You spend 30 minutes writing “the perfect cold email.”
You re-read it 3 times before sending it to make sure it’s flawless.
You hit “send” and wait for a reply…
And you realize that you just sent another cold email that didn’t get a reply.
But here’s some good news: There’s a proven method to getting your emails opened, read and replied to.
If you focus on your reader’s interest (and not your own), you’re guaranteed to write better emails.
So before you write a single word of your cold email, “take a walk in their shoes.”
Picture that person in your head for a second. (Go to their linkedin profile so you can actually see who you’re about to email.) And imagine what their day looks like.
If your email recipient is like most people:
And if you think they care about you, you’re wrong.
Nevil Medhora, one of my favorite copywriters, says to repeat this mantra 3 times out loud before you write your email:
“No one cares about you, they only care about themselves.”
How do you find out “What’s in it for them??”
Do research for 5-10 minutes on their LinkedIn profile and company website to find out their goals and interests.
Then, offer up something of value in your cold email that ties into what their goals/interest are. Share a blog post, story or white paper in your email that will help your cold email recipient get what they want over time.
Think of this like a “virtual handshake” that helps build a relationship.
More than a third of email recipients determine whether they should even open an email based on the subject line alone. So yes, this subject line alone deserves it’s own post, but for now, here’s what you need to know:
As a copywriter, I’ve seen how swapping a few words can make the difference between getting a sale or boring someone to death.
Here’s the most common mistakes that are stopping your cold email from getting replies:
Mistake #1) Your Emails Are Confusing: Keep your email simple to get more replies. As a rule of thumb, don’t write a cold email with more than one question or call to action.
Mistake #2) Your Questions Are Too Hard To Answer: You want your cold email to be brain-dead-easy to answer. So make it easy to reply to your first email with something like, “Can I send you this free whitepaper that will help you with this?”
Then once you’ve started a conversation and provided value, you can ask more complex questions or requests.
Mistake #3) Your Calls To Action Are Vague: What’s the #1 goal of your cold email? Think about exactly what you want your recipient to do and then ask for it. For example, don’t say, “I’d love to hear what you think.” (That’s too vague.) Instead try, “Are you available for a 15 minute chat this Tuesday at 1pm so I can get your feedback on this article? ”
Mistake #4) You Don’t Use Their First Name: Don’t start a cold email with, “Hey, Hello, (or even worse) Dear Sir.” Use their first name and make sure your message addresses just one person at a time.
Mistake #5) Your Email Is Too Long: Your recipient is busy. So get rid of any paragraphs and replace them with 3-4 short sentences and/or bullet points.
Guy Kawasaki deletes all emails after 21 days. Why? Because he assumes that, “if it’s truly important, the other person would follow up.” So don’t feel bad about following up!
“Don’t Be Afraid To Followup On Your Followups” – Jessica Huang of SAP
It’s easy to feel bad about following up. But following up is important for both you and your recipient. So instead of thinking, “I don’t want to annoy them” use these tricks to send guilt free follow-ups.
First, install Bananatag (it’s free) to make sure your email was opened. If it did not get opened, change the subject line and send it again 2 days later.
If it did get opened, send a different message and make it even shorter.
Yesware found that when follow up, your chance of getting a response goes up by 21%.
But give your recipient 2-3 days to respond before you follow up. After all, the person you’re sending this to is busy and it’s important to respect that.
After you’ve followed up 3 times without a response, ask if you should stop following up. This way, you won’t waist their time — or yours.
A message like this will work:
And I understand if you haven’t had the time to reply yet.
But I don’t want to bother you with these emails if you’re not interested. If you’d like me to stop following up, just say the word. ”
Before sending an email, look for 2nd-level connections to your recipient on LinkedIn. But be upfront about why you want this intro. Tell them why and give them an easy “way out” if they’re not comfortable giving an introduction.
Send them a short tweet letting them know why you’re excited to connect. If you didn’t get a reply in 2-3 days, jump on LinkedIn and send them a short message. Tell them the main benefit they’d get by connecting with you and let them know you’ve sent them a message.
Open rates are just higher when you send messages early in the morning (6-7 am) or around 8 at night. According to Mashable, at those times, about 40% of emails received a response.