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Cold emailing and best methods to use

Discussion in 'SEO, Social Media & Online Marketing Forum:' started by marktea, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. marktea

    marktea New Member

    I'm a graphic designer and I've been running my own business for around six months alongside a web developer. Until now I've been surviving off work I've gained through referrals or word of mouth. Unfortunately this has started to dry up over the last month or two and for the first time I'm finding myself really needing to pull in some new work on my side of the business.

    The way I was thinking of approaching this was through sending cold emails to local businesses. I have a list I compiled from researching small local retail businesses and another from business cards I have collected at various networking events. I also plan to make another database of companies, the idea being to target a few types of companies I have had experience either designing for or actually working within that industry in the past.

    I have seen a few approaches. Some people tend to send a polite initial email asking to be put in touch with the person responsible for outsourcing any web or graphic design work. Others research a company in depth and try to target the email to a specific person who may be able to put work their way. Also, I'm not sure whether to go in with a short introduction email with work examples saying who we are and what we do, or go straight in with a full on marketing email with graphics, or attached flyer outlining the services we offer?

    I've considered cold calling too, but this seems invasive and annoying to me. I tend to switch off when I sense a person trying to sell to me on the other end of the line.

    I guess there's no one simple answer to this question, but if anyone has any bright ideas or any other effective way of generating leads I'd love to hear them.

  2. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    I'd keep any 'sales' emails short, snappy and perhaps slightly informal (depends on the business you're targeting I suppose). Just explain that you're a local business that offers XYZ and that you'd like to possible discuss the possibility of working with them in the future (include some reasons why). I'd keep it friendly but professional, avoid anything that sounds too spammy, and definitely try to email someone directly and refer to them in person. This is much more likely to get a response or an action than a 'To whom it concerns' email. Put yourself in their position, would you give work and money to a cold, faceless business that have emailed you (and probably many others) out of the blue, or would you rather go with someone who genuinely seems keen to work with you and make a difference, not just someone who's looking for work?

    If you keep it short you're less likely to bore someone or come across as desperate. Also consider targeting one or two specific companies you really want to work with sending out something tangible to them. Not a flyer or a business card, but an object of some kind that makes them stop and give it their attention. An email can easily or mistakenly be deleted/ignored, but everyone loves getting a parcel delivered.
    marktea likes this.
  3. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    What kind of results do people get from the stone cold approach? I've always been of the opinion that it's probably a waste of time but I am generally curious to know how people have fared.

    When I've had quiet periods, my approach has been to contact people I've worked with in the past or currently work with to see if they know of anyone - personally or professionally - that they think I might be of some use to. I focus on those with whom I've established a track record of delivery and satisfaction and make my first approach to any names I'm fed back by dropping the name of the person who gave me their details. It's really a case of asking for permission to take a recommendation (actually a casual introduction) to a new contact and supply them with the name of someone known to them who can back up any claims I might make (this needn't take the form of anything more than "I was given your name by ..."). In a nutshell, rather than relying on word-of-mouth, I've sought to proactively force it - and I know that this works.
    marktea likes this.
  4. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    This is perfect if you already have a network of old clients you have worked for in the past but start at the beginning. Bare in mind some people like Marktea have just started up (6 months ago) so they won't necessary have many people, if anyone, to contact in the first place.
    marktea likes this.
  5. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    I hear you, but anyone you've worked with and sent away happy is a good a place to start. If you're new to the game, it does no harm to stay in touch with people you've worked with as a fledgling business, if only to let them know you're still there (and I'd argue that the ruse of enquiring after potential leads is as good a way as any to sow the right kinds of seeds).
    marktea and @GCarlD like this.
  6. marktea

    marktea New Member

    Thanks for the responses and opinions. I've decided to go with finding out as much as I can about each business I'm targeting, at the very least an email address and contact details of the person I probably need to speak to. Once I have all of this info I have composed a short standard email which I can customise slightly to each business to give a personal touch. I've gone for a quite informal and short plain text email, as I don't want to get tagged for spamming by sending out HTML marketing emails as a first contact, which people probably won't read anyway. I've also sent out emails to three previous contacts asking them for referrals. Hopefully I should get a positive response from at least a couple of sources.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  7. Yourdesignprinted

    Yourdesignprinted New Member

    Cold emails can work if pitched the right way, I would keep them short and snappy as mentioned above, maybe show a few pics of projects you've done, mention some previous clients and leave the ball Im their court, they usually email back, make it look like your doing them a favour.. Hope this helps lol..

    Local t shirt printing specialist ..

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