I have a love-hate relationship with cold emails. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there.
On one hand, it’s all sunshine and rainbows when I get responses and interested prospects. But there is a downside, paved by the many unopened emails and demoralizingly low response rates.
At least, that is if you don’t know what you’re doing.
And since I’ve done this job for quite some time, I’m no longer a stranger to the various email copywriting strategies that have given me the best conversion rates.
So if you’ve been building your email list and want to start a campaign or launch guest posts; If you want to learn how to write outreach emails that have personally helped me get conversion rates of up to 43%, read on.
Why email outreach is still one of the best outreach strategies
Email outreach is a smart way to connect with other professionals in your field and discover leads. First, it’s not as intrusive as a sales call, and it gives the prospect time to pay attention when they have time to, on your terms.
It also gives the sender the opportunity to express their request creatively through writing and visual aids. For example, if you just built an amazing app that you want to promote to experts in your industry, you can easily incorporate an infographic about the features of this app and how the potential customer can benefit from using it into your outreach campaigns.
In general, email marketing. and outreach have proven to be the most successful promotion channels, for landing opportunities like guest posting, link building, and ways to connect with other people.
It also offers the highest ROI for marketers.
How to write outreach emails that will actually convert
As with any marketing strategy, how you execute your outreach plan depends on who you’re targeting and the industry you work in.
A simple example is the open rate comparison between guest post requests and sales pitches about a certain product. As mentioned above, I’ve received conversion rates of up to 43% from my outreach emails, but it’s important to note that this was for a post-guest campaign.
While it’s still a big deal to get those numbers, it’s certainly easier when you offer something up front. People like to be on the receiving end of a relationship, so an outreach email that offers them something rather than trying to sell is likely to be more successful.
Still, that doesn’t mean you won’t get any responses when trying to sell your product through cold emails. It just means you’ll have to get a little creative when doing it and be more realistic in your actual conversion rates.
So if you want to know the key factors in email conversion, this is exactly what it boils down to:
- Good research
- Good email
Yes, luck. Know that even if you may have done all the research, have the right decision maker, write an amazing email with a great value proposition, you will never convert a lead.
And sometimes it’s a bad time: the solution you offer may already be in the process of being fixed. Or the prospect is tied to many projects and doesn’t have time to adjust to a new one.
So while point 3 is out of our control. Points 1 and 2 are not. This is how you can write that email.
They say that every battle is won before it is fought, and that is the key to whether or not your outreach campaigns are successful. So create a plan that you are confident with and set yourself up for success.
As cheesy as it sounds, it’s important to believe in yourself and everything you offer. It’s easy to get discouraged before you even start, but honestly that’s the worst way to go. I’ve been there and I know what it’s like.
That’s why I’m now going to share with you how good research tactics and trust will increase your open rates and overall engagement. I’ll walk you through the most important steps of a successful email outreach campaign: defining your end goals, targeting the right people, and finding the decision makers who will have the power to grant your wishes.
1. Define your goals
It’s hard to get started if you don’t know where you’re going, so you should always start by defining your goals and KPIs before you write your outreach email.
It could be a specific goal, like promoting a study you’ve done and getting people to link to it, or a more general one, like increasing your brand awareness and building relationships with industry influencers.
Whatever it is, write it down and be specific, no matter how ambitious it may seem. This will help you include a compelling value proposition that will align with your prospect’s goals and grab their attention.
2. Target the right leads
Your time and resources are valuable, so make sure you use them wisely. One of the most common mistakes even professionals make is using too broad a list of prospects. If you want to be successful, you have to be specific.
The outreach campaign should be targeted at the people who will benefit from this relationship, service, or product. For example, if you’re looking for guest posting opportunities, target websites and prospects that will benefit from the type of content you’re offering and accept contributions.
3. Find the right decision maker and their email
Once you have a relevant list of prospects, it’s time to put on your detective hat and find the decision maker and their email. There are many email lookup tools that offer such a service, but you can also do it yourself with a simple Google search or a browse through social media.
LinkedIn is very helpful most of the time and it’s also a great way to learn more about the target and build a relationship before you even send your email.
For example, if you’re looking to set up a meeting with the service development manager of a certain company, you can’t afford to send your meeting request email to the common customer support address.
