Out of Office Replies are Prospecting Gold

The end of the calendar year is a great opportunity to reflect on your wins and losses from the past 12 months and put a plan in place for the next year.  The keyboards are still clicking in your office, but they are searching for last minute Christmas gifts, not prospects.

Don’t let the holiday ‘slow down’ affect your outbound sales process.  From my experience three things happen more frequently from December 20 – January 6:

  1. People travel or take time off to be with their families or their office ‘shuts down’ for a few days.  (mine their OOO for data)
  2. People still check their email, but do so from their mobile phones so your subject line needs to be on point!
  3. People try to get to inbox zero.  (If you’re like me, you want to start the new year fresh.)
  4. The Marketing team probably controls your company’s holiday email.  Holiday cheer aside, why not send out a holiday email with the sole purpose of getting as many out of office replies as possible?

Having thick skin, dedication to a process, curiosity, and an experimental mindset are some of the qualities we observe in the highest performing sales developers and pipeline generators.  Use my three assumptions, or better yet, come up with your own and create a few experiments to turn these potential business killers into new opportunities.

Here’s an example experiment:

Assumption: People travel or take time off to be with their families.

Experiment: Continue building your prospect lists and sending cold email on your normal schedule.

What to look for: Out of office responders can deliver a lot of useful information.

  1. The message will tell you when your prospect will be back in the office.  If they are out for a while, chances are they will be putting in extra hours when they are back in the office.  Make a note of this on your calendar and call them early and late.
  2. The message may tell you the best phone number to reach them (office or mobile).  Update your contact records.
  3. The message may tell you who to contact as an alternative in their absence.  The person(s) named as an alternative contact has the ear of your prospect.  Consider reaching out to them directly if establishing communication with your target prospect doesn’t yield a desired result.
  4. The message may tell you something more personal about your prospect that can form an icebreaker for later.  If you shared an experience and can relate with them personally, do so in your next communication attempt.

Parting Thoughts… Even if your prospect is out of the office, presumably with family or as part of an ‘office shut down’, don’t assume that they aren’t going to take a break to sneak into the office for a half day’ to get caught up or organized.  This happens most often during the week between Christmas and New Years.  If you track your emails and get a notification that one of your emails was opened on a computer (not mobile), pick up the phone and call them.  Bonus if you use the phone number you gleaned in their OOO message.  You may be surprised to learn that the gate-keeper (ie – admin, secretary etc) is maxing out those unused and about-to-expire vacation days.

ps – If you are struggling with taking a break from your emails, try this Out Of Office generator Westin Hotels put together.


Happy Holidays!

Use automation, but don’t be a robot.

As you likely already know, I send out a ton of cold email campaigns. I know what’s effective and I know what tends to get the types of responses I desire from a variety of clients.

Sales Prospecting Cold Email

I’m also the recipient of a ton of cold email campaigns. I know what gets my attention and the type of interactions I prefer. It’s not enough to get your message into the inbox, you also need to get me interested.  Did you know, only 13% of customers actually believe a sales person can understand their needs?

If there’s one thing I hate more than the try-too-hard, overly-cute outreach campaign from the BDR who wants to be your BFF. It’s the outreach and subsequent interactions from professionals who assume that straight business has to be completely void of any personality.

The BDR who wants to be your BFF. #salesdevelopment Click To Tweet

Here’s an email that came off as trying too hard, and it went straight into my ‘don’t do this’ folder.  Now, this isn’t the worst email I’ve received.  I deleted most of them before I realized how often it was happening and that I wanted to write a post about it.  I’m all for personalization, but I see right through a message like this where you use my first name 3 times and since you didn’t have a company name you used a default ‘your firm’ and forgot to make it possessive (your firm’s).



It’s easy to get cute and fire off emails an automated manner because you have some protection from what the recipient’s response will be.  Imagine this playing out in the real world.  Let’s say I took a sample from the cheese steak guy at the mall and God forbid I don’t actually end up buying a cheesesteak.  How would you react if you took a bite then walked away and the man holding bite-sized sandwich pieces on an orange tray hollered out, “Hey, are you ignoring me?  I just ate a cheesesteak on my break and now I’m stuffed.   Can I tell you about how good it is?”


