Every morning I grab my coffee, open Microsoft Outlook, and am flooded with countless unsolicited emails. And while I may not have asked for them, I always glance my eye over the subject lines, just in case there’s something of value – you never know.
Actually, more often than not, I do know. I know what to expect, and 99 times out of a 100, it’s junk. Badly composed, lazy copy that does nothing to inspire, and which draws my mouse directly to the delete tab.
After all, as the sender, if you can’t be bothered to put even the slightest bit of effort into a compelling subject line, there’s no way I would put my trust or invest my hard-earned money in anything you have to offer.
But that doesn’t mean I am not open to considering the services of a business that cold emails me. Quite the contrary – I am often so busy that the best chance you have of getting my attention is probably still by email.
So – what are you doing wrong?
My name is Martin Butters. Not “Friend”, not “Sir/Madam”, not “Greetings”, not “Website Owner”, not “markITwrite” and certainly not “Admin”. And if you couldn’t be bothered to find that out, why on earth would I want to hear what you have to say?
After all, my name is on all of my social media bios, it’s listed on our website, and on blogs I have written – it’s even on the bloody email address you just used. So, you have no excuse. If you can’t be bothered to use my name, any ideas you have of a business relationship ends immediately.
“Hi there – blah blah blah, we love your website, but couldn’t help noticing that it doesn’t appear on any of the main search engines blah blah blah, such as Google.”
Most business owners will recognise emails such as this. Web designers selling their services by using a template email that has been doing the rounds for years. There are few things that leave me shaking my head more than these.
So, let’s get this straight. You can’t honestly expect to inspire confidence in a potential client by copy and pasting an email message we have seen countless times.
Again, if you can’t be bothered to at least write original copy in your emails…
I’m pretty sure I speak on behalf of most business owners when I say, we are very busy. So, if you honestly think we’re going to pay the slightest bit of attention to an email that’s longer than the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy, you obviously don’t understand your target market.
Lengthy emails are not likely to be read by anyone. So, if you’re attempting to pack every aspect of your product/service in, you’ll end up achieving nothing. Here are some great examples of sales emails that hit the mark in just a few well-crafted paragraphs.
Many sales emails have simply “Re:” as the subject line. Make no mistake, you’re not fooling anyone. This age-old ploy to ensure your email is opened isn’t going to work – so best take a deep breath and employ a new strategy. Which I’ll get to…
There’s no magic solution to ensuring all of your emails are being read, and even if you get the content looking great, there are still no guarantees. But you can take steps to stack the odds in your favour.
Find out the name of the relevant person you need to speak with. There are various ways of doing this from visiting the company website, to checking staff roles on LinkedIn.
Take just a few minutes to research the company or the person you are contacting, and then inject something personal into the email. Knowing a bit about the company or showing that you have read their latest blog can go a long way.
Personalise the subject line so that the reader can immediately see that the email isn’t spam.
Keep it short and sweet. You’re looking to grab the reader’s attention, and a brief synopsis of what you’re offering will achieve much more than something that is too wordy.
And remember, keep it light-hearted.
With all of this in mind, here’s an example of an email that I and others like me may actually read.
Subject line – We Loved Your Blog on Bitcoin
First of all, can I just say, I loved your latest blog on Bitcoin. Your analysis of the cryptocurrency market was a great read, and I knew it would resonate with our readers, so I shared it across our social networks. You can see it here on Twitter…
Anyway, we’ve produced this great little infographic which we think would look perfect on your website alongside your blog.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can reach me on this email or by calling me on 0123-456-789
Hopefully this will be the start of a long-term relationship that will be mutually beneficial.
The email above is just an example, but you get the point, I hope.
The important thing is that it reads well, is interesting, and stands out above the crowd.
So, if you’re reading this and want to peddle your wares in my or any other CEO’s direction, take everything I’ve said on board, and the chances are you’ll get a far better response than you have previously enjoyed.
I look forward to reading your email.
markITwrite CEO (and enjoyer of quality content)
Beth Powell, Expeed Software
Doug Nebeker, Power Admin
Denise Darienzo, net2phone
Viktoriya Gorod, Starwind Software
Bill Lewis, New Offerings