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Cold Email Tips for MSPs in 2020

The following is a guest post from Derek Marin at Simple Selling. Enjoy!

I run a small MSP business development agency that’s focused exclusively on helping MSPs grow smarter. I met Brad via LinkedIn about a year ago and we’ve been friends ever since.

The goal of this article is to help Hook Security’s partner MSPs benefit from my sales team’s experience with a tactic we’re all familiar with: cold-emailing

What do I mean by “cold”?” It refers to emailing a person who has no clue who our MSP partner is. To us, getting it “right” doesn’t mean closing a new client, it’s simply about earning a reply. If any sales person convinces a stranger to respond to him or her, especially when we’re all getting a 100 emails a day, then that sales person did something right with that email.

According to leadfuze, cold e-mail response rates average 1%, and our team is getting an average of 3%, or 200% better than average, as of today. We didn’t get 3% right away, we had to work on this and we continue to improve on it every day.

Again, why is any reply from a prospect a good thing? Because a “no, thanks” means we can save hours of follow ups, and a “yes” means we have a chance!

This article is part two of our series on cold-emailing for MSPs. In the first article of the series, I provided two tips related to personalization, whereas here I’m explaining how to improve subject-lines for better open rates and using fewer links to increase trust.

Alright, let’s get to it again!

Keep Subject Lines Short and Focused on Benefits

That’s it! Keep them short and to the point. This may seem obvious to you, but a lot of sales reps still don't get this. For proof of my claim, just check your spam folder and you’ll see what I mean.

Here’s what I found in my spam folder:

Please, do not try to trick anyone with “Re:” Doing this will, more often than not, ruin any chance you had. It reeks of desperation and why would anyone reply to a desperate salesperson?

The problem is that “business practices” can mean almost anything. It reads as a webinar about “business” and so the potential benefit is unclear. A simpler subject, such as “Webinar about X” where ‘X’ is the specific topic of the webinar would be more convincing.

Kudos for keeping the subject short and simple, but, sorry, it’s too gimmicky. So the only benefit of being in contact with Kyle is a donut and a coffee from Dunkin Donuts? Starbucks would have been a little better!

Minimize use of Hyperlinks

This was a mistake we made for a while. We used to embed a hyperlink or two in every e-mail sent to cold prospects. Our hypothesis was that more links we shared, the more responsive the prospect would be; of course they would want to read the articles we sent them! Right? 

Nope. Not true. 

Well, turns out we were wrong, it proved to be quite the opposite actually, that when we used less links, responses jumped!

We can speculate all day as to why links hurt us and, since I have your undivided attention, I’ll share my perspective on this. I believe most of us are nervous about links from strangers. We are skeptical and concerned about getting hacked!

Anyway, we found that our we’re not alone in this finding either. Check out the “Tip #10” from a presentation by SalesLoft.

Use Sequences to Scale Up

Copying and pasting emails may not be problematic if you are only going after 10 companies at a time, but when you get to 150 companies in a pipeline, you start getting overwhelmed with CTRL+c and CTRL-v.

Sequences are the solution here.

They enable you take the best emails you have and automate the sending on a schedule that you predetermine. 

For example, a sequence can contain 5 e-mails; the first is mailed today, the second in about 3 business days, the third a week after that, etc.

There are different tools out there email sequences, and the one we use for our MSP clients is HubSpot. If you would like a demo of sequences, just let me know and I can show you.

Wrapping it up on cold-emailing

Cold-emailing is hard. I’ve made plenty of mistakes with it and I’m sure I will again. But, it does work, especially when we use automation to scale it, easy subject lines for prospects to grasp the essence and fewer hyperlinks also adds to the trust factor.

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