When your email response rates seem to be persistently low, it can be extremely frustrating. You keep tweaking things, but the results don’t seem to change.
There are steps you can take to boost your cold email response rate, though. With careful planning, you can make a huge difference to the success of your campaigns.
Here are twelve steps you can take to boost your cold email response rate.
Personalization Is Key
We all value our inboxes. We use them to organize our businesses, our personal lives, and everything in between.
If we’re to allow emails into our inboxes, then they have to add value.;
In a world of constant spam, we’re extremely adept at scanning through our emails and discarding the worthless ones. Unfortunately, this makes it harder for your cold outreach – even if you’re offering exceptional value.
One way to quickly showcase that you’re different from the spam and that you actually offer value is through personalization.
It’s very difficult to offer value through an email without personalization. It’s even harder to convey value without personalization.
We’re constantly on the lookout for spam and one of the first signs is that an email could have gone out to anybody. Show that you’ve put the time into understanding the prospect and that your email offers value.
Some ideas for increased personalization can range from starting the mail with the lead’s name and all the way to incorporating email signature marketing in your cold email campaign, which will help you reach a higher conversion rate of your leads.
Personalized emails drive 6x more transactions, and it’s not surprising.
Research Your Prospects to Make Your Emails More Relevant
When we talk about personalization, we’re talking about more than just putting someone’s name in the subject line and first sentence.
We’re talking about understanding the motivations of your prospects. This takes a little bit of extra effort, but it pays off:
- Spend time on your prospect list and ensure your prospects’ goals are closely aligned to what you’re offering.
- Find out what they’re talking about/sharing and show that you care about the same things by referencing them in the email.
- Research prospects on social media (outreach software like Mailshake offers LinkedIn plugins to make this easier) and use a tool like Voila Norbert to find specific emails for people in that organization.
Use Voilanorbert to find contact details of just about anyone
Information is a way to create a connection. It takes more work, but it will make your cold outreach much more effective.
Make Your Subject Lines Stand Out
Before you can even dream of getting a response, you need to get your email noticed in a crowded inbox.
It’s estimated that the average worker sends and receives 121 business emails each day. If we take that number, then your subject line has to compete with 120 other subject lines.
This is a split-second opportunity to pique someone’s interest that you can’t afford to miss.
It’s a tricky balance because you need to grab someone’s attention while staying on point and conveying value. 47% of recipients decide whether or not to open emails based on the subject alone, so this goes to show the importance of choosing the right words.
Make sure you’re dedicating plenty of energy to creating subject lines that stand out.
Respect the Prospect’s Time
People lead busy lives. Whether they’re at work or at leisure, they don’t want to be wasting their time reading long emails with no guarantee of value.
Your emails have to respect your prospect’s time by getting to the point.
It’s natural to want to try and fit as much information in about your product as possible, but you should taper this. Instead, focus on using your creativity to create concise, value-packed emails that grab your audience’s attention.
Don’t forget about the presentation either – break up the paragraphs to make them easy to read and make sure it looks like something that’s going to be a quick read.
Focus on the Prospect’s Needs – You’re not the Focus
You’re a great company with a great product – it’s easy to start waxing lyrical about your business to try and impress your prospect.
You have to remember that the prospect never asked for your email, though. They’ve shown no interest in your business, but they do have an interest in their own success.
This means you have to put your interests on the backburner and showcase how you can address the prospect’s needs. Your cold emails aren’t about making a sale there and then; they’re about starting a conversation, so how can you achieve this?
Use a Proven Sales Pitch
Cold pitching is nothing new, and the psychology of sales applies to cold emails just as it does any other sales interaction.
People have been selling things for a long time now, and they’ve found there are certain things that work and others that don’t. A lot of the hard work has been done for you, and there are some tried and tested sales pitches you can incorporate into your cold emails.
Yes, you will adapt them, but the principles of selling remain the same, and these sales pitches work.
Often, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You just have to find a way to make it work for your specific needs.
Perfect Your Copy
You can have a great strategy for getting more responses but if you can’t accurately convey your messages, then they’re not going to work. Just like with your subject lines, there’s a tough balancing act to achieve.
