In today’s edition of how not to successfully initiate dialogue, let’s consider the increasingly pervasive – and lazy – trend of starting a cold email with a generic opening line. At a time when everyone’s inboxes are overflowing with cold emails, it doesn’t take a genius to know that to get noticed, you’re going to have to expend some actual effort learning about the individual/company to whom you’re looking to target.
Getting lots of emails starting “Apologies for the cold email, I usually get an introduction but my network in your area is not so strong.”
— Albert Wenger (@albertwenger) December 7, 2016
As made clear in a recent Tweet by Albert Wenger, partner at Union Square Ventures, thoughtfulness and care seems to be the exception rather than the rule when it comes to cold emails. Put differently, “If you cannot be bothered to take that time, why should I take the time to think about your pitch?” But here’s the rub: the end-game of a cold email isn’t about closing a sale. That’s not how real business gets done. It’s starting a conversation. So it better be as concise as it is compelling. Keep revising until you’ve successfully removed all fluff and filler words. No more than a single paragraph (two at a max); executed with care and precision.
If you’re good, cold emails can work. But to be successful, you’re gonna have to expend the time and effort befitting the recipient’s attention.