Mastering Cold Emailing with Mautic

Mastering Cold Emailing with Mautic

You don't get responses from your cold emails? You're probably using the wrong opener. Are you about to start cold emailing and don't know where to start? Wondering how you automatically follow up on cold emails? This article has you covered—and it tells you why no one cares about you and how you leverage this in cold emailing.

Cold emailing comes with many challenges. Besides finding leads to contact: Every day, millions of cold emails land in inboxes, and a significant chunk goes unnoticed.

Is it the content? Or is it the opener? Probably a mix both.

And once you've secured that precious open, how do you automate follow-ups to keep the momentum?

This guide walks you through some of the main challenges with cold emailing and how to write an engaging cold email opener. You'll get some proven strategies to write a good opener.

Main Challenges with Cold Emailing

Cold emailing can be a powerful tactic to reach potential clients or partners. Yet, like any tool, it can either build bridges or, if misused, burn them leading to missed opportunities.

Let's look at common challenges faced in cold:

Spam Filters

One of the foremost challenges with cold emailing is the omnipresent spam filter. Many well-crafted emails end up unseen, buried in the spam folder, never reaching the intended recipient. It's a hurdle that can significantly affect your outreach success rate.

Strategies to Overcome the Problem

  1. Avoid spammy words: Certain words or rather word combination in a certain context trigger spam filter. Be conscious of your word choice.
    1. Avoid spam words that make exaggerated claims and promises
    2. Avoid spam words that create unnecessary urgency and pressure
    3. Avoid spam words that look like shady, spammy, or unethical behavior
  2. Use trustworthy email services: Platforms like Amazon SES or Mailjet are often whitelisted and have better deliverability. Avoid bulk sending via Gmail or other free email service provider (additionally, doesn't look very professional). Using your own mail server comes with many challenges—do it if you really know what you're doing.
  3. Monitor your sender reputation: Tools like Sender Score can help you check your domain's reputation. A good score can ensure better email delivery.

Low Open Rates

Getting past spam filters is just the beginning. Your cold email may still get ignored if its subject line is boring and doesn't generate attention or curiosity.

Your email not only needs to land in the main inbox but also needs to be intriguing enough to get opened.

Strategies to Overcome the Problem

  1. A/B test subject lines: Use variations and see which ones perform better to refine your approach.
  2. Incorporate urgency or curiosity: Phrases like "Limited Offer" or "Have you seen this?" can prompt clicks. The drawback is that the most catchy subject line seem spammy. So, there's a thin line to walk.
  3. Personalize subject lines: Including the recipient's name or referencing a recent event can increase open rates.

Low Response Rates

Successfully getting your email opened doesn't guarantee a response. Many recipients—even after reading the email—may choose not to reply.

Crafting a compelling, clear, and actionable message is vital to enhancing your chances of getting a response.

Strategies to Overcome the Problem

  1. Include a clear call to action (CTA): Directly state what you want the recipient to do, whether it's a reply, a click, or a sign-up. If you don't ask for an action there won't be one.
  2. Follow up: If the first email goes unanswered, consider sending a polite follow-up after a week or two. People often forget to answer or take action, even they wanted to. So, a follow-up is justified.
  3. Ask open-ended questions: Encourage dialogue by asking questions that can't be answered with just a "yes" or "no."
  4. Ask closed questions: Encourage a short reply by asking questions that can be answered with just a "yes" or "no." The easier it is to reply the more likely it is you'll get one. As these strategies contradict each other, you'll adapt to your specific context.

Reputation Damage

There's a thin line between effective cold emailing and spamming. Sending unsolicited emails, especially in bulk, can harm your or your company's image.

If you overdo it, it might even lead to your email address being blacklisted.

Strategies to Overcome the Problem:

  1. Provide value: Ensure every email sent provides value to the recipient, making it less likely to be perceived as spam.
  2. Segment and personalize: Instead of a broad and generic approach, segment your audience and tailor your messages to each segment's unique needs and interests. It would be best if you'd personalize for each individual. But as that makes automation more difficult, there's a fine line to walk.
  3. Be transparent: Always clarify the reason for your outreach. Being upfront about how you came across the recipient's contact or why you think they'd be interested can add authenticity to your approach.

Perceived as Impersonal

Cold emails that lack personalization can quickly be classified as generic by the recipient. An email that doesn't resonate or seem tailored to the recipient can diminish its impact and relevance.

Strategies to Overcome the Problem:

  1. Segment your Audience: Group your recipients based on interests, industries, or behaviors and tailor your content accordingly.
  2. Use personalization tokens: Tools like Mautic allow you to insert custom fields (e.g., first name) into your emails.
  3. Reference recent interactions: Mention a recent webinar they attended, an article they liked, or any interaction that shows you've done your homework.

