I think we can all agree that nobody likes receiving emails they didn’t sign up for.
Ask any working professional and they’ll tell you about the countless unsolicited emails they receive, and delete, on a daily basis. Most of this messaging is not only unwanted, but also impersonal and lacking originality.
That being said, cold emailing can be an extremely effective method of outbound sales outreach and deliver tremendous results when it’s done correctly. You just have to provide enough value to elicit a response – that’s the hard part.
Cold sales email tips
There’s never going to be one template or subject line that will guarantee a higher response rate. However, there are ways to switch up your cold email outreach that can help you stand out.
For more insight on the topic, we asked 8 sales and marketing professionals to share their best tips for sending effective cold emails. Here’s what they said:
Include a soft sell in the subject line
“The content in your email can be the most engaging copy that a company has ever seen; however, if they're faced with an unappealing subject line they will never actually read it. Instead, they will immediately delete your email from their inbox.
Comparing different cold sales email campaigns has shown us that using subject lines that are less sales-y have a better open rate and in turn, a higher engagement and conversion rate. We've found that the best sales tactic these days is one that focuses on educating your audience, as opposed to 'hard selling' to them."
– Natasa Christofidou, Content and Marketing Executive at alldayPA
Show respect for the recipient’s time
“Opening with a catchy acknowledgment that the recipient is busy and it’s your intention to be quick and to-the-point will keep the reader, well, reading.
Then, you must deliver. That is, you must get right to the point of why you're reaching out. Tell them how you can benefit them and what you're looking for in return. The ask could be as simple as a quick reply to demonstrate their interest or better yet, a scheduled call.”
“A cold email should never be truly cold. You should research the person and feel like you could predict something about them. Keep in mind to have some empathy for who you are emailing. It’s better to research for two times as long than just spam all your prospects. The first place to check? Twitter, if they have one.
I get a ton of cold sales emails every day. Most of them are horrible. The most shocking thing is that I list what I'm most interested in on my Twitter and LinkedIn. In two minutes, you could create a great opening line with something I care about and I would absolutely respond.”
TIP:Understand what your prospect cares about with the G2 Buyer Intent + Sales Navigator integration. Discover prospects actively researching you, your products and your competitors.
Read your email out loud before sending
“My number one tip is to read your sales emails out loud before you send them. If they sound weird or don’t feel like you, then something is wrong. You never want a prospect to think they're getting a mass email or spam. One of the best ways to avoid this is by making sure the email reads as if you're speaking to them in person.
The biggest mistake I see is when salespeople use phrases such as, ‘I wanted to talk with you about a potential opportunity for your business.’ These are phrases that nobody says in real life. Write how you speak and people will listen.”
“Be genuine and speak to the person as if they are your colleague (instead of like you're begging for their business). Intentional language also means being forward-thinking, so don’t use timid wording.
Instead of saying, ‘I was wondering if you were interested in meeting’ be more direct by saying, ‘Can we schedule a meeting.’ Directness and sincerity are two things that are rare in business emails. As a result, they’re very valued.”
– Nathan Fuller, Marketing & Sales Coordinator at Launch Team
“Companies should include valuable, industry-specific content in their cold emails. By offering blog posts or PDFs, you're providing the reader with value instead of simply asking them to do you the favor of considering your product. You're also clearly distinguishing yourself as a thought-leader and shedding light on what type of industry you cater to or service you provide. We now aim to include three recent blog posts in our email blasts, which improves our click-through rates and decreases unsubscribes, as our readers value the content.”
“The most common mistake I see in email copy is making the messages about your company and product that you’re selling. Prospects don’t care, especially when you cold emailed them. All they care about is their problems and how your product is going to fix them.
Your email copy should be written to acknowledge their pain points and how your product will fix that pain. If your email copy does not say something to that effect, you will not see much success”.
“Cold email outreach is all about keeping it short and sweet. If you're lucky to get an open, do not hit your reader with a wall of text and make them sigh with regret. Tell them who you are, how you can help, and leave it at that. Business owners, and even your average consumer, get hit with dozens to hundreds of cold outreach emails each day; nobody has time to read a novel-length introduction.”
Cold emailing isn’t magic – it won’t work perfectly every time, and it’s unlikely that you’ll ever get a perfect response rate. However, it can be an extremely effective method for connecting with prospects if you approach it correctly. Follow this advice, and you’ll soon be a cold email pro in your own right.
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Izabelle is a former Content Marketing Associate who joined G2 in April 2018. After earning a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Izabelle moved back to her hometown of Chicago in pursuit of a career and deep-dish pizza. Outside of work, she is passionate about all things pop culture, food, and travel. (she/her/hers)