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How to Boost Your Cold Email Response Rate

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Boost Your Cold Email Response Rate


When your email response rates seem to be persistently low, it can be extremely frustrating. You keep tweaking things, but the results don’t seem to change.

There are steps you can take to boost your cold email response rate, though. With careful planning, you can make a huge difference to the success of your campaigns.

Here are twelve steps you can take to boost your cold email response rate.

Personalization Is Key

We all value our inboxes. We use them to organize our businesses, our personal lives, and everything in between.

If we’re to allow emails into our inboxes, then they have to add value.;

In a world of constant spam, we’re extremely adept at scanning through our emails and discarding the worthless ones. Unfortunately, this makes it harder for your cold outreach – even if you’re offering exceptional value.

One way to quickly showcase that you’re different from the spam and that you actually offer value is through personalization.

It’s very difficult to offer value through an email without personalization. It’s even harder to convey value without personalization.

We’re constantly on the lookout for spam and one of the first signs is that an email could have gone out to anybody. Show that you’ve put the time into understanding the prospect and that your email offers value.

Some ideas for increased personalization can range from starting the mail with the lead’s name and all the way to incorporating email signature marketing in your cold email campaign, which will help you reach a higher conversion rate of your leads.

Personalized emails drive 6x more transactions, and it’s not surprising.

Research Your Prospects to Make Your Emails More Relevant

When we talk about personalization, we’re talking about more than just putting someone’s name in the subject line and first sentence.

We’re talking about understanding the motivations of your prospects. This takes a little bit of extra effort, but it pays off:

  • Spend time on your prospect list and ensure your prospects’ goals are closely aligned to what you’re offering.
  • Find out what they’re talking about/sharing and show that you care about the same things by referencing them in the email.
  • Research prospects on social media (outreach software like Mailshake offers LinkedIn plugins to make this easier) and use a tool like Voila Norbert to find specific emails for people in that organization.
Voilanorbert

Use Voilanorbert to find contact details of just about anyone

Information is a way to create a connection. It takes more work, but it will make your cold outreach much more effective.

Make Your Subject Lines Stand Out

Before you can even dream of getting a response, you need to get your email noticed in a crowded inbox.

It’s estimated that the average worker sends and receives 121 business emails each day. If we take that number, then your subject line has to compete with 120 other subject lines.

This is a split-second opportunity to pique someone’s interest that you can’t afford to miss.

It’s a tricky balance because you need to grab someone’s attention while staying on point and conveying value. 47% of recipients decide whether or not to open emails based on the subject alone, so this goes to show the importance of choosing the right words.

Make sure you’re dedicating plenty of energy to creating subject lines that stand out.

Respect the Prospect’s Time

People lead busy lives. Whether they’re at work or at leisure, they don’t want to be wasting their time reading long emails with no guarantee of value.

Your emails have to respect your prospect’s time by getting to the point.

It’s natural to want to try and fit as much information in about your product as possible, but you should taper this. Instead, focus on using your creativity to create concise, value-packed emails that grab your audience’s attention.

Don’t forget about the presentation either – break up the paragraphs to make them easy to read and make sure it looks like something that’s going to be a quick read.

Focus on the Prospect’s Needs – You’re not the Focus

You’re a great company with a great product – it’s easy to start waxing lyrical about your business to try and impress your prospect.

You have to remember that the prospect never asked for your email, though. They’ve shown no interest in your business, but they do have an interest in their own success.

This means you have to put your interests on the backburner and showcase how you can address the prospect’s needs. Your cold emails aren’t about making a sale there and then; they’re about starting a conversation, so how can you achieve this?

Use a Proven Sales Pitch

Cold pitching is nothing new, and the psychology of sales applies to cold emails just as it does any other sales interaction.

People have been selling things for a long time now, and they’ve found there are certain things that work and others that don’t. A lot of the hard work has been done for you, and there are some tried and tested sales pitches you can incorporate into your cold emails.

Yes, you will adapt them, but the principles of selling remain the same, and these sales pitches work.

Often, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You just have to find a way to make it work for your specific needs.

