10 Catastrophic Cold Emailing Mistakes

Today I want to talk about cold emailing and the catastrophic mistakes you might be making, which might surprise you. I’m going to get into that in a second. If you are new here, welcome. For probably 95% of all the podcasts we have recorded, there is a transcription over on the Superfast Recruitment website.

If you go to superfastrecruitment.co.uk/blog, you will find a transcription of this specific podcast. [Excuse any rogue typing errors as this is a direct transcription for your use.]

It’s important to look at these specific mistakes because I suspect you are doing some of them, and they’re quite easy to rectify, and you will be amazed at the difference it will make to you. Also, while you’re over there on the website, download a copy of our marketing checklist. For this, go to www.superfastrecruitment.co.uk/mcl.  It will help you from an audit perspective.

This is a time to be thinking about your marketing, and it’s always good to start with an audit; where am I now versus where I want to be? Make sure you download our report.  You can also get it by going to superfastrecruitment.co.uk/mcl.

Let’s talk about cold emailing. For those of you that are a bit cynical about emailing or have never implemented this strategy before, let me remind you that email marketing is still THE marketing strategy that will deliver the highest ROI of anything that you do when it comes to marketing.

Obviously, you need to have that list of people to email in the first place, and there are many ways to do that, which we’ve shared in different posts and podcasts.

Today I want to talk a little bit more about cold emailing. The concept of cold emailing is, you send an email to someone you may not have engaged with before, you may have seen them on LinkedIn, or you may know their company.

However, you haven’t entered into a dialogue with them, and you haven’t sent an email to them. That’s the context of cold emailing. From a GDPR perspective, you can still send a cold email out to an individual you haven’t been in connection with before, provided it’s a company email and provided you give them the option to unsubscribe.

Because the whole context of this is that it is a marketing email, this is about increasing your business, increasing your revenues, and it is something known as legitimate interest. Let’s just get that one off the table for anyone thinking, “Oh, I don’t feel 100% about doing it”.

So let me share a number of emailing mistakes we see happening.

1.      You’re Not Using Cold Emailing in The First Place

The first mistake is not using cold emailing in the first place. As many of you know, we run a specific marketing training and coaching program where we do a number of different things with our clients, one of which is that we support them around implementing their marketing. One strategy we always suggest that they do is look at cold emailing. Many of these individuals purchase email databases; they use these emails. We have a specific member in our circle membership who purchased a database, and literally within the first one or two emails (that we’ve written for them) that they send, they get business.

What if you could do that next year? You can find a list of people. There’s plenty of ways to do that. You could then just email, get some engagement going, and get into a dialogue with these people. That’s the first thing.

2.      You Only Send One Email

The second mistake that people make is they just send one email. It’s no wonder that emailing gets a bad rap sometimes, and people refer to the fact that they’ve been ‘spammed’.

On numerous occasions, I’ve had writers email me about work. They’ll send me an email, and then I never, ever get a follow-up. Sometimes I look and I think, “That CV looks okay, actually”. Yet they never bother sending me a second or third email asking me if I received the first email, and what did I think?

Is there an opportunity to have a conversation? There have been many of these individuals I probably would have given a job to, but anyway, there you go!

I think it just shows you what some people are like. They do not have a campaign. This is why it’s really important. On the Superfast Recruitment website, you’ll see various podcasts that I’ve recorded about how important it is to have a campaign.

When it comes to cold emailing, write a campaign, have at least three emails. You’ve heard me talk about the power of three before. Send at least three emails to people with who you want to engage with.

Then there’s a fair chance they will have opened that email, and they will have read it, and they might have even followed the call to action that you’ve suggested to them, which we’re going to come on to later. Of course, you can pick the phone up and speak to them because really, this person is not totally cold now. They’ve had some level of connection with you and contact with you.

3.      Sending Long Emails

Mistake number three is sending an email that is war and peace. By that we mean, a long, long email that is just pitching you and your service.

That person you are emailing doesn’t even know who you are yet, let alone what you do. There’s been no engagement; there’s been no rapport built. Instead, it’s much better to send a shorter email with more context. I’ll come on to that in a second. To someone that’s a busy business owner or HR director, send an enticing, shorter email. You are guaranteed to get a much better result by doing that.

If someone sees a long, long email that they’ve got to read through, it straight away goes into trash. Remember that. Don’t try and pitch somebody everything about you and your recruiting service in the first email.

4.      Your Email is Too Personal

The next mistake might sound a bit counterintuitive.

That is, you send an email and say, “I hope you and yours are well”. It’s nice traditional rapport building, but used in the wrong way can switch people right off. It also really shouts out:

“This person is sending me a cold email. I want them to get to the point; they’ve gone a step too far”.

In the current environment in which we’re living, just remember what’s going on.

I have a really good friend who has lost both parents in the last 12 months. She’s had a terrible, terrible time. The thing about that is if you were emailing her, “How are you? Hope you and yours are well,” straight away, that’s going to switch her off and probably throw her into emotions, which you don’t want to do.

