The Secret To Effective Sales Email Outreach

This is a heartfelt love note to all of the sales people out there that strap on the battle armor every day and ride out to find new opportunities that will help the business grow.

Your effort is the biggest driver to success, but style sure can improve results. Let’s take a look at an all too common challenge that all sales people face: the cold email fail.

We get them in our inbox all day and they largely do not incite a response other than to hit the “delete” button, right? Why is that? To begin, take a look at a few cold email openings that have hit my inbox lately:

 “I've reached out several times, but have been unable to catch you live. Given your background, I wanted to ensure we connect.”

“Shawn, a couple of days ago I sent you a message but I didn’t see a response and just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss it.”

“I hope you appreciate my persistance.” (Yep, "persistance" is spelled incorrectly in this one.)

“I just wanted to follow up with you as I think we were a good fit for your logistics needs and I would like to engage you on that subject.”

Do you see the trend? There is a simple reason none of these folks got a response from me:

I don't care what you want.

You have to put yourself in the shoes of your prospect and remember what they want. 

These folks have clearly forgotten the lessons that Dale Carnegie gave the world 80 years ago: “The only way on earth to influence the other fellow is to talk about what he wants and show him how to get it.”


If you haven’t taken the time to read How To Win Friends And Influence People, here are the main lessons to implement in crafting your email outreach campaigns:

  • Arouse in the other person an eager want
  • Become genuinely interested in other people
  • Talk in terms of the other person's interests
  • Make the other person feel important — and do so sincerely
  • Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view
  • Begin with praise and honest appreciation
  • Know when to use suggestions instead of direct orders
  • Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest

Let’s use these principles to create some real world “rules” for cold email writing.

Rule 1: Use “we” instead of “I”

Inclusive language eliminates the lines between you and your prospect and creates an implied partnership. When you are on the same team ideas are easier to open up to.

Rule 2: Validate their stress

Show empathy for the difficulties they face every day and the obstacles they must overcome to achieve their goals. This shows support for the prospect as a person and also helps you understand what they are going through.

Rule 3: Talk about their end goal

Everyone has a goal that they are driving toward. Understand what that goal is and show them how you can be a support system to help them get there.

Rule 4: Be helpful

This has to be the main thrust of every communication. It is not a coincidence that this is the only core value of the Results-Powered Marketing team. Being helpful implies accountability, creativity, resourcefulness, and caring. If you approach outreach (and all other aspects of your life) with this basic mantra, good things will happen.

Here are some suggestions to help with rephrasing the your cold email outreach campaings:

“Hey Shawn, Other inbound marketing leaders have seen increases of 50% in conversions when using Tool X. Let’s get together to see if it can work the same way for your business.”

“How are you doing with the growth goal you were given this year? If you need some new ideas to drive revenue, we can take a look at a few tactics together that will start producing results immediately.”

“You wear a lot of hats and sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Every agency owner feels this way. The good news is that there are some new ways to help you get more done in the same time period. Want to learn how?”

Success! Everything here speaks to me and what I care about.

Final thoughts

Show compassion for the stress that your prospect deals with every day. Validate that stress. Show them how you can help eliminate the obstacles and make them more successful. Start implementing these tactics today to generate more activity and better results from your cold email campaigns.

Effective email marketing is a key part of successful sales, but there are other factors that can contribute to reaching your goals for this year — something we can chat about.

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