How can you get replies to cold emails? Many people think that cold emails are a waste of time because they are passive, impersonal, and ineffective.
Yet this is far from the truth. When done right, cold emails can turn readers into customers. Compelling cold emails contain must-have characteristics to become effective.
There is no need to sound "robotic" even when sending email blasts to potential customers. You can use cold email templates and still provide personalized marketing.
Read more below to know the must-have characteristics of cold emails to attract more readers and turn them into regular customers. But before that, what makes cold emails different from spam emails, and what can you do to prevent your cold emails from going to your recipient's "spam" folder?
Is Cold Email Spam?
Answering this interesting question allows you to embrace the perks of cold email. And no, cold emails are far from being spam emails. They have distinguishable characteristics which make a cold email sound more welcoming and safe than opening a spam email.
Many consider them similar because both can be automated and may heavily use templates for sending large quantities of emails. However, there are many reasons why your email flags some emails as spam while others make it to your inbox.
The glaring differences between them are found in the body of your emails. Spam emails usually lack real names, contact information, and client personalization. They also push readers to purchase directly rather than keep them as customers. This approach is usually made without the sender introducing themselves, leading to money-centered content rather than a customer-centered approach.
Due to the lack of personalization of spam emails, sending an email blast from one email to large amounts of email addresses automatically sends the email to the spam folder.
If you noticed some of these practices applied to your emails, it might be time to change your cold emails. Continue reading below to find some tips for creating creative and effective cold emails.
No one will open your email when you ignore the importance of the subject line. Chances are your audience may even leave your email in their inbox, along with their unread messages.
Subject lines should be able to break through and successfully make your audience open your email. Without applying the best subject lines, you leave your content speaking to a disengaged audience.
Subject lines aim to attract your readers to open the email, which may constitute half of your cold email success. Your subject lines prepare the readers for the content and solution you offer for their needs.
Beware of putting clickbait subject lines where you promise more solutions than you can actually provide. You can be creative and witty without having to resort to fooling readers.
To prevent this, you can research your audience first and know which solutions you can provide for their needs.
Know Your Audience
Researching your potential audience is important if you want to get replies to your cold emails.
With information about your audience, you will have an easier time crafting your email and adjusting your content to your audience's preference. When composing your message, it helps you choose between keywords to set the tone for your readers perfectly.
You will also sound more relevant when you research your audience. It makes you more knowledgeable about your topic because you are backed with evidence rather than assumptions regarding your audience's problems.
For example, you can research your audience's demographics and their average age group. Do more millennials open your emails, or do you have more of a Gen Z audience? The latter may prefer shorter and flashier emails than the former. You may even use some slang words to be "in" with what's trending in their communities.
Your main goal in research is to get a response from your audience. The information you gather may be overwhelming (or underwhelming in smaller communities).
You may only focus on the relevant associations you can make between your product and your recipients' needs, increasing the likelihood of getting a response.
Lastly, if you think you need to send follow-up or future cold emails to the same audiences, you may want to save your research to create "customer personas." You may consider this a profile to update and build on based on the results of your research and your audience's replies.
Create or Improve your “From” Line
Before pondering your main content, you must first ensure that your "From" line contains all the necessary information your client needs to stay engaged.
The "From" line, a dedicated space for your formal (or informal, depending on your audience) introduction, is best situated at the start of the email. You may include a sentence about yourself or your business's background.
A good way to do this is to incorporate a name in your cold email. For example, you can say, "Hello, [Name]! This is [your name] from [company].com!" This way, you introduce yourself and your company in one sentence. Additionally, when they reply, you give your audience a name to use in their greetings.
More importantly, it should include the objective you are trying to accomplish by contacting the reader. Being direct to the point creates a professional first impression with your reader because it implies how you value their time.
Validate Yourself and Your Business
Validating yourself can happen in your “From” line or within your content. Validating yourself is your attempt to associate yourself with your reader.
You may have thoroughly researched the characteristics of your audience, but they still consider you a stranger. You can validate yourself in your introduction or your motivation for reaching out.
For example, you can establish trust by associating yourself with a familiar personality or brand. If you send cold emails based on referrals, you can mention the endorser's name.
You can also establish credibility by “showing” authority. You can mention accomplishments (e.g., awards, honorable mentions, TV appearances) to authenticate your business.
