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8 Cold Email Copywriting Tactics That Spark Conversations With B2B Prospects

Writing for B2B purposes isn't exactly easy, especially writing emails. At least it isn't when you're going into it blind. But there are plenty of ways to ensure that your message has the best chance of getting through.

The idea is that your emails should coincide with your marketing funnel, and each email serves a specific purpose. Meaning that there's going to be a sequence of emails, and each one does something different.

From showing value to a hopeful sale, you have to take your prospect along a sort of journey. And one of the biggest challenges is the pacing and timing of your emails, making sure you don't come off as a salesman.

But there are some other challenges along with some tried and true methods to overcome those challenges. So let's get into the 8 cold email copywriting tactics that spark conversations with B2B prospects and get the most out of your emails.

 

Email Audits That Make Conversations With B2B Prospects Easier

8 Cold Email Copywriting Tactics That Spark Conversations With B2B Prospects

Before we get into exactly how to write them, we need to understand what makes emails effective. Some of it is pretty easy, but some of it is difficult to master. And it's all categorized by three levels of difficulty: simple, challenging, and difficult.

Let's start with the easiest audits.

Simple

Chances are you already have these down but they're worth going over. They're some of the most basic rules of copywriting, but they're still worth noting.

Because if you can't get the basics right, you definitely won't be getting the rest of it right. The simple audits are:

  • Spelling & Grammar
  • Flow & Transitions
  • Clarity & Conciseness
  • Conversational
  • Clear Call To Action
  • Benefits-driven
  • Textual Diversity
  • Risk Reversal
  • Stacatto Variation

As you can see, they're pretty simple. And once you're sure you can get them right then you can focus on some of the harder stuff.

 

Challenging

So far so good, but you'll still need to hone your skills. When going through these audits, you'll want to start focusing on your brand and how your copy reaches your prospects. The challenging audits are:

  • Storytelling
  • Contextual Tone
  • Emotional Pull
  • Open Loop
  • Cleverness
  • Empathy
  • Fascination Bullets
  • Brand Alignment
  • Singular Cohesive Angle

There's definitely more on your plate in this section, and sometimes you might not hit the mark on all these. But it's important to try your best to fulfill all these criteria.

 

Difficult

8 Cold Email Copywriting Tactics That Spark Conversations With B2B Prospects

If the challenging section is challenging then you can be sure this one lives up to its name as well. As with the last section, it's entirely possible that you'll fall short with some of these.

And that doesn't mean your copy won't be effective.

But your goal should always be to work toward getting all of them right in every email. Difficult audits are as follows:

  • Sales Arguments
  • Topical Command
  • Conversion Prowess
  • Specificity
  • Pattern Interrupt
  • Future Pacing
  • Balanced Persuasiveness
  • Enticing Imagery
  • Powerful Hook

You'll need some nuance and a lot of practice to nail these consistently. But they're necessary for crafting effective emails. Some of it sounds simple, and it is, but that can make it harder to get right.

 

8 Tactics To Spark Conversations With B2B Prospects

8 Cold Email Copywriting Tactics That Spark Conversations With B2B Prospects

With that out of the way, we're ready to take a look at some ways to really make your email stand out. These are just some of many, and you'll probably find others that work great for you too.

So just keep these in mind while you're writing, but don't limit yourself and keep working, making note of tactics you find that make your emails shine.

 

1. Optimize Your Subject Lines

This might seem like it goes without saying, but it's of the utmost importance. The first thing to know is that your subject line should be 7-10 words tops.

Only include essential information, because everything can be detailed within the email. Seeing as your subject line is what actually gets your prospect to read your email, it also has to be optimized.

And to optimize it, you need to make sure your subject line does a few things.

Namely, it should be friendly, funny, and relevant. It should also tease something or open a loop in order to create some curiosity. And all of this should be done using the language of your target audience because that'll help your email stand out.

If you need some help here, check out this guide:

  • Level 1: Write out your basic idea.
  • Level 2: Restate your basic idea into a more engaging idea.
  • Level 3: Restate your engaging idea again, writing it as an emotionally compelling sellable idea.

Put into practice it can look something like this:

  • Level 1: Sell bananas for a profit.
  • Level 2: Sling bananas like the best of them.
  • Level 3: Claim your spot as bananapreneur royalty.

 

2. Time Is Of The Essence

When you're writing a welcome email, you need to keep the timeframe in mind. To reduce the risk of your prospect feeling forgotten, you need to reach out within 48 hours.

Because if they feel forgotten, they probably won't like how you run your business. Not only that, but they'll probably think you don't know how to run your business.

But you have to keep in mind that you can have prospects all over the world. What that means is that you have to assume you're dealing with every time zone in the world.

So a solution is to send your automated emails based on the timezone of your prospect's time. Typically your automation tool does this automatically, but it's worth checking your settings to make sure.

 

3. A Welcome Email Needs To Do Three Things

The three things a welcome email needs to do are: build trust, list benefits, and set the stage for what's to come. And telling a story while doing these things shows that you understand your prospect, along with increasing their desire.

To establish trust you can do a few things. One of which is to give them free stuff, which everybody likes. And it doesn't even have to be physical goods, it can be anything like resources that they might otherwise have to pay for.

