How to Send Cold Emails That Get You New Customers
At actionable.me, we get the majority of our new customers through cold email outreach. We get asked a lot about how we do this so we decided to write a simple blog post detailing our process, including the tools we use and why we do things the way we do.
After sending out thousands of cold emails, our experience has shown that personalisation beats volume every time for a single, simple reason – personalisation makes your email relevant to the person you are reaching out to. Personalisation can mean different things, from something as simple as addressing prospects by name, to crafting entire sentences and paragraphs unique to the person you are emailing. Regardless of the level of personalisation used, we’ve found it to be a major factor in success for cold email as it leads to an increase in response rates (we’ve seen personalisation lead to up to a 10x increase in some campaigns!).
Here are the 6 main steps in our cold email outreach process:
1. Figure out your ideal customer profile
Before you can find people to reach out to, you will need to know what they look like by building a customer profile. This includes what kind of problems they have, where they look for solutions to their problems, the kind of companies they work for, and their job titles. Building a customer profile will allow you to better understand your prospect, enabling you to find the right people to reach out to & making it easier to craft the contents of your cold email.
2. Find a lead source
LinkedIn is a great source for B2B leads however, depending on your customer profile, it may not always be the best place to find the people you are looking for.
Instead, build a database of places (website, blogs, forums, …) where you might be able to find prospects and companies who meet the profile you created in step 1. You can test different sources to see which ones give you the most relevant results. As an example, if your customer profile is startup investors, you might look at AngelList’s people database, if you’re looking for designers you might find them on Dribble. Most industries have specific places online that people congregate. Once you find your lead sources, it will become a lot easier to build lists of people who sill care about what you have to say.
3. Build a list of prospects
Start pulling all those prospects into a Google or Excel spreadsheet. Here is a simple tool that will allow you to right click people on the web and search them on LinkedIn without needing to copy / paste.
If this is your first time you’re doing cold email outreach, you probably don’t want to be sending emails to more than 10-50 prospects a day. This will give you time to figure out what you are doing, what works best, and what doesn’t.
The spreadsheet fields that are generally most useful will be: first name, last name, email address, location, website, company name.
Here is an example of a spreadsheet template that we use at actionable.me to build our email lists (after filling this template you will be able to upload it directly into our platform and send out an automated cold email outreach campaign).
There are a lot of free google spreadsheet add-ons to help you clean up your data like this name splitter.
4. Do your research
Before sending out cold emails to your list, it is important to make sure that it contains people that will benefit from the product or solutions you are offering. Check each prospect’s Website, LinkedIn, Social Media accounts to make sure that they work in the right industry, are not a competitor, and meet your customer profile. If you’re doing this step for the first time, it may also help refine your customer profile as you discover markers that indicate what kind of prospects match your customer profile & ones that don’t.
As part of the research process, you can start building personalised content for each prospect that will be included in your outreach.
Here are a few examples of personalised blurbs that you can add as fields in your spreadsheet include:
- Personalised opening: start the email with a personal note showing the prospect that you have done your research on them. E.g. “I came across your profile on Dribble and was really impressed with the work you did for [Company]”
- P.S.: add a personalised P.S. at the end of each email to connect on a personal level. E.g. “P.S. – I checked out your band [Band Name], and love your sound!”
5. Write your email template
This is the most critical step in the cold email process. Now that you have found the right people, you need to reach out to them in a personal and human way. Think about the kind of emails that you would reply to. Your email should be concise and have a clear call to action. Adding personalisation fields in the email template will build rapport and trust – something that is difficult to do in cold email. At minimum you should include a personalised greeting, e.g. Hi [first_name],
Adding personalised openings or P.S. fields from Step 4 will be even more effective.
6. Send out your emails
The last step in the process is to send out emails to all the prospects on your list at scale. Using an email outreach tool will help you automate this process, remove the need to send each email out one by one and save you tons of time.
Conveniently, we have built a free to use automated email outreach tool at actionable.me!
After sending your out reach emails, don’t forget to follow up. People are often on holiday, travelling, distracted, busy and may forget to get back to you. Make sure you follow up!
Good luck and let us know if you have questions or recommendations.
We also partner with agencies that can do the entire cold outreach process (or parts of it) for you – check out leadhalo.com