For most businesses, cold outreach is the stuff of nightmares. And businesses in the financial markets are no different.
Ask the average in-house marketer about their past experiences of it, and you’ll hear countless horror stories of being ignored, rejected, and told where to go.
Unsurprisingly, this can leave financial markets professionals with little faith in cold outreach as a way to get new business.
But the data tells a very different story.
Not one of soul-crushing failure, but one of success.
There are businesses out there successfully applying cold outreach every single day—so if it’s not working for you, you need to figure out why that is, and address it.
Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table.
These are the 7 reasons cold outreach hasn’t worked for you (until now).
1. You’re too focused on YOU
If you’re reaching out to someone you have no history or relationship with, there tends to be one question going through their head, and one question only:-
“What’s in this for me?”
This is the question you must always answer in your outreach strategy.
Stop thinking about the sale and what’s in it for your business, and start thinking about how you can help the person you’re contacting.
This will improve every aspect of your approach—the way you assess client fit, the tone of your outreach message, how you carry yourself on that intro call—everything.
So whether you’re writing a cold outreach email, a physical direct marketing campaign, or an InMail on LinkedIn, read your message back, and imagine you’re being asked this question.
If your message doesn’t have an answer, edit it until it does.
2. You don’t get to the point
The attention of your prospects is finite.
Don’t waste it on a two paragraph introduction on yourself, or a whistle-stop tour of your company history.
The point of a cold email is to get your foot in the door. To spark a conversation.
And the best way to get a clear and simple response from someone, is to give them a clear and simple email.
Keep things short, sweet and singular in focus.
Focus on one point. Ask one question. And of course, keep the word count low.
Data suggests the optimal word count for a cold email is between 50 and 125 words. We recommend condensing what you have to say into three sentences max.
3. You haven’t optimized your subject line
With cold email, unless you’re contacting someone you’ve previously met at an expo or networking event, you don’t have the luxury of familiarity.
All you have is your subject line. This is your one shot to get the recipient’s attention. So make sure it gives them good reason to open it.
This can be as simple as paying them a compliment…
Loved your LinkedIn post on NFTs
Or asking them a question, which they have to open for more context…
[first name], would this be helpful for [prospect’s business]?
Or, you can promise them something that would be hard for them to turn down.
Trading analysis made easy: in 10 minutes
Finally, make sure your subject line is clear, and keep it short. Mailchimp recommends using no more than 9 words or 60 characters.
4. You’re not checking for spam trigger words
This one is vital for the financial markets.
You could be writing the best outreach emails in your market, but if they don’t make it to your recipient’s inbox, then you’re wasting valuable effort.
That’s why it’s so important to know common spam trigger words.
These are phrases that email servers use to identify suspicious emails— emails that look like they could be fraudulent, criminal, or otherwise dangerous.
The list of spam trigger words out there is ever-changing, and ever-growing, so it’s something you need to stay updated on.
And unfortunately for businesses in the finance space, a lot of these phrases revolve around investments and making money.
So if you want to have any prolonged success with cold outreach, knowing trigger words is a non-negotiable.
5. You’re not being targeted enough
It’s 2022—people won’t stand for shoddy sales tactics anymore.
And what’s more, with all the resources you can use to ethically research and identify suitable clients—they shouldn’t have to.
The average professional is bombarded with generic sales messages all day every day.
If you want your outreach to stop someone in their tracks, it needs to speak to them as an individual.
Each contact should feel like what they’re reading has been written for them, and them alone.
To do that, your email must demonstrate a knowledge of:-
- who they are
- what their business does
- and why it makes sense for them to invest in what you have to offer.
Some of the most effective emails respond to a very recent event—such as an event the prospect attended, or some funding they just received.
Essentially, you need to do your research on every single person you reach out to, and make sure any outreach method you use nails the three points above.
6. You’re not following up
Persistence is key to successful cold outreach.
Sometimes people ignore your email because they’re not interested. But other times, they just forget to respond.
In fact, 80% of sales happen after the fifth follow-up.
Unfortunately, most marketing, sales and business development execs don’t follow up enough times to learn this for themselves.
So don’t assume it’s a no until you get a no.
Having said that, it helps to give yourself a cut-off point. Just so your efforts aren’t wasted.
If they don’t reply after five emails, move on.
7. You don’t test and improve
Like all marketing, the best way to learn what works with cold outreach is by trying something, looking at the data, and then fine-tuning your approach until you see better results.
You can use email metrics to improve every component of your outreach.
If email delivery is low, check for spam trigger words.
If open rates are low, work on your subject lines.
If opens are high, but replies are low, maybe your body copy isn’t strong enough, or you’re putting yourself in front of the wrong audience.
Test, refine, and repeat. It really is as simple as that.
Why cold outreach hasn’t worked for you: key takeaways
To sum up, there are 7 reasons why most financial markets businesses fail when it comes to cold outreach.
Address these areas, and you are guaranteed to get better results:-
- Focus on the contact; make sure your outreach answers the question “what’s in this for me?”
- Get to the point; keep things short, sweet and singular in focus. 50-125 words, three sentences max.
- Optimize your subject line; give them a good reason to open the email
- Stay up to date with spam trigger words; and regularly check your emails for them
- Be hyper-targeted in your approach; the reader should feel like this email has been written for them, and them alone.
- Always follow-up; 80% of sales happen after the fifth follow-up.
- Test and improve; put something out there, see what works, then refine, repeat, and improve.
Want to know what is and isn’t working for your business? We can help you pinpoint the exact weak points in your marketing, before delivering a strategy to address them.