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Boost your cold email strategy: 6 tips to secure client meetings

By Humaira

You’ve got mail.

Boost your cold email strategy: 6 tips to secure client meetings

Is your cold email strategy opening doors or merely closing opportunities? In the realm of independent consulting, while referrals from past clients, colleagues, or peers often pave the way for new business, cold emails represent a critical leap beyond warm introductions. They serve as the key to initiating dialogues with potential clients.

A cold email to a potential client has only one purpose: For you to get through the door and secure a call or meeting. No one will hire you or buy a service based on a cold email. It is only the first step, but an important step.

You need to quickly demonstrate credibility and get the recipient to take action. An effective cold introduction email, sometimes called a Letter of Introduction (LoI), should briefly introduce your services and how they may help your target clients.

It’s crucial to tailor your service offerings to the clients’ needs and indicate which of your services may offer value to them in your message.

Introductory emails must include only what’s relevant to the client. Moreover, independent professionals must ensure emails are short, sharp, approachable, and not too sales-y. The result? You will get through the door and secure that crucial in-person call or meeting.

As much as we would like an easy-to-comprehend copy and paste formula for drafting introductory emails that convert, the reality is different. However, while writing great introductory emails is a bit of an art, there is some science behind it, too. Below, we’ll present you with a few tricks and tips to outline the perfect introductory email which could help you get in touch with your next big client.

Here’s your guide to writing great emails that secure meetings

This six-point checklist for writing effective introductory emails will help you bring in the right clients for your freelance business.

1. First, identify the right company and contact person

Before starting anything else, it’s essential to target the clients you picture yourself working with. Study company backgrounds or tap into your own experience as an independent professional or from previous permanent jobs.

We recommend focusing on companies that are likely to be buyers of your services, then drilling down and identifying the decision-makers in the organisations.

Remember, pitch yourself to the right people, and the probability of you converting the potential client increases manifold.

2. Find the email address

There are several tools out there to help you identify an individual’s professional email address. Examples include Zoominfo, Lusha, and Rocketreach. 

Reiterating the point made above – only send cold emails to people who could genuinely benefit from your services. If you go too wide on your targeting, the likelihood is high that people will block emails from you and mark them as spam.

This also increases the likelihood of all of your emails to other recipients going into spam if mail services start getting spam notifications linked to your email address.

3. Captivate with a clear and engaging subject line

The power of an email often lies in its subject line. It’s the first impression you make and can be the deciding factor in whether your email gets opened. A well-crafted subject line is clear, engaging, and directly relevant to the recipient’s interests or needs.

Consider these three strategies for effective subject lines:

  • Highlight a specific benefit: Clearly articulate a tangible benefit. Use a subject line like “Enhance Your Brand’s Reach with Our Tailored Marketing Strategies,” which promises a clear value proposition.
  • Maintain honesty, avoid overpromising: Ensure your subject line is honest and achievable. Unrealistic claims can harm trust and credibility. For example, “Discover Time-Saving Management Techniques” offers a practical benefit without overstatement, fostering trust and credibility.
  • Ask a Relevant Question: Questions can pique curiosity and engage the recipient. For instance, “Is Your Marketing Strategy Meeting Its Full Potential”, or “Facing Workflow Inefficiencies? Our Tech Can Help” directly addresses a common problem and suggests a solution.

4. Start strong!

Adjust your salutation to the specific industry and company you are targeting. For example, use the typical “Dear” for someone in a conservative professional environment and a more casual “Hey” or “Hello” for a potential lead working in a more relaxed industry. Moreover, add a personal touch to the greeting by using the recipient’s first name.

If possible, identify common acquaintances with the recipient and refer to them in the first sentence to establish context and enhance the chances of getting a reply.And don’t forget to research the company and establish relevance with the recipient. Maybe, praise a recent piece of their work that you found interesting. Remember, a genuine compliment never goes to waste.

Moreover, researching = listening and may help you grab the recipient’s attention and understand how to add value to their work.

5. Dive into the purpose of your email

It’s time to hit the hammer on the nail and discuss how you, as an independent, can add value to their business.

  • Keep it short – not more than 3-4 short paragraphs
  • Give a brief intro about your background (e.g. “I’m a Transformation Manager with 7 years’ experience leading digital transformation projects, first as an employee at Deloitte, and more recently as an independent consultant supporting brands such as Brand X and Y.)
  • Try to make your introductory email as relevant as possible to the recipient — you don’t want them to feel like they are receiving a boilerplate message. Include a sentence or paragraph that truly shows that it is tailored and that you understand their situation

For example, you could say something like: “As CTO of BANK X, I assume you and your team are very busy implementing the new core banking system reported on in PUBLICATION X and might need support from additional transformation managers with proven implementation skills.”

  • Make reference to any case study you can attach or links to your available work. If you need help with your case studies, please see the templates we have developed for you.
  • For more information, refer to your LinkedIn profile. We recommend this instead of attaching a CV as clients typically are ware of opening many attachments. (If you need tips on how to improve your LinkedIn profile, please see here.)
  • Avoid jargon, flowery adjectives, or language not supported by facts – don’t forget a spell check!

6. Lastly, include a call-to-action (CTA)

No effective introductory email is complete without a CTA. It’s the final piece to your puzzle — short, crisp, polite, and placed prominently — put it all together.

Most commonly, it would be an ask to reply to so that the recipient can learn more about your background and skills. It could also be a link to “schedule a meeting” or a link to your website if that can provide them with additional information. Keep in mind to keep it confident but not overly sales-y.