How to Send Cold Business Introduction Emails [with examples]

business introduction emailsThe first time I sent a bunch of cold business introduction emails, it was a complete disaster.

My email didn’t just land in the spam box. It annoyed my contact so much that he emailed back asking me to never bother him again.

Since then, I’ve sent out hundreds of cold business introduction emails. Some of these landed in the spam folder. Most didn’t earn any replies. But quite a few of them ended up as leads and eventually, new clients.

This is the cold hard truth about running an agency: you will have to write cold emails to win deals.

I’ll show you everything I’ve learned about writing deal-winning introductory emails in this post.

My Business Introduction Email Process

One of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs make when it comes to cold email is to approach it without a fixed plan or process.

They make a half-baked list of prospects, send out a few business introduction emails from a template, then give up when they don’t get any replies.

Truth: every successful cold intro emailing campaign follows a process:

  • Find a suitable niche.
  • Make a high-quality list of prospects.
  • Zero down on your value proposition.
  • Create a handful of kick-ass templates.
  • Send a few initial emails from each template to track results.
  • Use the most successful template for the rest of the campaign.
  • Track results and fine-tune the template accordingly.

It’s not exactly rocket science, but it does involve some strategic thinking.

I’ll show you how to do all of the above below.

Step 1: Create a List of Prospects

Look:

Cold emailing success is less about what you write in an email.

Instead, it’s more about who you write to.

It’s far easier to target businesses whose needs align with your agency’s expertise.

This is why if I had 10 hours to spend on a cold business introduction emails campaign, I would spend 8 hours just on building a prospect list.

Here’s how I build my prospect list.

1. Find a Niche and Create Segments

Ask any successful agency CEO about the secret of their success and they’ll say the same thing:

“Specialization.”

As Steve Ayers of Rocket55 says:

“I believe agencies should focus on being the best at something.”

This advice is particularly apt for cold emailing. You need to pick a niche, then divide it further into segments.

Niching down is important since every business has different needs. What works for a $10M/year SaaS business is not the same as that for a new SaaS startup.

By segmenting my list, I can create highly targeted templates that speak to each prospect.

2. How to Find Your Niche

My “niching down” approach has two steps:

  1. Find an underserved niche where businesses can benefit from your expertise.
  2. Create segments based on the business’ location, revenues, size, an area of focus, location, needs, etc.

For example, my agency targets SaaS businesses looking to turn content into leads and customers.

This would be my “niche” for a cold business introduction emails campaign. I would divide this niche further into multiple segments, such as:

  • Established SaaS businesses (5+ years and/or $5M+ in yearly revenues)
  • New SaaS businesses (< 1 year in business)
  • SaaS businesses founded by solopreneurs
  • Funded SaaS businesses
  • Bootstrapped SaaS startups

You can also create segments based on any business need you identify during prospect research.

For instance, if I find that a business does not have a blog, I might create a separate segment for “SaaS businesses without blogs”.

This way, I can send different business introduction emails to bootstrapped startups looking to get started vs. established startups looking to scale.

I like to use Google Sheets for managing my prospect lists. I create a single main tab for all prospects, then add separate tabs for each segment. In the main list, I’ll have fields for each segment qualifying criteria.Image_0

I’ll add each prospect I find in the main list as well as any applicable segment.

This helps me keep track of the conversion rates for each segment.

3. Find Target Businesses

Once you’ve zeroed in on a niche and created your segments, it’s time to find businesses and their contact information.

Some ways to do this are:

I can’t give you a one-tool-fits-all solution; each niche is different.

Once you have a list of companies, pop them into your spreadsheet. Add them to your main prospect list as well as the segment they fit into.

You might have to create additional segments based on your research (example: you find a number of businesses without blogs).

4. Find Contact Information

Next step: find a decision maker in the business and his/her email address. Look at the business’ about page or dig through LinkedIn.

For larger companies, you want to at least hit someone at the manager level and ask them to direct you to the right contact.

For smaller companies and startups, you can usually email VP/C-level execs directly.

To find email addresses, pick from any one of these tools: Hunter.ioInterseller.ioAnyMailFinderVoilaNorbertDatanyze Insider, and ClearBit.

I typically use Hunter.io if I want to quickly the email pattern used at a company. Just pop in the domain and Hunter.io will show you a list of contacts and the email pattern used:

Image_1

If you want more power and accuracy, stick to SellHack, Datanyze or ClearBit.

Pop these emails into your spreadsheet as well.

Step 2: Develop Your Value Proposition

Unless you’re Steve Jobs with a side of Billy Mays, you’re going to have a hard time selling your services to businesses that don’t want them.

This is why the next step should be to develop a value proposition for each segment.

I truly believe this is more important than fine-tuning your email templates. Persuasive language can’t overcome a weak offer.

