So you know the basics of cold emailing, such as the importance of choosing the appropriate email prospecting tool and why you must nail your subject line. If you’d like a primer on the basics, check this post: How to Craft the Perfect Cold Sales Emails for SaaS.
You’ve dipped your toes into the water but now it’s time to dive into the deep end. In this post, we’ll discuss how to optimize your cold email strategy to increase leads for your SaaS. Let’s go!
But Why Use Email for Lead Generation?
When you think about SaaS lead generation, email isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. There’s a good reason for this. Email isn’t the most popular lead generation strategy. That’s reserved for pay-per-click (PPC), SEO, and content marketing.
But, when you’re first starting out, you likely have more enthusiasm than budget. And you definitely have more passion than patience. So, understandably, you want to start generating leads now, not six months down the road.
This is why you need to implement a cold email strategy. It gets results fast.
PPC, SEO, and content marketing are all crucial for marketing your business, generating leads, and converting leads into customers, but they don’t produce overnight results. In the meantime, while you’re waiting for those strategies to pay off, you can be cold emailing your prospective SaaS customers.
Research Before Reaching Out
Researching your prospects ahead of time is the key to cold emailing success.
In fact, if you don’t feel like a stalker, you’re not doing it right. But when you stalk your prey, er, prospect, do it in an obvious way. Use LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a great resource for identifying key decision-makers, but it also gives you an advantage when cold emailing. When you use LinkedIn to research your prospects, they’ll see a notification that you’ve checked out their profile. And, if they’re curious about you and have the time, they may even look you up on LinkedIn, too.
But even if your prospect only sees your name and doesn’t look any further, it’s still a win. This awareness will “warm” up your cold email. Your prospect will already have a vague familiarity with you once you actually send your cold email, so they’ll be less likely to auto-delete it.
Also, here’s your friendly reminder to optimize your LinkedIn profile. Your profile should position you as a legitimate expert in your industry.
Set Up a Unique Email Domain and Mailbox
To take your cold emailing game to the next level, don’t use your main business email. Instead, pick a domain that’s similar and set that up exclusively for your cold outreach. This way, you can separate cold email responses from general business queries. But, more importantly, it can improve future deliverability from your main business email domain.
With cold outreach, you can expect to send a lot more emails than you receive. That’s normal. But, it can negatively impact other emails that you send from that same email address. If an email service, like Google or Apple, notices that emails from your address/ domain have low response rates, they’ll likely ding your reputation. This means, in the future, when you send email newsletters, they could end up immediately routed to spam without getting seen by your subscribers.
This is why you need a separate email for cold outreach. But keep the domain similar to your main business domain. For example, if your domain is Nike.com, send cold emails from you@getNike.com. It’s a small switch-up that the prospect may not even notice but could definitely save your domain’s reputation.
Personalize Email Templates
You could send out the same ‘ole generic email to everyone on your prospecting list, but that’s not very effective.
Prospects can smell a template a mile away. While they may open up your email, they won’t be compelled to act once they realize it’s just a copied and pasted message that’s sent out to everyone. People want to feel special.
But, who has time to craft an email from scratch for every cold email?
Fortunately, you can follow a template, just remember to personalize it with all of the information you learned from stalking the prospect on LinkedIn, their website, and whatever else Google uncovered. Your template should be a bare-bones skeleton, but add meat by researching your prospects before reaching out.
Yes, cold prospecting is a numbers game, but don’t go crazy and send dozens of emails from your new email address every day. This move will cause email services to flag your message as spam so that it doesn’t reach your intended audience.
Instead, start with a modest number of 10 emails a day. This reasonable quantity of emails will also keep your workload manageable (remember that you need to personalize each email).
Maximize the Preview Text
After the subject line, most email services show a preview text that’s usually the first line of the email. Before opening your email, your prospects will use the preview text to determine whether or not to open your email. A preview text may contain between 55 to 140 characters (depending on the email service). The key is to use your preview text as an additional hook to your subject line.
The most effective preview texts either ask a question or describe a pain point. Use this preview text as your opportunity to pique the prospect’s curiosity and get them to click.
When you reach out to a prospect, you should know enough about them to personalize your email. Explain why you targeted them specifically. Do you know, or have reason to believe, that they’d benefit from your product? If so, how do you know that? Include this information in your initial cold email.
Also, don’t shy away from celebrating your prospect’s accomplishments. People like reading positive things about them. If you can highlight a triumph before bringing attention to a problem, you may be able to win their attention.
Use Plain Text
HTML emails can be beautiful and engaging, but now’s not the time to use them. With a cold email, you want a homespun and personal presentation. You don’t want your message to look overly commercial or generic, which is possible when using a slick and professional email template.
Write For Scanners
No matter how long or short it is, people will scan your email. This means that “long paragraph” emails are not effective. Instead, the top-performing cold emails feature short and snappy paragraphs that may only contain two to three sentences.
Don’t weigh down your email with too many “big” words. The lower your grade level, the easier it will be to scan.
Also, write your emails in a conversational way so that the reader feels relaxed when reading your cold email. The last thing you want is to sound like you’re begging them. Instead, you want to adopt a more cooperative/ partnership vibe.
Keep It Short
People have short attention spans. That’s why they scan. They won’t sit through a lengthy email that could double as a blog post. If they come to a block of text, you’ll lose their attention right away.
Instead, keep your cold outreach emails short. Super short. Shorter than what you’re thinking. Somewhere in the ballpark of 100 words or less.
It may seem impossible to sell your product, but that’s not the point of your cold email. Your cold email’s goal is to get your foot in the door. Once you build a relationship, you can increase the length of your emails.
There’s one compelling reason why you should include cold emailing in your prospecting strategy: Cold emailing works. It’s an effective first step in building awareness for your business and establishing a relationship with prospects. Use the above tips to create a cold emailing strategy that gets results.
Before you go, check out these related posts:
- How to Grow Your Email List With Lead Magnets
- How to Effectively Use Content Marketing to Grow Your SaaS
- 8 Ways to Improve Your Landing Pages