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Keeping your sales pipeline full with leads is hard work.

It never ends and you can’t get lazy.

When I think of personality traits that lead to success in sales, a few come to mind like:

  • Courage – asking a difficult question or saying ‘no’ by qualifying someone out.
  • Curiosity – experimenting with a new tactic or taking a real interest in your prospect.
  • Creativity – operating outside of the box or putting out a fire.
  • Empathy – the ability to see the world through the lens of your prospect.
  • Flexibility – re-scheduling last minute or calmly handling a double booking
  • Resilience (aka – thick skin) – negative responses won’t affect your mood or mission.

You can get blindsided.  For every person you convert to a warm lead or new client via cold email, there are going to be folks who say no.  Some do it with tact, others…not so much.

Whether you are just getting started or already scale up your cold emailing, your prospect’s responses will fall into one of a dozen different categories.

Here are the 12 types of replies you’ll get and how to manage them, good or bad.

Interested, ‘Let’s Talk’
"Sounds interesting.  Timing is perfect.  We were just talking about this!"

What you want to do: Fist pump then reply back to their email suggesting a time to speak or sending a calendar link to schedule.

What you should do instead – Pick up the phone and call the prospect back using the phone number in their signature (leave a voice mail if they don’t pick up).

If they answer the phone, your call should go something like this:

You: Hi Corrie.  I saw you replied to my email and thought it made more sense to give you a quick call than send another email.

Them: Some variation of 'Ok'

You: Is this a good time for us to speak or should we look to later this week or next?

Them: Some variation or 'Now' or 'Later'

You: If they said 'Now' start with your qualification questions.  If they said 'Later', say 'Great!  To make sure we don't waste any time when we speak...' then start with your qualification questions.  Then, get the meeting booked.

Don’t make the mistake of blindly booking the call.  Try to extract whatever information you can.  If your prospect is busy or tells you something like ‘I’m looking at my schedule, how’s Tuesday’ just go ahead and book the meeting then ask if there is anyone else from their team that should be invited.

If your prospect didn’t answer and you left a voicemail, follow this with an email right away referencing your call and suggesting a time to speak or sending a calendar link to schedule.

Hi Corrie, 

Thanks for the quick reply back.  I just called and left you a voice mail with my 
contact information so we can get a quick call booked for next week.

How do mornings work (EST)?  Skip a step and use my scheduling link or send yours.
Looking forward to speaking with you.

Cheers, Ryan

 

because…. they are replying back from their smart phone or they are sitting at their desk.  The average person gets over 100+ emails per day and you don’t want to run the risk of them missing your email or their perception that your response just created another task that the prospect will ‘get to later’.

Interested, not a good time
"Thanks for thinking of me.  We don't have time to focus on anything like this.  
Check back next year."

What you want to do: Reply back and tell them that ‘this is a good time’ or ask a weak question like ‘when is a better time’.

What you should do instead – If they suggested the best person to speak with, find that contact’s email address, change the subject line of the email to ‘referral from Bob Smith’ (or ‘Bob Smith suggested we speak’) then send an email to the person referred with the referrer notified they’ve been moved to bcc (Thanks for the intro, Susan (bcc)).

Hi Corrie, 

Thanks for the quick reply back.

I realize that timing isn't always going to be perfect especially when I reach out to someone new.   

I'll set a reminder to follow-up with you in December in preparation for next year. 

In the meantime, if sales performance becomes more of a priority, please reach out to me directly.

Cheers, Ryan

ps - if there's someone more junior on your team, who may have more time than you  to test out Replyify, please ask them to drop me an email.

 

because…. an internal referral (someone recommending a colleague) is one of the most powerful source of referral that exists.  There is a lot of pressure within a company amongst employees and this is the type of interaction that doesn’t get ignored.  You may not get an immediate reply and you may need to follow-up several times, but you will always get a reply with enough pressure.

If you follow up 3 times with the referral and still don’t have a response, add your first contact back to the email thread and say something like: ‘Hi Bob, I sent a few emails to Corrie (cc’d) and haven’t heard back.  There’s a chance my emails aren’t even getting to her inbox.  Would you mind sending her a note to ask her to check her spam folder?’  Chances of a reply to this is 75%+.

Interested, not the right person
"Thanks, but I'm not the best person to make a decision about this."

What you want to do: Mark the contact as ‘dead’ and move on to the next one.

What you should do instead:  Reply back and ask them who the right person is.

If they didn’t suggested the best person to speak with, head over to LinkedIn.  Search for a likely alternative contact at your prospect’s company and suggest this person in the response back to the Find that contact’s email address, change the subject line of the email to ‘referral from Bob Smith’ (or ‘Bob Smith suggested we speak’) then send an email to the person referred with the referrer notified they’ve been moved to bcc (Thanks for the intro, Susan (bcc)).