- Convey value
- Be concise
- Infuse character
- Engage your audience
This is why it pays to take your time over your emails. Think about your language and how it might be received by your prospects. Changing a few words in your copy can make a difference to your response rate, so make sure to A/B test as you go.
Your subject lines may grab your prospects’ attention, but your copy needs to hold it. Don’t be shy of running a few iterations with your copywriter or copywriting service.
Discover Your Brand Voice
Don’t be afraid to show your character in your email!
One thing you notice with spam is how bland it is – there’s no character in it, no brand voice. This fits the theme of a general lack of personalization. Poor cold emails give you nothing to be excited about and nothing to identify with.
Character grabs people’s attention and makes you stand out from all the other emails.
Your business has its own unique identity and story, so make sure you infuse this into your emails. Develop your brand voice and make it tell your story.
Character is an important part of any marketing. Just because emails are short shouldn’t mean they’re any less characterful. Use your brand voice to get people to interact with your cold emails.
In a cold email, you want to get your key points across quickly, so this makes video ideal.
The big thing to remember is you have to keep an eye on deliverability. Email providers have complex algorithms to detect spam, and multimedia will play into this. If you’re working with a good sales engagement platform, then they will help you manage your deliverability, but it’s important you’re not overloading your emails.
Optimize Your Calls to Action
When you’re writing your copy it’s always obvious to you what action you want people to take. For the reader, it’s not always so obvious. If you want people to take action, then you have to lead them towards it, and that’s exactly what your CTAs do.
For instance, if you host webinars, you can drive people to a landing page where they can sign up to attend the webinar itself and then, depending on what webinar platform you use, you can use the platform to send them notifications and use calls to action in the webinar to drive them into your sales funnel.
Your CTAs help tie everything together and show the prospect what you want them to do next. Any old CTA won’t do; they need to be optimized, so make sure you’re A/B testing.
Build Out Your Sequences
People don’t always respond to your email the first time around – this doesn’t mean you should give up.
There are lots of reasons why people might not respond to you after the first email but will respond to subsequent ones. How often do we forget to respond to an important email in our personal lives? Well, responding to your email might be of secondary importance to someone and sometimes it slips through the cracks.
This means it’s important to be persistent.
If you’re offering value, then there’s nothing wrong with sending more emails and creating a sequence. The key is respecting your prospects’ privacy and knowing when enough is enough.
Automation and Testing
Checking off every detail in this list is no easy task. There’s a lot of work involved, and when you’re running big campaigns you want to automate as much as possible.
This is where software like Mailshake is worth its weight in gold.
When you’re creating campaigns, you want everything to be in one place, and make your life as simple as possible. With built-in sequences, A/B testings, social media plugins, automated responses, and powerful personalization tools, that’s exactly what Mailshake offers.
Detailed statistics help you maximize deliverability, get your emails opened, and push up your response rates.
With the right software, ticking off all the tips on this list becomes much easier.
A good response rate is vital if you’re going to see a good return on investment from your cold email campaigns. Luckily, there are lots of little steps you can take to achieve this.
The difficulty with cold emails is that they’re used so poorly by so many. This makes it even more difficult for the people that are doing it well.
What you need to do is take care of the small details and think about the recipient first. If you can demonstrate you offer value at every step of the interaction, then it’s going to give you a much better chance.
With a few tweaks, you can give your email response rates a big boost.
Author: Sujan Patel
Sujan Patel is a partner at Ramp Ventures & co-founder of Mailshake. He has over 15 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.
What Not to do in Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the best ways to speak directly to your audience. You can build a relationship with them and create loyal customers. It is also a great way to generate traffic to your website, increase leads, and execute large campaigns.
With all of the benefits that your company can gain from email marketing, it’s no wonder that 64% of small businesses engage in email marketing. However, there are still a few important things to keep in mind. In order to be successful, you should avoid these 4 mistakes explained by 97 Switch when preparing an email marketing campaign.
Talk About Yourself
Many companies fall into the trap of only talking about themselves. They assume that since their audience signed up for emails, they want to hear all about the company and the sales. While marketing your products or services is important to do sometimes, your audience is still looking for value.
Failing to foster a relationship with them by being too sales-y will lead to unsubscribers and a loss of potential customers.
Instead, it’s important to give the audience something in return for their loyalty. Exclusive deals and sales codes are appreciated, but they also want to see educational or entertaining content in their inbox.
