I have a confession to make: I have always been outgoing and perfectly comfortable talking to total strangers. I have walked right up to famous people I wanted to meet (mostly pro snowboarders and startup founders whose companies have gone big-time) and introduced myself. For some reason, though, cold calling and cold emailing are much harder for me to do, so I always give kudos to people who not only do it, but do it well.
When I was the editor at Tech Cocktail, I got pitched a lot via email. Whoever did a great job got my attention, a reply, and usually an article out of it. Now, I get pitched by companies selling a service I might be interested in, either as a small business owner or marketer.
If you want cold emailing to work for you, here are all the things your email must contain to grab the recipients’ attention:
1. Get basic information right
I cannot stress this enough: Make sure you get my name, company name, industry, location, and any other basic information about me that strengthens your pitch right.
2. Customize the message
Because you did your homework to confirm I am in your target market, throw in references to the industry and what I do to build trust and credibility.
3. Get to the point
If your email is long, there is no way I’m going to read it. Explain exactly why you are emailing me in your opening sentence.
4. Name name
If we have a friend, acquaintance, or client in common, tell me who it is rather than saying, “We have a mutual friend.” Say, “We have a mutual friend, Mark Zuckerberg*.” If Mark told you to contact me, let me know why.
5. List the benefits
Definitely let me know why I should meet with you, do business with you, or buy from you. How will working with you benefit me? And how, in turn, can I help you?
6. Offer meeting times and days
If you want to meet with me in person, let me know when and where you are available to meet. If you are so inclined, offer to pay for coffee or lunch.
7. Follow up
Acknowledge that I am busy, and offer to follow up in a week or so. You can also ask our mutual friend Mark Zuckerberg to follow up if you’d think it would help.
* I do not know Mark Zuckerberg, but if you do, feel free to make an email introduction.
Do you use cold emailing regularly or on occasion? What have you found works best for you?
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