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A No-Nonsense Guide to Cold Email Copywriting

Updated: May 8, 2023



Cold email copywriting can be a highly effective way for businesses and individuals starting their new ventures, without needing too many extra bells and whistles. By using the right combination of words and email marketing best practices in your campaigns, a little copywriting goes a long way in reaching potential customers.


The thing is, cold email copywriting can be challenging; it requires a mix of knowing how to write copy and how to implement that copy in email marketing campaigns. This comes along with understanding the needs of your the clients within your niche, so that your words stick out to them.


Though there are a lot of working parts that go into the process of creating effective cold email campaigns, cold email copywriting is at the forefront of it. After all, if you can't write to your audience and capture their attention right from the subject line and/or the first few sentences, the other components of your email won't end up having their intended impact.

What is Cold Email Copywriting?

Cold email copywriting is the well-thought out copywriting that goes behind writing a cold email.


As a refresher:


A cold email is when you target potential customers or clients you want to work with who you haven't worked with in the past, but would really like to.


And...


Copywriting is any type of writing that's used with the intent of getting the client (or, in this case, potential client) to perform an action.


In some cases, though, cold emailing can also be used to reach out to clients that you haven't worked with in many years, or customers who haven't been back in a long time. Maybe you have their information still on file, but they may not even remember who you are.


Cold emailing has a lot of benefits if done right:


  • Expand your lead pool: Cold emailing gives you the opportunity to reach more people, faster, especially if you utilize email marketing automation and cold email copywriting tactics. You never know who you might bring in!


  • Attract an audience in a different niche: Thinking of attracting a new audience base? In expanding your lead pool, you can also use cold emailing as an attempt to capture leads in another niche and see how it goes.


  • Get a better ROI: Cold emailing is one of the most affordable marketing strategies with the biggest ROI. Even in our fast-paced world where more and more apps are taking over, email still is one of the most popular digital marketing channels, with over 80% of industry experts reporting that that use email as part of their marketing strategies, according to Statista.


  • Learn from your efforts: Cold emailing campaigns can be easily tracked and measured, allowing businesses to see what is working and what is not, and make adjustments as needed.


  • Make changes easily: Cold emailing templates can be made beforehand to make automation easier, but you can also make edits/changes as you see fit — or, as the data you end up collecting on your campaigns reveals the areas where you can make improvements. Again, these changes may have to do with other features of your email, like image placement, personalization, etc., but a lot of it has to do with copywriting. Sometimes, a little tweak of a sentence here or subject line there, can go a long way.

But, isn't cold email copywriting like telemarketers reading a script?


Maybe. But, so what? Some businesses might argue that even with implementing best cold email copywriting practices, that this particular marketing strategy also boils down to luck — i.e., catching the potential lead at the right time and place.


After all, for some people, the concept of "cold-calling," "cold pitching," or "cold emailing" can carry a lot of...cringe, because it's generally unsolicited. But, you're not getting these emails out of thin air — you found these people because even if they have not engaged with you directly, a lot about their persona says they may like to get to know your business. And, that's without using targeted ads, paying for email lists, etc. It can all be from good research and/or word-of-mouth.





Which Businesses is Cold Emailing Right for?


Ultimately, the goal of this type of marketing is to generate leads. But, if the cold email copywriting is done successfully, it can go much further: to promote a new product, offer a discount or special deal, apply for a grant, or seeking a business partnership. Those who are good at it may even be able to accomplish a conversion at the same time.


In this case, cold email copywriting can be a strategy used by most businesses, but it may be more effective in some more so than others:

  • Real estate

  • eCommerce

  • B2B/B2C

  • Retail

  • Law

  • Education

  • Travel/Tourism


Tips on Cold Email Copywriting


  • Define your target audience: The first step in creating an effective cold email campaign is to define your target audience. This involves researching your ideal customer and segmenting your audience based on factors such as location, job title, and interests.


  • Do your research: Perhaps you already know who you want to reach out to, but why? What made you want to work with this client specifically? Do as much research as you can so that you can demonstrate you care about connecting with this person.