People like knowing that they are interacting with another human, so be human. In my experience, a more conversational tone and the correct amount of personal background has resulted in many more prospects being interested in having a conversation with me.  Here’s an example of my Out Of Office responder from a few weeks ago when I took a Friday off to focus on friends and family…not emails or demos.  

out of office responder

My prospects were ok with me not being available to take their calls and meetings right away and the result was a packed calendar for Monday and Tuesday after a fun filled weekend.  Can you guess the first question most of them asked during our call? (hint: How were the weddings?)  We broke the ice and proceeded to the task at hand…determining if there was a fit for our companies.

With that said, it’s important to keep all of these interactions about your prospect’s needs and recognize boundaries. We’re still going for the straight-line effect – derailing onto a conversation about your preferred airlines ranked by snack choices, or your shared respect for Kanye’s talent despite his extremely off-putting ego really isn’t relevant to either of your ultimate goals.

It’s great if a prospect really likes you, but that’s never why they should be buying from you. You want to create enough rapport to allow for a sales process where you can most effectively demonstrate the value of your product/service.  Don’t put your prospect on blast for not being that into you even though they read your groundbreaking white paper or eBook.  If you’re interested in generating more qualified leads for your business, check out our ebook.  I promise not to hound you after the download.

sales prospecting ebook linkedin leadsA final note. Being human isn’t a technique and if you try to make it one, you won’t be. Your ability to genuinely communicate with others is innate – try it.
Being human isn’t a technique and if you try to make it one, you won’t be. Click To Tweet
Oh, and if you’re one of the aforementioned sales professionals who have been, ‘trying to contact me in regards to the white paper you had forwarded in a previous message to be reviewed at my convenience’, Try this: Recognize the context, respect professional boundaries, have your goal in mind, and write a better message.

Have something to add?  Drop me a note to roddy { at } sellhack

What to do when prospects don’t respond to emails

Guest Post by Jake Jorgovan, founder of Outbound Creative and Prospect Scout.

We’ve all been there.

We find a prospect who would be a perfect fit and craft the perfect email sequence to catch their attention.

We reach out with confidence that they will respond, and then…




We follow up once, twice, three times, eight times or more with still no response.

You could give up, but for you this prospect means something.

Maybe you are in a finite industry with a limited number of prospects.

Or, maybe this is a dream client that would be your largest sale of the year.

In this post, I am going to share with you the lessons I have learned from running an outbound sales company and what to do when your prime prospects are unresponsive to your emails.

1) Analyze your approach

The first thing you must do before considering any of the other suggestions in this post is to evaluate your approach.

Chances are, if you have gone through a full series of follow ups and are still getting no responses, then your approach may be flawed.

To analyze your approach, first check out Ryan’s book on Cold Emailing.

Also, I would recommend Jill Konrath’s incredible book Selling to Big Companies to give you more insight to how these decision makers think.

Open up your email you sent to prospects and read it from the prospect’s viewpoint. Then ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this email catch my attention from the first subject line?
  • Does this email come from someone credible?
  • Is answering this email going to benefit me or the salesperson sending it?
  • Does this email clearly and concisely demonstrate the value that I will receive in my business?
  • Is this email short enough that I will actually read it amidst my busy day? (Less than 160 words)
  • Does this email intrigue me?
  • Does this email sound canned?
  • Is the request at the end of this email clear and simple to fulfill?

Analyze your email against these questions in the eye of your receiver, and you may just find the lack of response has been in your approach all along.

2) Try other forms of digital connection

The truth is that in today’s busy world, many people have grown to hate their inboxes. Recently, I sat down for a working session with one of my clients who is the CEO of a rapidly growing company.

Inbox (3,452)

Yep, over 3,000 unread emails in his inbox.

