Cold Email Prospecting: Getting Busy Buyers to Reply

Tension: Write Subject Lines This Way
Focus your subject lines on creating tension. Yes, tension.

Tension creates curiosity.

The job of your subject line is to create curiosity about what’s inside the message. Nothing more.

Don’t be cute. This always causes trouble. And be careful about using first names in subject lines. This is often a signal of “fake personalization.” Some buyers are VERY savvy to mail merged spam!

Make your subject line:

  • Familiar sounding yet also vague (don’t be too specific)
  • Provocative … a little bit wierd … yet credible
  • As short as possible (two to four words is best)

Never, ever trick with your subject lines. I warn against using, “help please?” or “question about _________ [company name].” This risks irritating your prospect. A plea for help could be interpreted as a needy customer.  Be careful.

Also, never ever ask for what you want in the subject line. (e.g., can we talk?) Never ask a yes/no question.

Eliminate Self-talk
This is perhaps the most difficult task. But I know you’re up for it.

Here is a quick example from a student I helped recently. Compare this cold email template to yours. Notice, also, how the template is more like a formula, where facts are inserted. You must do homework on the prospect!

Good morning Andy,
Congratulations on your expansion. 200 new jobs in Leeds will be a boost to the local community and [target company name].

Reliability of your new contact center is a major factor you will be considering, yes? It was for ABC Insurance. Their new 500 seat contact center has over 99.99% up-time through utilizing the cloud and geo-resilient data centers.

How much would even 1 hour per month downtime cost [target company]? Are you interested in how ABC Insurance did it? Would a short message exchange make sense? Let me know your decision, Andy?

Kind regards,

Good luck. Let me know what you think in comments.

Author: Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc., where he built the sales team. Today, he is the authority on effective prospecting communications techniques as founder of Communications Edge Inc. (formerly Molander & Associates Inc.) He's been in sales for over 2 decades. He is author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.Jeff is a sales communications coach and creator of the Spark Selling technique—a means to spark more conversations with customers "from cold," speeding them toward qualification.

One thought on “Cold Email Prospecting: Getting Busy Buyers to Reply”

  1. Cold email is one of the most effective strategies in obtaining early traction for your product. Many founders do it, but not many founders do it well. Cold email obviously won’t scale, but it can be extremely effective in developing that early momentum and cultivating early evangelists for your product.

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