  • Create a compelling subject line: The subject line is the first thing the recipient will see, and it can be the deciding factor on whether or not they open the email. A strong, compelling subject line will grab the recipient's attention and increase the chances of a response.


  • Personalize the email: By including the recipient's name, addressing their specific needs and interests, and using a conversational tone, businesses can make the email more engaging and increase the chances of a response. You may also want to mention how you came across this person's information and again, why you wanted to connect with them.


  • Make a strong opening: The opening of the email should be attention-grabbing and clearly convey the purpose of the email. This could be a question, a benefit-driven statement, or a unique value proposition. Here are some great examples of strong cold email openings.


  • Include a clear call to action: The call to action should be clear and specific, and it should be placed in a prominent location within the email. This could be a request for the recipient to visit the business's website, schedule a consultation, or sign up for a newsletter.



Cold Email Copywriting Dos and Dont's:


There are many different ways to structure your emails when you do cold outreach, but when it comes to the copywriting itself, there are some best practices you'll want to follow and others you'll want to avoid:


Dos:

  • Check out what other companies are doing: Need some advice on how to get started writing? Browse through your promotions folder to see which cold email copywriting strategies companies are employing. Take note of what you like/don't like.


  • Keep it short and to the point: Cold emails should be concise and focused on a single goal. Avoid using overly long or complicated sentences and stick to the main points.


  • Follow up strategically: If the recipient does not respond to the initial cold email, it is important to follow up in a strategic manner. A well-timed follow-up email can be a gentle reminder and increase the chances of a response. However, it is important to avoid bombarding the recipient with too many emails or coming across as aggressive.


  • Collect Data: Understanding how to collect data — and, understand that data - in how your cold emails are performing is important, in case you need to improve your copywriting tactics down the line.


Don'ts:

  • Forget to send a test email: Email marketing and CMS platforms make it easy to build out email templates and workflows, where you can choose your email list and send out targeted campaigns to potential leads with a cold email. But, before you hit send, be sure to send yourself a test email — and, maybe have a proofreader — to have a second pair of eyes that may catch mistakes.


  • Be too sale-sy: Of course, the point of cold email copywriting is to generate leads, but this can be done somewhat organically if you watch your wording. There's a difference between being persuasive and being pushy, according to Crunchbase.


  • Neglect your grammar and spelling: For the love of all things holy, don't expect your cold email to have much of an impact if you didn't proofread! Sure, typos happen, but that's what test emails are for. Otherwise, your email should sound professional — sure, it should represent your brand, but in today's world, nothing shows you don't put enough time into things like having too many grammatical errors in your email.




What to Understand About Cold Email Copywriting

Before you throw yourself or your team into cold email marketing, decide to outsource, or set the business up for unrealistic expectations, it's important to take into consideration a few things. Email marketing in general — and, copywriting for emails — presents challenges, many of which can be out of your control:

  • Low response rate: The response rate to cold emails can be low, as many people receive a large number of emails and may not have time to respond to unsolicited messages.


  • Competition: For every business that attempts email marketing, there are ten more in the same niche that may be trying the same thing. In the world of cold emailing, and it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd, even if your copywriting skills are on point.


  • Spam filters: Cold emails can be filtered as spam by email providers, making it difficult for the recipient to see the message. There are ways your email marketing platform can help you stay out of the spam folder, but it's not always a guarantee.

Is it Time to Start Email Copywriting?

Cold email copywriting has its challenges, but when it's done right, this marketing strategy and all the factors involved in making a strong, cold email — can help businesses bring in more leads. And, once you have the templates built, the messaging nailed down, and the copywriting completed, all it takes is a few clicks of a button to continue bringing in leads without continuous work/effort.


But — you need to get there, first.


The truth is, there are a plethora of tips out there to help you execute cold email copywriting in-house; we hope we helped provide some of those here. However, the reality is, it's sometimes worth it to save time and energy by allocating those resources elsewhere.


Need help with this? I offer these services — and, more — to help you offload your copywriting needs while you focus on other tasks that your business needs you for.

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