Exclusive! How to succeed in cold emailing

Infallible weapon of all B2B companies, commercial prospecting is essential to achieve its objectives and obtain concrete results in terms of lead generation. However, in the era of technological advancements and digitization, competition is fierce as buyers are increasingly in demand and fairly well informed.

Competition is fierce. The sales actions carried out must be effective enough to generate qualified leads. While there are many proven marketing techniques, cold emailing remains an effective tool for B2B digital prospecting for an initial contact, to arouse their interest, to make an appointment and possibly to sell their products/services.

As a reminder, cold emailing in French consists of sending an email to a prospect with whom you have never had prior contact or interaction. Misused, it is often associated with spam.

In addition, cold emailing can pose a marketing pressure problem as it is unsolicited email. Marketing pressure is the act of exerting pressure on a customer or prospect through direct marketing solicitations. The cold emailing technique can therefore impact the deliverability of a business when it is abused. 

Cold emailing is one of the techniques of a successful digital strategy and must be combined with other levers such as SEO and SEA.

To this end, the Lodago team (formerly Rocket Mail), endowed with ten years of expertise in emailing campaigns, has prepared an exclusive guide to the best practices of cold emailing in order to be able to master them. techniques and become a subject matter expert.

Good reading !

1- Choose your email provider and buy your own domain

In order to run a successful cold emailing campaign, it is important to buy a domain name and especially not to send your emails directly from free email services such as gmail, outlook, gmx or protonmail.com.

You will then be sure to experience a very low email open rate or even to be blocked by your ISP if your email list size is large.

A dedicated domain offers, in fact, many advantages over free email addresses. It is, above all, proof of seriousness and professionalism. This is because extensions that are not professional domain names are blocked by email providers in the event of mass submissions and either end up in spam or are rejected completely.

2- Configure your SPF, DKIM and DMARC signatures

In order to avoid any deliverability problem (ensure that an email is routed correctly to its recipient) and to demonstrate its legitimacy, it is essential to use multiple levels of protection. To do this, you will need to configure your SPF, DKIM and DMARC signatures.

These are acronyms for standard protocols to prove the authentication of the sender and thus protect the content in the context of an email exchange.

  •         Le SPFor Sender Policy Framework is a standard protecting against attacks from potential spammers. It is one of the most reliable and easy to use anti-spam techniques. This is an entrance which gives the authorized exits. The SPF determines in a simplified way the mail servers authorized to send the mails of your campaigns for the domain. Mail servers are then identified by name or IP address. The email validation system designed to verify that incoming mail for a domain is from a sender authorized by administrators for that domain.
  •         Le DKIMor DomaineKeys Identified MDKIM is a tool to improve deliverability. It is, in fact, a method of signing emails with a key system, used by some Internet service providers to find out if a message comes from an authorized system. In other words, it is a signature that authenticates the domain and protects it. If a spoofer tries to use the domain, they will not be able to use the same signing key, which makes it easier for the email provider to detect the spoofing.
  •         Le DMARCor Domain-based Message Authentification, Reporting and Conformance is the way in which failures of SPF and DKIM entries are handled. This must be decided before sending. Either the emails are spam or the emails are rejected (in other words, are not delivered to the recipient). DMARC entry (information) is required to specify the email address to which reports of SPF and DKIM entry failures are sent. Take the concrete example of a hacker who sends emails from the domain name decathlon.com in order to sell products, what is going on? This means that it is sending from an IP address not present in the SPF and therefore without the correct signature.

These three signatures are essential to your cold emailing approach insofar as they protect your identity and the content of your emails upstream, but above all limit the spam rate and provide a guarantee of authenticity to the supplier. 

3- Check if you are not registered on a blacklist and subscribe to different tools

Before starting a cold emailing campaign, it is essential to check if you are not registered on a blacklist.

As a reminder, a blacklist or blacklist in French is a database of senders who have been reported by recipients as being spammers. Email addresses that appear on a blacklist are therefore suspected of distributing spam. They are therefore either blocked or marked as spam.

Blacklists are one of the main threats facing marketers, especially those in charge of email campaigns. To date, there are over a hundred blacklists. In order to test your domain and see if you are registered or not on a blacklist, you can send an email from your inbox hello@lodago.com.

It is also important to create your identity, verify the reputation of your domain and supervise on a daily basis. To do this you have to register on different platforms such as Google Postmaster, Smart Network Data Service SNDS Outlook ou encore Yahoo Postmaster.

4- Add an image, buy your domain from Gmail or Outlook and register on gravatar

In order to create a recognizable identity, we advise you to register on Gravatar but also to add the favicon (computer icon) to your website.

