In the right hands, a cold email can be a perfect conversation starter. It lets you introduce yourself and throws a hook that will get your target audience interested in your company. Cold emails are vital for building engagement and providing as much information as possible without exhausting your prospects.
It’s a point of pride to craft a cold email template that instantly delivers replies and interactions. It means that you nailed your recipients’ concerns and understood how to appeal to them. Nevertheless, even a good cold email template won’t last forever.
At some point, you’ll start noticing that your emails get opened less, that your current cadence isn’t enough to motivate recipients into responding.
But cold emails can be difficult to master because they come from reps who have no prior relationship with the person they’re reaching out to. You check your domain health, but your DNS records and Sender Score are top-notch. You run a mailbox audit and see that nothing affects the journey of your emails.
What the heck is happening? Did you build your winning templates wrong? Are your prospects getting intercepted by your competitors?
The reason is, in fact, much more pragmatic - you haven’t refreshed your templates in a while.
Why is it important to refresh email templates?
Nobody likes to hear that they’ll have to change their cold email templates sooner or later. It takes a lot of time and brainstorming to create an email that hits the spot, so when you know you’ll be going through this again, you’ll feel defeated. However, don’t let yourself prioritize feelings over facts.
- Your business evolves, and so should your cold email templates. Can you keep your business growing by sticking to just one sales channel, one sales tool, and a sales pitch that hasn't been updated since 2000? Of course, not. That would be an exercise in futility, like trying to paint a sunset with only a liner brush and one color in your palette. The more your business expands, the more components your workflow gets, the more assistance you’ll need with managing your company, and the more channels you will add to your pre-sales activities.
- Your cold templates must be consistent with your brand image. As time goes, your vision and mission will change to reflect your expanding list of values. As it happens, you'll have to make sure that everything reflects it, from your social media presence to your email templates.
- Your winning templates may not win your new audience over. Additionally, you can’t keep winning with just one set of templates. Whenever you start selling to a new market, you must research its specifics, understand the key concerns of the consumers and develop an individual strategy for presenting your brand. This strategy involves both inbound and outbound marketing.
Refreshing cold email templates is the normal part of any successful outreach process. It’s about staying flexible and ready to catch up with the latest trends and changes.
5 signs it’s time to refresh your email templates
All right, we sorted out why you should change your core cold email templates. But when should you change them? How not to do it too early or too late?
You get fewer results
Hands down, it’s the most obvious sign. Your message is delivered but it fails to deliver. It's hard not to notice that your winning formula starts bringing fewer replies and email opens. Whether it's the subject line, the introduction, or the body text, it doesn't capture the recipient's interest as well as it used to.
How do you fix it? You don’t have to scrap your email templates entirely. They did so well generating leads for you; maybe they need just a little tweak. Some good A|B testing will help you figure it out. Launch two separate campaigns: One with slightly changed email templates and another one featuring a completely new set. Comparing the results will let you see the scale of changes that your email campaigns need.
Your business has grown
You may have begun your journey as a startup, but your goal was to go big and take over the world… or take over your potential buyers' world by taking care of their needs and solving their issues. So, after several years in business, you have a lot more things to take pride in, aside from your first baby steps. The question is: Do your email templates reflect the long way you've gone? If you still use templates developed back when your company didn't have a proper office, you under-present your company and keep shooting your business in the leg.
How to fix it? Stop being shy. Do you mention the names of industry giants or voices of authority when you describe your customers? Have you attached the link to your presentation on the industry-relevant event? You have the right to brag! It’s not even bragging, just stating the facts about your success. People love working with successful partners.
Your templates are no longer mobile-friendly
According to the rule of thumb, if any content takes more than one minute to upload on mobile, the user will discard it. Given that at least 97% of your target recipients check their email from their smartphones while engaging in their everyday activities (lunchtime, fitness, shopping, etc.), your email templates must look good on a smartphone screen. Otherwise, your recipients will grow frustrated with poor user experience and give priority to messages that are easier to access from a mobile device.
