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Why your B2B cold email isn’t converting: problems and solutions

A converting cold email is what every professional in 2020 needs. Before we get into why your B2B cold email isn’t converting, let’s define what conversion is.

In general, the conversion is the desired action performed by an email recipient. There’s no strict definition of a conversion for a cold email, you define it yourself. It can be the email open, the link click, scheduling a demo, reply to the received message, etc. If the goal of your cold email is to schedule a demo and one of the email recipients did it, congrats, a conversion took place!

Email conversion depends on many factors. It’s also obvious that the conversion rate could be low because of the low delivery or open rate. In the article, I won’t concentrate on these reasons. We are interested in a situation when all the emails are delivered and opened, but the conversion rate is still low. 

Now, here are the most popular issues with the email conversion rate.

You are reaching out to people who don’t need your solution

Even if you are reaching out to people with a great solution or offer, your message can land in the wrong inbox. If your message reaches a person who doesn’t need your product, the conversion won’t happen. 

Here’s the deal: learn your current customers and craft a buyer persona image. Find leads that match your ICP. In case the found people do not match it perfectly, avoid writing to them. A dev hardly needs an email marketing automation platform.

Your email gets received by the wrong person in a team

Let’s say you need to communicate with the CMO and promote your marketing automation platform. But you don’t have their email address, and your message gets into the inbox of a dev. The result is obvious: your email can get opened, but there will be no communication and no conversion. 

There’s one simple solution: ask the email recipient to redirect your message to the right person. For example: If you are not the person responsible for such questions, please, let me know or send this email to the person who is. Thank you!

You are not a person, you are a brand

We are humans, and we need conversations with real people. Especially when it comes to cold emails from the brands we see for the first time. As customers ourselves, we want to know there’s a person writing to us with a great offer, not a robot from a brand. 

Here’s what you can do. In the from field write your real name or combine it with your company’s name. There’s a great difference between and Kseniia from, isn’t it? The second variant is more human-like. Also, attach a professional email signature in the email body. These will help people see the real person behind your brand.

You are using one generic email copy for all your recipients

If you love generic email copies sent to thousands of people, let me disappoint you: none of them will convert even if they get opened. 

For professionals, it is of great importance to personalise every message with a few personal details of their recipients. For B2B, that’s not only the recipient’s first and last name together with the company name. A converting cold B2B email needs to contain the leads’:

  • Personal demographics (gender, income level, education, etc.)
  • Professional details (industry, position, qualifications, company size, specific skills)
  • Goals and values
  • Pain points and needs
  • Desires and preferences
  • References to sources (blog post, mention on a social network, comment on Quora, etc.)

The more information you have, the more you personalise an email with variables, the more people will be favorable to your cold emails. Thus, the higher the conversion rate will be.

Have a look at an email with the highest level of personalisation:

You are using gendered language

Gendered language is the cornerstone of our time. On the other hand, is it ok to use he/she if you are not sure of the recipients’ gender? Hardly so.

To not leave anyone out and avoid misunderstandings, use gender-neutral language. If possible, use who or they instead of he or she. Address all the genders together and use alternatives. 

You are boasting about your brand and are not interested in your leads

If you are one of the marketers who think only about themselves and are speaking about their own achievements, stop doing that right now! People do not want to read about you or your brand, they want to read about themselves. They have their own feelings and needs. And when reading your cold email, they think something like “Oh yes, how right they are! That’s the thing I need!”, you managed to hit the bull’s eye. Though if your email copy doesn’t evoke such emotions, it will never convert.

This is where a buyer persona image will support you. Appeal to the people’s feelings and needs. Address their points. And finally, provide the solution that will help them reach their goal, not you close a sale. 

Your email copy is either too poor or too bright

This paragraph includes a few points. Let’s get to the solutions right away:

  • Plain-text emails are better for personal contact while HTML ones are better for newsletters and onboarding. As far as you are reaching out to every lead in person for the first time, plain-text could be a better option for you.
  • If you still prefer HTML messages, make them responsive and simple. Do not use many colors and fonts, three colors and 2 fonts are enough. Use the minimalistic one-column design.
  • Leave pics, videos, and emojis either for B2C or at least for further communication. Cold B2B email copies are to be reserved and informative.
  • There’s hardly a person who will spend 10 minutes reading your email. Be short and get to the point quickly: 200 words are enough.

You rely on email communication solely

People are busy, and they do not want to spend their time in vain reading another email with a great solution. Moreover, they can live in a different time zone than you do. This makes email communication too long. 

To avoid long responses, write two sentences about the product you present and describe the key features in brief. Then, provide a link to an online meeting and offer people to join a 15-minutes demo where you will describe in detail your product and demonstrate how it works. Some prefer online meetings rather than email communication. And if they do not have options, they will simply ignore your message.

You are sending shortened links

Too long links do not look that attractive. This is why professionals use special tools to shorten their links. This way, they are not only shorter and look more aesthetically beautiful but also track clicks and a few demographic details. Full profit!

Yet, marketers do not recommend using shortened links within emails. The email provider needs to track where the link leads. And with all those redirects, a shortened link can be the reason your email will be filtered as spam by the ESP. 

Moreover, spammers, phishers, and hackers love shortened links to spread viruses and get the information they need. This is why we do not trust shortened links. So the conversion (click) is less about to happen if your email contains a shortened link. 

The solution is as simple as ABC: avoid using link cutter tools. Insert full links. Anyway, even if it is too long, but it starts with your product name (for example, it is more reliable than the one that doesn’t.

Your email is a set of spammy words

You can hardly surprise anyone today with the words free, discount, 50% off, cash, etc. They only trigger spam filters and people. Thus, your converting email turns into spam. And even if the email gets opened, such a set of words will push people to delete your message or mark it spam. 

To not reduce the power of conversion, avoid spam words. Replace them with something more relevant and reliable. 

There’s no CTA in your email or it blends into the background

The conversion of an email depends on the CTA. If there’s no one, the conversion won’t take place. If there are a few CTAs, the email recipient may get confused about what they are supposed to do. If the CTA is poor and blends with the background, it won’t convert.

Here’s what to do:

  • Do include the CTA button/link
  • Use one CTA per email
  • Design a bright CTA; emphasise it with an outstanding color (for example, red CTA in a green email)
  • Keep the CTA short (up to 3 words)
  • Anchor the CTA with the direct link so that people do not search for the necessary page

Improve the email conversion rate to the fullest

The email conversion rate depends on a few things within your email copy. And you, as a professional, need to keep them in mind and implement. Yet, the email content isn’t everything: the conversion also depends on a few things that go outside it. These few tips will help you improve email conversions.

  • Send follow-up emails to get in touch with people. Your first email can get lost in the inbox. Thus, follow-ups are a must-have in reaching out to leads
  • Know the email sending frequency and timing
  • Follow the email campaign stats to be aware of its performance
  • Conduct A/B tests to discover the email elements that perform best. Test one element per test campaign

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