Start by researching a few businesses in each segment.

Look for:

  • Technical shortcomings that you can help with.
  • Missed marketing opportunities such as no social media presence, lack of on-site content, etc. (if you’re a marketing firm).
  • “80% done” problems: Businesses that are trying to do something you specialize in, but aren’t able to do a fully professional job of it – i.e. they are only “80% done”. For example, a business that blogs often, but doesn’t have a good copy, titles, cover images, etc.
  • Fundamental issues based on the business’ current size and product.

For example, if I have a segment for “recently funded SaaS businesses”, I know that these businesses a) need explosive growth, b) have budgets to scale and c) have internal marketing teams.

Based on this, I might offer them a solution that uses Facebook advertising with a scalable growth hacking tactic.

For bootstrapped SaaS businesses, I might offer an affordable “hands-off” marketing solution that respects bootstrapped businesses’ lack of time and budgets.

I like to develop multiple value propositions for each segment. This way, I can test out different offers and see what works.

You can add separate columns for each segment in your spreadsheet and note down your value proposition(s).

Step 3: Learn How to Start a Business Email

This is probably the most important part when it comes to sending cold emails.

If you scr*w up – nobody will ever open your email:

  • If your Open Rate is low – nobody opens and reads your emails
  • If your Open Rate is high – people love your subject lines

And here’s how to create an awesome subject line and email opener:

1. Personalize the Subject Line

Personalization is one of the most important things you can do to improve open rates. One study found that effective personalization can improve open rates by as much as 42%.

Image_2

You can personalize by mentioning the target’s name, his company’s name or his website address.

My best results are from using the website address without the .com (think “Linkody” instead of “Linkody.com”). I reckon this has to do with the fact that addresses with the .com make your email appear auto-generated.

Usually, I’ll take a straightforward subject line and add some personalization to it, like:

For newly acquired leads:

  • “Lunch?”
  • “Was a pleasure to meet”
  • “Beers on me – deal?”
  • “Your rock – let’s meet”

The subject line for the sales team:

  • “How about a [book] for?”
  • “4=50% growth in 6 months – can you handle it?”
  • “You need Facebook ads!”
  • “Greetings from [company]”

Job search subject lines:

  • “Me + [company] = match made in heaven”
  • “Need some [job title]?”
  • “I noticed [company’s] hiring a [job title]”

Newsletter subject lines:

  • “Help to turn [Linkody’s] readers into customers”
  • “Capture more leads from [Linkody’s] blog”
  • “[Linkody] marketing manager email?”

2. Tailor your greeting to the industry and situation.

If people get this far – good job, your subject line did the job.

Now you have to address them properly.

Here it’s important to know how greetings should change from industry to industry and from person to person:

  1. “Dear Mr. Jenkins”  – When you know the name – this is a formal way to address a person in rather conservative industries, such as banking, universities, government, finance, etc.
  2. “Dear Sir or Madam”, “To Whom It May Concern” – When you don’t know the name. The same as in the previous example, this is a formal way to address someone and used in conservative industries.
  3. “Hi”, “Hello”, “Hey”, “Hello James,” – These days, it is a common way how to address someone 80% of the time. In tech, travel, fashion, marketing, SEO, media, consulting, and many other industries, this is how you would start the email.

Note: always be nice and polite, try to demonstrate as much as possible that you are a great person.

Next step, would be to create the email itself.

Step 4: Create Your Business Introduction Email Templates

There are three ways you can approach cold emailing:

  • A personalized approach, where you send highly personalized business introduction emails to each prospect.
  • Templatized approach, where you use a standard template with minimal personalization.
  • A hybrid approach, where you personalize parts of your business introduction emails template.

I prefer to prioritize my prospects based on their value and likelihood of conversion. For high-value prospects, I use a heavily personalized approach. For low-value targets, I send a simple templatized mail.

For the majority of prospects, however, I use a hybrid approach. This usually means personalizing a single line in the template to make it feel more authentic.

I’ll show you how to create and personalize business introduction emails templates below.

1. Learn How to Introduce Yourself in an Email

You don’t!

That’s also the secret to introducing yourself.

I just had to include this section because there are so many people that think they matter and they have to send these paragraph-long descriptions of what they do.

That’s how you lose the prospect.

I usually introduce myself in the second or third paragraph – it’s necessary, but far from being the most important information on the email you are sending.

“My name is XYZ and I am CEO of YVZ” – ideally, that’s it.

If it’s hard to get from company’s name what you guys do – use max. 3-4 words to explain that.

That’s it.

2. Be Straightforward

Surprisingly, being clear and upfront works better for subject lines than packing in a heap of copywriting tricks.

You don’t have to take my word for it – MailChimp’s research found the same (the new link is down, but here’s an archived copy).

