Cold Email Breakdowns

Book More Meetings Using The REPLY Method

What's In This Guide?

The biggest challenges salespeople share with us almost always have to do with messaging.

“What should I say?”

“How long should the email be?”

“It takes me forever to write an email.”

Any of those sound familiar?

In this guide, we break down 10 cold emails using a process we invented called the REPLY Method.

The REPLY Method was created from our own challenges in writing thousands of cold emails for our clients.

We needed a process that was repeatable, but also got results. The REPLY Method does just that.

REPLY stands for:

Results

Prospects want to see tangible results you’ve created for similar companies with similar challenges. Share case studies and testimonials that are relevant to the prospect’s business goals.

Empathy

Take the time to research your prospect’s goals, fears, and challenges in relation to your product/service. Mention those in your messaging.

Personalization

The first 1-2 lines of the first email should be personalized. Make it obvious to the prospect you didn’t send out a mass email using a template.

Laser-Focus

Be concise. Less than 120 words in 3-5 sentences is ideal. Make sure your call-to-action is specific and easy to respond to.

You

Use “you” and “your” more times in your email than “I” and “we.” Make it about the prospect, not your product/service.

Our goal with this guide is that you don’t repeat the same mistakes the salespeople who sent these cold emails made.

Email #1

Cold Email Breakdown #1 - Blissful Prospecting

From:

A salesperson at a 50-person company that provides influencer marketing services to large consumer brands and startups (this already disqualifies us as a client because we don't sell B2C).

Here's my feedback as their prospect:

  1. Subject line isn't targeted or personalized. Use my name or company, and make it related to how you help.
  2. Don't use my last name in the opener. It reaks of a mass blast email.
  3. Don't open with WHAT you do, focus on the RESULTS you create: "We help large consumer brands increase the conversions of their digital marketing campaigns by XXX%." This is known as a value prop.
  4. Again, don't make it about "creating marketing campaigns" and "killer content." This is an opportunity to empathize with me: "If you're having challenges with the rising costs of paid advertising, we might be able to help out."
  5. Avoid slang like "lemme know." I err on the side of being casual, but that's a little too casual even for me. A promise of it being "useful and not boring" isn't enough. What VALUE will I take away from the call?

Want to see more feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn here.

Email #2

Cold Email Breakdown #2 - Blissful Prospecting

From:

An SDR at a 60-ish person company that provides bookkeeping and tax services for small businesses.

Here's my feedback as their prospect:

  1. Be straightforward. Try “Bookkeeping at Blissful Prospecting” or “Jason, is bookkeeping a pain in the @ss?”
  2. Replace with something personalized. If you’re doing this at scale and we’re not a big account, remove this line completely.
  3. Remove.
  4. “Companies like yours” is lazy. If we’re an “agency” say that you help agencies under 10 employees. Make this email relatable. Share a case study with RESULTS from a similar company you’ve helped. How much time are they saving? My biggest challenge (well not mine, because we have a great accountant 😀) is balancing the books every month and budgeting for taxes. Mention the challenges you notice in similar companies you work with. Empathize with me.
  5. Remove.
  6. For what? Try: “When are you free for 15 minutes to chat?”

Want to see more feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn here.

Email #3

Cold Email Breakdown #3 - Blissful Prospecting

From:

This email is from the founder of a company that helps individuals and organizations implement mindfulness solutions.

Here's my feedback as their prospect:

  1. Interesting subject line. I thought this was a legal notice.
  2. Avoid words that trigger spam filters like "dear." Keep it simple with "hi" or "hey."
  3. "Click here" will also trigger spam filters. But what I despise most about this email is the lack of authenticity. You tried to make me feel that this email and letter was just for me. The PDF link led me to a generic handwritten letter. You could have played this off if you were honest about the outreach being templated.
  4. Again, misleading. Even if I was interested in your services, I wouldn't want to talk to you because you've misled me. Focus on the value props. How does mindfulness improve our business? Our productivity? Our goals? You have tangible results on your website, share them!
  5. The word "unsubscribe" triggers spam filters. Avoid using that word in the email.

Be upfront in your outreach. Honesty is better than trickery.

Want to see more feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn here.

Email #4

Cold Email Breakdown #4 - Blissful Prospecting

From:

This email is from a membership group for entrepreneurs under 45. They have several thousand members and have been recognized by media outlets like Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Mashable.

Here's my feedback as their prospect:

  1. Unless we already have a rapport, "Meeting request" is a bit aggressive in the subject line. Try, "Do you qualify, Jason?" or "I'm not sure if you qualify, Jason, but..."
  2. Remove. I know that I'm busy, and I evaluate every cold email I receive. If you're an "invitation-only" community, why me? How were we selected?
  3. What are the benefits of your program? How have other companies like Blissful Prospecting benefitted? If I saw relatable companies or tangible results your members achieve, it would compel a response.
  4. Offering a meeting link doesn't create prestige. It does the opposite. Try, "We're pretty selective with our members, but your LinkedIn profile stuck out to me. Any chance you're interested in discussing how you could benefit from our community?"

Want to see more feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn here.

Email #5

Cold Email Breakdown #5 - Blissful Prospecting

From:

This email is from a marketing agency with 11+ employees. They've been in business since 2008 and have a great portfolio.

