B2B cold emailing [FREE 1 hour crash course]

by Ramin Assemi

Want to learn how to fill your sales pipeline with qualified B2B leads, set appointments and close deals? Here's the full recording of our 1 hour B2B cold email course—Steli shares some of his best tips and strategies on using emails to make sales.

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Presentation slides

Here's the full transcript.

Transcript

Intro: Why are we even discussing cold emails?

All righty guys, let’s get started. So, super excited about the webinar today on how to crush it with cold emails. It seems like it has never been a more relevant topic. I mean, just measured by the sheer amount of cold emails I get personally every single day, I think there are lots to be learned out there. There are lots of lessons we can learn, lots of best practices we can adapt, mistakes we can avoid. And ultimately, cold emails can be a deadly weapon to help you crush it in your market, help you grow, get customers, get revenue, and ultimately succeed with anything that you do.

What I’m going to do today is I’m going to give you—start out by giving you a little bit of context on who I am, why I know a thing or two about cold emails, why I care, then I’m going to jump into the basics of cold emails. And when I talk basics, I’m not talking basics that you guys already know. I’m talking basics [that] you know but you probably either avoid or don’t take as seriously as you should. So we’re going to go through some really important, crucial steps that you need to take and make right, not to be dead in the water from the get-go with your cold emails, not to have a cold email dead in the water before you even hit the send button.

So, we’re going to go through the basics and then I’m going to share some more advanced shit. So I’m going to show you a killer cold email I received—or my co-founder actually received just yesterday. I’m going to give you as fresh of an example of a good cold email as I can. We’re going to discuss the anatomy of it and why it’s so effective.

I’m going to share some, you know, amazing cold email hack that one of, if not the, fastest SaaS startup in history is utilizing today. You would not hear this anywhere else. If you don’t work at that company, you won’t know what they do to be so successful. I’m going to share with you the hack today exclusively and I’m going to give you some real killer tools on how to get anyone’s and everyone’s email that you want to reach out and how to think about and how to execute a cold email strategy that kills.

All right. So let’s jump right into giving you guys some context. And as I said, as you have questions, comments, feedback, please use the chat window in real time to post these things. I have about 40 minutes of content for you and then we’re going to do 20 minutes of Q&A. So the more questions I’ve piled in the chat, the more value and the more content we’re going to be able to churn out. I’m going to jump right into your questions right after the presentation.

Who is Steli Efti?

All right. Let’s get rocking and rolling. So, my name is Steli Efti, originally from Greece, grew up in Germany, used to joke that I have the best that Europe has to offer. It’s more about, you know, the two cultural opposites, united in one person. I dropped out of high school to start my first business and I’ve never had a real job in my life. I’ve been a serial entrepreneur my entire life.

Eight years ago, I sold everything I had. I bought a one-way ticket to Silicon Valley and I started my first tech company. My first tech business was a huge soul-crushing, catastrophic, defeat and failure. I’ve learned a lot about that. And the second business that I started in Silicon Valley became a very, very big success and that’s the business that I’m running today. And that’s the business that’s most relevant to why I care about cold emails and why I know a thing or two about it.

Silicon Valley’s best kept secret

So, let me tell you just a few things about that business. When we originally started, we started as ElasticSales. And ElasticSales, what we did is we offered B2B SaaS startups in Silicon Valley that were venture-backed an outsourced sales team on demand. So, we would do sales for, you know, we did sales for over 200 venture-backed startups in Silicon Valley, some of the most amazing brands you know, companies you admire.

We were their virtual sales force. We would send cold emails, make cold calls, close customers, and drive massive growth for them and represent them to the customer in a way that was invisible.

So the customer didn’t know. Nobody knew that ElasticSales existed other than CEOs in Silicon Valley and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. So we jumped it for a while. We were the “best kept secret” in the Valley. And we had this massive kind of sales lab in the heart of Silicon Valley:

  • Testing out all kinds of sales technologies, methodologies, tactics, strategies
  • Seeing what works and what doesn’t work
  • How to build scalable and predictable sales models for new technology companies
  • And also talking to everyone and anyone in B2B, learning about everyone’s problems, about everyone’s ideas, solutions, hacks.

So we accumulated an insane amount of knowledge. Our salespeople alone, during the ElasticSales time, sent millions, millions of cold emails. So we have a shit ton of experience when it comes to cold email and just from doing it for our customers.

The secret sauce

Now, one funny thing that happened is that from day one, we built a little internal tool called Close.io. We used to call it our “secret sauce.” It was internal sales software that allowed our salespeople to outperform other sales people. It allowed them to be better at cold calling and making sales calls. It allowed them to be a lot better in sending sales emails. So it was a communication tool or a CRM with a high communication and inside sales focus.

That tool at the beginning, we wanted it just to be an internal tool that empowers our people to be really, really effective. But over time, it became so good that we decided to release it as Close.io in January 2013. And that little software grew so fast that within a year, it was a much bigger business than the services business, although it had not even a tenth of the employee count.

So at the end of 2013, we decided to fully focus on Close.io, and that’s all we do today. Close.io is a CRM that’s focused on inside sales that has VoIP built-in so you can make calls, receive calls, and really kill it on sales calls within the CRM.

It has email integrated in a way that’s the most powerful email integration in CRM today. You could send bulk emails so just write one email draft and send it to multiple people. You can set follow-up reminders. You could do all kinds of crazy things and all email communications. It doesn’t matter if you send it through Close.io or your Gmail account or any other email client. It’s automatically and magically tracked.

When you create a new lead in Close.io, we bring in all the historic communication that you ever had with that person within your Close.io lead timeline. It’s beautiful. So it’s really made for inside sales tools.

And within Close.io today, we are highly profitable. We are growing really fast. But one little nugget that you need to know is that our customers—and we have thousands of customers around the world—our customers are sending literally tens of millions of cold emails. This is the cold emails, not the warm ones, cold emails [they’re sending] through our system every single month. So we know a thing or two about cold emails and we deeply care about doing cold emails right, especially because the amount of startups that started using cold emails is going up rapidly. The amount of cold emails I get is going up rapidly and the quality is going down dramatically.

This webinar’s goals

So, what I’m going to try to do today in this webinar is:

  • Share the best practices.
  • Teach you how to avoid the common mistakes.
  • And give you some cutting edge shit that people do today, not a year ago, not ten years ago but right now to crush it with emails.
  • And [I] hope to raise everyone’s game and make the world a better place by sending better emails.

The Startup Sales Success Email Course

Let’s get almost started right into it. So guys, we love email, we teach through email, we sell through email. If you’re not on the 30-day Startup Sales Success Email Course that we have, make sure to be on that thing. It’s free. If you go to Close.io/free-sales-course, you can type in your first name and email address and you will get an amazing amount of content from me on how to create a predictable and scalable sales model for your startup today.

You’re sending cold emails to the wrong person

All right. Let’s get started. Now, you think the first thing that I’ll talk about is how to write emails. But the very first thing that I’m going to talk about is foundational. It’s how to think about the person that you’re even attempting to send an email to: your customer DNA. Listen, most cold emails are dead even before you hit the send button. And why are they dead? Why are they not effective or not successful? It’s very simple. It’s because you’re sending it to the wrong person. And you’re sending it to the person you don’t quite understand yet.

