5 Cold Emailing Mistakes that Crush Your Agency’s Reputation
Frustrating, isn’t it?
You find a prospect who you know would love your service. And they seem a perfect fit.
So, you cold email them, outlining the benefits of hiring your agency…
…but never hear anything back.
If this scenario sounds all too familiar, then you need to change the way you reach out to prospects. Right now!
Because you see:
The chances are that your emails not only end up in prospects’ bins but they also start to associate your name with nothing more but spam.
And as I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s one outcome you really don’t want from cold emailing prospects.
You might be okay with a lack of response and low conversions. But when cold emailing starts to affect your reputation… it’s a clear sign you need to change your ways.
Luckily, that’s what I’m going to help you with.
In this post, I’ll show you 5 cold emailing mistakes you might be unknowingly making that turn your emails into nothing else but cheap spam.
Intrigued? Let’s get cracking then...
Mistake #1. You Do Not Customize Emails
Let me be clear on something:
There’s nothing wrong with using templates in email cold calling.
Templating sections of your message help you speed up the outreach, and avoid errors and typos that could occur if you were writing the entire message from scratch each time.
The problem starts when you use a template for the ENTIRE message.
A templated email doesn’t read right. For a template to work with every email you send, it needs to be formal, dry, and void of anything personal. In other words, it needs to sound generic. Otherwise, it wouldn’t work as a template.
However, that makes it unnatural to read. It doesn’t feel like a personal message you wrote specifically for a prospect.
Also, a template fails to build an emotional connection. Just imagine yourself following a pre-written script during a conversation. Would that help you connect with the other person? Or make them roll their eyes instead?
To connect with a person emotionally, when reading your message, they should feel as if you were there, beside them, speaking those words.
And believe me, that’s one heck of a task to achieve with a template.
Finally, you can’t impress a person with a templated message.
Here’s the catch:
For your email to work, you need to show the person that you’ve done the homework. You need to prove that you’ve researched them and their business.
But on a template, you can only personalize their name and perhaps include a mention of their company. Something that will clearly stand out as spam.
What to do instead?
Template the generic parts of your email, such as the offer and the call to action, but write the rest specifically for the recipient. This way you’ll make the message sound naturally, and build a connection while still saving time by not having to write the generic information every time.
Mistake #2. You Mispronounce Prospects’ Names
In his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People<”, Dale Carnegie wrote:
“[…] a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
Research conducted by the Institute for the Study of Child Development discovered that areas of our brain, responsible for the formation of personality, lit up when we hear our names or see them in print. (source)
In a sales context, it means that we develop negative attitudes towards anyone who misspells our names.
As Jakob Marovt from Pipetop put it:
"People love to see and hear their own name. And what’s on the other end of their love-hate spectrum? Their names being misspelled. This is especially important in cold reach-outs: forget about a positive reply if you screw up the name."
Mistake #3. You Cram Too Much Information in an Email
Here’s where yours and the prospect’s needs clash:
You want to tell them everything there is about your agency, your results, and successes.
They, on the other hand, have no more than a couple of seconds to read your message. They don’t want the whole enchilada. They just want enough information to make a call about whether to take things further with you or not.
But how do you think they feel seeing paragraphs upon paragraphs of text?
Your initial cold email should introduce your agency, tell a prospect what pain you could solve for them, and suggest the next step to take things further.
But include anything beyond that and you’ll be scaring prospects away.
In this post, Steli Efti from Close.io suggests a number of templates for an email cold call. However, if you take a look at them, each includes roughly only three paragraphs of copy. For example:
And here’s an email Heather R. Morgan, the founder of Salesfolk, a B2B sales emailing agency used to generate 16 new B2B clients for a company they service. It’s even shorter.
So, keep your emails short:
- Introduce yourself and build rapport in the first paragraph.
- Include a short elevator pitch in the next.
- And close off with a call to action.
That’s all you need to make a great impression and get a prospect to act.
Mistake #4. You’re Not Showing Credibility
Leaving your pitch aside, your prospect’s response to the email relies on one thing only – whether they trust you.
If you come across as someone trustworthy and credible, they might consider your offer.
But fail to communicate your credibility and your name goes straight onto the blacklist.
But how do you tell a prospect you’re a person to trust?
Well, for one, you could include proofs of your credibility in the email copy:
- Mention some of your current clients,
- Highlight achievements, or
- List some of your investors.
You could also use the signature to achieve the same effect:
- Include a link to your Linkedin profile. It will help a prospect validate that you’re a real person,
- Show any accreditations you may have. In my signature I include the Hubspot certification logo to show prospects that I do understand how services I provide work.
- And link to your latest blog post to let them think about you as a knowledgeable resource.
Calin Yablonski from Inbound Interactive includes a link to his latest YouTube video. This allows prospects to find out how much he knows about SEO but also, see him and build a personal connection.
Mistake #5. Including Disguised Links in the Copy
This one’s a no-brainer, right?
In the times of (well-justified) paranoia about internet privacy and security, the last thing you should do is send disguised links that don’t reveal the content or information behind them.
And yet, many people put the data and tracking above anything else.
They send bit.ly links to track clicks or use generic anchor text, such as “click here” to entice a response.
And in turn, make their carefully crafted email look like spam.
But leaving security issues aside, according to this article, using generic calls to action prevents prospects from opening your links for other reasons:
The word “click<” takes the attention from your message to what the article’s authors call “mouse mechanics.” Something that makes the person think about how a link works instead of clicking it.
The word “here” on the other hand conceals the information behind the link. Prospects seeing such link have no clue what it actually is.
So, don’t be one of those people.
If you want a person to click your link, tell them what it is and include the full URL. This way you’ll overcome their privacy and security concerns but still convince them to click it.
What do you think?
Do you email cold call prospects? How do you ensure that your cold emails won't demote your agency's reputation? Let us know in the comments.