Reader Mila F. writes in with this excellent outreach question:
What’s your first email you send as a Cold Outreach email? How do you phrase it? Do you do research about the person you’re emailing and do you use a tool for that or just plain old email?
Mila is asking a ton of great questions here. Let’s break them down one-by-one:
What’s your first email you send as a Cold Outreach email? How do you phrase it?
Strategically, the first email I send as a cold outreach email is designed to get them to a ‘no’ as quickly as possible.
This may seem backwards (you want them to give you a no?) but it makes sense:
If someone isn’t a fit for the offer I’ll be making, the relationship I’ll be proposing, or the service I’m offering, I want to get to that ‘no, this isn’t a fit’ objection as quickly as possible.
(Related: the book ‘Start With No’ is exceptional and I highly recommend it)
- If they demonstrate an objection (“This isn’t for us, we’re too big/small/etc”) then I can work with them to dismantle or overcome that objection
- If they legitimately are not a good fit, I do not want to waste my time
My go-to stock initial outreach email is a variant on this:
Are you the best person to speak to about THING? If not, who do you recommend I speak with at COMPANY?
I’ll customize it and extend it / contract it depending on the campaign, but a short, simple email like that is my go-to for an initial cold outreach email.
- It has a clear, specific ask
- It invites them to say no to the ask
- It offers a secondary course of action if they say no
I frequently get responses to this email along the lines of ‘No, I’m not — you want to speak to X. Their email is X@Y.com’.
Do you do research about the person you’re emailing and do you use a tool for that or just plain old email?
Heavily. 90% of every outreach campaign I work on is research that we do before we send an email.
Why? Because I want to understand if the person I’m emailing is a fit before I send that email, so I research and qualify them across a number of metrics, quantitative and qualitative, specific to that campaign.
I use a combination of Buzzstream or Nina Outreach, Hunter.io, social media, their website, Clearbit, Majestic, and LinkedIn to research them before I send the email. Some tools play a larger importance in some campaigns than others, so I’ll use some and not other depending on the campaign.
Thanks so much for the question Mila!