An effective cold email does these five things. It should:
- Tailor the message to the recipient. First thing First, do your research. But there’s a wrong way and a right way to do that in cold emailing. In Cold Emailing, personalization means that you’ve thought about who this prospect is, how he see the world, what interests him or her, and what they really want — you’ve developed a “periodic table of mind” about the client. This impresses them, that you have put genuine work into understanding them.
You should also make it clear why are you emailing them rather than anyone else. It’s been found that people feel more motivated to help others when they feel solely qualified to do so. By defining exactly where they fit in, you can create a story that makes sense to them.
- Validate yourself. It’s a basic human nature that, as we meet a stranger or get an email from one, we start thinking, who that person is and how important is he to me?.
You may have done a bunch of research on the people you’re emailing, but they are clueless about you. You must show your credibility so that they can trust you.
Knowing a common person is the most valid form of social proof you can offer. If you and you’re your prospect share any direct connections, be sure to mention them. A common friend turns you from stranger to peer.
If that’s not the case, then any credibility, authority, or social status that is meaningful to this prospect, jot it down. The more “credible” you are, the more are your chances of getting a response.
The point here is, you want to find a way to go from “unknown” to part of the prospect’s group.
- Attenuate your prospect’s pain or give them something they want. Tell me one thing, why should the prospect care about your cold email? What’s in it for them? Why should this busy person respond?
Don’t forget that people will go extra mile to avoid pain than to get pleasure. If you’ve done your research properly and have found a major agony point for the prospect, where you can offer relief, mark my words ‘neon board that’. Maybe you can’t solve the problem, even then give people something they want. Offer to connect them with someone who can solve their suffering — that puts you in good light, since almost no one gives before they ask. But your gift needs to feel appropriate, from one stranger to another. An Amazon gift card would be super awkward and weird. I know, because someone sent one to me once.
- Keep your cold emails simple, short and actionable. The choice to help someone is very important for a lot of people; some may even translate it to “want”. So if you are asking for help from them, you are actually giving them the chance to feel great about themselves. So why not make it easy for them.
Short emails are obviously read more than long ones. And emails that have a clear call to action get a higher response rate. Verbose, Prolix, Garrulous cold emails suck.
The best style to keep things precise and direct is to write it exactly the same way you’d talk. I would say, you should read your email like a theater actor before you actually send it. If it sounds like a normal conversation, then it will read well.
- Be an Admirer — and may be a little vulnerable one. If your tone in the cold emails can be slightly submissive, then that would be better.
I’m not telling you to kneel before your audience like they own you. Situation is you are asking a favor from a stranger. By expressing vulnerability and some gratitude, you give them the satisfaction of thinking themselves as a good person. You also give them a surge of supremacy and dominion, because you’re asking their help.
Oh Boy! This gets results. A mere “Thank you very much! I am so grateful to you” to a request multiplies the response rates. And those who want to opt out, or are too busy, give them a way out, you will be surprised to know that makes them more appreciative to help you.
Maybe you have heard all this many times before, but again, very few actually do it. I’d actually go as far as that most of the people who have cold emailed me doesn’t have the sense to express courtesy or admiration beyond a simple “thanks.” And the rest either sounded blunt or monosyllabic. Do you really think, someone asking favors from strangers should say say things like that?