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  • Writer's pictureFootprints

Taking the Plunge: Cold Connections

We know, we know. You’re going to say absolutely not. In person is better and cold emails absolutely don’t work. No one wants to hear what you say and they’re onto you immediately. You might get lucky if it’s the right person at the right time but otherwise, it’s just a waste of money and a numbers game. 

And yes, we would say you’re absolutely right but guess why? Because you’re thinking about cold emails in bulk form. Yes, that’s maybe more efficient in terms of time but is it as effective?

Select All and Send

Those bulk targeted cold emails rarely work because they’re exactly that, “bulk targeted” i.e. not targeted at all. It’s a hit and hope - let’s fire these out with an “insert name here” and see what happens. We might get a bite. 

And when we don’t, we send out the same follow up email to all contacts “I haven’t heard back” “moving it to the top of your inbox” “email me back, okay love you bye”. And the final one “hey, last chance - let’s talk”.

It gives us the ick.

Maybe this is a sales technique that we don’t know about, and full clarification, we’re not qualified to talk sales because at Footprints, we’re marketers (siblings not twins to Sales and boy do we fight!) but we can talk sales from a marketing perspective, and with that in mind, blanket cold emails is NOT good marketing practice. 

You may also be interested in Adapting & Repositioning Your Offering

So what do we mean when we say cold emails?

Cold Marketing: This Time It's Personal

We mean reaching out to people who you know are in your target audience, who are the right (ish) people to talk to and are more likely to have interest in what you want to talk about.

And that’s the main thing. It’s about the recipient, not the seller. Too many times it’s the other way around.

You write a cold email and the emphasis is on the recipient doing something out of their way (i.e. get in touch with you) to find out about something they may or may not be interested in. 

It has to be of benefit to them. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be personal, it just can’t be impersonal.

Introduce yourself of course but get straight to the point and why it’s good for them. Why should they stop what they’re doing and book a meeting with you?

What’s the purpose of this email? If it’s to have a conversation, then why don’t you explore a different avenue? What are their opinions on something? Maybe it’s to hear a bit more about what they’re doing - no strings, just a chat. 

The Human Connection

We’re all people. You know what it’s like, you receive these emails all the time. So, what would you like to hear and how would you like it presented? What would make you go, you know what? I’ll give this person a shot. 

And it doesn’t have to be email, it could be the connection note on LinkedIn. It’s the same application. You’re going in cold but you’re trying to start a relationship. And like all relationships, someone has to take the plunge with the first move. 

You might also want to read Business Pipeline: When the panic sets in.

We all understand that we’re in business, and we all have something to sell. We all have something beneficial to our target audience, that’s why we set up our businesses in the first place. 

Stone Cold Connection Requests

These are some messages I have received recently. Let’s take a look.

Exhibit A - keeping it natural

See, it’s pretty generic really - they’ve obviously sent it to a lot of people BUT it’s of benefit to me. A guide to customer success, no strings attached at this stage. 

You don’t always have to put “insert company name here” to make it sound personal. Sometimes it’s just about using natural language and giving something before taking something. 

Exhibit B - offering a benefit

This one gives me some flattery first, a classic sales technique and maybe slightly verging into the “too much” section but rescued because they’re offering me something that I could use as well. It’s a cold connection but they’re positioning themselves as useful to me. 

Exhibit C - still in the freezer

It doesn’t matter how personalised and natural your cold email sounds if you don’t triple check its functionality though. Please ensure your autofill is working before sending. You only get one chance to make an impression.

Building A Pipeline

Try it with your business. Reach out to that person, take a shot at connection but please, please, make it about them not you.

What have you tried and tested that has worked well when contacting a prospect? Any lessons learned you could share? We’d love to hear the good, the bad and the ugly! 

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