Are sending cold emails dead?
Well no... According to Mailchimp open rates for cold emails are between 15.22% to 28.46%, however, this is completely dependent on your industry and how personalised your email is. Additionally, including the prospect's name in the subject line increased open rates by 22.2%. So....it can be fair to say that cold emailing isn't completely dead but this article is aimed at the next step. How to generate enough interest to go from opened email to warm lead generated. The methods that we have researched are similar to the methods that content writers, or at least the good ones, make use of to trigger on a reader's emotions to ensure that their articles gets read.
All these methods that are discussed are not just meant for cold eamils but can also be applied to the articles you write, blogs you post and adverts that you publish.
So... We will be discussing 5 methods we have found to be the best to use for cold emails as well as for writing content:
1. Star - Chain - Hook (SCH)
That SCH formula was created in the early part of the twentieth century by Dr Frank Dignan of the University of Chicago Press. Its methodology has stood the test of time due to its pure simplicity. It works as follows:
STAR - The big/interesting/innovative idea that will capture your audiences attention. In your case what is the statistic that will make your future prospect sit up in his seat and stare in disbelief and make them just read a little bit further. This is how you start and that's your star.
CHAIN - A set of compelling facts, resources, arguments that support your initial star. Link one argument to the next to get your reader drinking each tantalizing fact thirsty for the next and the next.
HOOK - This is your call to action. What are you wanting your reader to do next. Is it to give you a call back, is it signing up for a newsletter or requesting a demo. Offer an extra piece of credibility or resounding facts that will create urgency and leave your prospect no choice but to follow the call to action.
2. Problem - Agitate - Solve (PAS)
The PAS framework has an unknown creator however it has been identified to be first used by Maxwell Sackheim in a direct marketing campaign. Again, as per the SCH method, this method is too simplistic in nature and follows the following process:
PROBLEM - Identify a pain point or challenge that your prospect is currently facing. This requires some research and could be specific to the client, something you read in a recent news article - or more generic that is effecting the specific industry at large. Let me give you an example. Your organisation specialises in fraud detection and you recently read about a large telco recently finding that they had been defrauded for millions. This would be your "pain point" and the start of your email.
AGITATE - This is where you pour salt into the wound and divulge to your audience the horrifying ways that this specific pain point is currently or going to impact their business. This is your opportunity to get into the nitty-gritty of the problem and to truly grab your audiences attention and yes.... agitate them. You are wanting them to be emotionally invested in your e-mail to make sure they get to the end. Again, this required extensive research to understand how their specific pain-point is hurting them on both a micro and macro scale.
SOLVE - This is your time to be the hero, you need to make it obvious that your solution/product/service is the exact thing that they require to solve their particular problem that they are currently facing. If you have uncovered a true pain paint and sufficiently agitated your prospect then they will be begging for your details to help you solve their problem.
3. But you are free (BYAF)
The BYAF method is as simply as it gets. Originally mentioned in an article by Nicolas Guegen and Alexandre Pascual in an article published in 2000. This method simply involves you making a request from your prospect be it for a call back, email back or a follow on a specific social media platform and stating at the end that they are free to choose whether they want to sign-up or not.
This technique sounds to simple to work but the creators Guegen and Pascual conducted a test and found that when subjects were asked in a street to give money to a cause, only 10.0% complied. However, when the phrase "...but you are free to accept or to refuse" was added, 47.5% now complied.
4. Star - Story - Solution (SSS)
The SSS model was introduced by Gary Halbert as a means to grab your audiences attention. This 3-step process is a follows:
STAR - The star is the prospect in question or a character that the prospect can relate to.
STORY - Introduce challenges and/or problems that the star is facing or faced in the past. This step requires research of your prospect in question. What challenge do you know that he/she is facing and how can you effectively communicate that your star is facing this issue. Again you are pulling on emotional strings to have your prospect fully engage with your email by relating to the star in question.
SOLUTION - This is your time to explain how your star won in the end. Is it by contacting you or using your solution? You need to tie the story up in a nice presentable bow that will get your prospect to contact you to have a similar happy ending.
5. Praise - Picture - Push (PPP)
Again a 3-step methodology that involves a quick to remember alliteration. The PPP method is relatively new, when compared to the others on this list, and has been created through psychological influence. Its premise is based on instilling a certain emotion within your client and then utilising that new found emotion to push them to a certain call to action. So what does it involve:
PRAISE - This requires researching your particular prospect and identifying something that you can praise them about. This can be a reward, new job, or anything else that would make your prospect feel proud or respected. Your line of praise needs to be sincere and respectful displaying that you truly think that what they have achieved is worth noting.
PICTURE - Using this emotion that you have created, describe to your prospect your service and why you are specifically addressing them. This method has been proven to build trust within your prospects mind to properly engage with the service that you are offering.
PUSH - Now is your time to push for the call to action. Describe why the prospect should contact you and take the next step. Tell them how your product/service can help them solve their problems and push them for the next engagement or meeting.
As mentioned before, these methodologies are not just limited to cold emails but to any other forms of copy writing. However, this is not the final step, as any good sales person would tell you, you need to follow-up. Contact your prospect again by either email, phone or social media message and fully engage with them to turn a cold e-mail to a future client.
I would love to hear of your thoughts on these solutions and any success stories that you might have after using these and other copy writing formulas...