Let's face it: entrepreneurship is hard and especially so in the already-crowded eCommerce industry. Developing products, reaching out to potential customers, general advertising, choosing fulfillment methods – it's all hectic work that requires more gumption than most of us have. There's also another part of the job that many tend to be a little anxious about, and that's cold emailing. It's a necessary evil, but one that you can work to improve at. Here are five essential tips that will help it become more effective and more efficient.
What is Cold Emailing?
Before going onto those tips, though, lets recap. Cold emailing is just like its more commonly referenced cousin, cold calling. Cold emails are emails sent to someone without previous correspondence or contact. They are best done on an individual basis (although many still send them out in bulk) and are typically drafted to get into a business conversation with the individual or company to which it is sent. Over the years, cold contact of any form has been a subject of major scrutiny and criticism. Some argue it's no better than irritating spam, others that it's simply ineffective, and yet others who say it's a valid business tactic that can, and should, be implemented. We side with the final of these.
Top Tips for Better Emails
Make no mistake, however. While we recognize the importance of cold emails, we also understand they're not always the best technique. Their effectiveness is evenly split with one part luck and one part skill. We may not be able to help in the luck department, but we can offer a few pointers in skill one. For better cold emails, you should:
- Always tailor your message – Do you hate those messages or calls you know have been sent out to a thousand people? Odds are, yeah. Please don't do that to someone else. It's painful to watch, quite frankly, and assuredly not appreciated. Tailoring your message is both courteous and will likely garner better responses. Do your research. Show why you're reaching out and make it clear why you're specifically messaging them rather than others.
- Be mindful of time – Just like social media, email has certain windows of time that are better or worse. Sending a cold email along on a Saturday night will yield nothing except an unnecessary distraction for you, so don't bother. Instead, send them along when they're most likely to be read. A little research on who you're contacting might help, but if not late mornings, Tuesdays, and Thursdays are often best.
- Be brief – There are a time and the place for fluff, but it's not cold emails. Always go for brevity. Short, sweet, and to the point will get you further than pretending to be the next Chaucer.
- Remember to follow up – Sometimes silence speaks volumes, but sometimes it just speaks, well, nothing. If your cold email gets no response, don't be too discouraged. Feel free to follow up again. Most research indicates this increases your odds of interest, and if nothing else, it can't hurt to try.
- Show some vulnerability – Confidence is usually everything in business, but cold emails are a completely different beast. You want to appear lighthearted, honest, humble, and even a little submissive. The ball is in their court, not yours. Don't try to force it to be.