How do you scale sending cold emails from 0 to 60 leads per month without getting thrown into the spam bin and the lights turned off?
Matt McQuinn, the founder of list building company Coldlytics, sat down with Alexi Ivanov, the founder of Hypergen; a cold emailing agency that’s helped businesses land meetings with companies such as SAP, Netflix, Reebok, Salesforce, and VaynerMedia through cold emails, to dig into his bag of tricks.
In this article, Alex will give us a behind the scenes look at the unique strategies he uses to get meetings through cold emails, and how you can do the same.
Also present was Frankie Fihn, author of Beyond the Agency Box: The Phoneless, Meetingless Digital Marketing Agency That Creates Lifetime Happy Clients Without Facebook Ads, Webinars, Google, or SEO.
Identifying a lead
According to Alex, the first step of a cold emailing campaign is to define a target audience. This works best by looking at your current clients; if you sell to real estate agents, you might look for real estate agents who are transacting a certain volume.
For instance, by analysing your existing clients, you might learn that someone doing at least 5 to 10 transactions per year is an ideal client.
Your lead would be anyone that fits that mould and is interested in finding out more about the product or service pitched to them.
Set up email inboxes the right way
Set up multiple email accounts for your campaigns by first buying multiple domains that are close to your primary domain.
For example, if your domain is biscuit.com, you would buy domains like biscuitmarketing.com, b2bbiscuit.com and set up emails in each. Then split them across different workspaces (Alex recommends Google workspaces, other options like Zoho workspace also exist ).
For each domain (b2bbiscuit.com) set up a Google workspace with two email accounts max (email@example.com, jasonbourneb2bbiscuit.com).
This is done to make sure that if something goes wrong and you’re banned for mistakes done on one email account, you don’t lose everything.
We’ve seen scenarios where the whole workspace is banned and all your emails associated with that workspace are marked as spam.
Also, if you are managing 10 to 15 accounts, forward all the emails to one main inbox so you don’t have to log in to each one separately…
You can set them up in a way where you can log into Google and manage all of them from there.
How to warm up your inbox and why?
Many people get a 10 to 20% email open rate and think it’s okay. With Alex’s email set-up strategy, he hits an open rate of 50 to 60%–sometimes as high as 80%.
Once you have set up your email accounts as discussed above, you can use tools like GMass and QuickMail to warm up your emails.
The aim of warming up emails is to build credibility, so they’re less likely to be marked as spam.
Warm up tools send emails within a group of registered users called warm up pools, and build up their authority over time. The emails are opened, replied to and removed from spam if they land there.
Kind of like how search engine optimisation works to build links between websites and search engines–like Google–take the links as indicators of authority..
“We’ve seen that warming up emails really improves results,” Alex says, “in terms of volume what you want to be doing is sending between 15 to 20 emails per day, and in 2 to 3 weeks, once you’ve warmed them up, you can gradually scale to 50 emails per day.”
For context, back in the day, you didn’t have to warm up anything and could still send emails out without delivery problems. Those days are long gone.
Every year Google and Outlook are rolling out deliverability restraints to improve user experiences by cutting down on spam. This is because there are more people doing cold emails than before–and even more of them doing it badly.
How to write emails that never convert
- Focus on yourself and your service
- Only talk about yourself
- Make your emails ridiculously long
- Try to cram in everything you want to say in one email
- Offer zero value
How to write emails that convert
- Start with an icebreaker
- Talk about the pain points
- Talk about how you solve the pain points
- Include a call to action.
“For call to actions we like to keep them loose,” Alex says, “no asking to meet at certain times. Instead, make them interest-based.” (No Calendly links please)
PS: Don’t use templates you find online. You should be able to write your own emails from scratch based on how your audience thinks and the language they use. Here’s a simple framework you can steal.
Never forget these two fundamentals of cold emailing
Copy+targeting=great cold email
Yes, your copy has to be effective and paired with the appropriate call to action, but you have to make sure you’re talking to the right people with that message.