Corrie, thanks for the quick reply.

Would you mind making a quick intro to the appropriate person?  
(Based on my research, it could be Bob Smith)

I'll follow up with them directly unless you want to stay in the loop. 

Cheers, Ryan

because…. even though this isn’t as strong as an internal referral, it’s still considered an internal recommendation and the likelihood of a response is high.

Interested, no budget
Thanks, but we can't afford anything like this right now.  Not in budget 2018.

What you want to do: Reply back and tell them that ‘this is a good time’ or ask a weak question like ‘when is a better time’.

What you should do instead: If they suggested the best person to speak with, find that contact’s email address, change the subject line of the email to ‘referral from Bob Smith’ (or ‘Bob Smith suggested we speak’) then send an email to the person referred with the referrer notified they’ve been moved to bcc (Thanks for the intro, Susan (bcc)).

Corrie, thanks for the quick reply.

This is exactly why we have an upgraded free trial and a 'free forever' plan.  

Our bet is that you generate a more profitable pipeline and we grow together?

We can schedule a quick call (here's my link) or start a trial?

Ball's in your court. -Ryan

 

because…. getting a reply that a potential client doesn’t have budget is either a signal that they really don’t have money (which doesn’t bode well for business) or they are reluctant to pay for things that could help them succeed (and you’ll be fighting an uphill battle).  So, call them out.  Put the ball in their court.

Working with a competitor
We're already working with XYZ to do this for us. (or) 
We already have a solution for this.

What you want to do: Reply back and tell them all the ways that you are better than the competitor they mentioned.

What you should do instead: Demonstrate that this isn’t your first rodeo.  I like to ask something like, ‘How’s XYZ been to work with?  Are you married to them?’  This response tends to elicit a reply that can tell you what they like/dislike and how much time may be left in their contract.

If the prospect gives you a date range for the contract expiration, confirm with them that you’ll follow up 30-60 days before their renewal so they can compare your product (with a free trial) to their existing vendor.  If they didn’t tell you who the other vendor was, ask them (then ask them what they like/dislike)!

Corrie, thanks for the quick reply.

I expected someone with your skillset to have another option in place as opposed to manually trying to send your cold emails.

Who is it and are you married to them?  

Ryan
ps - goal is to deliver the best product with the best value and I won't waste your time.  will you give me a chance to compete for your business?

 

because…. the door is not closed.  Your prospect has not explicitly said ‘no’ and you need to acknowledge this, then set a reminder..  This is a temporary calm in the storm.  When the time comes to follow up, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back immediately.  Your best chances at getting a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ will come after you follow-up your emails with a phone call or two.  They’ve given you permission to continue the conversation so don’t stop until you hear an explicit ‘no’.

Not Interested, offer not relevant
"We don't have a need for your cold email automation platform"

What you want to do: You want to say ‘ok’ thanks for letting me know and mark the contact as unsubscribed in Replyify.  Don’t fight fire with fire here. I’ve even been told before that they would report me to the police.  I tend to believe that the police have better things to do.  Just imagine having this person as a client.  No thank you!

What you should do instead: Take this as an opportunity to learn and grow.  Acknowledge the courteous reply and ask them a low commitment question.  Follow-up that question with a display that you’re serious about working with them but respectful of their request.

Hi Corrie, 

Thanks for the quick reply.

What is the team doing as an alternative to cold email for prospecting?  
(hopefully they aren't waiting for the phone to ring or sending emails 1x1).

If it's a timing thing, can I follow up with you 2 months from now? 

Cheers, Ryan

because….if you act desperate, you run the risk of turning a courteous ‘no’ into a cold email spam complaint or you will run the risk of losing any chance you have in the future of working with this prospect.

The ghost
Bueller?  This person is opening and/or clicking your emails but won't reply.

What you want to do: After your cold email campaign ends, it’s easy to continue emailing them with the same message over and over hoping for them to respond.

What you should do instead: Let your email campaign run its course.  If you’re noticing activity like opens or clicks for a prospect…. call them!.  If they answer, let them know you use Replyify which updates you in real time when a prospect may be interested in your message based on their interaction with the send email.  Follow-up your phone call with an email and/or a connection request.

Corrie,

I noticed you checked out our site from an email I sent.  

Anything I can better explain about how to scale your prospecting process using the right sales automation?  

Ryan
ps - I'm using an awesome email delivery service called Replyify that updates when it may be a good time to call and I just left you a voicemail. 

because…. if your prospect is opening or clicking your email, they have an interest in what you have to offer.  It may not be a good fit, but you’ve piqued their curiosity.  Since they haven’t replied yet, what makes you think they will reply in the future?  Let your campaign sequence continue to run its course, but don’t be afraid to tell them that you’re on top of your game and using the best tech to do your account development with cold emails.