Seeing this gave me insight into his world. As the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, he was simply overwhelmed and only had the time to answer the absolutely essential emails.

He is what Jill Konrath calls ‘A frazzled customer’ and in today’s digital world, more and more customers are becoming just like him.

This means that sometimes, email just doesn’t cut it.

So what does work then?

Well, it often depends on the client so you may have to try several different avenues.

Try a LinkedIn message

This is an obvious one and it is where most salespeople start. Sometimes this works, but the truth is a lot of people aren’t active on their LinkedIn.

As salespeople, we struggle to believe this because we are on LinkedIn everyday, but for decision makers who are not in sales, they may only check this platform once a month and have turned off email notifications.

Linkedin is a powerful tool, but be aware your message may never even make it to your decision maker.

Engage with them on twitter

It is pretty easy to tell if your decision maker is active on twitter. If so, this can be a good channel to build some initial name recognition and get in the door.

Start by browsing through their feed and look for tweets you can favorite, retweet, or reply to.

Look for something that you can play off of to start a conversation. Asking a question is always a great way to get engagement.

There is no magical script to this, just try to get them engaged and start a conversation that you can eventually grow into something bigger.

Direct Messages with Instagram Videos

If your prospective customers have Instagram accounts for their company or they are publicly active with their personal accounts, then direct messages on Instagram can be extremely powerful.

With Instagram, you can record a 15 second video for the prospect, and send a message of unlimited length. The prospect doesn’t even have to be following you.

When you do this, it does go to an ‘Other’ inbox for messages from people they don’t follow, although they still receive a notification and will get your message.

I have used this tactic time and time again to break into consumer facing brands and up and coming startups.

Facebook Messages to Brands

Especially if you are in marketing, this can be a great way to get through to the marketing team. Often you will find that a marketing manager runs their Facebook page and is responsible for many different aspects of the company’s marketing initiatives.

It’s worth a shot as you will be surprised as to what comes from it. When you send your message, refer back to the same cold email practices I mentioned earlier in this book.

If you don’t catch their attention, then it will still fall on deaf ears.

Oh, and don’t send your decision maker a personal Facebook message unless you already know them, that’s just creepy.

Text their cell phone

This method should only be used in the case that you have had some engagement with a prospect and they have now gone cold. Warning: Do not do this with a prospect who you have never spoken to yet or they have not given you their phone number.

Texting should be reserved only for situations where you have had a phone call or been given the prospect’s phone number.   Warning: If you jump the gun on this contact method, you may come off as a bit of a stalker.

But for prospects with whom you’ve had contact, this can be a great way to cut through the clutter and get their attention.

Send them a personalized video

Turn on your webcam and record a short 30-90 second video that clearly explains your value proposition. When leaving these messages, a great framework to use is Jill Konrath’s voicemail frameworks from ‘Selling to Big Companies’

  1. Establish credibility in the first 1-2 sentences.
  2. Demonstrate the value you can bring to the prospect by projecting what you believe you could do based on your research, or by sharing success stories from past clients who were similar.
  3. Make a simple ask for a 5-10 minute meeting to talk further.

These personal videos take time, but this is a step above and beyond that can win the decision maker over.

Have fun and send them an eCard

I had a prospect go cold on me after some initial interest. Ten follow ups and I heard nothing back from him.

So one day, I sent him the card below.


Within 20 minutes he had replied and introduced me to the person I needed to talk to in order to move the sale forward.

Sometimes you need to do something a little different to catch your decision maker’s attention.

3) Stand out, be unique and send them a physical package

If this prospect really means that much to you, then you may have to go above and beyond digital outreach. At Outbound Creative, this is what my company specializes in, and it works wonders.

We operate on one core principle: If you want to get someone’s attention, stand out and be unique.

How we won the business of a client who was completely unresponsive to digital outreach

For one of my clients, they had a prime prospect who was unresponsive to emails, LinkedIn and social media.

So we sent them a cake. On top of that cake were the words ‘Go to [custom url].’

That custom URL took the prospect to a personal landing page with a personal video made just for them. We used the script described above from the Jill Konrath’s voicemails, and it worked wonders.



