Many people receive hundreds of emails every day. However, only a small number of these sales emails are opened, let alone even read. Few of them ever receive a response whether they reply or click on a link.
If you’re trying to figure out how to write a cold email, it can be overwhelming. Besides, how can you overcome these obstacles and stand out in a crowded inbox?
How do you guarantee your cold emails are opened and acted upon?
In this guide, we’ll show you the right cold email strategy to craft emails that get responses and result in closed deals.
The 5 Components of a Great Cold Email
Any successful sales email has five critical components. The main components are the subject line, the open, the body, the call-to-action and the signature.
1) Subject Line
If the subject line of your cold email sounds as if it is a fancy newsletter-style email, the first thing your recipient will do is archive or ignore it. This is also a major red flag and could land you in the Gmail Promotions tab. Keep it simple, and it's not going to be an error. If your recipient never opens your emails because of your subject line, you’ll always be stuck at square one.
The subject line of a winning email is by far the most critical component. Do whatever you can to ensure that your subject line is of interest to your receiver.
How You Can Improve:
Don’t use catchy slogans. Many people believe that a sales email should be full of catchy slogans. Know your audience if you want your emails to be taken seriously. Be true to your company and to yourself, not as a Buzzfeed listicle writer.
Capitalize only the first word of your subject line. You Don’t Have to Capitalize Every Word In a Subject Line. It will make you feel like a commercial broadcast that only reaches half a million people. Using lowercase words after the first word for better readability.
Ask in your subject line. A good question can raise open rates significantly. Make your question sound conversational. Asking a question only to increase open rates always backfires. Emails with question marks in the subject line had an 8% lower click rate.
There are plenty of subject line examples to choose from depending on your industry and ideal customers. It’s best to go with simple, personalized subject lines rather than catchy subject lines you may see every day in your inbox. Some of the best subject lines are:
"[Introduction] [your name/company] <> [their name/company]"
"Trying to connect"
2) Opening Lines
Have you ever opened an email and you’re still not sure what the sender is trying to say? That’s what you want to avoid when writing your opening emails.
You first need to ask yourself how you would like your recipient to answer the starting line of your sales email. Does your prospect seem more formal and conventional and would like to be greeted as Ms. or Mr.? Would they prefer to be greeted with Hey, Hi, Hello, and their first name? If you’re not sure, look at your ideal customer profile and ask others on your team to ensure you’re writing the right way.
How You Can Improve:
Start strong with your opening lines. There are three things that a good sales email opening line should have:
- Establish context as to why you’re reaching out.
- Make a meaningful connection to create trust and credibility.
- Offers a natural step into their sales pitch.
Here’s an example of a great opening line:
Hi [name of prospect],
I wanted to reach out because I saw that your team is publishing a lot of fantastic content on your blog, and I love your [product or service]. I have partnered with a variety of similar companies [such as the recognizable brand X, Y and Z] to help generate more leads from that content with our lead generation automation software.
You can then go into your pitch based on the context of your opening lines. Other opening lines could be:
- To build trust: My name is [name] and I work with [name of the company]. We work with organizations like [similar company name] [insert one-sentence pitch].
- To ask for a referral: I'm sorry to bother you. Would you be so kind as to tell me who is responsible for [insert your biggest pain point here that resonates with your ideal customer] and how do I get in contact with them?
Try deploying one of these opening lines inside your cold emails, depending on which contact style your recipients want the most—you'll be glad you did.
3) The body and delivering your pitch
The body and pitch of your email can differ greatly depending on your objective. You can only structure a sales email after you know exactly what you want from this conversation.
Think about your cold email’s purpose: Do you want to garner their interest and schedule an exploratory call? Do you want to send them a free trial sample of your product?
You need to offer a persuasive pitch that’s relevant to your recipient’s pain points and ends on a clear call-to-action.
How You Can Improve:
The first step in the sales process is always to chat about your needs on the telephone. This is a crucial first step in deciding whether the sales discussion can continue and avoid meeting leads who are lukewarm or will never close.
Explain more of who you are. If there is not enough credibility in your opening lines, then start by emphasizing that at the beginning of your pitch. Refer to other companies using your products or service.
