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Like cold calling, emails focused on potential customers are referred to as “cold emails.” Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it’s difficult to get prospective customers to open and read those emails. Here are a few tips that may help to increase your open and read rate of cold emails.

1) The Subject Line:
Authors, writers and publishers spend enormous time creating their titles. Why? Because they know that the main reason people buy books, read articles, or click on news content is the title. Spend time on creating a subject line that catches your potential customer’s interest. It needs to be concise and should summarize your email.

2) The Funnel:
From an internet marketing standpoint, view your email as the beginning of the sales funnel. The email should be brief and succinctly diagnose a potential customer’s problem or concern; provide a solution and a way for that customer to find out how they can solve that problem, or provide the proper links to find that solution. In other words, don’t send them to your home page. Take them directly to the page where you provide your services or answers to that particular problem. It is also beneficial to have a short video at the top of that page that restates their concern and provides some solutions or ideas to solve the problem and why they need to read your copy on the page.

3) Research:
It always helps to do some extra research on your potential customer. In addition to viewing their sites, see if your customer has personally written any blogs or articles. Read what they have written. If appropriate, you can send an email to them about their article or blog and a comment. Make sure that you have the signature box of your email filled out properly, with a website and a call to action to view that site. Example: Look who helped XYZ Company increase their sales closing by 20% – (add site link).

4) LinkedIn:
A little LinkedIn research goes along way. I assume you have targeted your potential customers, so linking up with them is a good idea. Also, see if they belong to any groups. Check out their participation level and if they participate, join that group and comment after them. (As with the comments on blogs and articles, make sure that what you say has merit and is not a blatant attempt to win favor. Phony never works.)

5) Value Add:
You can also offer a free ebook, white paper or video in your email subject line. For example, if your market is branding, you might use a subject line with a value add such as “Get your customers to think of you first – 7 tips video!” Lead with that in the subject line and just have them click to read or view the video. (Do not use an attachment, as many people will not open attachments.) Make sure you always put a call-to-action in any value add. Remember, if the subject line and your value add fits in with their need, they are more likely to open it, read it, view it and take action.

6) Follow-Up:
Either via an auto-responder or your own little typing fingers, follow up in a day or two with an email stating “Hope you read our 7 tips to get your customers to think of your first. If not, you can view it here (add link).” “At XYZ company, we specialize in….” Here is where you can provide further information on how your company can solve your customer’s problems and provide links, as well as the link to the page that offers your service (with the video) in this email. Chances are they will view the video first and then read your white paper. (Again, take time creating your subject line for this email.)

7) Patience:
Like hammering a nail, if you keep at it, eventually you drive it home. As you know, the competition for the eyeballs of potential customers is fierce. By doing a little extra work on your subject line, funnel, content, value adds and follow-up, you will, undoubtedly, be doing more than most of your competition. That little extra work is what will help you stand out in the minds of your potential customers and, eventually, get them to open and read your cold emails.

Bob Garner is a modern day rags-to-riches entrepreneur who helps people turn their dreams and goals into reality. As an entertaining motivational speaker, he speaks to the audiences of Fortune 1000 corporations on personal and professional development. He is also an author and syndicated writer.

©2013 Bob Garner. All Rights Reserved. Feel free to post this article, but please use my byline and resource box. Thank you.

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