Getting your cold email copywriting right is critical. Obvious, right?
Sure, the subject line is the first line of offense, but without compelling words that invoke a response—it’s just a good subject line.
The good news is that if they opened up, they are ready for the context of your email. If it’s appealing, useful and concise you have an opportunity. If not, it’s like running 90 meters of the 100-yard dash.
There are really no less than three “mini” conversions that take place in an email.
- The Open: Requires a killer subject line.
- The Delivery: You have to make yourself relevant with a scan of the eye to get the lead to continue.
- The Response: You delivered on your subject’s promise, but don’t let them leave without letting them know what action you’d like in response.
Subject lines are a beast unto themselves, but this post is about the copy that is in the email itself that will lead to a higher response rate.
Too many email posts have templates…and they are useful! Using a template is a great way to do many things. But if you’re trying to hone in your skill to bump up those critical response rate numbers you’ll want to start crafting your own.
Here are five of our best high-level tips (and some bonus resources) to think about before you put digital pen to paper.
Tip #1: Instantly Improve Your Copywriting
Don’t take this tip as sarcasm. Refining your copy skills can be useful in both your email outreach and sales presentations.
Copywriting isn’t as much about the words you use as it is the reader you’re speaking to, either in person or through content. Developing buyer personas is an overall process that helps a business, but skilled wordsmiths have been trying to understand buyers for centuries.
There are three basic tiers to writing compelling copy that are especially useful for cold email copywriting, we’ll go over each briefly and then give you some great resources to develop your skills.
- Convey the Pain/Problem: Figure out the issues that your prospects desperately want solved. If you’re able to present what they’re feeling to a high degree of accuracy, they’ll be very open to your potential solution.
- Paint the Ideal Picture: Next, it’s time to paint the perfect world without the previously mentioned problem. Once they have that image in their mind, it’s time to give them the answer to the problem.
- Remove Doubt: Immediately, even with the compelling story, prospects have doubts and it’s your job to settle the mind.
It’s important to note that this process doesn’t mean giving them a sales pitch in every email. In outreach, you just want to talk with them and see if they are qualified.
If the pain and points you make are strong enough, the ideal picture may be offering a great resource in exchange for the call. Removing doubt could be telling the prospect that it will only be a five minute call or that there is no pitch involved.
Resources for improving copy skill:
- Copywriting 101 (via Copyblogger)
- The Definitive Guide to Copywriting (via QuickSprout)
- Copywriting Cheat Sheet Infographic (via Vertical Response)
Tip #2: Establish Relevancy (Right Away)
The inbox is a struggle for many executives. It’s a party that has unannounced guests showing up to all the time.
Again, part of establishing relevancy starts with the subject line. While they are more open to the content inside, they are still ready to play bouncer at their inbox party. It takes pointing out why you’re there before the cops delete button comes into play.
Personalization can make sure that you are welcome to stay. Try using personal data to talk about common problems, share relevant resources (e.g. white papers), or even mention geographic and personal information (not creepy, but like you went to the same college).
It doesn’t have to be a personal thing, it could be just telling them why you’re there with extreme brevity. If you got the contact as a referral, just say:
“Hi, John Smith over at Company XYZ gave me your name and I wanted to reach out about (state your business).”
Tip #3: Write to One, Send to Many
You may be writing to hundreds of people every week, but each one that opens your email is reading it individually.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in what you want to say and try to fit it into the largest mold possible. Take a step back and look at your most common customers. Speak to those buyer personas directly.
Write the email in the second person (e.g. “you”).
Make sure you use at least the basic personalization capabilities of your customer relationship software to plug in their names. If you want to get bounced from the inbox, start an email with “To whom it may concern”.
Tip #4: Say Only What You Have To, If That
Effective and talented writers have always agreed that the number of words you use should always be just enough to convey the point. Being concise is a must, especially in sales. The term “elevator pitch” is alive and well in the digital age and should be accurately translated to your emails.
Instead of being wordy, we’ll let some quotes do the talking.
“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines, and a machine no unnecessary parts.” — William Strunk, Jr.
“I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” — Blaise Pascal
“Like all sweet dreams, it will be brief, but brevity makes sweetness, doesn’t it?” — Stephen King
Tip #5: Make Sure It’s Ready to Be Seen
How many times have you had an email sent to you and before you could open it, there was another from the same person/company with something like, “Oops, here’s the right link.” in the subject?
Yeah, it’s a problem.
It’s like going to that same inbox party and saying, “I’ll be right back. I forgot the wine I wanted to give the host.”
Measure your emails twice even those you can send them more than once. Losing credibility isn’t something you can afford to do when your goal is to try and build, well, credibility. Even though the average person understands and forgives simple human error—it’s entirely unnecessary.
Here are the key things to do before you mass send emails:
- Proofread, Let It Sit, Proofread Again: You read the email and have others read it too. Then, let it sit for a day. Read it again, and I’ll guarantee you’ll change things. You may even want to do it a few times to ensure quality and accuracy.
- Send a Test for Goodness Sake: Unless I’m mistaken every email marketing service gives users the ability to send as many test emails as you want. Why not do that? Send one to yourself and the rest of the department if you must to make sure everything works.
- Fact Check with All Relevant People: Say you’re crafting an email to make prospects aware of a special offer, it may be a great idea to run your email by someone in marketing to check the accuracy. Be careful, they may want you to add to a brief email. Just have them fact check.
Go, Write Better Cold Emails!
These are high-level tips that are meant to improve the overall skill in which you write and send your outreach emails. However, most great copywriters will tell you that the only way to get better is to start writing.
Don’t look at too many other posts before you start trying out your newly found education.