Category : Email Marketing

Email Marketing Lead Generation

How to write a B2B cold email that gets a response

Sending cold email is still one of the most effective ways to generate leads and fill your sales pipeline. Unfortunately, lots of people do a poor job at it.

In recent years, my inbox has been bombarded with cold emails on a regular basis. Most of them are quite awful and annoying.

Here are the reasons why they were bad:

  • Too much about them – The emails talked way too much about the awesomeness of their products and features without providing any context.
  • Too long – I don’t have time to read a novel in an email. Also, when it’s not well formatted, it gives me a headache just looking at the long email.
  • Too pushy – My time is precious. I have a tons of things on my plate that I am dealing with. So the last thing I want to do is to jump on a call and waste 30 minutes of my life talking to a stranger.

Now, I have also received a few cold emails that piqued my interest enough to get a response from me. What did they do right? Read on to find out.

Your cold email composes of 4 important components:

  • The subject line
  • The introduction
  • The benefits and social proof
  • The Call to Action

Also, it’s important to keep these points in mind:

  • Make it short and to the point
  • Make it personal – Do your research and find something that you can use to connect with the recipient on a personal level. If you come across as wanting to connect and help rather than trying to sell, sell, sell, you will have a much better chance.
  • Use plain text instead of HTML format – Plain text just feels more personal.

Alright, read on to learn how to write an effective cold email.

How to write a compelling subject line

In a sea of emails, your subject line must be clear and must pique the interest of the recipients in order to have a chance of it getting opened. Here are a few ideas you can test:

  • A promise to solve problem X or achieve X results using a new method or technology – People are always motivated to find better ways to solve a problem or to achieve a certain result. Examples are “Defeat fraud with big data analytics”, “Increase sales by 200% using this new email prospecting tool”, “An analytic tool built for financial analysts”, etc.
  • Your company + your prospect’s company (i.e. “Zendesk + Microsoft” or “Why Zendesk is perfect for Microsoft”)
  • Mention of your prospect’s competitor (How Salesforce is able to double their sales revenue in a month)

Hook them with your introduction

Alright, if your subject line does it job and get the recipients to open the email, your introduction must say something to hook them right away. You can skip the the part about introducing yourself as most people don’t really care who you are.

Instead, talk about the problem that your prospect is dealing with. To get this right, you must do your research and figure out what are the problems your prospects are struggling with.

You could ask a question like this:

Dear Eric,

Are you struggling with protecting your sensitive data on the cloud? Would like to hear about a new technology that automatically scans your cloud environment and protects you data?

You could also start with stating an interesting statistic, like this:

Dear Eric,

According to X report, nearly 75% of enterprise applications have security vulnerabilities that could cripple their business. What measures are you taking to eliminate security vulnerabilities in your applications?

Tell them how you can help and provide proof

Instead of talking about features, talk about the benefits your product provides, how it’s different from competitors’ solutions, and how your product has helped other similar companies.

Here’s an example:

Since 2010, our solutions have helped over 500 enterprises such as Cisco, HP, and Intel generate 3X more sales. Our solution is easy to use and can be setup in 15 minutes without IT’s help.

Invite the prospect for a 5-Minute Chat

Before you end your email, you should invite the recipient to a 5-minute exploratory call. Yes, only 5 minutes and nothing more. The mistake I see lots of people make is asking for a 30 minutes phone call, which is a big commitment. If I have never heard of you, there’s no way in hell I’m gonna give up 30 minutes of my precious time to talk to you. But if your email pitch is compelling, I wouldn’t mind to set aside 5 minutes to chat with you. So make the request simple and reasonable.

Give them an option to opt out

It’s important for you to be respectful and not come across as a spammer. So, give them an option to opt out by saying something like “If you’re not the right person to discuss about X, do let me know. I would also greatly appreciate it if you could direct me to the right person in your company that handles X.”

Follow up, Follow up

If you don’t get a response after your first try, don’t give up. Keep on trying. Send a 3-4 more followups, but trying testing different subject lines and introductions. 

 

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Email Marketing Internet Marketing

Email Marketing Tips to Build Loyal Customers For Your Small Business

Email marketing is a powerful way of building relationships with your customers and to send updates and special offers to your customers. This essential effort helps to drive your customers back to your business. Furthermore, email marketing helps you build up a network of contacts.

