A guide to writing cold emails for sales

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Running a business is hard work and requires the investment of a lot of time, thought, effort and money into various areas if you want to experience success. Of course, you’re going to have to work on major areas of business operations to thrive – product design and development, market research, packaging, order fulfillment, web design, product photography, content creation, marketing campaigns, ad campaigns, customer services and so much more. Each of these categories can be split into smaller and more niche categories that need attention. It’s not all too surprising that can it can be easy to begin to feel lost and directionless with your business activities. For now, let’s focus on one form of email marketing in particular – cold emails. Here’s some insight into the topic, as well as some guidance on how to actually write a cold email for sales.

What Is a Cold Email?

Let’s start by taking a look at what a cold email actually is. Put simply, a cold email is a common email marketing technique that can be used to introduce a potential customer to your brand. It is called a cold email when it is unsolicited – it is sent to someone who you and your brand have no prior relationship with or communication with.

What Is the Difference Between a Cold Email and Spam?

Of course, you may be asking yourself what the difference between a cold email and a spam email is, as spam emails often tick the box of an unsolicited email to someone you haven’t been in contact with before and have no prior relationship with. The main difference is the aim of the email. When you cold email someone, you are seeking to reach out and begin to build a relationship between the recipient and your brand or products. Cold emails are targeted to people who may be genuinely interested in – and benefit from – your goods. The sender takes time to research the recipient and analyze their needs, making an informed choice as to whether pursue their interest or not. The purpose of spam is less positive, often being to promote and sell questionable goods, make false claims or deceive recipients into believing something that’s not true. Spam messages also often arrive in bulk and are ongoing and relentless, regardless of whether the sender gets any response or not. Spam targets as many people as possible, regardless of demographic or likely interest, in the hope that at least one person will fall for the message in some way.

How to Write a Cold Email

Writing the perfect cold email takes skill and expertise. You’re not going to be able to send any old email if you want to encourage engagement and generate sales. Cold emails take an extra level of time, thought and effort as you’re targeting someone who doesn’t know the slightest information about your brand or products. You’re going to have to take extra time to build recognition and trust, as opposed to marketing emails sent to those who have consciously chosen to sign up to your malign list. Here are some top tips that can help you to create the perfect cold email.

  1. Create an Engaging Subject Line

Let’s start with the subject line of the email. At the end of the day, you need to acknowledge that your email, addressed from an unknown individual or brand, is going to land in your recipient’s inbox and they’re not going to have a clue who you are. You need to make sure that you have an engaging subject line to ensure that they acknowledge the email and click to see what is inside. Your subject line provides an opportunity to give a short glimpse of what the message is about. Stay on brand and create something truly clickable.

  1. Make Your Branding Clear

Now, the design element. You need to make sure that your branding is really clear on this email. This is the first time that the recipient will have seen or engaged with your brand, so you need to make a good impression. Chances are, you’ve already invested heavily in developing a brand that appeals to your target demographic, so make the most of it here, where you’re targeting your demographic. This could range from colour schemes to font types, logo inclusion, tone of voice and more.

  1. Use Quality Images

If you’re using graphics or images in your email, make sure that they are good quality. This can mean using the services of a graphic designer or professional product photographer. Remember that you are primarily building trust here, so you want to look as professional as possible. Low quality images can make your email look like a scam or spam, as these senders don’t invest much into their marketing campaigns.

  1. Include Key Information, Keep It Concise

Your message needs to be clear. Determine what key information you need to include in the email. Then find a way to make it concise. Time is money and people’s attention spans are shorter than ever, meaning you only have a few moments to catch your reader’s attention and deliver the information you want. Few people will open a cold email and read through paragraphs of copy. Instead, you need to find a way to condense your information and keep things as concise as possible.

  1. End With a Clear Call to Action

You’re sending this email for a reason. You want the reader to take some sort of action. This could be clicking through to your website. It could be sending an inquiry or requesting a consultation. It could be following you on social media. Whatever the outcome you want, you need to direct the reader in that direction at the end of the email. A quality call to action (or “CTA”) can lead them to complete this action. Hyperlinked buttons tend to be the best and most method.

Preventing Your Cold Email from Being Detected as Spam

Of course, if you’re going to put all of this time, thought and effort into creating your cold emails, you need to make sure that you’re taking necessary steps to prevent them from being automatically directed into the recipient’s spam folder. Email software and systems can have difficulty detecting what is spam and what a recipient may want to see when an email arrives from an unknown recipient, so it’s important that you understand how to make the difference between your cold emails and spam emails clear to the automated system.

Add SPF and DKIM Records

Make sure that your SPF and DKIM records are correctly in place. This process is relatively simple and only requires a little research. There are different steps that you will need to take depending on what email provider you are using, for example, setting these up in Gmail will require different steps to setting them up in Outlook. Take some time to carry out research on how to add your specific SPF and DKIM records.

Maintain a Low Send Volume

One of the key ways for spam filters to detect spam is the volume that it was sent out at. As we briefly touched on earlier, spam emails are sent out en mass, targeting as many people as possible in the hopes of increasing the percentage of people who click through and complete actions. Cold emails value quality over quantity. Sending large numbers of emails every day can impact your sender reputation. Keep your send volume low.

Be Regular

While you should keep send volumes low, you should make sure that they are consistent and regular too. Sending a few emails a day, every day, will make you look more legitimate and trustworthy to spam software than sending a bunch of emails all on one day, once a month.

Do Your Target Research

Of course, you need to make sure that your emails are landing in the inboxes of people who could be genuinely interested in your product. Engagement is the main aim of the game anyway, as this is what can drive traffic and sales to your brand, but the more engagement you get with your emails, the more search engines will see that you’re sending emails of value.

Personalise Emails

If you know the recipient’s name or another detail that can differentiate them from everyon else, try to include this in the email. This won’t just add a personal touch, but it will help to ensure that each email you send out is different, rather than sending the same email tens or hundreds of times. This will prevent filters from flagging up the same email going out to a significant number of accounts.

As you can see, there really is an art to creating the perfect cold email. Hopefully, some of the advice outlined above should help you to not only write a great quality email, but to make sure that it actually ends up in your recipients’ inboxes!

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