How To Write A Cold Call Email That ALWAYS Get Results

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In the past week, I’ve exchanged emails with Joanna Wiebe from Copyhackers, Rand Fishkin from Moz, and Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income using cold call email.

cold call email results

I cold-call emailed them, and they emailed me back…usually within 20 minutes.

I didn’t do anything particularly special, other than use my simple, proven formula for connecting with influencers.

What if you could easily connect with high-powered influencers in your industry?

I’m talking people with massive email lists, enormous social media followings, and incredible influencing power.

The movers. The shakers.

Think about how that would affect your content marketing strategy.

Derek Halpern has famously said that he spends 20% of his time creating content and 80% of his time promoting it.

One of his primary promotion tools is emailing the high-profile people he quotes in his articles and politely asking them if they would consider sharing the article on social media.

It was this strategy that allowed me to connect with Joanna Wiebe and persuade her to share one of my posts on Twitter.

Joanna Wiebe (@copyhackers) - Twitter 2015-11-08 17-55-22

Connecting with high-profile influencers can also open up tons of guest posting opportunities, which is a great way to build your brand.

I’m going to show you a step-by-step tutorial for exactly HOW to reach out to influencers so that you are GUARANTEED a response.

What You Will Learn

  • The incredible power of email outreach, and why it BEATS social media.
  • How to find ANY email address.
  • The steps for crafting the PERFECT email subject line.
  • How to INFUSE your email with personality.
  • How to ask for something without being a sleazeball.
  • My personal cold email template

The Power Of Email Outreach

It’s hard to believe, but email is considered an outdated form of communication.

Wow, does that make me feel old. Back in the day (a phrase I’m allowed to use since I’m old), having a Hotmail account made you the coolest kid on the digital block. Now text messaging, Snapchat, Facebook, and live video streaming are the preferred methods of communication.

But when it comes to connecting with high-powered influencers, email is still my weapon of choice.

Why?

Because with email, I have their exclusive attention.

I’m not competing with a Facebook newsfeed or 50 Twitter notifications or a random cat video on YouTube.

Email is a one-to-one, mono-y-mono connection between me and the influencer.

But how do you get in touch with an influencer and actually get their attention?

Most people think that that an influencer would never be interested in what they have to say.

Most people are DEAD wrong.

Here is my step-by-step formula for reaching out to and getting a response from important people.

FIND THE EMAIL ADDRESS OF YOUR INFLUENCER

Believe it or not, finding the email address of the person you’re looking for isn’t the hard part.

No need for slimy, blackhat tricks. I use FindAnyEmail to find email addresses. This is a legal, ethical way of finding email addresses.

Simply enter the first name, last name, and domain name of the person you’re searching for. Here’s a quick search for Michael Hyatt.

Find Email Address - Free Email Search & Verification Tool 2015-11-08 19-51-46

Here’s another one I did for Chris Drucker:

Find Email Address - Free Email Search & Verification Tool 2015-11-08 20-01-33

If FindAnyEmail doesn’t work, you can try one of these ways, but usually I find what I’m looking for on the first try.

How To Write A Cold Call Email

Now that you’ve got the right email address, it’s time to craft the perfect cold call email.

Before we talk about what you should do, let’s talk about what you really shouldn’t do.

After all, as Ash over at The Middle Finger Project says:

…everybody’s trying to pitch everything, yet nobody knows HOW to pitch anything.

Do NOT:

  • Blast a generic email to 50 different people at one time.
  • Use a boring subject line like, “Thought you might like this.”
  • Pretend that you somehow know the person you’re contacting.
  • Pretend that the person will immediately understand why you’re contacting them.
  • Write an incredibly boring that is totally irrelevant to the reader.

In other words, don’t write an email like this:

Hey %Name%,

I just wrote a post called “How To Write Emails” that I thought you might like.

Here it is: www.heresthelink.com

I’d really like it if you shared it on social media.

Thanks,

Stephen Altrogge

Uhh, no.

I mean, what would you do if you got this email? I would delete it. Immediately. My inbox is full enough as it is, and I don’t need more boring emails cluttering it.

So what should you include in your email?

A super interesting subject line that compels the reader to open.

Most people get hundreds, if not thousands of emails every day. So how do you get your email to stand out?

By crafting a killer cold call email subject line.

My subject line to Pat Flynn was: Yes, I am THAT annoying blogger

Not especially compelling, but interesting enough to get Pat to click on the email. My emails to Joanna Wiebe and Rand Fishkin were very similar.

I also like this headline because it contains some amount of self-awareness that, by virtue of sending an unsolicited email, I am one of those annoying people who fills up inboxes.

If you’re going to get a response to your email, spend time working on your subject line. Make it as interesting and compelling as possible. If the reader isn’t interested, they won’t open the email, and you’ll never get a response.

Dave Gerhardt over at Hubspot puts it like this:

So how do you write the best cold call email subject line? Figure out what you are ultimately trying to say and then boil down that request to 5-7 words. Once you get to those 5-7 words, make sure those words speak to the interests of your recipient and clearly communicate what you’d like from that email exchange.

Tons of personality that makes for an interesting read.

Here’s what I said to Joanna in my cold email template:

how to write a cold call email with my cold email template

About 20 minutes later, Joanna replied by saying:

joanna

Why did my email generate a response? Because it was INTERESTING!

The Internet is full of endless, boring drivel. Of stupid memes and Buzzfeed quizzes.

When something has personality and zest, it majorly stands out from the crowd.

