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5 Simple tips for more effective cold emailing

We all know the drill: you spend hours and hours emailing prospective clients that you find via job boards or through social media with very little response, so what are you doing wrong?

As guerrilla freelancers, we know that there are many effective marketing tactics, and lately we've been discussing how cold emailing is an effective strategy for growing your client base.

This article will outline five simple tips for more effective cold emailing, which will increase your return on time and increase your revenue.

Give Something Free

People, especially business people, like getting things for free. As a freelance web and graphic designer, I choose to offer a free Facebook page design at no charge. In my cold email I generally say something like -

Facebook pages are essential for businesses as it gives the potential to connect with millions of customers and potential leads. You can test drive my design services today with a free Facebook page design with no obligations!

When you offer a small service for free, businesses can test drive your design skills as well as see what it’s like to work with your friendly personality and great customer service.

Make it Personal

While using an email template is fine, it is always best to personalize it to the receiver. Take the extra minute to find a name and even throwing in a compliment can help your case.

Say you've came across a landscaping website that needs improvement. Navigate to their about page, find the name and email most relevant to your service, and email them something like –

Hello John,

I hope all is well. I've recently visited your business Best Tree Services at it's website through a good friend of mine. I've really enjoyed your blog post on 'How to care for trees'.

My name is Alexus and I am a full-time web designer. I noticed that your website doesn't offer online appointments. Would this be something you would be interested in?

This shows that you know their name, have taken the time to browse through their website, and had an idea on how to improve their website.

Add Benefit

You can go on for paragraphs and paragraphs about how great your freelance services are, but why do they care? What benefits are you bringing to them? Using the sample above, why does John care that you can offer him an online appointment add-on to his website?

With more and more people on the go, online appointments can give your customers an easy solution to booking your time. This will also help you keep track of appointments, invoices, and time.

That's the benefit. They'll see it, and if it's good enough, they'll instantly want it.

Choose the Right Time

Waking up on Monday morning heading back to work from a great weekend, would you want to be bombarded with advertisements in your email? The most emails are sent on Thursday and Tuesday (according to mail chimp, a leading email marketing provider).

But, we don't want to follow the norm, we want to stand out from the pack, right? To avoid your emails getting lost in piles of others, try changing the days you send them on.

More emails get opened during the day rather than at night. The best times to cold email are between 8 A.M and 3 P.M. If you are emailing nationally, make sure you are aware of the time differences.

Always Follow-Up

Did you know that 80% of sales require 5 follow-up emails or calls? The average marketer only attempts to follow up once or twice before giving up on the lead, letting someone else have them instead. After you’ve sent the initial email, don’t be afraid to send a few more stating something like –


My name is Alexus and a couple days ago I emailed you about our possible business collaboration. (List benefits again of collaboration.)

I am interested in helping your business take the first steps to success in (your field). I’d love to schedule a quick phone call, say around 1 pm on Wednesday?

Thanks, Alexus

Your Turn

This is a community of freelancers helping freelancers, so always be sure to add your comments of insight.

What did and didn't work for you in your email marketing efforts? Are there any other tips that you’d like to share that increased your open rate?

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  1. Maria says:

    Hello Alexus,
    I stumbled upon your post through Twitter, and boy am I glad I did! Thanks for the straightforward tips on cold emailing, something I have always had a hard time with. I will definitely be trying these out in the near future (and who knows, maybe even contact you when I’m ready to build a website)!

  2. Hey Maria!

    Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and I hope you find the tips effective in your future email endeavors.

    If you ever need any help in web design I am always happy to help :)


  3. Trey Simon says:

    Awesome advice! Thank you so much. I will be implementing your tips this week. I’m excited to see the results. :-)

  4. Umar Ali says:

    Hey Alexus,

    Definitely going to try these out!
    Could you also do a post on how to grab a client’s attention on freelance platforms like Elance, oDesk etc? That’d also help a lot. Thanks! :)

    • Hey Umar,

      I hope you find the tips effective, and I wish you luck in cold emailing, and in freelancing in general :)

      I’ve emailed you regarding the second post.

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. Michael says:

    You say do several follow ups. Wouldn’t that be considered spam?


  6. Dana says:

    I would like to know as well.

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