Growth July 30, 2020

I analyzed 64,562 "cold" emails sent over the last 2 years, here's how you should (probably) rewrite yours

Victor @watus

Couple tips based on my findings:

  • You should say "you" 10 times more than "I"
  • Your email shouldn't be more than 5 sentences
  • Your copy shouldn't contain more than 70 words
  • Don't add a "booking link" at the end and ask for them to select a time before they actually expressed an interest to talk
  • Use interest-based CTAs instead of saying "how does Friday 10am works for you?"
  • Personalize your reach out by finding something relevant about them that would be difficult for a robot to automate and tie it back to the reason why you reach out
  • Don't talk about your company in a direct way, but talk about the problems your prospects face
  • Don't mention your company's name in the copy, but mention the firms that are clients oaf yours or competitors of theirs
  • Use "pattern interruption" methods
  • Alternate short and longer sentences to keep your reader engaged
  • Don't use any formating
  • Consider at least 8 touchpoints before moving on to the next person
  • Never say that you're "the best" at anything. "Show, don't tell".
  1. 2

    Wonderful tips. Thanks @watus

    1. 1

      my pleasure Ryan!

  2. 2

    Awesome post Victor! (Just made my account to tell you this)

    I started cold emailing last week as a web design freelancer, so all of this is super helpful.

    1. 1

      absolutely! I'll hit you up when we ship then ;)

  3. 2

    Super helpful, thanks Victor! Really like the exactness of your advice (e.g. <70 words).

    8 touchpoints seems like quite a lot though - isn't there a risk of increasingly irritating the person you're emailing?

    1. 2

      Appreciate it Kash! "A lot" is subjective, I really looked at what it took to book these opportunities. Also, a touchpoint isn't necessarily an email, could be a LinkedIn request/message/follow, a call, a text, Twitter, snail mail...

      Forrester came up with a cool stat, 90% of B2B buyers respond after the 7th touchpoint and 90% of B2B sellers stop after the third one.

      In my book, it's not necessarily about the number but the mindset itself.

      If you really believe without any doubt that what you do can help an individual facing a specific issue and that you're genuinely interested in their challenges and story, then your goal should be to spread the love about it and find more people to talk to.

      Over the last 10 years, I have been thanked numerous times by prospects-turned-clients for having followed-up and been consistent.

      The goal is not to be boring or creepy when reaching out, but to educate, lead with problems, offer a new perspective and show that you know the space, the terminology, the challenges they have and to talk about the promised land, the future state they could reach should they consider your offer.

      1. 1

        Thanks for the thoughtful response - indeed it reminds me of the old sales saying that you need to "get to no", whatever it takes.

  4. 2

    Cool points, nice summary!

  5. 1

    @watus, are there any tools that can pull together all the bits and pieces needed to follow up? Name, email, company, url, twitter, linkedin, facebook, phone number, calendar reminders to tweet, follow, and email the lead. Etc. There are plenty of email sequence tools, but I'm curious about the other types of touch points.

    1. 1

      @hostedmetrics there are ! I replied to your email

  6. 1

    Do you have data here to showcase how effective each of these techniques were in terms of getting responses? Or bookings?

    1. 1

      @Grendorf I do! So first, on the methodology:

      • 4 other sales director + myself pulled our CRM data together, I did the heavy lifting
      • industries: online marketing, recruiting, software (up to $10k ACV), consulting
      • I looked at email templates that had been used at least 400 times each to take things that were statistically representative
      • I had CRM data to tie the meetings booked with the sequences that were used
      • Within the sequence, I had data to show at which step/touchpoint the meeting was booked
      • that way, I was able to get the science behind the sequence itself and the "winning" email if you consider that the last touch should be used to measure overall success
      • took me 7 days to compile everything, I'm by no means an Excel guy so I probably did a lot of things manually that could have been automated

      In terms of results, we collectively booked 2133 meetings over 2 years which is more or less 3.2% "touchpoint to booking" rate

      it also represents 61% of the revenue generated by the firms who shared their data

  7. 1

    Any advice on subject lines?

    1. 1

      "Intro FIRSTNAME & SENDER" :D

  8. 1

    Solid list. Very practical and useful.

    Can I add one more:

    Using short (1-2 min) videos is a great way to bring a personal touch to the outreach effort. Ideally, custom videos per person you're sending the email to.

    1. 1

      agreed but not too early in your approach, I got data showing negative results on touchpoint 1 / 2 /3

      1. 1

        i've gotta say, every time i've sent a video to someone it's been super well received. it's how i got my dream apprenticeship, and met some really awesome people.

        depends on the video.

      2. 1

        Interesting, what have you noticed?

  9. 1

    what do you mean by an interest-based CTA? can you provide an example?

    great insights.

    1. 1


      Instead of asking : "when's a good time to talk to you?" which feels very invasive, and people are so protective and defensive when it comes to their time, you can soften your approach with an interest-based CTA

      Here are a few examples:

      • Is this a relevant topic for you?
      • Would you like to explore?
      • Is this subject top of mind?
      • Would you like to run this by your team?
      • Were you giving this any thoughts?

      available for a quick call if you need further sales assistance

      1. 1

        ah! this makes sense. thanks for clarifying.

        i really like to ask, "is this compelling?" as a basis for interest. then i follow up with something like your final line—"feel free to give me a quick call," something of the sorts.


        1. 1

          I love "is this compelling?"!

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