So what I want you to do and I know this is boring and I know this is kind of like brush your teeth, eat broccoli, work out. It’s basics. It seems so simple that it’s so easy to avoid. It’s not sexy. But because it’s not sexy, it is what makes the difference between successful companies and companies that fail. If you want your cold emails to succeed, if you want them to be opened, read, and responded to, and if you want these responses to lead to conversions that mean money to your business, you need to understand who you’re sending these emails to.

Send better, not more, emails

I’m going to give you a few basic pointers that you need to understand. Number one, quality over quantity. Too many companies make this mistake. They’re like, “Steli, we bought a 100,000 email addresses from companies that are between 100 employees and 10,000 employees because that’s our target customer. And we wrote this one stupid little cold email and we want to send 100,000 emails to get started. Can we assume that 1,000 of them will respond and buy our product?” Well, fuck no! You can’t assume that because it’s not going to happen.

3 reasons you shouldn’t send out a massive amount of emails

1. You will get blacklisted by Google

Here is the deal. I mean sending a huge amount of emails all at once has multiple problems with it. Number one, you’re going to get blacklisted or if you send it—if you are hosting on Google apps, if you use Gmail for your email, they’re going to lock your access. They’re going to lock you out of your email account.

Actually, if you send – usually and I’ll give you this tip, if you send over 200 to 300 cold emails with the same subject, same body of text every single day and you get marked too many times as like spam or something like that, within like two, three or four days, Google will lock you out of your email account. Not forever but for a day or two and you’re going to have to send an email to the support and it’s going to be a pain in the fucking ass. And if that happens multiple times, they might lock you out indefinitely.

So you want to be careful with sending too many emails at once because it’s going blacklists you or gets you out of the email game all together. That’s one.

2. You won’t be able to split test your emails

The second reason why you don’t want to send a huge bulk email is that you can reiterate and improve on it. So you want to make sure that you send small batches so that you see what works, what doesn’t work, and you can split test. You can change the subject line. You can change the body, the call-to-action. You can experiment. You can learn and put these learnings into practice and get a return on these learnings versus you send everything at once and then you realized, “oh shit! Our subject line was bad.” Now, what do you do? You already blew up all your leads.

3. You will be overwhelmed by the responses

And the third reason why you don’t want to do massive quantity—and if you have questions guys, just keep putting them in chat. I’m going to be responding to them at the end of the webinar. Keep writing everything. Get it out of your system as you have questions. Just put it into chat. I’m going to respond to it, I promise at the end of the webinar.

So, the other reason why you don’t want to send massive amounts of emails all at once is that you’re going to get overwhelmed by the responses. And if you get good responses, it’s going to suck even more because you’re not going to be able to be as responsive, schedule as many calls. You’re just going to overwhelm yourself. There’s no sense, there’s no strategy behind that.

Start small

So what you want to do is you want to start in small batches. You might want to do 20, 30, 40 leads a day not—maybe 100— but definitely not 500 emails a day. What you might want to do is at the evening, as an SDR or sales rep, you send out that 30 or 40 really well-researched, really high quality leads. In the morning, respond to these emails. You schedule the next calls and you jump on your scheduled demos and whatever else you have. And at the last hour of the day, you send another 20, 30, 40 leads. You make it a workflow and you improve and you test and you learn.

Narrowly define who your customer is

You need to really narrowly define who your customer. Too many times, people define their customer audience way too broadly. The problem with that is that your results are going to be super inconsistent. If you say, “Hey Steli, we sell an HR solution. And our customer is anyone between—any company that has between 10 to 10,000 employees.”

Here’s what’s going to happen. If you send 100 emails every day and it includes a wide variety of size and industry of company, your results are going to be super inconsistent. And when you get inconsistent results, you don’t know what to do with the results. There are zero learnings in them.

I get this all the time. Companies come to me and they say, “Steli, we sent the same thousand email every single week and we get totally different results every week. How is that possible?” And I don’t even have to look. I can tell them it’s probably because the lead segmentation that you have is fucked up. It’s too broad. Please start very, very, very, very narrowly, so narrowly that you think it’s too narrow.

When people tell me, “But Steli, this is so narrow. It includes four companies in the whole world.” I say awesome because if it’s only four companies, let’s go get them. What you want to do is you want draw a really small circle that only includes a very finite number of companies. And then once you filled that circle up, you want to draw slightly bigger circle around it and then a slightly bigger circle around it. And eventually, the circle is so big and hopefully it includes the entire fucking planet. But you start insanely, uncomfortably narrow.

And don’t be afraid of being too narrow. Narrow is good, because narrow will give you consistent results. If you get very, very narrow, the specific industry, the specific person, title, and position in that industry, the position, the specific size, even location: only companies of this size in this industry in California that have a Facebook page.

Whatever it is, just create a very narrow customer DNA and then go get these people. You’ll get very consistent results and you’ll learn if it works or it doesn’t and then you start expanding on it narrowly one step at a time. If you do that, you’ll get consistent results. If you get consistent results, you’re going to be able to create predictable results.

And that’s, ladies and gentlemen, is the name of the game. You want to have consistency. You want to know, ‘If I send 100 emails, I’m going to get $4.50 in revenue per email I sent.” You want to have that level of accuracy and consistency to be able to scale your business. To get to that, you need to be able to really narrowly define who you email, really narrowly segment and make sure that you don’t do quantity, but you do quality and you do it consistently.

The basics of a cold email

All right. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s think about the basics of writing and sending a cold email. Here are the four very simple steps. But just because they are simple doesn’t mean they are easy and just because they are simple doesn’t mean people follow them. Honestly, guys and gals, if you guys follow these four steps, you’re going to be crushing your competition because most people don’t.

1. Write subject lines that get emails opened

The very first step, the most important thing when you written a cold email is that you need to realize that people need to open that email. That’s the simple math. People need to open the email. If an email is sent and nobody opened it, it doesn’t exist. That means that the subject line of the email is the most important thing you write.

The funny thing is that most people spend all their time on the body of the email, almost no time on the subject. I get this all the time. People send me an email and they say, “Steli, can you give us feedback on this cold email?” My response is no. And then they respond back, “Well, why Steli?” And I respond, “Because you didn’t send the fucking subject line to me. I cannot give you feedback on a cold email if it doesn’t include the subject line.”

The subject line is the first thing that I’m going to judge on to decide if I would ever open this email or not. You need to spend 80% of your time on the subject line, 20% on the body, not the other way around. Don’t make that mistake. Get the subject line right. And I’ll give you some examples later on.

Also guys and gals, if you have a cold email and you want feedback from me, Steli@Close.io. Send me that cold email and ask for feedback and don’t make the mistake of not including the subject line. I’m going to yell at you via email. All right? Please let’s stop making these mistakes. Send me your cold email. I’ll give you feedback. I’ll help you raise up your cold email game, Steli@Close.io. All right?