Opt-Out
Thank you for the email, but please remove me from your list.

What you want to do: Process the unsubscribe or opt out from the cold email campaign sequence and move on.

What you should do instead: Be sure to stay CAN-SPAM compliant and honor the opt-out.  Depending on the tone of the prospect’s response, you may want to use this as a last opportunity to communicate with them on the off chance the unsubscribe may have been influenced by factors out of your control.  (ie – they’re on vacation or just having a bad day).

Corrie,

Thanks for the quick reply. 

I'm confirming that this is the last email you'll receive from us.  

Maybe you already have a solution in place or just don't like emails like this.  

Either way, best in the future.  

Ryan
ps - is there something I could have improved with my communication approach?

because…. someone who has opted out has made it clear that they don’t want to work with you.  I like to make one last attempt at continuing the conversation or building a relationship for the future.  You can gauge a lot from a person based on how they respond to this email.  A ‘no reply’ is most common, but the folks who do engage are likely not completely dead.

Polite ‘No’
No, thank you.

What you want to do: You want to take the easy way out and give up on this person.  Chances are low that you will convert them, but there’s still a chance.

What you should do instead: Take this as an opportunity to learn and grow.  Acknowledge the courteous reply and ask them a low commitment question.

Follow-up that question with a display that you’re serious about working with them but respectful of their request.  ‘You didn’t get to where you are in your career by chance.  At some point, someone gave you a chance and you took the ball and ran with it.’

Corrie,

Thanks for the quick reply and I'll make sure we don't send you a follow-up. 

Is there something I could have improved with my communicating of how we help 
companies, just like yours, build a more efficient sales pipeline?

Ryan

because…. they said no and there is a low likelihood of getting this deal done but there is still value to be extracted from the conversation.  You have the chance to learn how you could improve cold email messaging to get more replies in the future.

THE Anti-Cold Email Reply
I don't respond to cold email blasts.

What you want to do: You want to say something snarky like, ‘but you just did’ and then delete the message.

What you should do instead: Here’s a trick I learned from Sean Campbell who runs a must listen podcast called B2B Revealed.  Go to the company’s LinkedIn page and search for folks who work in ‘sales’.  If they have anyone with the title Sales Development (SDR), Business Development (BDR), Sales Operations Specialist, Sales Associate (etc) chances are high that these folks are doing the exact same thing that you are to start conversations with sales prospects.

Make sure you acknowledge their preference to not be contacted but call them out on their sales team engaging in similar practices.  Don’t hold your breath for the response but you may be surprised at the reaction you generate and meeting that you get booked.

Corrie,

I understand where you're coming from & confirming that this is the last email from me.

Cold emails aren't my favorite thing either. 

They are a necessary evil for me to do my job effectively and deliver value. 

Since email is out, what could I have done differently to start a dialogue?

Ryan

because….this is the weakest most passive aggressive type of reply you can get.  Imagine this person as your client.  Acknowledge the courteous reply and ask them a low commitment question.  Follow-up that question with a display that you’re serious about working with them but respectful of their request.  ‘You didn’t get to where you are in your career by chance.  At some point, someone gave you a chance and you took the ball and ran with it.’

The Threatening Reply
"If your company contacts anyone at my company again, I will notify my lawyer!"

What you want to do: Don’t fight fire with fire here. I’ve even been told before that they would report me to the police.  I tend to believe that the police have better things to do.  Just imagine having this person as a client.  No thank you!

What you should do instead: Take this as an opportunity to learn and grow.  Acknowledge the courteous reply and ask them a low commitment question.  Follow-up that question with a display that you’re serious about working with them but respectful of their request.

Nothing.  Write nothing as they are baiting you and have already made a threat.

because….this person will never be a client, and that’s a good thing for you.  And if they are this much of a jerk, they deserve to wallow in the squalor of life without the benefit of your product or service.  I have a folder in my inbox for these types of folks.  Maybe I’ll surprise them with a starbucks gift card one of these days.  Life is short.  Move on.

THE ALL CAPS ‘NO’ or Nasty Response
STOP SENDING ME EMAILS AND TAKE ME OFF YOUR EFFING LIST RIGHT NOW!!!

What you want to do: Don’t fight fire with fire here. I’ve even been told before that they would report me to the police.  I tend to believe that the police have better things to do.  Just imagine having this person as a client.  No thank you!

What you should do instead: Don’t fight fire with fire here. I’ve even been told before that they would report me to the police.  I tend to believe that the police have better things to do.  Just imagine having this person as a client.  No thank you!  Honor the opt-out unsubscribe to your cold email.  Take this as an opportunity to learn and grow.  Acknowledge the courteous reply and ask them a low commitment question.  Follow-up that question with a display that you’re serious about working with them but respectful of their request.

