How we improved our cold email process

May 10, 2023

We knew we’d need to cold email folks in order to have great discovery calls. We just didn’t have a big enough network in sustainable landscaping going into this.

In the past when we’ve set out to cold email people, it never felt great.

As the studio sales guy, Connor was de-facto in charge of sending the emails. He’d find some email addresses, write a template, have one or two good days of sending, and then the process would start to break down. When no immediate responses came back, he’d feel self-conscious and start to overthink the template. He’d research each person more and more until he was sufficiently intimidated by their clout. He’d procrastinate and then feel guilty about not sending enough cold emails. It was a lot of emotional labor without a lot to show for it.

So this time around, we split the work.

I made a list of people we want to talk to and found their email addresses. I wrote the email template and customized the opening and closing lines for each person.

Connor then sent those pre-written emails to each person, managed follow-ups and scheduling, and conducted the calls.

The result? We sent 22 cold emails, leading to 12 calls with legit industry pros. Even though these numbers aren’t huge, they’re bigger than we've been able to do in the past. Plus, our goal was 5 discovery calls; we blew that out of the water!

The best part, though, is that we all felt better about the process.

I was able to develop a really ambitious contact list since I wasn’t nervous about emailing them directly. For the same reason, I also didn’t overthink the email template.

Connor was thrilled to spend less time on the initial email and instead put his effort where he has the most fun—responding and actually conducting the calls. Because the emails were written for him, he didn’t need to research people so he never got intimidated to press send. With a higher send volume, more responses came back quicker, which created a sense of momentum.

By splitting the work in this way, we removed the emotional labor from the process. That enabled us to send cold emails more consistently for a longer period of time. I think this is ultimately what yielded more calls.

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