Cold emailing is the cold calling of the future, but is it right for your business?
When just about everyone in the world is using email and other forms of technology to communicate, how can you transition old business practices into updated versions utilizing the technology with which we’re all familiar? One of the most well-known business practices is cold calling. In 2017, though, who wants to be making or receiving phone calls? Emails are so ubiquitous that we’re actually on track to hit 269 billion emails sent this year. For at least the foreseeable future, emailing will be important for you and your business growth, and cold emailing is a method successful businesses often use to get ahead in their industry. But is cold emailing going to be worth the effort for your business?
In this article, we’ll be discussing:
- What is a cold email?
- What are the advantages to cold emailing?
- What are the disadvantages to cold emailing?
What is a cold email?
To put it simply, a cold email is a cold call, just through email. More specifically, a cold email is an email sent to a potential customer with whom you have no prior relationship. Well, isn’t that just spam? you might ask yourself. After all, spam emails account for 60% of all email. Not necessarily. If done correctly, a cold email won’t come off as spam to its recipients, especially if you focus on researching your target audiences and businesses to create a quality email. If done poorly, however, you can kiss your email straight into the virtual trash can.
What are the benefits and drawbacks to cold emailing?
Good question. There’s always going to be pros and cons to anything. Will your cold email fail with some people? Yep. Will your cold email result in new or better business for you? It definitely can. If you’re considering using cold emailing for your business, here’s some advantages that may make your decision easier:
- People like you better when you don’t bug them with phone calls
Part of the reason cold calling is dead stems from the fact that unsolicited calls are intrusive and annoying. How do we know this? Nearly 90% of professionals prefer to communicate through email for business purposes. You can think about it this way though: When you receive a phone call whose speaker immediately launches into a sales pitch, how long do you presume that call lasts? I would wager not long at all; perhaps only a few seconds. On the other hand, cold emailing hands more power to your recipients; it’s convenient. They can choose when to open your email and when to respond (if they respond at all). It’s important to keep from burning any bridges with your potential business partners or clients by removing the pressure (and annoyance) that would normally be associated with a cold call.
- Do more with email
Let’s be real here: You can’t show your potential business partner or consumer an impressive chart over the phone. You can’t include eye-catching images either, or even relevant, interesting videos showcasing a product. When you’re chatting over the phone, you lose a lot of opportunities to really connect with whomever you’re speaking and get them to act on whatever you’re discussing. It’s rather well-known at this point that images are important in many capacities, and there’s no doubt you already know this. Colored images in content increase a person’s willingness to read it by 80%, and there’s no reason this shouldn’t apply to email. Choosing cold email allows you to up the ante when it comes to creativity, bolstering a memorable, effective, and visually appealing email that has the chance to boost your response rate. Since 61% of first contacts happen via email and you’ll see an average $38 ROI for every $1 spent on email marketing, cold emailing clearly has the power to affect your bottom line.
- Do it in bulk
Using the old cold call method means calling one prospect at a time, making the experience that much more miserable. However, thanks to browser extensions like GMass, you can easily send your cold email to hundreds of recipients with just a few clicks. Since GMass allows you to send mass email with automatic follow-up emails and performs other streamlining and tracking tasks, it’ll make the job of sending cold emails to potential business partners and consumers far less troublesome and much more time-efficient.
What about drawbacks?
Cold emailing ends up being a tough form of communication, even though you can reap a lot of benefits. This happens because you don’t have a relationship with your recipients yet, and, since it’s an email, there’s no verbal feedback resulting in an inability to modify your approach in real time. Just like any other email, once you send it, there’s no turning back. With that in mind, consider these disadvantages:
- Email open and click-through rates are often dismal
No matter what kind of email you send, many of them don’t even see themselves opened and read. When open rates hover around 23%, it goes without saying that click-through rates are even lower; generally less than 5% depending on the size of your business and the industry in which it resides. Don’t be discouraged though; email is still a top priority for businesses with 87% planning to increase their budgets for email, and I mentioned earlier that the majority of business professionals prefer email over phone. As long as you put in the proper research, your cold email will likely bring great returns.
- It’s tough to stand out
Studies show that the average business person receives 121 emails per day; that’s a lot of emails to wade through to find the ones worth any time. Sending a cold email is more than just compelling and personalized content: 33% of emails are opened based on the subject line alone, so your email needs to be equipped with a great subject line if you want to see a high open rate.
- You can’t adjust your message
That is, without feedback. As mentioned earlier, emails come with low open rates, usually between 20 and 23% depending on the size of your business and the industry in which it resides. This means if there’s a problem with your message, there’s a high likelihood you won’t receive any feedback to enable you to fix it and try again. Cold calls, on the other hand, come with a continuous flow of conversation that allows you to adjust anything that’s not being received well or build upon what’s making an impact.
Sounds good. Anything else?
Cold emailing can be a powerful tool for any business when done properly just as it can be detrimental if done hastily or poorly. Once you’ve done your research, composed a great email, and slapped on a killer subject line, you can utilize GMass for the leg work. It’s fast, easy, and less stressful than making 100 or more phone calls per day. Using the advantages and disadvantages we’ve discussed here, hopefully you’ll be able to conclude what’s best for you and your business going forward.
I’m struggling to come up with something different for all three that still makes them sound like a disadvantage; I’m going to think on it, but let me know if you have anything better.