Are you a marketing contractor looking to build a career as independently employed and who wants to work with a handful of brands? Or, are you a small agency looking to find your client but unsure how to start? I have the solution for you. This article shows how to do so.
To help you understand cold emailing, I will use the anatomy of this cold email that has worked for me. Although it is about a full page long, the length of the page is not so important to me.
We haven’t met, but I am hoping we might be able to connect. I found your (product name) on Instagram and absolutely love the concept.
I specialize in helping direct-to-consumer brands on Shopify grow sales with paid social media ads.
In the last two years, I have had more than 4X revenue for (existing client reference name and
website) using a combination of ads and conversion rate optimization on Shopify.
One immediate area of opportunity I noticed on your website is that you don’t have an email opt-in pop-up active yet. Email pop-ups are one of the most effective ways to grow leads who convert to sales in the future.
Additionally, I did some SEO research and found that, despite there being 900 people per month searching for a ‘golf swing speed trainer,’ you currently rank just 18th, towards the bottom of page 2.
The brands that rank in the top 10 for this term are getting up to 7,200 site visitors per month. You are currently getting about 3. The good news? It’s actually really easy to rank highly for this term. Can I show you how?
Is growing sales during this (time period) a priority for you? If so, I would love to see how I can help.
PS: I’m an avid (bowler) with a 170-mph ball speed, but I’d love to crack 2,000 before I’m done.
A walkthrough of the template
I start cold emails with, “we haven’t met, but I’m hoping we might be able to connect.”
I immediately establish that I don’t know you, which is fine. But, I would like to connect with you -putting a reference that we haven’t met, and there is no expectation that you know me currently.
However, I quickly got into how I found them and absolutely love this concept – which is true in the case of the client I sent this email to.
In my research, I found that if you want to expand your agency or contract to the marketing industry, focusing on brands you already like, or use will be one of the best marketing strategies. If you can portray or demonstrate to a prospect that you are their ideal customer, you will be able to provide insight into what their customer is thinking. This is something someone who doesn’t use the product or isn’t as familiar with the category won't understand. In this case, this is a product I won’t go into much detail about.
Then I continue, “I found your (product name – this is where you will put the product name) on Instagram and absolutely love the concept.
We will get into how you can find your next contact by simply strolling through Instagram on a couch later and how you can find several dozen potential clients within 30 minutes if you are doing certain activities repeatedly.
“I specialize in helping direct-to-consumer brands on Shopify grow sales and with paid social media ads.”
So, in this case, I visited this prospect's website and used a chrome plugin to confirm they use Shopify. I highly recommend you focus on brands and examine a prospect’s website to confirm what they do before reaching out.
Even better, if you have a great experience using a particular technology, don’t shy away from it. Look for opportunities to work with brands that already use that technology. Why? Because it becomes increasingly easy to get results from people when they are using marketing and sales tools you are already using.
It sounds silly if you haven’t done it before, especially with marketing automation. However, you will be surprised by the difference between a tool that I absolutely specialize in.
“In the last two years, I've made more than 4X’d revenue for (Existing client reference name and website) using a combination of ads and conversion-rate optimization on their Shopify store.
Again, keep it simple. We run ads, and we do great optimization on the store. Now, getting that successful case study is usually harder than it is. But, once you have that success, this is about leveraging it and growing it into more business.
So far, I have demonstrated in the first three paragraphs that I liked their product, understand their strategy, and have had success in a similar field. Now, I’m offering free value as I head into the second part of my letter.
“One immediate area of opportunity I noticed on your website is that you don’t have an email opt-in pop-up active yet. Email pop-ups are one of the most effective ways to grow leads, who then convert to sales in the future.”
If you start to discover new clients who are advertising on Instagram, you’ll invariably find, especially in direct-to-consumer, that a vast majority of them use a website popup to capture email in exchange for a 10 – 15 percent off coupon.
This is a good tactic that works really well in apparel. It also works in other categories, but if you find a website that is an ideal fit for you, for your skill, that is not using it, it can be a very low piece of low-hanging fruit value ad recommendation you put into something like this.