How to Write an Engaging Cold Email Opener

The first few lines of your cold email are akin to a book's opening lines—they can either captivate your audience or make them lose interest.

Assuming you got past the spam filter and your subject line was intriguing enough to justify a click to open the email:

Let's look at how to keep this momentum:

Personalize the Greeting

The power of addressing someone by their name cannot be understated. Starting your email with "Dear [Name]" or "Hello [Name]" immediately adds a touch of personalization and shows that it isn't just another mass email.

Strategies to Implement the Tips:

  1. Look for persons and their names: Always make sure you identify a specific person to send your email to. Look for their name, role, etc. Don't send to a generic "catch-all" inbox.
  2. Double-check for errors: Ensure the name is spelled correctly and you use the correct name in the correct email targeting the right person.
  3. Use neutral greetings if unsure: If you're not certain about the recipient's name, "Hello there" can be a safer bet than "Dear Sir/Madam." Use this only as a fallback as a generic greeting will greatly reduce your chances for getting a response.

Introduce Yourself Concisely, But Not Immediately

It's essential to provide context right off the bat. Many argue you should start with introducing yourself. I'd say:

Do the opposite!

Make the email about them. Start with a context that is relevant for your recipient. Introduce yourself later.

Strategies to Implement the Tips:

  • State your common connection: "I saw your post on LinkedIn..." or "We met at the XYZ conference..."
  • Reference a mutual contact: "John Doe suggested I reach out to you..."
  • Keep it under two sentences: Your introduction should be a quick preamble to the main content.

State the Purpose Early

Recipients appreciate transparency. Clearly articulating your intent early on ensures they understand the email's purpose without having to dig through paragraphs.

Saving them time reduces friction, which in turn increases your success rate.

Strategies to Implement the Tips:

  1. Prioritize clarity over fluff: Get to the point, avoiding jargon or overly verbose language. If you're not able to summarize your pitch in one short paragraph, people won't read or understand what you want from them.
  2. Use bullet points: If there are multiple reasons you're reaching out, bullet points can break down the information clearly.
  3. Make your email skimmable: Make sure your email is skimmable. Use bullets, bold or italics. (Personal opinion: Avoid underscores if you're not linking to something.) If people can skim your email easily it increases the chances they get the whole purpose of the email. Ask someone to skim your email in 15 seconds and tell you what it is about.
  4. Reiterate at the end: Reinforce your purpose in your closing to leave a lasting impression.

Offer Value or a Compliment

Everyone appreciates recognition. Commenting on a recipient's recent success, article, or accomplishment not only provides validation but also establishes a positive tone for the rest of the email.

Strategies to Implement the Tips:

  1. Research the recipient: Take a few minutes to understand their latest achievements or publications.
  2. Be genuine: Avoid generic praise. Personalized and genuine compliments resonate more.
  3. Combine praise with your offer: "I loved your article on XYZ, which is why I think our product could be beneficial for your readers." Or: "Your successful launch of XYZ is the perfect opportunity to branch out to..."

Keep it Brief

Cold emails are unexpected, so brevity is key. Ensure your message is concise and to the point, demonstrating respect for the recipient's time and potentially increasing your chances of receiving a response.

Strategies to Implement the Tips:

  1. Limit to three paragraphs: Aim for a concise message, ideally under three paragraphs.
    1. Opener that creates curiosity/attention.
    2. Valuable offer that is highly relevant.
    3. Introduction of yourself and CTA.
  2. Edit ruthlessly: After drafting, revisit and trim any unnecessary words or sentences.
  3. Avoid attachments: Unless absolutely necessary, attachments can be off-putting in cold emails. They come with several problems:
    1. Attachments might get your email right into the spam filter.
    2. IT-security policy often forbids opening attachments.
    3. People avoid opening attachments fearing scams, phishing, installing an exploit, etc.
    4. Attachments add friction. Opening and reading an attachment increases the time needed to deal with your email. This decreases your chances for success.

Use a Relevant and Catchy Subject Line

The subject line is your email's first impression. Instead of generic titles like "Collaboration Request," opt for highly relevant and engaging lines like "[XYZ] offers a mutual growth opportunity" (XYZ being, e.g., a product of your recipient) to pique interest and improve open rates.

Strategies for Openers

The perfect opener is both an art and a science. There are two basic strategies for openers:

  • The positive opener and
  • the negative opener.

Each strategy taps into fundamental human psychology.

