Good vs. Bad vs. Copy vs. List – Setting Your Cold Email Priorities

November 9, 2017Cold email

60%/40%. 80%/20%. What’s the best ratio when it comes to the weighing the importance of having a good email list versus good email copy? There isn’t a black and white answer that will guarantee email campaign success. Everyone has their own opinions on what’s more important – having stellar email copy or sending your emails to the right list of people.

There are proponents in both camps: pro copy and pro list, and we’re going to argue in favor of the list. There’s a lot of good that can come from having brilliant, elegant, sexy copy, but above all – if you don’t send it to the right people you might as well not send it at all.

What are the reasons that good lists are more important than good copy when building your cold email campaign? Besides the fact that the right prospects can make or break your campaign, here’s why having a rock-solid list beats awesome copy:

Audience drives sales

A funny or intelligent email will get reads, but won’t necessarily lead to sales. Sending your email to the right person is what’s going to be the difference between making a sale or just sending a friendly message. When your list is iron-clad, it’s not only filled with your prospect’s companies and their employees but will target specific people within those organizations who have purchasing power. No matter how great your content is, it will never get off the ground if it’s not in front of someone who is empowered to make sales decisions.

Productivity is king

Having a conversation come out of a cold email campaign should always be your main goal for measuring the success of your campaign, but it’s important to differentiate between just a regular conversation and a positive one. Someone who merely appreciates your copy or thinks your company sounds interesting is much less viable than someone who wants to find out more and take the next steps. In either example, the email copy is the same, but what differs is who is reading it and what their response is. A positive and productive conversation is the golden ticket of cold emails.

Keep some balance

Without having that magic ratio to bank your success on, it can be hard to know how much weight to give to your list vs. your copy. No matter which camp you’re in, it’s not to say that the other side of the coin doesn’t matter. Cold emailing is all about walking that fine line between producing great content and sending it out to the right list of winners.

It would make things easy if we all had a perfect formula to follow, but even without one you can achieve cold email success. Instead of unlocking the secret to composing flawless emails, you’re far better off to work your list down to an essential list of industry leaders and influencers, all who have the kind of purchasing power and empowerment you need to start positive conversations that eventually turn into hot sales for your business.


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