You want new clients. You’re ready to grow quickly and sell more, but you’re at a loss for how exactly to get them.

Cold calling in the form of email outreach may be one of the best options that you’ve got. As a freelancer, I’ve seen peers skyrocket from struggling to get by to earning six figures annually by mastering the ability to rock their email outreach.

Emailing prospective clients is an excellent tactic for businesses of all sizes and in all industries, but we all know that cold calls aren’t going to have the highest return rates. With the right strategies in place, you can increase the likelihood that these messages will be opened, read, and responded to.

In this post, we’re going to look at 10 of the absolute best practices you should be using to increase the odds of a favorable outcome.

1. Customize the Message for the Recipient

If you want your email outreach campaign to be successful, a good bet is to remember that you’re reaching out to a lot of individual people, not a single crowd. Personalizing your messages to your potential clients is going to give you a significantly higher likelihood of success.

You can do this by:

  • Using their name
  • Talking about how you can help them specifically, giving a direct example
  • Mentioning something you liked about their site or their brand that isn’t an obvious copy-and-paste; put time and effort into it.

2. Make It About Them

Potential prospects finding your message in their inbox don’t care if you’re an ivy league grad who has won a Nobel Peace Prize; they care how what you’re telling them can actually impact them.

It’s the classic question we all ask: What’s in it for me? You need to frame everything in your email outreach around how it affects them. Explain your experience and who you are, but then share how your fast-turn-around transcription services mean that your clients never have to wait to finish a project but that they can tackle more in a day with your help. If you can make them see the value in your offer, you’re in.

3. Keep It Short

Email outreach messages should always be short for a simple reason: If they’re too long, people won’t read. These potential prospects don’t know you, don’t trust you yet, and owe you nothing. If you give them a block of text that looks overwhelming, they’re out.

My standard rule is to keep it to two paragraphs at the most. If it doesn’t fit into a LinkedIn Inbox message, it may be too long.

4. Explain the Connection You Have, If Any

You’ve chosen these specific prospects to reach out to for a reason. Why did you choose them?

Did you choose them because you had common connections on LinkedIn, or because a friend you both know gave you their name? If there is a connection between the two of you, let them know; this will significantly increase your odds of a favorable response.

5. Choose An Email Address That Doesn’t Sound Fake

Send out messages with email addresses and names that look legitimate and that ideally have your personal name somewhere within them. “[email protected]” looks a lot better (and a lot more real) than “[email protected]

If people get a spammy-vibe from your email, they’ll never open it. Start off strong and personal.

6. Be Conversational

Your email shouldn’t come across as robotic or stiff. You want to make a good impression and start off a strong rapport, so opt for a friendly, casual-but-professional conversational tone in your email. Avoid putting too much pressure on the person you’re reaching out to; treat it like an invitation, not a summons.

7. Use A Value Proposition in the Subject Line

Whenever possible, highlight what value you offer or what pain points you solve in your subject lines if you’re using conventional email.

One of the hardest parts of email outreach is just getting people to open the darn things. If you start off by saying “Tired of companies that can’t fix your broken AC in the summer?”, you’ll immediately have the attention of everyone in Florida who has had their AC gone out in July and had to wait three miserable weeks for it to be fixed.

8. Always Thank the User

The reader is sort of doing you a favor by opening the email and considering responding when you sent them an unprompted email, even if it was very welcome. Make sure you thank them for their time and consideration; it makes a strong impression and ends the email on a good note.

9. End with a Simple CTA

As you’re thanking the reader, have a CTA somewhere nearby. This call to action is designed to drive the user to do something. Options include:

  • Having users check out your website
  • Asking them to send you a response with their needs if interested
  • Saying “If you’re interested, I look forward to hearing from you,” which gives a suggestion for action.

10. Know Who Not to Pitch

Your email outreach campaigns are going to be more successful if you avoid reaching out to the wrong people. Focus on potential prospects and partners who can help you grow your business, and try not to send generic PR pitches to journalists who are too busy and get too many of them already. Put effort into finding people who you can actually help, instead of trying to get on someone’s list so they can help you.

Remember, email outreach is about offering value to others for a mutually beneficial relationship. If you keep this in mind, you’ll be on the right track.

Final Thoughts

Email outreach is one of the best ways to stay at the front of your clients’ minds (and their inboxes!), allowing you to open up the lines of communication and consideration. This is an enormous opportunity that you shouldn’t let go to waste, especially since email outreach is so affordable and so effective. Make sure you’re using these 10 best practices for email outreach for maximum potential, adapting each one as you see fit for your individual business.

Interested in learning about how Big Leap can help you better connect with your target audience? You can check out what we do here.

Ana Gotter