2. Make every sentence a pitch

So, the very first thing you need to do when you send a cold email, they need to open it. Now once they’ve opened, they need to read it. And read it, you need to think about this in a very simple term like every sentence you write is a pitch for them to keep on reading. You can’t bore your lead. I’ll share all the tactics on what to do to make sure that people will actually read your email. Once I’ve read your email or once people read your cold email, they need to respond.

3. Have a call-to-action

And since most people – so you need to really get your call-to-action right and be precise and have one single thing you ask me to do. And we’ll talk about that in the few slides.

4. Have a follow-up game plan

And then last but not the least, most people, since we know most people would not respond to a cold email the first time. We need to follow up and have a follow-up game plan in place before we even send the first cold email.

Now, Larry Braden wrote in chat an excellent question about follow-up and I’ll respond to that in the Q&A at the end of the webinar. But I want this to be a stimulant, a reminder to everybody, as you have questions, it doesn’t matter if it fits to this slide or the next slide or whatever, put them in chat. Start writing your questions in so when we get to the Q&A session, we can really bang out lots and lots of content and I can go through these one by one by one.

The most likely reasons your subject line sucks

All right. Let’s jump right into this and go through the basics. Let’s start with the people need to open your email. So the subject line as we said is key and we need to focus 80% of our time and effort on getting the subject line right. Now, there are some best practices. There are some common mistakes that people do right now.

You don’t sound like a human being

So number one, you need to sound like a human being. And this sounds kind of basic, right? This is not like blowing your mind. But most cold emails don’t sound like humans sent them. Please don’t use all caps or don’t capitalize every single letter in your subject line. Don’t write a subject line that sounds like it’s a newsletter or a marketing email.

So, I’ll give you a good example. An email subject line that says, “Ten Ways of How Close.io can help your sales team be more effective” doesn’t read like a human being sent it to another human being. It sounds like a marketing email. I’m going to ignore it.

Here’s the funny thing. As human beings, people are going to be a lot more responsive if they have the perception that another human being is talking to them. The moment I think that it’s somebody talking to an audience, it’s a one-to-many communication, somebody sent this email to 10,000 people and I’m just one part of those 10,000 people, I’m not going to respond.

This even is true in teams. I’ve realized this early in our team. Whenever I would send an email to all ten people on our team and ask them for a feedback about something, nobody would respond because nobody felt personally called out. So if I would send an email I would say, “Hey, I would to have everybody’s opinion on this.” Nobody would respond. If I send everybody individually an email and say, “Hey, I’d like your opinion on this,” everybody would respond. So once you know that, you can make that, take that as an advantage. You need to sound like a human being.

How to personalize subject lines

So what you can do to do that is you can – you want to sound personal. Maybe you have all small letters. There are some hacks like, sometimes you need to test this and play around with this, but sometimes having a misspelling in the subject line will massively spike the open rate. Why? Because misspelling a word seems human. It’s as easy as that.

You want to use their name. People like and respond to their name. They like seeing it. They are feeling responsive to it. So if you say, “Steli, can I have – can I ask you a question?” It’s better than just writing in the subject line, “Have a question.” “Steli, I have a question,” is much more personal.

Learn the basics but don’t get stuck on tactics

Having question in the subject line is good. People respond to that. But please, there is an overused subject line and this is something you’re going to learn here. Just overall as a philosophy—and that’s why I’m going through the basics with you guys—because if you get the basics right, the tactics are cool but the tactics will always change and the text will go up and down in terms of their effectiveness.

For the longest time, writing the subject line that says, “Quick question” has been very, very effective. The problem is, because it has been very effective, people have been teaching that it’s very effective. I’ve been teaching that writing “quick question” is a good subject line and an effective one.

The problem is that by now, I get like five emails a day that have the subject line “quick question.” You know what I do with these? I archive them. I auto select them out. I’m not even looking at them. If you send me today an email, in the subject line, it says, “Quick question,” I’m not even looking at it.

I’m getting too many of these and I know that they read my blog post or somebody else’s blog post about how to write effective cold emails and they just used a tactic that used to work but once it’s spread too much, once we are teaching it too much, it goes down in effectiveness.

So that’s why if you get the basics right, if you understand how to fish, and I don’t just catch a fish and give it to you like giving you the subject line, I’m teaching you how to think about writing good subject lines. That’s a skill that you can use your entire life. You be careful.

I’m going to share some tactics later on today. You can steal some of these tactics. But make sure that you always keep track of “do they work or not, are they going down in effectiveness?” And if they are, it might just mean that too many people are using them and you need to reinvent and reimagine a new subject line.

Keep your promises

So again, use people’s names, keep it brief, no caps, maybe you want to test the spellings, maybe you want to test asking people question, raise their curiosity, but most importantly and this is important because that’s another thing people get wrong is you want to make sure that you keep your promises. You want to make sure that whatever you promise, you keep because a lot of times people, what they do is they – I mean I can write a subject line that will get all of you to open it but it doesn’t mean that what I promised in the subject line I’m delivering in the email. And this is very crucial.

I could write you a subject line today that says, “I have your mother as a hostage.” And even if you don’t have a mother anymore, you will open that fucking email like 100% of the time. I’m going to open that email, although I know it’s unlikely but I’m still going to open it. And then you can write, “Ha ha ha! I was just joking. I wanted you to buy my HR software.” I’m going to tell you, “Fuck off!” I had all kinds of people that tricked me into opening their email but then it doesn’t mean that I want to respond to the message.

People ask me all the time, “What’s the most effective subject line you’ve ever seen?” The most effective subject line I’ve ever seen was a subject line where somebody wrote, “Very disappointed…” and it was after a weekend, Monday morning. I opened my email account, I have hundreds of emails and I instantly and instinctively zoomed into that subject line. And I was like, “Very disappointed...?” Instantly, I think we fucked something up. We made a mistake.

So I opened that with a sense of urgency and then the rest of the message—so the subject line read, “Very disappointed…” The rest of the message read, “… that we haven’t been able to connect. I tried to call a few times blah, blah, blah.” And I was like, “Motherfucker! You got me. Awesome subject line. Wow! That was so smart.” Delete. Delete. If you tricked me into opening it and what you are promising in the subject line has nothing to do with what you’re delivering in the message, I don’t want to do business with you. So keep that in mind.

Make sure that you deliver on what you promised. Don’t be too deceiving. There needs to be a balance. You need to think about the entire email as a user experience from the subject line to the message, to the call-to-action, to your follow-up. It’s the start of a relationship. You want to make sure that that relationship is strong, is authentic, has not just charisma but also character and that you start off the relationship on the right foot.

All right. Keep the questions coming. I see that more and more people are putting in question at the chat. That’s awesome. I’m going to respond to all of them in the Q&A session in a sec.

Keep it brief

So now that I opened your email, I need to read your content. Keep it personal and keep it brief, please. For cold emails, I have very long emails that I sent in kind of a drip email sequence that get me amazing results. But when I send somebody a cold email for the very first time, I keep it brief.

