Cold Email Templates: Who Do You Trust and Why?
From CEOs to inside sellers with no experience: Each week, I meet sellers using the exact same cold email templates ... sourced on Google. They all report the same results.
Nearly zero response. No meetings.
Here's why: Because they're sending the exact same templates everyone else is.
Have a look at your own inbox. Do you see the same email template patterns over-and-over? For example, how many times per week do you get the "eaten by an alligator" or "chased by a wild hippo" follow-up message?
Do your emails start with, "Whenever I reach out to someone I have to have a reason. That reason needs to be timely and helpful based on research that I have done on your industry and potential risk exposure."
How about, "My name is ____. Whenever I reach out to someone I make sure to have a reason in order to not waste your time."
Or, "I read your comments in _________ [magazine] regarding [initiative/trend/issue]."
Or this follow-up template:
We've tried to reach you a couple times to introduce you to ________, but haven’t heard back which tells me something:
1) You’re all set and I should stop bothering you.
2) You’re still interested but haven’t had the time to get back to me yet (scheduling link listed below).
3) Maybe this is out of your wheel house, if so, is there some one you'd recommend connecting with?
4) You’ve fallen and can’t get up and in that case let me know and I’ll call someone to help you ….
Of course, you can replace No. 4 with herds of hippos, rhinos or alligators.
Like thousands of other sellers you've found your way to the same cold email templates. And like everyone else you send them, looking for customers to meet with.
But your direct competitors use the same templates. In fact, those you don't compete with (directly) but do compete for inbox space use the same templates too.
That's a problem.
Because recipients easily spot your messages and mark it as spam. Inboxes are becoming saturated with virtually identical messages.
The Problematic Source of Cold Email Templates
Why would you expect to find a better-than-average way to start conversations, using cold email templates, via Google? (everyone's top go-to source for short-cuts!)
Why would you trust what you found? I suppose because of Google's perceived clout to aggregate "only the best" answers to questions.
However, consider today's most popular (ineffective) email templates come from dubious sources. Yes, Google aggregates them. But consider the end source.
- Cold email gurus and wannabe gurus
- Lead generation experts and agencies
- Email software companies
- LinkedIn and LinkedIn gurus
At face value this seems fine and logical. A handful of online gurus, guru wannabes and consultants claim expertise in cold emailing. Most offer free templates and webinars. In return for free wisdom they hope to earn your participation in an online class or hiring them to consult ... to write emails for you.
Fair enough. But why would these experts provide good advice for free? Answer: They don't.
Likewise, lead generation experts and agencies often give away B2B and B2C cold email templates designed to start conversations with prospects. But why would these businesses give away "what works" for free? They have no incentive to. In fact, they're under incentive not to.
Answer: They don't give away useful information either.
Instead, they trade what doesn't work (perhaps worked years ago) for your email address.
The biggest source of templates, hands down, seems to be software providers like HubSpot and outreach.io. There are many, these are just 2 very fine companies.
Point is: Software tool providers want your email address too. In return they hope to sell you email management sending & analysis tools. As bait they offer tips-and-tricks ... better ways to use their tools set.
If you're a customer they'll also provide recommendations on how to best use their solution. After all, you're a paying customer.
Why don't these tips pay off?
Answer: Building trust and credibility using LinkedIn and email is a skill. It's not template-able.
Why We Trust Those Who Aren't Experts
I'm not attacking gurus and legitimate software providers. I'm questioning their authority as experts in communications techniques. None of them officially claim this domain expertise, bye the way.
Software companies operate businesses providing a suite of email management tools. Fair enough. But they are not providers of sales and marketing copywriting services, nor do they claim to be communications educators. Instead, they tend to work with gurus to curate (and add legitimacy to) experts, consultants and gurus publishing free templates. All as a service to customers and a lead generation tool for themselves.
But what if these free tips don't work? (hint: they don't) And why would they to begin with ... when considering the source? (hint: most folks don't consider)
Everyone likes short-cuts, after all. Templates are short-cuts to success. Or are they?