Copy  July 1, 2023

Try this cold email approach when you're spraying and praying: a fintech guide

Try this cold email approach when you're spraying and praying: a fintech guide

If you do not personalise your emails, instead preferring to send cannons of blanket emails to segments of your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), here is an approach you can take to get better answers next time you do some spraying and a bit of praying.

PS: Nobody wants to admit it in public, but many salespeople spray and pray—for some of us… (sips Kenyan tea) enough to qualify as semi-priests. This article will put some lipstick on your typical mass email copy, making it look decent enough to stand a chance at a date with a prospect or two.

Let's get practical and use Volume as a guinea pig. This is a company that has built an Open Banking payment solution targeting online merchants.

Volume’s market positioning is that its solution decreases checkout abandonment by allowing customers to check out using one click. 

A shopper clicks a button, and the tech detects their favourite bank to make payments from then connects to it through Open Banking. This allows for direct, account-to-account payments that are faster.

(From this point on, wear the shoes socks of a sales rep at Volume.) 

Assume you have a list of a thousand merchants you’ve built through scraping websites with checkout pages containing PayPal links. 

Building custom lists based on common factors like this is a great way to improve spay and pray campaigns… but that’s a story for another day…

Here's a typical spray-and-pray email example:

“Hi {{first name}}, I'd like to introduce our checkout solution. 

Our proprietary technology allows you to securely accept payments from your app customers in just one click, connecting them directly with their banking app to complete the order.

This reduces cart abandonment rates. 

We use Open Banking which allows you to pay up to 3x less than with our competitors. Open to a chat. How does Thursday 10 AM look?"

Now this is not terrible. I've seen worse sprays, but here are some rules to follow to make mass emails feel more relevant to the prospect receiving them.

  • Rephrase as many lines as humanly possible to focus on the recipient: you, you, you! Not me, not we...
  • Focus on the pain point and benefits of the solution you're selling
  • Tell a story (case studies help here) in a way that lets the prospect feel as if you are letting them in on something that's happening in the community that they need to hear about
  • Ask questions: anticipate that your prospect might have the "you don't know me" reaction to a mass email. Framing the paragraphs with your pitch as a question is a great way to acknowledge that, and create a feeling of curiosity rather than the arrogant, "We have a great product. Buy it" (in a husky voice) approach.

Let's rewrite our initial spray and pray email using these rules:

"Hi {{first name}}, if I'm using your app and want to make a quick payment, how many steps does it take…

Asking cause data shows 69% of consumers would abandon {{prospects company name}} cart if the checkout process felt too complex. Have you put thought into this?

PS: there is an approach to solving this through Open Banking—allows {{prospects company’s name}} customers to complete their orders faster. (It also costs 3x less than industry standard). Open to learning how?"

Email analysis

The key to this approach is to pick a pain point, its accompanying impact, and the benefit of solving it using your solution and make that the base of your email script. 

This allows you to tell the story of a pain point and the solution—lends itself well to using a case study.

In the email above, I chose to switch between voices/points of view to create an engaging narrative.

In the first paragraph, I posed a hypothetical situation, adopting their customer persona as a narrator, where I asked how many steps it would take to make a quick payment as a user of their app. 

This line serves as a strong hook, particularly when combined with an appropriate subject line.

"Hi {{first name}}, if I'm using your app and want to make a quick payment, how many steps does it take..."

The second paragraph shifts the email voice to a third-person narrator who focuses on the recipient's customer. 

"Asking cause data shows 69% of consumers would abandon {{prospects company name}}'s cart if the checkout process felt too complex. Have you put thought into this?"

This perspective allows me to highlight the importance of addressing the pain point identified earlier. By citing data that shows a high percentage of consumers abandoning their cart because of a complex checkout process.

I aim to capture the recipient's attention and prompt them to consider whether they have put thought into this issue.

In the final paragraph, I recommend a solution: Open Banking, which enables the prospect's company's customers to complete their orders faster.

"PS: there is an approach to solving this through Open Banking—allows {{prospects company’s name}} customers to complete their orders faster. (It also costs 3x less than industry standard). Open to learning how?"

I mention that this solution also costs three times less than the industry standard, presenting it as a subtle recommendation rather than a direct pitch.

This technique of framing the pitch as a recommendation may seem 'soft', but is a great way to soften the (guaranteed) blows that will come from not personalising emails to each prospect.

By structuring the email around a pain point and its solution. Adopting different voices/points of view, and framing the solution as a recommendation, this email tries to capture the recipient's interest and present a compelling case for addressing the identified pain point, despite not being personalised.

Try it next time you write copy for your spray and pray cold email campaign.

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Gabriel Onyango
Gabriel Onyango
[email protected]

About Me

A writer, in a marketer's skin, wearing a cold emailer's floppy socks. The unorthodox combination of these is what you've probably experienced in this blog. Freelance cold email manager; open to working with teams on cold email campaigns, copy, ICP research (snooping()and custom list building. Connect with me on LinkedIn

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