Jenny! Stop it.

Most people don't understand cold email at all. Here is the problem with how most companies do cold email.

This is for you, Jenny. I won’t give out her real name. Jenny is going to bear the brunt of this rant but the truth is I get a barrage of these emails daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. I am of course talking about cold email.

Before the rant

Cold email is one of my favourite marketing mechanisms - if used correctly. It can be powerful and genuinely useful but most business and marketing companies butcher the concept. Don’t even get me started on the legal ramifications. I know our departure from the European Union meant the end of GDPR but we do have privacy laws. That is a topic for another day.

Back to Jenny and her cold email faux pas

Today I get an email from Jenny. It pops into my inbox and I think to myself “I don’t know a Jenny do I?” Turns out I’m right. I don’t know a Jenny. She has decided I am an agency (first mistake - I’m not) looking to recruit talent (for my non-existent agency) which we’ve established I’m not. I do run a publishing business where we always look for talent but she has approached me as someone who specialises in agencies. However, that isn’t her biggest mistake.

Jenny’s biggest mistake

I never signed up for her list. Jenny has subscribed me to her list assuming I want to receive her emails. Nothing irritates potential customers more. Even if I did own an agency and I was seeking talent, would I use Jenny and her company? I think you all know the answer by now.

To use an analogy this is like inviting someone you have been courting for a few weeks to your friend’s wedding and introducing them as your girlfriend/boyfriend. Some important communication and steps have been missed along the way.

Should Jenny and Company X give up on cold email?

The answer is no but the strategy needs to be altered. I use cold email daily to drive new leads but I do a few things that Jenny didn’t do.

  1. I research my targets. I am at least 90% sure or above that the people I am contacting are interested in what I have to offer.

  2. I don’t assume. I don’t assume they want to be on my list. Perhaps it’s the self-critic in me that isn’t sure my list is quite worthy of them. I jest of course. It’s that I am not so arrogant as to think they will immediately trust me and love everything I have to offer.

There is more to an effective cold email strategy and I am going to post how I approach it and the tools I use in the next post. Until then!