Imagine walking down the street and saying your cold email lines to strangers:
Hi first name, I have a great SEO offer package for you… How is that going to turn out?
Well, that’s what you are doing when sending untargeted cold emails. Walking up to strangers, pitching them and leaving them wondering why you’re interrupting their day (not forgetting you’re also asking for 30 minutes on a call).
Alternatively, if you’re standing outside an electrical engineers’ association building, for example, and you’re saying to people that walk out:
‘Hi, I work with electrical engineers just like you and if you have 10 minutes to connect, I just wanted to tell you about something I’m working on.’
Probably a good amount of those people are going to accept. Of course, some of them won’t, but because you stood at the right building, you got better results.
However, let’s say you can barely put words together to ask them to step aside for a 10-minute chat. Even if you stand in front of the right building at the right time, they’re still going to decline if you can’t communicate well. That’s where great messaging comes in handy.
How to find inspiration for generating copy
Alex recommends watching a lot of content to see what other people are doing, besides taking deep dives into the core audiences you’re serving. For example, looking at customer reviews and conversations on platforms like Reddit and Quora to see what target audiences are talking about.
How to be relevant in your cold email campaigns
Writing emails is quick work; understanding your audience is the big task.
Here’s how to analyse your ideal client persona and ask questions that’ll uncover insight you can use. Find the answers to the following questions.
- Have they recently been funded?
- Have they been hiring?
- Are they looking to hire for specific positions?
- Do they have a certain department size (10+ developers but only 2 salespeople)?
- Where are they based?
- Have they reached a certain employee size? (What roles are in-house? And what do you think they are outsourcing?)
- Are they using a certain technology?
- As they are a top-ranking website on Alexa?
- Are they B2B or B2C?
- What industry are they in?
Most of this should come from your existing clients; when you look at 20-50 clients, you will start noticing trends.
If most of your clients have recently raised funding, they’re probably expanding to new regions, hiring SDRs, etc.
And if you base your outreach on that data, you’ll be getting more responses on your cold emails because you’ll be talking to more qualified people.
In Alex’s view, “it’s better to get 10 super qualified leads that fit all your criteria. It will be easier to close them than having 60 to 100 leads who are the wrong people.”
3 email copy secrets to help you be precise
- Focus on one pain point
- Focus on one benefit
- Use one call to action
Here’s why this works.
Alex points out that when agencies are marketing SEO services, for instance, they like to sell customers on ranking them higher. But the question to ask is, what does SEO do for my client?
And with that in mind, “it’s better to narrow down the messaging to, ‘ I will help you generate 10 to 15 extra appointments per month’ than be general,” he says. Here, booking appointments is the pain point, not SEO.
Simple cold email formula even your grandma can follow, according to Frankie Fihn
Say something specific about your prospect in your emails.
According to Frankie, when people hit his inbox “and I can see it’s a copy and paste message, it doesn’t get an open.”
But what happens when he looks at the email preview sentence and sees something like a mention of the book he wrote?
“Those messages… a hundred percent of the time, get opened,” he says.
- Name their baby
People’s businesses are their babies. Always name their baby and, if you can, take it a level deeper by naming their product or service.
- Give vs take
Always ask whether your email feels like a give or a take.
Frankie notes that 95% of the cold outreach messages he gets are people asking for money and talking about their services. Instead, he advises cold emailers ‘to give’ in their emails rather than always taking.
“One guy in our mastermind reaches out to top personal injury lawyers,” Frankie says, “his give is (in his outreach messaging), ‘hey I saw you are one of the top personal injury firms, I would love to share your message…Could I interview you for 10 minutes?’”
PS: Not everyone can use this tactic as a give but find ways of adding value to your prospects.
To run an effective cold email campaign, it all comes down to setting up multiple domains and email addresses for each, warming them up using email warm up tools, identifying your leads and finding relevant info about them to use in your outreach. Which one have you not done?
This article is an excerpt from the webinar: How to Scale Cold Email from 0 to 60 Leads Per Month