I am just surprised that not enough small businesses use email marketing. With a network or database of customers, you can continue to market to them and have them continuously refer their friends & family members to you.

As such, it is important for you to try to capture your customers and prospects’ contact information at every opportunity and touch point (on your website, at tradeshow, at point of sale in your store, surveys, at seminars, etc).

Once you have your prospect’s email, you have to make a genuine effort to build relationship and gain their trust. You have to establish yourself as the expert in your field so that they can count on you anytime they need help or their friends/family need help.

You can establish your credibility and expertise by providing them with useful and valuable information pertaining to your business and industry.

An email costs you almost nothing. By using an “autoresponder” email marketing service, you can send an email to your list of prospects and customers automatically. A good starter autoresponder service for small businesses that you can use is Aweber, probably the most popular one out there. It costs only $20 a month.

Since Aweber is an established email service company and is recognized among Google, Yahoo, AOL, your email messages will have higher delivery rate and not end up in the SPAM box.

Another good email marketing program to use is Vertical Response. With Vertical Response, you have the option of paying per email sent. If you don’t send email as often, you may prefer to use Vertical Response.

How to Motivate Your Prospects And Clients to Sign Up

You’d need to give your clients and prospects some incentives in order to get them to sign up and offer their emails to you. You can use incentives such as offering them free downloads, free whitepapers, coupons, discounts, immediate notice of new items arrival, or when you are offering specials.

Other incentives may include a special report or E-book that they can immediately download. Be sure to mention these incentives and encourage your prospects and customers to give you their emails on your website, brochure, at the cashier checkout, at tradeshows, or on any other marketing literatures and events.

For example, if you have a restaurant, you can instruct your waiter/waitress to ask for the customer’s email in exchange for a free dessert coupon on their next visit.

This is called “permission” email marketing. In other words, you only e-mail people that give you permission to e-mail them. It’s important that you never send mass, unsolicited emails to people. Doing so is ineffective and may lead to legal troubles for your business.

On your website, you can use an “auto responder” service like Aweber to create a sign up form. Aweber will give you a JavaScript code that you can insert on your website to get the Opt-in form.

Here are some best practice advices to follow to maximize your email marketing success:

  • At the beginning of your email relationship, focus on providing useful and helpful content and information.  You can offer a “how to” articles or reviews of certain products, or results of some surveys/polls. Don’t try to sell too much. What you try to do is to establish your credibility and gain their trust.
  • Segment your customers using a database system and send customized marketing messages to each target group. You may segment your customers based on behavior  or demographics information.For behavior segmenting, the key information you want to pay attention to are the frequency (how often the customer buy or visit your business) and recency of purchase (the date of their most recent purchase or visit).The customers that buy frequently from you and most recently are obviously the most valuable customers. You would want to spend more of your marketing resources on these group of customers and ensure that they remain loyal customers. For customers that do not respond to your offers or rarely open your emails, you may want to reengage the:
  • Write a compelling subject line – As you know, most people get bombarded with all kind of emails everyday. How do you make your email stand out from the rest? They key is having a compelling subject line. You should limit the subject line to around 50 characters and make it compelling.
  • You can also split test your subject line on a sample first and pick the best one to blast out to the rest. For example, if you have a big enough database, you can randomly select 100 subscribers and divide them into group A and group B. Send half of the emails with subject line A to group A and half of the emails with subject line B to group B.
  • What you’re trying to measure is the open rate (most email service providers provide this statistic). Between the two subject lines, you would then select the highest performing one and use that to send your email message to the rest of the list in your database.
  • Place the opt-in box in a prominent location of your website. The opt-in box should be on every page and it should be in a visible location of your website, usually the upper left or upper right.
  • Ask for feedback – Feedback from your customers can help you serve them better. Ask them for ideas on content, whether they’re happy with the content, and areas of improvement.
  • Ask for referrals – If you have customers that are happy with your services, ask them to refer you to their friends/family.

Lastly, you need to make your privacy policy very clear. Your prospects and customers must trust that you would never sell or give away their email addresses to any third parties before they feel comfortable to give up their emails to you. As you know, everyone hates to be spammed!

To learn more about email marketing, you can visit the Aweber website. They have many great articles on email marketing best practices.

Chapter 8: Unleash the Power of E-Mail Marketing

Collecting emails from your customers and prospects is a powerful way of building relationships, sending them updates and special offers, and driving them back to your stores! Also as important is the ability to build up a network of contacts.