You need to think about this like every single sentence is a pitch why you should keep reading. So don’t bury the lead. Like if you have something really important to say, don’t say it at the end of it because you imagine people will read it the way you wrote it. People are not going to read it. People are going to skip over stuff. People are not going to be careful in reading your shit. Every sentence need to be selling me for why I should keep reading. Every sentence need to answer the question, “OK, so what?”

“We do blah, blah, blah.”

“All right. So what?”

“It’s important for you because da, da, da…”

“OK. So what?”

You need to keep selling me why I should keep reading.

If you keep it brief, if an email—here’s the hack. If an email is just one sentence, it’s harder for me not to read it than to read it. Think about that. If an email is just one sentence or just four words for instance, it’s harder for me, it takes more energy of me to not read it than to read it. You want to use that momentum.

If I open email, the shortest way for me to delete your email is if you send me a 10-page email. If your email is longer than like three paragraphs and we’ve never met before, I’m going to archive it. It tells me that you don’t respect my time. It tells me that you don’t respect your time.

You don’t have the social capital yet with me to ask me to give you 10 minutes of my fucking time before I know who the fuck you are. Keep it brief, please. Keep it brief. Come out swinging. Tell me what you do, why it’s important to me, and what the next steps are. Keep it simple.

Add credibility to your email

And if you can, give me some credibility. Like why should I believe you? Who else has believed you? What ways of credibility do you have that you can utilize to make me believe the words that you say because it’s not just about what you say? You could say in an email—I can send you an email right now and I’ll tell you, “Hey, you want $10 million? I’m going to give you $10 million.” The content of that email is amazing. Think about it. What would be better than getting $10 million right now? Nothing.

The problem is that I have zero credibility. The problem is what are you going to do if you get an email from somebody you don’t know that tells you, you just won $10 million? You’re going to delete it. Why? Because I have zero credibility. So, you want to make sure that it’s not just you say great things but you back them up with something credible.

All you need is one: add a call-to-action

At the end of the email, please give me a call-to-action and give me just one strong, clear call-to-action. I hate this. People do this all the time. They over pollute their emails. “Hey, Steli. I’ve attached ten case studies, three presentations, and here’s a link for a free trial but also a link for webinar and here are 12 times where we can jump on a call but also here is a calendar link so you can select the time you want to do a one-on-one coaching with somebody on team.” Like get the fuck out of here. Like I don’t have time to devote my next three weeks for your fucking email.

Don’t give me too much homework. Don’t give me too much shit to do. The relationship starts out with too much work, it means this is going to be trouble and I don’t want it. So just keep it clean. What’s your one call to action? You want me to click a link? That’s it. Then that’s all you’re allowed to do. Pitch me why I should click this link. You want me to jump on a call with you? That’s it.

So you have one call-to-action. Tell me why I should jump on a call with you. Make it simple. Don’t ask me to come up with a time. Tell me, “Hey, Tuesday or Thursday? This or that time?” Make it so I can just look at my calendar and say yes or no. Any kind of decision or friction you can eliminate from the call-to-action is going to increase your conversion rates. Keep it sweet and simple on the call-to-action.

How strong is your follow-up game?

And then before you send a cold email, think about your follow-up strategy. Think about your follow-up game. Now, I teach this a lot and people know me for this that I say when you have a good contact, when somebody responds to your email, you have a call with them, a demo, a meeting, a positive direction, my follow-up strategy is [that] I will forever follow up until I get a yes or no. I will never ever, ever, ever stop and I will never take their silence as rejection. I just take their silence as they are busy.

When it comes to cold emails, there are some studies that show that eight follow-up emails is kind of the right amount. A lot of people and I included are usually more on the 4 to 6 follow-up game. But I guarantee you, if you send cold emails and you just send one email, you’re wasting your time. You need to have a follow-up game. You need to think about like what to do to send follow-ups.

And for people that don’t use a CRM and that are too small to use any kind of professional software, what you want to do is you want to use a system like FollowUp.cc which is super simple. If you’re a bit more of the sophisticated, you send like 100 emails a day and you’re really in the game to win, you want to use Close.io. We have automated follow-up in the system, follow-up reminders, and you can send bulk emails, 50 to 100 emails a day. No problem within just one simple click. And we’re going to keep track of open rates, of conversion rates and all that good stuff for you. But you need to have a follow-up game in place from day one.

So I hear from somebody that their sound is being cut off. I don’t know if that’s an individual problem because of internet connection or if other people also have that problem. So anybody in the webinar, let me know if other people have this issue or not so I know if I need to adjust something on my end.

Keep the questions in the comments coming. It’s awesome. All right. So people seem to—most people seem to be hearing me well.

So—and again, don’t over complicate things. I’m going to—if you go to Blog.Close.io/follow-up, you’ll get a whole follow-up kind of game plan on how to think about follow-ups, how to write them, how to make sure that you’re kill it with them. But the key thing is even if you are super boring and all you do is you say, “Hey, I want to quickly follow up on this. What’s a good time to chat?” And you do that three, four times over a period of three, four weeks, you’re going to see a lot better results than just sending one email and forgetting about it.

A fresh example of a great cold email

So, let me give you a recent example of an email. This is an email my co-founder got just yesterday, just yesterday. I need to go to “Escape” because there’s a funny with GoToTraining where I can’t see it on full script. There you go. So this is an email that my co-founder got yesterday and it’s very, very strong cold email.

The subject line says “Robots” with kind of a robotic-looking, I don’t know what kind of a smiley but it’s not the usual smiley with the right—the rounded smile but with a rectangular one. And this is a very effective subject line because it’s kind of tongue in cheek. It’s cheeky. There’s a smile but kind of a robotic smile. It’s says fucking robots.

It’s also in the context of who it has been sent to. Sent—there are three founders in our business, the founder that got this email was not me. It was the kind of the CTO technical founder. It’s the engineer and the founding team, one of the two engineers in the founding team. So, using robots as a subject like that you sent to an engineer with that kind of a smiley, not a bad idea. It makes me curious. I want to know what the hell this is all about. And even better is that it’s not just so fucking cheeky funny thing that has nothing to do with what they say in the subject line, it actually is delivering on the promise when you read the email.

Look at how short this cold email is. It’s basically just two sentences, two sentences. “Hey, Anthony. I saw you’re backed by SV Angel. I know Bryan and Kevin over there. How are you liking them so far?”

So here is somebody that is very personal. He says, “Hey, Anthony.” He is displaying that he knows something about, “Hey, I saw that you have this investor and I know people that work at that investor company.” What does that do? It gives you context. It gives that person credibility. “Hey, I’m credible. I’m also in the startup game. I know these investors that are your investors personally.” What is this doing? Instantly, it’s building credibility.

Then, he’s asking him the question. He’s audacious enough to go, “Hey, how do you like these guys?” I don’t know if I would go with that question but it’s not a bad, right? It’s very authentic, very casual.

All right. So now in the first sentence, this person has established, “Hey, I know who you are and I am credible. I’m not a nobody.” Cool! So now I don’t know—all right. Now, in my head as I’m reading this, I’m like, “Who the fuck are you and what’s the deal with the robots?” So that’s what he’s answering next. His next sentence is, “These days, I’m working on a software development service that combines AI, robots with like explanation marks.”

