Your marketing consulting business needs new clients to grow. And you’re not going to sit around waiting for prospects to find you. You’re going to learn how to write a cold email that generates leads.
Because you’re not some random freelancer. You’re a kick-ass business owner!
Lead generation is the lifeblood of your business. It’s your responsibility to identify prospects to tell them about your freelance marketing services.
In this article, you’ll find the best practices for writing a cold email to a prospect. Use these tips to make the most out of your email campaigns.
Table of Contents
Cold emails produce warm leads
Most people shy away from sending cold emails. But not you.
You see, some people think cold emailing is dead or considered spam. It’s not. Well, if done right.
Cold emails turn into warm leads. And, developing a consistent flow of leads is one of the biggest challenges for marketing consultants.
Cold emailing is what you need to skyrocket your revenue. That’s why taking time to learn how to write cold emails is worth every minute.
Think I’m kidding?
Laura Lopuch sent 328 to launch her copywriting business. She grew 1400% in 4 months. Holy crap! You can read her story on Copyhakers.
It may take time to figure out what works for your consulting business. But once you get cold emailing down, you’ll see huge results.
Think about it this way. How do relationships begin offline? First, you reach out and start a conversation. Business relationships start the same way.
Your cold email is the beginning of that conversation.
Make your cold emails short, powerful, and intriguing. Each part of your message plays an integral role in moving the conversation forward.
Let’s begin by understanding what a cold email is.
Don’t skip over this part. You’ll regret it.
What is a cold email?
Cold emails break the ice. You’re reaching through your computer to shake hands and introduce yourself to someone you don’t know.
Sure, you might get rejected. Shake it off. Who cares? Move on to the next prospect.
You can send a cold email to schedule a meeting with a potential client before an industry conference you’re both attending. Or shoot an email to an editor to pitch a guest post.
Contrary to what beginners believe, cold emails are not spam. Wait? So, how are cold emails not spam?
A cold email addresses the recipient. It contains targeted and contextual information, plus a personalized request.
On the other hand, spam messages are generic and pushy. They do not address the recipient directly or contain the sender’s contact information (business name, address, phone, etc.).
Writing cold emails that work
Avoid sending emails with aggressive sales pitches. Trying to sell in your cold email is a huge no, no. That’s kind of like throwing a stink bomb into the middle of a crowd. Everyone will scatter.
Cold emails are a long-term strategy.
But there’s no perfect structure when writing a cold email. However, if you need help, there are hundreds of templates to adapt.
Whether using a template or writing an original message, be creative. Take time to choose the right words to paint your freelance marketing business in the best possible light.
You want to win the prospect’s interest. Then, find a way to get to know them.
When you craft an email tailored to your prospect’s needs, challenges they are facing, or addresses an issue in their segment, you’ll set yourself up for success.
Keep your cold email short
According to Hubspot, keep your emails to less than 200 words. So how are you supposed to write an impactful email but stay less than 200 words?
Write your email without worrying about the length. Then, rewrite the email but cut it in half. If you’re still over 200 words, rewrite and cut the word count again. This process may take time to get used to, but you’ll get it down. You’ll get better each time you do it.
Now, let’s jump into the step-by-step process of how to write a cold email.
How to write a cold email
1. Know your audience
No person or business is the same. Therefore, the more you learn about your prospect, the better positioned you are to address their needs and formulate a winning approach.
Even though you are writing a cold email, the idea is to make the email warm and friendly.
Before starting a cold email campaign:
- Identify your target audience.
- Conduct research to understand the needs and challenges of individual prospects.
- Divide your audience into core segments based on shared needs or challenges.
You’ll use what you’ve learned about your segments to connect with the recipient on a personal level.
2. Write an intriguing subject line
Most people spend only a few seconds writing the subject line of an email.
Don’t be like most people.
If you write a poor subject line, then your email will get sent straight to the trash. Your subject WILL determine if your prospect opens your message. It will make or break your cold email campaign.
The subject is the most critical part of your email. It’s the key that unlocks the door to your message.
Use the subject line to pique the interest of your reader. And make them click to open your email.
