14 Most Common Cold Email Mistakes And How To Avoid Them


– I’m Alex Berman from Experiment 27, and this is my 2018 presentation, the most up-to-date content, The 14 Most Common Cold Email Mistakes and How to Solve Them. There’s gonna be a lot
of email scripts in here, a lot of value, and I’m
excited to share it with you, so let’s jump into it. First, a little bit of info on me. I’m Alex Berman, I’ve generated over $100 million in new business-to-business customers. I’m the former director of
marketing at a three-times, now four-times Inc. 5000
fastest growing company, it was an agency in New York City. I am also the founder of Experiment 27, where we help agencies, so anyone in the digital
services businesses, whether they’re graphic designers
or they make mobile apps or they do social media
or video production, we help all of those customers get in touch with enterprise clients. That’s people like Qdoba, Morgan Stanley, Paramount Pictures, Netflix. If they’re a billion-dollar brand, we’ve probably emailed them, and more likely than not we’ve
secured a meeting with them for one of our clients. That’s who I am, that’s who
we are at Experiment 27. So here we are, the most common mistakes
people make in cold emails. Number one is lousy subject lines. Instead of using a lousy,
uncustomized subject line, most people, what they’ll do is they will write a very
long subject line like, I would love to provide social media services for your business, or I would love to work for free, and that just doesn’t work. So instead, here are a few
subject lines you can use. Hi from name, question about
company, about company. And then here are some of
the top-performing ones for our company currently
at Experiment 27. The top one is an emoji about
whatever you’re emailing. We were emailing breweries recently to match them with a design client, and this beer emoji had
about an 80% open rate, so a relevant emoji to the client. The second one is, I was
born to work with company. This one’s also huge. And meeting next week, and then finally, Experiment 27, a bunch of dashes, and then this kinda
caret, and then company. These subject lines come
from a lot of testing, and if your campaigns aren’t working, it’s best to look at the open rate first because boosting open rate is as simple as testing a new subject line per 10 sends until you get 60%. So I would go back to these
and write a bunch of ’em. There are videos we have
on this channel also about writing subject lines that I’ll link down in
the description below. But write a bunch of these and test each one with just 10 emails and see which ones get
the highest open rates. If your emails aren’t being responded to, this is the biggest issue. Number two is no customization. Write an email specific to the niche and you have to customize the first line. I spend up to six minutes per email, and I’ve found that if
you spend six minutes customizing and making sure that the person you’re
emailing is the right person, the email is talking about something that’s relevant to that
person, the pitch is typo-free, like check everything
six minutes per email, you can get about a 10-times
open rate and response rate. Typically if you’re blasting out an email, I’ve seen response rates around
.05%, which is super low, and we’re able to get
around a 14% response rate at our highest. And using this customization approach, we’re able to get a
typical meeting book rate around four to 6%, sometimes as high as 14
and even 20% meeting book, which means every 100 emails we’re getting 14 meetings on the calendar. That’s through these customizations, and I’m gonna go through
the script that we use in a second as well. And the second has arrived, here we are. So this is for our
company Lorelia Pictures, we sell video production services. Basically we’re trying to reinvent the way that corporate content is made, and these documentaries cost about 100K. Here is an email that we were
sending to Tiffany Haddish, wrote a book called Black Unicorn, she’s also an amazing
actress in a bunch of movies, but anyway here’s the
email we sent to her agent. Hey Danny, just finished
reading The Last Black Unicorn and it’s incredible, especially love how Tiffany is able to capture her comedic voice even through her narration. I make documentaries for a
living and would love to discuss turning the ideas in
your book into a film. Mind if I sent over a
few times for a call? Thanks. It’s that simple, this email had about a 14% meeting book rate, so I wasn’t joking around before. I think we sent a hundred of
these and got 14 meetings. And then Danny got back the
same day a couple hours later, please call me at my office. We called him and it went
right to proposal phase. Here’s another one we were
using to book collaborations. My little brother is a DJ and he’s got a pretty
good SoundCloud following, but here’s the email we were using for those collaborations
with top musicians. Notice this first line’s
super customized as well. Hey Lynn, big fan of Ingrid
Michaelson for a while, and just found the track Old Days, especially love how deep the lyrics are, we’ve all lost someone
and this speaks to it. Very interesting vocal
choices in here as well. I was talking to Handsalmon
and he loves the song too. He’s an up-and-coming DJ who just did a release on a Sony imprint. Do you happen have the vocal track? We’d love to do a remix. Thanks, Alex. Happy to do it for free, love your songs. This email did get a