Again, this is kind of like, this is not taking himself too seriously although he seemed incredible. And this is a nice little balance. He is aware that maybe AI and robots, maybe people take— maybe people think that this is like hyperbole and hype and buzzwords so he’s kind of tongue in cheek with it but then again, he seems to be somebody who knows really credible investors, he seems to be smart.

So he’s like, “Hey, these days I’m working on a software development service that combines AI, robots with crazy good developers so they build your tech faster and cheaper. Any projects we can take off your hands?” What a powerful question. So he says something very interesting. He doesn’t explain everything. He doesn’t give a hundred paragraphs of it. He says, “Hey, we have a software development company that use AI and amazing developers. Is there anything we can take off your hands?” Beautiful. Beautiful. Simple. He explains what he does just enough to raise my curiosity but not enough for me to know exactly what the fuck they are doing. Roger. That’s it.

And then look at a beautiful way to use his signature. It’s not Roger, his email fucking email. I hate that when people have their signature that they use their email. I just got your fucking email. You sent me an email. I don’t need to see your email in the signature. Here is what Roger uses as a signature. Gigster, which is a link to the business. When I asked, like what the fuck is the business? Gigster, which is his business. He’s backed by YC, credibility. Greylock and Bloomberg, credibility, credibility. “Read more on TechCrunch”, even more credibility.

So he is telling me now in the signature what is my business and there’s a link to it, why is it credible, massive investor, massive investor, massive investor and massive business and he is [getting] more press on top of that.

Beautiful. Look at how short, simple this is. Great subject line. Great first sentence. Great little like pitch on what we do, not too much, not too little. Look at the call-to-action, “Any project we can take off your hands?” What a beautiful, simple, human question. Roger. And then, the signature when you ask, “What the fuck is your business? Who else is invested in you? What’s the whole story?” You look how that—the signature is answering these questions. Beautiful.

Zenefits’ exclusive cold email hack

I’ll give you another quick hack on this. So, there is a company right now called Zenefits and if you’re in Europe, I don’t know how much you hear about them. But in the US, lots and lots of people hear about them. If you’re in SaaS, you know and you hear about them all the time because they touted to be the fastest-growing SaaS business of all times. Zenefits.

And one beautiful little cold email hack that Zenefits uses is they have this cold email template where the subject is a RE: like responding to something. And the subject line reads something like, “RE: We should talk to them.” And then what you see is an email that’s “sent” by the CEO of Zenefits to like the sales rep and says, “Hey, I had a contact with somebody at this company before. I think they would be a great fit. We should reach out to them.”

And then the sales rep seemingly has received this email and responds to it by saying, “Hey John, I wanted to introduce you to Zenefits. My CEO asked me to reach out because he thinks we might have a great fit. What we do in a sentence is we offer kind of all HR services under one platform for free for you. What will be a good time to have like a 10-minute call?”

Beautiful, effective hack, right? So the subject line is kind of nice because it’s like, “RE: We should reach out to this company.” And then they seemed that they’re part of an email threat and then they initiate it and originate it by the CEO of Zenefits that says, “Hey, I had some contact in this business. I think they would be a great fit for what we do. Please reach out to them.” And then the sales rep is reaching out to you.

That’s such a beautiful hack and they get massive response rate to that because it is social credibility. Oh, the CEO had some contact with somebody in our business. The CEO asked for their account manager to reach out. And now the account manager says, “Hey, my CEO asked me to reach out. Here is what we do in a sentence. When can we talk?” Beautiful little hack.

Again, once it’s overused, it’s not going to be effective anymore. And this is a hack that if you don’t work at Zenefits, you don’t know about but you guys exclusively have learned this. I didn’t want to put this into the slides. So you need to be live in the webinar to hear about this. But you can use this to your advantage. Use titles, my CEO, “I’m the CEO of business XYZ” even if there’s no other employee than you. You are the CEO of a one-person business. You are the Vice-President of products in a two-person business. Who cares? People respond to titles.

So, anything that gives you credibility, titles, press, investors, big customers, university associations, whatever you can, use credibility to show that you know who you’re talking to and that they—and that you are somebody worth responding to. You want to show them that you know who you are talking to and that you are somebody worth responding to. That’s the motto and that’s the name of the game here.

How to get almost any email address you want

All right. A few simple more things before we jump into Q&A. Here is a simple hack on how to get almost everyone’s email address. There are lots of places where you can go and buy email addresses today. There are tools out there, plenty, plenty of tools. I didn’t want to overload this slide with tools to get people’s email address[es].

But what you want to do is and again, I have somebody that lost audio so I want to make sure that no, no, no. So, this is funny. This is a GoToTraining issue here. So I can’t see my mouse cursor anymore and they pop-upped something that’s cancelling this webinar so I’m not going to click on anything anymore. Let me go back to this.

So, I don’t know how to get out of the full screen mode to be able to click on things. But I’ll improvise. But I hope that other people can see—hear me. So Peter, maybe eh sound thing is something on your end. If other people are experiencing sound issue, please let me know. Otherwise, I’m just going to assume it’s something on your end. Don’t worry about. We’re recording the webinar. So other people might chime in and let him know that he might want to test out his audio and his internet connection on his end.

So guys, where was this? So here’s a very simple email hack. Go and get the Chrome Extension Rapportive. Rapportive is actually there to give you some more social context on people that you’re sending email or receiving emails from. So what it does is if you’re using Gmail, you type in an email address and it populates to write some information about them. Rapportive was blog by LinkedIn. And LinkedIn has pretty much anyone’s business email address today.

So now, Rapportive has pretty much everyone’s email address that you can think of in the professional world. So what happens is – the cool little hack is if you’re typing in an email and you have the Rapportive plugin, it tries to load all the information that they’re getting from the LinkedIn profile.

When they can’t—if Rapportive spins the wheel, what you do is you try to guess their email address based on first name and the company domain, first, last name and company domain connections. What you do is you test to find the right email and Rapportive is spinning. So you’re going to type in SteliEfti@Close.io and Rapportive spins, spins, spins and doesn’t give you result. That means the email is not correct. Then, you type in S@Close.io. Rapportive spins, spins, spins, doesn’t give you an email. It’s not. And then, you type in Steli@Close.io and Rapportive spins, spins, spins, and boom! It will give you a nice little picture of me and some information about me. That’s the way you know that Steli@Close.io is a correct email address.

So you can kind of reverse engineer hack your way into getting anyone’s email and all you need is download Rapportive as a plugin and then you need to know their first and last name, the company email address. You try a couple of combinations, the moment Rapportive picks up a name and gives you some company or some personal information about them, you know that it’s an accurate email address that you can use to send out a cold email. It’s a very, very simple model.

Is the Predictable Revenue Model overused?

Now, I had a question and it’s relevant so I’m going to answer it because the next slide is going into that, about the Predictable Revenue Referral Model. Is that overused? Is it better to go straight to your target individual with highly personalized email?

