If you’re selling a product or service to consumers, B2C cold email is an efficient, cost-effective way to reach your target audience. Here’s why:
- Over 90 percent of the United States population uses email
- Over 70 percent of consumers prefer email over other marketing channels
- Marketers report an average ROI of 42:1 from B2C email marketing campaigns
Still, most people struggle with cold email. It’s not as intimidating as cold calling, but it presents its own challenges. How do you get someone’s email in the first place? How do you avoid their spam filter? And, most importantly, how do you get them to read and act on your email?
We’ll cover the answers to those questions here so you can run effective cold email campaigns.
(If you’re selling to businesses, check out How to Increase B2B Sales with Cold Email instead.)
How to Launch a B2C Cold Email Campaign
There are three things you need to do to execute an effective B2C cold email campaign.
- Email addresses. First, you need people to email. So we’ll cover a few email acquisition tactics you can use to collect the email addresses of people in your target market.
- Messaging. Next, you need compelling cold email copy. Successful B2C cold emails have attention-grabbing subject lines and body copy that drives readers to take action.
- A way to avoid the spam folder. You’ll need to avoid spam triggers so your emails reach their recipients. It’s also essential to follow the anti-spam laws in your country and the countries to which you’ll be sending emails.
B2C Email Acquisition
There are many ways to build your email list. We’ve covered those in-depth in our guide to email acquisition. Here are the three best ways to do it:
- Visitor identification. Website visitor identification identifies visitors who don’t convert on your site and sends their email addresses to your CRM. Each record costs less than $0.25 a record. And, since the people you’re emailing know your brand and are interested in your product or service, they’ll be more responsive to your email.
- Email retargeting. Email retargeting uses visitor identification to trigger emails based on the website content a visitor viewed.
- Referral partners. A referral partner can be any non-competitor with contacts in your target market. They can introduce you to their contacts so that recipients are more receptive to your emails. In return, you can offer a referral fee or introduce them to your contacts.
Writing B2C Cold Emails
But before you start writing, stop to think about what will be relevant to people who don’t have a pre-existing relationship with your company. They’re probably not ready for a free trial or a demo. It’s extremely unlikely that they’ll want to schedule a meeting with you. They may not even trust you enough to click a link.
The goal of a cold email campaign is different from most other email marketing campaigns. You don’t want purchases or demo signups. You want a reply.
The key to a successful B2C cold email is to start a conversation. You’ll likely be automating the initial email sequence in order to scale the campaign, but your goal should be to elicit a response from the prospect so that someone on your team can engage with them.
Avoiding the Spam Folder
In addition to writing compelling email copy, you have to make sure your emails actually reach the intended recipients. We’ve written a CAN-SPAM compliance checklist and a GDPR email compliance checklist. But even compliant emails get sent to spam. It’s also crucial to avoid spam trigger words and other triggers that will land your emails in the spam folder.
There’s a long list of words and email characteristics that trigger spam filters. Here are five easy ways to keep your B2C cold emails out of the spam folder:
- Don’t send emails to unengaged contacts
- Don’t send emails to addresses that bounce
- Make it easy for people to unsubscribe
- Validate your email list on a regular basis
- Avoid spam trigger words
(For more on this, see our guide to email engagement metrics.)
Test Out Your New B2C Cold Email Campaign
Once you’ve developed your B2C cold email campaign, take it for a spin by implementing website visitor identification with a free trial. Since these leads will be people who have visited your website, they won’t be ice cold. They’ll be more likely to recognize your brand and to be interested in what you’re selling. Then, based on the results, you can optimize the campaign for round two.