Cold emailing is not as awkward as cold calling, but it still can be a frightening thing to do. A well-written cold email could be the key you need to get into contact with employers, celebrities, speakers, and just about anyone else you want to contact. You might be trying to reach out to one particular person you want to partner with or you might be trying to sell your product to two dozen people you met at a conference. Either way, cold emails are a fast and simple way of communication.
Unfortunately, it is often very difficult to find a way to get somebody to notice your email amongst dozens of other messages. Most people have countless spam emails in their inbox that they never read and they might disregard your email in the same way. Here are some tips you can use to make cold emails work for you:
Keep it Short and Sweet
Busy people don’t have a lot of time and they’re not going to stick around to read an essay when they have 200 other messages to read. Make your headline direct and to the point. Avoid the fluff in your message and stick to the bare bones. You should be passionate, but avoid gloating too much over your love for the recipient’s work. The emails should be easy to read and respond to without the recipient having to dig up extra facts or ponder about what you were saying.
If you met the person before, make sure to indicate that. If they don’t know who you are, you must establish your credibility. Tell them what you do or what organization you are from. You can show them sample of your work, if relevant, but avoid piling on too much detail. A quick and easy way to establish yourself without taking up too much space is by linking to your website or LinkedIn profile. These links will explain everything you need to so that you can save time and space.
Remember that there are certain elements of your personality that you want to shine through: your professionalism, your confidence, and your passion. It’s much easier to decide how to display these things when you are behind a computer screen rather than when you are meeting with someone in real life. Avoid generic messages and let your personality show.
Make it Personal
You should know something about the person you are reaching out to. Personalize the message so that it meets their needs and expectations. People are far less willing to respond to what looks like a mass email sent to a dozen other people. Take the time to begin the email with the person’s name rather than “to whom it may concern.” If you are sending out a mass email, you can use certain software to automatically add the recipient’s name to the message.
See if you two have anything in common and use that to your leverage. Perhaps you picked them to speak at your conference because of their vast knowledge on biology. Maybe you reached out to them because you both graduated from San Francisco University.
You should also take into account who exactly this person is and why you decided to reach out to them. Let the person understand why you are reaching out to them and not anybody else and how they can benefit from it. Quite obviously, people are far more inclined to perform a favor if they can benefit from it in some sort of way.
Once you click “Send,” the message is gone forever so any mistakes you make will be loud and clear. Sure, you can always send another email with corrections, but that seems unprofessional. Proofreading doesn’t take that long and it always pays to double-check the details. Make sure that your letter to TechCrunch doesn’t say that you are writing to The Verge and make sure that any dates are accurate. You don’t want to send yesterday’s copy-pasted letter if it still has yesterday’s date on it.
It’s true that the vast majority of cold emails will never receive a response, but it’s always good to follow up if you haven’t heard back from them in a week or so. In fact, the recipient might have just forgotten to get around to answering your email because it got lost in their inbox. Make sure that you mention the first email you sent them so that you don’t come across as a complete stranger.
Getting someone to read a cold email is always a challenge since most people are natural adverse to opening up anything strange or unfamiliar. However, cold emails can become your business’s top way of reaching out to new clients, customers, and partners. If you want to find out more about how to utilize this, check out my 21 Steps System.