Without significant accomplishments, you can use commonalities to validate yourself. Use your research about your audience to mention a reputable place in their town (e.g., a well-known school or park) or a common event (e.g., specific holidays or local gatherings). Any similarity with your readers would allow them to fit in with you and render you less of a stranger and more of a friend.
Apply Offers and Calls-To-Action
After establishing credibility and trust with your reader, you can now propose an offer they almost cannot resist. Getting them to read your email may be half the battle, and getting them to accept your offer may be the other significant half.
Like the subject line, do not clickbait your users into promises or services you do not provide. To make your offer more effective, provide call-to-action commands they can follow after thinking about your offer. It makes your approach friendly and reliable when leading your readers rather than luring them.
You may also include statistics or numbers to convince your reader how your solution can address their problems. Use your research data about your audience to know what statistics can be relevant when reading your offer.
Your offers must require the least mental energy from your audience as possible. For example, giving them a time and a date for a potential meeting (e.g., “Let’s meet at 8:00 AM on Wednesday!”) and replying “Yes” or “No” can be a better alternative to saying “Let me know when you are free!”
Sometimes just visiting a link or giving pertinent personal details is enough. Establishing trust is important because you avoid the risk of being perceived as a phisher or scammer.
Personalization can come in different forms and may even depend on the reader's preference. A personalized message must feel natural to the reader as if they are having a real-life conversation with you.
When you use a formal tone, you risk sounding too stiff and off-putting to your reader. You also risk becoming overly intrusive to their concerns when you are too informal. The idea is to sound natural, not informal. For some, simulating the conversational tone with a family member or a friend hits the sweet spot.
It is a great idea to include why you specifically sent the email to them instead of just random people. You can describe their occupation or unique traits to identify what differentiates them.
A good way to pitch your offer is to focus on the benefits of your product rather than its features. Include the testimonies of active customers, before and after photos, and videos to help you build your argument of having social proof.
Instead of focusing on selling your product, it can be helpful to focus on building relationships as you write your email body and offers. Doubts about your solutions may kick in the minds of your readers if no one else has experienced its results.
Case studies and collaborations can also help with providing social proof. There is no need to tell the full story in your email, as it is better to keep it short. A two- or three-sentence summary can suffice in showing your product's benefits in the lives of others.
A collaboration with famous personalities and corporations improves your social proof. Someone else speaking highly of your products is a form of word-of-mouth you can deliver. If they have heard of the brands you mentioned, they can recall their positive experiences and associate them with you.
Your emails must be kept short and simple to increase your response rate. Sending long messages with blocks of text can be a natural turn-off in the professional world. A quick and easily digestible format is the bar for consuming content, especially in this fast-paced environment.
In a practical sense, many people now use their phones to manage email notifications. These notifications may include yours, so shorter and more direct content gets more attention. The less scrolling your reader has to do, the more they can process your offer.
Ideally, your email should only be around 100-200 words. There is no real rule for email lengths as the goals for sending them may vary, but since you want to attract as much response as possible, plan to keep it within this range.
You may remove filler words or fluff and rephrase sentences to optimize your content. You usually catch these writing mistakes when you read your email more than once before sending it.
Appreciation for Their Time
This tip comes in line with personalization as it values your readers' time amidst their busy day. While the assumption might be wrong, appreciating their time always puts you on the right.
For example, instead of just ending your email with a "Thank you!" before your signature, you can improve it to read, "Thank you so much! I appreciate you taking the time to read this email!" or "Thank you! I am grateful."
You can even say that it is okay for them not to answer. While it feels counterintuitive, it shows how considerate you are of the readers' attention and thoughts. Giving them a choice to answer may make them more likely to respond to you.
This benefit is a matter of preference, unlike the benefits provided by the other tips above. It is fine to omit the excessive gratitude expression if you feel unsettled about expressing it.
Writing cold emails is far from being cold in its delivery. You must think about coming off as a warm salesperson without either overdoing or underdoing it.
To help you craft your best cold email, you need to research your audience and their relevant characteristics. Gathering information about them can help set your conversational tone and highlight your similarities. It can help you personalize your email to their preferences.
To properly start your email, you need to have a strong subject line and credible "From” line. Showing your credibility helps build trust and lowers their perception of risk to you. Mention the collaborations and famous personalities who have used your product. You can also present customer testimonials.
Present your attractive offer with an “easy” call-to-action request. The easier it is, the higher your chances are of getting a response. Then, end your email with an appreciation for their time to show your gratitude for their attention in hopes of future contact with them.