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Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

Today we are going to discuss how to write a cold outreach email that converts. Cold outreach emails have become an essential tool for businesses looking to connect with potential customers and drive growth. In an increasingly competitive digital landscape, with 91% of businesses engaged in some form of digital initiative, standing out with your cold email outreach campaigns is not an easy task.

With more and more companies relying on cold outreach, it’s essential to master the art of writing compelling emails that convert, as email is 40 times more effective at securing customers than social media. Whether you’re looking to increase sales, generate leads, or spread brand awareness, the success of your campaigns relies on crafting copy that resonates with recipients.

Stay here to learn the proven techniques for creating attention-grabbing cold emails that get tremendous results. With the right approach, your cold outreach efforts can become a valuable growth driver for your business.

Crafting An Attention-Grabbing Subject Line

The subject line is often the first and only thing prospects see before deciding whether to open your email. You don’t want to go all-in on upselling the prospect immediately, as that will drive them away. 

When brainstorming subject line ideas, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Keep them between 30-50 characters. Emails with clear and concise subject lines have 12% higher open rates than those with longer subject lines. 
  • Focus on communicating value. Outline the primary benefit the recipient will get from opening the email, not your eagerness to sell your product/service.
  • Don’t forget to use the recipient’s name. Many forget to add this extra touch that can help your emails stand out in a stack of impersonal and generic outreach attempts.
  • Ask a question. Subject lines posed as questions spark interest and can boost open rates by 44% compared to subject lines without a question.
  • Use numbers. Stats, data points, and similar digestible data tend to catch the attention of subject lines.

Here Are 5 Engaging Subject Lines You Can Try:

  1. Disappointed with {{painPoint}}?
  2. We’ve increased traffic for {{competitor}} by 225% in 5 months
  3. Say goodbye to {{challenge}}: let us solve it
  4. Would you like to try {{tool}} for free?
  5. 5 tips to achieve {{goal}} in 2023

Personalization And Segmentation

Personalized emails boast 142% higher open rates than non-personalized emails. They demonstrate to prospects that you’ve done your research, making your outreach more relevant. 

Here are a couple of strategies on how to harness personalization and segmentation in your cold email outreach campaigns:

  • Research your prospect before sending an email. Make sure to find their role and responsibilities, information about their company, and the initiatives they might be leading. 
  • Understand your prospect’s burning problem and offer a solution. Take the time to identify the pain points your prospect is facing. Then position your offering as the solution.
  • Segment and target properly. Divide prospects into groups based on their roles and interests to send targeted emails.
  • Utilize dynamic field insertion. To keep the personalization on scale, utilize dynamic field tags to insert customized details into emails for each recipient. 

Many people skip personalization because of scaling. Yet, with the right cold email automation tool, it is possible to have top-notch personalization and scalability to reach hundreds of prospects.

Here is how you can harness such a tool to scale your cold email personalization efforts.

Cold Outreach Email That Converts. Using A Tool

First of all, you want to create a lead. The lead panel has three pillars:

  • Profile: all the relevant prospect information such as first name and position
  • Company: all the prospects’ company information such as name and industry
  • Custom attributes: here, you can create any amount of custom attributes that will keep your personalization on the scale for all the prospects

With this approach, it is simple to build sizable email lists that can also be easily personalized with cold email automation. It is important to think of a template that can be easily personalized with tags, depending on your approach. 

Here is an example of how it can look like in action:

Example Email Collaboration or link sharing options.

Writing Compelling Email Content

Even with personalization, if your email sounds generic and outright robotic – the prospect will quickly ignore it and perhaps even send you to their spam list. So don’t just stop at personalizing your email copy – make it engaging as well. 

Here are some key ingredients for engaging cold email copy:

Writing Compelling Email Content. Cold Outreach Email That Converts.
  • Use a strong opening. Kick off your email with a hook – a compelling stat, question, or anecdote – that grabs attention.
  • Utilize a conversational tone. Avoid overly sales-y and formal language. Imagine simply emailing a colleague rather than a faceless prospect.
  • Provide value. Offer useful information, resources, or solutions that address prospects’ needs in a certain industry early on.
  • Make it about them. Focus your email copy on how you can help the prospect, not strictly on the features of your offer. 
  • Use storytelling for a more engaging copy. Stories make emails memorable, engaging, and different. Simply turn your case studies or certain statistics into engaging short stories and you’re good to go.
  • Don’t forget about the clear CTA. Include a specific call to action so recipients know what you want them to do. Don’t leave them guessing.

A/B Testing And Optimization

A/B testing is utilized by 83% of global companies, which makes sense, as the valuable data gained with testing can transform the success rates of cold outreach campaigns. Treat each cold email outreach campaign as a work in progress.

Here are some key areas to experiment with:

  • Subject lines. Test different subject line lengths, structures, keywords, and questions. See what works best for your open rates.
  • Content. Try various openings, offers, CTAs, story angles, and email structures. See which variant resonates the best with your recipients.
  • Timing. Test sending emails on different days of the week and times of day to determine when your prospects are most active. Morning vs. afternoon is worth exploring.
  • Call-to-action. Try different closing paragraphs with more urgency or other variants and track the conversion rates accordingly.

Make sure to test one variable at a time – as you want to determine which variable causes the difference.

Using great email analytics software makes all the difference when performing A/B testing. You want to have an easily digestible data panel that provides robust information on the success of your campaigns. Data and its presentation are essential when it comes to A/B testing.

Follow-Up Strategies

The first email is just the beginning. Effective follow-ups can turn initial outreach into conversions. Don’t underestimate their value – as 55% of cold email replies come from follow-ups.

Here are a couple of best practices to follow through with follow-ups:

  • Attempt more than one follow-up email. If there is no response to initial outreach, consider more attempts. Typical sequences include 4-6 emails over 2-3 weeks.
  • Keep the conversation flowing. Reference previous conversations to demonstrate persistence.
  • Add value to your follow-ups. Re-engage prospects by offering them something useful in return, whether it be an ebook, research, or some tips. 
  • Restyle your email content. If there is no response after multiple emails, change subject lines, content style, or offers to see what works best.
  • Reply quickly to your follow-ups. When a prospect does engage, respond promptly to continue the momentum. It’s advisable to use an email client that supports multiple accounts to enhance your inbox management.

Here is an example that uses all the aforementioned best practices:

Email Follow-Up Strategies

The bottom line with follow-ups – as with the cold email outreach in general – is to be persistent but not too pushy. Remember to go in with a mindset to create new connections rather than just a sale on the checklist.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

As 80% of peopleprefer sales reps to contact them via email, it is only natural that there are more cold emails than ever around. But that doesn’t mean that there are only good examples around, there are a bunch of frighteningly bad cold emails circulating out there.

Let’s discuss common mistakes to avoid when executing cold email campaigns.

Lack Of Personalization

Avoid Lack Of Personalization

Failing to personalize feels lazy and makes recipients ignore your message. Always customize subject lines and your content around the prospect you are targeting. You want them to feel special with your messaging.

Here is how we would improve the email to contain personalization and value to your prospect:

How to improve the email.

Overlooking Research

Overlooking Research

Prospects can tell if you haven’t done your homework. Make sure to research their company, identify pain points, and highlight relevant solutions to further adjust your messaging to their specific situation. Don’t just send a generic email that stinks.

Here is how we would improve the email to include research for a company, and showcasing the knowledge for a certain pain point as well:

Improve Email. Cold Outreach Email That Converts.

Focusing Solely On Your Products And Services

Focusing Solely On Your Products And Services

A bad salesman focuses on himself – an excellent salesman focuses on providing a solution to his customers. Profoundly avoid overly promoting your product or service without showcasing value for prospects. 

Here is how we would improve the email to lead with value for the prospect:

Improve Lead Value For Prospect. Cold Outreach Email That Converts.

Neglecting A Clear Call To Action (CTA)

Neglecting A Clear Call To Action. Cold Outreach Email That Converts.

Emails without a CTA segment leave prospects unsure of the next steps. Tell them exactly what you want them to do to convert. Avoid overly sales-y language here, and lead with value and personalization.

Here is how we would improve the email to provide better CTA and avoid using too sales-y language.

Improve Email to use less sales-y language.

Skipping Proofreading

Skipping Proofreading. Cold Outreach Email That Converts.

“I was wndering when you have time for a quik call this week?” Typos, grammar issues, and formatting problems look unprofessional and probably give an allergic reaction to certain prospects. Always proofread before hitting send.

Here is how we would remix the email to have proper grammar and formatting that looks more professional:

Proper Grammar and Formatting. Cold Outreach Email That Converts.

Measuring Success And Making Adjustments

To improve your cold outreach campaigns over time, closely monitor campaign metrics and iteratively adjust your approach. Track metrics such as:

  • Open rates
  • Reply rates
  • Conversions 
  • Bounce rates
  • Opt-out rates

It is essential to use an email monitoring tool to keep track of your cold outreach campaigns and have all the data in one place. Such tools can help you benchmark your efforts, assist in A/B testing, and optimize your cold outreach emails for the best results.

Wrapping Up

The proper execution of cold email outreach provides a scalable channel for generating quality leads. With the right preparation and persistence, your cold emails can reduce the noise to deliver real business impact.

Remember to craft attention-grabbing subject lines, deeply personalize content, nurture leads through optimized follow-ups, and constantly optimize based on performance data. 

Master these essentials, and your cold outreach campaigns have a high chance of becoming a lead generation and conversion machine.

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Categories:  Email Marketing

About the Author

James McMinn

Senior Digital Strategist

James is a savvy digital marketing specialist with a Masters of Science in Internet Marketing. For the past fourteen years, he has been specializing in SEO, PPC & Marketing Strategy. He has a super sharp analytical mind and a finely tuned creative eye for marketing initiatives that optimize brands.

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