was just the first step – you now need to develop a comprehensive strategy to know what you will do once the replies start flowing in. For example, sending a second cold email (a follow-up) can improve the chances of getting a reply. The majority of marketers do not focus on this aspect of cold emailing as it is seen as a fruitless effort. Yet, according to a study by Backlinko, sending an additional email to follow up can boost replies by 65.8%.
Scheduling multiple follow-up emails, cold calls, or social media engagement can be part of your follow-up strategy. Yet, following up for the sake of it can be unproductive. Instead, marketers should aim to further the prospects in their buying journey and make a genuine connection.
Wrapping It Up
Even after months of optimization and fine-tuning, there will always be room for improvement due to shifting market conditions. Cold emailing campaigns allow you to survey and identify better sales prospects while building better connections. Using the above six-point checklist, you can improve your cold emailing campaigns to reach a larger and more engaged audience.