The term Cold Emailing has morphed a bit over the last several years. It’s taken on a new yet not so ethical type of definition. So let’s talk about what it really is and how to do it ethically to grow your small business
As a general rule cold emailing is the practice of sending emails to people you don’t know but want to build a relationship with. This is known as a cold audience. Other terms to be aware of are warm emailing or email marketing where you market to people that you have met or done business with in some way. Another term for cold emailing is cold outreach as well. You can find and start reaching out to many different types of cold emailing audiences:
- Client/Customer Leads
- B2B Partners In Your industry
- Potential employees
- Networking Partners
Now that you know what is cold emailing, let’s go through some cold email examples and how to implement them ethically. What you don’t want to do is practice cold emailing in such a way that it’s considered spam.
6 Types of Cold Emailing Examples
To really understand what cold emailing here is a list of the 6 most used types of cold email examples that you can implement for your small business. They are
- Collaboration Pitch Emails – B2B collaborations
- Content Promotional Emails – Creating awareness around your content
- Sales Funnel Email Series – 6 to 10 email series to warm up sales leads
- Recruitment Emails – Recruit the right employees to your business
- Link Building Requests – Build links back to your content
- List Building Emails – Get people to sign up for your content channels
These 6 different types of cold emails are to help you connect with people you don’t know and start building a relationship with them depending on what you would like that relationship to be.
Collaboration Request Emails
Complimentary businesses can increase their individual sales by collaborating on marketing outreach. There are many different ways to collaborate with other businesses:
- Offering a discount coupon for another store at check out and have the other store do the same for you
- Offer recommendations of another business product to those who have purchased your product via email. This is ideal for online stores
- Create purchasing buddles that include products from both stores and have both stores carry the product for sale.
In order to build these relationships, you need to find a business with products and/or services that compliment your own. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be in the same town or state. Since online shopping has a market share of 13.6% (US Census) and is climbing every year, you can collaborate with businesses across the country if you think they are a good fit for your customers.
Using cold emailing is a perfect way to reach out to these other businesses. The key is to focus on what is in it for them first. Give them an idea of what type of cross-promotion you are thinking of in the email and let them know you would like to schedule a time to discuss with them further and to see if your businesses are a good fit.
After you have told them how they can benefit, share with them about your business to start building credibility and trust.
This type of email would do well being sent from your personal account vs. your CRM system. You may be only reaching out to a handful of businesses and you will want to tailor the message to the products that would complement yours and the type of offer you want to create with them.
Content Promotion Emails
A business that is marketing itself well and has a strong SEO presence creates a lot of content. Sharing this content without a sales pitch associated with it is a great way to generate awareness of your business with a cold email audience. The type of content you can share is endless but here are just a few examples:
- Blog Articles
- Podcast episodes
- Youtube videos
- Social Media posts from Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok
- Guest posts or articles where you have been interviewed or mentioned.
If you have a list of cold emails address that you want to warm up to your business, we recommend adding them to your email system, make sure you tag them as cold so they don’t get mixed in with your warm audience just yet.
Send them an email with some of your favorite content past and present. You can curate this based on a topic you have covered in multiple ways. If you don’t have much content yet, one article is fine, let them know that the article is one of your customer’s favorites and that is why you are sharing it.
In the email invite them to go to your website or social channels to consume more of your content by adding clickable buttons to these sources. Be careful not to add any selling language. This is not the time to ask for business. If they interact with your email – open it, click on a link etc.. then you can tag them as warm and send follow-up emails with Calls to Action for sales and services.
Using your CRM system gives you a lot of benefits with this one. It makes it easy for them to opt-out if they don’t want more emails and you should respect that. It also makes the tagging and follow-up process easy. In email systems like MailChimp and Constant Contact, you can add automation so that if they open or click on a link they are automatically assigned a tag that you can use for specific kinds of follow-up.
Before you upload any cold list to an email CRM system make sure you scrub it. The last thing you want to do is upload bad emails or emails that have been reported as spam emails. We like to use a product called Zero Bounce to scrub any email list before it gets added to a CRM system. It’s an online service that you only pay for the emails that you scrub and you get a discount when you buy in volume.
Sales Funnel Email Series
Many businesses will send a sales email to a cold email audience. We find that you get a better response rate overall when you replace that single sales email with a sales funnel email series that is automated in your email CRM system. Sign up for a MailChimp or Constant Contact account as both of these systems are capable of creating this type of deep automation.
When creating a sales funnel email series we recommend creating 6 – 10 emails in the series. The longer your sales cycle and higher your pricing are the more emails you want to create. The series is designed to build trust and educate the cold contact rather than trying to sell them right away with a single email.
A single sales email typically only has a 9% open rate (Email Analytics), which is not bad. But across all of the accounts, we have implemented sales funnel email series for we see an average open rate of 47% in the first email, and that only falls to 33.7% in the last email. Here is why
The first email is a free gift with no sales pitch whatsoever. The gift is also something that puts the person in the bucket of ‘intent for purchase’ if they chose to open and download it. So not a Starbucks gift card but a checklist or a document that they need if they are in the market for the sender’s service.
The next emails are designed to warm up the contact with information around the service like
- Client Testimonials
- Objection Handling
- Issue Awareness
- Shifting their thoughts about the marketing place
All with calls to action for the service. The last email is a traditional sales email with a time-sensitive offer they can take advantage of.
