How to Write Great Cold Outreach Emails in 2018

Cold email outreach is one of the hardest forms of professional communication out there today. Some people – especially those that are new to the game – shy away from it because they think that it’s spam (which it’s not). Others have tried multiple times but still fail to achieve the primary goal of any cold email – getting replies.

This happens for many different reasons. The fact that you don’t have an established relationship with the prospect makes cold email outreach harder, but not impossible.

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Then the fact that you’re not approaching the prospect face to face means that you won’t be able to tweak your pitch based on their real-time reactions. This challenge is much harder to get past if your first email doesn’t prompt a response from the prospect. But if you manage to open a meaningful conversation with them, you will be able to land more deals effectively.

So, the question becomes, how do you use a cold outreach email to rope potential customers into a continuous conversation?

For your emails to have more impact in 2018, you will have to tweak your approach. Here’s how you can do this:

How to Write Great Cold Outreach Emails in 2018

Table of Contents

Cold Email Outreach Process

An effective cold email campaign must be run according to a proven, logical process. For example, you can’t start reaching out to a bunch of random people who “might” be able to help you out.

Instead, here is a simplified step-by-step process to get you started:

  •    Before anything else, choose your target group. You can base this choice on your ideal customer profile. This means knowing your demographic, what they do, which challenges they face, and how your service or product can make their job easier.
  •    Find a common link for your target group of prospects.
  •    Start researching each prospect in order to find information that you can use to write your cold outreach email.
  •    Based on this information, come up with a draft outreach email. You can use a good email template to help you here, and then customize it using some relevant details.
  •    Always follow up. You can use RooJet to automate your follow up efforts and make sure you never fail to get back to potential customers.
  •    Track your progress too. This is the only way to know what works – so that you can keep doing it – and what to avoid in future cold outreach emails.

What Makes a Cold Email Effective?

Sending cold emails is a pretty easy process. But sending a good one that gets results? That takes more time, effort, and resources to pull off. That said, any good cold email campaign has to has to have a few essential components. These include:

  • A list of relevant prospects, including finding the right email addresses.

  • A well-crafted, personalized cold email outreach template.

  • A tool that can help you automate your cold email and follow up efforts.

And that’s just in general terms. If you want to craft an effective cold outreach email, the details will make or break your effort. Here are some of the specific things that you have to get just right:

Format your Email Address

A recent study shows that prospects choose to open and read a cold email based on two things: the sender’s email address, and the subject line.

So, that means the obvious first step for your cold email would be setting up a separate email that is dedicated to outbound emails. Then, you will need to warm up your new address. That’s because prospects are just as likely to mark as spam or delete messages from completely new email addresses as those from generic senders.

Here’s how you can do this:

1. Manage your domain reputation

To keep your main IP’s domain reputation intact, it is always a good idea to set up a new email address for outbound. This is something to keep in mind, especially if your website is relatively new.

Say your domain is less than 2 months old and you start sending out tons of cold emails in a short period of time. Unfortunately, this approach is the fastest way to get blocked. Every domain should earn a good reputation – and that takes time.

Each new domain starts out with a neutral reputation. But the host can quickly downgrade this to “bad” if they get any hint that you’re a spammer. You might not be one, but if you start sending mass emails from a new email address on your domain? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this would be a very bad move.

Instead, make the best choices to keep your domain’s reputation intact. For newer websites, you should wait at least two to four weeks before starting to send outreach emails. So make sure to factor in this step way before your cold email outreach campaign is supposed to kick off.

Obviously, this step is mainly aimed at salespeople, marketers, or content creators that are planning to send out hundreds of emails to land new clients or promote their brand. But those who plan on sending out cold outreach emails to land a new job or network can also use the same principle – just on a smaller scale.

2. Configure your Account

Think ahead to your sending requirements before picking a particular service provider. How many emails do you want to send every month? On the other hand, what is the sending limit for every provider that you’re considering? You don’t want to hit your limit when your cold email campaign is just heating up! So think ahead and make your choice wisely.

3. Set up the From line and email signature

Before sending out any outreach emails, it is important to personalize your own email account. The best way to do this is by setting up your “From” line and email signature.

To do this right, make sure that you keep it real. Stay away from random names or abbreviations, and never use any fake identities. If you want prospects to respond to you, then you will have to give them your actual information in return.