Hi Corrie, this email is to confirm we will not contact you again. 

Cold emails aren't my favorite thing either. 

Is there something I could have improved in my attempts to start a conversation?  

Best, Ryan

ps - we don't mass mail folks, opting instead for highly researched 1:1 email.

because…. you never know what someone else is going through.  Imagine the worst then give this type of person the benefit of the doubt.  But, as long as you’re not trying to fool this person for the second time with the Nigerian Prince scam, anyone who has the time to click the CAPS LOCK button before composing an email reply to an ambitious sales development rep deserves whatever they have coming to them.  Good news for you is that you’re resilient, and demeaning replies like this don’t get you down.

Pro Tip: Be sure to include your email signature in your reply back to your prospect in case they change their mind now or in the future and want to contact you directly.  I like to include my calendar scheduling link, a direct phone number, email address, a link to Replyify and one last call to action like this:

-------
Ryan O'Donnell
ryan@replyify.com
p: 330.552.8283

Schedule a Call with Me

Still sending cold emails one at a time? Check out Replyify

 

It’s easy to take an ‘angry’ reply personally.  Don’t.  Flip the script.  Ask yourself if this is the type of person you even want to have as a client.  Maybe there are just complainers and detractors and just did you a favor by self selection.

Maybe you the 10th person to cold email them with the same offer the same day they got passed over for a promotion or were didn’t get any sleep the night before .  Keep your head up, take action, and move on.

ps – we’ll be updating this post over time.  If you have a ‘category’ to add or an alternative response tactic, email us at team at replyify.com

Read More

The most efficient way to maintain a consistently full sales pipeline is to run an outbound campaign that includes an automated sequence of activities like cold email sequence, followups, phone calls, voice mails and social selling.

If you write emails for work, you are a copywriter.  Copywriting is the secret ingredient of writing and words are your most powerful tool to communicate effectively at scale.

Structuring a cold email campaign is no different than how a copywriter (aka – author) would structure a book.  The author’s goal is to deliver the reader value as they consume the content starting with the prologue continuing through the plot which is which is broken up into chapters.

  • Prologue = A targeted ad, a profile visit, a follow (warming up your prospect)
  • Plot = The story you tell (ie – your pitch), the knowledge you share (ie – links to content) and your CTAs
  • Chapters = Sequence of cold emails, follow-ups, social selling, phone calls & voicemails
‘Write Drunk, Edit Sober’ – Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway (never) said, ‘Write Drunk, Edit Sober’.

Maybe it was Hunter S. Thompson (it wasn’t), but it’s easy to imagine if you’ve ever read (or watched) Fear and Loathing or The Rum Diaries!

Nonetheless, this concept was interesting and I was up for the challenge.

Benefits of Booze + Writing:

  • Creativity – unusual cognitive connections/associations formed
  • Imagination – boosts inner consciousness
  • Thinking outside the box (citations linked below the article)
Working the Second Shift

After getting the kids to bed, it’s not uncommon for my wife and I to retreat to our home offices to get caught up on work.  I call this ‘second shift’ and it’s one of my favorite times to work.  It’s a 50/50 split between the non-urgent tasks/activities and new projects/experiments that allow for creativity.  (like writing this post)

And…IMHO there’s nothing wrong with having, in moderation and ‘of age’, an adult beverage during ‘second shift’.

Sometimes I break out the ‘Adult Oreos’ which consists of sourdough pretzels dipped in Woodford bourbon.

I digress.

In my constant pursuit for improvement, I’ve been experimenting with attacking my outbound sales copywriting from the perspective of a Journalism major, not an MBA.  Keep reading for the exact 12 step cold email and cold call outreach campaign I created late at night and edited in the morning.

My High Performing 12 Step Cold Email Campaign

Step 1 – LinkedIn Profile Visit

I view a profile automatically during the initial prospect list building exercise which starts the campaign.  Viewing a profile signals to the prospect that you decided to initiate a conversation with them because you’ve conducted your research and have determined they may be a good fit.

Step 2 – Intro Email 1

The goal of this email is to introduce myself without starting with the old ‘hi, my name is ryan and I am the [insert title] at [insert company].  I preempted their likely next mental question of ‘how did you find me’ and I just told them how I did it.

If the prospect replies back to this email or any email in the future, they will be automatically paused and will not receive any future emails unless I choose to ‘Resume’ the campaign.

Subject: Found You on Linkedin
Hi {{ first | default:"there" }},

Your profile popped up in the 'People also viewed' section on Linkedin and you're probably wondering why I checked you out.

We work with companies similar to {{ company | default:"yours" }} to free up an extra 5-10 hours a month, so you can spend more time meeting with prospects and less time trying to find their contact info.

I see a lot of potential for streamlining your outbound sales using tech to automate prospecting and cold emails.