I am just surprised that not enough businesses use email marketing. With a network or database of customers, you can continue to market to them and have them refer their friends/family to you.

As such, it is important for you to try to capture your customers and prospects’ contact information at every opportunity and touch point (on your your website, at tradeshow, at point of sale in your store, surveys, at seminars, etc).

Once you have your prospect’s email, you have to make a real effort to build relationship and gain their trust. You have to establish yourself as the expert in your field so that they can count on you anytime they need help or their friends/family need help.

You can establish your credibility and expertise by providing them with useful and valuable information pertaining to your business and industry.


An email costs you almost nothing. By using an “autoresponder” service, you can send an email to your list of prospects and customers automatically. A good starter autoresponder service for small businesses that you can use is Aweber, probably the most popular one out there. It costs only $20 a month.

Since Aweber is an established email service company and is recognized among Google, Yahoo, AOL, your email messages will have higher delivery rate and not end up in the SPAM box.


Another good email marketing program to use is Vertical Response. With Vertical Response, you have the option of paying per email sent. If you don’t send email as often, you may prefer to use Vertical Response.


How to Motivate Your Prospects And Clients to Sign Up

You’d need to give your clients and prospects some incentives in order to get them to sign up and offer their emails to you. You can use incentives such as offering them free downloads, free whitepapers, coupons, discounts, immediate notice of new items arrival, or when you are offering specials.

Other incentives may include a special report or E-book that they can immediately download. Be sure to mention these incentives and encourage your prospects and customers to give you their emails on your website, brochure, at the cashier checkout, at tradeshows, or on any other marketing literatures and events.

For example, if you have a restaurant, you can instruct your waiter/waitress to ask for the customer’s email in exchange for a free dessert coupon on their next visit.

This is called “permission” email marketing. In other words, you only e-mail people that give you permission to e-mail them. It’s important that you never send mass, unsolicited emails to people. Doing so is ineffective and may lead to legal troubles for your business.

On your website, you can use an “auto responder” service like Aweber to create a sign up form (see figure 3 below for an example). Aweber will give you a JavaScript code that you can insert on your website to get the Opt-in form similar to the one below:

 

 

Here are some best practice advices to follow to maximize your email marketing success:

  • You need to make your privacy policy very clear. Your prospects and customers must trust that you would never sell or give away their email addresses to any third parties before they feel comfortable to give up their emails to you. As you know, everyone hates to be spammed!

  • At the beginning of your email relationship, focus on providing useful and helpful content and information. You can offer a “how to” articles or reviews of certain products, or results of some surveys/polls. Don’t try to sell too much. What you try to do is to establish your credibility and gain their trust.

  • Segment your customers using a database system and send customized marketing messages to each target group. You may segment your customers based on behavior or demographics information.

    For behavior segmenting, the key information you want to pay attention to are the frequency (how often the customer buy or visit your business) and recency of purchase (the date of their most recent purchase or visit).

    The customers that buy frequently from you and most recently are obviously the most valuable customers. You would want to spend more of your marketing resources on these group of customers and ensure that they remain loyal customers.

    For customers that do not respond to your offers or rarely open your emails, you may want to reengage them

  • Write a compelling subject line – As you know, most people get bombarded with all kind of emails everyday. How do you make your email stand out from the rest? They key is having a compelling subject line. You should limit the subject line to around 50 characters and make it compelling.

    You can also split test your subject line on a sample first and pick the best one to blast out to the rest. For example, if you have a big enough database, you can randomly select 100 subscribers and divide them into group A and group B. Send half of the emails with subject line A to group A and half of the emails with subject line B to group B.

    What you’re trying to measure is the open rate (most email service providers provide this statistic). Between the two subject lines, you would then select the highest performing one and use that to send your email message to the rest of the list in your database.

  • Place the opt-in box in a prominent location of your website. The opt-in box should be on every page and it should be in a visible location of your website, usually the upper left or upper right.

  • Ask for feedback – Feedback from your customers can help you serve them better. Ask them for ideas on content, whether they’re happy with the content, and areas of improvement.

  • Ask for referrals – If you have customers that are happy with your services, ask them to refer you to their friends/family.


To learn more about email marketing, you can visit the Lyris website. They have many great articles on email marketing best practices.

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