In addition, you can link to a community page where people are talking about your brand and your social media to give your brand some authenticity.

Listing benefits is a little more self-explanatory. You just need to explain how you're offering something that can solve their problem and how it'll make their life easier.

Not only that, but you should also tell your prospect why you're a better fit for them than the many other businesses they can choose from.

Setting the stage for what's to come boils down to what you're offering in the future. Maybe it's a limited-time offer or a special offer where they can get a discount or an added bonus. Or maybe you're offering freebies.

Whatever you'll eventually offer, you want to point toward it.

 

4. Establish Trust And Give Social Proof

8 Cold Email Copywriting Tactics That Spark Conversations With B2B Prospects

Without trust, your prospects have no reason to give you a chance. So you want to include some testimonials, reviews, demo videos, anything that proves that your offer does what it claims to do.

And the fact that you're providing proof from clients goes a lot further than your own claims since people trust their peers much more than they trust businesses.

You want to think about what makes your business tick and how you can show that to your prospect. Try to be as transparent as possible and let them see what goes on in your business.

 

5. Build Emotion

Emotion is a powerful tool in any copy, and emails are no exception. One of the best ways to use emotion is to appeal to your prospect's feelings of inadequacy, but without making it their fault.

The next step is to explain how you can help them. But you need to make it clear that you understand them and their problem and that you want to help.

 

6. Conversions Through Detail

You want conversions, of course. I mean, that's the whole point of copywriting, right? Well, you should make sure to detail your offer if that's the case.

Bullet points are essential, and you want to lay things out in as much detail as possible. Your goal is to make your offer look as appealing as possible from any angle.

As I said, bullet points work well, but they work even better when you use them effectively. The specific method is called copywriting bullets and it works on the premise of providing detail while playing on emotion.

This method builds tension and at the same time gives vital information so it works on two fronts.

 

7. Imply Urgency

When you know you're close to a conversion, you need to seal the deal quickly. That's where urgency comes in. And there doesn't even need to be a legitimate cause, you just need to imply a sense of urgency.

There are a few ways to do this. One way is to tell your prospect that they're getting something before others. Make them feel like they're getting a special, exclusive offer.

Or you can tell them that you're running out of stock, using a stock counter or something like that.

The last method is to have a limited-time offer, implying that the price will increase eventually or that a bonus you're including won't be available at a later time.

 

8. Reach Out

8 Cold Email Copywriting Tactics That Spark Conversations With B2B Prospects

And in the worst-case scenario where you don't end up getting a reply, you can always reach out to your prospect. The best way to do this is in a friendly way, sort of giving them a pass.

That could look something like these examples:

Just following up with you on this! Not sure if my last email got lost.

---

Hey there -- just following up! Did my last email make it to your inbox?

---

Just getting back in touch -- not sure if my last email got trapped in an email filter somewhere.

---

Hey, just following up again! Did you get my last email?

---

Reaching out again. My last email might have gotten lost in the shuffle!

---

Just reaching out -- not sure if you got my last email?

---

Just following up...

My email got trapped somewhere, didn't it?

---

Hey again!

I think my last email got lost somewhere.

---

Hey, it's me again!

I don't think my last email made it to you.

---

Hey again, just reaching out!

My last email might have gotten lost in a filter somewhere.

---

The goal is to not come off as rude, to open up some communication, and to not make any negative assumptions about your prospect. And this can end up helping you get more conversions in many cases, so it's always worth a try.

 

5-Email Drip Templates That Help Spark Conversations With B2B Prospects

8 Cold Email Copywriting Tactics That Spark Conversations With B2B Prospects

Now that you have an idea of how to make your emails effective, you could probably use some information about how to put them into practice. Luckily, there are some proven templates that work.

But they don't exactly work alone, they have to work in a sequence as I mentioned before. 

Also, like any templates, you want to be sure to revise these and make them your own. Templates are usually boring when followed to the T and chances are others are just filling in the blanks.

So if you do the same, you're not going to stand out amongst everyone else. You want your emails to suit your brand, so just use these as a general guideline.

And before we begin, it's worth noting that each of these emails needs to use tactic #1 for an optimized subject line.

 

Email 1: Welcome

The first email in the sequence, the welcome email, has to be timely and use tactic #2. Otherwise, it's probably not going to do you much good. It also needs to use tactic #3 to build trust, list benefits, and set the stage.

This kind of email basically looks like this:

  1. Greeting
  2. Something to establish trust: "I know you don't trust your email address with just anybody, so I'm honored you decided that I was worthy."
  3. Benefits: what are they getting out of this?
  4. What will you do over the next few weeks?
  5. Bullet list of specific, related strategies and tactics.
  6. One line explaining why that's important ^
  7. "Here's to your success!"
  8. Any PS you want to throw in there, like a freebie
  9. Sign your name

 

Email 2: How It Works

The next step in the sequence uses tactic #4 in order to build some trust and give some truthful information about your offer.

