Cold email marketing is one of the most efficient and effective ways to reach potential new customers. It allows you to bypass gatekeepers and contact prospects who may not be actively looking for your product or service. However, it is not as easy as simply sending out a mass email and hoping for the best.
333 billion emails are sent and received every day, so standing out in someone’s inbox is harder than ever. To make matters worse, people are increasingly skeptical of unsolicited emails, inbox clutter is at an all-time high, and spam filters are only getting more sophisticated.
With such odds stacked against you, it’s important to avoid making common mistakes that will send your email straight to the trash, or worse, get you marked as spam. On that note, here are the top five mistakes to avoid when sending cold marketing emails:
Using clickbait subject lines
Your email’s subject line is arguably the most important element. It’s what determines whether your email will be opened or not. So, it’s no surprise that marketers are constantly looking for new ways to craft attention-grabbing subject lines.
While there’s nothing wrong with being creative, there is such a thing as going too far. Using clickbait subject lines, or those that make false or exaggerated promises is a surefire way to get your email marked as spam. Not to mention, it’s just bad marketing practice. After all, you’re only going to disappoint the person on the receiving end, which is not a good way to start a relationship.
So, what makes a good subject line? First and foremost, it should be relevant to the recipient. It should also be short, sweet, and to the point. And most importantly, it should be honest.
Poor email etiquette
Don’t forget the basics. That means using proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. It also means using a professional email signature that includes your name, title, company, website, and social media links. In addition, avoid using all caps, exclamation points, and excessive punctuation in your email body. Not only is it seen as shouting, but it will also trigger spam filters.
Furthermore, you should know how to sign off an email professionally, as well as use the correct salutation for the recipient. If you know the first name – great, use it. If not, stick with a generic but polite salutation, such as “Hello” or “Dear Sir/Madam”.
Failing to establish credibility/authority
If you want your email to be taken seriously, you need to establish credibility and authority from the get-go. The best way to do this is by mentioning your mutual connection in the opening line. For example, “I was recently speaking with John Smith, and he suggested I get in touch with you.”
If you don’t have a mutual connection, the next best thing is to establish your credibility by sharing your credentials, accomplishments, or awards. And if you really want to go the extra mile, include a link to a third-party article or review that supports your claims.
At the end of the day, trust is essential when it comes to marketing, and there’s no quicker way to lose someone’s trust than by coming across as inauthentic.
Overly promotional language
Despite the consumerist nature of our society, people still don’t like to be bombarded with “salesy” language and hard-sell tactics. In fact, most people go out of their way to avoid it. So, if your email is chock-full of promotional language, chances are it’s not going to be well-received as people will see right through it.
To avoid coming across as too promotional, focus on providing value. Your email should be about the recipient, not you. Focus on explaining how your product or service can help them overcome a specific challenge or pain point.
When you do talk about yourself, make sure it’s in the context of how you can help the other person. Avoid using promotional language that screams “buy my product/service”.
It’s also important to avoid using too much marketing jargon or industry-specific lingo. Remember, you’re trying to establish a relationship with someone who may not be familiar with your industry. So, keep your language simple and easy to understand.
Not using a CTA
A CTA, or call-to-action, is an essential element of any email, yet so many marketers fail to include one. Without a CTA, your email will likely be forgotten about or deleted. That’s because people are busy, and they are unlikely to take the action you want them to without a little nudge. So, be clear and direct in your CTA.
Research conducted by Campaign Monitor found including a button-based CTA helped to improve email click-through rates by 127%. So, if you want people to take action, don’t be afraid to ask. Just make sure your CTA is relevant to the email’s content and context.
Bonus tip: Make sure your CTA is visible and easy to find. The last thing you want is for someone to have to search for it.
There’s no denying the importance of an effective cold email marketing campaign, especially when it comes to connecting with consumers outside of your typical audience. However, before you hit “send”, you need to make sure you aren’t making one of the five common mistakes listed in this article. By doing so, you’ll improve your chances of success and avoid turning potential customers away before you even have a chance to make your pitch.