We’ve all received the dreaded influx of cold emails clogging up our accounts and keeping us from reaching inbox zero zen.
Something feels disconnected about them, even if we can’t quite put our finger on what it is. All we know for sure is that we have no desire to interact with the vast majority of these strangers telling us to ’schedule this’ and ‘click that’.
Yet, there is value in analyzing their failed attempts to grab our attention. By understanding what makes a bad cold email ineffective, we can take the first step toward engaging our own prospects with relevant content that gets them excited.
Here’s a challenge for you: find a cold email in your inbox that you have no desire to reply to. It can be anything- an attempted sale, a recruitment request, a webinar registration, etc. Now, see if you can isolate a few reasons why you're personally not inclined to do what this email is asking of you.
It just so happens that regardless of the type cold outreach, the elements that make it a flop boil down to a few things:
The email isn’t relevant to your goals or pain points.
You’re only interested in a product or service that helps you reach a goal or overcome a problem. When cold outreach skips over the aspect of building relevance to rush straight into a self-interested sales pitch, you’re likely to zone out and hit delete- or worse, report spam.
The format is all messed up.
It's an email, not a novel!. Many of us try to clear our inboxes as efficiently as humanly possible. Therefore, when an email is poorly laid out, we can’t skim it as well, and can miss its key takeaways. Not to mention, there’s nothing more discouraging to your eyes than an amorphous blob of text from an unknown sender that clearly requires your effort to get through.
The call-to-action is unclear.
The sender is reaching out because he/she wants you to do something- perhaps book a call, visit a site, attend a webinar. But if you can’t easily find what’s being asked of you, you’re highly unlikely to even consider.
While these are just a few considerations that can sink a cold email, they’re often the most prevalent ones you’ll notice in your own inbox.
So here’s the good news: if most of your competition is sending cold outreach this way, then standing out will be easy.
More to come on how to reach out and engage the people you want to talk to, earn their time, and captivate their interest!