If the feature is available, it is also a good idea to add your picture to your profile. This shows prospects that they’re dealing with a real person, not some fake spammer.

When it comes to the signature, keep it simple but detailed. Include your name, company name, job role or title, and a couple of social media profiles that show your best work. This could be anything from a company website or personal blog to your active LinkedIn profile.

Also, ensure that the signature is well written, is free from any grammatical errors, and doesn’t take up too much space.

Research your Prospects

So, how do you find the right prospects? And what do you need to know about them before reaching out?

The first rule here is that just finding the prospect’s name is not enough. You should also find out what their role is in their organization. After all, that forms part of the reason why you reached out to them in the first place.

You must also collect some information about the company, its size, and its location (if the geography matters to your outreach decision).

All this information is critical to how you will personalize your cold outreach email. It will help you personalize the message, show relevance, and provide value to the prospect. In essence, knowing all this will help you craft the perfect email that will be relevant enough to get the prospect to not only read but also reply to your cold email.

Think About your Copy

It has become common practice to use cold email templates in the sales and marketing world. The thinking behind this is actually quite solid. Templates help you hit all the right notes that any cold email should cover while saving you a lot of time and effort. When used correctly, they can help make your outreach campaign more efficient and effective.

That said, it is important not to rely too much on standard templates. Sure, you can find a proven cold email outreach template and use it as is, but there’s an important aspect missing there. That is personalization.

You’ve probably read this time and again, but personalization is one of the best ways of ensuring that your cold emails get opened and read. After all, no one wants to read an obviously canned, generic message from a stranger.

So, your cold outreach email has to show the prospect that you put a little time and effort into it. To do this, you must use a template that:

  • Provides value to your prospects

  • Is relevant, customized, and makes sense to them

  • Ends with a clear call to action that is geared towards starting a meaningful conversation

Beware of too much Automation

Like many other outreach tools, automation exists to make the process faster and easier for you. But too much of a good thing can be harmful. In this case, too much automation too early in the game can transform you from a savvy marketer to a spammer in the span of a few short messages.

That’s why your first cold outreach email to any prospect should always be written personally by you, instead of using some standard template. It is a good idea to start slow and simple.

Also, pay attention to the content of your cold emails. Make sure that the messages sound like they were written by a real person. If you don’t know what to write, you can even share a funny joke or story to help break the ice. Simply put, anything is better than sending random pieces of auto-generated text.

Timing Matters

You have probably heard about the “golden hour” of doing business deals. The same concept applies when it comes to sending cold emails. You don’t want to spend hours crafting the perfect email just to have it fail because you sent it at the wrong time!

Research shows that there is an optimal time to send cold emails. This is when the chances of getting your pitches opened and read increase dramatically. The best times to send cold emails is usually on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday between 10 am and noon.

It is also important to avoid sending out too many emails at the same time. If your account pushes out too many emails at only certain times and is inactive at others, this may raise suspicions with your service provider. You will suddenly find yourself on the fast lane to getting blocked by your email service provider.

Instead, the goal should be to spread out your emails so that the activity looks more normal. So try sending outreach messages at a steady pace whenever possible, as opposed to trying to squeeze them all into the best days and hours. Whatever the case, aiming for 50 cold outreach emails and a few follow ups per day is enough to get you the results you need.

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Always Follow Up

Just because a prospects don’t respond doesn’t mean that you should move on to the next one. In fact, more than 85 percent of all hot leads are generated after you send the initial cold outreach email.

This means that the success or failure of your campaign most likely lies in how you do your cold email follow up.

Test Your Cold Outreach Emails

Since you don’t have the benefit of gauging a prospect’s interest physically, then you will have to rely on other indicators. This is important because you don’t want to keep sending the same emails over and over, yet they are not giving you the results that you expect. That is why you have to test and track your emails.

To measure the success of an email, you have to look at the following:

  •    Open rate – This will tell you just how effective your cold email subject line is.
  •    Response rate – This will show you if the prospects think your email is personalized and relevant enough to their needs.
  •    Sales generated – The total amount of sales that your cold emails generate tends to increase as your open and response rates rise. But the opposite could just as well be true. In this case, it would show you that your message isn’t in line with your sales.

