How Not To Freeze Your Business Development Emails
I’m not a big fan of cold calls, cold emails, or cold anything (a key reason I live in Mexico.)
However, in the land of lead generation, there are times when a cold “Hi There” email might simply be the only option. Or, better yet, a smart element of a master plan.
A cold email, a smart cold email, can, if done well, create awareness of your advertising, design or PR agency and, more importantly, begin to seed the idea that you are an insightful marketer that is worth paying attention to. In the best of all possible worlds, the smart “intro” email becomes a much warmer email because it delivers a relevant and hopefully “must read” business insight. If part of a strategic sales plan, the email will become just one element in a longer, more consistent, business development campaign.
Who Gets The “Warm” Email?
I’ll discuss email techniques in a bit. But first, who are you targeting? If your plan is to reach the right people, then you need to figure out who the right people are. Yup a duh. But, you’d be surprised, and competitively delighted, to know that many agencies don’t really know who (is it whom?) they want to reach.
Get your lists right first
Direct to prospect Email is an outbound tool. I recommend using it to reach two target buckets. These groups come from understanding your agency’s brand positioning, its sales proposition, what potential clients will truly be interested in your message and your ability to stand out and be Unignorable.
The Big List
I’m thinking about targeting your agency’s master lead gen list. The longer one. This might sound insane, but my agency had a 1,000-decision maker mailing list. This was our ‘reminder’ list. Our objective was to create awareness of our chops just in case the client needed us that day or month. Note: our strategic list rarely had unsubs since we were slavish to delivering value. This large list is hard to personalize (beyond customizing the right fields). But, you can segment it so you don’t send useless emails that will make you look and sound lame. The key, as usual, is to deliver relevant marketing insights.
The Small List
In this case, I’m referring to a hot list of say 25 to 50 client candidates. These folks, who should without question be your client (example: you are a baby boomer specialist agency and your client target group sell laxatives – LOL). For this must-get group, you’ll need a much more direct, human and, again, highly relevant, super-sharp insight-driven program.
Your List Building
Buy a list. Yes, just drop the coin on this one.
Build a hand-built list using a low-cost intern.
Use email finder tools like Hunter.io, Skrapp, and Anymail. There are more. Just ask Google.
Get the event list from that industry event you just attended.
OK, The Cold Email
This is a well covered subject area, so I suggest that you take a couple of hours and do a Google search to better understand best practices. However, here are some thought starters and a bit of guidance.
- Understand that your target market is inundated with emails. Many marketing people get over 100 a day. You have to break through. Within milliseconds. Subject Line is KEY!
- Testing a range of email options to get to the most opens is critical. Examples: test subject lines; who From; copy length; graphics; timing (as in the day of the week and time of day); the timing of follow-up emails; your call to action and even the ‘hooks’ you use like what micro cases or research you use to get people’s attention.
For your very personalized emails (the ones sent to your hot list) do the following.
- Spend the time researching the person. Get into their head.
- Understand their key pain points and figure out how to address them. No, not every pain point, but one or two key ones.
- Make the subject line personal. Let’s say you are that baby boomer specialist and you want to target Schwab’s marketing director. Use a line like this: “New Research For Schwab: Baby Boomer to Millennial Inheritance”.
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