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Cold emailing execution template

Jeff Noel

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I read this post on Reddit r/entrepreneur and felt like it could be useful for people here. I also think people experience with cold emailing could provide some feedback related to this template, which I find quite interesting.

credit (I'm not affiliated with them): I have got 81% Open rate and 59% Reply Rate on my cold emails. [Templates included] Here's How. I have explained everything here. : Entrepreneur

The content below is not written by me.

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I have got 81% Open rate and 59% Reply Rate on my cold emails. [Templates included] Here's How. I have explained everything here.

I have sent lots and lots of cold emails. It's a thing that startup entrepreneurs must do to acquire customers.

In the earlier stage, you need to go to your customers rather than waiting for the customers to come to you. And, there's nothing easier which is free and provides a better return over time spent than cold emails and cold calls. This is why you still receive lots of cold calls from insurance companies and banks.

I used to suck at cold email till a few months ago. I am still not best at it, but I am sure that I am better than most of you. Here's the proof.

My latest cold email campaign to 100 people got me 59% replies and 29% clicked on the links that I provided in the email. Out of that 59% reply, 21% converted. There were 1 email + 4 follow up emails. And yes, the open rate was whopping 81%.

Proof - Imgur: The magic of the Internet

I had spent a lot of time thinking that what was I doing wrong because I was not getting a good response to my emails. Out of 100 emails that I sent, I receive a reply on only 5-6 of them, and conversion rate was either 0 or 1.

Then I figured out that I was writing the emails from my perspective. I was describing the things that are adding value to my business, not the recipient's.

So, I changed the way of writing emails and started to write it from the recipient's perspective. I started to what would recipient get 95-97% of time. Rest of thetime, I wrote what would I get.

This is what I did.

You need to automate your cold emails for better performance
Yes, you're right. You and I are human. If you keep on sending the cold emails manually then you'll forget to follow up sometimes. In some cases, if the optimal time for follow up is 2:15 PM, let's say, and you're not free at that time then you'll miss the follow-up. This is why it should be automated.

I used Saleshandy to automate cold emails. It uses my own email account to send emails. I just upload the recipients email and it will start firing the emails based on the template that I provide. The best thing is that it can follow up to the people who do not reply to email. So, if someone does not reply to my first email, Saleshandy will send the follow-up mail. If someone does reply to my first email, Saleshandy will automatically stop the follow-up email.

Get the recipient first name, company name, and email address ready
Gathering the email IDs of the recipients is a pain. I use Norbert for this. Just write the name and company's website URL, and it will do its best to fetch the email address.

Per my experience, it has given my correct email address around 75% of the time.

The subject that makes the recipient open the email
Subject line matters. If your recipients get lots of emails, be pretty much sure that he will read or delete the email based on the subject line.

Your eamil won't be opened if the subject is

  • too much salesy "I HAVE THIS FOR YOU. BUY NOW"

  • very generic like "An offer you"

  • looks spammy like "Buy now within 24 hours or the offer will go away". However, this subject line works with the newsletters because people know the company which sent the newsletter. If I receive two emails with this subject line, one from Amazon and another from an unknown person, I may open the Amazon email and make the purchase but I wouldn't even bother to open the unknown person's email

  • The IP from which you send the emails is blacklisted. Your emails would end up in the junk folder. What a waste.
So, what's the best subject line?

The best subject line is the one that summarizes the motive of the cold email.

In my campaign, the recipients were coworking spaces owners and I was offering a month of a free magazine subscription to all of their members.

My subject line was

First Name, are you interested in talking about a free offer for your member?

Adding the name in the subject line makes a lot of difference. I have not seen anyone in my entire life who does not love his name. Your recipients are busy and they have more than 50 unread emails. Just by seeing the one's name in the subject line, attention directly goes to that email. You are already ahead of rest of 49 emails that ended up in your recipients inbox without his first name in the subject line.

Just as a proof, my email open rate was 81% which is very-very good number. The average is somewhere around 20-30%.

Apart from the first word i.e. recipient's name, the rest of my email was describing exactly what I was offering.

The body of the first email
The first two paragraphs and the last paragraph matters the most. This is what everyone reads. if the first two paras are not convincing, your recipient will not bother to read any further.

Before I get into the body of the email, I would like to write out what your recipient will think after receiving your email.

Step 1 - The first thing he'll notice is the subject name. We have already figured out what to write in the subject.