Are you free for a 10 minute call this week?

Cheers, Ryan

Step 3 – Wait 3 days then Email 2 

I ask a rhetorical question in the first sentence to get them thinking about their process.  The 1-2 punch is to follow the question up by mentioning other clients we work with that they likely know or compete with (based on my research).  The goal of this sentence is to instill a sense fear (FOMA) and to demonstrate credibility that there are companies out there who pay for the service we provide.

My last sentence tells them exactly how I can resolve their fear and I convey that this will be ‘quick’.  I go back and forth on if or when to use a calendar scheduling link, but I do include a link in cold email 3 and 4.

Subject:
Quick Question

Hi {{ first | default:"there" }},

What are you doing to make sure the top of the funnel is full of fresh leads every month?

We've helped companies like {{ competitor | default:"comp1, comp2 and comp 3" }} 2-3x their demos per week by automating their prospecting and sales intelligence. I believe this same concept could apply to {{ company | default:"your company" }} .

When is a good time next week for me to share a few quick ideas I have?
Thanks, Ryan

Step 4 – Wait 7 Days then Email 3 

Email 3 is my offer.  I concluded that the prospects who heaven’t replied by this point weren’t convinced by the social proof in email #2 or the value proposition in cold email #1.  Rather than keep saying the same thing over and over, I decided to give them an offer.  A little quid pro quo.  I’ll give the prospect something valuable in exchange for something value…their time.

I also suggest one of three quick replies –  ‘Accept? Decline? Go Away, Ryan’ to help me figure out their personality and follow-up to the reply (positive or negative) accordingly.

Including a scheduling link is debatable, but I offer it in such a way that demonstrates a respect for their time and mine.

Subject:
{{ company | default:"You" }} + {{My Company}}

Hey {{ first | default:"there" }} ,

{{My Company}} is the most accurate prospecting solution on the market but I don't expect you to just take my word for it.

I'd like to offer you a very simple trade:
OFFER: 100 prospects
ASKING: 15 minute call to show you how I found them.

Accept? Decline? Go Away, Ryan?

Send a few times for this week or skip a step and schedule here. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Best, Ryan

 

Step 5 Wait 1 Day then Email 4

Email 4 is my Offer Follow-up combined with a Profile View and sent 1 day after my last ‘offer’ email.  It’s a ‘bump’ email that references the offer email I sent them and simply asks them if they have any thoughts on my offer.

This is a low commitment question and because it’s a bump (a reply to a previous email), I’m demonstrating to them that this is likely a person sending these emails not a machine.  This can help to tip the scale in your favor if your prospect is considering whether to reply.

Subject: re: {{ company | default:"You" }} + SellHack
{{ first | default:"Hey there" }}, any thoughts on my offer?

ryan

Original Message:

SellHack is the most accurate prospecting solution on the market but I don't expect you to just take my word for it.

I'd like to offer you a very simple trade:
OFFER: 100 prospects
ASKING: 15 minute call to show you how I found them.

Accept? Decline? Go Away, Ryan?

Send a few times for this week or skip a step and schedule here. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Best, Ryan

 

Step 6 – Wait 3 Days then a LinkedIn Profile View

Step 7 – Same Day Call + VM

Phone: 440.552.8283

Call Script:
If you reach voicemail:
"Hi Prospect Name, _______ here with Replyify."
The reason for my call is to show you and your team how to take prospects on professional social networks, grab phone number and email address, and sync it directly into your CRM. It's solving many companies lead gen issues and we believe we can help you set up more qualified appointments. Please respond to my email or give me a call at ***-***-****.
Thanks Prospect Name, ____ here from Replyify.

Step 8 – Wait 7 Days then Email 5

I offered to show them my outbound sales process in Email #3 and since they didn’t reply, I told them exactly how I’ve been communicating with them for the past few weeks using Replyify.

I want them to imagine being able to have the same balance of control scale when reaching out to their prospects.  Notice my subject line states the purpose for my email…a ‘Demo’.

Subject: Demo
I know these emails can be a little awkward, but you're probably reaching out to your prospects too, right?

After researching your profile, SellHack verified your email address, and I used Replyify to create a personalized sequence of emails and follow-ups.

Imagine how much more time you could spend selling, not digging around your inbox, if you had a cold email automation tool like this.

I can show you how to set this up 10 minutes. Interested?

Step 9 – Wait 5 Days then Email 6

Part of this copywriting experiment was to leverage things that have worked for me in the past and trying new ways of increasing my response and demo rate.  I noticed that I was getting trapped repeating things I said in earlier emails when trying to extend the number of contact attempts I was making.

This is my sign-off email, and it’s generated an incremental increase in the response rate.  While these numbers aren’t that impressive on paper, these are folks that I would have otherwise missed speaking with if I ended without signing off.