That said, you shouldn’t test too early. If you look at these numbers after only 50 to 100 messages, you likely won’t get any real or measurable data. Instead, wait until you hit the 200 to 300 emails mark before you can start making any major changes.

Cold Outreach Email Templates

Marketers and salespeople typically have to send tons of new emails, every single day. Because of the sheer volume of such campaigns, they started turning to cold outreach email templates to help ease this burden.

But generic templates have become less and less effective over time. Now, prospects are wise to the generic and canned messages some people try to pass off as real outreach messages – and they’re not having it.

Like anything else, a cold outreach email template is a tool. You have to use it correctly in order to get the results that you want. Here are some of the best cold outreach emails to get you started right:

1. Proven Cold Outreach Email Template

Hi (Prospect’s name),

I love (name of prospect’s blog/website). I’ve been a huge fan for a few months/years.

That’s why I decided to reach out to you. I work with companies like (mention a competitor’s name) to (explain your role, e.g. write a weekly article). Here’s one that was recently published on their site (mention title + include URL link).

Just wanted to see if (name or prospect’s website/blog) might be interested in a similar series. You can check out a few more samples of my work here:

  •    URL 1
  •    URL 2
  •    URL 3

Do you think that this is something you might be interested in? If so, just shoot me a quick email and I can share some of the ideas I’ve come up with.

Best,

(Your name).

Alternatively, you could also use this one:

Hi (Prospect’s name),

Couldn’t help but notice that you had a chance to check out the (mention specific topic/title) that I sent you yesterday/last week/etc. There were some pretty interesting (mention main takeaway, data, or statistic).

Just wanted to see if I could answer some questions for you.

If you’re free for a 20-minute meeting/call on (mention specific date and time), I’d be happy to give you a quick demo to show you how we can help.

If not, you can check out this quick webinar to show how we helped another (mention specific industry) (mention specific benefit).

Either way, I appreciate you taking the time to read this!

Best,

(Your name).

2. Cold Outreach Recruiting Email

Hi (Prospect’s name),

I saw your post for (mention job title) on (mention specific website/job board). Just reaching out to the plan/strategy that I drafted for (name of prospect’s company).

I developed this plan/strategy what I know works from my experience developing/building (name of other company)’s (mention specific product/service). This helped them (mention specific benefits). You can also see some of my other recent projects here: [include URL]

With a solid background in (highlight relevant skills), I’m looking forward to helping (name of prospect’s company) achieve even greater things in the (mention specific) industry.

Are you available for a quick X-minute chat on (specific date and time)? If not, just let me know how your schedule looks like for the next week.

Best,

(Your name).

3. Blog Content as Part of Cold Email Outreach

Hi (Prospect’s name),

After publishing our most recent post, (mention title of post + include URL), I immediately thought of you and (name of prospect’s company.

The blog/site post talks about (one sentence breakdown). I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Any feedback is needed and appreciated because it will help us make better content for our audience in the future.

Don’t hesitate to share some of your favorite posts as well. I’m always interested in reading what other professionals in the (mention specific) have to say.

Best,

(Your name).

4. What to Write in Cold Email Outreach for Networking

Hey (Prospect’s name),

I hope this email finds you well. I know you’re busy, so I won’t take up much of your time. I just wanted to take this chance and introduce myself to you, as I love connecting with people who are in the (mention specific) industry.

My company, (name of your company) specializes in (mention what you do). I’m a huge supporter of your company and keep an eye out for all your latest news.

When you get a chance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email. Thanks for taking the time to read this message!

Cheers,

(Your name).

In Conclusion…

Cold email outreach doesn’t have to make you feel intimidated or stressed out in the least. If you do it strategically, track and measure your progress, and optimize your templates over time, then you will start seeing amazingly positive results. Your sales will go through the roof, brand recognition will be at an all-time high.

But keep in mind that you may not be able to follow these tips, tricks, and tactics to the letter. That’s because it is near impossible to do unless you decide to work with automation software full-time.

Despite this, keep these tactics in mind. This approach will help you discover more chances to improve your outreach and – ultimately – drive up your sales numbers.

Above all, keep personalizing your emails and following up with potential customers. This is where real success in cold outreach lies. Take the time to warm up your email address and create a personalized campaign that will draw in prospects and keep them there.

Do you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas? Then leave a comment below!

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