Step 2 - He will start to think who are you. This is why you need to answer this question at the very beginning of your email

Step 3 - As soon as he knows you, he will start to know more about the offer and what does he need to do get that offer. This is where you need to write what will recipient get and what does he need to do to get that offer.

Step 4 - The last thing he will think is how much money does he need to pay for that offer. If your recipient is a part of a company which is making millions that he wouldn't bother about the cost much. If you're providing good value to him i.e. solving one or more of his company's problems, he would buy your product. So, the value is getting priority over cost. If he belongs to a company which does not make enough money, the cost gets priority over the value. If you're providing an offer to someone from a small company, make sure that you write the cost at the end of the email because this is what your recipient wants to see. On the other hand, don't bother to write the cost if the recipient belongs to a big company.

Based on that, here's the first email.

Hey/Hello [First Name], [1]

I am Vaibhav from I Innovate magazine. It's a digital magazine that provides painkillers to the entrepreneurs' problems, and I am its co-founder. [2]

I would like to offer your members three months free subscription to my magazine. It's a digital magazine and your members can download it on their phones and iPads. [3]

If you and I are willing to go ahead, I would be thanking you by writing your coworking space name, [coworking space name], in the partnership section on my website. [4]

Can you and I talk on the phone for 10 mins? I can explain this offer a lot better over the phone. [5]

Best Regards,
Vaibhav Sharan
CEO and co-founder
I Innovate magazine
The Magazine for the New Age Entrepreneurs - I Innovate magazine
LinkedIn profile URL [6]
[1] Put the salutation based on the culture in recipient's company. "Hey" is very casual. Use it for someone who belongs to casual culture i.e. someone from a small company. For big companies, go for "Hello" instead. If you want to be super formal, go for "Dear Mr. Last Name".

[2] I introduced myself

[3] I very briefly wrote what I want to offer. No need to be super-duper explanatory

[4] I provided one more offer. But the tone is set as I am giving a thank you present

[5] Always put a call to action at the end and the answer of the call to action should be as small as "yes" or "no".

[6] My signature was to the point. It had all the things that a recipient would like to see. It had my designation, my website, and my LinkedIn profile.

I received 29 replies on this email and 19 agreed to schedule a call. Rest wanted to me give more info over email. 2 got converted. That's 6% conversion rate. Not bad but not at all satisfactory. Rest 19 people converted after follow-up emails.

The Timing of the email
This is a very important thing that you must consider. You cannot expect someone to reply to your emails that you sent at 1 AM in the morning.

Although, I don't have any concrete time but sending business cold emails tend to work best at around 8-11 AM. Because this is the time when business people read their emails. But this is also the time when they are loaded with all the tasks that they need to complete within that day. So, they may skip your email.

The next best time as per my experience is around 4-5 PM. This is the time when they wrapping up and they may reply to your email right away. I also scheduled my cold email campaign for 4:15 PM.

One thing I would like to mention is that sending cold emails early in the morning (5-6 AM) also worked out for some people I know, but it never worked out for me.

Day of the email
People say that Tuesday works best for cold emails. but all weekday will work for you. I have tested sending cold emails every day of a week and all the weekdays performed similarly. Yes, the open and reply rate were a lot lesser on weekends which was obvious.

I got almost all of the conversion in follow-ups
I sent 3 follow up emails + 1 closure email. I'll tell you what's closure email after writing the template of three follow-ups.

The first email was sweet and to the point. But it did not give enough info about the offer. The obvious questions in the recipients head were what do I need to do to avail this, what are the hidden charges, what's the background of I Innovate magazine, what else will I receive apart from this, and what would I Innovate get from this offer.

My next few follow-ups answered every single question.

Follow up 1

This follow up was automated with Saleshandy. This means that it would be sent only to those recipients who did not reply to my first email. I saved a lot of time by not manually following up.

Here's the template:
Hey/Hello [First Name],

Did you get a chance to read my previous email where I wrote that I am willing to offer a free subscription of I Innovate magazine to your members?

One of the best things about my magazine is that all the stories are written by proven entrepreneurs. We don't believe in writers writing the stories for the magazine because they will simply rewrite the content that they find on the internet. They cannot add their own experience. On the other hand, entrepreneurs can add their experience also in the articles. I believe that it can provide a lot of value to your members as they are entrepreneurs and they can learn a lot from those who had been at their place and successfully crossed it. [1]

Add on, we have provided an action item at the end of every article. The action items are checklists, templates, excel calculators, case studies, etc. They can be downloaded without even entering email IDs. Just click on the link and download will begin.[2]

The next best thing about the magazine is that it's optimized for iPad. Unlike traditional magazines, your members don't need to zoom in to read. [3]

Can you and I talk on the phone for 10 mins? I can explain more over the phone.