It’s an excellent question and it is a little a bit overused. I will say that. I will also say that most people don’t realize that the Predictable Revenue Model is best in very, very, very large organizations. So people use this model when they send an email to ten people. That’s stupid.

People send me an email and we’re like less than ten people company although we’re making millions and millions of revenue, we’re a big business, bigger than our nearest competitor that’s 160 employees. But we are a small team and if you know something about us, you know we are a small team so people send me cold emails that say, “Hey Steli, can you point me to the right direction to the person that runs your marketing team?” And it just tells me they don’t know what the fuck they are doing.

So, when you send an email to a super small team, you want to go directly to the person. It takes a minute to research that company and find the right person. So just ping the right person. Just send an email to Coca-Cola, the Predictable Revenue Model is still effective.

So if you – depending on the industry that you’re sending the emails to and the size, it might still be a very effective model. Certain industries especially if you sell to startups and technology companies, this model is very overused because it’s very popular right now within the startup scene. So you want to just test it out yourself and see what results you get. If you get results, it’s still working. If you don’t get good results, it might be overused.

Welcome to the Q&A Game

All right. So now, we are officially at the Q&A session. And now my friends, I’m going to have to take a risk because the—oh, my cursor is back. Thank God. So let me cancel this thing. So I have this big, like in the webinar, popup module and I couldn’t see my cursor and I needed to get out of the full view model so I could actually scroll back and read your questions.

All right. So let’s go into the Q&A game. It’s my favorite part. We have about 20 minutes. You guys can jump off at any time if you want or you can stick around for the entire 20 minutes.

So what I’m going to do, I want you to keep putting in the chat window your questions. But what I’m going to do is I’m going to scroll back and I’m going to go through questions one by one. All right. Let’s do that right now. Scroll back. Let me actually take a second to take a sip of water. Beautiful.

So John was the first person to ask the question. John, thanks for setting the stage and being the first to put in question. Everybody else, please keep putting in the questions.

All right. So let me see. It’s another funny. GoToTraining does it, it pops down and the scroll is not perfect. All right.

So first question, how many times do you follow up before you give up on a cold email?

I think that we answered that – for a cold email, I would say 4 to 6 times should be the ideal sequence.

There are companies that have – there is a startup especially in the UK that has been sending me cold emails for the past one and a half years. They probably sent me 20 or 30 emails. Their emails are always good. They always have really good relevant content. They’re always smart. They’re always short. So I never always archive them and never delete them and I don’t feel harassed by them. I think that they are smart people. What they are offering me right now is something I’m not interested in. But I guarantee you, the moment I want it, I’m going to think about them.

So, some companies sent tons of follow-ups. I would say the sweet spot is 4 to 6 emails when you do cold leads, especially when they don’t respond at all. And you can put some fun in your follow-up. If you type in to Google, Blog.Close.io and then you put in “funny follow-up”, you’ll see an article I wrote about all kinds of strategies to be fun in your follow-up and can make a dramatic difference, especially in the cold emails to get people’s responses. So that’s a good place to go and get some inspiration on how to do this and how to do this well. Excellent question.

All right. So Joseph is next: Any recommendations on where to buy leads where you have had success in the past?

Joseph, buying leads just sucks. Just everything that is not really research-based sucks.

Here is my recommendation. If you sell to professionals, usually buying leads or scraping leads from good sources is a good strategy. So if you sell to like doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, local restaurants, small tiny businesses, they’re good places to buy or scrape leads and phone numbers and they’re going to be high quality.

If you want to sell to the CTO of Coca-Cola, then good luck trying to buy a lead. You also have to think about like places like Data.com for instance. Whatever you buy, you need to assume that 30 to 40% of those email addresses are going to be outdated.

So it doesn’t mean that it can’t be effective for you but you need to take that into consideration when you try to do your math. People sometimes go, “We bought 10,000 emails on Data.com Steli and we hope to get a 10% response rate. So we are hoping to get 1,000 people to respond to what we are doing.”

Well my friend, if you assume that you bought 10,000 emails on Data.com, assume that only 6,000 of them are actually accurate. So if you get a 10% response rate, hat will be 600 people, not 1,000. And I highly doubt that you can get a 10% response rate on that massive of a cold bulk email.

But you see what I’m saying? Just take that into consideration. I don’t have a great place to share with you because I find that all places that offer you to buy leads are pretty low quality in general, unfortunately.

All right. Let me see the next question.

Any thoughts on using gifs to convey emotion in cold emails?

Scott asked that question. It’s excellent.

Honestly, the first time I heard about gifs in cold emails, I thought it’s kind of gimmicky and stupid, but I’ve changed my mind. I wouldn’t overuse it but I know that Foursquare, which is a customer of Close.io, is using gifts really effectively in a funny way.

If you go to Blog.Close.io and if you search for the Put some funny in your follow up piece, you’ll see that—if you type in “cookie monster waiting” in Google gif, you’ll find a gif of the cookie monster just waiting like just tapping his fingers, looking around, just fucking waiting for a response, super effective.

You send somebody two or three emails, they don’t respond you, just send them the cookie monster gif, just the cookie monster waiting, going, “Come on man, just give me a response.” It can put a smile on somebody’s face. It can be very effective. So I think that it’s not a bad idea.

I would not overuse it. It also depends on your audience. I think that some people, if you send like funny gifs to maybe 60-year-old highly technical executive, it might get you a worse response rate than if you send it to maybe younger or hip, more feminine, more emotional crowd. So you need to experiment with this. But I’m open-minded about gifs and I think that in moderation, they can be effective. Excellent question.

All right. So next question.

John: How many emails do you need to send to effectively A/B test a template and draw solid conclusions?

John, that’s such a good question and I don’t have a good answer for you. We could argue a long time about like what has statistical significance. To really make A/B testing 100% accurate, you would want to send very, very well segmented emails at very similar times and you want to have a sample set that’s in the thousands.

But most of the time, reality is not as perfect as we’d like it to be. So what you want to do is you need to be a little down and dirty on the A/B testing and you need to go also a little by gut. What I would suggest you do —so you might just get—sometimes I might draw a conclusion after just a few hundred emails and sometimes I’m going to wait for a thousand of emails. It depends on how strong I feel. It depends on what my gut says. It depends on how dramatic the responses are and the differences are.

But what I would also give you as advice is to really do—to really learn from your cold emails, one big hack to do is at the beginning is to start sending these cold emails and then actually follow up on them with calls. And not make those calls with the attention or intention to sell but with the intention to learn.

So I’ll give you an example. You sent a few hundred cold emails and then you follow up with calling these people. When you call them, you ask them, you tell them, “Hey John, I sent you an email yesterday.” It was a cold email. And I assume that you would never respond to that and you haven’t.

So what I want to do is from one kind of sales person to another, from one business person to another, from one startup to another, just, “Can you give me some feedback? Did you read it? Was it good or bad? What do you think about me? Can you give me just one or two sentences of feedback? I want to make sure. I know that my service is amazing and it hurts me to know that we don’t have the opportunity to discuss it and to figure out if we could work together and create value.

