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6 cold emailing mistakes most marketers are making in 2017

Cold email is one of the best tools a marketer can use. With low costs and the potential for massive returns, no business can afford to ignore it. However, it seems that a lot of marketers have heard there’s gold in them there hills and think that you can just send out any old email and watch the money roll in. Then they don’t get the results they were expecting and wonder why.

Have you ever looked at other’s open rates and been green with envy? Wondering how to boost the click-through rate for your own cold emails? If you want to get good results, then take a look at some of these top cold email mistakes, then avoid them like your campaign depends on it. Because it does.

Mistake #1 - Not having a plan

Simon Mactaggart from Growth Copy believes that a strategic planning process is missing from most cold emails today, and it’s easy to see why. Cold email is often seen as a quick and efficient way to reach new potential clients, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to spend any time actually thinking through what you’re going to put in that email. Simon recommends you’re clear on the key points before sending your email, including the email’s objective, target market, the value proposition and the desired audience response, among others.

The fix: Take a moment and think before you start writing that cold email. Be clear in your mind the recipients of your email and what your goal is.

Mistake #2 - Talking like a robot

Ask someone to write a sales email and for some unknown reason, they magically transform into a machine, spewing out soulless and jargon-filled messages. It’s like we immediately forget that we’re human beings, reaching out and talking to other human beings. We lament the bland emails we receive, then send off another ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ email with as much human connection as a paperclip. Instead, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and write the kind of email you’d like to receive.

The fix: Read your email out loud and imagine you’re talking to your prospect face-to-face. Does it sound natural? Or does it sound like you swallowed a thesaurus? Make a note of the points you cringe at, then rewrite them.

Mistake #3 - Leaving the subject line as an afterthought

You only have nanoseconds to convince me to read your email, and bad news: the clock starts ticking as soon as I see your subject line. For a start, if it’s not something I’d be interested in, it’s going to be deleted. No thanks, I don’t need ‘1st Page on Google ranking!!’ Even if I was interested in SEO, I wouldn’t open the email; one exclamation point is pushing it, but two gets you blocked. Is that picky? Yes. Someone could be emailing me with the best service in the history of the universe and I’ll miss it if they use too many exclamation points. I’ve already had 30 emails today trying to sell me hair recovery and cheap meds, and I need to scan and decide quickly whether or not to open an email.

The fix: Your subject lines can either boost or open rates or send them plummeting. Be clear, be useful to your target audience and whatever you do, don’t sound spammy.

Mistake #4 - Not getting to the point

Your work isn’t over once you’ve convinced your recipients to open the email. You now have to convince them to go ahead and read it. So why start with a long introduction, the company history, a list of every project they’ve ever worked on…? I hate to break it to you, but I’ve already moved on. When you’re writing a cold email, you need to make sure every word counts. Your first line is especially important, as most email clients will show this as a preview before your email is even opened. Go back to your plan (see mistake #1), and keep that key objective in mind as you write your email.

The fix: Respect your reader’s time by keeping your emails short, sweet and on point.

Mistake #5 - Spelling, grammar and other simple mistakes.

If you haven’t taken the time to spellcheck your email then I haven’t the time to read it. I’ve included this as a simple mistake because there is no excuse. Every email provider and word processor I know checks your spelling as you type, doing all the work for you. The tools are also getting increasingly sophisticated and many now catch grammar mistakes as well as spelling. For example, Grammarly’s free version will catch any embarrassing mistakes, particularly useful if English isn’t your first language or your you’re one of those who struggles with there their similar sounding words. However, no software will catch certain mistakes. My personal favorite is when you get the recipient’s gender wrong; I’ve seen emails sent to ‘Mr Jackie’, or ‘Danielle’ instead of Daniel. Not the best way to make a good first impression.

The fix: Proofread your email before you hit send. Use the free tools available and check for spelling, grammar, and any personal details.

Mistake #6 - Sending just one email.

We can be delicate flowers when it comes to cold email. If the recipient doesn’t open up our first attempt, we cross them off our list and cry ourselves to sleep. However, one cold email doesn’t a campaign make. Even open rates for double opt-in lists aren’t 100%. Think about that: even people who’ve confirmed they absolutely want to hear from you don’t open every email you send. What makes you think it’ll be any different for your cold email? Now, I’m not advocating sending a deluge of emails and flooding their inbox; that’s a fast track to getting blocked. However, remember there’s plenty of reasons why they might not have opened or replied to your email.

The fix: Make sure your campaign is more than just one email, including friendly follow-ups, suitably spaced apart.

Cold emails are incredibly powerful, but to get the best out of them you need to avoid the mistakes most marketers are making today. By taking the time to plan out your campaign and crafting an email that’s tailored to your potential leads and free of errors, you’ll stand above your competition and get the results you deserve.

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