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When you hear that cold business emails have an average open rate of 21.33%, you may want to bill them as being ineffective in the modern era. But maybe that’s not true. Have you considered that prospects don’t read them because they don’t see the need to? The only emails that convert are those that are catchy, targeted, and compelling. Read on to find a few tips on how to craft such messages. 

Do your Research 

You likely put in a lot of work to get the email addresses of your cold leads. But now’s not the time to kick back and slack off. You want to make a good impression, and to do that, your email needs to show that you did your due diligence in getting to know the person. So don’t just jump right into crafting a pitch; dig around for relevant information.

You can start your research on the company’s website. See what you can find out about their operations and needs related to what you have to offer. Also, this can help you confirm if you are targeting the right decision-maker. Then move on to your recipient. Who’s this person, really? You can sniff around on social media for details that you can use to express some level of familiarity and pique the individual’s interest. 

Do you both share a mutual friend or interest? Mention it. Or maybe you attended the same college. If these do not fit in, then look to other openers like:

  • Congratulating the individual on a recent promotion or award
  • Commending the person for a recent contribution to the community or industry
  • Expressing admiration for a blog post you genuinely enjoyed

Create an Apt Subject Line

Grab your reader’s attention immediately, and you’ve already bagged a few points. Fail to do so, and your email will go unread. That means zero conversion. Seeing the central role a subject line plays, you can’t treat it like an aspect you can whip up on the fly. It requires as much attention as the body of your email. So carefully construct a title that your recipient will find appealing.

Some simple tips can help you in creating an inviting subject line. One is to keep your headline short and sweet. Then stir up curiosity in your reader’s mind. This isn’t about using buzzwords or sounding like an alarmist. Instead, you should get creative by making a surprising statement or asking an interesting question. Clever metaphors can also get the job done.

Focus on the Prospect’s Needs

Don’t fall into the trap of quipping incessantly about who you are and what you do. The truth is, the prospect doesn’t care about those things. By focusing on them for too long, you run the risk of turning the individual off. So make a brief introduction and dive right into what the prospect cares about. And what might that be? Getting a problem solved.

What value are you bringing to the table, and why should the individual care? You want to answer this question as early as possible, as this will ensure you hold the readers’ attention. Then move on to place your product or service within the context of the prospects’ situation. That adds a touch of personalization that will help keep them interested.

Don’t just highlight your expertise and hope prospects, “get the idea.” Show how this expertise translates to value for them. For good measure, you can even throw in a few examples of how you’ve helped others solve similar problems. Of course, all these tips will only work if you’ve spent time uncovering your prospects’ pain points before reaching out. That’s sales 101.

Create a Sense of Urgency…without Being Pushy

You don’t want your email to sound like all you want to do is hold hands with your prospects while singing “kumbaya.” Be friendly and courteous, of course, but be brutally honest too. Highlight the need for the readers to take action quickly. Tell them how you can help them avoid more pain or loss if they just do what you ask. You can include a few prompts that would help raise the level of urgency like limited openings and deadlines.

Here’s something to note, however. As much as you don’t want people to read your email and go back to bed, you also don’t want to spook them by being too pushy. Sounding this way could raise people’s resistance and have their alarms blaring. So, where’s the line that divides urgency from pushiness? That line is marked by understanding and genuine care. 

Don’t jump right into the sales pitch. Show that you understand the prospect’s problems, and you want to solve them. This way, whatever assertiveness you introduce later on will be perceived as coming from a place of concern.

Make the Text Readable

If content is king, white space is its right-hand man, and that’s not a joke. 

Don’t underestimate the power of using crisp sentences and paragraphs to communicate your thoughts. They make it easy for people to understand your writing and follow through to the end. 

So use sharp, punchy words but don’t stop there. Also, ensure that there’s a logical flow in how you present your ideas. Connect your thoughts with linking words and watch out for extraneous material. 

Also, a good rule of thumb to follow is to stick to one primary point per paragraph. It makes your work easily digestible. 

Keep it Short and Ditch Pretentious Writing

No one wants to read your email for the entire day, regardless of how many short sentences or paragraphs you use. So don’t take too long to get to the point. By all means build your case, but do it fast or your reader may not stick around. Plus, saying too many things could reduce the effectiveness of your message. It’s always better to take a few points and hone in on them. 

Also, don’t use words that would send readers to their dictionaries. Don’t do that, please. As much as you can, keep the language natural and simple. 

Don’t End without a Clear Call-to-Action

The point of writing the email is to encourage the prospect to take a specific action, and you need to make that clear. You have to spell it out because, contrary to popular opinion, people like being told what to do. It’s the way you say it that determines if they will comply or not.

So don’t recoil at the thought of asking for a response, meeting, or even a purchase. What you should avoid is asking for too many things at once. Don’t cram in several requests into one email. The reason is you don’t want the reader to feel overwhelmed. By offering too many options, you’re encouraging people to take their sweet time to think about what choice to make. And you don’t want to do that because the desire you’ve built up in the body of the email might fizzle out in the process.

Don’t rush things; take one step at a time. If a response is what you want from the first email, go for it but ask for nothing more.

Write Emails that Convert

If you think talking to strangers is hard, now imagine asking them to give you their money or set up a meeting. You’d need something special to pull that off, not some generic and bland email. So take out time to craft your message, tailor it to the reader, and demonstrate your value. People want to be helped. You just have to show them that you are in the position to do so and that you can be trusted.


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