Cold, bulk emails are an awful tactic. Your buyers hate getting them, you hate the responses, and you also hate the lack of replies you receive. They’re ineffective and they can even devalue your brand. But sometimes, just sometimes, they’re welcomed and very successful. I want to talk today about those exceptions.

Here are my 7 tips for crafting cold outbounds using Electronic Direct Mail (EDM)

These first few tips are for people who are new to their role; we call them ‘new brooms’.

New Brooms:

  1. Build an asset for targets who are new to their role
  2. Develop a series of emails about that asset
  3. Offer a meeting in each contact
  4. Build to a crescendo

Then, for strategic targets who haven’t necessarily moved, three more tips.

Strategic Targets:

  1. Identify the value they will get from meeting you
  2. Sell that value, not your product
  3. Make the email as short as it can be and no shorter

Let me explain a little bit of these.

1st tip: Build an asset for targets new to their role

People who are new to the role are a great prospect. Let’s think about why they’ve been hired. Usually, it’s because they have either:

  1. Come in to make some change; or
  2. They’ve just been hired to replace the other person

But even in that second case, they have views about how things can improve. They don’t simply want to maintain the momentum. They want to build their own personal brand into what they’re doing. It’s a fantastic time to create change and it’s a perfect time for you to be talking to them.

Therefore, we have these first few tips for new brooms. The first one is to build an asset that’s relevant to that newness. We often call it the first 90-day pack.

You’re not saying, “Oh, because they’re new, they’ll enjoy this other white paper I’ve built.” No, I’m talking about something very different from that. I’m talking about building an asset specific to that newness.

2nd tip: Develop a series of emails about that asset

The second tip is to build a campaign – a series of emails about that asset. You want to reinforce points in the campaign by asking questions like the following:

  • How to get it?
  • Where to get it?
  • Why get it?
  • How to use it?

Take a look at some of the other videos I produced in this four-part series on EDM. If you have a look at the trigger campaign and the EDM for events videos, you’ll notice I refer to this same sequence.

For now, I want to leave you with this sequence idea and my second tip that there needs to be a series of emails related to that first 90-day-pack (or whichever form that asset takes in your world).

3rd tip: Offer a meeting in each contact

My next tip refers to making it easy for new brooms each time you make contact, and remember to ask if they’re ready to talk. Frame the conversation in such a way that it’s not offensive if they’re not ready. Although this is a clear call to action, you want to position it in the context of conversing about that asset.

Remember, you’ve done this wonderful thing of giving them this gift, this valuable asset. Don’t cheapen it in the way that you ask for a meeting, but don’t forget to ask for the meeting either.

Both of these contexts are opportunities for you to be seeking a meeting because frankly, that’s what you wanted in the first place, right?

4th tip: Build to a crescendo

My fourth tip for new movers involves building that series to a crescendo. At some point, you might retire and stop communicating with them. But before you reach that point, you want to develop a distinct and compelling conclusion related to that asset.

Make sure the email series builds to that crescendo. You want to reach that obvious conclusion where it’s just going to make sense for them to meet with you.

Now let’s take a look at those who haven’t moved, our strategic targets

Some prospects may not have moved, but they’re still a great target. As mentioned earlier, cold and unsolicited emails are still a bad tactic for them. However, there are EDMs that make all sorts of sense for them.

Those are the emails that communicate how well you’ve researched them and how carefully you’ve discovered a problem they have. This problem might be one that they don’t even know about – but it’s time that they do.

Miller Heiman Group, the sales process company we work very closely with, call that a valid business reason (VBR). You can check out lots of my blogs on the website about VBR.

5th tip: Identify the value they will get from meeting you

For now, in this communication you’re sending out to the cold person – the strategic target – you want to convey only one thing. It’s not why you want the meeting and it’s not the agenda. It’s why they should want the meeting. What are they going to get out of this meeting? Here’s a quick example:

“Hey, John, we haven’t met, but I do know these things about your business, A, B, and C. I also believe that D, E and F. I have a lot of experience dealing with these issues with companies like A, B, and C. I’d like to share some of those experiences with you to help you avoid the traps that these other companies may have found themselves falling foul on.”

That’s a call to action related to the meeting that you want as the seller. But, it’s all deliberately phrased using the language of what they are going to get out of that meeting.

6th tip: Sell that value, not your product

Primarily, this is a meeting they will get value out of and not one that you will. They don’t care about you. You want to sell that value, not your product.

The letter isn’t to introduce your products. The letter is to sell what they will get out of a meeting, no more.

7th tip: Make the email as short as it can be and no shorter

The final tip is about brevity. Keep the email as short as you can, but no shorter. That is, don’t get sucked into the dogma that says your email has to be short. You can’t waffle. Get to the point as quickly as you can, but don’t short change yourself either.

If you simply cannot convince them that a meeting would be a smart move in less than five paragraphs, then that’s what you should use. If you can do it in two, fantastic. As short as you can and no shorter.

So to recap

We have the following tips designed for our New Brooms:

  1. Build an asset for targets specific to that newness about their role
  2. Build a series of emails about that asset
  3. Offer a meeting in each of those emails
  4. Build to a crescendo

And these next few mapped out for our Strategic Targets:

  1. Identify the value that they will get from meeting with you
  2. Sell that value, not your product – become the prize if you like
  3. Make the email as short as it can be and no shorter

Remember that cold outreach, whether to a new mover or a strategic target, are only two tactics

You’re going to have many, many more. Sales and marketing need to agree and build on those tactics, execute them, and measure their efficacy together. That’s the job of a Funnel Plan.

Now if you have a Funnel Plan, you know what I’m talking about. The Tactic section is at the bottom of your plan, the top section being Strategy, and the middle being Velocity. If you haven’t got a Funnel Plan yet, go get one. Get your team together and check out

What’s on next week

This is the fourth and final part in a series about Electronic Direct Email for B2B. The first part focused on nurture emails, the second looked at trigger emails, the third was about promoting events, and this fourth one covered cold emails.

We’re changing to a new series next week and I’ve got lots more lined up for you. I hope you got value out of this. I had a lot of fun putting it together for you. Until next week, may your funnel be full and always flowing.



Our thanks, this week to:

  • Jane Tyquin  for blog production
  • John Ang  for video production
  • Hugh Macfarlane  for scripting and presenting this week’s show