Marketing Career Coach & Fractional CMO


pexels-photo-761268.jpegI’d like to share 3 suggestions on how I think cold emails can stop being called ‘cold’ and start being considered ‘warm’.

I love the marketing industry.  But I’ve reached my limit on the thousands of bad, cold emails I’ve received from sales professionals.

I love the promise of there always being a solution no matter what the client/brand challenge.

It embraces an ecosystem where clients/brands can choose from over 5,000 marketing or ad tech tools or solutions.

That’s a lot of choices.

It also presents a lot of opportunity for sales people to get their solution to be selected as THE solution.

Somewhere between brand/client needs increasing and the solutions pool multiplying like gremlins…the cold email outreach practice took shape.

…and it has been evolving more slowly than it seems it should.

For the record, I don’t mind a cold email from a sales person.

Over the past twenty years in agency and client side roles, these emails have become great entertainment.

What is perplexing is how these emails do not seem to be getting more relevant or even attempting to make some level of connection beyond asking me if I’m free for a 15 minute call.

It is as if publicly available, data rich, relevant fodder gifts like LinkedIn, Siftery, Clearbit, BuiltWith and Datanyze were not available to the sales teams who need them most.

I understand that ABM (account based marketing) tools exist to make the relevant research & outreach effort for sales teams more…effortless. But that should not bypass the opportunity to include something relevant to the person beyond including their first name in the subject line.

And listing big brands that you’ve helped succeed may not matter as much as you think. Who cares if you helped Disney if the person you emailed works for a SaaS platform for SMBs?

Now, I do recognize that there is a minority of business owners and sales professionals that are using these tools, and slowly opening the eyes to the relevancy-challenged majority. Thank you.

Here is an actual email received from a tech services company.

Note — I represent a SaaS based email marketing platform. Plus there are countless other data points easily recoverable from my LinkedIn profile.

— —

Hi Erik (nice personalization’s like he already knows me),

I’m hoping this catches you at a good time.

My name is [sales rep name] and I’m one of the faces of [name of company with no hyperlink]. We’ve helped companies ranging from Bloomberg and ESPN to Medica and Onset launch and integrate solutions they weren’t sure how to start. (and these are relevant to me how?)

Whether you’ve been tossing around ideas for mobile apps, web dashboards, or complex IoT, my team will work with you to bring your vision to life. (was there something you saw in our apps that we are missing? A relevant use case for us would be great.)

If you’re interested, I’d like to hear what you have in mind. (That’s a big assumption. Have in mind for what? Again, give me some relevant use cases to get me thinking about my problem the way you want me to. Maybe summarize why companies like mine, choose you instead of others like you.)

Do you have time to discuss further next Tuesday afternoon? (Don’t call us, we’ll call you. Leave a direct link where I can schedule a call if we ever have a need for…what were you selling again and how was it relevant to my business?)

Thanks in advance,

[sales rep name]

— —

I know this does not represent every sales person. It was only an example of what is currently being sent as cold email.

If I could send an email (cold?) to every sales person that ever emailed me (hmm..that would be interesting), I would suggest these 3 things…

3 suggestions for any sales person looking to connect with a brand to sell your product or service…

  1. Please. Please. Please. Mention something hyper-relevant to the person. Their alma mater, their company, their industry. Something.
  2. Give me a use case. Specific to my business. How have other brands like mine used your product or service. Reference something specific to our site, ads, assets. Send me a 45 second recorded screencast of how easy it is to set up or use sample data. I’d be more inclined to watch that then ignore your next 3 automated emails from whatever tool you’re using.
  3. Acknowledge the landscape. Give me 3 reasons why you are a better choice than the dozen others that offer the same thing.

Some helpful tips on using videos as part of your outreach from Vidyard.

Other signs that improving cold email is a thing. There is a even a Free Online Summit organized around it.

May your cold emails start as warm as possible.


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