Again, you must have visited their website to know this, and you might want to spend a little time on the website to ensure you didn’t miss the pop-up. I did this; hence, I was pretty confident they weren’t using the pop-up. This fact became even more evident as I got more into it.
Here is where the real point of differentiation between you and other competitors is.
If you are not an SEO and don’t offer SEO services, you might want to partner with someone who can help you with this research. For example, I use a tool called Ahrefs, which I’ll talk about in some additional content.
I use the Ahrefs tool to understand how far along a particular product is in the company's history. Although it can’t tell me everything, it can reveal quite a lot, from the backlink profile to the number of live website pages to how well the website ranks for a particular category.
For me, it is easy to extract SEO research from a tool like Ahrefs. However, for someone who is a small d2c brand and does not have a marketing background, which is a vast majority, I would say, at least in my experience of brands starting out, this research seems like gold. The reason is that it can dictate a lot about the order in which you pursue different marketing tactics to help and grow.
“Additionally, I did some SEO research and found that, despite there being 900 people per month searching for a golf swing speed trainer, you currently rank just 18th, towards the bottom of page 2.
Of course, everyone wants to rank at the top of page 1. You’ll often find even higher search volume and lower ranking for a keyword term that would be extremely specific to the prospects’ business line.
For example, it could be, “out of 9,000 a month who are searching for torque wrenches for cars, and you currently rank 75th.” That is actually good for you because you’re identifying an even bigger opportunity in an even bigger market since there is roughly 10X the search volume, and it is a lot easier to go from 70 seconds to 18 than from 18th to 1st.
“The brands who rank in the top 10 for this term are getting up to 7200 site visitors per month.” Mind you, this is a data figure I pulled directly from Ahrefs by examining who is currently ranking for this specific term. I continued, “you are currently getting about 3. The good news? It’s really easy to rank highly for this term. Can I show you how?"
The difficulty of whether or not it is easy or hard to rank for a term is in another data point in Ahrefs. But I omitted it because it is fairly subjective to what the data point means. It probably means someone to someone who has done a lot of keyword research. However, on the surface, it is hard to understand what a particular keyword difficulty means.
In this case, Ahrefs has a relatively low competition ranking – meaning it won’t be that hard if you eventually pursue a fairly basic SEO strategy to rank higher for that term.
We’re nearing the end of our cold email, and I am looking to get the meeting.
So, I say, “is growing sales this (time period) a priority for you? If so, I’d love to see how I can help you.”
One of the keys to sales is that there are seasons to every business sales cycle. In other words, every business has a certain period of seasonality where they will sell more and less.
Also, businesses are looking to prepare to maximize what they can sell in those high periods. For example, if your prospect’s season is the spring or summer warm weather activity. You should reach out to them in the wintertime or get ahead at a period when you will have time to make improvements to their website before their traffic picks up.
Therefore, if we’re talking about golf, sales pick up around the end of march all through the summer. By reaching out at a period before that, around April, you can bound what you are proposing with a sense of urgency and implement it into that busy period.
You need a sense of urgency to close deals because if there is no compelling need for change, there will be no reason to hire you in the first place. However, a time-bound sense that they need to implement in a limited time will aid you in closing.
You can add a personal anecdote to corroborate the service you want to offer. For example, if you are looking to improve sales leading to a bowling season, it won’t hurt to include that you are an avid bowler. It goes a long way to show the relevance of your service compared to someone who doesn’t understand the market at all.
Therefore, I would never pursue a business relationship with, for example, a car park company. Why? It is not something I have a strong interest in or know anything about. Put differently; there are too many hurdles to try to understand the market before I could add any value.
Close with something to reassert the point that you understand the particular market and can do better than someone who does not understand the market at all.
In summary, I acknowledged that we hadn’t met and then proceeded to warm them up with some demonstration of a basic understanding of their business. To demonstrate confidence in the field, I used keyword data to show that it is more than a mass-deployed introductory cold email.
What is great about this strategy is that you don’t need a list of 1,500 domains to look up in a tool. Instead, you can stick to pursuing relationships with businesses you already like and you are already a customer or would become a customer of.
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