According to Marketing Guru Neil Patel, there is a huge possibility that your cold outreach sucks.
No disrespect to marketing leaders always working on increasing your open rates, but you might not be using every tool at your disposal.
Cold Outreach programs are a great way for marketing teams to get their word across to a wider audience. Very similar to traditional cold calling, this is cold calling for marketing. But why aren’t more prospects opening your emails?
Keep these 9 Cold Outreach Tips present and watch your open rates skyrocket.
Cold Outreach Tips
Email marketing is one of the most lucrative ways to acquire paying customers. One well-written email can provide you with amazing return on investment. But before your prospects start bringing in the big bucks, you need to get them interested.
Depending on how you look at it, cold outreach can be one of the most interesting aspects of email marketing. It is reaching out to thousands of people at a time and seeing what works as far as getting your point across.
Here are 9 Cold Outreach Tips you can Apply Today.
#1 What is your Objective?
Sending cold emails can be seen as a shot in the dark for many organizations. It is the idea of writing an email directed at hundreds (sometimes thousands) of what you hope will be prospects. As slim as these odds sound, a clear objective will shift the odds in your favor. Whether it is brand awareness, traffic to your site or increase in conversion rates, setting clear objectives is crucial.
Think about it, having broad objectives might get your email opened, but will it help convert these leads? Probably not.
Identifying a clear objective from the get go, will not only give your organization credibility among your audience, but it will also allow you to easily track your email marketing efforts.
Is your objective brand awareness? Or is it solving a problem right away? If your goal is brand awareness, surely you’ll want them to grasp the general idea of the email and head to your landing page. But if you’re running a special and are targeting cold prospects, surely you’ll want to avoid too much copy (text seen by users) and more images.
#2 Proper Email Introduction
Now that you have an objective, we want to let you down easy. No one will even get to your amazing email without a well-written subject line.
The marketing team at Backlinko came up with the following information regarding email subject lines.
- Emails with Personalized Subject lines get a whopping 26% increase in open rates.
- 47% of people will open an email based on the subject line alone.
- Surprisingly, emojis yield 56% increase in open rates when used (cautiously) in your subject line.
- 60 Characters should be your limit for email copy and only 30 characters are visible on the iPhone email app.
Now that you know the importance, length and recommendation, you now want to know, how do I write an effective subject line?
We’ll tell you what you shouldn’t do. Under any circumstance avoid the “hey, open this now and save” approach. It used to incite curiosity but now it’s just a sign of spam. Avoid at all costs.
What you should do is apply A/B testing on your subject lines (more on this later).
#3 How long Should a Cold Email be?
If you’re not staying busy in the b2b sales world, you must not be working hard enough. We don’t open every email or answer every phone call because we’re busy. So why should we read through painfully long emails where their point isn’t addressed from the very beginning?
Cold outreach is a readable elevator pitch where your audience decides in a split second what action they’ll take. Whether it’s pressing the delete button or clicking on your CTA, decisions are made quickly.
If you’ve gotten past the hump of a catchy introduction for your email, don’t bore them to death with paragraphs. Your intro will get them intrigued and your first two sentences will get them to take action.
An email should be no longer than 200 words, simple as that. Check out this great cold email that was received by the sales team over at Proposify -
This one might be too personalized for cold outreach but it’s delivery for the purpose of this point is impeccable. It’s concise, it’s visually appealing and it encourages the viewer to take action. In just two sentences it is both personalized and to the point.
#4 The Power of Great Design
Writing compelling content for your cold outreach campaigns is most of the work. But you still need it organized in a way to make it visually appealing.
In order to do that, you should consider implementing design thinking into your marketing strategy.
If this is in newsletter format, there are literally thousands of templates you can download for free to work off of. Find one that you think will fit the email goals and now it’s just a matter of filling in the blanks.
After that, find the most important pieces of information you’d like to highlight. Make those your bold headlines and add them next to your images.
#5 Select the Right Images
At this stage of your cold outreach template you need to brush up on your creative side. Depending on what you’re promoting in this email, start thinking of the right images that will go with the copy.
Though we don’t always recommend the use of stock photography, shutterstock is a platform for this. They have thousands of images for pretty much everything you can possibly need.
#6 Calls-to-action in Emails
A call to action is a hyperlinked element in text that persuades a reader to take action. They’re usually in the form of a small square in a different color than the rest of the email that allows it to stand out. Correct use of a call to action can be the deciding factor of how interested your audience is with your emails.
