There is nothing more fulfilling than landing your first client. Whether you’re a freelancer or a business owner, winning your first client/customer is the most crucial part. That’s where cold email outreach comes in.
Unfortunately, implementing an email marketing campaign is easier said than done. Backlinko reports that only 8.5% of cold emails receive a response. However, most of these don’t even get the first action — getting opened and read. Even if people open 23.9% of sales emails, they deem the offers as either unappealing or irrelevant to them.
But here’s the good news: 80% of people still prefer sales reps to contact them via email. A Mckinsey study also revealed that email is nearly 40 times better than social media at getting customers. Hence, the cold outreach campaign looks promising when implemented correctly.
The solution? Create robust, personalized emails. However, there’s more to this than meets the eye. That said, here’s how to land your first client from cold email outreach:
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Cold Email Outreach Explained
As the name suggests, cold outreach is reaching out to people you haven’t had prior interaction. You can contact potential clients or customers via phone, email, social media, or SMS.
A perfect example is when a customer receives a call from a telemarketer they’ve never heard of before. In telemarketing, a sales representative is looking to sell a particular product. Another example is when a prospective client receives an email offer for a specific service.
When getting a client for the first time, cold emailing is better than calling people over the phone or sending messages via social media. In fact, email marketing has long been proven effective for business.
5 Proven Steps for Getting Your First Client through Cold Email Outreach
Now, it’s time to get the work done for your cold outreach. Remember, however, that you’ll send emails to people who don’t know you. At the onset, this already gives you a disadvantage. Therefore, you must resort to strategic planning for your email campaign.
That said, follow the steps below:
Step 1. Assess your service or product offer
What you have to offer is the most crucial part in your cold outreach. Ask yourself if they have value that can benefit consumers. Remember that people won’t patronize products or services offering no value.
Start by evaluating your products or services. You’ll be more excited and aggressive in your cold email campaign if they are worth buying or hiring. You’ll be more passionate about helping other people through your offers.
Step 2. Leverage tools for cold email outreach
Before kicking off your campaign, invest in the tools required for effective cold email outreach. Consider the following:
- Hubspot: It’s a great email marketing tool for inbound marketing and sales.
- Hunter.io: It’s an email verification and research tool best for collecting and verifying email addresses.
- Mailshake: It’s a sales engagement platform for boosting your cold email outreach.
- Outreach: It’s an email tracking tool best for automating your cold outreach.
- Reply.io: It’s a sales engagement platform ideal for automating and optimizing outreach campaigns.
- Salesloft: It’s the leading sales engagement solution in the market for a good reason.
- Saleshandy: It’s an email tracking, automation, and outreach tool.
- Snov: It’s another popular software designed for cold emailing with easy-to-use interface.
- Woodpecker: It’s an excellent tool providing AI assistants for multichannel sales communications.
- Yesware: It’s a cold email automation solution with a free version offering basic functions.
Step 3. Come up with a list of prospects
Now that we have a list of tools for your cold outreach, it’s time to look for potential clients. These prospects might eventually hire your service in the future. However, there is nothing more exciting than landing your first ever client.
Aside from using the tools listed above, you can perform manual research and due diligence. Google is the first place to start, as it enables you to search for your target market. Also, social media channels allow you to look for potential clients.
As a freelancer, you can also look for clients via freelancing websites. A few examples are Upwork, Designhill, Toptal, Fiverr, and We Work Remotely. Through these sites, you can come up with a list of prospects.
Step 4. Create a cold email template
At this point, you can now create a cold email template. It helps to have a streamlined format for your cold outreach campaign. When doing so, include the following essentials:
- Personal greeting: Be sure to address the prospective clients by their names.
- Brief self-intro: Briefly introduce yourself by informing who you are and what you do. Most importantly, explain why you’re reaching out to them.
- Moment of admiration: It’s best to include some genuine compliments in the email body. That will help you justify why you’re interested in working with them. Be very specific!
- Service or product offer: Introduce your products or services. Let them know how you can help them or how your offering can benefit them.
- Sign-off: Be sure to thank them before closing. End your email stating that you’re looking forward to hearing from your prospects.
That said, you should include all the elements mentioned above. Without even one, your email will look incomplete. Your goal is to provide your target clients with what they need to know without going overboard.
Step 5. Personalize emails and test them
The cold email template only serves as a format. However, you must personalize the specific email content. Know your prospective clients before sending them emails. Performing research and due diligence should be a part of the overall equation.
Email personalization works a lot better. Your recipients will see that you take the time to know them before sending them emails. Woodpecker suggests using advanced personalization to double your email reply rate. Through this, they saw an increase in the rate from 7% to 17%.Furthermore, it’s best to examine your emails. Once you have created the perfect ones, don’t send them just yet. With the available tools listed above, test them to see how they look once they end up in your clients’ inboxes. That will allow you to make some necessary tweaks.
