This is a guest post by Sagi Strauss of FindThat.Email. Sagi is definitely a professional when it comes to email marketing and he’s got strong opinion on the slackers out there. Sagi, take it away!
There was a promised land and there was enough for everybody, but people became greedy and they spoilt it for everybody.
In a nutshell, this is the story of email marketing.
There’s always talk of how sleazy marketers ruin platforms. Social channels like Quora need to put stringent rules in place, if they don’t want their platform to become just about promotions. If they are not careful, marketers and advertisers who have “mindless promotion” in their agenda will take over the platform and ruin it forever.
This is exactly what happened with email marketing. Marketers understood that if they could get a message into the inbox of readers, they had a chance to make money. In this pursuit, marketers started sending mass emails without any research or personalization or even formatting for that matter.
These emails were cold and robotic. Due to this, Gmail and other email providers got strict on spam and new rules were created. The readers got tired of email marketers trying to mail them and started to not pay any attention to cold emails. There are many bloggers who are vehemently against cold emailing and keep convincing marketers that email marketing is not legitimate and it does not work.
As a marketer myself, it hurts me. Email is a great channel. Cold outreach has been the way to do business and build partnerships from time immemorial. Personally I don’t want email marketing to die.
To keep email marketing alive, we need to follow a few commandments.
Thou Shalt Not Email Everybody
One of the most alluring things about Email marketing is, you can find the email addresses of millions of professionals with a tool like Find That Email. Just because you can mail many people, doesn’t mean you should. Here is a small checklist to find out if the people you are emailing are right or not.
- Will they ever need your product?
- Are they the right decision maker?
- Can they afford your service?
- Will they derive value after using your service?
- Are you targeting the right Industry?
These are some basic checks to conduct. If you truly want a great response rate, you need to do a lot more research about the companies you are going after.
Thou Shalt Personalize Your Email
Make sure to personalize your email and make sure the recipient knows that the email is for them. Don’t send them a generic email that they can spot from a mile away. A template will get shot down in seconds without being read fully and possibly marked as spam.
Personalizing is a minimum basic requirement to email marketing. If you don’t personalize, you lose all credibility as well. This is why at Find That Email, we make sure to highly personalize the first email and we do a lot of research to understand the person’s interests and requirement.
This helps in multiple ways because, if they do reply, you know a lot about their business. Also, you can form common patterns around the people you are looking for. This gives you ideas to pitch better.
Do your research and personalize, it won’t a wasted effort.
Thou Shalt Sound Like a Human
In the pursuit of sounding professional, many people sound inhuman. There are no “How was your weekend” or “Hope you are doing well”. Getting straight to the point and without any added conversation is mundane. And people, tend to ignore mundane.
You can make a joke if you think it’s appropriate. Try to have a casual tone and you’ll do wonders.
In the screenshot, I happened to see that the person’s name was different and mentioned it to him. And I just realized, in the email, there was nothing personal except this first sentence and it did look like a template. I have a strong inclination that I got a reply only because of the compliment in the beginning.
Thou Shalt Reduce Bounces
I know nobody goes around looking for invalid addresses to send emails to. But, if you aren’t careful enough, you might get a disastrous list filled with hard bounces just because you did not check. Not sure what a Hard Bounce is? It’s definition time!
A Hard Bounce is an email sent to an invalid email address, or an expired domain or a non-existent mail server and the email bounces. These are not good for your spam score, when you do cold outreach.
A soft bounce is when an email bounces because the mail server is too full, or the email sent is too big or the mail server is temporarily down. These are better than a Hard Bounce as you can resend an email. But even after sending an email multiple times, it still bounces, then a soft bounce becomes a hard bounce.
Make sure to double check your emails using email verification services like Find That Email’s email verification tool.
Bounced emails affect your sender reputation and your domain might get blacklisted. You will be marked as a spammer if you do get blacklisted. This is why even smaller bloggers clean their lists regularly to make sure it stays healthy.
Thou Shalt Send Meaningful Followups
When sending followups, send meaningful ones. Don’t send the same message again and again. That definitely counts as spam. Use something more personal and something more succinct. You could also mention in your template that you won’t mail them ever again if they let you know that they’re not interested
A few marketers send the same message or are too aggressive. This doesn’t help. You’ll need to send a gentle reminder and make them feel like they are missing out, subtly. Another trick is to make them feel guilty that they haven’t replied.
Follow up emails are critical. The first email you send, people tend to ignore because they have more pressing matters in their hand currently. So when you send a reminder again after a few days, your email becomes an item that needs to be taken care of then and there.
Focus on meaningful followups! It works.
This is a rough run down of what is expected when you do cold email outreach. Follow them to a T and you will see better response rates, better click through rates and hopefully more business.
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