By Daria H.
Cold Emailing: Advantages Over Cold Calling
All experienced salespeople are familiar with “cold calling:” picking up the phone, saying a Hail Mary and making a pitch to whoever picks up the other end. These days, salespeople have another option in their arsenal: “cold emailing,” or sending emails to prospective clients. Cold emailing has a distinct advantage over cold calling: emails don’t interrupt meetings or dinner or other activities and can be answered at the recipient’s convenience. To get results, however, cold emails must be carefully written and tailored to their specific purpose. Read on and take notes.
First things first. Under no circumstances should cold emails be carbon-copied templates sent off to dozens of people with no customization. Ask yourself: who are you emailing and why? Do you want to sell to them, network with them, obtain some sort of favor? Before you write a single sentence, do some research. If they have a website, blog or Twitter account, read it and make note of any common interests you share with them. Have they recently gone through a major life event, such as a marriage or divorce? This is not extraneous stuff here. Remember, the goal is to establish common ground and make your email stand out from the dozens of others they will read that day.
Crafting Your Opening Salvo
After you’ve done your research, it’s time to craft your message. Make it specific, fine-tuned, personable and obviously tailored to your intended recipient. Don’t expect a response to a vague, general mass email; after all, would you spend time responding to something that was more of a cattle call than a legitimate attempt at communication? All signs point to no; you’d dump it in your trash folder with the ads for off-market Viagra and missives from Nigerian princes. You can use a template for your email — that’s fine — but you’ll have to do some tweaking to make it really pop. Check out this excellent opener: “Dear Jill, I have closely followed your work for the past year and look forward to your weekly blog entries on ReadJillsBlog.com. Recently I learned that you and I both have an interest in Petite Lap Giraffes, and I’d like to ask for your opinion on Petite Lap Giraffes.” Right away, “Jill” will know that you are speaking directly to her, which is evidence of genuine interest and respect, and she’ll be more likely to write you back.
Building Rapport Takes Time
Cold emails should be concise and specific; assume your recipient is very busy and has limited time. If they respond with interest, gradually steer the conversation from your specialized initial email to more general questions or topics. Don’t hurry this and do not come off as a pushy salesperson with an agenda. All relationships take time, so enjoy building trust with your recipient and don’t go for the big sell too early. It will be much harder for your target to turn you down once you share a genuine rapport.
Want to become an efficient, successful cold emailer? If you don’t already have a public portfolio on the web, build one. Now. It doesn’t have to be fancy; a blog, a website, even a Facebook page (just leave out the photos of you wearing your beer antlers!) or Twitter feed will suffice in most cases. Set that sucker up and include the URL in your cold emails so the person you’re writing can check it out and decide for themselves if they’re interested in getting to know you. Hopefully they’ll love it — and if they don’t — there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Good luck!
Photo courtesy of http://www.redstaplerproject.com/