One way to do this is by creating content such as “you asked, we delivered” or “your questions answered” to show that you care about your customers and the feedback they give you, and it builds trust.
It’s also important to speak your audience’s language. Sometimes, companies get too caught up in trying to sound professional and impressive and end up using jargon that’s hard to understand.
Using more simple ways to get your message across is imperative, as it makes the email easier to consume and thus more valuable.
Email Without a Purpose
While building relationships with your customers is one of the main goals of email marketing, you should keep in mind that they don’t want to hear from your company just for the sake of connecting.
Ensure that you have a clear purpose for each email you send, whether that be to inform, entertain, or motivate.
Being intentional about when to reach out includes sending timely emails. You should respond to relevant industry, company, or world news in a timely manner. Readers would find you reminding them about the last day of a sale important, and that qualifies as a purposeful email.
Part of proceeding with a clear purpose is also including a call to action in your emails. Your readers want to know exactly what you’re asking of them, and making it simple is the best way to get it. Beware of including too many calls to action, as it can be more confusing and seem more selfish than helpful.
Personalization is one of the greatest strengths of email marketing, yet it is often overlooked. Simply including first names in an email makes it sound more personal and builds stronger relationships. This can easily be achieved using an email scheduling tool such as Mailchimp. Again, this is a way to build customer relationships. Research shows that using someone’s name in the subject line increases open rates by 26%. Be that as it may, personalization is more than just plugging in names.
Using an email marketing tool is also an easy way to utilize the segmentation aspect of personalization. By separating your audience into groups, you can categorize what they would each be most interested to hear from you.
It has been shown that segmented campaigns perform better than non-segmented campaigns. An example of this is categorizing your readers as beginners, intermediate, or advanced knowledge of your industry. Based on this category, you can send each segment a different email that would pertain to them more specifically.
Your readers will appreciate that your content is tailored to their needs. Imagine sending a beginner an email that skips over the basics of a process. They would be confused and find it very unhelpful.
Now imagine an expert who is wasting time reading the basics that they know by heart. They would become frustrated and lose interest in finishing the email. These are just two examples of using segmentation to better serve your audience.
Use Poor Subject Lines
Often, people will decide whether to open an email at all based on the subject line alone. A mistake that marketers tend to make is wording the subject in a way that sounds like spam, and thus never gets opened or reaches the audience.
As we mentioned before, it is also helpful to include someone’s name in the subject line. While it might seem like a shot in the dark to form an effective subject, there are a few tips for the best open rates you can achieve.
A good subject line should be short. The ideal length for a subject is 7 words, based on a study conducted by Marketo.
However, you also want to make it interesting so that people are curious and want to know more. This curiosity is enough to encourage people to read the email.
However, you want to avoid click-baiting your readers with interesting subject lines that have nothing to do with the content in the email. Make sure that your subject is also relevant to what you have to say. Otherwise, you will have the opposite effect you’d intended by destroying trust and losing credibility.
Simply sending out random emails is not enough to see results. You have to stick to a schedule that your readers can count on and know when to expect to hear from you in their inbox.
The frequency can vary based on your industry and from business to business, but emailing at least once a month is recommended. The more you email, the more you will be on the top of potential customers’ minds when they need what you offer.
That being said, you shouldn’t always assume more contact is better. If your company emails are flooding their inbox, you can bet that they will either block the sender or unsubscribe from future emails. Finding a balance is key to seeing the best results from your campaigns.
You should also consider the brand voice that you are using to speak to your customers. If your emails all sound like they were written by different people, then it’s hard to gain the brand-strengthening benefits of email marketing. It is also confusing to your audience and makes it harder for them to connect with the company.
A good way to remedy this is to create a company persona, where you give a personality to the company that is sending the emails.
Are you funny and witty, or are you serious and somber? Consider strengthening your branding within the company before communicating it with the world.
You can’t expect to be perfect at email marketing, so don’t get discouraged if you find that you have made these mistakes. There is always room for improvements, and every so often it’s a good idea to evaluate how your email marketing campaigns are going.
Using analytics to track your results and adjusting your strategy will help you grow as you fix any mistakes you might be making.
By taking the time to improve your strategy, you will see the success that can carry across all your marketing efforts.
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