The two most prevalent methods of business promotion and lead generation in digital marketing are:
A. Investing money in paid advertisements
B. Implementing inbound and content marketing
These strategies serve both purposes:
A. Creating awareness about the products and services
B. Lead generation and conversion
So, these can be used in various parts of the sales funnel.
Both paid advertising and content marketing have their pros and cons.
Paid marketing brings quick results, whereas content marketing requires patience and time, as it drives results in the long run.
Content marketing builds an audience that is likely to convert and become your customers in the future. Both of these strategies are successful in their domains, but they also have various cons.
If you try paid advertising, you need to have enough money to get noticeable results. On the flip side, while implementing content marketing, you need to invest time and effort.
It would help if you also had lots of patience as you would see results through content marketing in terms of conversion in a long time.
So, is there a way to generate quick leads, which is cost-effective as well? You can try cold email marketing, which works for many businesses and freelancers.
Email marketing is quite common, but there is a slight difference between cold email marketing and email marketing. In email marketing, you get the opt-in form filled in by the user when they visit your website, and you get their permission to send them emails.
The objective of email marketing is to engage users and do business with them. Whereas in cold email marketing, we send an email to a stranger without seeking their permission. Cold email marketing has the following features.
But why would you send a cold email? There are many reasons behind it. According to a study based on the analysis of 20 million cold emails, it was found that these were quite effective. The cold emails had an open rate of 53%, and that’s a considerable number because the writer sent them to millions of people.
That is even higher than what you’d achieve through paid ads, and it’s a remarkable achievement for a marketer. Secondly, cold pitching yields results faster than any other campaign. People can get results within a week. It is even faster than inbound marketing.
The average time needed is six to nine months to drive any significant result with inbound marketing. With cold emailing, you can start doing business with your prospective client within a few days.
Cold emailing is scalable. You can potentially send an unlimited number of cold emails. If you do it properly, you can add hundreds of people every day to your email list.
With cold email marketing, you can easily reach out to as many as 1000 to 15,000 people in a day because it has endless possibilities.
The best feature of cold email marketing is that it’s mostly free. All you need is to have access to an email account. However, you may need to invest in a few tools that will make your life easier.
The biggest problem while performing cold email marketing is to find email addresses. Email Address Finder is a tool that you can use along with an Email Open Tracker. These tools can be a bit costly. However, the good news is buying these tools isn’t a must. You can very well achieve the same results by using free tools along with some manual work. However, doing it manually may be a bit time-consuming.
You receive hundreds of junk emails every day that include get-rich-quick schemes and other fraudulent offers, most of which are spam. So, people confuse cold emails with spam emails which is not the case.
So, cold email marketing is not necessarily illegal. Even though spammy and illegal cold emails are commonplace, sending out cold emails is considered legal globally.
However, you should make sure that while sending cold emails, you don’t use the following:
There is a law against deceptive subject lines and false headers, known as the CAN-SPAM Act.
The objective of this act is to respect the privacy of the recipients and prevent businesses from cheating or deceiving them. It applies to all types of emails, even the emails sent as part of email marketing. If you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act, cold email marketing is 100% legal.
Prospecting is the next most important thing, and you should invest a significant chunk of your time in making your prospect list because it will pay you off tremendously. The success of your email campaign will also depend on the quality and length of your email list.
During prospecting, you develop a list of targets and contacts to send your cold emails to. The more exhaustive and targeted your email prospecting list is, the more success you’re likely to achieve with your cold email marketing campaign.
Here is the five-step process of prospecting:
Instead of taking a general approach, you should first try to determine your target audience.
You can further filter your audience to a set of people in a particular niche or people with a certain quality or a trait, such as educational level or income.
Coming up with the right target audience is extremely important for success in cold email marketing. Furthermore, your success rate is bound to increase with personalized emails. With general targeting, it’s not possible to personalize those emails.
After defining your target audience, you should try to figure out keywords that people use to find such an audience. You can use a keyword tool such as Ubersuggest or Google Keyword Planner for this purpose. For example, if you are targeting business process outsourcing units, you can use keywords such as:
You can use your creativity and secondary information to research the most searched and popular keywords:
While screening your prospects, have a look at their websites and other features such as financial strength and business model, etc., so that you don’t end up wasting your time on an unintended audience. If their businesses are in nascent stages and cannot earn any revenue, there is little chance that they would even care about the services you offer.
The next most important step after you shortlisted the businesses you need to target is identifying the decision-makers. Usually, you can find it on the “About Us” page on the website and also in the “Team” or “Leadership” section. However, the best place to know the decision-maker is Linkedin.