So I want to get better at this. I don’t want to pollute your email with just keep following up with emails that you don’t like. How do you think about my email? I sent it to you yesterday at 4:00 PM. Did you see it? Did you think it’s bad, good? Can you give me some feedback?”

So I would actually call people and ask them for feedback. People that didn’t respond—and I would also in the early days when people respond to my cold emails, I would not just jump right into selling. I would actually, in the name of learning, ask them, “Hey, that’s awesome. Let’s talk about your business. Just a quick question. What made you respond to my email? What was the impression you had when you read the subject line or when you looked at the email, good, bad? What made you respond?”

So in the early days, what you can do, to overcome that you would not have hundreds and hundreds of thousands of emails and data points to make rational conclusions is that you reach out and you grind and you hustle and you actually call these people and you have conversations with them.

And once you hear something two or three times, it creates a pattern. It’s not perfect but it’s good enough to give you a signal and if it fits with your worldview or with what makes sense to you, you might just react to it even if it’s not perfectly validated statistical data, if that makes sense. All right. So I hope that that was useful.

All right. Next question.

Larry asked: “Do the number of opens per email matter? Should you send another email or pick up the phone and give them a ring if they have opened the email multiple times?”

Yes and no. I think people over value the number of opens. There are also some technical issues. I don’t want to get into details with it but sometimes people are like, “oh my God! This email got opened 5,000 times of this company.” Maybe not. You think they send this to everybody and everybody opened it multiple times. Maybe, maybe not.

So I want you to know that some email clients behave certain ways that will make this tracking more or less accurate. So don’t think that the open rates that you’re getting from any software are 100% accurate. But they are a signal. So yes, if you see that somebody opened it in the morning then opened in the afternoon, opened it in the evening and then opened it from their mobile devices as well as their email account, that’s a good signal.

I wouldn’t call them and say, “I saw you opened it four times!” or I wouldn’t call with a 100% certainty that they opened it this many times. Maybe they just opened it twice, not five times. Maybe the software didn’t track it correctly. But it is a signal. So I would pay attention to it but I would not take it as gospel, not assume that it’s a thousand percent accurate, if that makes sense.

And I wouldn’t just place too much value on it. But yeah, I think when somebody opens it, it’s a good time to call them because right now they are paying attention to your message. So if you call them when they open it, more likely that they’re going to pick up the phone. More likely that they’re going to know who you are.

All right. Let me scroll up to more questions. You guys have some excellent questions so that’s awesome. All right. Let’s see what the next question is. All right. All right. All right.

So London asked: “Do you think name-dropping competition that uses your product is effective?”

I don’t know. It depends on your customer. Some customer might respond really well to you telling them their competitors are using you. Some customers might say, “I will never use fucking software that my competitor is using.” It depends on your industry. It depends on your customer and it depends culturally on that company.

So in our case, if somebody tells us our competitor is using them, we’ll probably not going to use them or we’re not going to respond really positively to that.

Another area is they will. So I don’t have a universal answer to that other than I would try it and see what happens.

Azal, hey Azal. Nice to see you in the chat and nice to see you asking questions. My greetings to beautiful Austria to you.

So the question is: How do you know what to say in several follow-ups emails?

Don’t overthink it. Like in the worst case, you don’t say anything smart or original, all you say is:

  • “Hey, I want to quickly follow up.”
  • “Hey quick bump! What about a time today?”
  • “I assume you’re pretty busy. I wanted to check in one more time. What’s a good time to talk?”

Even of you write three emails like that, this is zero creativity, it’s good. Now, sometimes you want to add some, like, news about your company or share with them an article that you think would be useful to them, anything that shows that you care, anything that shows that you want to provide value could be really good.

You can go to the Blog.Close.io and search for the Put some funny in your follow up blog post we wrote and you can be more creative and more funny but don’t’ overthink it. Just start making sure that you follow up to begin with.

All right. Next question is from John. All right. So the question about Predictable Revenue referral model. [Is the Predictable Revenue Model overused?]

So for people haven’t read the book, Predictable Revenue from Aaron Ross, Aaron is a really good friend of mine. He’s about to launch a new book. I’m going to be actually in there with a guest, kind of not chapter, but an article. So Aaron is an awesome guy.

The model is a little overused right now. I still recommend you guys read the book, Predictable Revenue. There are lots of lessons to be learned but you also need to be cautious. Depending on who you are cold emailing, a lot of these tactics are a bit overused right now because too many people are following that model so you need to be more creative. You need to learn the basics.

Don’t just copy and paste what everybody else is doing. Understand the mechanics behind why cold email works so when you send it, you can adapt it, you can adjust it, you can be creative yourself and he ahead of your competition.

Juliet asked, “Do you always send a cold email prior to a call or cold calling alone is still more effective?”

Juliet, that’s another excellent question.

My answer is going to be it depends. There’s no universal answer to this. It depends on your customer, your industry, your market. Sometimes it’s more effective to send people cold emails than to call them. Sometimes it’s more effective to call them.

If you—I know a company that sells software to football, basketball, and baseball coaches, very successful, multi-million dollar startup out of New York. They don’t send emails because coaches don’t respond to emails. But they have a very effective way to get coach’s cell phone numbers so they just cold call coaches on their cell phones and they get a massive pick-up and reach rate and they are crushing it that way.

So if you want to sell to again, professionals where you have more chances to get direct access like lawyers, accountants, teachers, maybe cold calling them immediately is the better way. If you sell to CTOs, good luck cold calling. You’re probably not going to ever reach them or if you send to like head of engineering or something like that. You’re probably going to have to find a way to reach him via email before you call them.

So it depends. You need to test both models and see what works best for your industry. There’s not a universal truth to that question.

Next question.

Juliet asked again, “So working in digital advertising, most of my emails are meant to set up a meeting but people in the agencies are super busy. So what’s the best approach here?”

That’s a good question. So if you know that what you need from people is a meeting but you know that people are busy and they don’t want the meeting, you want to acknowledge that fact. You want to address the elephant in the room. You want to come out swinging. Say it. “If you know what I’m thinking, I don’t want another meeting. I’m busy.” Say it in your cold email.

How about writing a cold email that says, “Hey Steli, here is why I’m reaching out to you. Here is why I’m credible. What I want from you is something you don’t have time for. I know that people are busy. You are busy. You don’t have time for a meeting. But I need a meeting from you. So I know that you’re most likely not going to be able to respond to this message but let me tell you why I sent you the email anyways. Let me tell you why I’m still asking you for a meeting although I know that you don’t want to have a meeting with me or you don’t have the time to have a meeting with me.” And then, give me a good reason. Give me a good reason.

But more importantly, address the elephant in the room. If you know that everybody is thinking something, make it part of your pitch because if I’m thinking, “Oh shit! I can’t do a meeting.” And you write, “I know what you’re thinking right now, Steli, is you can’t do a meeting and I still send you that email. Let me tell you why.” Now, you got my attention. And I feel like you know me and I feel like you’re smart enough to get the challenges that I have in my business, in my position. So that alone, that acknowledgment alone can make a big difference. Try that out and see what results you get and make sure to ping me at Steli@Close.io and let me know.

