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How to Build Warm Relationships With Potential Customers via Cold Outreach

Antonio Gabric

Last Updated:  

22 February 2024

7 min read

Sounds oxymoronic, doesn’t it? Cold emails are called that for a reason. They’re from a distant stranger, often irrelevant, and you must have hundreds, if not thousands, of them gathering dust in your inbox. But when the tables turn, and you become the stranger, the only way to make cold emails work is by first building warm relationships with your leads.

How does one do that? You’ve heard of (and possibly tried) personalization, automated sending, and tracking all those KPIs, but writing and sending the perfect cold email is like playing Jenga – one wrong move can bring the whole thing crashing down.

That’s why we’ve compiled a checklist to make your cold emails stand out from the billions of emails that get sent daily and harness their potential to make those outlandish-sounding claims of 3800% returns come true for you.

Why email is one of the most effective channels for building warm relationships with customers 

  • At 4.37 billion users, email easily surpasses the user base of any other digital media channel.
  • It is the highest-rated channel for customer retention. As well as for marketing content to prospective customers.

Channels used for marketing

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How are CMO are spending

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Email marketing revenue world wide

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10 tips for building warm relationships with potential customers via cold email

Here’s how you can master the art of cold emailing and use it to nurture prospects all the way to the bottom of the sales funnel:

Research

Don’t start channeling your inner Joe Goldberg just yet. By research, we mean you should find details about your prospect company’s:

  • Location
  • Revenue
  • No. of employees
  • Recent milestones
  • Key decision-makers

On an individual level, once you’ve zeroed in on the contact person, follow them on their LinkedIn and Twitter. See if you have any common contacts that can get you an introduction. 

If you don’t, even a shared love for the Philadelphia Eagles can serve as an ice-breaker. 

You can also set up Google Alerts for your prospects. It helps you stay up-to-date with recent developments that offer insights into their pain points.

Keep a list of this information in your Prospect Sheet, along with their contact information. 

Most business websites list an email address for their key personnel. If you can’t find one, use email lookup tools such as Hunter to find a valid email for reaching out. When you enter a website in the search bar, it scours the web for email addresses linked to that particular domain and shows you something like this. 

hunter email finder

You can also find an alternative contact if your original target proves hard to reach.

Personalization

Email personalization may have started as a fringe benefit provided by indulgent businesses to customers, but overwhelming demand has made it an indispensable marketing tactic. 

Expectation for personalized content by purchase stage

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To effectively nurture leads, demonstrate how much you value each individual client and their unique needs. This calls for more than just first-name merge tags.

Use the detailed background analysis you did earlier to craft your email intro. 

If the person you’re contacting recently posted about closing a recent round of funding, congratulate them. 

If they tweeted about Adele’s new single, make it the subject line of your email.

Personalize offers based on demographics like location or gender. You can hyper-personalize offers based on factors like the size of the company you’re pitching to.

If they’re a fledgling start-up, pitch a scalable plan adjusted to their changing number of employees or customers.

Mammoth organizations will prefer a fully customizable solution with every possible add-on and integration to address the diverse needs within different departments/branches.

Value Proposition

When your first cold email lands in their inbox, or for that matter, your second or third, your prospects won’t know who you are. So you’ll have to explain what you bring to the table. 

If somebody’s car has broken down in the middle of the road, they don’t want to know where you went to college for your degree in automotive repair. Or that you’ve been working for the city’s biggest dealership for ten years. All they want to hear is that you can have their engine running in an hour. 

So when you’re explaining the benefits of your product or service, do it in terms your leads understand.

Instead of saying you’re an SEO specialist, say you can get them 5x organic traffic in two months.

Give them a realistic timeline, actionable goals, and their impact on business once they’ve been achieved. 

For example, this fluff-free email template nails down the specifics that can prompt prospects into taking action.

Email Template

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Listen

When you’re in the initial stages of talking to a prospect, it’s understandable that you’d want to tell them as much about yourself as possible so they can see the value in what you’re offering.

