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4 ways to improve your email outreach

Cold outreach is hard. You are competing in someone’s inbox with dozens of other messages, and if the recipient does not know who you are then unless you have a particular good offer or some very impressive subject-writing skills then it can be a real challenge getting your email opened.


People are bombarded by hundreds of emails and if you have no connection to warm the connection then you need to show that the email you are sending is only for them and not one of those hundred other generic email pitches they have in their inbox. The easiest way to show that you really do want the message to reach them is by adding their name to the subject line – something like “Sarah, don’t miss our 20% savings today” will generally get a much better response to the generic “Don’t miss our 20% savings today”, with some studies showing that such a customisation can improve open rates by up to 26 per cent.

Within the body of the email you should also personalise the message, not just with the name of the intended recipient, but with relevant details to them – so the name of their company or the city in which their located. All of this info demonstrates that whilst you may not yet have a personal relationship to rely on, you have made the effort to do the research and want to talk to them about your offer as you really believe it is worth their time.

Be clever with mail merge

All this personalisation takes time. There are various tools to help speed up the research, such as finding the right email addresses for people within a company, but adding that information to an email is a laborious task, especially if you are working at scale. Luckily, you can use a few mail merge tricks to add the personalisations for you.

If you save your research on each recipient to a Google Sheet, then you can use mail merge tools to take the data from that sheet and add it to the relevant places in your email.

Find an introduction

One of the best ways to get your email actual read is with some form of personal introduction. If a friend of yours has a connection with them, or a friend of a friend, or some distant acquaintance, if you want to get your message actually seen then getting that introduction is key. If you are friendly, reliable, and have a good product or service to offer then most people are happy to oblige when you ask for help in an introduction, and once you do then you have your opening.

Email warmup tools

Email providers see a lot of messages and can see when a new email address goes from emailing a handful of people to hundreds or thousands in one go very quickly, and will flag accounts as spam if they don’t think that account has grown their list in a responsible way. In most cases, each of your outreach emails should be relatively unique and you should not be sending so many per day that your outreach would be flagged like this, but for those that want to scale up faster then so-called “email warmup” tools can help, by regularly interacting with your messages and giving you a head start.

The jury is still out on how well these tools work, and it is certainly possible that any such tools will be blocked by the likes of Google or Microsoft in the future, but if they do help get your message seen by the right person then that can be very helpful.

Are you ready to send better cold emails?

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