Generate Leads: 7 Cold Emails to Open Conversations with People You Want as Customers

Cold email if you sell B2B products Cold email if you sell B2B services Cold email for freelancers or contractors to sell services Cold email to poach a competitor's customers Cold email to pitch a retail buyer to carry your product Cold email that leverages a referral from the prospect's colleague Ask for the prospect's feedback on your product

Cold email if you sell B2B products

Subject:
Sweet glory, an extra 2+ hrs a day

To be able to mass send one cold email approach to everyone in a list, put prospects with different roles (thus different pain points) into separate lists. In this example, the approach targets HR managers who would love to save time on grunt work to be able focus on high level strategy. Something they can be recognized for. Flesh out one major pain point someone with this role faces.

Build rapport by relating to their work.

Activate your prospect's pain related to your product by painting the scenario of when they would experience it.

Use a screenshot or animated screen capture to visually show your product's biggest differentiating feature that resolves this pain point.

Present 3 times in the next few days the prospect can 1-click to schedule an initial chat. Use a mailto link for each time slot that opens up a prewritten email the prospect can 1-click send. When a prospect does, email them back a calendar invite.

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Use an event the prospect is participating in or affected by as a highly relevant reason for connecting

This is how Brian Anderson cold emailed Charlie Liang at Engagio and received an immediate reply.
The post-Marketo Summit "follow-up dance" (as you put it)

Mention the event the prospect is participating is, has participated in or is affected by. This serves as your highly relevant reason for connecting.

Show that you understand their major goals or needs related to this event.

Briefly describe the pain point that they may face (which your product solves) .

Explain in one sentence how your product solves this pain point.

Paint the scenario the prospect (and their team) would face by not using a product like yours to nudge them to learn more.

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Like these templates? Our proven sales system shows you how to cold email, follow up, overcome objections and reliably get new customersLearn more

Cold email if your company sells B2B services

Subject:
About those mid-afternoon fades at [Company Name]

Paint the scenario where your services would be most needed.

Present your solution and a picture of people using it. For social proof and to break up the email text with some visuals.

Offer a trial package if available. Once they have an initial positive experience of your service, they're much more likely to buy.

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Use an recent event that potentially affects the prospect as your reason for connecting

This is how Andrew Guttormsen cold emailed an aquarium after the state passed a new budget that reduced their funding. This approach shows the prospect you did your research and the effects of the recent event makes them more receptive to new solutions.
RE: Saw the proposed state budget Cut - May be able to help...

State what event happened and how it negatively affects the propsect's company. This also serves as your reason for connecting.

Offer to help, framed in terms of how your services can make their pain stop.

Ask them to take action or ask them to refer you to another colleague if they are a better fit for making a decision about a service like yours.

Briefly describe what your service entails.

Mention 1-2 companies you have worked with and the biggest result you delivered for them.

Reiterate your call to action.

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Cold email for contractors or freelancers who offer B2B services

Subject:
Use [sitename.com] to turn your visitors into customers

Make a positive comment about the prospect's work.

Even listing what benefits you offer may not work for an initial cold email. Why? This still requires your prospect to take an imaginative leap to visualize how you may be able to apply your skills and experience to help them. Most prospects won't. You'll get more responses if you provide a specific action plan related to the prospect's business goals and to your services. This will be time-consuming if you had to create an action plan for each prospect so to scale it, you can create an action plan for each prospect 'bucket'. Each bucket consists of prospects who come from one source or who share a similar need. Example bucket: all prospects who have listed a job opening similar to the services that you provide.

Prompt your prospect to reply by asking for their thoughts.

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Present the prospect concrete ideas of how you can use your skills to help them

This is how Devesh Khanal cold emailed Brian Dean at Backlinko and secured ongoing work with him. Presenting a few improvement ideas or a brief action plan in your initial cold email is key to getting replies from people you want to work with because it helps them visualize exactly how you can apply your skills and experience to help them. Devesh also created a personal video for Brian to elaborate on his recommendations for improving Brian's email signups . This is obviously more time-consuming than writing an email but the potential payoff is worth it for prospects who can offer well paid ongoing work and a lot of credibility.
TechCrunch story / experienced customer story writer available

Mention where you discovered the prospect and compliment them on something specific about their work to build rapport.

