How to craft your perfect cold lead email
I think the biggest challenge for any marketing or sales team is the cold lead email pitch. Whether it’s for PR purposes, reaching out to a potential new partner, or sending out a mass email, the goal is the same. Only two things matter in the end: open and click, or reply. That’s it.
Recently, I tried something completely different. I came up with a formula for the shortest, most direct email I’ve ever used. The result? Nearly 70% open rate and 40% click rate.
I’m going to list the four key elements that I think make this email style work.
1. A direct yet vague subject line:
I used to try to write email subject lines that were very detailed. They were always a bit too long and often gave away the reason for sending the email entirely. To be completely honest, I think this gave my recipients a reason to delete my email straight away. There was no suspense, no reason to actually open the email, especially if it sounded like a sales pitch. Now, I use very personal but intentionally vague email subjects with very little detail, so it doesn’t sound like another email from a retailer you regret signing up for. For instance: “Getting in touch”. It sounds personal, relevant, and interesting enough to open.
2. A conversational, “down to business” intro:
I used to start nearly all of my emails with a long-winded, hyper-personalized introduction. It showed effort, but really it was just boring. I’m sure, even if the email was opened, it was quickly deleted when my reader got ten sentences in without reaching anything intriguing. Today’s communication is fast. Even with email, the “snail mail” of the internet, you have to make your point quickly in order to keep someone’s attention. Most professionals receive 88 emails per day. No one has time to waste on an essay, however well-written it is.
Now, I’ve switched to a one sentence intro that offers something beneficial right away.
Here’s an example:
It’s personal, straightforward, and offers the reader something right away. Very few people wouldn’t carry on reading from here.
The third thing I think makes a cold pitch email successful is proof. You’re trying to get someone to do something specific, whether it’s getting back to you or clicking through to a website. There’s nothing that motivates people like numbers. If you can give someone tangible reasons why they need to take action, they are much more likely to do so. Don’t waste time with vague promises. It also lessens the ‘sales-y’ vibe if you simply present the facts without emotion and leave the decision up to them. If your business is less focused on numbers and more relationship based, namedrop (as much as I hate to call it that) a company or person that gives you some credibility.
4. A call-to-action that’s on them:
One time that we used this email model, we got three calls from just fifteen emails sent in about an hour. Something about our email had actually motivated people to pick up the phone right away. Without a strong call-to-action, it doesn’t matter how convincing you were in the beginning, you will lose their interest. Readers, once engaged, need to know what to do next. Make it clear for them but also put the ball in their court.
Here is an example of one final call-to-action that has really worked for me:
I tell them exactly what our next move is and leave it up to them. It’s not too pushy, but it doesn’t leave them wondering what to do next.
Depending on your market and your business, your emails will of course vary. Not all industries and products are the same. But people are people and at the end of the day, you’re still trying to get someone’s attention and motivate them to work with you. I think these four elements do that well. They can be applied to a variety of email types and I’m sure you’ll see results you didn’t expect from such tiny changes.