Perfect Your Copy

You can have a great strategy for getting more responses but if you can’t accurately convey your messages, then they’re not going to work. Just like with your subject lines, there’s a tough balancing act to achieve.

You should:

  • Convey value
  • Be concise
  • Infuse character
  • Engage your audience

This is why it pays to take your time over your emails. Think about your language and how it might be received by your prospects. Changing a few words in your copy can make a difference to your response rate, so make sure to A/B test as you go.

Your subject lines may grab your prospects’ attention, but your copy needs to hold it. Don’t be shy of running a few iterations with your copywriter or copywriting service.

Discover Your Brand Voice

Don’t be afraid to show your character in your email!

One thing you notice with spam is how bland it is – there’s no character in it, no brand voice. This fits the theme of a general lack of personalization. Poor cold emails give you nothing to be excited about and nothing to identify with.

Character grabs people’s attention and makes you stand out from all the other emails.

Your business has its own unique identity and story, so make sure you infuse this into your emails. Develop your brand voice and make it tell your story.

Character is an important part of any marketing. Just because emails are short shouldn’t mean they’re any less characterful. Use your brand voice to get people to interact with your cold emails.

Incorporate Multimedia

Multimedia is great for grabbing people’s attention and efficiently conveying complex messages. Viewers retain 95% of the message when watching a video versus 10% when reading text.

In a cold email, you want to get your key points across quickly, so this makes video ideal.

The big thing to remember is you have to keep an eye on deliverability. Email providers have complex algorithms to detect spam, and multimedia will play into this. If you’re working with a good sales engagement platform, then they will help you manage your deliverability, but it’s important you’re not overloading your emails.

Optimize Your Calls to Action

It’s amazing the impact a good call to action can have. Emails with a single call-to-action have been found to increase clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%.

When you’re writing your copy it’s always obvious to you what action you want people to take. For the reader, it’s not always so obvious. If you want people to take action, then you have to lead them towards it, and that’s exactly what your CTAs do.

For instance, if you host webinars, you can drive people to a landing page where they can sign up to attend the webinar itself and then, depending on what webinar platform you use, you can use the platform to send them notifications and use calls to action in the webinar to drive them into your sales funnel.

Your CTAs help tie everything together and show the prospect what you want them to do next. Any old CTA won’t do; they need to be optimized, so make sure you’re A/B testing.

Build Out Your Sequences

People don’t always respond to your email the first time around – this doesn’t mean you should give up.

There are lots of reasons why people might not respond to you after the first email but will respond to subsequent ones. How often do we forget to respond to an important email in our personal lives? Well, responding to your email might be of secondary importance to someone and sometimes it slips through the cracks.

This means it’s important to be persistent.

If you’re offering value, then there’s nothing wrong with sending more emails and creating a sequence. The key is respecting your prospects’ privacy and knowing when enough is enough.

Automation and Testing

Checking off every detail in this list is no easy task. There’s a lot of work involved, and when you’re running big campaigns you want to automate as much as possible.

This is where software like Mailshake is worth its weight in gold.

When you’re creating campaigns, you want everything to be in one place, and make your life as simple as possible. With built-in sequences, A/B testings, social media plugins, automated responses, and powerful personalization tools, that’s exactly what Mailshake offers.

Detailed statistics help you maximize deliverability, get your emails opened, and push up your response rates.

With the right software, ticking off all the tips on this list becomes much easier.

Final Thoughts

A good response rate is vital if you’re going to see a good return on investment from your cold email campaigns. Luckily, there are lots of little steps you can take to achieve this.

The difficulty with cold emails is that they’re used so poorly by so many. This makes it even more difficult for the people that are doing it well.

What you need to do is take care of the small details and think about the recipient first. If you can demonstrate you offer value at every step of the interaction, then it’s going to give you a much better chance.

With a few tweaks, you can give your email response rates a big boost.

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Sujan Patel

Sujan Patel is a partner at Ramp Ventures & co-founder of Mailshake. He has over 15 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.

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The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling

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The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling


Storytelling is an art.

Not a process, method, or technique. And — like art — it requires creativity, vision, skill, and practice. Storytelling isn’t something you can grasp in one sitting, after one course. It’s a trial-and-error process of mastery.