The key to this working well is having the right audience to send it to. Only send to email addresses that you are interested in what you are offering. B2B is the easiest place to implement this because the target audience is usually very well defined and can be found easily through list purchases or reviewing websites.
This tactic is best done using an email system so opt-outs are tracked and honored and those that respond can be tagged and followed up with easily. It’s also easy to automate this to a large list with the systems automation logic.
Not all cold email lists are about sales. Often time successful companies can’t continue to grow unless they have the right employees in their business. Traditional ways of recruiting like job posting and resume gathering can be time-consuming for both employers and employees. Neither likes the process. Consider using cold emailing to recruit rather than job postings and resuming collecting.
You can use sites like LinkedIn to find and gather potential recruits by reviewing their profiles. If they look like they could be a good fit, reach out to them directly by finding their email address. Sometimes you can grab this from LinkedIn or find it on another social media site where they have a profile.
Send them an email from your personal account with some light branding (your logo and link to your website and social channels) letting them know you are hiring and you found their information and thought they would be a good fit. Send them the job description and requirements while asking them to schedule a time to talk with you and for a copy of their full resume as well.
In the event you can’t find an email address, message them in the system you found them in with the same information just ask them to send you an email in response so you have it.
Even if they were not actively looking they will definitely be interested if a good opportunity falls into their email box. Since you initiated contact they will feel like the process will be easier and more beneficial to them rather than them uploading a resume to a site they will never get a response from.
Link Building Requests
Linking building support SEO by giving your website a higher ranking authority in Google. It also helps increase traffic directly to your site by increasing your visibility through other sites. Reaching out via cold emailing is a good way to build links back to your website. Here are the top 3 linking building request tactics to use
Give Testimonials – Send a cold email to sites you want to have a link back from and give them a testimonial. Ask them to feature the testimonial on their website with your name. image and link back to your website. Only do this for products or services that you use and want to provide a positive testimonial.
Podcast Guest Request – Send a cold email to a podcast host that has an audience in your niche and ask them to interview you. Many podcast hosts are always looking for good people in the industry to interview and they are more than willing to add your bio and link back to your site as part of the process.
When you reach out via cold email make sure you suggest a couple of topics for the interview. Make sure it relates back to the subject matter of their podcast and would be something their listeners would be interested in.
Submission to HARO or similar types of services – HARO stands for Help A Report Out and this service allows reporters and writers to request interviews and articles on specific subjects.
Submitting a topic suggestion to a HARO request is very much like sending a cold email. They don’t know you and so you have to start a new dialog with them. The great thing is that you already know what they are looking for.
Once you have found a topic that is relevant to your business read through what they are looking for very carefully and make sure you respond to exactly what they are looking for. If you have additional thoughts on the topic expand on it as well but don’t ignore their original request.
Knowing what topics to suggest for any of these that would help you build your credibility or your site’s credibility can be done on your website. Using tools like RankMath for SEO and Link Wisper for link suggestions is a great way to narrow down who you want to target for these cold emails. Both have free offerings so click on the links to check them out.
I recommend these get sent from your personal account with lite branding. Your personal info should be on the email along with your logo and link to your website and social accounts. Including this information add credibility to the email.
List Building Emails
List building increases the size of your prospect pool over time when done the right way. This allows you to convert prospects from cold, to warm, to closed. There are a few different ways you can build an email list from cold emailing
Purchase a list – We only recommend this if you have a highly targeted niche you are marketing to and a list is available for purchase. An example of this would be if you are a B2B company looking to engage more with referral partners in your industry who have a specific job title, like a teacher or a doctor. You can purchase a list based on their title and where they are located to send them your preferred cold email communications.
Whenever you purchase a list we highly recommend you scrub the list with an email scrubbing service like Zero Bounce. You pay for only the emails you upload and they let you know which are valid so you are not uploading bad addresses to your email system.
Send cold email invitations to sign up to your email list – to people you have researched. Send these from your CRM system with an email template that feels like a personal email. Leave room in your template for a piece of personalization to the person you are inviting. How you found them, the reason you want to connect with them. Also, offer something of value to them for signing up. This could be a white paper, checklist, or case study that is relevant to the industry you are selling in. If they decide to get it, it shows they are in the market to buy from a company like yours.
Even though the volume is low doing this in your email system makes sense. You can track open rates easily so you can decide on the next steps with the lead and it allows them to opt out of future communications if they feel it’s not a good fit which protects your personal account from getting flagged for sending spam.
How To Do Cold Emailing Ethically
Cold emailing has a bad reputation because it is a tactic that has been used unethically. Many people including myself don’t mind cold emails being sent as long as it’s presented to me in a way that
- Benefits me first and them second
- Isn’t pushy or hard selling during initial contact
- Isn’t misleading by trying to fake a connection that doesn’t exist – They say they are responding to your email request when you have never reached out to them.
- Doesn’t keep emailing you when you don’t respond.
Cold emailing can be a rewarding tool for your business if you do it ethically and keep the focus on the benefits to the person you are emailing first and what you are getting out of it second.
I hope you found this article helpful in securing your business so you can stay focused on your growth goal which always includes marketing. Feel free to reach out via chat if you have any questions. We are always happy to answer questions. If you want our content delivered to your inbox Sign up for our newsletter. You get great content and exclusive offers by being a member.
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