Picture it: You’ve just stumbled across a business that makes your hair stand up straight and puts hearts in your eyes. You’re smitten and want—no, NEED—to work with this client. And even better… they need you, too.
Just one problem. They have NO idea who you are.
Zip, nada, zilch—worse, they don’t know how you would be a benefit to them.
So what now? It’s time to write a cold email, that’s what. But first, you’ll need to take a deep dive into their background straight up MacGyver style.
By the time you’re done with your homework, you should know what this dream client stands for, who it serves and what problems they need YOU to solve.
Ready to send a cold email pitch that will knock them off their feet, only to clamor to the keyboard with a resounding “TELL ME MORE!?”
We thought so… but first things first: getting their email.
Don’t know how you’re going to get that coveted email address? Allow me to let you in on an awesome (but very creepy) secret. You can get almost anyone’s email address for free using this email list building tool.
Discover Your Prospect’s Pain Points
Zeroing in on your potential client’s pain points is a must. You can’t expect to send a cold email that sparks their interest without being able to authentically illustrate how you will make the splash they need (and might not even know they need yet) in their business. Consider this: You’re asking them to spend more money. On YOU. On YOUR SERVICES.
Will it pay off in their favor? That’s the plan.
In fact, if you’re able to pinpoint their immediate needs and develop a strategy or solution that makes sense, then the outcome should always be more time in their schedule or money in their pockets at the end of the day.
Questions to ask yourself when discovering their pain points:
- If there is ONE THING that keeps them up a night, what is that one thing?
- What’s their #1 cause of stress?
- What motivates them to push through?
- What’s holding them back from scaling to the next level?
- What takes up the most time in their day?
- Who do they serve—and why?
- Where are they spending too much money?
Find Their Solutions, Increase Response Rates
When you feel that you’ve taken the 360-degree view necessary to identify all pain points from all angles, the big question is this: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SOLVE THEM?
In a perfect world, you’d be able to solve all of them. This isn’t a perfect world.
Instead, focus on one problem—preferably a big, expensive one to them—and SOLVE IT. This, of course, should already be within your specialized wheelhouse. The worst thing you can do is reach out to a client about something you offer to make their business better or fill a gap without actually being able to deliver on results.
We repeat: THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO LEARN A NEW TRADE!
Deliver the Hook
Pay attention because THIS is important. The subject line of a cold email (or any email for that matter) is your FIRST—and sometimes ONLY—chance to catch their attention. Consider this the digital version of the saying “you only have ONE CHANCE to make a great first impression” if you will.
These are real people. BUSY people.
You need to stand out. You need them to OPEN THE EMAIL.
Your email subject line needs to pack a punch.
And most importantly, you need to speak to their pain points without coming off spammy.
Now, take pencil to paper and write out several versions of possibly the most important 41 characters of your entire email. Why 41? According to Campaign Monitor, that’s the “sweet spot” of characters in subject lines thus far in 2019.
Campaign Monitor makes another great point: from 2011-2018, email opens on mobile devices increased by 34% to a whopping 61% of all emails being opened on mobile devices by the end of 2018.
With cell phones showing a range of 27 characters (on certain Android models) to 64 (on an iPhone in landscape mode), you have to take into consideration that what you type may never see the light of day if it’s too long.
Let’s review: In a mere 5-7 words, let them know exactly what you’re writing about and provide a glimpse into what/how you plan to solve.
Easy peasy, right?
Insert *eye roll*.
(But seriously, insert ? <<— Depending on your audience, an emoji might just do the trick, and they don’t anger SPAM filters as much as you might think!!)
Get to the Point—FAST
Let’s not linger here, shall we? If you’re writing to a business owner, chances are they ?? are ?? too ?? busy ?? to ?? read ?? your ?? novel.
And frankly, if you don’t get to the point fast, they will be too busy to care, too.
Be brief in your message. By the time they’re done reading the first few sentences, they should have a solid understanding of who you are, what you offer, and the problem/ solution at hand.
This is not the place to break into a quirky song and dance routine that finally spells out your intentions in the closing scene. You’re popping into their inbox—COLD, don’t forget—to help them, right? So get to it.
Think about how you respond to emails.
Do you prefer long, drawn-out blocks of words or does short and sweet, with a hint of humor, get your attention?
When writing a cold email to someone completely unaware of who you are, it’s essential to make yourself stand apart from the crowd. Odds are, you’re not the first person to reach out… so what made them flop—and you not?
Consider catching their eye (and their interest) by:
- Personalizing it to them: their name, the company’s name and (assuming you did your research like a true pro) a recent accomplishment or reason to celebrate.
- Inserting appropriate humor.
- Embracing short, punchy text. No one wants to feel like they’re going to be quizzed after reading your dissertation.
- Breaking it up with relevant and appropriate gifs or memes. (clearly we’re fans!)
- Using bullet points (See what we did there? Just like in blogs, using bullet points makes your emails easy to scan when your reader is on a time crunch, so they know quickly if it’s worth flagging for further review later.)
In wrapping up your killer cold pitch email, make sure to end it with a BANG—and a strong, specific call to action (CTA). Don’t bring them to the edge of their seat without giving them a way to get in touch and move to the next stage of doing business together.
CTAs like “If you’re interested, hit reply” aren’t powerful enough and if we’re being really honest… flat out stink.
Instead, write a pitch that has them screaming “YES, YES, YES!” while standing on their chair! You want them to be in the moment, feel their pain points as intensely as they did the day they opened their business and believe that YOU, and only you, are the person to save the day.
Be their superhero… save the day… give them the solutions only your skills or services can provide.
Finally, don’t forget that people are busy—so try not to get offended or disheartened if you don’t hear back from them on the first try. Like anything worth doing, following up with a prospective client can make all the difference.
Keep your follow-up email short and simple (even more so than the first) and simply mention that you reached out previously because of XYZ. Stay engaging, keep your hook but don’t drone on.
Another option is to forward the original cold email with a joke about being sent to the spam folder.
OR, you could always give them a call—which would likely go to their voicemail because hello, #UnknownNumber—just to let them know that they have an email in their inbox waiting just for them from you. If nothing else, it will likely pique their interest enough to go check it out.
You are officially ready to spread your wings baby bird. Will you knock it out of the park the first time? Maybe not… Probably not… BUT—and this is a huuggee BUT—if you stick with it, doors will start to open, conversations will ensue, relationships will be built.
All the good things happen once you befriend cold emails and the follow-ups that make them effective.
Want to work directly with our expert copywriting team? We write emails that get opened, position you as an authority, and motivate your audience to take action. And it doesn’t stop at writing! Whether we’re helping you with your SEO or coming up with a great video content strategy, our team is positioned to help you grow your business. Just schedule a call for your free 30-minute consultation, today!