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How to Blog When You Have No Time

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How to Blog When You Have No Time


Finding the time to blog is a frequent challenge for many marketers. Marketers often wear many hats and it can be difficult to focus long enough to churn out quality articles when you’re pressed for time.

How to blog when you have no time? We spoke with author and marketing expert David Meerman Scotton how to avoid common time management mistakes by developing a routine.

No matter what you’ve got on your marketing plate, it won’t get done without proper time management. Learning how to make the most of your time will greatly affect your productivity and overall success as a blogger.

Why is blogging time management important?

When it comes to creating content, maintaining consistency is key. This is why blogging time management is so important. You may not always feel motivated to create on a regular basis, but establishing a schedule will help you to stay consistent with your blog output.

For example, you may find that you’re better at writing in the mornings. So you can set aside 2 to 3 hours each morning to work on writing based on how many articles you’d like to produce each week.

Create a content calendar to help you plan your content in advance and set reasonable deadlines. Make note of holidays or seasonal events that may impact your content schedule.

Getting organized will help you set and achieve goals for your blog. If you’re starting from scratch, check out our guide to starting a blog.

How to Blog When You Have No Time

1. Use blog templates.

An easy way to jump-startyour creative process is to start with a template. Why suffer through writer’s block staring at a blank document if you don’t have to? HubSpot’s free blog post templatescan help you format your article and get started writing faster than starting from scratch.

[Include screenshot]

Templates function as an easy to follow outline where you can organize your thoughts and start to flesh out your content. HubSpot’s offer includes six templates ranging from how-to posts to pillar pages and infographics.

2. Develop a blogging routine.

In many ways blogging reminds David of exercising. In order to be successful at it, you will need to develop a routine. “It is programmed in,” David says. “It is about building it into your life and making it a second nature, like running in the mornings or doing yoga after work.”

Dedicate time each day to writing or allocate one to two designated writing days per week. Block time off on your calendar and turn off messaging apps to avoid interruptions while you write.

Once you’ve gotten organized and created a routine, you may find you had more time to write than previously thought.

3. Keep a list of ideas.

One way to save time coming up with content is to make sure you always have a running list of fresh ideas to work with. That way you’re not scrambling at the last minute for worthy topics.

Creating topic clusterscan help you flesh out your blog content strategy. A topic clusteris multiplearticles grouped by a shared topic or related topic. For example, you may have one pillar page that gives a broad overview of a topic. From there, you can create more in-depth, specific articles on related subtopics.

This will not only help you plan content but organize your site architecture as well.

4. Perform research prior to writing.

It’s much easier to write when you have all the pertinent information you want to include in one place. Research your chosen topic before sitting down to write and organize the information in a quick outline.

Include any keyword researchin this process so you can ensure your content aligns with what readers are searching for online. This way when you sit down to write, your only job is to write — not look up new facts.

5. Don’t edit while writing.

When writing it’s very tempting to want to stop and make corrections. Don’t do this. It breaks your writing flow.

Instead, write a rough draft withjust pops into your mind first. Follow your train of thought without stopping to fix typos or edit. The goal is to just get your thoughts on the page. Once your initial draft is written, you can always go back and make changes.

6. Perform article updates.

Another strategy is to build upon existing content by performing an article update. Giving your older content a refresh is not only good for SEO and your readers, but it can be a quick win for adding new content in a time crunch.

With older content, you may need to include additional research and update it for accuracy, but it generally takes less time than writing a new article from scratch. Review your existing content. Are there articles you can do a deeper dive on? Have there been industry advancements you can include? Is there a new angle to explore?

7. Find content ideas wherever you go.

By making blogging a life routine, you will come across creative content ideas much more frequently. Keep an open mind, observe new things that interest you personally and find ways to turn them into fodder for a blog post. By noticing world dynamics that get you excited and relating them to your audience, the process of blogging becomes a lot more natural and fun.

Accumulate content ideas from different situations in life and find ways to apply them to your industry.

