Generating leads through cold email blasts may seem like a daunting task. We all get tons of emails that we simply delete or quickly unsubscribe to. However, just because we are not clicking on those emails, doesn’t mean there isn’t a small percentage of people out there who do. That small percentage can be what gets a company out of stagnation and into profitability.

A recent podcast on the Marketing Automation Discussion goes into depth about exactly how to profit from cold emails. His cohost has just returned from a vacation and is ready to provide a detailed look at setup and strategy for new cold email campaigns. The topics they cover are: record verification, sender accounts, how to ensure high deliverability / open rates / click rates, and proper maintenance for cold email longevity.

The stage is set by their reference to a specific scenario they are actually advising on this morning – In this situation the domain name they are about to send campaigns from is brand new (no emails have ever been sent). Before any emails are sent, they urge listeners to do the following.

Create a Google Apps or Outlook account for this new domain this will be the basis of all work that gets done. Fortunately, Google and Outlook are great tools that have highly customizable settings and add-ons that quickly and easily increase profitability.

Before sending out an email make sure all Authentication is completed correctly. Without this, you simply be bogged down with error messages which slow down the process. After that, you are ready for your first test email. Before blasting out any email always test it to make sure everything is correct and being sent to the right place.

If you are sending through an ESP like sendgrid, you should not start cold emailing under a new domain until after you have fully-warmed up multiple IPs under the ESP and have sent a ton of warm customer emails (no unsubs/spam complaints) first.

A google app or outlook account for this new domain, you can circumvent problems that typically arise with sendgrid type software. Do this by connecting said google apps account to your cold email platform. Make sure you are focusing on the  ‘cold email platform’ statement because you do not want to send cold emails from a platform not created for that purpose i.e., sendgrid, mailchimp, yesware, constant contact.

You will always have a low conversion rate for cold emails, but ever little percentage increase helps. Here are the most common causes of low deliverability.

Negative Sender Reputation: Your reputation as a company is tested with every email you send. People will remember your email address and your style. For example emails with this subject heading: READ NOW FOR FREE MONEY may work on a few, but over time you will eventually be seen as the dreaded ‘spammer’

Always seek to keep complaint rates low and be aware of how emailers get ‘Black Listed.’ This is the death knell for any aspiring cold emailer.

Poor List Quality: Never buy a pre-developed list. We focus on ad hoc data research to ensure high-quality leads.

Lack of Email Authentication: Authentication allows the receiver of an email and the mailbox provider to confirm the identity of the sender. If the identity of the sender cannot be authenticated, mailbox providers may reject the message or put it through additional filters to determine whether it should be delivered.

Low open-rate directly impact the potential of the dataset and the results of the campaign. Let’s say that 10% of the targeted recipients are seeing your message then by increasing the open rate to 20-30% you can potentially increase the bottom line conversion as well.

In Conclusion:

  • Check your blacklist status on MXTools.
  • Bounce rate – keeping it at less than 5% is important, although less than 10% is not bad but why settle for silver when you can win gold
  • Hard vs soft bounces.
  • Sender’s email – use a normal mailbox and not a third party server because you’re not spraying and praying.
  • Recipients’ email – target their direct corporate email, no role-based emails, no private emails (@gmail, @yahoo etc).
  • Subject line – mix it up and use dynamic placeholders, if your subject line looks like the last one they didn’t like then it’s off to the trash with it.
  • Message copy – make it valuable, personally relevant and conversational (not marketing oriented), you want to start a conversation not close a deal.
  • Target market – not much can be done here but it will partially explain the conversion rate.
  • Sending schedule – don’t send 100s of emails in a short period of time, put random intervals in-between email n and n+1.
  • Sending volume – keep it between 25-150 per day per mailbox, high conversion from low volume beats low conversion from high volume.
  • Being human – I know you are not a robot (right?), but often times when we have the ability to deploy automation the human aspect is pushed away.