Review their business and website so see which areas related to your services can be improved.

Present 2-3 concrete ideas of how you can improve this area in the email or in a video.

Ask for the prospect's thoughts to open the conversation.

Download 7 cold email templates

Cold email to prospects who use complimentary products

Subject:
This template is part of Art of Sales, a system of 40+ proven templates covering every key stage of the sales process. Consistently gain new customers without worrying about dry spells. Click to learn more.

Mention where you came across this prospect and use the topic they commented on to open the conversation.

Provide them valuable lesser known insights related to the topic they commented on and the services you provide.

Mention a specific result you achieved for a client to intrigue them into asking for more details.

Cold email to users affected by a change in a similar product

Follow the news about products that are similar to yours. When they roll out a change its customers reacts negatively to, browse different sites to compile a list of customers who use this similar product. Good places to find them: Nerdy Data (if your competitor's product is something people add to their sites, Nerdy Data lets you find all the sites that use their code), Capterra (customers who reviewed your competitor's product), Reddit (find people who mentioned they use your competitor's product). Add each person's full name and the company they work for (search for it on Google or Linkedin if this info is not readily available) to a spreadsheet. With a prospect's full name and company information, you can smart guess their email address to send them a cold email introducing your product as a better solution.

Subject:
Alvo just acquired Trellis...what that means for you

Explain what change happened with the product the prospect is using and the impact this change may have on their future use of it.

Show the prospect your product has the most important features of your competitors.

Then list a few valuable features you have that your competitor doesn't to entice them to migrate.

Provide them a link to a demo account with pre-populated data so they can play around with its features. Have prominent Create Account CTAs on this demo playground.

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Cold email to pitch a retail buyer to carry your product

Subject:
Nordstrom + GO: the “revolutionary smart carry-on luggage” (Travel Leisure 2017)

In one short sentence, who you are and the product you create, framed in terms of its main differentiating feature or in terms of a catchy quote about it from an authoritative source.

Show your reason for connecting by saying you noticed they’re the buyer for X store and department. Praise their product curation in a way that subtly implies your product matches their criteria.

Introduce a list of top reasons why your product would resonate with their customers by mentioning 1-2 of your product’s differentiating features. You can also mention how carrying them would elevate the store's reputation.

List 3-4 of your product’s top differentiating features, framed in terms of how they benefit the buyer’s customers.

Establish your product's credibility by citing a good sales history and/or reviews from authoritative sources.

Ask for permission to send product sample as a way to gauge their interest level in your product.

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Introduction email: open the conversation by leveraging a referral from the prospect's colleague

Getting a referral from your prospect's colleague lends you credibility. Also, letting your contact know someone else is aware of this exchange gives them more impetus to respond.

Subject:
Best person to connect about this?

Simply ask them to refer you to someone who manages the general area related to your product or service.

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Using a referral from their colleague in a cold email

Subject:
[Name of colleague who referred you] recommended I speak to you about advertising

Show them a few examples of what their existing setup looks like related to what your product or service helps with.

Show examples of how your product improves their existing setup or fixes a problem with it.

Provide a curiosity piquing reason for them to agree to an initial chat framed in terms of something valuable or interesting they'll learn.

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Ask for feedback: put yourself in front of a potentially influential customer

If you're just starting a business, find influencers and ideal customers who would benefit from your product and email them to ask them for feedback. The benefits are twofold. First, they can provide you with valuable insights about how your product can be improved. Second, they may actually end up being your customer if you like your product or share it with their audience. This approach is effective because by only asking for their advice, you’re not raising their don’t-sell-me defenses.

Subject:
Your brutally honest feedback?

One sentence meaningful comment about why you value their work and expertise.

Briefly describe what you built and say you're interested in getting their feedback.

Explain your product's biggest difference from what's already available, then elaborate with 2-3 more bullet points.

Ask them for their feedback and reinforce how helpful it would be for you.

Download 7 cold email templates

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