Check out the six most common mistakes that make your cold emails less effective. Are you committing them?
November 30, 2018 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Despite many years of predictions that cold emails would die or fade away, that day has yet to arrive. In fact, cold emails remain one of the most effective ways of reaching prospective customers.
But, over time, this medium has lost its shine, and there are very few businesses that are getting good returns from this marketing agency channel. If yours is not one of them, chances are high that you must be making one of the following six common mistakes:
1. Your buyer personas aren’t crystal clear.
The importance of targeting the right people when sending sales emails can’t be overstated. Marketers invest a lot of time in crafting both the subject line and text copy of the email, but you need to couple that with making sure that you’re reaching out to the right people.
Drill down to find out who wants your product or services and who is willing to pay for it early on. Following through on this process will drastically increase your odds of success.
2. You don’t A/B test delivery time.
The biggest mistake most people make — especially when sending a cold email — is neglecting to recognize that timing plays a role in getting a response. Maybe it won’t if you don’t offer value, but it’s likely that it will — and probably will affect your open rates, which in turn will determine your response rate.
Having said that, I know that with cold emails, you can never be 100 percent right about the time. But once you start A/B testing, you’re more likely to find and pick a right one.
3. You either go granular or don’t segment at all.
No two people have the exact same needs and requirements. There’s not a single market where customer needs are homogeneous. Yet, again and again, marketers send the same email copy to everyone on their email list.
Don’t make this mistake. Segment your database but don’t dig deep. Start with two-to-three segments, then expand gradually if your email database is huge. The fewer segments you have, the better the chances that you’ll create a separate email copy; the more segments you have, the tougher it will be. Don’t underestimate the benefits of the former.
In addition, segmenting will ensure that each copy delivers you enough return to make crafting it worth it.
4. You use guesswork to define what’s right.
If improving your open and response rates is your goal, there are levers to pull, but don’t assume you can choose which ones. Most marketers simply copy the best email templates and subject lines. But, with cold emails, that’s not what actually matters. What’s important is what your prospects want.
The more closely your email resembles those sales email templates, the greater the chance that people will see it as just that — a template — and ignore it. Use A/B testing — not your guesswork — to define what’s right.
5. You’re not using a signature.
If you want people to act on your emails, remind them who you are, especially in cold emails — because they won’t naturally know this. So, tell them, but, don’t use a lot of space in your email content to do that; just do it in your signature. In fact, you can use the signature to introduce yourself. Include your name, title, the name of the company you work for, your contact information and a website link that the email recipient can click on to find out more about you and your company.
If you don’t inlude a signature, your receiver might never know who you are. Also, sending an email without a signature gives the impression that your email is not legitimate and makes you seem unprofessional.
6. Your email copy lacks both clarity and brevity.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when crafting a sales email copy is trying to cram too much into one email. I get that you want people to give you a chance, so you want to tell them what all you have to offer. But, no, you really have to restrain yourself.
It’s vital that you keep your email copy short and crisp. Eliminate unnecessary points. Don’t write unnecessarily long emails. This bears repeating: It doesn’t matter if you think telling everything to the recipient is essential; what’s key is what your prospects deem important.
People don’t like email with lots of copy; respect their choice. Don’t be surprised if you find your long emails are getting ignored.
Also, when crafting your copy, remember: No one is interested in hearing about your product or service; they want to hear why it’s useful for them.
The key, then, to great cold email is to remain two things: crisp and relevant. Make sure yours adheres to both criteria.