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The One Line to Never Use in a Cold Email

The One Line to Never Use in a Cold Email

Are your cold emails about your prospects’ needs and pain points, or are they too self-focused on your business?

When emailing a cold list of sales prospects you can’t expect them to know about your business’ value propositions or care about your one million features. All they want to know is how you can benefit them by increasing their profits, reducing their risk or saving them time. No matter how many cold emails you send, your prospects will never connect with your message if you fail to convey a clear and powerful value proposition.

If your inbox is anything like mine, it’s full of long-winded emails that contain bloated information about obscure businesses I’ve never heard of that don’t actually tell me how their product or service can help me. This week’s cold email critique is all about crafting a focused and highly targeted message that motivates your prospects to reply.

Cold Email Mistake #1: Confusing Your Prospects with an Unfocused Message

“Subject: Look up persistence in the dictionary”

Your prospects probably get dozens, if not hundreds of emails everyday. So how do you stand out from the crowd and make them take notice?

Your subject line is the gateway to your cold email being opened and responded to. So it has to be dynamic enough to make prospects want to hit the open button, but it shouldn’t be irrelevant to your business either. This subject line isn’t exciting and it definitely doesn’t tell me anything about the company or its product.  Cute or gimmicky marketing tactics often do more damage than good by confusing your potential customers. The word persistence has nothing to do with the company or the pain points of its customers. A good cold email needs to be laser-focused from the subject to the call-to-action. Every word and sentence of the email must command the prospect’s attention and carry them to the next part of the email until they reach that last sentence, which should compel them to hit reply.

What to Do Instead: Crafting effective subject lines is an art that takes practice, which is why you should write dozens of subject lines before drafting each email template. Select the top 2 or 3 to A/B test in your email blasts to see what your prospects prefer. Great subject lines should either add value, evoke fear of loss, or grab intrigue with mystery.

Cold Email Mistake #2: Sending a Weak Message with Wimpy Language

“Excuse my persistence, but I am very excited to introduce you to my company, XYZ“

Never apologize in your cold emails. It’s your job to sell and it’s your prospects’ job to find ways to improve their performance. Prospects won’t mind your emails when they actually contain helpful information. Unless you’re actually embarrassed about your product, eradicate wimpy and apologetic language from your emails. It doesn’t make your prospects feel better about your message or motivate them to respond.

What to do instead: Open your cold email with a strong first sentence that either grabs their attention with a bold statement or engages them with a thoughtful question. Example 1: “I was wondering, what you’re doing to ensure healthy competition amongst {!Company}’s sales team?”Example 2: “Did you know 89% of website crashes can be prevented by 5 simple software checks?”

Cold Email Mistake #3: Creating A Generic & Untargeted Message

“…and see if you’d be interested in discussing how our sales and marketing services can help your company gain traction and accelerate growth. Allow us to help you strategically position your company’s sales and marketing efforts for success. “

These sentences are painfully generic. Broad language like “strategically position,” isn’t compelling because it doesn’t explain the value of the cold emailer’s business at all. (This honestly isn’t even a good example of a feature because it’s so vague, but it’s definitely more of a feature than a benefit.) Vague canned messages are uninspiring and turn your prospects off. Why would you put your confidence in a company that can’t even send targeted sales emails? If they can’t get their cold emails right, how well will they produce a quality product or service?

This company clearly hasn’t done its research.

Sending out mass emails to random lists is ineffective because: 1) emails aren’t delivered to the right people and 2) untargeted emails annoy those who do receive them.

What to Do Instead:

  1. Build a highly targeted email list focused on one buyer persona per cold email template.
  2. Focus each cold email template on a specific benefit, not features. Prospects don’t care about all the cool things your product can do. They just want to know how these features can help them, so make your prospects think about their unique pain points and offer them a credible and easy solution.

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