Offensive Sales Play #17: Emailing Cold Lists

Offensive Sales Play #17: Emailing Cold Lists

Once upon a time, when an email address was a novelty and your heart raced every time AOL rang out the news that you had a message, cold emailing was a great way to reach out to potential customers.

However, it didn’t take long before virtually all unsolicited email was considered spam, never to be taken seriously again. Too many false promises, too many emails to sift through, and not enough offers that leads actually cared about. And now, all marketers (and sales teams) suffer as a result.

The good news is that cold email marketing does have its place in today’s world. Cold emailing can still reach people who need the services you offer, and it can help you to reinforce your image among those customers who already know who you are.

But it helps to approach cold emails with a gameplan. Just like you wouldn’t line up at the line of scrimmage without picking a play from your playbook, you shouldn’t write your next cold email without crafting some strategies first.

And the good news? With the right techniques, you don’t have to be a professional (writer OR marketer) to beat the competitors to the opened-email end zone.

DO: Use Buyer Personas

While it’s true that some customers won’t know who you are, you can still dictate what type of response you’ll get. The best way to do this is to create personas based on the types of people you want to respond to your offer. Craft your emails to speak directly to your buyer personas, then include calls to action that will encourage these leads to take the next step.

DO: Use Catchy Subject Lines

A boring subject line can doom your email before it’s ever read. Don’t let this happen to you! Your email has to make an immediate impact, and the best way to do that is to create a compelling subject that gets people to want to open up your email. Keep it short (50 characters or less) and get right to the point – what can the reader expect to find upon opening this email, and how does that benefit them?  

DON’T: Use Sensationalistic Subject Lines

You can always tell when an email won’t be able to deliver what it promises in its subject line. Clickbait-esque subjects do more harm than good because they leave the reader hanging, which won’t leave them with a favorable impression of your company. Also, an all-caps subject line makes you look desperate for attention, which isn’t a good look. A well-written, engaging subject line accomplishes far more than shouting half-truths at your email list. False promises are the fastest play to the Unsubscribe List.

DO: Focus on Providing Value

It’s much easier to get a dad to bring his kids to the game if it’s bobblehead day. The same concept applies in business. You have the opportunity to sell your audience on a solution that they didn’t even know existed. A great way to do this is to do something that will help those people right away. A link to an eBook or white paper is a fine start, and you can go further in future emails. Give people a reason to give your company a chance; if you do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

DON’T: Be Shy About Getting Personal

When emailing a cold list, the options for customization are somewhat limited. You can base your email copy around buyer personas, but you can’t go in-depth with personalizing your message because you only know so much about your audience. However, you can definitely use the name of the recipient, and you should do this early and often. Simply using the recipient’s name in the subject can result in an open rate of 80 percent or higher. Once you show people that you understand them, if only on a small scale, you have a much better chance of developing a long-term relationship.

A cold email to a list is always a little awkward for both the sender and the recipient. By taking pre-emptive actions to target buyer personas and customizing where you can, you’ll open the door for your recipients to get interested in what you have to say. As you provide value for these recipients, you’ll encourage them to follow your message more closely. And if you give enough incentive to your leads, they’ll eventually become paying customers.