I want the readers of my emails to be entertained, even if they don’t do what I’m requesting. So when crafting a cold-call email, I try to include as much interesting, entertaining material as possible.

My high cold-call response rate is primarily due to the fact that my emails are, at the least, engaging.

Boring emails lead to low response rates. Entertaining, engaging, clear emails lead to more opens and more responses.

When you craft cold-call emails, focus on including:

  • Self-deprecating humor.
  • An appreciation for something that person has done.
  • An awareness that you may be annoying them.

Up front acknowledgement that you’re asking them to do something

When you send someone a cold-call email, be up-front about the fact that you want something from them. Don’t pretend that you’re emailing them out of the goodness of your heart. They can see right through it, and they know you’re just spewing nonsense.

Acknowledge that you want them to share your article or reply to you. Don’t beat around the bush. Be clear about what it is you’re asking them to do.

The worst that can happen is they decline your request.

Wrapping It Up

Being able to connect with high-powered influencers is incredibly valuable, and contrary to most people’s perceptions, not all that difficult to do with cold call email.

And now you know how to write a cold call email that gets results, there is nothing stopping you.

If you’re willing to spend time crafting the perfect subject line, infusing your cold call email template with personality, and being clear about what you’re requesting, you can almost always get a response.

30 Responses

  1. 12.15.2015

    Nice post Stephen.
    I see you’ve used your own technique in this email, setup some alerts to see if the influencers you quoted in this post share it ;)

  2. 12.15.2015

    Awesome post Stephen. Sending emails is my weakness, definitely need to work on it.

    Anyway love to see the 20/80 rule in action.

  3. Sarah Hewitson
    12.15.2015

    Thanks Matthew and Stephen for this great post; it’s something that’s extremely relevant to me at the moment, as I’m planning on doing a lot more of it next year.

    Another tool I’d like to recommend for finding email addresses is Email Hunter, it works especially well on Linkedin profiles. I used this to contact a few influencers for an expert round-up I did a couple of months ago.

    One thing I found worked well was something I read in a post by Neil Patel, which is to contact up and coming influencers. While the more established influencers do get back to you, I found some of the up and coming influencers were more enthusiastic about sharing the post themselves, probably because they were flattered to be included in an expert list.

    Again, great post!

  4. 12.15.2015

    Some good info – Thanks.
    In Canada we are allowed ONE unsolicited email to a publically available contact – make it count!

  5. Andrew Zubriczky
    12.15.2015

    Loved this post; thank you for sharing your expertise and experience. As a former cold-caller, I know you have only a precious few seconds to make your point on the phone before they hang-up; or, stay and listen to what you have to say. My opening few words, were critical to my sales efforts.

    After about a million phone calls over my lifetime; am retired now, I know the importance of capturing your targeted audiences’ attention…ASAP, and just the way you explained it. Thanks

  6. 12.15.2015

    Stephen, what did you email Rand to warrant that response? (i.e. “Sounds a little odd for a premise, but OK”

    I’d love to know.

    • December 17th, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      I simply told him that I was showing people how easy it was to get responses from high profile people!

  7. 12.15.2015

    As an influencer on Pinterest with 1.5M followers (www.pinterest.com/monroefiles)…I get cold call emails all the time. They are either all boring or riddled with poor grammar from an Asian country. When something specially finally lands in my in box, I jump with joy. You know what is equally annoying? When you reply to an Asian email and a few weeks later they send you the SAME email with a note to “disregard if already working with us.” Sigh. A bit sassy and spicy will get you further in your question than poor grammar and a need to apologize. Go big or go home!

    • December 17th, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Hahaha yeah I get offers for help with my SEO all the time through the blog as well :)

  8. 12.16.2015

    Thank you Matthew for advices. I will try next week.
    Great tool – findanyemail :)

  9. 12.16.2015

    Do you still recommend Buzzbundle for traffic generation? Is this still the best tool for traffic or what do you recommend?

    • December 17th, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Yeah its freaking awesome to help get sites off the ground

  10. 12.17.2015

    You have a good point here. It only shows that email outreach can still work. If it connects you to high-influencer people, definitely that’s a good thing for business. Thanks for sharing a very good tip here and for showing us how we can be able to do it in our brand too.

    • December 17th, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      And not just for high influencers but also any business communication

  11. 12.18.2015

    BOOM!

    Thanks Stephen, I never formalised the self-awareness aspect of my mails, but it works like a charm, will be sharing with my Twitter followers :)

    Thanks
    Tom

  12. 12.18.2015

    A super practical post on a topic that is relevant to me. We send cold emails to business owners and have had some success with that strategy.

    But I can see from Stephen’s post there is room for improvement. I look forward to testing better subject lines and the other tips featured in this post.

    Thanks, Matthew, for featuring Stephen

    Kim

  13. Keerapat
    12.20.2015

    Great to read this…..would share to let anyone know…

  14. 12.21.2015

    Great post, Matthew. My only concern is the laws regarding this vary from country to country. Here in Australia, for example, I think this would violate some of our spam and unsolicited email laws, unfortunately – though don’t quote me on that.

    That said, I guess you could always make an initial contact through social media first.

  15. 1.18.2016

    This is funny. I actually tend to think that super short emails might work better than longer ones like this. But I guess if you can write a medium-length email that has some personality people will read it.

    Have you tried sending really short emails?

  16. 4.5.2016

    Loved your email! haha, it’s hilarious! I would totally answer it too!

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