response I think same day if not a day or two later from her team. Number three is super
formal email salutations. In most cases, all you
gotta do is say hi name. You don’t have to say dear
Mark, or greetings, this guy. It’s just hi. You gotta think about what you’d write in your actual emails. It’s not a letter, it’s an email, it’s one person to another person, So don’t just say hello
with no first name, you need a first name in there. You don’t need to say dear,
you don’t need regards or anything like that. Number four is starting
your email with an I. Using an I in the first line
or too much in the email makes it very me-centric, and it makes it more about
yourself than the client. The fix to this is to run through it, get in the mindset of a client, think, hey, I have no idea
who’s sending me this email, why do I care about this guy? And then rewrite the email based on that, and you’ll use a lot less
Is and a lot more you. Number five is typos. Use Grammarly or hire a proofreader if you’re English-as-a-second-language, especially if you’re coming from a country that speaks English but speaks it differently than Americans. Like this is a problem
that a lot of people in India and South America
and even Eastern Europe have, where they’ll write emails that they think are in perfect English and they just don’t
sound right to Americans. Number six is offering a menu of services. Instead of sending multiple bullet points that won’t ever be read, just think of one or two great ideas and share them in your email. Here’s an example. Hey name, I just got off the phone with the CEO of a 65-person
SaaS company in New York City and he’s dealing with these issues. Do either of these look familiar? One, customers not understanding the concept of the business. Two, conversions and signups
are lower than they should be. And then the call to action, we made a video for that CEO and his signups went
up almost immediately. Would love to do similar for company name. Mind if I send over a few times for a quick brainstorming call? Thanks. Simple two ideas that are very
specific to this guy’s niche. He can send these to anybody
that matches SaaS companies that are of this size. Number seven is asking for too much. Your cold email is only meant
to get a meeting booked, so if you send a proposal
or a pricing sheet or images of what you do, in most cases that’s gonna
kill open rates and responses. Number eight is writing
irrelevant nonsense. The prospect doesn’t wanna hear
anything they already know, they don’t wanna hear fluffy compliments that are based on nothing. Customize your emails based on what you think their problems are. Be specific, be direct,
and you’ll get responses. Here’s an example of an email
that’s doing this right. This email’s offering
technical writing services to large companies. Hey first name, read the paper you put
out about systems growth, love how detailed you were
especially around widgets. As a professional writer for the last 30 years
in the tech industry, I’ve written dozens of white papers, and your team is on the right track. I also know how much work
goes into creating a great one that connects with the
C-suite in major corporations. I have a couple ideas for new white papers that will work for company, and can create them at
a professional level. Mind hopping on a quick call
to talk about your goals? Thanks. And that’s a good example of what we were talking
about a second ago, where you’re asking them
if they wanna see examples before you’re attaching
or linking to examples. Number nine is random
bolding or capitalization. Don’t capitalize the company name and never use the full
company name in your emails. This comes from not having clean data, and the solution here is
to double and triple check whatever that Excel sheet is
that you’re pulling data from. Number 10 is sending the same email to multiple company types. Every mention in your email should be specific to that niche. If you’re selling to coaches, mention only coaches that
you’ve worked with in the email, don’t mention the big corporations. If you’re selling to beverage companies, only mention the other beverage companies you’ve worked with. Here’s an email example
about how to go super niche. Hey first name, and then that first line that we were talking about before. I love your food and
would love to help you get more customers, for free at first. I’ve worked with a couple
other Japanese restaurants in the area. I just ran a promotional campaign with, and then it’s a name
of a local restaurant, where they spent $15 on
food giving out miso soup and ended up with $3,000 in revenue and a couple dozen new
five-star Yelp reviews. Mind if I send some more info? The reason why this ends with mind if I send some more info is because he’s selling
to local restaurants and this email is basically
just what he references when he walks in the door. It’s almost impossible
to book meetings in bulk with small restaurants over email. Number 11 is emailing a business
and not a specific person. You are one person emailing another, we are not interested in
helping your business. That’s not how the email’s written. The positioning instead should be I am interested in helping you. Number 12 is sending crazy long emails. If you want a good enough response rate, you need to make sure to
keep your emails short enough that they can be read on a phone, not more than five sentences, and sometimes even shorter. If you look at that documentary email, that’s two or three sentences and the response rate was higher than anything we’ve seen on other emails. Here’s an email I wrote during
