Cold Email Prospecting: Getting Busy Buyers to Reply
No theory, just what I've learned along side my most creative, diligent customers. Here is a practical way to diagnose and fix your cold email templates. Fast.
Avoid the Most Common Mistakes
It's obvious. So obvious. But are you doing it?
Is your email different?
Is it provocative? Does it spark curiosity in a way that is hyper-focused on the buyer?
You'll fail every time — unless your first touch email is:
- under 10 sentences
- focused exclusively on the buyer (not referencing yourself, nor current clients, nor benefits)
- not asking for a meeting
- without Web links or PDF attachments
Is your first message structured — written — to earn permission for a discussion?
The 3 Reasons Prospects Don't Reply
Most cold email templates fail to break-the-ice and earn replies because they:
- Have subject lines that telegraph what's inside (never get opened).
- Contain messages focusing on the seller (often pretending to be personalized).
- Ask for a meeting and share a Web link or PDF (distracting them from replying).
In 95 percent of cases I see, buyers aren't responding because the goal of the email sender is focused on earning a meeting. If you're selling a complex B-to-B product or service, practicing challenger selling, or if closing takes months beware: Do not ask for the meeting in your first touch.
Everything (bad) flows from this flawed objective.
Instead, think in terms of provoking a short discussion ... that might (if needed) lead to a meeting.
Then, conduct the conversation (via email) in a way that creates an urge in good prospects... to ask you for the appointment. Poor prospects will fall away. They will self qualify/disqualify themselves.
All because of how you structured words ... how well you copywrite.
Tension: Write Subject Lines This Way
Focus your subject lines on creating tension. Yes, tension.
Tension creates curiosity.
The job of your subject line is to create curiosity about what's inside the message. Nothing more.
Don't be cute. This always causes trouble. And be careful about using first names in subject lines. This is often a signal of "fake personalization." Some buyers are VERY savvy to mail merged spam!
Make your subject line:
- Familiar sounding yet also vague (don't be too specific)
- Provocative ... a little bit wierd ... yet credible
- As short as possible (two to four words is best)
Never, ever trick with your subject lines. I warn against using, "help please?" or "question about _________ [company name]." This risks irritating your prospect. A plea for help could be interpreted as a needy customer. Be careful.
Also, never ever ask for what you want in the subject line. (e.g., can we talk?) Never ask a yes/no question.
This is perhaps the most difficult task. But I know you're up for it.
Here is a quick example from a student I helped recently. Compare this cold email template to yours. Notice, also, how the template is more like a formula, where facts are inserted. You must do homework on the prospect!
Good morning Andy,
Congratulations on your expansion. 200 new jobs in Leeds will be a boost to the local community and [target company name].
Reliability of your new contact center is a major factor you will be considering, yes? It was for ABC Insurance. Their new 500 seat contact center has over 99.99% up-time through utilizing the cloud and geo-resilient data centers.
How much would even 1 hour per month downtime cost [target company]? Are you interested in how ABC Insurance did it? Would a short message exchange make sense? Let me know your decision, Andy?
Good luck. Let me know what you think in comments.