Straightforward emails work because they pack in essential information into the subject line itself. Recipients don’t have to read the body copy to decide whether they want to go further or not.

This approach works particularly well for emailing busy people (think founders, C-level folks, etc.).

The downside is that if your value proposition isn’t strong enough, your target might delete the email without reading it.

To use this subject line, describe your value proposition or core idea in as few words as possible.

Something like:

“I’ll help you turn blog readers into customers”

“Capture more leads from your blog”

“Marketing manager email?”

3. Evoke Curiosity

With this approach, you share incomplete information in the subject line to evoke the target’s curiosity.

Something like this:

Image_3

Just kidding!

If you’re going to use this approach, be subtle about it.

Try something like this:

“Quick question”

“Quick suggestion”

“A quick favor?”

“Short ask – will take under 30 seconds” (this one got me a lot of replies when I was emailing some very busy people for feedback about an idea. I mixed in a specific number as well – “will take just 17.1 seconds”).

This subject line format doesn’t tell the reader much, which is precisely why it works. If it piqued your interest, you’ll have no option but to actually read the email.

Don’t add personalization to this approach. It can backfire. For some reason, personalized curiosity-evoking subject lines feel like something a spammer would send (“quick question, Puranjay”).

As with everything else related to cold email, experiment. Try out different ideas to see what sticks. Every niche, every industry, every prospect list is different. There is no one-subject-line-fits-all solution.

4. Create a stellar business introduction email

The email body is less important than you think.

Sure, you can’t ramble on for 10 paragraphs. But if you’ve done your prospecting right and zoomed in on your value proposition, you can get away with a subpar email template.

Plenty of people have covered this topic in detail before – Pipetop and CriminallyProlific are my two favorite resources – so I won’t go in-depth here.

My best advice for cold business introduction emails is to:

  • Keep it short: Anything beyond 5-6 paragraphs is too long. I try to wrap everything within 5-6 sentences. The busier your target, the shorter your email should be.
  • Make your first line about them: “I love your pancake recipes”, “people like you make the world a better place”, etc.
  • Explain why you’re reaching out and provide value to them: Recommend a useful strategy to deal with their problems for Free, suggest an app, tool, or a good read, etc.
  • Talk about your solution/results, not yourself: Unless you’ve won a Nobel prize, don’t talk much about who you are.
  • Make the business introduction emails easy to reply to: Try to close with yes/no type questions.
    • ADD A CALL TO ACTION
  • Close the email on a good note: Be SUPER nice when ending the email.

4.1. The Company’s Introduction Email Template

Most of my emails follow this structure:

Hi [First Name]

[Personalized leading statement – optional. Use this only if you’re taking the personalized route. I prefer it since it exponentially increases the chance of getting a response]

[Your introduction. Make this relevant to the recipient. Don’t talk about how you help Fortune 500 companies when you’re emailing bootstrapped startups.]

[Your core value proposition. This should essentially be your 1-sentence pitch.]

[Social proof/results – if any. Works best if the results are from a company they might have heard of]

[Call to action. For your first email, keep the ask to a minimum. Don’t push a sale, just try to get a reply]

[Your name]

4.2. Business Introduction Email Samples

When you use the structure that’s outlined in the previous section, here are 2 samples that you can use depending on your situation.

The sample for Technical Shortcomings

Hi John,

I noticed that your page’s organic traffic is dropping for the last couple of months.

I run GrowthPub where I work with companies like Acme Inc. and help them to boost their organic traffic.

After a quick research, I think, I know how to fix that.

Previously, we executed a similar strategy that could help you and we boosted blog’s traffic by 221%.

I’ve got some great ideas that can help Acme Inc. get similar results.

Is this something you’d be interested in?

Warmest Regards,

Puranjay

The sample for Missed Marketing Opportunities

Hi Rob,

Saw your comment on Tim’s blog. Totally agree that startups need to focus on scalable growth instead of one-off tactics.

I run GrowthPub where I work with companies like Acme Inc. turn their blog readers into customers.

I noticed that while you have a blog, you don’t have any lead magnets or opt-in forms to turn readers into customers.

I recently worked with MegaCorp to create a set of lead magnets that helped them capture 204% more leads.

I’ve got some great ideas that can help Acme Inc. get similar results.

Is this something you’d be interested in?

Warmest Regards,

Puranjay

I’ve highlighted the personalized bits above. Except for the opening statement, you can personalize the rest of the email quite easily.

Most people would at least reply back that they’re interested in hearing more.

The good part is that you can personalize this template at scale.

On top of that, depending on the problem you help companies to solve this email structure is almost guaranteed to bring some sales.

How can you say No to that?

Step 5: You are as Good as the Software you Use

Finding the right email delivery tool is crucial – some have high delivery right, some shi*y, some are great for cold outreach, but others can help you to create personalized email sequences.

