Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You’re reading Entrepreneur United States, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Email marketing is either alive and well or completely ineffective depending on whom you ask.
And it almost always comes down to the execution of the campaign.
Cold-email marketing is a powerful way to generate leads, clients, buyers and users.
But you can’t just send emails and hope for a response. Not when the average office worker gets 121 emails every single day.
Here are three cold-email-marketing tips I’ve used to land major corporate client deals and how you can leverage them too.
1. Prioritize niche targeting first
Selecting and targeting a specific audience with a specific offer is critical to cold-email marketing.
No matter how great your offer is, if your audience is misaligned, they won’t convert.
Targeting goes beyond simple filters like “software companies” and deeper into specifics. For example, your targeting might be: Software companies in the cyber-security space who raised a series A this year of at least $X million and have X employees.
Being more specific nets better results because you can scale personalization much faster.
A great place to start targeting and building lists is Crunchbase or LinkedIn, where you can locate and sort companies by various metrics.
This also helps you identify which decision-makers you’ll need to contact. For instance, you won’t want to reach out to CEOs of larger companies, but you might want to reach out to CEOs of newly funded startups.
With tools like Crunchbase, you can sort and filter lists of companies by size and decision-maker.
Before you craft any templates for any campaign, know who your specific target audience is.
Related: 5 Tips for Better Email-Marketing Performance
2. Time in months and quarters instead of days and hours
The time of day you send an email is a minute portion of your success. It’s likely not a huge factor.
Instead, when it comes to timing, you should prioritize business schedules and the time of year you are sending campaigns.
For example, if you run an ecommerce business, cold emails to potential customers around the holidays will convert much higher as people are eager to find great gifts for their family and friends.
As an agency, we prioritize cold emails toward the end of quarterly business cycles.
Why? Because companies begin to reassess their spending, their budgets and what changes they need to make (or goals to hit) in the upcoming months.
Emailing at the start of a quarter is likely too late as decisions have been made and contracts have been signed.
In addition, campaigns in the fourth quarter of the year are likely to convert highest as companies often have room left in the budget to experiment with new services and strategies.
This is an open door for you to pitch your solution to their specific problem.
Timing the day, minute or hour is often pointless. But timing the month or quarter with targeted promotions can net huge results.
Related: Why Email Marketing Is Better for Your Business Than Social Media
3. Avoid faux personalization
When you read content about email marketing, you often read advice like, “Personalize your emails.”
And typically, the given structure to follow is something like, “I love what your company is doing…”
This type of personalization isn’t really personalization. It’s faux personalization that’s been done by too many people for too long. When something is new and novel, it works very well. Once the masses adopt it, it becomes far less effective.
Faux personalization can be spotted quickly. So, what do you do instead?
You have two distinct options. With Option A , you can opt for zero personalization and prioritize targeting and sending volume (how many emails you send per day, week, month). Or with Option B, you can focus on smaller lists with deep, real personalization.
Personally, I have found far better results with Option A. Cold-email marketing is often a numbers game, no matter how much personalization you add. No amount of ego-bait and friendly statements can produce a budget out of thin air or the need for your service or product.
Option A gets right to the point and wastes no time for the prospect.
Your email can be as simple as this:
My company does XYZ for companies like yours (list a few examples for social proof and credibility).
I’m confident we could improve/solve XYZ problem.
No idea if something like this is on your radar right now, but if it sounds like something worth exploring, I’d love to chat and see if a relationship would make sense.
An email like this gets straight to the point and has one goal: to get a response. If you overwhelm a prospect with your entire life story and lines upon lines of “personalization,” you likely won’t get a response.
Related: How to Launch Your First Email-Marketing Campaign and Get the Results You Want
People are short on time. Remember, they deal with 121 work emails daily. Make yours short, to the point, and targeted at the right audience, and you’ll increase your open and response rates, landing more clients.