Whether you use cold email to find sales leads, connect with influencers, build your personal brand, find mentors, or grow your network, there’s no underestimating its power.
Cold email is one of the best sales channels you can add to your business. When done well, it can generate a huge response rate to your inquiries (see the 29 percent rate Kyle Gawley achieved).
Unfortunately, most people don’t do cold email well. After the Mailshake team reviewed hundreds of cold email campaigns to increase their effectiveness, we’ve learned why some people don’t reach their campaign goals.
They don’t do the research that’s necessary for cold email success.
They use personalization in a way that’s artificial (or, worse still, creepy), rather than motivating.
They don’t send at the frequency needed to make an impact.
They don’t commit to improving their writing, following up as needed or measuring their performance in order to reach their goals.
Writing good outreach email isn’t rocket science. There are proven formulas you can leverage, as well as lessons you can draw from other digital marketing disciplines, such as conversion rate optimization and ad copywriting.
There’s no substitute, however, for doing the work.
Over the next 8 lessons, I’ll show you how to turn theory into practice, tapping into existing cold email best practices and deploying them in a way that’s both efficient and effective.
We cover everything you need to complete your journey from novice to master cold email outreach performer right here. Here’s what we’ll cover:
A Deeper Chapter-by-Chapter Dive
In Lesson #1, we’re going to start with the basics: how to write a good email. What separates those that you ignore or immediately delete from those you can’t help but read until the end?
I’m going to walk you through the most common mistakes, the power of planning, the most effective structures to try - including my own 3-sentence format - and when to use them, the tenets of copywriting that apply to cold emails, and how to apply conversion rate optimization thinking to your email marketing.
With every email you send, you want your recipient to do something. I’m going to show you exactly how to make your ask stronger, your argument more persuasive, and your conversions higher. And all with plenty of templates, examples, and data to demonstrate what I’m teaching you in action. Writing an email is easy. Writing a good email takes more effort and insight.
Email has three critical components:
Your subject line
Your opening line
Your main body
Fall short on one, and you’re fighting an uphill battle. Lesson #2 is going to give you the tools and tips to make sure that never happens.
I can’t stress enough the importance of your subject line. Legendary copywriter David Ogilvy said:
“Your headline is 80 cents out of your dollar.”
With email, your headline is your subject line. 33% of recipients open an email based on the subject line alone. Keep it short, personal, useful, specific, and if possible, create a sense of urgency or exclusivity.
Of course, getting them to open is just step 1. Next, you need to quickly pull them in with an opening line that’s crystal-clear and focused on them, not you.
Finally, your main body needs to be conversational, to the point, and personalized wherever and whenever possible.
But don’t worry, I’ve got some cool tools to share that make it much easier than it sounds.
Email is powerful, affordable, and scalable… but it does hinge on you having a steady supply of names and email addresses. In lesson #3, we’ll cover some fantastic ways to expedite your outreach and find anyone’s contact details.
We’re a social media society, so it makes sense to start there. Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be mined for the data you need to find not only prospects, but likely buyers.
But don’t forget about low(er) hanging fruit like “About Us” or “Contact Us” pages on business websites, conference speaker and attendee lists, author pages on industry blogs, and more. I’ll share all my secret tips on where and how.
You’re spoiled for choice in this area, with dozens of tools and services that can simplify or take over the process for you. VoilaNorbert and Email Hunter for contact details, Dux-Soup and Phantombuster for data scraping, and Mailshake’s own Lead Catcher are just a few that I recommend.
If you’re not personalizing, you’re not really marketing. I said it, and I stand by it.
Personalized emails have higher open and click-through rates, better conversion rates, and they improve customer experience, a key component to overall business success and customer satisfaction.
This lesson will walk you through common mistakes and how to avoid them, examples of how to personalize beyond *just* a first name (like location, job title, a comment on some piece of content they’ve shared, an upcoming event in their city or company, and more), how and why to conduct proper research, and how to segment (which is essentially breaking up your list into smaller lists based on - you guessed it - personal details and behavior) by content, product, persona, and lifecycle age.
I’ve even got some advice on how to warm up your recipient before sending that sales outreach message.
The greatest spell-checker is the send or publish button. Ever notice that? We tend to spot our spelling and grammar mistakes, formatting issues, and every other blemish after we send it or share it.
Nothing kills your credibility or makes a bad first impression faster than an error-riddled cold email showing up in someone’s inbox.
It’s happened to me, and I’m sure it’s happened to you. In lesson #5, I’m going to give you a comprehensive 10-question checklist to make sure every email is a perfect email.
Do I have any spelling or grammar errors (use spell-check and a dedicated add-on like Grammarly)? Are my sentences too long (keep it short and to the point)? Have I verified the names and email addresses of my recipients?
If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to all ten questions, your email is not ready to send. It’s that simple. Get in the habit of carefully checking each email or template. Quality control is too important to ignore these days.
In real estate, it’s location, location, location. But in email marketing and outreach, it’s follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.
If you’re quitting after one unanswered email - and the majority do - you’re missing out. Most marketers stop after four ‘no’s’, but 80% of prospects say ‘no’ four times before saying ‘yes.’ That’s a serious disconnect.
You have a 21% chance of getting a response to a second email. In fact, you have a 7% chance of getting a response to a tenth message. Keep. Sending.
Obviously, you’re not going to send the exact same message ten times. That’s not going to work, and will undoubtedly irritate your recipients.
In lesson #6, I’m going to teach you what does work: how to write an effective follow-up email (add value and lower your ask), how to automate your follow-ups and timings with a platform like Mailshake, and several examples of follow-up emails that got the job done (and why they worked so well). Ready to be inspired?
One of the many benefits of cold email outreach is the relative ease with which you can analyze, optimize, and scale your efforts. Identify what’s working, what works better, and what’s not working at all. Quickly scale up or down as required. Very few other channels can give you that so readily.
In my experience, it’s best to conduct a simple A/B test with 100 people before you scale up to 5000. Iron out the wrinkles with a smaller audience first; only then should you send it out to a larger one.
My simple optimization process lets you make incremental but steady improvements to your messaging in 5 easy steps:
Set your metrics
Set your goals
Design and run your experiment
Run your test
Get all the details in lesson #7. Your email outreach is not and should never be a set-it-and-forget-it situation. Be active. Be smarter. Be better.
In lesson #8, I invite you to stand on the shoulders of giants. You’ve listened to me for seven straight lessons, so it’s time to share the spotlight with cold email experts as they share their best tips, tricks, and advice in a collection of video interviews.
I’ve got seven videos to share with you from a wide variety of individuals and industries, including paralegal, growth marketing, conversion copywriting, and conversion optimization.
Each video also includes a written breakdown and summary of the key points and ideas. Watch the videos. Read the summaries. Learn from the people not just using cold email outreach, but crushing it in the real world.
Theory is good. Practical application and experience is better.
Are you ready to become a master of cold email outreach? Are you ready to better find, connect, and engage with prospects and decision-makers faster and more efficiently than you are right now?
Take the time to invest in yourself and your business.
Lesson #1 is ready and waiting. See you on the other side.Let's get started!