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What’s your first email you send as a Cold Outreach email?

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)

Why? Because:

  • 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:

Hey NAME,

Are you the best person to speak to about THING? If not, who do you recommend I speak with at COMPANY?

Thanks,

Kai

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.

If you want to get master the art of cold outreach and have the skills to email anyone and get a reply, then the #1 resource I can recommend is The Outreach Blueprint, my book on how to email anyone and get a reply.

Thanks so much for the question Mila!

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