Did you know the average office employee receives 121 emails every day? And that only 30% receive the recipient’s immediate attention? Human Resource managers receive two or three times this amount every weekday. However, this doesn’t mean you should give up sending cold emails to prospective employers or clients.
In the corporate realm, human resource managers use a variety of techniques to filter out job applications. If the email’s subject line appears wordy, the human resource manager moves on to the next. Nowadays, companies have their own job application or product pitching email templates.
Are you wondering how to write captivating cold emails that will get you that dream job or expand your customer base? Here are 8 proven tips that will enable you to stand out, and receive your prospect’s undivided attention.
1. Use engaging email subject lines
An email subject line plays the same role as an appetizer. Its role is to stir enough curiosity to make the prospect want to open and read the engaging content inside the email. Imagine yourself walking into a bookstore and coming across a book with a plain front cover, written by an unknown author. Would you be interested in buying it? Of course not.
What is the advantage of using short email subject lines? It helps you capture the prospect's attention at a glance. In addition, short subject lines that contain simple vocabulary prevent misunderstanding. Engaging subject lines are personal, so you can overcome the unfamiliarity barrier. Personalization refers to addressing the recipient by name in the email’s subject line. For example
“Hi Dr. John, Mary Sutton from Harvard recommended we talk.”
When you’re creating email subject lines for cold emails, avoid using all caps and exclamation marks to emphasize the urgency of your email.
2. Send your emails early in the morning
Now you know a typical employee receives over 100 emails every weekday, how do you make sure your cold email stands out favorably? By learning about your prospect’s email reading habits. Simple observation and email analytics indicate that virtually all office employees spend approximately two hours each morning reading and responding to emails.
Remember, most office employees pay attention to 30% of new emails in their inbox. Sending cold emails just a couple of hours before the beginning of a new business day makes sure your email lands in the first page of your prospect’s inbox. If you send it quite early, the prospect can read and reply to your email while taking breakfast, or driving to the office.
You can schedule emails for the following morning using automated email software such as MailChimp.
3. Send brief emails
You’ll achieve improved success with your cold emails by sending short and simple messages. Doing this enables prospects to easily understand your point. This reduces the time it takes to receive replies. Another advantage of sending short emails is they easily fit into an office employee’s daily routine. How? Nowadays people love reading emails on their smartphones or tablets while on-the-move. A short message easily fits into compact screens, and makes reading convenient while on tea breaks or traveling.
Here’s a simple format to help you write brief cold emails.
Introduce yourself in the opening sentence of the email.
State the reason you’re getting in touch
Ask for a response
Conclude in a formal tone
By adhering to this format, your prospects will read and understand your message in less than three minutes.
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4. Communicate your requests clearly
One reason why cold email job applications fail to bear fruit is because of beating around the bush. Some people give call-to-action statements without prescribing a suitable time frame for a response. For example, “I would like to book an appointment in the near future.” In this scenario, the prospect has no definite idea of what the sender means by "near future". The correct way of expressing the call-to-action statement is:
“I would like to book an appointment around 17th-21st of July 2017. If this is okay with you, kindly communicate a suitable date.”
Stating exactly what you want doesn’t make you appear aggressive. In fact, it helps the prospect to understand exactly what you need from them. Below is an example of an ambiguous request.
“I’m looking for an opportunity to become a part of your successful software development company.”
The word “opportunity” does not shed any light on the specific needs of the job seeker. The human resource officer would be in a better position to assist the job seeker if the message appeared in the following way:
“I’m looking for a part-time computer programming job in your software development company.”
5. Proofread your email
It’s easy to dismiss a product or service when you see typos in the advertisement. These small mistakes makes it seem like the company behind the brand is negligent. Human resource managers pass negative judgments when they come across grammatical errors in job applications.
No matter how many years of experience you possess in sending emails, it’s always advisable to proofread your messages before submission. Assuming, instead of using a dictionary to figure out correct spellings, can cost you a job interview or put off prospective clients.
After typing a job application or sales copy, take a one-hour break from the computer. After the break, print your email and read it aloud. This lets you spot incorrect spacing and grammar errors you wouldn’t have noticed through silent reading. You can also use online grammar editors to check the wrong usage of phrases, tenses and fill in missing punctuation marks.
6. Point out a common identity
Did you know that an average person receives 5-10 spam emails every week? If your prospects can’t see any difference between you and them, they’ll assume you’re just another spammer. Successful cold emailing follows a series of small victories. The first battle you ought to win is proving you’re not just another stranger.
Thanks to LinkedIn and Facebook, you can easily identify your prospect’s friends, what content they like posting, and the schools they attended. If you find a shared interest, a mutual friend or common academic background, use it in the email subject header. Here is an example.
“How do you know Fred Gavin from Barclays Bank? We live in the same city”
The above example is suitable when reaching out to a prospect you share a mutual friend with.
7. Avoid desperation
All human beings have an innate desire to pursue their own interests. This innate flaw causes people to assume their prospects with cold emails are going to be great. But just because you urgently need a job, it doesn’t mean the human resource manager will treat your situation as an emergency.
Most spam messages contain the word ‘urgent’ in their email subject lines. No matter how badly you need employment or business, avoid using the word “urgent” in your cold pitches. If you need to meet your prospect, use words such as ‘request’ or ‘suggest’.
Here’s an example.
“I’m requesting a 20-minute meeting on Wednesday morning at 10 am.”
8. Customize your email according to your prospect’s unique needs
Prospects only respond to call-to-action statements if the outcome is a win-win situation for them. Your cold email should clearly show that you have an in-depth understanding of the business or organization.
Summing it up
Cold emailing is an art that gets better with practice. Always use simple words to prevent message distortion and delayed responses. Last but not least, create captivating subject lines to boost your cold emails opening and response rates during email marketing campaigns.
Do you have specific questions you’d like to ask? Let us know by posting them in the comments section.