What if you could 4x your email response rate, reach busy decision makers, and find new customers in the US – simply by making a few tweaks to your outreach strategy? It IS possible – and you can start using these tactics as soon as today.
Don’t believe me? Well, in a world full of crappy cold emails, I don’t blame you one bit. But these methods really do work. Try it out and watch the responses roll in. Test it out on a small scale.
Oh, and cancel any plans you may have had tomorrow because you’re going to be busy emailing everyone back.
Know your audience (beyond just first name)
To set the right tone when writing an email, you’ve gotta know your audience like no other.
Yes, knowing their name is important – but a person is more than just a name, so why stop there? After all, everybody else stops there, and you’re far more creative. Go beyond that by writing powerful cold emails. Think about it. We read our audience ALL the time during face-to-face interactions.
When meeting someone new, we rely on verbal cues and body language. In short, it helps us not make asses of ourselves by saying something out of line.
These cues help us determine what would be awesome to say and what wouldn’t (so that we can avoid topics that would be conversation killers). Some of this we’re actively thinking about, and the rest all happens subconsciously.
In other words, the human brain is insane. When we have a conversation, there are a million things going on in our minds (whether we know it or not). We’re busy analyzing and gauging our audience all the time. To be successful with cold (more like warm) email, we’ve got to analyze our audience as well in order to get the best response.
But since we can’t rely on the same cues we observe in person, we have to turn to the digital equivalent: A little preliminary research to figure out if the message is REALLY relevant to the person we’re emailing (and how).
Here’s a quick example: In person, you probably wouldn’t talk to your sibling in the same way you’d talk to a business prospect. (Hey, I don’t know you, but that’s just a wild guess.)
So, it doesn’t make sense to send out generic emails without first knowing your audience and tailoring your message in a way that’ll best resonate with them. Otherwise, nobody will be able to relate.
Recently at QuickMail.io, we ran some tests with data taken from millions of emails to see if certain words on average led to higher response rates.
I guessed that people across the board would respond more positively to emails with “hey” in the intro as opposed to “hi” – since hi seemed more bland(ish) and formal, at least to me. Well, I lost. 🙁
Turns out that emails with “hi” in the intro actually received MORE responses. But here’s the thing: Even though it was fun and I got schooled, it doesn’t really mean much at all without knowing more about the audiences that were targeted. You already know why (cause you’re somebody who’s savvy and actively seeks out email tips) – the reason is because there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to email outreach.
That’s because every industry will respond differently. And it makes sense: Someone working for a scrappy startup might respond more positively to “hey,” and a Fortune 500 exec might prefer a more formal “hi.” Then again, sometimes it’s the other way around. As humans, we’re unpredictable, so it’s best to create emails that are personable (avoid making generalizations) if you want your message to better resonate with the person you’re contacting.
Don’t stress about region, but pay attention if you want bonus points
Since there are so many different regions in the US, it can be easy to be overwhelmed and think, “Will a cold email that works in rural New Hampshire also resonate with people in Seattle?”
My best advice? Don’t sweat it too much.
What really matters is making sure the tone and subject matter is a mega awesome fit.
Yes, while there are some lifestyle differences among the different regions in the US, you’ll be FAR better off if you focus on these two things: 1) Who you’re targeting, and 2) Why your message is ridiculously relevant to them.
So, rather than worry about what a certain region will respond well to, here are some other ways you can get bonus points by mentioning location:
1. Mention it in a creative, human way.
IE: “Hope all is well in sunny San Francisco! I was there last year for a conference and couldn’t believe the [insert interesting tidbit here].”Or, if you haven’t been there, find something about the area that you find interesting and briefly mention it.
Take this example of an awesome cold message I once received on LinkedIn (they briefly mentioned location and it worked):
Does this sound like an email that went out to 100 other people? Nope. Does it mention location strategically? Yes.
2. Also consider how it might affect the time you send an email.
If there’s a big time difference, make sure you’re not sending that email when the person you’re emailing is asleep.
Be clear, but save the details for later
A lot of the time, people send cold emails (cold emailing) that look a lot like essays. Essays written by robots. You want to avoid that, especially when emailing US prospects.
It’s actually quite simple: Say why you’re emailing in as few words as possible. This isn’t the same as being vague. You can still be very clear and direct while saving all the extra stuff for a later conversation. So, if you’re emailing someone about an upcoming event, you might tell them what the event is about, someone of interest who will be speaking, and what day it falls on – but until they express interest, don’t worry about including details like time or venue until later.
Here’s an example of what NOT to do:
Yikes! Do you even want to read that whole thing?
I don’t, so here’s the TL;DR – Avoid long emails, don’t talk about yourself the whole time, and don’t include tons of links in your 1st email unless you want to end up in the spam folder. 🙂
Start a real conversation
You don’t have to begin every cold email in the USA with a pitch. Instead, consider starting a conversation. This can manifest in many different ways. You could give someone a compliment. Or send them an article about something that interests them. You could even ask them for their expert feedback. Whatever it is you choose to send, make sure that it’s genuine.
Do you remember the last time someone emailed you a thoughtful message about something you recently accomplished? What about the last time someone sent you an awesome article? I bet it felt great. Messages like that make us feel warm and fuzzy inside, especially when we know it’s authentic!
[PS: Want some winning email templates to help boost your growth? Check ‘em out here.]
Over to you: What’s the best cold email you’ve ever received? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Guest post by Hannah Wright, Marketing @ QuickMail.io