How to write a good (cold) sales email

How many times have you received a cold sales email that you could immediately see it was sent to a large database, without any specific relevance to you / your company / your problem?

Even though it might be easier to write a single message for multiple potential clients, the effect could be exactly the opposite of the one we are expecting.

Because of the pandemic, people spend more time online, which means they see more messages and ads and, at the same time, their attention span decreases. So what can you do to stand out and get an online or offline meeting with a client as a result of an email marketing campaign?

Create a connection by personalizing your message

First of all, ”one size does not fit all”. Each receiver filters the message they get and decides if your proposal adds any value to their life or business. In order to capture their attention, you must let them know you did your homework.

You should send your email to the most relevant person, the one able to make a decision and address to them by using their name (Dale Carnegie said, in his famous How to Win Friends and Influence People book, that people love to hear their name). Obviously, you shouldn’t exaggerate and repeat it too many times, but it is a good conversation starter.

With a quick LinkedIn search, i.e., you can find out more about your receiver’s interests and to use anything you might have in common in order to create a connection (“I saw that you are also passionate about circular economy, a topic I like reading and talking about anytime I get the chance”).

Be as specific as possible

Let the other person know how you got to know them, what caught your attention and why. In example, you can write about how you discovered their company’s website, you liked the design and appreciated how clean and friendly it looked. You can indicate some specific elements that stood out and that are related to your activity.

Besides, you can also emphasize those things you can improve. If you liked the design, maybe you thought the copywriting could be changed a bit. Or if you bought from an online shop and loved their products, maybe you could help with packaging (if this is your field of activity).

The more specific and clear you are, the more prepared you will seem and people will see you spent some time and effort to understand that business.

Show what you can do to help

Even though many people avoid giving free resources, a good conversion funnel also involves a lead magnet – a resource used to get your client’s attention, a step on the buying journey.

A lead magnet can be an article related to an issue you’ve identified, an eBook, a short video demo, a presentation, a free trial etc.

Many people are not prepared to buy from the first interaction, so what you want is to build a relationship, to build trust, to show your availability and desire to help. You can show potential customers testimonials or case studies, so that they get a better understanding of your services and their quality. You can even ask them for a piece of advice, an opinion, a suggestion, so that you set the basis for a bidirectional communication process and not a monologue.

Send a video message

Creativity becomes more and more important in these emails, as a means to stand out. You can use gifs, visuals, wordplay, or even video messages – a method we’ve tested and that brought very good results.

A video message follows the same rules we’ve stated above, but it helps your receiver to get to know you better. Non-verbal messages become clearer through tone of voice, body posture, facial expressions, and the attention span increases.

This recorded message shouldn’t exceed 2 minutes and you should emphasize the same things – how you reached them, what you’ve noticed regarding their business and how you can help. It takes some extra effort, but it will definitely be appreciated.

Some tools that could help are Loom, Vidyard or Soapbox – they allow you to record a video message or your screen and to send it as a link (so you don’t have to attach it to the email). You can also monitor how many visualisations your video reached or if it was opened. And the good news is that these tools also have free versions! 

Give the opportunity of a meeting / call

Even what you’re after, for now, is to create a connection and open a conversation, don’t lose sight of your final goal with this email – to sell your product / service. So give people the possibility to book a meeting or a call (you can use tools such as Calendly to let your receiver choose the best moment for a call).

Also, don’t hesitate to follow up – many emails get in the Spam folders or are simply not seen in time, so 1-2 reminders, written with great care and respect, can help you get an answer.

Last but not least, pay attention to the time you’re sending your email at, shared language and email subject, which should be catchy but not click-bait like.

We hope this will help you and we’re wishing you the best of luck!

This article was originally published in Romanian, on SmartBill’s blog.