Here's my feedback as their prospect:

  1. Never use "follow up" in the email. You "following up" doesn't add any value to me. Keep the email on the same thread if you're following up on a previous message because I won't search for your email from two months ago.
  2. Remove this sentence. It's not necessary to preface what you're doing or why you're doing it. Get to the point.
  3. I'm not from North Carolina, so I don't care if you are. What results do you create for your clients? There are thousands of marketing agencies. What's your speciality?
  4. Instead of linking to your entire portfolio, what companies can you point to specifically that are most similar to us?
  5. It doesn't look like you have a very good understanding of our company or the value you could provide us. Try being less assumptive with the call-to-action and ask me a question like, "Are you open to chatting about your marketing challenges?"

Want to see more feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn here.

Liking the guide so far?

Make sure to check out the REPLY Method guide so you can write effective cold emails. 

Email #6

Cold Email Breakdown #6 - Blissful Prospecting

From:

This email is from a SaaS company doing market research for their Urgent Care scheduling software. Their prospect is Office Managers.

Here's my feedback as their prospect:

  1. Remove. Cut the word count down to 70-100 (you're at 230+). Don't force me to skim the email. I'll delete it. Make the email short enough for me to read in a few seconds.
  2. I don't care about your job. What's in this for me? What other Urgent Cares have already taken the survey? I don't want to be your guinea pig.
  3. The gift card is not compelling enough. My biggest challenge is that I don't have enough time in the day to get everything done. The benefit of the survey is that it allows you to build a product that will save time or make my job easier. Focus on that. The gift card isn't the offer, it's the cherry on top.
  4. Remove.
  5. What do you want me to do? Take a survey? Hop on a call with you? Ask me a question I can easily respond to: "Are you interested in chatting about how we might be able to make your job less stressful?"

Want to see more feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn here.

Email #7

Cold Email Breakdown #7 - Blissful Prospecting

From:

This email was received by our client, a digital agency focusing on Drupal web development. The company who emailed them is 11+ employees and builds software and mobile apps.

Here's my feedback as their prospect:

  1. Subject line is too generic. What is the goal of your email? To partner up? If so, put "partnership" into the subject line, and use my first name.
  2. Remove this sentence. Don't say "float my email back up" or "follow up" in a follow up email. It doesn't compel me to take action and it takes up valuable real estate in the email.
  3. It's great that you've worked with Google and Amazon, but what did you help them accomplish? Why do they continue working with you? Share a result I care about...cost savings, speed of delivery, or increase in revenue.
  4. Asking a company to share their product roadmap in a cold email is a huge ask. Don't ask where you can add value, it's too open-ended. Make it easier for me to respond with a "yes" or “no." Try this CTA: "Is helping you [achieve XXX result] worth a chat?"
  5. Remove.

Want to see more feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn here.

Email #8

Cold Email Breakdown #8 - Blissful Prospecting

From:

I received this email from an 11+ employee agency specializing in B2B lead generation.

Here's my feedback as their prospect:

  1. Generic subject line. Add my first name. You can also try a variation of [your company] <> Blissful Prospecting.
  2. Don't open with a question. It reads like a sales page. Replace the first paragraph with something personalized. Doing this would likely discourage you from sending this email since we do appointment setting 😎
  3. I want to see one sentence with companies you've helped. And another sentence with tangible results you've created for them. If your service outperforms other marketing methods, show me how. Is it more cost-effective? Does it convert better? Does it increase our average revenue per client? Do you have a unique perspective or approach? Many companies do appointment setting. What sets you apart?
  4. Ask a question instead. I would respond to something like, "Interested in discussing how we might be able to help you help your clients?"

Want to see more feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn here.

Email #9

Cold Email Breakdown #9 - Blissful Prospecting

From:

I received this email from a 10+ employee agency specializing in content marketing services.

Here's my feedback as their prospect:

  1. This subject line worked 6 months ago, but too many people are using it now. The smiley face is unique, but include my first name and I'm more inclined to open the email: "Jason, great connecting on LinkedIn"
  2. You don't have to say, "I wanted to send over a quick introduction." Introduce yourself and get right to it. Why did you decide to reach out to me? Did you do your research? Show me.
  3. I have no idea what you're referring to. I never expressed interest in your services, and I'm not going to open up LinkedIn to check out our chat convo. What do you do? How do you help businesses like ours? Use this sentence to share more about who you help, and how you've helped them...preferably companies similar ours.
  4. The scheduling link is too assumptive. End with a CTA framed as a question: "Are you having any content marketing challenges at the moment?" Or, "Interested in talking further?"

Want to see more feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn here.

Email #10

Cold Email Breakdown #10 - Blissful Prospecting

From:

I received this email from a 60+ employee SaaS company specializing in agency reporting dashboards.

Here's my feedback as their prospect:

  1. I don't refer to myself as a "digital marketing professional." We don't run a marketing agency or use Google AdWords / Facebook Ads. Know how I talk about our industry and business in OUR language. If you can't get this right, I have no confidence that you understand our business.
  2. Call out a specific result you can create for us. "On average, our clients are able to grow their business by XXX% ." OR "Our clients are increasing their profit margins per client by XXX% on average using our tool."
  3. Choose a case study that's relatable to our business or industry. When I see "digital marketing agency for flooring" I immediately wonder, "What does this have to do with me?"
  4. Don't lead with price. Without a pitch or sales page, I have no idea if that's cost-effective or not.
  5. Put the scheduling link in the PS or ask if you can send over times to talk. It's less assumptive and converts better.

Want to see more feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn here.

Want more?

Need help with your cold emails? Let's chat.