A cold call cover letter can either be sorted right into the trash or passed on to the decision-maker as notice to expect your call.
So, what factors determine the destination of your cold call letter?
For answers to this important question we look to lessons learned in the field of direct response marketing. Before you even write the letter, think about the first step, which is to get the letter opened.
Everything about your contact with a prospect should have the feel of being personal. You are going for a connection when you cold call and when you send your letter. These factors increase the likleihood of your envelope being opened;
- Hand address the envelope, even if your handwriting is lousy
- Handwrite your return address, even if the return is already on the envelope
- Use a postage stamp, ideal placement of the stamp is in the upper right-hand corner of the envelope and slightly askew. That's right; put the stamp on a bit crooked.
Your prospect and your prospect's assistant is overwhelmed by the amount of mail and email that comes into the office. The special touches listed above will make your cold call cover letter stand out, in a good way, from the 12" to 18" of mail received by the Executive Assistant two to three times throughout every day.
Business-to-consumer, direct-response marketers favor long copy. They write letters that are pages full of information. They believe if the prospect is interested then more is better.
However, in the b2b community, cold callers without the skills to write long letters are better off keeping the cold call letter brief.
If you are thinking in terms of one cold call cover letter then, think again. You will want several letters for a variety of situations. For example: one letter for executive assistants, one letter for Top Dog decision makers, one letter inviting Top Dogs to special events, one letter advising prospects of your upcoming cold call to schedule face time, and so forth.
In each letter include: correct spelling of your prospect's name (you would be surprised at the number of letters sent to names of people who are no longer with a company and/or are spelled incorrectly.)
Each cold call cover letter needs a snappy subject line to grab the readers attention and get them to read what you have written. Get your creative writing juices flowing by reading magazine covers located in the check out aisle at the grocery store. Highly-paid copywriters craft the headlines toward the goal of getting you to buy the magazine and read it. Adapt their lines to craft your subject lines. "5 Ways to Double His Pleasure" becomes "5 Ways to Double Your Cold Call Results".
Even if you just write a five-sentence letter, do use the language that your prospect uses. Too many letters are sent with the writers "industry-speak" which quite frankly is meaningless to the reader.
Who should sign the letter? Who ever makes the follow up cold call. Keep the name consistent. This is the beginning step to relationship building and reduces confusion for your prospect. If there is a way to make your name memorable use it. I sign my letters the same way I signed the home page of this web site - Leslie Buterin (like butterin' bread). Can't tell you how many times I have send a cold call cover letter, made a follow up cold call, said "My name is Leslie Buterin ..." and the prospect finishes "... like butterin' bread."