Cold calling is passé. Cold emails have taken over. First, it’s the most effective form of networking if you are dealing with a client who has online presence and second, it’s the cheapest. Cold email is a useful tool to network with potential investors without relying on your existing sources. It definitely works, but not always. Why? Because writing a perfect cold email that will make people respond requires skills not everyone has. It’s indeed difficult to make people like you in one email. But it’s not impossible. We are going to share the secret formula to write an effective cold email. Read on!
First things first
The immediate goal of writing a cold email is not to get hired for a job or find an investor. Of course these are your long term goals. But at first, your goal with cold email is to show them value and start a conversation. The real pitch comes in your second conversation.
Now let’s get started with the formula point by point.
1. Prepare a list of contacts
Sending cold emails to everyone in your contact lists is futile. So you have to make a list of people who are in the desired industry or share similar professional interests. Find people whose time will be worthwhile for you. Find their email addresses and start typing.
2. Write the perfect subject line
Let’s face it – we move plenty cold emails from inbox to trash every day. Most of them have such shabby and pleading subject lines that we can’t even get ourselves to open them. So the first ground rule of writing a perfect cold email is to write a perfect subject line. No flowery language and no desperation, the key is to keep it simple. The ideal format is –
“Introducing [Company Name], [One line pitch]”
If you don’t have a pitch yet, prepare it. The subject line should reflect what your company is all about, without a fuss.
3. Draft the perfect message
Don’t write a sample Wikipedia article about your company in the email. Nobody has time to read your message if it’s not focused to the point. Ideally the email shouldn’t be more than three to four sentences that is short enough for someone to read and respond under a minute. Now, don’t introduce yourself at the very beginning. People usually don’t care about what you do unless you tell them how your interest matches with them.
A sample investor cold email introduction could follow this starting point –
“Apologies for the cold email, I usually get an introduction but my network in [their area] isn’t so strong. I found [the fund] while I was looking for top class Venture Capital looking to invest in the [industry you’re in]. Given our focus, I believe we could be a good match.
4. Show them who you are
Now it’s the time for drum roll. Use 4-5 sentences to explain the following three key points
- Address the problem
- Tell them how your service can solve the problem
- Show them your value
Here is a sample –
Hey [name of the contact],
I noticed your blog currently isn’t mobile optimized:
[The contact’s Mobile site Review]
[your company name] is a plugin that actually mobile optimizes WordPress blogs to enhance the viewing experience for your readers on phones and tablets. When you have a few minutes would love to connect to get this taken care of for you. Alternatively, you can just download the plugin here.
5. Add social proofs or shiny stats
Adding social proofs and high level stats can increase your chances of chances of hearing back from the contact. Show your credentials and mention referrals, if you have any. If you have numbers backing up your pitch, add it. People are almost always interested to numbers than mere texts.
Here is a quick sample
“I’m a [your college name] alumni, and have worked at 3 different start-ups before founding [your company name]. Since launching our tech product two months ago, we’ve already had four paying customers sign up.”
6. Follow up
Finally, be persistent and follow up. Ask for a phone call or meeting, before talking money. If your company fits the contact’s criteria, more likely you will respond you back. But if they don’t, never give up. The person may be receiving piles of emails every day, so you have to follow up after a week.
Remember, not everyone is going to reply you back. If you hear back from 30% – 50%, it’s a major success. The key is to fine tuning yourself till you find out what approach works the best for you. Keep networking and have fun!