by Matt Alderton | September 12, 2018
In business, nothing is more dreaded than the cold call. But honestly: A cold email isn't any easier to send than a cold call is to make. And yet, it can't be avoided. Anyone who's in business is going to have to email a stranger sooner or later. And the success of their company depends on their ability to get a response.
If you hate sending cold emails, Entrepreneur Editor in Chief Jason Feifer has a solution. To find out what gets people to respond to cold emails, he conducted an informal survey of his LinkedIn connections, who shared with him what people most often cold email them about, and which cold emails they actually respond to.

One person's answer is typical of the responses he received. "Lauren Hattendorf, who works in marketing in Los Angeles, said that she mostly gets cold emails about 'software or a program that's irrelevant to me or the company,'" Feifer reports. "The emails she's most likely to respond to, however, are 'personalized and sent to me exclusively; not a mass email filled in by a mail merge. The email should prove that the writer has done their research and has looked at my LinkedIn profile.'"

Feifer says he evaluates his own inbox similarly. "The emails I get the most ask some variation of 'Can I be a contributor to' But the emails I'm most likely to respond to include a specific compliment about my work, whether it's Entrepreneur magazine, a podcast, an article, my novel or something else," he says. "I ignore the repetitive emails in which many people want the same thing from me. I reply to the ones that show a genuine interest in what I do."

The lesson? "Simple: When you reach out cold, be generous and personal," Feifer concludes. "Provide value, and make someone feel valued. When you give someone what they want, you're closer to getting what you want."

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Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.