To stand out in your prospect’s inbox, keep these points in mind:
- Use a catchy yet concise subject line
- Steer clear of spammy language
- Incorporate the prospect’s point of view
- Add personalization, use the recipient’s name
- Be (sound) human
- Keep the subject line less than 50 characters
3. Write a clever opening line
Starting a cold email is tricky. To make things more complicated, most people skim the first paragraph.
So, use your first line to make a great impression.
First, start with the recipient’s first name. Your recipient’s interest in continuing to read the email will increase if you address them by name.
“Hi (first name)” goes a long way towards making you sound authentic.
Next, according to Scribe Media, “the best opening lines are gut punches.” They recommend asking yourself three questions before you write your opening statement.
- What will the audience care about, be interested in, or be surprised by?
- What is the most interesting story or inflammatory statement in your book?
- What do you have to say that breaks the rules?
Last, keep a few opening lines in your back pocket. Don’t be afraid to test different opening lines. See if one performs better.
4. Write the introductory paragraph
Don’t make the introduction about you, your product, or your company. That’s a huge turn-off.
Your email introduction should connect to your opening line and focus on the recipient. Here’s an opportunity to use your audience segment research.
Show your prospect they’re special, but stay professional with the language and tone.
Keep the introduction around three to four sentences. Your last sentence should be a hook. Develop a hook using the research of your prospect’s needs or challenges.
Consider using one of these four types of hooks.
- Statistic Hook – Use a statistic to capture your recipient’s attention. Make them want to read and learn more.
- Question Hook – Ask a question your recipient is interested in having answered. Answer the question in the email.
- Quotation Hook – Use a relevant quote to draw your reader into the email. Connect the quotation to the reason you are emailing them.
- Statement Hook – Make a bold argument or take a position. Even if they disagree with your statement, they will be intrigued to see how you support your declaration.
5. Write an engaging body
You’ve got them hooked, don’t screw up now.
In the body, continue to demonstrate why you’ve emailed the prospect. Integrate your knowledge of what they do into the text. Show empathy for the challenges they face.
Throughout the body, speak directly to your prospect. Kind of like you’re sitting across the table from them at a coffee shop.
Remember, your goal is to build a sustainable relationship and provide value. Not close a sale.
As you’re writing, address at least one specific need of the recipient. And subtlety weave your business or solution into the message.
But focus on the benefits, not features. For example, “Nobody wants to buy a drill. What they want is a hole.”
Remember the hook from the intro? Well, answer the question or provide more details. That’s how you provide value.
Last but not least, don’t add too many links to your email. Having too many links may trigger spam filters.
6. End your cold email with an appropriate call-to-action
Don’t drop the ball five feet from the goal line. It’s time to move your relationship to the next step.
When concluding your message, have ONE call to action (CTA). Multiple CTAs confuse the ready. Make it easy for the recipient to determine what to do next.
Keep your CTA simple and direct. But politely ask the prospect to act.
Whether you want feedback, to have a quick chat, or even continue the conversation via email. START SMALL.
Gaining agreement of small requests increases the likelihood of agreeing to a second, more significant request. Psychologists call this the “Foot in the Door Technique.”
7. Close with a professional signature
If you don’t want your cold email to look like spam, adding a professional email signature helps. Email signatures make you appear authentic.
That’s why you need to finish all your cold emails with your signature.
Your signature should be short and on-brand. Include your full name, website, phone number, job title, and social media profiles.
Other tips for how to write a cold email that generates leads
- Be specific about what you want: Don’t beat around the bush and add fluff. Be specific.
- Provide a link to find more info: To reduce the size of your email, provide a hyperlink to more information.
- Demonstrate you can deliver: Consider integrating social proof by adding a customer quote.
- Consider using cold email templates: There are plenty of templates you can use as a guide.
Sending cold email campaigns is crucial for getting new leads, building long-term business relationships, and closing more deals. To achieve the best results, never stop learning. Test different subject lines and analyze open and response rates.
Don’t wait. Take what you’ve learned today and start a cold email campaign.