Within 48 hours of receiving the cake, we had a positive response from the CEO of the company and were introduced to the individual they would be working with.

Digital didn’t work for this prospect. In a world of so much noise, their messages didn’t cut through the clutter.

But a personalized cake and video, well that did…

Think outside of the box

One of my best clients to date came because I had a bit of fun with reaching out to them. The client was an expat living in Japan who had a very profitable and growing business. I wanted to win him as a client and knew he had a decent sense of humor.

So I sent him a message in a bottle…


Inside the bottle was a piece of paper with a custom URL.  That URL took him to this humorous video that features a personal message from me with some absolutely amazing intro music…


Keith was blown away. This video lead to a great phone call which lead to Keith becoming a paid client of Outbound Creative.

The bottom line

There are many reasons why your prospects may not be responding to your emails.

First, check your messaging to ensure that your value proposition and messaging is worthy of a response.

If you are confident in your emails and still see no response, begin trying other forms of digital engagement.

And lastly, if you still have no response but want to win their business, try a physical package and stand out and be unique.

Some clients will still resist, but if you hit them from all of these different angles you have a better chance than just relying on email.

Break from your normal routine, and try something different this week.

Because if you want to win someone’s attention, stand out and be unique.

Jake Jorgovan is the founder of Outbound Creative and Prospect Scout. Outbound Creative helps agencies win their dream clients through eye-catching outreach. Prospect Scouts helps sales leaders close more deals by researching prospects for them.


Getting Your Emails Delivered (almost) Every Time

You can spend all the time in the world building the perfect list or creating a solid outreach campaign, but if your emails don’t get delivered you’re dead in the water.  Even worse, sometimes you don’t even know that your emails aren’t getting to the inbox.  In this post, you’ll learn how to identify, fix, and prevent any issues with getting your emails delivered every time.

First Line of Defense Against Spam

  1. Go to MX Toolbox to check if you are on any blacklists
  2. GlockApps Spam Test to run your subject lines and email’s content through the app to ensure your emails get to the inbox of your subscribers.
  3. Get your Sender Score at Return Path.  A low score will hurt your deliverability

SPF DKIM BLackList Check

Content filters inspect text, domains, links, and images in your email to determine if your message should be sent through.  They also check the history of your domain as a sender including complaints, blacklists, email engagement.  If you have any black marks against you, and aren’t sending more than 50,000 emails a week, the best way to get back to good is to follow the Do’s and Don’ts laid out below.

Secondary Email Screening

If managing the reputation of your IP Address isn’t enough, Domains and URLs have their own reputations.  A domain blacklist (DBL), also called Uniform Resource Identier (URI) blacklist, looks at the each domain within the email and provides the recipient with an extra layer of protection.

Internet Service Providers (ISP) try to determine your identity and the legitimacy of your email.  At the very least, set up DKIM and SPF so the ISP can cross reference your information and feel more confident about letting your message through.

If you don’t have DKIM or SPF, set them up now!

  • DomainKey Identified Mail (DKIM)
    • DKIM associates a domain name to an email message to create a digital signature.
  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
    • Easy as adding a snippet of text in the DNS.  Ask your developer, it’s a 5 minute project.


Do This Now!

