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Top 3 Email “Cold Calling” Pet Peeves

Don't be annoying by cold calling via email.

I write about what I see in my day-to-day communications. I have a handful of sites and work with many clients via email. So I see it all. (If you have a topic you want me to opine about, let me know here.)

This week, I want to discuss the increasing number of spammy business pitches in my inbox. Okay, not spam-spam, but cold callers who do not seem to have their mojo. Which makes them sound spammish. That’s what made me take notice.

When not done correctly, cold calling on or offline can push potential customers away when your goal is to get them to do business with you. They don’t know who you are, possibly never heard of you or your business, and may not be interested. But you’ve lost their ear when they are not appropriately approached, even if they may interested.

The definition of cold calling is:

Cold calling is the solicitation of business from potential customers who have had no prior contact with the salesperson conducting the call. It is an attempt to convince potential customers to purchase either the salesperson’s product or service.

Email Cold Calling is No Different

Previously I offered some tips on how best to approach cold calling by email. This time I decided to focus only on the three mistakes I regularly see from cold callers that leave a poor impression.

  • Not doing your homework.
  • Being annoyingly automated.
  • Trying too hard to reflect personality and informality.

Let’s cover each one and why they made my list.

Not Doing Your Homework

For example, contacting websites to inquire about guest posting when the contact form states, ” I do not accept guest posts nor do I entertain 3rd party articles” as I do on all my websites. But the requests pour in — on all three of my websites with that type of statement.

What do you think that says about the inquirer who sends a request that the website states is not welcomed? Then you add to those requests that their article doesn’t fit with the topic of my website.

Worse, they want a link on one of my articles to theirs — because they think their article is all that. When I go to check it out — it’s not all that.

And don’t forget the “Hey, Team” or “Dear Sir” inquiries. Neither of which applies to me. Do your homework, determine who to contact, and make your best effort to determine if your offer is something they would be interested in.

Being Annoyingly Automated

Email autoresponder series have their uses and can be an excellent tool for any website owner. But when they are overused, you become annoying. So take a hint when I don’t respond to the first, second, fifth, or tenth “reminder follow-up.”

Lack of a response is a response. Especially when I didn’t initiate contact with you for what you have to offer. I don’t respond to pitches I didn’t ask for.

Two to three follow-ups are enough in case I am, in fact, too busy to respond to your unasked-for pitch. And let’s face it — it is a pitch. You’ve miscalculated my potential interest when you don’t detail the benefit of taking you up on your offer.

Trying Too Hard to Reflect Personality and Informality

I get that you want to stand out. But this is still about business. Business, by its very nature, is formal. That is until a relationship is nurtured and grows to where all involved feel comfortable being less so.

Using language or a style that smacks of trying to stand out, be cool, or be hip doesn’t work in most cases.

One last thing…

When cold calling via email, as I mentioned above, you always want to focus on the benefit and value of your offer for the person you are contacting. Of course, we know you are out for something, too; business is a two-way street.

But featuring the contact’s benefit over yours keeps the focus where you need it to be and gives you the best chance for a reply. That is what you want, after all, right?

Share the knowledge!

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