It is, in fact, important to create an identity to be directly recognized through the sending of emails. The process is relatively simple; all you have to do is select the desired icon or logo and then purchase an account with the email provider (Gmail or Outlook) with their domain name to be able to add their icon to the email provider. 

Small tip: It is interesting to register your domain with Gmail or Outlook because its providers have the advantage of being more credible thanks to the respective icons that can be displayed.

5- Perform a Warmup if you haven't sent any emails for a while and carry out tests

As its name suggests, the purpose of the warm up is to "heat up" the email address used for cold emailing and to have the domain recognized. Take the case of a sender who has not sent emails for a long time, if the sender wants to cold email, there is a good chance that he will end up in spam. Why ? Because the vendors will categorize it as a spammer. An email address that starts sending a large number of emails overnight is bound to be suspicious. To avoid being labeled as spam, it is important to first have an address that has an attractive open rate. A testing campaign can also be useful, whether it is done directly by the user or by a provider. And finally, to know if the right conditions are met for cold emailing, you have to rely on the Google Postmaster tool, which allows you to know the reputation of the domains. (See example below).

6- Clean up your email list and avoid buying lists with spam traps

One of the fundamental principles of cold emailing is to regularly update your contact list and clean it from time to time by deleting obsolete email addresses such as those with bad characters or those whose domains no longer exist. This will prevent you from ending up in spam or being blacklisted. Indeed, the higher the e-mail rejection rate, the more likely you are to find yourself on blacklists. 

7- Perform A / B testing on the subject and content of your emails

When thinking about your topic and its content, keep in mind that the principle of cold email is to write something that makes you want to be read. The subject and content of the email, especially its subject, must be carefully considered and worked on. Indeed, a good item can increase the opening rate by 50%.

To help you out, you can do A / B testing to determine which topics and content are most effective and increase your open rate.

As a reminder, A / B testing consists of offering several versions of the same object that differ according to a single criterion in order to determine the version that gives the best results with customers.

You can use the tool CoSchedule which will allow you to determine the most effective email subject.

8- Try to avoid using different URL domains and broken links

The URLs in your cold email must be HTTPS, that is, be secure so as not to destroy your credibility and thus avoid being considered a spammer. Indeed, when your URLs are not in HTTPS, Gmail sends a warning before opening which gives the email a suspicious look. 

In addition, all the links in your cold email must lead to the same domain as much as possible. Do not mix too many different domains, but preferably make the domains of the URLs from the same domain as the sender.

When sending your cold email, make sure there are no broken links (links that do not work, are invalid)

9- Try to land in the main inbox of Gmail or Outlook

As part of a cold emailing campaign, it is important that the emails you send land in the main inbox of your recipients and not in the promotions tab (on Gmail) or others (on Outlook) or worse in junk mail.

At Google's Gmail, for example, everything is about personalizing the user experience. 

Gmail has, in fact, an algorithm called BERT which naturally processes the language and which will extract the content in order to type the email: personal or promotional. 

To personalize your emails, try writing the content of your email as if you were addressing someone you know, including addressing your recipient by first name.

It is also essential to carry out sending tests before embarking on a cold emailing campaign to see where the emails end up.

10- Write a personal email and avoid doing too much design

When writing email content, keep in mind that your email should be not only persuasive and concise, but also personal and human.

The content of the email should also be short. It is not a question of presenting all the strengths of your business but of going straight to the point by evoking the customer's problematic and providing them with a value proposition centered on their needs.

Also avoid using the templates with too much design and instead go for something simple and understated.

Add a clear CTA

Our last tip and not the least; it is essential to include a clear and precise call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your email. Indeed, any cold emailing campaign must remind the recipient of what exactly is expected of them. Remember that cold emailing is not a simple informational email but a commercial email. It is therefore essential to end your email with a clear, precise and concise request for action, such as: visiting a website, making an appointment, etc.

Conclusion

Cold emailing is an infallible B2B digital prospecting technique aimed at generating new qualified leads. We talk about "cold" email, or "cold" email because it consists of getting in touch with a prospect with whom you have never had prior contact via email.

This technique has many advantages. Among them, we can cite its low cost, its automation, its high transformation rate but also the availability of statistics in real time and the capacity to be able to continuously improve.

However, to be a powerful prospecting technique, it is necessary to know how to use it.

We hope that our guide has helped you and that it will be useful for you in setting up your cold emailing campaigns.

Lodago (formerly Rocket Mail), with ten years of expertise in emailing and IT, helps you maximize the effectiveness of your users' commercial campaigns through a CRM appointment scheduling plugin disruptive and at the cutting edge of technology.

Do not hesitate to contact us for more details, our Lodago advisers will be happy to help you soar into the future of emailing!

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