Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
My emails have generated over $6M in revenue for my clients.
Writing a cold email can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. However, when done correctly, cold emailing can be an effective way to generate new leads and build relationships with potential clients, partners, investors, donors and more.
In this article, I’ll outline for you the exact process my agency, Yellow Tree Marketing, uses to book sales meetings or appointments with highly qualified prospects without spending money on ads or relying on referrals.
Related: 6-Step Plan to Convert Leads Into Sales
1. Well-researched niche
Picking the niche you want to target is the beginning of the journey. The riches are in the niches, so the smaller your TAM (Total Addressable Market), the more competitive it is to get the folks in that market to pay attention to you.
Our rule of thumb is if your TAM is below 5,000 (e.g., 5K restaurant owners in Michigan), your emails will require far more hyper-personalization and smaller send out volume than those for a 30,000 TAM. You don’t want to burn through your market in 3 days! Some examples of highly engaging markets are apparel and fashion, cosmetics and consumer goods.
Related: The Step-By-Step Guide to Finding Your Niche and Target Market
2. No-brainer offer
This is the most important part! Your offer has to be so good that people feel stupid saying no. In $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi, Alex says, “Having a Grand Slam offer makes it almost impossible to lose.”
Examples of what is not an offer:
- Facebook Ads
- Wealth Management
Examples of a no-brainer offer:
- 4X Return on ad spend in 29 days without you having to do creatives, or we’ll refund our service fee + ad spend
- 15 booked calls with your ideal qualified customers in 30 days without you having to do anything or money back guaranteed.
Related: 3 Cold Email Strategies With High Response Rates
3. Case study
Case studies are highly sought after when prospecting. Your case study should be concise and not longer than a one-pager.
If you don’t have a case study, the easiest way to create one is to go to Facebook Groups, pick a niche (e.g., electricians in London) and make a post about offering your service free of charge for a fixed amount of time because you’re trying to diversify your case study portfolio. You’ll get tons of replies.
Case studies can also be simple one-liners like “We got our client Green Banana 6 press releases in 30 days.”
4. Simple funnel
Every niche requires its own personalized landing page that further explains your no-brainer offer. The landing page should have an explainer video and enough social proof that your prospect has no choice but to say yes.
Items that your landing page should have: hook, intro, case study, old way > new way, and CTA (Call To Action).
Your call to action has to be very concise. I don’t like using CTAs with action verbs that require prospects to do more work, e.g., fill out a form. Your CTA action verbs should always make your prospects do less work, e.g., claim offer.
5. Tech setup
Your outbound email prospecting system should be fully automated.
You should never send mass cold emails from your primary domain; ours is yellowtree.co. If your main domain gets blacklisted, you will have significant problems. Instead, you should purchase multiple domains with suffixes like pro, hq, go, etc. One of our alternative domains is yellowtreelabs.co.
You must take the time to set up the DNS (Domain Name Servers) settings correctly, which include SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) for each of the purchased domains. You can do this by contacting your email provider.
Every new domain purchased requires a minimum of a 21-day warmup period, where each mailbox is warmed up by sending/receiving emails. On day 22, you can send out a maximum of 50 emails per mailbox per day with 5-minute intervals between each send-out.
6. Compelling text
The subject line of the email contributes to 60% of the open rate. When writing subject lines, you should avoid being salesy or generic, e.g., “Hey Derek, want more leads?” Instead, you should be writing like you know the prospect personally, e.g., “Derek, congrats on the new funding round!”
The 1st line of the email contributes to 40% of the open rate. You absolutely should not be selling something here. Instead, write like you know the person, “Derek, I was just browsing your LinkedIn profile and saw that you recently got a promotion at Green Banana.”
Next, include a one-line description of a case study with a client you recently worked with within the same industry, e.g., “Recently we helped a SAAS company Green Banana write back-end email flows that improved their retention by 19% in 4 months, and we’d love to help you do the same.”
Last, never ask for a meeting in the first email! That would turn them off because their commitment level is very low. You should have a soft CTA like “Interested?” or “Worth a quick chat?”
Related: How to Create a Compelling Call to Action
An actual example of a quality cold email
“Hey Peter, loved your talk on the My First Billion podcast! Fellow Lakers fan here, haha.
I wanted to ask about Green Banana — are you using in-app guides to improve product adoption?
I’m asking because our tool at Yellow Tree recently helped a similar CRM software company increase product adoption, which decreased their annual churn by 4%.
Interested in learning more?
PS – you trying our solution could be equivalent to the Lakers trading away Russel Westbrook this season.”