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So your client sends you an email list of contacts they haven’t reached out to. They want you to create a workflow to get these contacts into a sales funnel, so you can hopefully convert some of them into leads. 

How do you grab the attention of cold leads when they aren’t expecting to hear from you?

Let’s start here: When it comes to cold emailing, less is more. Despite how much information you may want to include when you’re emailing someone for the first time, avoid it! Start with a short email. One that will impress the recipient, help them understand what you have got to offer, and most importantly ACT. According to ExactTarget, people only take 2.7 seconds to decide if they will read, forward or delete a message.

Tweet This: Readers only take 2.7 seconds to decide if they will read, forward or delete a message.

Marketers often base the success of their emails by their open rates and click rates. The trouble with measuring success this way is that open rates do not always express intent. Think about this: Most people open emails and then immediately delete, mark them as spam or archive them. Because the email was opened that will appear in the email reporting dashboard as a win, when a user probably has no interest in your product.

A cold email should not be measured by click and open rates, but its success needs to be measured by the conversion rate over the entire campaign – including the initiation email, follow-ups, meetings and then finally the sign up. Cold emailing ideal customers is an effective way of getting on their radar. Many people feel cold email is SPAM, but that’s not the case. When executed correctly, cold emailing potential leads and prospects can be a very effective way to grow your business. Once users start interacting with your emails you can create more personalized emails that will help you move them farther down the sales funnel.

Cold email is a legitimate driver of business, just like cold calling. Although cold calling is not something one typically enjoys doing, it can be beneficial. Think of cold emails being a relatively hands-off lead generating channel. Since cold emailing can be highly scalable, it allows you to test out your ideas and it can help you get new customers.

Wondering where you should start? Check out a few ways you can take your cold leads and warm them up a little:

  • Personalize as much as possible with your cold emails to get the best response. If you’re doing cold email at scale, you will probably only be able to reference the person’s industry. However, if your targeted list is only 100 or so prospects than you need to personalize much more. Google their name/company to see if they’ve been featured in any articles and reference that in your introduction. Use as much as you can to personalize things when you have a smaller list of prospects.
  • Try to always close with a question. This will help your engagement rates and ensures you can keep delivering emails to your prospect list. In addition, it opens the dialogue for further discussion which should be done over the phone. Make sure your emails have your business address and phone number. Not only does this comply with SPAM laws, but it also helps build trust.
  • Have a P.S. or unsubscribe link underneath your signature that lets them know if they don’t want to get another email from you, they can just reply and let you know. If someone isn’t interested, they should have the option to opt out.
  • Avoid using the first line on a pointless introduction. The first line is what most people will usually see first since it shows up in their preview text after the subject line.
  • When you follow-up, keep your original email subject line intact and add “Re:” to the front of it. For example, you might have a subject line of “Your New Website” if you were pitching them on developing a new site. Your follow-up subject line should be “Re: Your New Website” so that the person reading the emails knows this is in response to a previous email you sent them.

It doesn’t matter how great your emails is, you need to remember to create follow-up emails and send them. Your competitors probably stop after the initial send, so take the opportunity and stand out.

This article originally featured on the Marenated blog, our sister-site by Red Branch Media

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