Cold calling has been a key way for IT companies to reach out to prospects for a long time.
But now that businesses are moving online, is picking up the phone still working? Is it still generating bites?
And the shortest answer I can give you is, no, it’s not.
You see, these days, people are way more savvy about who they answer their phone to. This makes it difficult to a) get on a call with someone in the first place, and b) quickly get your message across before they put the phone down on you.
But does that mean that you can’t reach out to prospects in any way to win their business?
Not at all. You just have to use a strategy that promises to overcome those challenges – cold emailing.
Cold emailing not only gives you a chance to introduce yourself and build connections, but it gives your prospect the space to soak up what you’re saying, get familiar with your business, and respond when they have the time.
And in this post, I’m going to show you why cold emails are so successful, and outline how you can start using them to boost sales and reach more prospects today.
Intrigued? Then let’s begin.
Why Email Cold Calling is the Way Forward
It might seem daunting to introduce a new marketing technique when you’ve been told countless times that you need to be cold calling to succeed. Now to be clear I am not saying that cold calling doesn’t work, I am however saying that if you had to prioritize your activities to generate IT leads, cold calling should be low on the list.
So let’s look at some statistics that might put cold calling in a different light.
- The average sales rep makes 52 calls a day. If you’re working an 8-hour day, that’s more than 6 calls an hour (without accounting for lunch and breaks)
- It takes an average of 18 dials to reach a buyer
- 1% of cold calls ultimately turn into an appointment (that hurts, right!?)
These stats don’t give cold calling that rosy glow it once had, do they?
You can even look to your own experiences to decipher how well your cold calls will go down.
I mean, when was the last time you actively engaged someone who was trying to sell you something on the phone?
Chances are you cut them off before they had the chance to get going, right?
And so, when the average sales rep is making 52 calls a day with only a 1% conversion rate, surely there must be a better way they can spend their time.
(Hint: you already know it – cold emailing).
With cold emails, you are starting a conversation in a medium more people are comfortable with and, with the click of a button, you can send out hundreds of emails in seconds.
Plus, once you learn how to write cold emails, you can replicate the process over and over again – something we’ll discuss in a moment.
But first, let’s talk about why cold emails are so relevant right now.
Cold Emailing to Boost Relationships
Sales these days is all about creating authentic conversations with people who care.
This is considered a fact from both sides of the table. After all, 98% of top sales professionals say relationships are the most important part of generating sales. And 80% of customers buy on the 5th to 12th point of contact they have with a business.
With traditional cold calling, it’s difficult to build a relationship when you’re making so many calls a day and having the phone slammed down on you time and time again.
So it’s worth mentioning here that cold emails aren’t just a space to sell. Instead, they offer a private place to nurture connections and build relationships with your IT prospects.
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Why are building relationships so important in sales?
- Because they build trust, and people buy from people they trust
- They also increase your authority, and people buy from those in authority
Jill Rowley, the social selling evangelist, hits the nail on the head in this LinkedIn piece: “The more a seller uses traditional sales approaches, the less trustworthy they appear. Still dialing for dollars? Cold calls barely work anymore, and most of your effort teaches others to hide from your calls.”
So let’s dig into the steps you can take to write cold emails that will help you connect with more IT prospects.
Steps to Writing Cold Emails That Connect With IT Prospects
1. Consider your company goals
Before you even begin crafting your cold emails, you need to know exactly what your company goals are.
Think about what your ultimate aim is – are you measuring your success in numbers (how many prospects you have onboard) or in quality, that is what kinds of prospects you have on board?
Then it’s time to think about how cold emailing can fit into your outlook.
If you’re solely on the hunt for numbers, your strategy will be different than if you were looking to bring onboard a handful of authoritative businesses. For the latter, you’d be looking at lengthy relationship building, whereas the first option wouldn’t require as much legwork, but you’d have to write cold emails that were scalable.
2. Determine who you want to target
Once you’ve got your company goals nailed down, it’s time to think about who exactly you want to target. Having the right prospects in mind can mean the difference between succeeding and failing miserably.
Don’t be afraid to get really specific here, so you can learn how to write cold emails in a way that speaks directly to them (you want them to think: “Oh wow, this company knows exactly who I am and what I want.”).
3. Create your strategy
The last step in the process is bringing everything together. Once you’ve got your company goals and know what kind of prospects you want to target, it’s time to get your messaging down.
This is where you will consider how you’re going to target your chosen prospects.
Raj Khera, author of Amazon bestseller The IT Marketing Crash Course puts it well in this post: “You have to constantly bring in qualified leads and more sales. And it can’t be just a one-time thing. You need a system, a process that you can put in place that starts to bring in qualified IT leads consistently so that you generate more prospect meetings that result in more IT sales.”
3 Successful Types of Cold Call Emails to Get You Started
The Before and After Scenario
These types of emails begin by describing your prospect’s business before they buy your product and what they want their business to be like. You then introduce your product as the bridge that closes the gap between the two.
This email (source) starts by showing the prospect where they are now and where they could be if they sign up.
Agitate a Pain Point
After honing in on who exactly you want to target, you should come up with a list of pain points that these prospects have. With these types of cold emails, you highlight one of the pain points and start to agitate it by touching on how they might feel and how much time/effort/money it’s taking up.
To finish, you want to introduce your product as a solution to get past that pain point. By the time you’ve riled up your prospects by agitating their pain points, they’ll be desperately looking for a solution.
This email (source) starts by highlighting and agitating the prospect’s pain points.
Start a Conversation
As we mentioned earlier, building relationships is a vital part of any new-age sales strategy, and we all know that a relationship begins with a simple conversation.
These types of emails don’t necessarily sell anything and don’t necessarily lead to a sale, but they help build trust between you and your prospects and grow a connective community around your business.
A good way to kick off these types of emails is to send a question about what your prospect is struggling with or what it would mean to them if they had a certain success. This example from Attach.io shows this in action:
The key to any cold call email is to grab the reader’s attention.
Getting someone to open an email from an unknown sender is the first step, but once you get past that stage, you’ve got a few lines to reel them in.
After you’ve grabbed their attention with a solid email headline, you want to interest them, make them desire what you’re offering, and ask for a response.
This technique is known as the AIDA theory, which sets up your prospect for the sale by relating to them and their problems and providing a solution with a solid call-to-action at the end.
It’s easy to see why this method might not work as well in traditional cold calling, but with cold emails it works perfectly. You have the space to capture their attention with words and images, and you’re entering a space that they’re comfortable with – it’s a win-win situation.
Annemarie Hanlon, smart insights expert and founder of B2B Marketing says here that the AIDA principle “could be referred to as a communications model rather than a decision-making model, as it’s identifying to companies, how and when to communicate during each of the stages.”
As we’ve laid out here, email cold calling is a great solution for reaching IT prospects in the internet age.
And it doesn’t have to be so daunting either.
All it takes is three simple steps: figuring out what your company end goals are, who your ideal prospects are, and how you’re going to reach out to them to tie in with your overall mission.