Leadlantern recommends employing A/B split testing for email marketing campaigns. This testing can increase your open rates by almost 50%. It entails comparing one email against another to check which one yields the best result. It allows you to make email changes and see which ones are promising.
Step 6. Start sending emails
At this point, there’s no other way than to send emails to your list of prospects. You can only wait and hope to land your first client.
But once you receive a response from some of them, your work doesn’t end there. Be highly critical and responsive in your replies. Send follow-up emails when necessary. Be persuasive without going overboard.
Ultimately, you’ll earn your first ever client through your cold email outreach.
5 Practical Tips for Effective Cold Email Outreach
When implementing cold email outreach, the goal isn’t just to have your emails opened or responded. The ultimate goal is to land your first client and start offering your service. Hence, there’s a lot of work to do.
According to GMass, the average cold email rate ranges from 1-5%. They analyzed thousands of email campaigns to determine this rate. Factors triggering email responses include email personalization, industry offers, and calls-to-action (CTAs).
To make your cold email outreach campaign effective, here are some practical tips for you:
Tip #1. Be creative.
Creativity is key to attracting clients or customers. This idea applies to your cold outreach campaign. The more creative your emails are, the more they appeal to your prospects. So it won’t hurt to get a little creative.
The key here is to inject creativity based on your business personality and service offers. If you’re offering graphic design, you must be as visually creative as possible. If you’re a freelance writer, you should play with the words in your email.
Tip #2. Start with a compelling subject line.
Did you know that people click emails because of the subject line? The subject line and the sender’s name are critical factors for getting emails opened and read.
Per Super Office, 33% of email recipients decide to open emails based on the subject lines alone. Also, 45% of subscribers read emails based on who send them.
The subject line is the first thing that email recipients would notice. Make them striking to catch your prospects’ attention. It’s surprising how as simple as a subject line can have a massive impact on your cold outreach campaign.
Tip #3. Personalize email.
We’ve been reiterating personalization for your cold email outreach. And that is because it is key to your campaign’s success.
Personalization means ensuring the email content talks about your client’s needs and how you can help. But aside from the body, you should also personalize the subject line. Why? Personalized subject lines get a whopping 50% open rate.
Furthermore, email personalization ranks second at 72% among the effective email marketing strategies. Email segmentation tops at 78%, while email automation ranks third at 71%.
Tip #3. Offer real value.
Congratulations! Your personalized subject lines have compelled your target clients to open your emails. However, the journey doesn’t end there. This part is where you need to be highly critical.
A potential client will only hire your service or even buy your product if you offer something of value. That’s why we advise you to assess your product or service offering.
What good is an effective cold email if you have nothing valuable to offer your client? Also, your offer won’t matter if you cannot promote it successfully via cold outreach?
Tip #4. End with a strong CTA.
A call-to-action (CTA) is what it sounds like — prompting clients or customers to take action on a messaging copy. In marketing, it encourages an immediate response or sales.
According to Boomerang, it’s best to phrase your CTA as a question. Why? Emails with 2-3 questions get higher reply rates by 50%.
Furthermore, include a CTA on every email sent for your cold outreach campaign. It should appear at the bottom of the email’s body after introducing your offer and before signing off. You should keep it simple, clear, and actionable!
For instance, you can write: “If you’re interested, kindly reply to this email.” Also, refer clients to your business website or social media for further details. Or you can include a link where clients can subscribe to your channel, place an order, or hire your service.
Tip #5. Be proactive and responsive.
For cold email outreach, two key attributes are vital: being proactive and responsive.
Proactiveness means including everything in the email a potential client needs to know. Include a greeting, self-introduction, client details, offering, CTA, and sign-off name. However, don’t go overboard, as you don’t want to bombard your client with too much information.
Additionally, proactiveness entails sending follow-up emails. Yes, you shouldn’t get discouraged if you don’t get a reply. Your prospects are probably busy or might have overlooked your email. Send them follow-ups to double your response rate, per Backlinko.
Furthermore, responsiveness is the most critical when a client opens and reads your email. Make sure to respond promptly and effectively. Be strategic in your email replies. All these will help you land your first client.
Getting Started with Your First client
Cold email outreach is a viable solution for landing your first client. Whether you’re a freelancer or a business owner, be sure to harness the power of email marketing.
That said, follow the six steps above for your cold outreach campaign. Also, consider the five practical tips for effective email marketing.
With these in mind, you’ll set your cold email outreach on the right footing. Ultimately, this will help you land your first client — and win more in the future!