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2 Cold Email Tactics That Earn A 20% Response Rate

3 min read
Jun. 15, 2012

The cold email is the hardest to send. Here’s how we earn a 20% response rate to cold emails.

Numerous sales reps have written about “templates” that work to engage a customer. Certain tactics such as emailing the CEO and having them forward the email to the VP/Director/Important Position/etc is the latest trend. Sure, that works…sometimes. At Salesloft, we’ve tried loads of strategies to get a response. Here is what works best:

Win In Emailing:

The most creative sales reps are winning because of two reasons: 1) connect on a different level outside of the buyer-seller relationship, 2) entertain the buyer. Remember:[quote] the goal is not to sell them in the cold email.[/quote] A response showing interest is the goal. Simple. Any intelligent buyer will see through a customized email template. Don’t fool yourself by thinking otherwise.

3 Ways To Connect On A Different Level and Entertain:

The buyer is a person first and buyer second. They have feelings. Excitement, pain, happiness and every other emotion engulf the email recipient daily. Your job is too connect in a way that’s unique and warrants a benevolent response. Note: there are some sales strategies that prod or provoke a buyer. That’s not our style. When a buyer responds, we want them smiling as they correspond.

  • Find a commonality: Your university, mutual friend, or shared sports team are all possibilities. This is a cold call; don’t feel hesitant to stretch.[Case Study: We had a cold prospect who, after a twitter search, we discovered he was more excited than we were when Atlanta Braves player, Chipper Jones, hit a walk off home run. Our subject headline: You’re Right! Chipper Jones is the Man. He’s now signed up for our private beta.]
  • Show them respect: you’re selling them something. They’ve earned a position as a buyer. Show them respect by researching their background on LinkedIn and address their accomplishments in the email. Everyone loves acknowledgment. If you word it right, a well-placed compliment will show respect without coming off cheesy or desperate.

Prove Your Versatility:

A well-rounded sales rep is the best. They can relate to a buyer in numerous ways. Whether it’s a quote from Hemingway, a movie analogy or a football stat, cater your message to what’s already valuable to your buyer.

Case Study: Twitter is a great way to understand your buyer’s interests outside of work. For example, a buyer tweeted a NYT Article from Thomas Friedman. The tweet read: “Really interesting – Tanks, Jets or Scholarships? Read here.”

Our first sentence in the cold email was the following:

Your latest tweet reminds me of the dilemma in Charlie Wilson’s War where Tom Hanks couldn’t even raise $1 mil for public schooling. Thomas Friedman definitely produces thought-provoking articles.

Anyway on a less intense note :)…

We had a demo the next day.

Sell Yourself…Then Your Product’s Value

In cold emails, you’re not selling your product. You’re selling yourself to get a chance to sell your product’s value. As the recipient reads the last word of your email, they should think: “this person is engaging, smart, and passionate; I want to know what they’re selling.