8. Hire a freelancer.

Sometimes your workload is just too heavy and your efforts can be better used elsewhere. If you have the resources and budget to do it, hiring outside help may also be a great option.

Sites like Upwork, Contenta, and MediaBistro make it easy to find writing professionals. If looking to generate content on a larger scale, consider working with a content agency.

Blog Like A Pro

Creating content with a consistent cadence is an obstacle busy marketers frequently struggle with. Creating a schedule and mastering blogging time management will allow you to create even when you’re short on time.

This article was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How clean, organized and actionable is your data?

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90% of marketers say their CDP doesn't meet current business needs


A customer data platform (CDP) centralizes an organization’s customer data, providing a single 360-view of each consumer that engages with the company. Yet there are still data-related considerations that organizations have to make beyond what the CDP does.

“[CDPs] were designed to fill a need – to enable a marketer to easily get to the data they need to create their segmentation and then go on and mark it from that point,” said George Corugedo, CTO of data management company Redpoint Global, at The MarTech Conference. “But the issue is that CDPs really don’t take care of the quality aspects of the data.”

Maintaining data quality also impacts segmentation, campaigns and privacy compliance challenges for marketing teams that use this data.

Data quality

The data in a CDP depends on the quality of where it came from. Therefore, an organization using a CDP must also consider the quality of the data sources and reference files used to build out the CDP.

“The inevitable question is going to be, how good is this data?” said Corugedo. “How much can I trust it to make a bold decision?”

This is something that has to be on every organization’s radar. For instance, when identity resolution is used, the issue depends on the quality of the third-party reference files. If they are provided by a telecommunications company or credit bureau as the data partner, those files might only be updated quarterly.

“It’s just not an optimal solution, but every single CDP on the market uses some form of reference file,” Corugedo stated.

It’s up to the data scientists and other team members working within the organization to own the accuracy of these data sources.

Read next: What is a CDP?

Segmentation and other actions

The quality of the data using specific reference files and sources will vary and will impact the confidence that marketers have in creating segments and using them when deploying campaigns.

Marketers have to make this decision at a granular level, based on the trustworthiness of data from a particular lineage.

“If they have a campaign that is reliant on suspect data, they can actually delay that campaign and say maybe we wait until that data gets refreshed,” said Corugedo.

Otherwise, marketers are just “spraying and praying.”

Using rules instead of lists

The advantage of having a CDP is unification of all data. But the data is being updated all the time. Instead of deploying campaigns based on a fixed list of customers, the use of rules to define segments allows marketers to update who they engage in the campaign.

“A list, as soon as it’s detached from the database, starts to decay because it doesn’t get any updates anymore,” Corugedo, adding that using lists takes longer to execute a campaign.

Lower quality from data that isn’t updated can have serious implications for healthcare and other industries, where accuracy is essential. 

“Instead, rules are passed through the campaign just like they would be with a list, but those rules reevaluate every time there’s a decision point to make sure that only the qualified people get the particular content at that point,” Corugedo explained.


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Privacy and regulatory compliance

Maintaining data quality through a Redpoint Global dashboard, or a similar combination of tools and data personnel, will also help an organization manage privacy.

The crucial point is that people on the team know where the data came from and how it’s being used in campaigns. The stakes for sending out relevant messaging are high. Privacy and compliance issues raise the bar even higher.

If you’re using a CDP, you can save headaches and extra labor by using a tool that has compliance and privacy baked in, so to speak.

“What we’ve done is embrace some of this complexity and absorb it into the environment, so the marketer never even sees it,” said Corugedo. “What we do is with every implementation, we will implement a PII vault that keeps PII data super secure, and we can anonymize the marketing database.”

This way, personal information of individual customers (PII) is never violated.

“Marketers ultimately don’t necessarily need to have visibility to PII,” Corugedo explained “They like to see it for testing purposes and making sure that it looks right and everything, but the truth is we can do that in other ways without revealing PII.”

Having a handle on data quality adds to the confidence marketing teams have in creating segments and executing campaigns, and it can also help protect the customer’s privacy and guard against regulatory infringements.

Facts not fiction: Beyond the CDP from Third Door Media on Vimeo.


About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.



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