All right. Next question. You guys have some excellent question here. This is a ton of fun. Awesome.

So Larry says, “Piggybacking on Juliet’s question, how does cold calling fit into the cold emailing campaign?”

Again, maybe I answered this already by saying it depends. My answer is it depends. You want to experiment with these things. You want to send cold emails and see how effective they are and you want to experiment with cold calling people after you cold email them and see what that does. Does that move the needle?

Everything and anything needs to be tested and let the results lead your way. Let the results be your compass. Generate results and then look at those results as a compass on what to do next. Maybe you should cold call after every cold email and maybe you should never cold call.

It depends on your market and your customer, on your skillsets, it depends on many things. But ultimately, do it. Do everything and anything you can think of one at a time, see the results and then adjust and adapt.

Next question. I’m going to do another 5 minute of questions so if you still have them, keep them rolling. Hope you like that type of the lead. The webinar, don’t worry, we are recording everything. You’ll get it.

All right. So let’s see. Next question is from Ret. I hope I spell it right.

What time of day and week for initial email have you found to be most effective?

That’s a beautiful question. You’re going to find a pattern here because I’m going to start answering you the same way I answered a few other questions. It depends. I don’t have a universal answer for you guys and I don’t want to give you bullshit shit.

I know that everybody loves a concrete answer. Tuesdays at 9:00 AM Pacific time is the best time to send emails. Everybody is like, “Oh God! Awesome. I don’t have to do any thinking. I can just do what Steli said.” But you’ll have to apply some thinking here.

You have to ask yourself, “Who the fuck is my customer? What is their day like? What is their week looking like?” And depending on that, a different time and a different day will generate different results.

Now in general, taking all of humanity into account, Tuesdays and Thursdays are good days. Mornings are good times because Monday is typically people are like super behind, catching up. Fridays, people are checking off. So Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday are usually good times. But you see my hesitation even saying that shit, because I don’t know for your customer what’s going to be true. Some people have found that weekends are beautiful.

Like if you sell to CEOs for instance, maybe super early or super late in the day is really great. Maybe Saturday or Sunday is super great because lots of CEOs might be in the office on Sunday evening to prepare for the week because nobody else is in the office. And sending them a cold email on Sunday evening might get you amazing results.

Or sending them a cold email at like 11:00 PM might get you amazing results because that’s when they are in their inbox and just quiet and they are home, their children are asleep and they are in the home office just banging out email and then you send them a fresh email and they just respond out of habit.

I don’t know. You have to test. Test it. Test, and what I would do with all tests is go 80-20. Eighty percent of your time, do what you assume to be basic. If I send people emails on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, it won’t be that bad, like considering who they are. And then take 20% of the time to test. I’m going to do some random shit. Every—I’m going to try the next four weekends to send people emails on weekends and see what happens.

And then you’ve done this for four weekends, see what the results are and go, “All right. For the next month, I’m going to test this weird thing, sending people an email at 3:00 AM in the morning and see what happens.” Just use a bit of your time to test but keep the basics for the bulk of the work that you do.

All right. So next question. I’m going to go a little faster now to be able to bang them out before I have to jump on my next call.

Time of day in which you have the week. So Ret already responded to that.

Nigel: “Steli, you are talking about software showing when and how emails have been opened. Yes. It would be great if Close.io give a little bit of information on this. It’s vague at the moment.”

You’re right, Nigel, and we’re working on it. So right now, if you look in Close.io in the lead timeline and you go over, there’s a little stamp, that date and time stamp at the end of every email, if you hover over that, it shows you actually the amount of opens and what devices opened them in times and dates and everything. We don’t do that really beautifully in the kind of overview email statistics and reports but we’re working on that. So we’re going to do a lot more on that front. Stay tuned.

Ryan asks about follow-up frequency: “I found a post on the subject follow-up. Do you still suggest the same frequency 2-4-7-14-33?”

Yes. Overall, the principle Ryan is correct and you want to adjust that for your market and your audience. But the overall principle in the follow-up frequency is you want to do more frequent at the beginning and less frequent later on.

So you want to start being super frequent at the beginning of the relationship and have become less and less and less frequent. It doesn’t have to be this exact amount of days, 2-4-7-14-30-30-60. It could be 3 days, 7 days, 20 days, whatever it. That is not as important but you want to be more frequent at the beginning and less frequent at the end. That’s still the right sauce.

Winceso [(sorry about possible misspelling)] asked, “Do you think that the subject in a follow-up email should be different from the first one or they’ll catch up their attention in different way?”

I don’t have a strong opinion on that. A lot of times you can do—what you can do is you can do a bunch of follow-ups that are just responses to the original thread. So you might do the first two follow-ups in the original thread and you might send one follow-up that’s a new thread and then you might want to send another follow-up in the original thread. So you can mix it up a little bit. I don’t think it matters as much.

Yes, you can just throw a little a bit of variety to mix things up but I don’t think that it’s like super crucial or that it makes a massive difference. So somebody was like, “Please don’t say it depends.” I just shout that first thought you’d have. So I hope that that addressed that. So play around with it. Do a few follow-ups in the original thread and when you won, they go back to the original threat.

All right, John: “A very few of my prospects agreed to having a call off my cold emails. Do you think it might be better to ask questions and start an email dialogue then try to transition to a call when the prospect has more context to see some more value?”

I don’t know. I mean you can try that but my assumption, without knowing more, is that the problem is you haven’t sold them enough. So you might have sold them enough to respond it seems but not enough for them to want to invest or give your their time.

So maybe you need to get back to the drawing board and ask yourself, “Look at your cold emails and ask yourself, ‘Am I adding enough credibility? Am I selling them enough on why they should give me a little bit of their time and that I’m going to be respectful of that’?”

Am I selling them on why that time is going to be wisely invested?And maybe try playing around with your cold action, your messaging and your credibility and see if that does the trick. If not, experiment with asking some questions and going back and forth. But then, see if they actually do go back and forth with you because my fear, or my assumption, is that people might seem to not want to jump on a call with you and just say, let’s say an email, and then you send them these questions and they are not responding.

So see if maybe—so some customers like if you sell to like engineers and highly technical people, maybe a call is going to be really hard to pull off and you have to stay [with emails] because that’s just the way they like to communicate.

So, experiment with changing your messaging and experiment with staying with ask more questions, staying in the email thread and see what works better.

All right. So all right. That’s it. I get a little bit of praise. People are saying that they like the webinar. That’s awesome to hear, guys. You were awesome, amazing questions, great feedback, great energy. If you have questions, you want to send me your cold emails and get feedbacks, Steli@Close.io.

If you like this content, make sure to go to Blog.Close.io and subscribe to our blog, whether it would be doing more webinars, more content and giving you everything we can to help you succeed. Spread the word about it. Anyone that you know that needs to success in sales.

And today, go out there and crush it. Have an amazing day, gals and guys. Go rock their world. Take care. Bye-bye.

 

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