6 Questions you Need to ask Before Sending Your Cold Email Campaign
When planning your cold sales email campaign, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Typing "Sending a cold email campaign" into Google gets you about 13,800,000 results.
Before you know it, you're suffering paralysis by analysis, scared to write a single word without checking just one more article.
The truth is there’s always going to be something new to learn, yet another tactic that can get you that extra 0.01% ROI.
Still, that's no good if you never actually get started.
So, how do you find the right balance?
You nail down the essentials, then you click send. Rudyard Kipling said it best:
"I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who."
Asking these six simple questions can help ensure that you have all the information you need for an effective cold email campaign.
Let’s assume you’re already familiar with the Why for your business (If not, I highly recommend Simon Sinek’s "Start with Why").
But what about your cold emailing campaign?
Every day, my inbox is plagued by emails with vague subject lines and scattershot content.
Don’t make the same mistake.
Before you write a single word, make sure you’re completely clear on what your objective for the campaign is.
Selling your product? Setting up a meeting?
Making potential clients aware of your product/service?
Action: Clearly define your objective.
Don’t leave it in your head; get the objective written down.
This will shape your whole campaign, as well as identify the metrics you need to pay attention to when analysing your results.
Hopefully you already have a clear idea of what your target market looks like. Perhaps you’ve already created buyer personas representing your ideal clients, complete with job titles.
Great start! But even the most indepth buyer persona doesn’t give you email addresses.
Now, you could always buy a list off some shady type on the net, but the results are unlikely to be worth it.
Researching prospects can be hard work and time consuming, but the following steps can make the process a lot easier:
- Start by using Google/LinkedIn as a base to identify company's contact person and decision makers.
- Check the company website, LinkedIn profile and social accounts in combination with email finding plugins: Hunter.io, EmailExtractor, SellHack.
- Use prospecting automation solutions such as Unomy, RightHello, InsideView, or the Finder tool within Reply.
- Use Name2Email and VoilaNorbert to find emails based on contact full name and company domain.
- Validate the emails, using tools such as Reply, Proofy.io, or BriteVerify.
For more information, check out a post detailing exactly how to do that here.
Action: Define your ideal prospect, build a list that matches that prospect, then validate that list.
The central part of any email campaign is the email itself, so take the time to get it just right.
Your aim is to put together an email that achieves your defined objectives and appeals to your client persona.
For example, if your objective is to get people to click through and learn more about how your service can help them, you’re not going to spend half the email outlining the complete history of your company.
A handy way to make sure your email is up to scratch, is the use of templates.
While a blind reliance on templates can lead to bland, cringe inducing emails, a proven template (such as those used by Reply) can help optimise your clickthrough rate.
This is not to mention saving you endless agonising over coming up with original content.
- The subject line is just as important as the email itself. A boring subject means your email doesn’t get opened, so learn how to do them right.
- Keep it simple, keep it short. In their study, Boomerang found that the sweet spot for email length was 50-125 words.
- Personalise. An email to ‘Dear Sales Manager’ is going straight in the junk folder. Make sure that any template you use is personalised using your research on the prospect.
Oh, one last thing? Please, please double check your spelling. Use spell check or, better yet, a free Grammarly account.
It costs you nothing, and could make all the difference to whether your email gets a response or not. Nothing puts me off an email more than a clumsy spelling mistake in the opening lines.
Beware those pesky mistakes where the spelling is correct, but context isn’t.
I still have flashbacks to an email with the opening line ‘Surely we must have wet your appetite by now…"No, good sir... You have not".
Does location have anything to do with your email campaign?
While it might not be the most critical factor, it would be foolish to hamstring your campaigns chances by failing to take that into account.
For example, is your product available worldwide, or is it only available in a specific location?
If it’s tied to a location, then sending out a campaign worldwide is a waste of resources.
Something as simple as the difference in spelling between American and British English could be the deciding factor on whether your email even gets opened.
Remember, every word you write can either help or hinder your campaign.
Action: Make sure your email and contents are optimised for your prospect’s location.
Location also plays a big part in the next question...
After ticking off the previous questions, you’re probably eager to get on and finally click “send”.
But when it comes to sending your email, it turns out that not all times are equal.
To bring it all together, you’ll want to consider:
- Time of the year — If your product or service revolves around any holidays or seasonal variation, use this to plan your campaign. For example, promoting your tax return service as deadlines approach will yield better results than at other times of the year.
- Day of the week — According to a study by MailChimp, B2B emails should be sent during the week. However, if you’re targeting business owners or C level executives, we’ve found that the weekend, when they’re not super busy but still checking their emails, can actually be a good time to send that campaign.
- Time of the day — A study by GetResponse concluded that the best time to send emails was when people were reviewing their inbox, typically in the morning and early afternoon. Take into account their location to make sure the email lands in their inbox during these key times.
With that in mind, the MailChimp study made an excellent point:
Nobody knows your audience like you do. So use that innate knowledge to plan out the optimal time to send that email.
Action: Plan your email for the day and time your prospects are most likely to be checking their inbox.
Now all that’s left is to work out how you’re going to send your campaign.
Throughout the post we’ve looked at some of the tools that can help with the planning stages, but you’ll also want to use an effective tool to send the campaign.
The right software will not only help you send the campaign, but will also help automate follow up emails and provide detailed analytics, so you can see at a glance how your campaign is performing.
While there’s a number of tools out there, the team at Reply have worked hard to bring you a product that covers all your email prospecting and automation needs in one handy package.
That covers all the essential questions you need to answer before starting your campaign. If you’re clear on the Why, Who, What, Where, When and How of your campaign, then you’ve set yourself up for success.
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