a review I did for Mailshake, it’s a cold email sending tool. This is pitching video
editing to YouTubers. Hey name, been following your
videos for a few months now, especially the cold email content. I edit videos for YouTubers
like Sujan Patel, Will Baron, and other channels that
get millions of views. A four-minute business video like you post can be done for about $60. Want to talk further? Thanks. So simple, and if you
actually wanna see that video, search Alex Berman Mailshake on YouTube. We’ll also link to it down
in the description below. Number 13 is BCC-ing
your cold email campaign to the entire list. And the solution is to get
a proper email sending tool. Mailshake’s a good one. Number 14, the final point, AA. Notice how you don’t know what that means, or maybe you because it’s
written on the screen. Avoid acronyms. Before using any acronyms in your emails, make sure that your
prospect uses it every day or at least knows what it means. An example that we did in a recent cold email teardown was CRO, which stands for conversion
rate optimization services, but that’s not a common thing. So you read the subject line here, it says question about CRO. This is what he sent. Hi name, your X client project is one of the best marketing
projects I’ve seen. If so, would you be interested in knowing how CRO can increase agency revenue? Is CRO the name of a
company, is that an acronym, like what is that? So I fixed the email here. Question about company. Hi name, love the work you did for X client project, impressive. This again is a custom first line. There were some case studies
however that stood out, especially the website designs. I’ve helped two dozen agencies, and then a couple examples of the clients, in the last year with conversion rate
optimization for their clients and would love to do the
same for your company. We do a two-day on-site workshop that will give you sales
materials and training to make more revenue selling
conversion rate optimization as an add-on service. Is that something you’d be interested in? Would love to run through
the details on a quick call and see if it’s a fit. Notice how much more
understandable this email is than question about CRO. In summary here, the 14, lousy subject lines, no customization, super formal salutations, starting your email with an I, typos, offering a menu of services,
asking for too much, writing irrelevant nonsense, random bolding or capitalization, sending the same email to
multiple company types, emailing a business,
not a specific person, sending crazy long emails, BCC-ing your cold email campaign, and AA, avoid acronyms. If you wanna send me an email, it’s [email protected], if you wanna work with
us, it’s Experiment27.com. That’s if you run an agency, you want more enterprise
clients, we would love to help, we do that all day. If you want free stuff,
we’ve got the client contract that we actually use to close business. This cost us about a thousand
bucks to put together, that’s Experiment27.com/contract. It’s not written here,
but the actual proposal that we use at Lorelia, the
video production service, that is Experiment27.com/proposal. The discovery call script and the questions we use on call one, that’s Experiment27.com/discovery. If you want a bunch of
valuable sales videos, go over to B2BSalesTraining.org, that’s a playlist of our
most valuable content. If you wanna hire Experiment
27, that’s over there, I think I already mentioned that. If you wanna follow me on Instagram, it’s a bunch of random
nonsense over there. (laughs) Go over to AlexBerman1
and check me out there. Would love if you could identify someone and share this video with them, that’d be super helpful,
and thanks for watching. I’m Alex Berman.

17 thoughts on “14 Most Common Cold Email Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

  1. Hey Alex, huge fan of your videos, I just recently came across your channel and I'm really thankful, have used your suggestions on cold emails and subject lines etc. It's been just a couple of days since I started experimenting with cold emails, I work for an outsourcing and out-staffing software development company and want to use this channel to scale my clients, I've sent about 35 mails, open rate was quite good around 40% seems like i'm missing on a content, since I just received 1 reply and it was a no. My question is what is the average sample size that has worked for you, when do I scrap the existing and move to the next template? Thanks 🙂

  2. Is there any chance to for may email to land in spam or social folder for email for CPA offer link within a landing page and also making using domain ??

  3. Could you please let me know how to sell B2B database? I have started my career in this year and finding difficulties in email drafting.

  4. As someone who is brand new to all of this thank you so much for the information. Seeing script examples is particularly useful.

  5. Hi Alex, This video is from a while back and maybe this message is a long shot but, do you recommend using my business email to do cold emails or should I use a generic one, you think it affects open and reply rates? – Thanks in advance for your reply and thank you for all your content is extremely valuable and I hope that I'm able to work with you soon. -JC

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