But for them to even consider your offer, it has to address the right pain points. No amount of market research will compensate for your prospect telling you, in their own words, which problems they face and what solutions they seek. 

Use SurveySparrow’s email survey tools to transform your cold emails from scattered one-way blasts into a two-way communication channel. Get your prospects to narrow down problem areas in their business processes.

Ask them to share either qualitative or quantitative feedback, ideally a mix of both, to hone your product-market fit.

You can embed the first question of the survey in your email itself to encourage responses and set up automated reminders for non-responding recipients.

setup email embed

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Educate & Add Value 

Once you’ve got them to open your cold email, let your prospects know they’re not another cash cow to you. 

For example, if you’re an AI chatbot provider, instead of asking them to buy from you in your very first email to them, send them a quiz that helps them identify areas that a customer service chatbot can manage. 

If you’re a marketing agency, send them an ebook with soft launch ideas for SaaS businesses.

 Your early relationship with your prospects is only as strong as the value you add to their business, without seeking any in return.

You can also combine your cold emails with other channels like YouTube, LinkedIn, or Twitter to establish your expertise – en masse.

Having a well-planned content marketing strategy will prime your prospects, both new and existing, to turn into high-quality leads, in a manner best suited to the stage of the funnel they are in.

Consistency

Lead characters don’t just have spunk on their side; they have a little something called serendipity. 

A lead shot through the chest turns out to be part of the 1% of the population born with their heart on the right. Another lead is in love with her pen pal, who’s also her co-worker. 

But unless your life was written by a Broadway playwright, consistency, not serendipity, will be the key to your success.

Your very first cold email won’t accidentally end up being read by a Fortune 500 company CEO who jumps at the chance to do business with you.

The sixth follow-up email from the cold outreach sequence you revised for the 43rd time, however, might.

Maximize your chances of success by using cold email tools to automate email sequences and follow-ups. You can send one every 5 days or every week.

automate email sequences

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Send them to prospects according to their time zone and/or behavioral triggers.

You can also use Campaigns to personalize templates in bulk and monitor campaign performance.

Campaigns to personalize templates in bulk and monitor campaign performance.

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Authenticity

A good cold email is built on three crucial elements —

  1. Who you are 
  2. What value you can provide 
  3. How you can advance their business

Lying, or being less-than-straightforward, about any of these might get you an initial response from your prospect, but it’ll never lead to a warm relationship with them.

Write your emails the way you talk in real life. If you wouldn’t talk to a man wearing a too-tight, graphic-printed v-neck t-shirt, yellow sunglasses, and a tub of hair gel, don’t make your email sound like the digital version of one.

If they have further questions, encourage them to ask you. Research shows that businesses that follow up with prospective clients within 5 minutes are 21x more likely to convert than those responding within the first hour. 

None of your cold emails should be from no-reply email addresses. You want to strengthen the flow of communication, not stem it.

Keep your ear to the ground for industry trends and revolutions. And when your prospects do say something to you, show them you care.

If a user experience survey you did showed that leads found your website difficult to navigate, or that it had too many pop-ups, resolve those complaints.

Build Trust

If you thought you could get away with a cold outreach campaign without testimonials, here’s a tidbit for you. A whopping 82% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know.

So, every once in a while, round up the best testimonials you’ve received and put them in an email, the way Magic Spoon does here.

Avoid spammy words in the subject line and email copy. Anything too sales-y will dent your sender reputation and deliverability. 

The same applies to the Call-To-Action (CTA) in your emails. Don’t get overambitious and ask them to respond to you, download your free resource, and fill out a survey. That will only overwhelm them and lower your chances of getting a response.

Be Responsive

Being responsive goes hand-in-hand with listening to prospect cues, both direct and indirect, about their needs. It’s your job to be proactive when it comes to meeting those needs. If you are proactive enough, you can even create a need where there’s none. 

 

Antonio Gabric

Outreach Manager @ Hunter.io

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