  • Be consistent! Send emails on a regular schedule, but don’t bombard the recipient.
  • Double Opt-Ins = sending a confirmation email to the new subscriber asking them to confirm their email.
  • Include a specific Call To Action (CTA).
  • Honor your unsubscribes.
  • Send re-engagement emails every 6 months (at least) and ask for feedback.
  • Ask your subscribers to white list you by adding your email to their address book.  In gmail, a ‘reply’ automatically adds you to their address book.  Alternatively, ask them to reply to you to get bonus content, like an ebook.
  • Create a subdomain and use it only for email activity.  The subdomain will allow for domain-specific monitoring of your IP reputation which can help you get around domain-based certification filters and avoid harming the deliverability of your tranactional emails.  Alternatively, use an alternate email domain like a .co or .net to separate marketing from sales emails.
  • Filter your email list by the origin of the email address.  Contests or promotions can spike your acquisition rates, but these folks could be just out to get something free, and are the least likely to engage with your over the long term.
  • Include branding in your ‘Name’ to add familiarity to the recipient when they see your message.  (Ryan from SellHack).
  • Follow the CAN–SPAM Act guidelines.
  • Check your grammar and spelling.  This is a components of your spam filter score.
  • Use the recipients first name.  It signals to the spam filter that you actually know the person.
  • If you are sending from an app that sends from your Gmail, be aware of sending restrictions and limits.  (you can tell a 3rd party is sending from Gmail when you see “sent on behalf of” or “sent via” in the email headers).
  • Use “plain text” but if you have to use HTML, make sure it looks and feels like your website.
  • Monitor bounces and have a process from removing them from future campaigns.
  • For new signups, send a welcome message and set expectations for what you will be sending and how often they should expect to hear from you.  Trade an early unsubscribe for a Spam Report in the future.

Don’t Do This

  • Don’t use spam trigger words in the subject or body.  These words are easily flagged by filters routing your message to the Spam folder.
  • Don’t send emails with a high image to text ration.  Even better, don’t include any images if you can avoid it.
  • Don’t use URL Shorteners.  If you want to track your links, hyperlink text and include custom UTM Parameters so you can track in analytics.
  • Don’t try to hid your unsubscribe links.
  • Don’t use ALL CAPS in your email or subject line.  Avoid overusing of weird characters.  Jury is out on emojis/glyphs but lots of folks doing it.
  • Don’t include attachments.  Rather, link to landing pages.
  • Don’t freak out over soft bounces.  Typically this is due to a technical issue you can’t control at the receiving mail server.
  • Don’t use the word ‘Dear’ or a generic salutation.
  • Hard Bounces are most often related to sending to email addresses that aren’t valid.  According to Oracle, “high hard bounce (invalid) rates are the fastest way to trigger filtering and blocking on your new IP.”

So, how do I avoid hard bounces?

Most experienced marketers know how important it is to sanitize their email lists.  People change jobs every few years and if you have been in business for a while chances are a lot of your subscribers are going to be lost.

Don’t let a large campaign with a high bounce rate affect your company’s email deliverability.  Sanitizing your lists is inexpensive and quick relative to the cost of impeded delivery or the time it will take to build up your sender score.

How to Sanitize Your Lists:

Whether you are an existing SellHack client or just finding us for the first time, cleaning your email list is easy.

  1. Export your list to a .CSVEmail Validation Results
  2. Make sure the column with email addresses is labeled Email
  3. Upload this file here and add your credit card
  4. Depending on the file size, you can expect to pay anywhere from $.02-$.01 per email validation
  5. You’ll receive and email from us with a link to download the original file appended with one of the following responses

This domain appears to be an accept-all domain – An Accept -All (catch-all) domain is configured by the receiving mail server to disallow SMTP email verification.  Therefore, we are unsure if the email is valid or invalid.  This response will be the same regardless which email validation service you use to sanitize your list.  Your call…DELETE or KEEP 50/50

Domain appears to be accept-all; verified pattern match – This domain is an Accept-All, but SellHack goes further than any other validator to provide a response ‘pattern match’ where we have a statistically relevant number of VERIFIED emails at this domain which all follow the same pattern.  A valid email, send away.

Domain does not accept emails – These are typically associated with Temporary/Disposable email addresses or someone who didn’t want to be added to your list and entered a bogus email to get access to your content that was gated with an email address.  DELETE this email from your database.

Email address is role based – Someone signed up with an email alias like support@, sales@, info@ etc.  Your call…DELETE or KEEP

Provided email format is invalid – Most likely your email capture form was not configured correctly and allowed the subscriber to enter incorrect/partial information often forgetting the ‘@’ or ‘.com’.  DELETE this email from your database.