In one single sentence, describe the dilemma that you are solving. Write a one-sentence pitch that is most important to that prospect. If your offering and advantages cannot be summarized in a succinct pitch, it is time to write one for yourself.
Emphasize the clear-cut advantages that can affect the prospects. Try to explain that this email is personalized for them. Use this value-driven approach to begin a discussion, and you’ll work with better quality leads.
Here are a few examples of how to offer a captivating pitch without taking too much time on worthless information for your prospect:
The short edition:
Dear [First name],
My name is [name] and I work with [my company name]. We work with companies just like [relevant company name] to [insert one-sentence pitch].
[One-sentence unique benefit for their company].
Could you help me to talk to the right person about this so we can see if this would be something beneficial to use with your workflow?
The extended edition:
Hey [First name],
[My company] has a new platform that can help (your team at) [their organization name]. [One sentence pitch]. Here’s how we can help you:
Benefit/feature 3 (optional)
Our platform could be a great fit for what you and your company are working on. I’d love to share some more info with you. Do you have a few minutes to chat this Tuesday at 10am or Thursday at 3pm?
4) Closing paragraph and call-to-action
If a direct call-to-action (CTA) is not in your sales email, then your email will go nowhere. The CTA helps your prospect to decide whether your email is received or is sent to trash.
More CTAs will not improve your chances of conversion. The more people you ask in a cold email, the less likely they are to agree to anything. Hard decisions generate stress, and that's the last thing in a sales email you want unless you make it simple for them to answer you.
What to Do:
Offer specific times and dates for a chat. A CTA that says "please let me know when you're available for a phone call" will not encourage any action. Instead, aim to include transparency and give choices of times and dates for your prospect. You're doing the job for them and all they have to do is say either yes or no.
For example, you can ask “Would next Tuesday at 11:30am or Wednesday at 2pm work for a quick 10-minute call?”
You can work with your prospect to schedule other times and dates if they reply otherwise. You can also include a link to your Calendly schedule and allow them to choose the times that work for them.
Make your questions easy to answer. Your CTA must be convincing if you're asking others to take any action that needs a bit of effort. Personalize the connection you are sending to them and make it as quick as possible to complete the action.
You can give your prospect a link and a glowing statement: “I created a unique link just for you that will expire in 24 hours – this will give you a free 30-day trial of our product. In just a minute, you’ll see how this works and the results seen by other companies.”
Use a straightforward, direct call-to-action with every cold email. Leave no space for misinterpretation or misunderstanding.
The email signature may seem basic, but it is one of the most undervalued, prized pieces of an email that’s often an afterthought for many salespeople. Instead, you can use it as another means of selling to your prospects.
What to Do:
Feature positive media stories. One of the easiest ways to passively market is by putting a link to a good press story. Do you have a recent article or blog post reporting about your company’s growth? Don’t be afraid to show it off. It lends more trust and credibility to your pitch and brand.
Include a recorded webinar. Provide a link to a recent webinar offered by your organization such as a product demo, customer interview, or a recent keynote speech by the CEO. Many customers who take your product or service seriously will be interested to learn more.
Post a YouTube video. If your business has its own YouTube channel or uses video ads, your email signature is a perfect way to get the attention of prospects. In Gmail, a thumbnail of the video is shown when you connect a YouTube video attachment. MIT researchers claim that those that contain individuals are the most unforgettable photos.
Remember Your Goal: To Get Your Prospect’s Interest
You should still aim to give value to your prospects, but often you will lead a cold email to pique their curiosity. Give them a reason to respond and begin a real dialogue. You then have a chance to create a connection to talk about your product or service and its value.
It's crucial that you send the right message in your cold email, so don't be too salesy. Introducing yourself and your pitch gently without sounding too emotional or incompetent is much better.
When you receive a response from a prospect, answer as soon as possible to get their interest and foster a connection with them. You’ll be on your way to transform your cold email into a great sales opportunity.
Creating cold emails all comes down to how well you personalize your email, subject line, and call to action. You should also know your target customers and market.
It can take a lot of time to search the Internet to find out where your customers are and then find out their email addresses. To make the process much easier, you can always use a cold email platform Icy Leads.
When you use all these points and send out the right messages to your target prospects, you can see more responses that can affect the direction of your business’s growth.