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How many times have you received a cold email so terrible that you wanted to literally laugh out loud or even cry?

5 Reasons Why This B2B Cold Email Sucks (And How to Fix It)In the business of cold email copywriting, I see them all the time; both from prospective clients and in my own Inbox. They either make me want to scream, or laugh so hard that I have to run to the bathroom.

I usually save the really bad cold emails I receive in my inbox and forward them to friends and colleagues with a few tips of what not to do. Other times, if I’m feeling nice, I respond to the cold emailer with a few pieces of advice.

With all of these terrible cold emails piling up in my Inbox, I’ve decided I’m going to go on a full crusade to fix this problem at its source.

5 Reasons Why This B2B Cold Email Sucks (And How to Fix It)

Cold Email Mistake #1: Losing Their Attention With a Weak Introduction Sentence

“I just wanted to briefly introduce you a  tech company that that you may not have heard of—COMPANY X.”

This is what I call “wimpy language.” It doesn’t catch my attention or excite me at all. No one wants to read through an apologetic or self-defeatist cold email, especially in the intro. Maybe I haven’t heard of your company, but that’s not what’s really important. Tell me why your product is fantastic and how it will help me solve my problems early in your cold email.

Cold Email Mistake #2: Confusing Prospects with a Rambly Value Proposition

“COMPANY X will announce a new version tomorrow.  The full release and infographic are below.”

You should be able to explain your product and it’s value prop in one sentence. NEVER ask the prospect to look “below,” especially in an email. Once you do that, you’ve lost them. Your prospects don’t have the time or attention span to scroll through an essay about your product. (They had an awkward and wordy newsletter below that I won’t include because it gives away the emailer.) Tell them what it is and how it will help me in as few words as possible.

Cold Email Mistake #3: Listing Boring Features Instead of Your Most Powerful Benefits

“With this new version, COMPANY X has created a feature that is unique in CRM technology. We call it 1-to-Many with Any. This clever engineering allows users to associate one FEATURE-FEATURE-FEATURE.”

Your prospects don’t want to hear all the ins and outs of your entire product. They want to know that you understand their pain points and have a solution for them. Product centric copy fails to target specific personas, decreasing the likelihood of a positive response.

Stop sending the same mass email to every persona on your list, and take some time to research the personas you plan on targeting. CEOs and VPs of Sales have different concerns, therefore, your emails should be tailored to reflect their unique needs.

Cold Email Mistake #4: Lazy About Checking for Grammar or Spelling Errors

One of the many downsides to outsourcing your outbound emails to Odesk or foreign workers is the potential for grammatical and spelling mistakes. Whether you’re a native English speaker or not, have someone with a strong command of the English language proofread your cold emails before you send them out. Having an extra pair of eyes makes a huge difference in catching grammatical errors. And when it comes to cold emails, how do you expect a C-level prospect to trust you with their business goals if you have grammar or spelling mistakes?

Cold Email Mistake #5: Treating a Cold Email like a Gimmicky Marketing Email

“This means that users have context for today’s complex relationships. This “People First” approach is geared to the way business has evolved, with people moving from company to company and job to job.“

Bold or enlarged text is a lazy alternative to powerfully persuasive email copywriting. Font gimmicks are dead giveaways that your cold email is a generic and mass-delivered. Writing cold emails is not the same thing as writing the marketing copy for your drip campaigns.

While customizing mass emails may seem daunting at first, a few personalized touches will give your copy a fighting chance for good open and response rates.

  • Keep your email copy short and conversational.
  • Don’t write long, drawn out paragraphs that explain every detail about your company and all your product’s features. Remember, the goal of your outbound campaign is only to get prospects on the phone, not to close the deal.
  • Don’t use jargon that adds no value (such as “people first”), or includes bloated sentences that overcomplicate your copy and distract from your message. They aren’t helping you convert prospects into qualified leads.
  • You will be more powerful and credible if you demonstrate that you’re “people first,” instead of just stating this passively.

My Cold Email Advice to Help You Write Better Cold Emails

PRO TIP #1: Write your mass cold email template as if you were writing an email to a single person. Pick someone from your list and do some research on them to get ideas of what benefits you want to mention, for example.

PRO TIP #2: Be straightforward about your product and how it will help make your prospect’s life easier.

PRO TIP #3: Do add customized inserts like, {!First_Name} and {!Company} to give your emails a more personalized feeling.

Get more sales tips in the RingLead ebook, Sphere of Influence Selling: An Inside Sales Approach to Crushing Your Quota.

5 Reasons Why This B2B Cold Email Sucks (And How to Fix It)

This post originally appeared on the Salesfolk Blog.

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