Prospecting is one of the toughest parts of the B2B sales process. Around 40% of professionals say they face constant difficulties with filling the pipeline with qualified leads. Not to mention that closing the deal successfully is the second biggest challenge for them. Consequently, although most companies strive to get organic lead flows, outbound activities, like cold outreach, shouldn’t be totally written off, especially on the B2B market.
Business relationships aren’t built in a day. For a company, it may take up to 2 years before potential customers will start trusting it. To maintain the lead funnel full, B2B marketing strategy should establish the halo of reliability of the brand and cover several communication tactics, including cold outreach campaigns. They are especially important for startups or small companies that are just starting out on the market.
When is cold email appropriate?
A “cold” email means that one gets in touch with a person who’s, most likely, unaware of the brand or company for the very first time. Cold outreach campaigns play a significant role in establishing business relationships and can result in an ROI of 10,000% for every reaching out attempt.
However, there are several rules B2B marketers should keep in mind when planning cold outreach. First, it’s essential to use opt-verified emails. This way, you decrease the probability of getting spam complaints and secure the sender’s domain reputation in the long term.
The second essential rule is to add an “Unsubscribe” button and link to “Terms of Service”. And the last recommendation is – to send cold emails when it’s justified. In particular:
- When you have a reliable contact database
The list of contacts should be free from non-existing, temporary, catch-all, or misspelled email addresses and spam traps. Before launching a cold outreach campaign, make sure all contacts have passed validation.
- When you can tailor the message with the (at least, potentially) valuable proposition
The worst way B2B marketers can approach prospects is by sending out “one-size-fits-all” messages without bothering to find their names or job roles. The main danger from such an indifferent approach is that recipients will treat you as a spammer. Because now around 121 business emails are sent and received daily, busy people have zero tolerance to email copies starting “Dear Sir or Madam”.
- When you use apt email automation tools
These will warn you about an increasing bounce ratio or spam complaints. Consequently, you’ll be able to take actions, for example, – change the mailing schedule or pause it for a while.
Although some think cold emails are outdated, their efficiency is all about different tactics and tricks:
- launch cold outreach campaigns from the domain that passed authentications, including DKIM, SPF, and DMARC
- test cold emails on small segments before sending them out to a wider audience
- avoid a one-way only communication with “no-reply” addresses
- send emails from a business domain
- create a cold email template and include variables so that you can tailor individual messages; even if you address many leads – customize content with prospects’ names, corporate domains, companies’ names, job titles, etc.
How to write a cold sales email
Remember – cold emails won’t bring instant conversions. So, try to avoid redundant strain and rudeness. The purpose of a cold email is to introduce your brand and “cast a line” with an advantageous offer – no more and no less.
After reading the message, the recipient should grasp how exactly your company can be of use and what he/she should do to get more details about a product or service. Don’t turn a cold email into a presentation of the company or yourself. And neither ask recipients about ideas on how they should collaborate – formulate these ideas by yourself and outline further steps.
The “success” formula for outreach includes 3 variables:
1. A proper subject line
It should distinguish the message from the dozen of new correspondences your recipients get daily. Remember – faceless subject lines result in less than 0.05% of replies, so spending time to find a lead’s name is definitely worth the effort.
We’ve also listed the most essential things you should know to write the best email subject lines for sales:
- be consistent
Don’t mislead prospects by introducing the content they won’t find in the email. For example, if your subject line contains the promise to share some actionable business advice – be sure to add it, indeed.
- raise the recipient’s curiosity
Making people motivated enough to open the message is a tough task. One tactic may be – to add some “shocking” facts (in a good way) in the subject line, like the increase in performance or revenue.
- disclose messages as advertising
According to the CAN-SPAM Act, senders of commercial emails (e.g. ones that contain promotional offers) should attribute their messages as advertisements. Although you shouldn’t necessarily mention this in cold email subject lines, make sure it just doesn’t mislead the recipient.
- add the sender’s name
Rather than personalizing the subject line alone, focus on the email snippet as a whole. In particular, mention a real person, rather than a company, in the sender’s field. For example, “Alex from Corda Cha.” or “Mary from Snov.io”.
