The Ultimate Guide to Writing Cold Emails for Sales

Become a master at writing cold emails in these five simple steps.

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Do your cold emails always receive a frosty reception? Is your cold approach a little too chilled? Does writing a congratulations note come easily to you but getting a prospect to buy your product proves too difficult?

A lot of people struggle with cold emailing and sales professionals in particular can find it difficult. Customers can find them off-putting if they’re not crafted correctly yet there are a lot of business people out there who don’t invest time into perfecting their cold emails. This is bad practice and for sales people it can drastically affect their bottom line.

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    Ace writing cold emails

    This article will walk you through how to craft cold approach emails in a way that will significantly increase sales of your product. This will cover the format and styles of your emails but will not teach you how to sell your product specifically. After all, if you can’t do that as a salesperson you’re probably in the wrong business.

    We’ve included business email subject lines examples, call to actions that work and a number of other practical tips you can implement to boost your sales, so let’s dive in and take a look.

    Are you focusing on?

    The ‘from’ section of an email is often overlooked. This section shows your recipients who sent the email and has a major impact on those crucial first impressions. Cold emails are named as such because the recipient doesn’t know the sender after all and the from section is your first chance to introduce yourself.

    Your ‘from’ section should include more than just your name. There are two optimal formats for the from section that depend on the formality or lack thereof of your intended target.

    • Your first name AND your company’s name.
    • Your first name AND last name AND company name.

    The first example works best in informal settings like Western countries and the IT sector, whereas the latter is better for more formal environments like East Asia. Always make sure that your company name features as your name, in this context, does not carry a lot of meaning. Some people may add titles and while this won’t count against you they’re often not necessary.

    Whatever approach you decide is best for your product, remember to exercise consistency. Don’t change your ‘from’ section once you’ve decided on a tone and style. This applies to all aspects of cold emailing.

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    What is guided selling?

    Subject lines and examples

    Subject lines need to be special to make cold emailing work. It’s not easy to make a subject line stand out, it’s a skill that eludes even some of the best copywriters. With a little practice and patience however you can achieve subject lines that will really boost your sales.

    Make sure that your subject lines are personal, concise and relevant. For example, if you’ve met your target before, refer to this in the subject line. Don’t write long winded subject lines, aim for no more than 50 characters. Keep it focused on the subject too. It’s ok to be upfront about selling a product.

    What you’re aiming for is the Goldilocks zone where your subject line appeal is appealing enough to hook the target without making it come across as click bait. You need to generate need and urgency without coming across as a brash salesperson. Here are some examples;

    • Let’s talk about [X]! – Injects interests without being too sales-sy.
    • Quick question regarding [X]. – Appeals to the target’s ego by implying they’re an expert.
    • Are you prepared to overcome [X]? – This shows you understand your customer’s issues.
    • You’ll love this article, [X]! – Imples camaraderie and positive feelings.
    • You missed it – Nothing generates urgency like fear of missing out.

    Intelligent introductions

    If you get your target to open your email and start reading the introduction you’ve done well. However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking your work is finished. This is no time for writing yourself a congratulations note, you need an introduction.

    An ideal introduction in a cold sales email is two sentences long, you can push it to three but that’s the maximum. The key here is to be reflexive, ie, don’t introduce yourself or your company. Instead, highlight what you know about the recipient, their work, accomplishments, needs etc.

    Here’s a bad example;

    • Hi (X), my name is (X) and I work for (X). I want to speak to you about our product… etc.

    If you wrote your ‘from’ section and subject line correctly your target should already know your name and company so why repeat it in the introduction?

    Try this instead;

    • Hi (X), just read your article on (X), I really liked (X). Here’s how I can help you… etc.

    See how this appeals to the potential customer while also giving you an effective segue into selling your product? Think reflexively, introduce your target to the realisation that they need your product. A need that can only be fulfilled by buying your product.

    How valuable is your product?

    Now you’ve arrived at the point in your cold email where you’ll sell your product to your target. As we’ve already mentioned we won’t be covering how you sell something, as you should already be able to do this. Instead, let’s talk about the value of the product.

    Value and cost in this context are different. The cost is the product’s price, its value refers to its benefits and how much it could change your potential customer’s life. This is what you need to focus on, the product’s benefits and attributes which target the customer’s needs.

    Put your potential customer at the centre of your writing and be concise with the benefits you can offer. Don’t be vague and make sure you can follow up on your promises. All of this needs to flow and connect with your introduction, subject line and call-to-action seamlessly.

    Whatever you do, don’t use ready made sales pitches. This is one guaranteed way to generate a huge churn rate, it’s extremely off-putting for potential customers. Tailor made messages which focus on the benefits of your product, while requiring more time and research, will have a significantly higher success rate.

    Crafting good call-to-actions

    The final part of any sales cold email is the call-to-action (CTA). A CTA is a term or phrase designed to prompt an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale. They need to be punchy and perceptive of the customer’s needs.

    You have a tremendous degree of latitude when crafting a CTA. All you need to do is nail your potential customer to a commitment, ie, signing up to a seminar, agreeing to a Skype call, provide feedback etc. It’s up to you and the sales situation you find yourself in however good CTAs always include the following two factors;

    • Purpose – Your CTA must clarify the purpose of your email in a single sentence.
    • Brevity – Your CTA cannot be any longer than one sentence.

    This keeps it simple and easy for your potential customer to follow up. The CTA is an oft-overlooked aspect of cold emails as many focus on making sure they’re read and not followed up on as well. This would mean you wouldn’t generate any sales from your emails, so make sure your CTAs are polished and precise.

    Cold emails – Not as hard as they seem

    Use these techniques to ace the cold approach and your product will be flying off of the proverbial shelves. Just remember to think before you send, do your research, and think creatively.

    We hope you enjoyed learning from this article and we have far more for you to check out on our blog. Make sure you also sign up to our various social media pages for our latest content on emailing, sales and other areas of business.