• Erin Wilson

4 Tips to Help You When You Cold Email

Macbook keyboard with a rainbow light.
Are cold emails the most intimidating part of your business?

Are you staring at a blank email, completely lost on what to write?

Do you wish there was a simple, reliable format to send to your prospective clients?

I’m here to help!

Here are four tips to writing effective emails. They'll help you make sales and build relationships.

Number one: Use a Template.

There are as many templates out there as there are sales trainers and coaches. As an entrepreneur, looking for clients is the most important part of your day. Especially when you're looking to create predictability.

There are hundreds of people who have experimented, and learned best practices for sales emails. First best practice is: always use a template.

It's not copy and paste and then sending the same email to a million people. The template gives you a framework. Then you can introduce personalization and relevant messaging - without having to reinvent the wheel every time.

There are dozens of tools out there that create a template with dynamic tags (aka filling in your prospects first name). So you can save time and energy with certain standard information.

These templates also allow you to leave space for personalization with every email.

And yes, sometimes they get sent out without an edit.

I'll be the first to admit, I've sent out an email that still had [personalize here] in the template. After the initial mortification, I send out an apology for my oversight, and let them see the human on the other side of the internet.

You're only human, it will happen, and the best thing you can do is send another email acknowledging your humanity and your error.

This can actually resonate with people, and makes you seem more likable.

Number two: Research.

Quick question for you: do you enjoy reading cold emails that you can tell are part of a massive email campaign? Are they always relevant? Does this have you hitting the unsubscribe button immediately?

Next question: do you think that your prospective clients are like you? Becc Holland, a leader in the business development world, said her inspiration was realizing that she hated impersonal outreach. And realizing that her prospects were probably like her.

In the past, people looking to find sales opportunities could innovate when they chose to send an email instead of making a cold call. A generic, impersonal email could show up in a CEO's inbox and would stand out because no one else was doing it.

In the digital age, everyone is attached to their cell phones and gets instant notifications about emails. C-suite executives are bombarded with hundreds of cold emails every day. To break through, you have to catch their attention: be personal and relevant.

The way to personalize emails is by doing research on your potential clients. Depending on who your ideal client is, they might be active on LinkedIn. They might be on Facebook, or you might be able to find everything you need on their company website. There might even be earnings calls or board meeting minutes online where you can learn even more.

At the end of the day, generic emails aren't going to cut it anymore. It requires sending a huge volume of emails to be effective. I say work smarter, not harder.

Number three: Just write it.

If you have an idea for a cold email template, or something that would be personal to send to someone, just do it.

The longer you sit on it, the longer you look at it, the more likely you're going to over think. You'll critique, edit, and generally procrastinate sending out the email.

One of the biggest takeaways I hope you get out of this piece is that nothing will ever be perfect. Including your emails. You can spend hours crafting them, and the email can go straight to spam.

So when your instinct tells you to write, go with that. Use something like an interest or hobby or an experience that you have in common. If it calls out to you, go with that. Remember your prospective clients are human. They have likes and dislikes, enjoy comedy, and are entertained by different things, just like you.

Don't worry too much about what the gurus are saying. There are many people out there who will be excited to work with you.

The thing that's going to make them want to work with you the most is who you are.

So when your voice and your style come through in your cold emails, that's a great way to attract your ideal clients. Those people who will be ecstatic to work with you.

Number four: Don't get discouraged.

This can be the hardest thing to do. When you spend hours finding potential clients, researching them, finding their emails - and sending that message only to hear nothing back.

I know it's hard. I know it can feel like no one is listening. It can seem like an impossible task.

The best advice I have is find something that motivates you. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you every hour or two what you're working for. Remind yourself what is worth persevering for.

Entrepreneurship is a grind. Sales is a grind. Marketing as a business owner is a grind.

This isn't a “hustle porn” article, but intended to be motivational. Going in with eyes wide open means when you hit a block, when you reach a challenge, you have a response ready. You can have tools in your kit to combat any feelings of frustration, hopelessness, or despair.

For example, follow motivational accounts on your favorite social media platform. Find an understanding accountability partner. Someone who will not shy away from asking the tough questions. Someone who wants to know what was challenging for you. And what they can do to support you, and what you can do to support yourself.

It's crazy how hearing that positivity from someone else can boost your motivation and morale.

Bonus tip number 5: The fortune is in the follow-up.

One last idea to leave you with is that sending a single message, a single email, is challenging, intimidating, and brave. But it just won't be enough most of the time.

Statistically, sales and opportunities come from email numbers 2, 3, or 8 more frequently than from the first touch.

Keep your emails relevant, lead with prospective clients and their potential needs. Don't send them 50 emails in one day. Your perseverance and persistence will win you more clients than you can imagine.

So if you're sitting there with a personal, relevant email - and you know you can help this person (or at least open up a conversation)... if you're nervous about what they might think - just hit send.

Brick wall with send logo against it
Just hit send!

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