Here are our top cold email strategies that work time after time. Some of these are based on Neil's thoughts, others are our own. Much like cold calling, cold email will have its place for many years to come. Don't believe me? Check out the Lindy effect.
Here are a few tips we've come up with cold emailing through the past few months.
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Much like cold calling, cold email will have its place for many years to come. Don't believe me? Check out the Lindy effect.
Now, cold email is not the only channel you should be using, but it's one you can't ignore for B2B SAAS.
Here are our top cold email strategies that work time after time. Some of these are based on Neil's thoughts, others are our own.
Advice - Ask for advice
This make the prospect the expert, and often times you genuinely want to speak with them about their experience and gather their thoughts on what you're working on. It can be more important than a sale in the beginning. What if you're working on the wrong thing? You'll only find out by talking to customers.
You can take two approaches. I always advocate just asking for interest first. It's polite, genuine, and it focuses on build a relationship instead of pushing a sale through. Just ask if they'd be interested in a conversation.
If you want to go for the softest intro possible, just ask if you can send over a few questions over email. Ask genuine, difficult customer interview questions.
Pro tip: Ask a difficult, nuanced question that would be easier to answer over the phone than it would be for them to type out.
Then, in the follow up emails, you can suggest a call if that would be easier for them.
We prefer just asking for their permission before sending the questions over.
Education - here's how others are doing it (you learn something)
Sometimes you need to educate the market about both your solution and the actual problem your product solves.
Providing genuine value over email is a great lead in to a relationship. Give them something actually useful and they'll be grateful. Send them something stupid and useless and you'll never hear from them again.
Pro tip: Show them what's trending in their industry / market. Make sure there is some actual thought behind this. If all you tell them is something they already know, they're not going to see you as a thought leader
Interest email - is this interesting for you
Send an email that just asks for interest. They don't know you from Adam. Just make them aware of this new solution for the next time they're looking.
This is great for the end of the year when next years budget is under consideration (or next quarter)
The blog post - we just published a blog post, thought it would be an interesting read for you. (summary)
This is a variant of #2. Please make sure you're actually providing value. A stupid blog post doesn't do anything for anyone.
The name drop
Did some industry leader just start using your product? Many smaller fish follow the big fish in the market. If they see a big fish do it, that may push them over the edge to at least watch a demo video on your site.
Meet my friend - intro someone else to the prospect.
This one is a little weird. The way it's supposed to work is someone the prospect doesn't know introduces you to the prospect who also doesn't know you.
We've never done this. Neil recommended it, but meh, feels stupid and insincere. I wouldn't respond to this, but it was important enough for him to include so I'll include it here as well.
The Brex - fake forwarded email from the CEO
This might set off some moral alarm bells, but it was effective for Brex.
The way this one works is you draft a fake forwarded email from the CEO asking them to reach out to the prospect for some reason (they look like a good fit, so-and-so's background is impressive, etc).
Then it's not so cold, you have a reason to reach out, your CEO asked for them by name!
This can also be automated and sent out through hubspot, mixmax, etc.
Follow up ideas
Is someone else i can talk to?
Maybe they're not the right person to do this. Just ask them. Sometimes they'll forward it to the right person and then you're in business.
Can I reach back out in a week or two?
Might be a bad time such as at the end of a quarter or the end of their fiscal year.
More info (updates - just released x)
This is a real reason to follow up. Make sure it's relevant and provides value though.
More info (e-book, blog, news article, etc)
Another solid reason to follow up is releasing a new (free) piece of value-add content. Again, if it doesn't add value your response rate won't be hurt... it will be zero.