Cold email is a subject that has been getting more and more attention over the last few years, especially in the startup world. In fact, you probably get more than a few cold emails every week from some company trying to sell you something.
This podcast isn’t about how to spam your prospects into submission. Instead, Dan walks us through the process of using cold email the right way to start a relationship built on value and nurture those prospects into paying clients.
Dan uses these strategies every day to help his agency clients get more business, and today he holds nothing back.
If your agency could use a scalable channel for new business development or you just don’t believe me when I say cold email doesn’t have to be annoying, then this is the episode for you.
Want to read the interview instead? Click here to download the transcript.
Dan starts with a familiar but always important piece of advice: find your niche. In this case, niching down won’t just help you land more clients and speak more honestly with them. It also helps you create emails that are more likely to speak to your clients, so they will respond instead of hitting delete or spam.
Look for companies that fit your size requirements, clients with job titles matching ones you’ve worked with before, or agencies in industries you’ve got a track record in. These narrowing techniques ensure that your emails are more likely to get a response since you’re not just shouting into the void. Instead, you’re speaking to people who need your services.
Building a high-quality list
Dan has a pretty simple tip for finding emails of possible clients: hire someone. You don’t have to pay them much, and you should not be spending your valuable time on this.
With a list already built, you can sort through the dross for the gold much more quickly. The other thing to keep in mind is making sure your emails are actually reaching their intended target. So often agency owners think they’re encountering lack of interest from their clients when it’s a deliverability issue.
Have someone else curate an email list for you, and then make sure that there’s no technical issues when you actually send them out, and you’re already head and shoulders above other people trying cold email.
Writing emails that stand out
Dan emphasizes that there’s no one size fits all solution for cold emailing. It’s going to take a lot of iteration and experimentation to figure out what works best for your specific niche. But Dan has a few tips as a starting point. First, keep them well spaced. Send maybe a message a week to make sure you’re getting through but not spamming them.
Then pay a lot of attention to your tone. Be honest with your customers about the challenges you see in their industry and how you can help them, as well as what drew you to contact them. It shows you did your homework and aren’t just reaching out to everyone and anyone.
Also, avoid marketer speak. General marketing talk is great for a wider broadcast, when you’re advertising to the masses. But direct sales requires customization. You’re not trying to shill to your clients; you’re initiating a conversation, showing them where you can help.
Next, take a good long look at your value prop. Your collective experience and creativity are great, but that’s what everybody talks about. Instead, be as specific as possible, like, “We help manufacturing businesses increase efficiency by 30%” or whatever your specific agency has been proven to do. That’s a lot more interesting than your general skills. Keep it short and sweet, like everything else, the better to make it an easy, highly legible read.
Finally, get the client to make a commitment. Dan advises against having traditional calls to action where the client has to click through to your website or a calendar app. If they have to leave the email, you’ve probably lost them.
Instead, ask for something directly, like, “Can we talk this week to discuss what my company has done for other clients?” Make it a direct yes or no question, something that’s very easy for clients to say yes to. They just have to hit reply and tell you when they’re available. Don’t make them work to give you their business.
Dan’s final tip for cold emails is the most important. Just as when you’re making contact with a client via more traditional means like a referral, you need to respond to any client reply ASAP. Make sure you keep their interest so you can turn them from a lead into a regular client.
Want to learn more?
If you’re interested in Dan’s cold email technique and want to start building your own sales processes, check out his website, salesschema.com, which has plenty of fun resources to get you going.
And be sure to check out our definitive guide to getting clients with cold email!