When Should You Use Cold Calling or Cold Emailing? How to Choose?
Cold calling is one of the oldest sales techniques out there. It probably only loses to the door-to-door, but it’s currently becoming an undesirable activity for many businesses and consumers. Cold emailing comes into place, but there is also an exaggeration by companies searching for profitable sales no matter what.
So, how do you decide which one between cold calling and cold emailing to use for your business? In this article, we will show some methods to use for one or the other.
1. Level of the prospect in the organization
What is your prospect’s position in the organization? If your target prospect is a CEO or a director of marketing, cold calling is the best strategy. Such individuals have assistants who handle their calls.
Even if you don’t get the CEO, you can convey your message to the personal assistant, who will relay it to the director. As individuals move up the corporate ladder, they tend to be less intimidated by cold calls. They have mastered the art of asking relevant questions, determining if the sales representative has a value proposition meeting their needs, and know-how to reject sales executives without being brutal.
Middle-level managers and operation managers don’t have assistance. Such individuals tend to move around more and might not be available for a phone call all the time. In addition, without an assistant, they don’t have anyone who can take the message and are less likely to return a missed call unless they know you personally.
For middle-level managers, cold emailing is the best strategy compared to a cold call.
2. Time and day of the week
When is the best time to call, and when is the best day to call? The answers to these questions vary depending on the unique qualities of your prospect. As a general rule of thumb, the best time to cold call is later in the day.
No one wants to receive a cold call at 8 am. This is the most productive time of an individual, and they want to achieve more things in the morning; thus, they have little tolerance to interruptions and will find a way to end the conversation as soon as possible.
As the day progresses and fatigue sets in, people become more receptive to distractions and would not mind taking a minute to listen to your pitch.
Thus, Hub spot estimates that marketers who call from 4 pm to 5 pm achieved the highest response rate. Being an hour before closing, most people are hesitant to start a new task, thus will not mind talking to a cold caller. An hour before lunch is the other best time to call. Most people who have been working since 8 am tend to be tired and are more receptive to distraction.
In terms of the day of the week, Thursdays and Fridays are the best days of the week. This is because most people are gearing up for the weekend and are more receptive to distractions.
There is no perfect day or time to send a cold email for cold emails. However, the general rule is to send 10 minutes before or 10 minutes after the hour. At this time, most people are transitioning activities and can spare a few minutes to check emails. If a prospect is waiting for a meeting to start, they might spend a few minutes checking their emails.
3. The’ Ask’ or your objective for reaching out to a prospect
What are you hoping to achieve through your outreach? To request a meeting, get more information, or get a referral? To know the best technique, you need to differentiate between solid and weak questions.
What do you want from a prospect? If what you want from a prospect requires more effort and commitment on their part, then that is a strong ask.
On the other hand, if what you hope to achieve requires little effort from the prospect, that is a weak question. If you want a substantial ask, the best strategy to use is a cold call, while for a soft ask, the best approach is a cold email.
A strong ask requires more convincing and a solid strategy to handle objections. If you want to close a sale, a cold call gives more power to control the conversation. If the client has any doubts about the product or services, you can convince the client to call more than you would through an email.
Most buyers develop cold feet right before closing, which need to be dealt with through a strong message of reassurance. You have a better chance to reassure clients over a call than through email.
If you have a weak ask, the best strategy is to use a cold email. Weak ask to require minimum effort and commitment from the prospect. For instance, if you are on a fact-hunting mission to establish the prospect’s pain point, a cold email is the ideal option. Further, if the ask is not urgent, a cold email is the best option.
4. Capacity to handle rejections
Regardless of the strategy you pick, both cold calling and cold emailing have a high rejection rate. In cold calling, the acceptance rate is 2% implying a 98% rejection rate. Cold emailing on the acceptance rate for cold emailing is 15% to 20%, indicating a rejection rate of 80% to 85%.
Rejection is painful and discouraging and can take a toll on your confidence and ability to sell. However, cold calling rejection is more brutal and heartbreaking. While a direct response is desirable for marketers, getting rejected on your face might not be very hot. Thus, how prepared are you to handle rejections? If you have been in sales long enough and have learned how to take rejection without diminishing your enthusiasm to sell, then cold calls can be the ideal option for you. On the other hand, cold emails might be perfect if you are new to marketing and take rejection more personally.
5. The unique prospect’s preferences and work environment
The prospect’s buyer persona can determine the best technique in some instances. For example, millennial’s tend to prefer texting to call; hence if your prospects fit in this category, cold emailing is better than cold calling.
On the other hand, the older generation prefers calling to texting. Further, more senior people might take a while before checking their emails and are less receptive to technological change. Thus, cold calling, one of the oldest selling techniques, might be a good option.
As a general rule of thumb, cold calling is better than cold emailing in an old industry. Such industries can include real estate, pension, health care, home for the elderly, and retirement package.
Other than buyer persona, the role can determine the best technique. A quick phone call might be the best strategy.
For example, operational workers, likely factory workers, might not have time to check their emails. Also, customer service agents working at a call center might prefer a cold call since they do it all day.
The job role defines prospects’ work environment. For example, if your prospect is a factory worker, their work environment is noisy owing to the heavy machinery in the factory set up.
In such a case, the cold email is more convenient as an email can be read in the noisiest places. On the other hand, employees working in the administration area might prefer cold email since a phone call can interrupt everyone in the office.
6. The prospect’s momentum
How receptive and enthusiastic is the prospect as you move along the sales funnel? If the prospect has maintained their momentum and is eager to close, an email to close a few loose ends might be ideal. However, if the prospect has any doubts, has developed cold feet, or is in a bureaucratic environment, the cold call is best to provide reassurance.
If the prospect has portrayed an unstable character of shifting their minds, a cold call is ideal to ensure they achieve a stable decision. Finally, if the prospect has demonstrated stability and reliability in their decision-making, a cold email might be excellent.