This is a first touch point business email; you don’t know this individual.

Once you’ve established some connection with somebody, then, of course, do that; have rapport-building conversations in your email, but you don’t know this individual, so please don’t do that—hot tip.

5.      You’re Not Providing a Context For Your Email

Number five is not giving context as to why you sent the email. Obviously, in your map of the world, you are sending the email because you want to get a new client on board. They know that deep down, but you’re not exactly offering them much value.

I was chatting to one of our clients the other day, and he was talking about the fact that their team is a husband and wife management team.

One of the things that people love about having a conversation with his wife is that she knows everybody and everything going on in the city where they work.

She is seen as the font of all knowledge.

If you can construct an email where you want to share some of the things going on in the market, some of the things around recruitment, people see you as a consultancy service.

6.      You’re Not Providing Relevant Features and Benefits In Your Communication

Now, the next thing, which is number six, goes back to our original training that we’ve all had as salespeople, and that is talking about features versus benefits. Talk about the features of your service or the features of something that happened with a client that you’re trying to pique their interest about, rather than talking about the results that your client got.

Remember, make things benefit-focused rather than feature-focused; that makes a massive difference because that person receiving the email gets that it’s about the benefits for them, rather than the features of your service.

7.      You’re Not Specific Enough

Now, we’re on number seven here, and this is where it’s important to sometimes just think about ‘less is more’; make your emails specifically targeted. It may be that you only have a small list.

We’ve worked with some clients, and they’ve had a list of 20 or 30 connections that they want to reach out to, and being specific has made a massive difference because they can hone and target the specific needs of that particular group of people. I’ve shared this story before; I’ll share it again because it continues to work. When we first started in the recruitment sector, we found 23 email addresses for recruitment business owners based in the UK.

I think we looked at more around the North and the Midlands, constructed a great cold email campaign, and from that campaign, we ended up with our first three recruitment clients. Exactly the same can work for you.

Think about your targeted list. We have one particular client who purchased a list of 200 emails from particular companies in her sector, and she has used that consistently over a couple of years.

This has brought in a regular stream of high-value clients.

I think she just sends them out in groups of 25, and it still works for her. Think about sending out targeted communications.

8.      You’re Not Using Calls To Action

The next thing, number eight, is no call to action. There’s no point sending the email without saying should we jump on a call? Would you like to do X? Would you like to do Y? Here’s some information that you might find useful, let me know, hit reply; all of these very, very simple calls to actions that people forget to do.

Seth Godin, the well-known marketer talks about the fact that people need to be led, and especially so when you’re looking at marketing, what is the ideal next step for them.

Remember always to have some form of a call to action.

9.      You’re Not Using a PS

Leading on from no call to action being present is not using a PS. You will be aware of this fact if any of you have studied copywriting.

You’ll know that people tend to read the start, the middle, and the end, and people always read the PS because they think there might be something of value for them, so always make sure you use your PS.

You can use two or three if you want to, you want to really go gung ho, but in your PS, one thing that we would always recommend is that you think about using a link to social proof.

Social proof on your website could be testimonials, or it could be case studies. A couple of months ago, I recorded a lot of podcasts around this because it is so vital in today’s market when you want to attract more candidates and clients is to have a good volume of social proof. Go back and listen to some of those episodes, probably around episode 289.

10. You Do Not Follow Up

Finally, number 10 might seem a little bit different. One of the big things about cold emailing that lets people down is that they send out a number of emails, and they never follow up with a telephone conversation. This is fascinating when you consider the recruitment and staffing sector has historically had a real focus on sales, sales, sales, pick up the phone, pick up the phone, pick up the phone. Yet, many recruiters avoid following through with a phone conversation.

Which is a lost opportunity.

However, when you’ve had a number of cold emails that have been sent out, written well, and you might even know that people are opening it, depending on your email platform. Then you can pick the phone up and get in contact with them because your connection is no longer super cold.

This is a warmish lead that is on the other end of that phone. You put the hard work in with emailing. Why not now pick up the phone and see if you can have a conversation with them?

We have a number of clients that have joined Superfast Circle because we’ve sent out cold emails, picked up the phone, spoke to them, got engaged with them, and finally came to work with us.

Cold emailing mistakes do happen, and hopefully, now there’s no need for them to occur in your organisation.

Finally, if you haven’t used cold emailing as a strategy, then absolutely do it next year. You will find a massive return on investment from sending out cold communication like this and following up; you’ll be amazed at what might happen for you.

Remember, there are clients out there that need candidates. You are a good recruiter, and you can help them, so make sure you put this one in your plan for next year.

How We Can Help

We have many clients on track for their best year ever because they implement what we teach and utilise the content and campaigns we give them. If you want a quick chat to see how Superfast Circle can work for you, book your call and demonstration here.



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