Cold Email Best Practices: Boosting Your Open and Reply Rates
Cold Email Best Practices You Can Implement Today
In the cold email game, there are a ridiculous amount of bad pitches. From spam to random requests for mentorship, we’ve all received a few emails we’ll never respond to. Still, sometimes our professional lives demand that we reach out and make ourselves known either to those more experienced, those whose coverage we need, or those that can be potential mentors on our way to a brighter future. And since the whole world could do with a little better email etiquette, we’ve compiled a list of best practices to boost email open and reply rates.
You Have To Name Names…
“Dear Sir or Madam” and the even more terrible “To Whom It May Concern” is the fastest way to get completely skipped over. If you open with that, you deserve it. Do the homework. Know the name and title of the person you’re reaching out to and use them so they know you’re serious.
Not everyone will like you. Not everyone will be interested in what you’re offering. But when you get their name wrong you destroy any chance to winning over those that might.
Explain In The Subject Line
Similar to explaining what a movie is about to a skeptical friend, you want your subject line to be exciting, concise, and cover all the necessary information right up front. Let the person in question know your intentions without having to guess at what you want. Be sure to create benefit for them, keep the subject non-sensational with lowercase letters, and make it personal by mentioning something about them or their company. Offer up the most comprehensive idea of what your email is about, so they’ll know as soon as they see it and want to be a part of it.
Example Subject Lines:
1. Contacting you at [referral]’s suggestion
2. [Using a personal tidbit about the buyer]
3. Can I help?
4. Quick question..
5. We can help you [goal]
Wrap It Up
Nobody wants to sit around reading emails all day. Make sure your overall email is short and to the point. Fluff gets you forgotten. Try to keep your email around 4 to 6 sentences, and break them up into individual paragraphs. The objective is to avoid overwhelming your reader, while making them see the value in reading your email. Get to the point early. Get out even sooner. Leave the long explanations for more interested parties.
Make It Personal
Think about it. How likely are you to respond to a email from your boss? A friend? Your mother? Probably far more likely than you are to respond to a robot. When emails come in without personalization and “canned looking” it goes right into the spam folder. At best it’s unread, and at worst blocked with a mental note to never to talk to the person that sent it.
The most effective approach is to connect with your reader. Find editorial mistakes or broken links on their site then suggest changes. Mention a news item or innovation important to the company. Link to a bit on their company site beyond the home page, and let them know you’ve studied up on them. Even better, remind the recipient of a time you’ve actually met in person or attended a speech or seminar they’ve given. Stand out by being as personal as possible.
Just because the email is cold, doesn’t mean it has to be arctic. By familiarizing yourself with your target and purpose you can greatly increase your rate of response and enhance your business.