Email Marketing Your Way to New Business

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You’ve heard of cold calling, and we’re here to tell you there’s also cold emailing. You know what they have in common? They both suck. Yes, the truth hurts doesn’t it. But you know that, and that’s why you’re reading this article.

You’ve crafted email after email hoping for a bite, a nibble, any sign of life only to get radio silence.

And the reason why? People’s inboxes are inundated with special offers, weekly updates, last minute deals – your target audience is inundated! Emails are a super popular but oversaturated medium.

So how do you cut through the clutter and write emails that will actually connect with your ideal client or customer?

Creative Subject Lines

Your email could contain the scripts of the next season of Game of Thrones or the formula for the secret of life (which is pretty much the same thing because everyone knows that GoT is life) but if no-one opens the email, everyone has wasted their time, especially you!

What is needed—and this sounds rather obvious—is a compelling subject line. Open your inbox and take a look at all of your unopened unsolicited emails and you’ll see that all of the subject lines are uninventive, boring, or simply not personalised or engaging enough.

To write a great subject line, you need to be able to distil your message down to 6-10 words and include the recipient’s name. For example “Renee—Take Westeros by Friday with this plan”. If your subject line is clear about what you want from the recipient, then it is more likely to be opened.

Make it Personal

Every email you send needs to be personalised as much as possible, and not just your standard mail merge with {name} fields. This kind of cold mass contact is little more than a copy and paste exercise and your potential customers know it.

To really stand out, you need your recipients to feel valued and more than just a name on a database.  Ensure you make it clear why you are reaching out to them specifically – not just why you are reaching out in general. Talk about the benefit for that person. (Think: “What’s In It For Me?” on behalf of your audience.) Do a little homework and reference a mutual contact or some common ground for an extra personal touch. Extra effort and consideration such as this shows this is a genuine correspondence and will help you to stand out from the masses on auto-pilot.

Be Succinct

Being time poor is one thing we all have in common these days, so don’t add to the problem with complex, lengthy emails dealing in minutiae in the vain hope of winning people over with detail. Respect that people’s time is precious, and keep your communications short and punchy. Get to the point quickly…like telling them that cold emailing sucks!

Try to utilise a “speaking” voice rather than the formal written language businesses tend to use out of habit. Create a relaxed, chatty tone with openings like “He Sandra, I’ve been following your blog and I think we could collaborate on __ because __”. It’s easier to digest and different from the norm, helping you to connect.

Be responsive and available

Make it easy for your email recipients to reach you by including links to all of your social channels and other relevant contact details. Not giving a reason for your recipients to reach out to you is bad enough, but giving them a reason to get in touch and then not reciprocating is an epic fail.

So, you’re almost ready to send your cold email, but before you hit send, make sure you don’t skip the proofreading step! Nothing says unprofessional more than sloppy grammar or spelling errors.

After you have pressed send, don’t necessarily expect an immediate response. People are busy and pulled in many direction, so a follow-up email or a call is often a good idea to prompt action.

There is no magic formula for the perfect cold email, but by following these tips you are at least giving yourself a better chance of eliciting a positive response. Making a great impression and personalising your email pitch will win you business in the end; you just need to be prepared to stand out from the crowd.


About the author

Maria Bellissimo-MagrinMaria Bellissimo-Magrin is the CEO of full-service creative marketing agency Belgrin. Her previous contributions for Dynamic Business include: The power of strategic brand collaborationDigital Branding: Six ideas to help your SME nail this increasingly complex taskWhy potential customers ignore your adsSocial media channels your SME needs to be on and How User Friendly Is Your Business’s website?