Best Regards,
Vaibhav Sharan
CEO and co-founder
I Innovate magazine
The Magazine for the New Age Entrepreneurs - I Innovate magazine
LinkedIn profile URL
[1], [2], and [3] provided the benefits of the features. I see that lots of people write this thing incorrectly. They simply write features.

I received 3 replies after this follow up and all of them converted. Yay!

Don't simply write features. Tell them how will this feature solve the problem they're having. Show the solution, not the feature. You may also want to optimize the landing page on your website after reading this paragraph.

Follow up 2
Hey/Hello [First Name],

Just following up.

Let me know if you're interested and I will take things forward. I will make sure that everything is handled and you don't need to manage anything during the execution. [1]

Best Regards,
Vaibhav Sharan
CEO and co-founder
I Innovate magazine
The Magazine for the New Age Entrepreneurs - I Innovate magazine
LinkedIn profile URL
[1] Here I have taken the biggest pain of executing something from the recipient's shoulder and put it on my shoulder. I have taken one of the biggest burdens from the recipient's which executing a project. Yes, executing this partnership was also a kind of project. This gave relief to the recipients.

6 people replied and 5 got converted.

Follow Up 3

People forget things that don't matter to them very easily, So, I wanted to summarize everything here.
Hey/Hello [First Name],

Following up on what I am offering.
It seems that you're having a busy schedule. So, I would like to keep this email crisp and sweet. [1]

What will your members get?
-Free subscription to the magazine. No strings are attached. They can cancel the subscription whenever they want.
-I can also provide an opportunity for them write articles for I Innovate magazine. We're well liked by our readers. Our readers are aspiring and startup entrepreneurs. They can mail me at vaibhav@iinnovatemag.com for this opportunity.

What will you get?
-A name of you and [coworking space name] in our partner's page. I will hyperlink your name with your email address so that anyone interested in your coworking space can contact you.

If a phone call is not an option, can we have a Skype call this Wednesday?

Best Regards,
Vaibhav Sharan
CEO and co-founder
I Innovate magazine
The Magazine for the New Age Entrepreneurs - I Innovate magazine
LinkedIn profile URL
19 people replied after this follow-up. 9 got converted.

Last email

No offer was made in this email. The only purpose of this email was to give respect to the recipient. If he didn't reply to your email, it did not mean that he's a bad person. It just meant that his priorities were different and did not align with my offering. So, I paid a little respect and moved on.

Hey/Hello [First Name],

I see that you are not interested. No worries.

I will not send any more email related to this offer.

Enjoy the rest of your day, and yes, [coworking space name] rocks.

Best Regards,
Vaibhav
This is all.

I know that many people hate cold emails and they say that it's a spam. A cold email could be a spam for person A, but could not be a spam for person B. I had 59% reply rate and none of them asked me to stop sending emails because they were spams. It all boils down to the priority. So, my emails aren't adding any value to you, this is why you'd mark them as a spam. But let's say that you're a business owner and I come to you with a tool related to your industry that can greatly reduce your business cost, and all of your competitors are already using that tool. Plus if I offer you 50% discount in that tool, would you still mark that as spam? If your answer is "yes", you need to figure out that generalizing every cold email as a spam is not doing good to your business.



Another point is that cold email is a must for a startup. Some people here are saying that we should not be cold emailing and should be using legitimate ways to acquire new B2B customers. I agree with that. But there's no cheaper way present to acquire customers this fastly. Unicorn startups like Uber, Flipkart did this when they were new. Many of you might have heard of canva.com. Even that site uses cold emailing to grow its customers. I received a cold email from someone in Canva. So, if you don't like cold emails then you can simply delete the mail. There's no need to get frustrated over them.
 

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Jeff Noel

Jeff Noel

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 26, 2018
613
1,260
422
Quebec, Canada
I feel like even though there's a lot of grammar mistakes, he showed his point. It could inspire people to build a similar structure that seems decent IMO.

I'm not a fan of his first email, which should probably approach people more directly about the matter of the email straight away.
 

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