A decision-maker can be an MD, CEO, CMO, CFO, or CTO, etc.
You cannot start your cold emailing campaign unless you know the correct Email address of your prospects. You can either use an email finder app or try it manually.
You can consider the following email finder apps:
Many of these apps are available as Chrome extensions and extensions of popular CRM and other digital marketing tools.
It is not difficult to use these apps. All you need to do is enter the prospect’s name and company URL, and the app will try to find the email address for you. Most of these tools offer a free trial but upto 50 free email addresses are free. For extensive use, you can buy their subscription.
If you do not want to invest in a tool or app, you can use the manual approach to try different email variations and check it on Google.
You can see here that for an imaginary prospect Jane Doe, who works for Deloitte US, there can be different email variations.
According to the screenshot, Deloitte US uses seven other email formats, the combination with the first name’s initials and second name, i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org, was used 29.8% of the time. So, you can try this variation along with two others on top, i.e., email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you choose the wrong variation, don’t worry, you’ll receive mail from “MAILER-DAEMON” or a “Mail Delivery Subsystem“. You can filter such emails out later on.
Here is an example of a very successful email format that the sender claims had earned him $10,000+ in freelance writing income.
To write such cold mails, you should remember the following things:
The email addresses the recipient by their first name, and their company name is also referenced in the second sentence. So, the cold email has an element of personalization.
The email directly talks about the reason for reaching out. So, without any fluff, it helps the prospect to decide whether to continue reading the mail or not.
The sender introduces himself and provides relevant social proof by mentioning that he has been featured in major international magazines such as Forbes and the Huffington Post, and his blog has millions of subscribers. Since he was pitching for writing projects, all of these act as attention grabbers.
The sender has specified how he could help the recipient, giving them different options to choose from. Being specific about your services also helps you write highly engaging emails.
Here is a 5-step process to write effective cold emails that bring quick results:
Personalization involves taking time to understand your customer and deep-diving into their mind. It is possible only through empathy mapping. So, instead of getting tone-deaf about your messaging, personalize it according to the likes and interests of the recipient.
Personalization comes with the understanding of the human mind, so it involves getting into the thinking process of an individual, what they want and what motivates them. Once you develop that “theory of mind,” your homework is done.
The purpose of your email should also be pretty straightforward, even if it sounds like seeking help. According to various studies, people feel motivated to help others when you address them as uniquely qualified. If your story makes sense, they would be more than eager to help you.
With personalization, you cut the crap and don’t talk about things that don’t make sense or are said with little or no homework.
When you interact with a stranger or receive an email from someone you don’t know, you have a natural curiosity to know about that person.
Mentioning a familiar friend can help minimize that stranger feeling. If you have the authority, social status, or credibility to qualify for the quick camaraderie, say it.
“Rare similarities” like a shared hometown, strange hobbies, or being part of the same group can also help you connect instantaneously and ward off that stranger feeling.
According to various studies, people tend to go overboard to get rid of pain than to acquire pleasure. So, if you have done your research about your audience’s pain points and want to offer some relief from it, explain it.
You can use social listening to know the most significant pain points of your prospects. It will simply surprise them and delight them, and in turn, they will also be willing to return the favor. Or, you can help people with something they want or connect them to someone they would like to meet.
Keep people’s needs and wants in mind and craft a short but power-packed email with a compelling offer. Short emails have a higher chance of being read than long and cold ones that can be annoying. Your emails should request explicit, specific action to get a higher response.
The best way to do it is to keep its tone conversational, just like someone introduces himself at a party and immediately grabs the guests’ attention.
Reading your email out loud will immensely help. It will likely be read with enthusiasm if it sounds natural, cordial, friendly, and pleasant. Ask instead of suggesting or instructing people. So, the way you talk to them matters a lot.
Being slightly submissive and showing vulnerability is a highly effective persuasion skill. It doesn’t mean you should bow down like what people did in ancient times before majestic kings.
But, when you approach a stranger for a favor, it pays to express gratitude and a little bit of vulnerability, to make them feel that they are a good person and in a position to help someone in need. While approaching them, could you give them a feeling of power and status?
Experts warn against using a template as it can be annoying, cold, and boring. It may not have the pull required to engage the readers because it lacks personalization and often carries a formal tone. That’s why we have refrained from suggesting any template. The tips and tricks offered above will stimulate readers and help you engage with them. Cold email marketing is not really “cold” as it sounds. It all comes down to the value you offer, the personal touch in your language, friendly tone, and brevity of the content.