And the best things is – we have tested every emailing tool out there to recommend you the best of the best.

Down below there are the top-2 tools that can do all of the above really well.

1. Get GetResponse

This is one of the top email delivery tools out there.

GetResponseGetResponse is a complete emailing tool. It provides everything one might need for sending business introduction emails:

  • newsletter publishing and hosting features to nurture leads
  • unlimited follow-up autoresponders,
  • landing pages,
  • webinars,
  • marketing automation,
  • last but not least, CRM to deliver information to your contacts and convert them to paying customers.

Through responsible and fully automated list hygiene, anti-spam practices, and established relationships with major Internet service providers and email service providers, GetResponse prides itself on the highest possible email deliverability to ensure that your messages get through to your prospective customers.

The platform delivers over 5 billion emails each year in 172 countries. GetResponse is fully scalable and capable of handling both small and very large lists (1+ million subscribers).

GetResponse in highlights:

  • Over 100,000 active accounts
  • 30-day free trial
  • Deliverability of up to 68% higher than our competitors
  • Unlimited emails
  • Powerful, automatic message personalization
  • Smart tracking features

What benefits does it bring? 

  • Catches lost sales and jolts your leads into profitable action
  • Boosts your lead generation and business-building results
  • Chops away tedious and repetitious email marketing tasks

On top of that, when you sign up for an account with GetResponse, you will be supported every step of the way by their excellent customer support and materials (context help, user guides, FAQs, and video tutorials).

So, try GetResponse today and find out how you can instantly get tangible, measurable results without wasting your time or investing a lot of money.

2. Ninjaoutreach

Let’s imagine you have list of websites that you want to contact – wouldn’t it be great if you could contact them all at once without even finding the email addresses?

That’s exactly what Ninjaoutreach can help you with.

Collect or scrape as many websites as you want, add them to Ninjaoutreach, create your email sequence and schedule the campaign. Ninja will take care of the rest – from finding emails to sending cold email outreach campaigns.

Simple, huh?
A ninja wastes no time

In case you need more info on how to execute automated cold outreach for your business – here’s a detailed guide.

And the best part is Ninjaoutreach offers 14-day Free trial for you to see if this is the tool you are looking for.

Step 6: Personalize the Templates and Track Results

The final step is to personalize business introduction emails templates and track the results.

Both GetResponse and Ninjaoutreach are brilliant in this sense – personalization are one of their strong suits.

Some of the basic personalization methods include – “First Name” – {{First Name}}, “Company Name” – {{Company Name}}, and even their website’s URL {{URL}}

Do this for all the personalized information you want to include. And in the end, you’ll have a template like this:

Image_7

You can then choose to send a test email to yourself before activating the sequence.

Once activated, both tools will send out a personalized email to every contact in the list.

The good part about GetResponse and Ninjaoutreach is that:

  • You can personalize each email in the sequence before it goes out. This is incredibly powerful if you want to use the personalized approach.
  • These tools track opens/clicks for each email automatically.

Mail merge + personalization acts almost like a superpower. You can send out hundreds of emails in a few hours and have each email still feel personalized.

Do this with a solid list of prospects and your pipeline will never be short of leads.

The Key Takeaways

There’s a lot to digest in this post. While not foolproof, this business introduction emails writing process is both effective and scalable.

Here’s what you should take away from this post:

  • Make prospecting your no. 1 priority. A good list of prospects is worth 10x than any copywriting tricks for the email body.
  • Write down your core value proposition and 1-sentence pitch before you start emailing.
  • Use a straightforward subject line that emphasizes your value proposition.
  • Keep emails short – 5-8 sentences at most. Focus on the benefits and results, not yourself.
  • Add a personalized line before each business introduction emails to dramatically increase response rates.
  • Use mail merge to create hundreds of personalized emails quickly.

Feel free to share your main takeaways from sending business introduction emails?

 

 


profileThis post was created by Puranjay. He runs GrowthPub, a content-focused growth marketing agency. Moreover, he blogs about CRO, content marketing and growth hacking at GrowthSimple. When not nerding out over marketing, he likes to fiddle around with Ableton and his guitar.

 

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9 thoughts on “How to Send Cold Business Introduction Emails [with examples]

  1. Thanks for this opportunity Helvijs!

    To readers: feel free to ask any question you have about outreach and cold email. I’ll monitor this thread and jump in and answer as quickly as I can.

  2. Nice but for Lead Generation Use some tools.I have used few tools for my business for growth hacking like AeroLeads, rainClutch , Rapportive and these tools help me a lot.

  3. That’s a great read Puranjay. By the way, I’ve used a few lead generation tools from your list, but recently came across Oxyleads and I have to say as an overall product it’s without any hesitation the best one I’ve used.

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