The 6 Most Important Lessons Learned After Sending 1,000,000 B2B Cold Emails

By December 29, 2015 2 Comments

6 Lessons Learned After Sending 1,000,000 B2B Cold Emails

They say nothing is better than experience. Well, if that’s true, then we know a thing or two about cold emails. At InspireBeats, we’ve probably tried more email sales strategies than any other business.

The best part is that we weren’t only testing, but also measuring.

We’ve found 6 crucial elements of an effective B2B cold emails. This system has helped us bring our clients tens of millions of dollars in closed sales, and I’m sure it can do the same for you.

#1. The First Paragraph Makes Or Breaks The Deal

You’ll find a vast number of articles talking about how to write a good subject line, but they fail to mention that the intro paragraph of an email is just as (or maybe more) important.

At first, our emails would start with a generic “My name is Alex and I’m a business development guy from InspireBeats.”

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, turns out this one phrase was severely lowering our response rates.

After many tests, we found that the ultimate intro sentence of an email is something that’s tailored to the prospect at hand, tells them how you found their site and states either a compliment or a business problem.

It can be something along the lines of:

“Found your site and super impressed by your work for KFC. Also saw you were looking for new designers on AngelList and thought I might be able to help.”

That simple, yet effective intro line at the beginning of an email will get your customers attention and make them read on.

#2. You Need To Do Your Homework

Another mistake that most businesses make is writing what, in their minds, is the best ever template, and then sending it to everyone on their list. This is seen even more frequently within businesses that have a list of over a thousand contacts.

At Inspirebeats, we think doing that is the best way to get your domain marked as spam.

If you want your emails to mean something, it’s important to spend a minute or two researching each potential customer you want to reach out to.

Here’s exactly what we do:

First Minute: Check out the client’s website and figure out if they’re a good fit for your company. How many employees do they have? Do they look like an ideal client?

If you don’t like what you see – simply avoid emailing them. You’ll save everyone a lot of time.

Second Minute: Check out their social media profiles. Get personal and read each individual contact’s profile pages. Search for something interesting or figure out what you two have in common. For example, they might post pictures about their trip to Greece in which case you can send them something like:

“Noticed you’ve went to Greece. I was thinking of taking the family next summer. Do you recommend it?”

Of course, you only say things you really mean. Lying is against what we stand for as professionals. Making sure you customize each email with friendly, honest comments makes readers much more likely to respond.

#3. Always Finish Your Emails With Yes/No Questions

Responses mean interaction and a chance to make a sale. An empty inbox doesn’t help you in any way. Make it easy for the prospect to hit the reply button and just write “Yes – but I would like more details.”

And while you’re doing it, avoid generic phrases such as “If this sounds interesting, let me know.” or “I’d love to find a time to chat if this makes sense.”

These lines don’t generate any pressure for the potential customer to respond. Keep in mind that some of the customers you’re reaching out to already receive more messages in any given day than they can manage. Making their lives easier with a simple yes/no question makes you the exception to all the noise they are experiencing.

A few examples that have worked for us are:

  • “Does that sound interesting to you?”
  • “Are you available for a call later this week?”
  • “Would you mind if I sent a free trial link?”

#4. Reach Out 5-7 Times Before Giving Up

If you get a response: Celebrate! If you don’t: Try harder. Professionals are already extremely busy and reticent of everyone that tried to get on their overflowing agenda. We noticed that you should use at least 5-7 “touchpoints” before expecting a response.

A sequence that works great for us is:

  1. Send the initial email
  2. Follow them on Twitter
  3. Favorite or retweet a few posts
  4. View their LinkedIn profile
  5. Send another email a few days later
  6. Add them on LinkedIn

If nothing works – feel free to call the client directly. When? Just a few minutes after they opened your email.

This is because if they’re checking email, it (hopefully) means they aren’t busy doing anything else. If you try and call them in that moment, you have a much better chance of getting in touch with the right person.

#5. ABT – Always Be Testing

Cold emailing is a skill, just like any other. This means it has a learning curve and it takes time to master.

One of the fastest ways to become better at it is to use tracking tools like YesWare. Such tools help you measure what works and what doesn’t.

You can test open rates while using different subject lines, completely different frameworks, send times, and more. Find what works best for you and keep improving.

#6. Still Didn’t Get Any Response? Try, try again.

The last piece of advice for today is this: Follow up with prospects unlimited times. Keep going until they give you a concrete yes or a no.

If you did your homework correctly, and you’re sure everyone you reach out to is a good fit, then sooner or later they need your product or service.

We schedule once-a-month followup emails for all contacts that haven’t yet responded. Many of them eventually respond, and some of them actually end up buying. (Sometimes even half a year after the initial email)

Cold emails are one of the cheapest and most effective methods of lead generation – when done right. We hope this article will help you make the most of them.


Alex Berman Inspire Beats

Alex Berman is the Chief Marketing Sumo at InspireBeats, and all-in-one lead generation solution for Software as a Service (SaaS) startups, companies and agencies. Over the last year Alex has generated of $12 million dollars in leads for clients.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Melissa Gosse says:

    Awesome article Alex. This is full of golden nuggets!

    I am the Community Outreach Specialist for CanIRank and couldn’t agree more with you that cold emailing (and especially pitching) is a skill that takes lots of time to develop. I’ll be trying out your “Reach Out” sequence steps – really like your methodology with that one.

    What do you use to keep track of all your contacts/clients and where they are in the outreach to sale process? (ie. Agile CRM, ActiveCampaign, etc.). That is one of the things I find hardest to manage.

    One thing I wanted to note is your link to InspireBeats in your bio at the bottom is not working – was hoping to check your company out.

    Thanks again for the great article!

  • Steve Santy says:

    awesome post Alex, one question: did you by any chance try and to send follow up emails?

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