From the good old fashion door-to-door sell, to standing on street corners, to unsolicited phoning, the ‘cold call’ (in all of its forms) has always been a hard sell. It is the first few seconds which are crucial to make a good impression: the difference between a win and flat out rejection.
For digital marketers, the struggle of cold calling is still real. Email pitching can be just as frustrating and even more difficult, with the risk of getting lost in a sea of endless emails. But with a bit of research and wooing, your cold contact could potentially land you with a great new business opportunity.
Red hot research
This might sound obvious, but with the amount of irrelevant emails I receive every day, I’m pretty sure there’s a few too many marketers that leave this step out . Think of your cold call email as if it was a date: you need to make your date feel as if they are the most important person in the world. Woo your prospective target by exploring what they are currently doing and use this information to discern what it is that they are lacking. Put yourself in their shoes, and think about the sort of questions they might be asking themselves. What are some obvious KPI’s for their business? What opportunities are they clearly missing? This will lead into realising how you can help them achieve these goals, which is crucial for the next bit…
Now that you have collected your research, it’s time to put it to work! Give them a little something to tickle their taste buds, by putting together a piece of work that is useful to them. You must be insightful but concise, remember you have one shot in grabbing their attention. This is where you can demonstrate your research, and prove that you understand their main struggles. You should then go on to illustrate how your company will help alleviate these pains: make yourselves the solution to their problems. The piece of work should be valuable enough to get them interested, but not give them so much that they will no longer need you. Remember the end goal of this is to get a sell, so don’t give away your goods for free, just a cheeky sample.
The piece of work should include some competitor analysis, an audit of their current work, and any interesting insights you can provide regarding the leads business. The most important part will be your initial suggestions regarding strategy or approach in solving their problems. It is crucial to showcase your unique selling point and highlight how it relates to them. There is no right or wrong answer to how you should display your services, what matters here is to establish your authority on the topic and gain the trust of your target.
Make it a team effort
New business proposals are a great way to get your team involved on a group project. Use these cold calls as practice for formal pitches. They essentially allow team members to step away from their day to day work, giving them space to do some strategic and creative thinking. By giving your team new projects, you are encouraging their imaginations to flow, which could potentially uncover some hidden skills. To find out where your team’s strengths lie, ask them to brainstorm ideas some ideas, drawing on their different areas of expertise. This way you’ll be sure gain some fresh insights and gather some great ideas to present.
The personal touch
Now down to the actual nitty gritty: writing the initial email. Email copy must be decisive and concise, no one has the time or inclination to trawl through a lengthy email. Make the first section all about them. Again, think of this like a first date. As soon as you get their attention compliment them on something, whether that be a previous success or a quirky feature of their business. Start with stating what they are doing well and where they can improve. Rather than baldly judging or criticizing, simply highlight where there is room for growth or improvement. Mention some key points from the piece of work to make them interested enough to open the attachment. After you have suitably boosted their ego, you can then jump in to what you can do for them. Make it clear exactly how your services will benefit their brand or business, transparency is essential here. Lastly, talk a little about yourself, attaching any credentials or past work with clients similar to their business.
Cold call emails, whether given or received, are an unavoidable part of every digital marketer’s working life. There is no perfect formula for getting this right, you just need to discover what works best for you. Just remember that people know when an email is lacking in any personality or original thought, so take your time, do your research, and send something worth the recipients time. If you’re struggling with any aspect of digital marketing, just pop across an email (colder the better for us) and we can have a chat.