Subject: Thanks

Hi {{ first | default:"there" }} ,

Since I didn't hear back after offering to show you how to automate your outbound sales process, I'm going to assume that at this point that you're not interested.

If this is not the case or even if timing isn't right, please let me know.

Otherwise, all the best and thanks for your time!

Ryan

Step 11 – Wait 2 Days then Email 7

Wait…One more thing!  This is the ‘Bob Vila’ of emails and is effective way to have another touchpoint to ask or a referral or suggest that you connect on LinkedIn.  Timing may not always be right for your offer to line up with a buyer’s decision cycle.

Leaving the door open by connecting online or giving them an option to get you ‘off their plate’ via referral is a great way to demonstrate that you aren’t desperate or short-sighted with regards to the opportunity of working together.

Subject:
one more thing

Hey {{ first | default:"there" }} ,

Is there someone else at {{ company | default:"your company" }} that I should speak with about automating your sales process?

ryan

 

Step 12 – Optional LinkedIn Connection

You may not want to connect with all of your prospects and that’s ok.  Also, be mindful of how many connection requests you send compared to the number of folks who actually connect with you.  If your offer is sound, you communicate respectfully and your profile is professional, asking for a LinkedIn connection may be a good step to include in your campaign.

If you drink, Please drink Responsibly

If you write your cold emails with a glass of bourbon, please remember to edit with a cup of coffee before setting your campaign live on Replyify.

 

sales cold email copywriting

 

Read More

I make it a point to participate in as many sales calls as my calendar allows and always ask which technology our clients were using before switching to Replyify. Suprisingly, a lot of folks have been trying to use MailChimp but struggling with keeping their account in good standing.  After some research, I learned that even though MailChimp is awesome, they are a self described “strict permission-based newsletter delivery service” and forbid sending cold emails to sales prospects explicitly in their TOS.

This post is to educate our clients and prospective clients on why you need an email marketing company specifically designed for sending cold emails to your prospects.  That’s why we built Replyify.

The Basics

MailChimp acts as a relay system between you, the sender, and your message passing a series of tests from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) before arriving in the recipient’s inbox or their spam folder.  These tests, like life, aren’t always fair because when you send through MailChimp, your email is delivered through their servers and the you could be punished for the actions of others.  Why?  Because your ‘caller ID’ is compiled in part by the IP Address, which is shared amongst other senders, associated with where your message is originating and some spam filters will flag a campaign if anyone with the same IP has sent spam in the past.

What’s Wrong With Cold Emails?

Confused?  Don’t worry.  Just think about it from their perspective in trying to keep 14 Million clients happy by delivering emails.  The sentiment of their clients can ebb and flow dramatically depending on an increase or decrease in deliverability.  People (like us) who send unsolicited emails, even if they aren’t spammers, increase the likelihood (risk) of a recipient clicking the spam button and contributing to a degradation of MailChimp’s efficacy in getting emails delivered.

So, ya, they would rather have State Farm or The Economist send millions of client communications and weekly newsletters as opposed to your sales team’s 500 weekly personalized outbound cold emails to prospects and partners.

Don’t Make This Mistake

If you use MailChimp to market to your clients, you risk getting your account suspended if you don’t play by their rules.  Here’s a quick reference guide to let you know if you should add that email list to a new campaign:

  1. Prospects I researched and found on SellHack – NO
  2. A list of ‘opt-in’ email addresses from a list broker – NO
  3. People who created an account on my website – NO 
  4. Contacts in my CRM, but I can’t confirm if they opted-in: NO
  5. Trade show host provided me with a list of all attendees: NO
  6. People who explicitly requested to receive my communications – YES

Sending emails to purchased, publicly available, third party, or rented lists on MailChimp may ‘violate this policy, we may suspend or terminate your account.’

Replyify is built for businesses – big & small – to generate more qualified leads & appointments delivered right to your inbox.  Email campaigns are automatically sent right from your inbox, no ours. Share Email Templates with your entire team, track performance and never send the same email to a prospect more than once.  Sell like a robot, sound like a human.  Get started now!

Consider adding a list of other marketing companies who do this too.

Still have questions?  Drop us a line.

 

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How to Get a Meeting With Anybody in 2017

In business, the outcome of a meeting could change your life.  A new investor, a new partner, a new client or even a new job is out there for you to find.  With close to 500 million members and growing, finding the right prospect to reach at the right time with the right message has never been easier (yes – EASIER) for the modern sales-person who embraces technology, conducts data driven experiments, and has dedicated time in their calendar to complete pipeline activities.

Sales is evolving from a spray and pray numbers game where buying a list off the shelf and sending a blast via MailChimp hoping for a reply just doesn’t work anymore.  Even with the best sales software to automate prospect list building and cold email campaigns, you still don’t have control over whether your prospect opens the email, reads your pitch, clicks your link or replies back to start a conversation.

