Reports of the death of cold email have been greatly exaggerated.
With inbound, social selling, fancy email marketing and more B2B events than ever, cold email as a topic tends to gather dust.
Yes, most teams still use cold email. But it’s not exactly seen as an area ripe for innovation.
Are some sales teams missing out on opportunities by sticking with the same, tired outbound strategy? Can sales and marketing teams update their process to create effective cold email?
The short answer is: yes and yes.
For the longer answer, let’s dive in.
5 Signs Your Cold Email Strategy Needs Reviving
Cold emailing leads can be very effective. For brands set on rapid expansion, outbound emails are critical to reach a new target audience. But only if you do it right.
And creating effective cold emails is more difficult than it sounds. It’s no longer sufficient to just scrape a list of 10,000 leads and copy/paste the same message to all of them. You’ll go right to the ‘junk’ folder and get discouraged on outbound efforts before you gain any momentum.
Cold email as a strategy is not dead. But plenty of cold emails are DOA — or before you even hit send.
Here’s how to know if your cold emails aren’t going to work:
- Your email is too complicated. You try including plenty of links, an authoritative signature… maybe even a video. But overly complicated, long emails tend to get ignored. First things, first: simplify your initial email. Use just one font, don’t include any social media links, and make it plain text. You want the recipient to be focused on one thing: your CTA.
- Your subject line doesn’t capture attention. This is your leads’ first impression. Your subject line should be catchy, relevant to your leads industry or role and hint at value. Make it unique and punchy. Some successful subject lines I’ve used are “Sales Nav?”, “Quick question” and “12 percent” (to tease the response rate from my campaigns).
- You don’t personalize your cold emails. Personalization is the key to a successful cold email campaign. It skyrockets open rates and draws your leads in. Including a first name in your greeting is the bare minimum; go further by mentioning their company, industry challenges, pain points of their role, etc.
- Your cold email lists are not targeted. The worst thing you can do is try to ‘reach’ more people by emailing a list of 10k+ leads all at once. There’s no way you’re speaking to the unique value your product offers your leads with a list that large. Instead, narrow your lists by role, seniority, geography, industry, past companies and more. By tying your message to their experience, you’ll get much better results.
- You don’t have a consistent cold email process. You can’t expect to send 500 emails and fill your pipeline overnight. Effective cold email is about setting up a process that keeps your pipeline full. You’ll have to experiment with whether that means 100 emails/week or 200 emails/day.
3 Reasons Effective Cold Email is Possible
Not yet convinced? Here are three major reasons effective cold email should still have a part to play in any sales and marketing strategy.
- The numbers show cold email is still an effective outreach method.
- Personalization is better —and easier — than ever.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator can support outreach to tens of thousands of leads.
The stats don’t lie
The average cold email response rate is less than stellar: just 1%.
But no one ever aims to be average, and effective cold email campaigns can see much higher numbers. In a test conducted by Jon Youshaei (founder of EveryVowel) and Shane Snow (co-founder of Contently), 45.5% of their cold emails were opened (out of 1,000 emails sent).
In one of our own experiments, we saw almost 90% of our leads open the email and 22% take the time to respond.
Creating an effective cold email takes time, persistence and experimentation. But it is possible for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
One of the most important factors in that case study from Youshaei and Snow was personalization. Personalizing your emails can increase your response rate by 100%. In one experiment, Woodpecker found that emails with a lead’s name and/or company received more than twice as many replies.
But we don’t mean just using the prospect’s first name in the first line of the email.
“Tactics for optimizing sales emails are well and good,” Snow says. “But they’re not as important as personalized research and sender/sendee fit.”
In other words, take the time to segment your lists and research your prospects. Instead of sending the same template to 10,000 leads, create a unique email for each type of decision maker you’re reaching out to. Speak to the challenges they face in their role, your observations on the industry as a whole, or which competitors they could stand out from.
Personalization works. And it’s the bread-and-butter of cold emails.
You can generate better leads with LinkedIn Sales Navigator
It’s now easier to create these targeted, personalized lists thanks to LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Sales Nav lets you easily search for targeted leads based on:
- Professional background
- Title and seniority
And quite a bit more. You can quickly generate leads that have a higher likelihood of responding to your emails before you even start sending cold emails out.
After you have your targeted search or segmented lead list, you can start exporting your leads from LinkedIn Sales Navigator for an effective cold email campaign.
Want to start creating effective cold emails? Here are some resources to get you started.
Want to start creating effective cold emails? Here are some resources to get you started: