What is a cold email?
Simply put, a cold email is the initial email you send to a prospect (someone you don’t know) with a specific reason or goal. While cold emailing is usually associated with sales, it can also refer to emails used for recruiting, networking, or developing partnerships. You can use cold email marketing as a channel to accomplish specific objectives.
The value of cold email campaigns
While cold emails sometimes get a bad rap, mostly due to poor execution, they can actually be a powerful tool for reaching your customers. A successful cold email creates a connection with your audience, rather than bombarding them with a sales message. Instead of thinking about what your target audience can do for you, think about what you can offer them. An email campaign can take hours of work, so make sure your email resonates with your audience in order to avoid wasting time.
Avoid getting blacklisted
While we’re mentioning best practices, you’ll want to avoid getting blacklisted, which means your IP address or domain has been flagged as SPAM. Blacklists prevent SPAM from coming into email systems, and you can earn a spot on one based on the quality of the email and lists you’re sending to.
You’ll want to set up email authentication via SPF and DKIM to avoid being put on a blacklist. In addition, set up a custom tracking domain to, of course, track results; but this can also increase your email deliverability.
In addition, you may not want to use your company domain because if you are marked for spam multiple times, it could damage the entire domain. Utilize a domain that is only for cold emails to avoid any issues, in case you were to get blacklisted. It's also important to warm up your new domain and begin sending emails with it before you start marketing. This will help send a signal that you're not going to send spam. Finally, don't send thousands of cold emails at once. Spread them out to have more of a regular email cadence and to avoid being flagged as SPAM.
Start off by choosing which email platform you’ll be using: paid or free? The paid platforms may help your emails perform better, as there are less spammers than those with free accounts. You can also create emails with your corporate domain with a paid platform. Choose G-Suite for the best deliverability and the ability to integrate several third-party tools.
Consider also that some platforms are designed for sending cold emails and others (SharpSpring, Hubspot) require that users opt-in to send emails. It’s important to be aware of and evaluate the rules of any platform that you use.
Build email list(s)
It’s important that you send emails only to email addresses that you know exist. Sending emails to invalid addresses results in hard bounces, which affect your sender reputation negatively.
You can use multiple tools to find email addresses, but what’s most important is that you avoid scraping personal addresses, always use trusted sources, and save your results in a .CSV file for easy uploading. While buying email address lists may seem like a fast and inexpensive way to grow your contact base, it may harm your deliverability in the long run. Having explicit opt-in from your email subscribers is best practice, since these users knowingly gave you permission to email them.
Before you start to build your list, make sure you know who your audience is. Who is your ideal customer? Obviously, the better defined your target audience is, the more your email will resonate with them.
Creating engaging content
Make sure you craft the email subject line and preview text just as carefully as the email content. Keep in mind that ⅓ of email recipients open emails based on subject line alone! So, personalize the subject line, keep it simple, and don’t use all caps.
If you aren’t sure what will resonate the best with your audience, you can always perform an A/B test, which involves looking at how version A performs compared to version B. This can take the guesswork out of what your contacts find engaging and can give you insight for future email sends.
Before you send your beautifully crafted email out, consider the limits that email providers have put in place to avoid blasting their lists. Generally speaking, you can limit the number of email sends to 100 per day to stay within the limits.
After your email is sent, you’ll be able to see metrics such as open rate and click-through rate. Generally speaking, we’d consider an open rate of 50% or higher as a positive response to a cold email campaign.
Whatever the goal of the email is -- schedule a consultation or submit a contact form -- you should aim for a 10% conversion rate. Your cold email campaign should be used as your first touchpoint in a sales pipeline used to nurture your leads using a variety of other channels.
If you’re interested in utilizing a marketing strategy and platform to manage your leads, contact the digital marketing experts at WiredViews. Our team can help you put together a plan for acquiring and then nurturing your leads into conversions.