To be successful in this new age of sales, you need repeatable process to focus on what you can control like:

  • finding the most valuable prospects
  • with the highest likelihood of engaging
  • based on your personalized messaging
  • sent through different channels over time
  • with as little manual intervention as possible

Keep reading and we’ll share the process for writing cold emails like the top 1% of producers.  Copy or borrow and make it your own.

Start with Prospect Research

Take out a notepad or open a google doc and think critically about the person your are going to cold email and write down the answers to the following questions:

  • What is their name? Jim Smith
  • Where do they work? Big Software Company, Inc.
  • What do they do at work? SVP 
  • How do they spend their days? In meetings all day, thinking strategy and working on big deals that could move the stock price.
  • What do they do in their free time? Ski in Steamboat, Golf or Spend Time w/ Kids
  • Do you share any personal or professional connections in common? 9 Connections (4 clients, 3 former co-workers, 1 friend, 1 competitor)
  • Are there any uncommon similarities you share? Ie – You went to the same university, interested in underwater basket weaving, or have children around the same age
  • What value do you have to offer them? Co-sponsored webinar or blog post.
  • Why should they care? They love the space you are working in and your opportunity could make them money and further solidify their authority.
  • What is the ideal outcome of the meeting? A first phone call or a referral to a colleague.
Pro Tip: Check your prospect’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, and public Facebook profiles for shared backgrounds, hobbies, likes, dislikes. 
Follow, Like, Favorite, Comment before you send your email to warm them up.

 

Making First Contact (Why Email Wins)

If your target contact is like most important and influential people, they are very busy.  You need to contact them through the channel that creates the least amount of friction: email. It’s hard to make your tweet stand out in 140 characters, a friend request on Facebook may be creepy, and phone call, assuming you can get their number, could be intrusive.

Email is the preferred communication medium for busy people and understanding how to email busy people is a skill that can set you apart from the pack.  Before you start writing, understand that email creates a task for someone to complete and busy people are skimming the emails in the hopes of completing the task.

Here are the 6 questions your recipient will ask when your email lands in their inbox:

  1. Who is this person?
  2. Should I open this? (don’t send spam)
  3. Should I read this?
  4. What do they want?
  5. How long will this take?
  6. Should I reply to this?

In speaking with sales leaders across the globe, one skill that is in high demand for sales but rarely gets mentioned by name or makes a job description is effective copy writing.  Copy writing is the gateway to new business for the modern sales-person but it isn’t as sexy as catching last minute flight for a martini lunch to close the deal.

The modern sales-person knows how to write compelling cold emails and follow-ups.  Even if you’re not actively paying attention to it, some people are better and more effective at communicating via email (or twitter, Linkedin, blog etc) than others, right?  Heck, there are even folks out there who specialize in sales copy writing.

Look at your own inbox. How many cold meeting requests or opportunities did you delete before even hearing out the requestors pitch?  Most of these emails are all about the sender and don’t do anything to communicate that they’ve done their research to personalize their offer.

Don’t be this person.  Let’s take a closer look at elements of an effective sales email and how you can deconstruct yours.

Pro Tip: Your spam folder is the graveyard for poorly written cold emails (and opportunities to help an exiled Prince).  File any cold emails you receive into a 'good email' and 'bad email' folder.  Learn from the worst and borrow from the best.

Deconstructing Your Email

The Subject Line

The goal of the subject line is to get your email opened and it’s the gateway to everything else in your email.  Think about all the cold emails you received where the subject lines enticed you enough to open the email.  Better yet, for the next seven days, pay attention to the subject lines of all the unsolicited emails sent to you. Make note of which subject lines were good or bad and file them into your good/bad folders in your inbox. When you are ready to start writing, here’s a 2 minute subject line drill for your cold email.

Here’s a few examples of the right and wrong approach…

Right: ‘Found you via (mutual connection’s name)’, ‘Great Post on (publication name)’, ‘An idea to improve (something they care about)’

Wrong: ‘can you help?’, ‘recent grad seeking engineering job’, ‘hello’,

 

The Opening – ‘like a boss’

Avoid sounding like a robot or exuding desperation.  The best emailers know how to speak to the recipient in a tone that will get their emails read. Avoid words in the greeting like ‘Dear Sir/Madam’, ‘Greetings’, ‘Mr./Mrs. Smith’. This is a rookie mistakes that will call attention to the fact that you are not a peer to the recipient which signals to them that you have nothing to offer in return and your leverage is lost. Delete.