We’ve all seen them, they’re a part of modern marketing and can come in many shapes and sizes. Look for them in the emails from your favorite brands. You’ll likely find them written in the form of, “download my ebook”, “start me free trial” or “get 25% off”.
We receive dozens, if not hundreds of emails on a weekly basis. If we go by the stats featured in this article, only 25% of them will get opened. An even lower percentage will actually get skimmed through. Imagine being part of that low percentage and being discarded not because of your copy or your images but because your users don’t know what to do next.
Here are a few call to action tips -
- Use Actionable Copy (try this now, get your discount)
- Keep the text short, no one wants to see “click here now because the offer will only be good for today”.
- Use the first person (use my instead of your as in download my free ebook)
- Color of the CTA needs to stand out
#7 A/B Testing for Email Marketing
Excellent, you’re finished with creating the actual email, now it’s just a matter of hitting send, right?
Not quite yet.
Once your email has been written, edited and ready for delivery, you’re likely still not fully convinced. This uncertainty is why there is AB testing. AB Testing is a surefire way to increase conversion rates using the same email.
Suppose you’re torn between two different subject lines. Both of which are catchy, match the email and get your point across. With AB testing you don’t need to choose between one or the other. Some readers will get option A while others will receive subject line B. Tracking the results will allow you to record what kind of subject line works best.
Another example is AB testing on CTA’s. Suppose you’re torn between orange and yellow and want to see which option converts more.
We do recommend however you only test one thing at a time. It will be difficult to track results if both emails are completely different.
In the next section we’ll go over a few of our favorite email marketing tools for AB testing.
#8 Find your Favorite Email Marketing Service
Email marketing platforms not only give you access to easy templates but also provide awesome tools for tracking your results.
Here are our top 3 email marketing services and what they bring to the table.
- Hubspot Email Marketing Service - Free for small businesses and really easy to use for beginners. If you run a small operation and don’t need too many bells and whistles while you get familiar with email marketing, this is our go-to service.
- Campaign Monitor - Not as user friendly as Hubspot but surely the next step after you’ve mastered the beginners stage. Their personalization tools are spot on and they also have an extensive resources section that covers everything you need to know.
- MailChimp - Last but not least, we find ourselves with one of the pioneers of email marketing. They were the first platform many of us used for email marketing and continue to be the world’s most trusted service. Their drag and drop features and user friendliness makes it similar to hubspot. But considering the hubspot is more of an all-in-one marketing solution as opposed to just an email marketing tool, MainChimp is a better option for small enterprises looking for just email marketing.
The bottom line is that all three services are great and have more or less the same features. The main difference between campaign monitor and the others is that you have to pay (plans start at $9 per month). But with paying you have access to more personalization tools as well as customer service from them directly. With Hubspot you can browse through their marketing plans and features (which are great). And MailChimp is pound for pound the better email marketing option for small businesses (it’s free up til about 2000 contacts).
#9 Did you remember to follow up?
Excellent, your email was sent, you were able to track the results on the email marketing service of your choosing, now let’s just sit back and wait.
While you wait, you also want to consider what if your email was opened, read, clicked on and in the back of a prospect’s mind? You’ll likely want this segment of your audience to take action and move forward with what your email asked for. Here is where follow-ups come in.
Following up with your prospects is just as important as the very email. We often want to avoid this action as we don’t want to feel annoying or pesky. But studies show that campaigns with just 1 follow up can convert up to 22% more than ones that aren’t followed up with.
Sending follow up emails apply not only to those who have opened your emails but for those who haven’t opened as well. Who knows, this one effortless attempt can result in a paying customer.
The best time to send follow up emails tends to be at least 3 days after the original email was sent. You also want to avoid sending emails on days when your prospects are most cluttered with emails. Here are a few statistics that illustrate the best days to send emails.
To sum all of this up, there is an extra step that many organizations overlook. And that’s website performance. If your CTAs lead to your landing page and the site takes longer than 4 or 5 seconds to load, that’s not good.
Run your site through a performance test tool like pingdom. After a few seconds they’ll tell you how quickly your site loads and even provide recommendations as to what to do to improve. No one wants to wait longer than 5 seconds for images to load on your page.
Cold outreach emails are a great way to test out landing pages, create engagement and keep your clients updated. It is also the starting point to building a buyer persona which will further include marketing and sales efforts.
You can apply all of these tips today and you’ll be surprised how far you fall into the rabbit hole of Googling email marketing, CTAs and AB testing.