Six simple steps to getting started with cold sales emails

Six simple steps to getting started with cold sales emails

by Steli Efti


One of the biggest challenges in B2B sales is reaching the right person, the person who can:

a. Understand the value your software can provide for their company
b. Make a buying decision

Salespeople and lead generation teams generally waste too much time on this task. Your company can create a lot more high-quality leads in less time by using cold emails based on Aaron Ross’ predictable revenue model.

When we talk to many B2B SaaS startup founders, they get it. They recognize that cold emailing could make their outbound prospecting more effective. But they don’t know how to get started in implementing it into their sales process.

Let’s look at these six simple steps to getting started with cold emails.

1. Write your subject line

It’s just one line, but it’s the line that matters most. If people don’t open the email, nothing else matters. There are many things you can do to increase open rates, but one easy best practice is using their name in the subject line.

2. Write your email copy

Be brief. Give context. End with a clear and specific call to action. Every sentence is sealing the value proposition of giving you a bit more of their time and reading the next sentence you wrote. (Remember: most email clients display not just the subject line in the inbox, but also the beginning of the email copy).

3. Get feedback

Show your outbound cold emails to different people, especially current clients of yours with whom you have a good relationship. Ask them: “Would you reply to this? What’s unclear? What would you change?” If you have investors, ask them the same questions. Get feedback. Edit/Iterate/Test.

4. Send 25–50 emails a day

Don’t blast out hundreds (or even thousands) of emails when you’re just getting started. Your goal here is to find out what works, while at the same time having enough resources to follow up properly with those prospects who respond. You probably already know how to find almost anybody’s email address.

5. On the following day, look at the two most important metrics

a. Open rates benchmark: 15–30%
b. Response rates benchmark: 10–30%

The open rates allow you to track the effectiveness of your subject lines while the response rates indicate how effective your email copy is.

6. Iterate

Try different subject lines and email bodies. Experiment and measure results.

If your response rates are below 5%, you’re doing something really wrong. In the 10% range, you’re on the right track. Anywhere between 10%–30% you’re doing really, really well.


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