Landing sales meetings from a cold email exchange takes persistence and a data-driven approach to crafting the right messages and responses. For example, simply personalizing cold emails can increase their open rates by as much as 100%, according to a new report from Sales and Marketing Management, by author Ryan Myers, quoted where possible.
“If you send out 1,000 carbon-copied emails to random businesses, you shouldn’t be surprised when most go unopened, writes Myers. On average, canned business emails are opened only between 15 and 29% of the time, depending on the industry. Yet when Shane Snow (co-founder of Contently) and Jon Youshaei (founder of Every Vowel) sent 1,000 customized emails to the busiest people they could find, about 700 emails successfully went through. Of those, the open rate was a whopping 45%.
In real-world applications, when Justin McGill, founder of LeadFuze, first started his digital marketing agency, he focused a majority of his lead-generation efforts on cold emailing. Within three years, his agency credits those emails as the “one consistent lead generator” that helped the company get succeed.”
Cold emailing works when it’s done right, says Myers. Many salespeople just aren’t sure what "doing it right" actually means. Try starting with these strategies, according to the report, that the most successful cold email campaigns have in common:
1. “Personalize messages, and prompt a response.
Personalized cold emails can simply mean greeting them by name in the subject line. Personalization makes it more likely that your prospects will open your emails, but to increase your response rate, prompt recipients for one at the end. By prompting a specific answer, you make it easier for the recipient to respond, which takes you a step closer to landing a meeting.
2. Always respond, even if you’re referred.
If the response you receive is to be referred to someone else, don’t take that as a loss. Follow through with the response — always. A referral might mean that the they actually can’t help you and that the other person can. Make it a rule to never let a lead go unanswered.
If recipients or referrals are slow to respond, use automated calendar reminders, tabbed email folders, and even written notes if necessary. Build customizable, semi-canned responses and one-sheeters that address common questions about costs, services, and more.
3. Collaborate and research to avoid a rut.
Personalization and consistent responses are a great starting point for building a solid cold email campaign, but they aren’t end-all solutions to building your business. To avoid a rut, continuously research the latest trends and studies in email and online marketing, and fine-tune your own data by asking existing clients what initially won their attention and prompted their responses. There’s no secret formula to successful cold emailing” says the report “However, making it a data-driven process is an important part of it. Take note of what works and what doesn’t, and stay nimble enough to adapt your strategy as needed when results become stagnant.”
Myers is the senior director of content at Sapper Consulting, which replaces cold calling for its clients. Review the complete report here.