This email looks like this:

  1. Greeting
  2. A question to draw them in: something that appeals to their #1 problem, or their #1 dream.
  3. Introduce team and dive into the background 
  4. Why should your customers' care (how our skills benefit them)
  5. Something that appeals to their emotions by sympathizing with their problem
  6. One line framing us as the solution
  7. Something to get them excited to work with us
  8. Closing statement (ex."Cheers!")
  9. Any PS you want to throw in there, like a link to more background information or statistics or case studies
  10. Sign your name

Email 3: What To Expect

In this email, you want to use tactic #5. The idea is to appeal to their emotion, especially their feelings of inadequacy and what they want to change in their life.

The formula for this email is: 

  1. Greeting
  2. A line that completely sets you apart from all competition, to set the tone of your brand and what they can expect.
  3. Sympathize with their issue, and what it is they want (a personal story that conveys this would work wonders here, ex. "It wasn't going well, everything was in shambles...")
  4. Appeal to the most common issue ever: feeling guilty and/or not good enough (with the twist being that this isn't their fault)
  5. Let them know they can solve their problem, and that you can help with that OR let them know that their dream is real and that you can help with that
  6. Going back to the beginning: most companies do X, we do Y because we've been where you are
  7. Open the door to your product with the idea of making them aware of their problem, the solutions available, and your specific solution (the best option)
  8. Closing Statement: "This is the stuff no one teaches you, so don't blame yourself for not knowing it. Instead, take the initiative to learn it from someone who genuinely can and wants to help." ← Just an example.
  9. Any PS you want to throw in there, like a link to testimonials! That would work well here. The idea is to get them to visualize themselves living out the "impossible."
  10. Sign your name

 

Email 4: What's Needed Of You

Here's where you'll use tactic #6. You're trying to give them an idea of what you're offering, so you want to detail it.

This email is building up to a hopeful conversion:

  1. Greeting
  2. A question that insinuates it won't be easy, but that it will be worthwhile (ex. How much are you willing to sacrifice for X?)
  3. Explain the question: it's easy to want something, it's hard to obtain it unless you have the right mindset, a willingness to learn, and the drive to put in the work.
  4. A personal story conveying how even while having the solution in front of you, you didn't succeed because you didn't implement the lessons provided.
  5. Future-Pacing: explain how the biggest results come in the long-term
  6. Rundown of the big picture:
  • What happens right after purchase?
  • What about a month later?
  • How about a year later?
  • What about the rest of your life?
  • Something to remind them of their side of the bargain.
  • Closing statement (positive thinking)
  • Any PS you want to throw in there, like a testimonial of someone commenting on the long-term benefits.
  • Sign your name

*NOTE: Use the word "imagine."

 

Email 5: Your Bright Future

Finally, this is where you want to pull out all the stops. If you've got your prospect to this point, you have a good chance that they'll convert. And that's why you'll want to use tactic #7 to really nudge them along to make that decision.

This final email goes like this: 

  1. Greeting
  2. A sentence describing the customer's ultimate dream.
  3. A personal story of where you once were when you had a (similar?) dream.
  4. A visual of sadness would work well here because it shows them where THEY are and what they're stuck with if they don't convert
  5. Explain you have the solution, and remind them of the time they have to sign up (scarcity) ← a countdown timer would work here.
  6. A bullet-point list of benefits
  7. Testimonials
  8. Build up loss aversion. Something to insinuate that this special offer was already on the table once and they missed it:
    • "The turning point was within your reach only a few days ago...It was right here... And for the next ___ hours, it still is." ← be very specific about the time they have, to align with the countdown.
  9. A closing statement about what happens when they convert: caterpillar turns into a butterfly.
  10. Any PS you want to throw in there, like the landing page, that would be ideal.
  11. Sign your name

And at any point in this process, you can use tactic #8 to try to start the conversation back up. It's a useful tool when all else fails, so don't forget that it's available.

 

Improve Your Email Copy, Improve Your Business

8 Cold Email Copywriting Tactics That Spark Conversations With B2B Prospects

While you might be having some trouble getting results right now, I'm sure you can use this information to optimize your B2B emails. When you have an idea of what they need and how they should look, you give yourself the best potential for conversions.

And it's probably going to take some practice. But keep at it, and remember the tactics. You'll get it in no time if you follow the formulas and keep in mind how they work.

Just think of the drip sequence as an arc, where each email serves its own purpose. You're not going to make any sales upfront so you want to focus on the value of your offer until you get to the end where you can propose a sale.

And if you're still having trouble, I'm always here to help. So reach out at any time, for anything you might need.

Want higher conversions on your landing pages, sales letters, emails, or ads? It might be time for you to work with an expert copywriter. I’ve driven tens of millions of dollars in revenue for hundreds of clients over the past 10 years — including some of the largest B2B companies and digital brands in America.

Using my words, I’ll tap into your prospects’ deepest desires, deploy my menagerie of psychological sales triggers, and prime them for the sale. The result? More wins for your business and more revenue and profits in your pocket. Sound interesting to you? Click HERE to learn more about my copywriting work and see if we’re a good match.

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About Daniel Doan

Daniel "Banana" Doan is a direct-response copywriter with over a decade of expertise writing words that bridge the gap between what you want to say and what your customers want to read.
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