This email address is invalid (hard bounce) – This email address is not valid and will bounce if you send to it.  DELETE this email from your database, and use SellHack to go find where the person is working now.

This email address is valid – Yay!  A valid email, send away.

Validity of this email could not be determined – We could not verify the email address and this is often attributed to a ‘soft bounce’ or a technical timeout with the receiving mail server.  Your call…DELETE or KEEP

Have anything to add?  Drop us a note to support@sellhack.com


How To Write Cold Emails That Get Responses

You have 2.7 Seconds to get to the F#cking Point with your emails.

There’s not much that can be accomplished in under three seconds. A spoken sentence, a sneeze, maybe even reaching in your back pocket to grab your phone.

Yet according to email provider ExactTarget, people only take 2.7 seconds to decide if they will read, forward or delete a message. It’s a product of both efficiency and short attention span. In fact, by now you’ve probably already decided whether this blog post is worth your time.

From your standpoint, 2.7 seconds has two implications:

  1. Your prospect’s time, like life itself, is short. Skip the BS and get right to the point with your email.
  2. A hasty decision plays right into your selling wheelhouse.

2.7 seconds to decide if your email gets deleted.

If you’re like most people, chances are you start each morning by sifting through emails on your phone (possibly with coffee in hand), getting caught up on what you missed overnight. 2.7 seconds multiplied by the number of unread emails gives you that first hit of dopamine in the morning and a sense of accomplishment before you’ve even stepped foot in the office.

Creating your sales playbook (or just stealing ours – this is link to ebook) starts with recognizing cold emailing as your ally. Cold emails let you reach anyone, are easy to set up and cost you almost no time or money. They become even easier over time with templates and automation. When done correctly, this method identifies people who are truly interested in your value proposition.

Within 2.7 seconds, your email reader’s mind is likely made up. You’ll learn in short order whether you have a legitimate prospect or whether you should move on to the next opportunity. No maybes or beating around the bush. Now that’s time well spent.

Did you know cold emails can even trump warm referrals? Check out SellHack’s eBook to learn why cold emailing is the key to increasing your sales pipeline. Believe me, we’ll get right to the f#cking point.

Write Emails Than Don’t Suck

You were taught many valuable lessons in school. But the ability to craft incredibly effective emails wasn’t one of them. Some of the best cold emailers I know learned their craft out of necessity. You can’t always buy your way out of a problem, especially when it comes to growing your business. Whether it’s you vs. an incumbent or you vs. other sales reps in your company, know one thing…become an effective emailer and your odds of success will go up.

Since the art of cold emailing isn’t a course offered by any formal schools (at least that I know of) we’re forced to master this ever-important skill while on the job through trial-and-error. Yet, many sales emails prove to be too long and off point, leaving prospects to assume that’s what the salesperson-customer relationship will be like if they decide to engage in a follow-up or actually doing business with you.

Thankfully, SellHack is here to help. The following fundamentals of a sales email are battle-tested and ready to be put to use for contacting your prospects:

Good Cold Email Example


5 Tips You Can Implement Today To Increase Response Rate

  • Make your email less than 90 words: Don’t forget the 2.7-second rule — the length of time it takes for a recipient to decide the fate of an email. Brevity rules the day with sales emails. Address the prospect’s pain points, explain your value proposition and press send.
  • Use two-sentence paragraphs so your email can be scanned: While lengthy paragraphs are appropriate for some types of writing, keep email paragraphs concise. This helps ensure the content will actually be consumed rather than glossed over.
  • Never include more than one link or attachment: While a hyperlink and supporting attachment can serve a purpose, moderation is key. Don’t let your email’s content appear cluttered and distracting.
  • Write like you talk – skip the sales jargon: A conversational tone will put your recipient at ease. Don’t use jargon that could intimidate or confuse, and don’t talk down to your email audience.
  • Proofread before you send: Double check all prospect names and company names. This will save you from embarrassment and prevent you from emailing in vain.

Looking for more advice for improving your email writing skills? You’ve come to the right place.The remainder of SellHack’s cold email essential tips are available here in our eBook.