- create a sense of urgency (but not over the top)
Push recipients to open the cold email by specifying the offer’s time restrictions. Usually, senders use words like “final”, “last”, “extra”, and “closing” to emphasize the exclusiveness or limited number. Still, avoid over-strong phrases and “fraudulent” symbols like “The last chance to earn $$$$”.
- make subject line brief
Remember, there’s limited space for email snippets, especially if they are viewed via mobile screens. Consequently, it’s better to put the most important words at the beginning of the subject line and omit phrases that don’t bring an additional meaning. These are usually adjectives and conjunctions, like “the most wonderful” or “with”.
- don’t use broken words
These usually look messy and disrespectful. Even though the short-form is common, it is better to refrain from them in cold emails.
2. An enticing offer
Of course, a cold email isn’t a solicited proposal, still, it should tease the prospect with obvious advantages. Say, you’re about to promote QA services for app development companies. Here’s a cold email example to consider:
Hello [prospect’s name],
I’m [your name], founder of the [company]. We’ve created a new technology [tool’s name] to debug app production environments. Our tool automatically detects and shows functions that have led to exceptions.
When we designed [tool’s name], we kept companies like [examples] in mind and were aimed to assist in large-scale production.
I ran into some of your projects on [source] and thought you might be interested in deploying [tool’s name].
I’ll be in [the city] this month, so we can arrange a meeting.
The example contains 3 key product’s advantages:
- it’s new
- it automates processes
- it fits large-scale production.
Moreover, it contains references to the prospect’s activity. By detailing your offer rather than naming it “the best possible option”, you sound reasonable.
3. An actionable CTA
Explain to recipients how to proceed if they’re interested. Don’t use close-ended questions or vague phrases, like “Are you interested?” or “Hope to hear your thoughts”. Instead, propose exact actions, like phone calls or meetings.
Templates for cold sales emails for B2B companies
For finding the decision-maker in the company
Assume who might participate in or make the ultimate decision about purchase in the client’s organization. And – get in touch with that exact person. For example, if you sell software development services, your direct clients may be CTOs or product managers.
When you approach the “wrong” person, you may spend days negotiating the deal’s terms and then, suddenly, receive something like that: “Okay, I’ll submit this to the team for review and get back to you later.”
To double-check if the prospect is the one who influences decisions, wrap up by asking direct questions, like “Could you put me in touch with the right folks?”.
For building rapport
Sometimes you should find a common denominator with prospects. For example, in cases when you inquire for some permission from their side or ask for a favor.
To establish relationships:
- Introduce yourself and explain the matter
- Deepen into what exactly you ask the recipient for
- Provide alternatives and wrap up.
To establish value
Another tactic you can use is providing the value upfront in the cold email, and then – outlining possible options for partnership. There are 2 ways you can go:
- identify some problem and suggest how to solve it
- identify an opportunity and provide some initial steps a client should do – to benefit from it.
This approach is more time-consuming but can result in a higher reply ratio, ultimately. People like getting things for free and don’t like being treated as “money bags”. So, if you position yourself as “selfless and noble”, they’ll be more willing to get in touch.
Effective cold follow-up emails you should try
The “Sorry I missed you” email
If leads have contacted Sales or Support but couldn’t get through, send this type of email to still convert them. This way you show the company is client-oriented and willing to satisfy the prospect’s need for information or resolve any inconveniences.
You can also use this pitch to send a polite follow-up email after the fruitless attempt to reach out via other communication channels, for example, messenger or LinkedIn.
“Are you still interested?” email
Remind the client of verbal agreements or his/her inquiries. Here, the key thing is to avoid a passive-aggressive tone. Also, make sure to include a clear CTA, like “give me a call” (not just “looking forward to hearing from you”), and your contacts.
Cold emails are only workable when compiled aptly and sent out at a proper moment and with the right tools. To neglect them means to lose potential customers. Still, unreasonable mailings can harm or even ruin your brand’s reputation.