However, it’s not uncommon to get a bit lost and not be able to find the right email address. In that case, it is important to clearly state your request and ask the recipient if they can forward your email to the appropriate person or department.
Finally, I can get to the spicy stuff.
Okay, not too spicy, but at least I can express my growing frustration with email blasts – aka “The Shotgun Approach”.
Everyone and their grandmother have fallen victim to a generic email that looks like a template from 10 miles away. This is what “Shotgun Strategy” is. Send 500 outreach emails that look exactly the same without considering the prospect and their needs.
Personally, I don’t know anyone who has been tempted by such offers.
That’s why I’m going down the “sniper” path. After carefully choosing my prospects, I craft a personalized message that they’ll actually read.
In general, a good outreach email should always address the following 4 points:
- You researched their website and what they do.
- You are delivering value.
- You are really interested.
- You are not just trying to sell something.
And this is how you can do it.
1. Personalize the email
Show your prospect early on that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in what they do. Mention how you found them, something you admire about them or their company, and what they stand to gain by accepting your offer.
Even the simplest thing, using your name, can significantly improve your open rates. Personally, I often skip emails that don’t address me directly, as my name is pretty easy to find and if the sender didn’t include it, that’s a sure sign of laziness, and a telltale sign of “Shotgun.”
If you don’t know how to find information about them, just turn to search engines and social media.
You can put something like this into Google to find articles they have written on the company website:
[Sites: Company-website.com+ “Prospect Name”]
Or just look them up on LinkedIn and find something to relate to based on their profile.
2. Experiment with your subject line
Unfortunately, the perfect subject line doesn’t exist. However, there are certain tactics you can use to get the most out of it. After all, it’s the first thing your potential customer will see and the main factor they’ll use to determine whether or not an email is spam.
For the love of God, never use capital letters. Sure, you can get someone’s attention, but no one likes to be yelled at.
Keeping the line too long is also something that can significantly decrease your click-through rate, and often results in your email address ending up on your spam list.
If you want to reduce the time of your experiment, check out this blog post on subject lines and see how you can improve yours today.
3. Respect their time
Always put yourself in the shoes of your prospects. It’s what I personally do to judge if my outreach email is too long or pointless. If I don’t have the patience to read it all, there’s no chance my prospect will.
Basically, cut the fluff, be honest about your intentions, and get straight to the point. They are busy people who probably receive dozens of emails a day, if not more.
4. Make it easy for them
If your email requires some type of action, such as a meeting with the prospect to go deeper into the offer, make sure you have an easy-to-use way for the prospect to fulfill your request.
With Appointlet, for example, you can share your current availability with a single link and help your prospects book a meeting with you in no time.
This will make everything easier for you too! Once they book a time, all the information will automatically appear in their personal schedule panel.
A great advantage of Appointlet is also the automatic reminder emails that are sent to the potential client before the meeting and the fact that the tool can be easily integrated with your CRM system, email servers and web conferencing tools.
5. Take it easy and focus on them
Let’s be honest: at the end of the day, you’re still trying to sell someone something.
But there is a good way to do it and a bad way to do it. And it comes down to how you feel.
People smell desperation (and arrogance) from miles away, and it’s no different from your outreach emails. Don’t come off as flippant, demanding, or overly know-it-all, but cheerful, poised, and interested (in a cool way).
Good phrases for this include:
No stress / no problem if you’re not interested.
Since I saw you did X, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to reach out and Y.
Let me know what you think.
If you have any other ideas on how we can help each other, please let me know!
When I had a problem with X, it really helped me to try Y.
It will be a pleasure working with you.
If you combine personalization, a great subject line, direct emails, and clear CTAs into a well-organized package (your tone/grammar, etc), believe me, it would be a hard not to sell.
Writing Reachable Emails That Convert Is Hard, But Not Impossible
It just takes some time, patience, and careful planning.
So the next time you start your campaign, consider taking the time to prepare and plan by doing your research. This will guarantee you the greatest chance of success. Then you can start drafting a template for your value proposition and leave areas for customization to establish a human touch.
After all, you are a human being writing to another human being. And sincerity will always go a long way in converting leads, especially when the next step is to schedule an open conversation.