How to Write Cold Email That Generates a Response
(From a sales and marketing guy who's written thousands of them over the last twenty years…)
A Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Cold Emails That Work.
(Mindset. Approach. Technique.)
Howdy, all, I'm Doc. I live in the beautiful port city of Kobe, JAPAN. I launched this site to help others interested in working with, or starting, a business in Japan.
We all wear different hats, my job is to help you find the one that fits you best. Thanks for reading, and go get 'em!
Crafting the perfect cold email: Part I.
1. Getting Email Right is First About Being You
(How you talk to your family is how you should talk to your prospects. For real. And this is why… )
For the past 28 years I've been writing what, these days, are called “cold emails.” Before that, I suppose, I was writing “cold letters.” But if it weren't for some fancy sales and marketing term, we'd simply say all I have been doing these last few decades is writing to people—simple as that. Nothing new. Certainly OLD. And what it takes to get our writing read, is what its always taken: sincerity, context, timing, leverage, and relevance. What works in this century, worked in the 17th, and what works now will work through the 22nd and beyond.
There are subtle style elements you can employ to engage a reader, and there are scientific applications that are also as old as the hills that will help you get a response to your cold outreach (modern day copywriting). But, cold email is good letter writing. Simple as that. It's, all in all, pen to paper, fingers to keys. It's about demonstrating interest, illustrating character, being congratulatory, and going for the ask.
Not everyone is capable of this sort of writing. And, sometimes, you're better off hiring someone to to ghost for you. But if you want to give it a shot, this is how you write cold emails that get results
1. Be yourself.
The number one reason most sales outreach fails is because you're not offering the recipient a true view of who you are. You're pretending. You're trying to be more “business-like,” more “professional,” more “intelligent” (whatever the hell that means), more “successful.” The thing is, like any sort of relationship building (courtship has strong parallels to sales) people can see right though us when we're anything but ourselves. I can tell in an instant if you're pretending, if you're on the make, if you've sent the same email to a dozen people, or worse, one hundred.
Everyone uses their gut instinct, even you. You can't get around it, and you can't fake people out in a sales environment. Send me an initial cold e-mail with Re: in the subject line. You're a liar. Send me a message to my inbox stating you sent me a message in LinkedIn, when in reality you didn't. Liar. Say you like my business by using bullshit words that don't describe what I do. Liar. Why people prospect in this manner is beyond me. It doesn't work, wastes valuable time and resources and doesn't provide any meaningful data that might serve to help you tweak your pitch and overall sales campaign. It results in sales staff turnover, frustrated SDRs and marketing departments, and prolongs time to revenue. There is a better easier way to do sales prospecting, and best of all, you already know how to do it. Well, most at least.
So, how can you “be yourself” when writing? Is this even a question really? Surprisingly over the years, I have fielded this many, many, times from SDRs and seasoned sales pros alike. I have edited scores of email sequences, changed stories from short to long, included pictures and anecdotes, and achieved real results for many sales teams.
The “trick” as it were, was telling a true story, and being myself. Below is one such example.
The “Grandma Story,” as we called it in house got good results. And, it got results because it was true, relatable, and tied to objections my sales tame was encountering on the phone.
You can do the same. Here's how. To start, ask yourself these questions……
To be continued…
What's the best way to reach out to cold prospects? The same way you say “hello” to a stranger at the bus stop–with character.