Positive openers leverage the innate desire for affirmation and recognition, making recipients feel valued and acknowledged.

On the other hand, negative openers play with our instinctive urge to address challenges or avoid threats. Avoiding an unwanted event is a strong driver for action, urging your recipient to open the email.

Using of the two approaches, you can craft an opener that not only grabs attention but also resonates on a personal level with the recipient.

The Positive Opener

Nothing brightens up a day like genuine praise. When opening with a positive note, you acknowledge the recipient's achievements or highlight their work. Some examples you could use:

  1. Highlighting Their Content:
    • "I recently read your article on [topic] and was particularly struck by your insights on..."
    • "Your post on [social media platform] about [topic] resonated with me..."
  2. Acknowledging Their Achievements:
    • "Congratulations on your recent [award/recognition/achievement]—it's no small feat!"
    • "The success of [a specific project they worked on or their company's recent highlight] is truly commendable..."
  3. Referencing a Mutual Connection:
    • "Our mutual acquaintance, [Name], spoke highly of your work in..."
    • "[Name] mentioned that you're the go-to person when it comes to..."
  4. Stating Their Influence:
    • "Your work in [specific field or project] has been instrumental for professionals like myself..."
    • "You've set a benchmark in [industry/domain] with your approach to..."
  5. Posing a Relevant Question:
    • "How did you manage to achieve such impressive results in...?"
    • "What's your secret to driving such impactful changes in...?"
  6. Acknowledging a Change or Event:
    • "I've seen that [their company] recently ventured into... It's a bold move!"
    • "With the recent expansion of [their company or team], you must be on quite the journey..."
  7. Appreciating Aesthetic or Design:
    • "The design aesthetics of [their product/website/project] caught my eye. It's both functional and beautiful."
    • "The recent redesign of [specific element] is a game-changer. It's both user-friendly and visually appealing."

The Negative Opener

Fears and pain points are strong drivers of action. A negative opener can certainly catch attention. But it's vital to strike a balance and not come off as critical. So, proceed with caution here! The intent is to offer value, a solution, or mutual growth. Examples:

  1. Referring to a Public Review or Feedback:
    • "I recently stumbled upon a customer review mentioning challenges with [specific aspect of their product/service]. It got me thinking about potential solutions..."
    • "I noticed some feedback on [platform] regarding [specific issue]. It struck a chord because I've seen others face similar challenges and overcome them by..."
  2. Highlighting Potential Threats from Current Events:
    • "With the recent developments in [CURRENT EVENT], it seems there could be potential challenges on the horizon for industries like yours."
    • "The implications of [CURRENT EVENT] might pose some unforeseen hurdles for [specific aspect of their business]."
  3. Identifying Market Trends:
    • "I've been observing a shift in [industry trend] that might be impacting businesses in your domain. Have you noticed its effects?"
    • "The increasing popularity of [emerging competitor or technology] seems like it could be a game-changer. How is your team navigating this new landscape?"
  4. Noting Observations from Their Digital Presence:
    • "While browsing your website, I encountered a few hiccups during the checkout process. It made me wonder if others have shared similar feedback."
    • "I tried accessing your recent webinar, but ran into some technical glitches. It's a shame because the topic was right up my alley."
  5. Referring to Broad Challenges:
    • "Maintaining a consistent brand voice across platforms is a challenge I've seen many struggle with. I noticed a few inconsistencies in your recent campaigns. Has this been on your radar?"
    • "Given the surge in online security threats lately, I couldn't help but notice some potential vulnerabilities on your platform."

Automating Cold Emailing with Mautic

The best cold emailing strategy is to personalize every outreach. But let's be real: keeping up with a manual approach can be tedious and inefficient.

By using Mautic you can automate many parts of your cold email outreach strategy. That might be a game-changer for your cold email campaigns.

I moved the automation into a dedicated post:

How To Craft a Cold Email Outreach Campaign Using Mautic—Which You Can Use Right Away
The best cold emailing strategy is to personalize every outreach. But let’s be real: keeping up with a manual approach can be tedious and inefficient. By using Mautic you can automate many parts of your cold email outreach strategy. That might be a game-changer for your cold email campaigns. Thi…

Cold Emailing: Automate but Personalize

Cold emailing can be tricky. Have a look into your inbox, and you'll see a dozen examples of how not to do it.

But with a bit of care and understanding, it's possible to stand out.

It's not just about selling something; it's about starting a conversation, maybe even building a relationship.

So take a deep breath, think about the person on the other side of the screen, and give it your best shot. After all, behind every email address is a human, just like you.

And with some patience and practice, you'll get the hang of it.

Happy email marketing!