5 Tips You Can Implement Today To Increase Response Rate. Click To Tweet

Create a Pitch Worth Giving

A literal elevator pitch is crowded, uncomfortable and cluttered with noise…usually it’s you rambling about how great you are. In other words, it’s the polar opposite of your effective email pitch.  Don’t be that person. Get out of the elevator pith mentality.

You’ve committed to growing your business through email. So what happens next?

Admit it: We’ve all shot down numerous pitches in our day, pressing the delete button without hesitation. You’ve likely said “no” to someone personally within the last day or week. Just yesterday, I hit delete on what could possibly be one of the worst emails I ever received. I recovered it from my spam folder and redacted the sender’s information.

Deleted Email Example

Sending emails like this demonstrates three things to the reader:

1) You haven’t taken the time to learn how to write effective email copy.

2) You’re probably a spammer because the sheer volume of emails you have to send to get a response signals you’ve done no research or personalization.

3) Since the email lacks obvious attention to detail, how could I ever trust you or pay you to be responsible for a component of my business?

In order to succeed with your pitch — email or otherwise — you need a unique selling proposition that positions your company’s offering and benefits in a concise, understandable way.

It’s brainstorming time. Write down the No. 1 way you help customers, what problem you solve for them and what outcome you can help them achieve. Hone your valuation proposition such that it’s more specific to a particular prospect.

A spot-on pitch will evoke a perception of value from your email recipient, thereby eliciting a response and the start of what you hope is a productive sales process. It will address your prospect’s pain point while offering a call to action designed to kill the pain.

cold email funnel

The perfect pitch will leave your prospect thinking, “This might be the person who can help me with my problem. I should find out more.”

If your emails are written in a way that can elicit this single thought in your prospect’s mind, you’re on the right path…a digital route that steers clear of claustrophobic elevators.


Ask Yourself: “Would I Reply To This Cold Email?”

When I sit down to write a cold email campaign, I like to write emails that I would respond to. A key component to convey if you want to get me to reply is that ‘there’s no better time than right now.’ Maybe prices are going up significantly or the opportunity cost of my non-action is costing me more money than what I’d be paying for a product or service you offer.

When you prepare to craft your first-point-of-contact email to a prospect. Instill a sense of urgency.

It’s no secret that urgency makes people act. So what is it about the offering you’re going to make to your prospect that will make them act? It might be a temporary pricing discount, it might be the ability to work with you now will put them ahead of their competition, it might be the ability to get exclusivity with you. Whatever your offering is, figure out why your prospect can’t afford to buy it six months from now instead of now.

Your urgency should be matched by your persistence. How often do you intend to email or otherwise reach out to an unresponsive prospect before giving up? Most email marketers wave the white flag too soon, as research indicates many people don’t respond until the sixth time they’re contacted.

Even if your individual email response rate suffers due to persistent efforts, it’s worth it to ensure an eventual close. Response rates for each email in a campaign is a vanity metric. It may help you gauge whether the A/B variant is better, or if the email should be moved up or back in your campaign, but for the most part it means nothing.   Look at your response rate in aggregate. Meaning, evaluate the number of responses you received over the lifetime of the campaign compared to the number of prospects you contacted.   Most of us give up to early, expecting a prospect to reply after the first attempt. But, as more and more professionals adopt a cold emailing strategy, the bar is going to get raised if you want to be effective.


drip cadence email


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7 Ways to Stay CAN-SPAM Compliant

For those of us who send unsolicited emails and wonder or have been accused of sending SPAM, here’s 7 ways to ensure your are NOT sending spam.

There are more details in a post I did on LinkedIn here: linkd.in/1GcWUPr

tl;dr below

  1. Don’t use false or misleading contact info
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines
  3. If your email is an ad, then label it as such
  4. Tell the recipient your address
  5. Give recipients a way to opt out
  6. Honor opt outs
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf

For more info, check out this PDF from the FTC.  Now, go find some emails and try this out!

– Ryan O’Donnell