How to fix it? When you see that your email templates get fewer opens and fewer interactions, try checking your emails from a smartphone and a tablet. If you see that your emails don't fit the screen size, the image format is messed up, and your templates take too long to upload, it's time to get adaptive.
There are new compliance regulations
There are certain laws and regulations that protect people from receiving unwanted content or passing important business data to the wrong company. They are the reason why you must inform your recipients about why you reach out to them and that you're fully aware they didn't expect a message from you. Also, this is why you must add a disclaimer just in case you accidentally send an email to the wrong recipient. The list of regulations regarding safe electronic mail transfer is quite large, and it keeps growing because malicious senders keep trying to invade innocent users' inboxes. When your templates fail to keep up with the new rules, the outcome is as predictable as driving without license plates.
How to fix it? Don't isolate yourself from the news. Subscribe to sources dedicated to informing users about all important updates that concern email outreach and email marketing. Explore the new guidelines for mail senders and make sure that your templates are fully compliant. Do you need to add more information to your sender ID? Done! Change the format of your logo icon? Not a problem! The sooner you act, the better your email templates will do.
Your style is growing out of relevance
This part is mostly about the visuals you use for your cold email templates. Sometimes, companies change their design to a sleeker and brighter one, build a social media presence, create new logos…but they don't update their email signature and forget that they still use their old logo for their emails. Yes, it happens. And it matters. Recipients like consistency, so when they receive an email that clashes with the style of the sender’s company, they grow suspicious. You could have been spoofed for all they know.
How to fix it? Polish your email templates as much as you polish your visuals and web sources. Whenever you add a new element, think about how it would affect your cold outreach templates and the materials you attach. Do you need to change something? Does your sales deck need a visual upgrade? If you have an art director, have them take a look at your promotional content and marketing materials and let them see what they can do.
How to refresh your email template correctly
We gave a long speech about the necessity of changing cold email templates, but we aren't going to leave it at that. Yes, we fully acknowledge how hard it is to write a good set of compelling email messages. It may get easier when you get the hang of it, but still, every new industry or segment of your target audience would introduce a new challenge that will lead to more brainstorming sessions and increased coffee consumption. So, to give you something to build on, here are the rules that you should always follow when writing or rewriting a cold email template:
- Don’t write an essay. Long sentences, overly complicated words, huge paragraphs of text…it will never work out. Your recipients don’t have time to work their way through an onslaught of characters just to read the call to action. If you hide it behind a wall of text, you probably don’t want them to act. With that thought, they’ll trash your email and move on.
- Send a message, not a list. Bullet point lists are great. They let you outline each benefit without taking up too much space and letting your recipients focus on high-value aspects of your business. But when you send only a bullet-point list with a dry introduction and a generic call-to-action, you don’t leave your audience compelled to follow your call. Emails like that lack the humanity necessary for convincing prospects to give you the time of their day.
- Always be personal. Don't go in blind, starting your introduction with "Dear Sir or Madam." Nobody does that anymore. Admitting that you send emails to no one, in particular, is a bad way to start a business relationship that is built on mutual trust and mutual benefits. Take care to learn the name, title, and duties of your recipient and make a message that addresses them properly.
- Use tools to check your templates. You may know how human recipients see your emails. But you'll need some help with viewing your templates from the perspective of email service providers. Luckily, tools for mailbox audits are at your service. Platforms like Folderly and mail-tester.com let you quickly check your email templates and get a clear image of your text/image ratio, your HTML elements, and spam trigger word density.
As long as you remember these basics, you’ll have no problems with rewriting your template or creating a new set of cold emails for your new campaign.
Cold emailing takes a cold head, a human heart, and a watchful eye. No solution or strategy is permanent. Sometimes, you'll have to write a cold template that would address a global and relevant situation and then rewrite it to address all segments from the list of your recipients. Sometimes, you'll mold your templates into something that fits your brand image better. Whatever the reason, stay flexible. The more you respond to the change and work your way around modern trends, the sharper your mind gets!