Right: ‘Jim/Jill-’, ‘Hi Jim/Jill-’

Wrong: ‘Dear Sir/Madam’, ‘Greetings’, ‘Mr./Mrs. Smith’

The Connection Statement

The first sentence of your email is meant to separate yourself from the pack and demonstrate you have a valid reason for contacting them based on something you both hold in high regards.  Don’t make the first sentence all about you. The reader doesn’t know enough yet whether they will care about what you have to say or not and this fatal mistake is a fast track to the delete button.

This is also referred to as an ‘uncommon commonality’.  At the beginning of this post, you made a list things you have in common with the recipient.  Use your best commonality here to make a personal connection with the recipient.  Effective use of the connection statement also signals to the recipient that this isn’t the same generic opening you sent to a lot of other people.

Right: ‘Your article in the Times about time travel made the best argument I’ve seen on why solar flares should be used as an alternative form of energy.’

Wrong: ‘My name is Ryan and I am a recent grad from Harvard majoring in Applied Physics and looking for an entry level engineering role.’ Or…’My name is Ryan and I run sales for XYZ company, a leader in real time space delivery to innovating how we send things to people living on the Moon.’

Pro Tip: Each sentence in your email should be purposely designed and written to 
get the recipient to read the next sentence.
The Hook

The key to crafting the correct hook is to 1) pique curiosity, 2) sincerely praise, or 3) call out a fear. Your subject line got the email opened. Your connection statement demonstrated that you did your research and may have something special to offer. The hook will keep them reading on the path to replying to your email or following through on your Call To Action (CTA). Check out the examples below.

  1. Piquing Curiosity: ‘You mentioned on an expansion to Space a on the last earnings call. Having lived in another dimension 6 years, there is one thing most companies miss when going to market. ‘
  2. Sincere Praise: ‘Your researched served as the basis for my thesis on track to complete my PhD in applied physics.’
  3. Fear: ‘I’ve helped companies like (your competitor 1) and (your competitor 2) get to space for less than half of what it’s costing you now.

The hook is a transition that bridges your connection statement to the pitch.   Your email should be 3-5 sentences long and your concise communication demonstrates that you will not waste their time.  Eliciting emotion is a powerful communication tactic.  Authors use the emotional hook technique to make their books more interesting to readers.  The same principals can be applied when you are authoring your cold emails.

The Pitch

If you followed the all the steps we laid out, your target is still reading at this point. Make your case then move to the ‘Call To Action’ (CTA). How will you improve recipient’s life by taking action on your request for something? What do you have to offer?

Be concise. Give them a taste of what you bring to the table. Highly motivating email pitches play to psychological factors that can get your prospects thinking about how replying back can generate money, power, or respect.

 

Right: ‘my company just closed a 7 figure deal with Solar Dimensions Inc. to build the next version of their combustion engine and our investors suggested we build an advisory board of the best space experts on the planet.’

Wrong: ‘I’d love to pick your brain on space exploration’

The Call To Action

The money shot.  Close strong, but don’t make your ask too complicated.  Your CTA should be an easy commitment for the recipient. Even if you want the recipient to ultimately invest in your company or hire you, it’s too early for such a big ask since the decision process they would go through doesn’t allow for a quick reply.

Craft your CTA to enable an easy ‘yes’ and facilitate the conversation to move from email to a call or an in person meeting.

Right: ‘How does your calendar look in the next 2 weeks for a quick call to see if there is a fit?’

Wrong: ‘Can I present my research to your executive team?’

 

PS – don’t forget the p.s.

The PS is a great spot in the email to create levity, make another personal connection with the recipient, or add something that didn’t fit with the awesome email you just wrote. You could link the recipient to the White Paper, blog post or press release that details something you mentioned earlier in the email. You can also make the ‘PS’ more personal than what your email allowed for by leveraging another uncommon commonality.

Right: ‘ps – go Cavs!’, ‘ps – here’s a link to the thesis I mentioned earlier’, ‘ps – Taking the family to Steamboat for the first time next week, any suggestions?’

Wrong: ‘ps – looking forward to your reply’

Signature

Keep it simple:

Name

Title (if relevant)

Company (hyperlinked to your website or profile)

Phone Number

 

Pro Tip: Hungry for more? Get The Ultimate Guide to Cold Emailing ‘Beat The Inbox’ Free eBook here.

 

Your Email Should Look Something Like This:

Subject: Great Post on Time Travel (NY Times)

Hi Jim,

Your article in the Times last week about time travel made the best argument I’ve seen on why solar flares should be used as an alternative form of energy.

Your researched served as the basis for my thesis on track to complete my PhD in applied physics.

My company just closed a 7 figure deal with Solar Dimensions Inc. to build the next version of their combustion engine and your firm was suggested as a possible partner in the first launch .

How does your calendar look in the next 2 weeks for a quick call to see if there is a fit?

ps – here’s a link to the thesis dissertation.

Best,

Jill Harris

CEO and Co-Founder

SpaceShippers

212.555.5555

 

 

 

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