Sales · Contact management

Cold e-mailing techniques?

John Anderson

December 1st, 2015

When trying to approach a medium size company to sell them a service, is it better to go through the generic "Contact Us" page or email someone directly? Most companies have enough info in the "about" section to target a good person to contact. Would it be considered bad form to try to contact them directly via some network or direct email?

I'm not sure if that would be considered thinking outside of the box and looked upon favorably or seen as not following procedure. I guess there is no crystal ball, just wondering what the general consensus on something like this would be.

Amy Weicker Director of Marketing, Marketing Consultant, Social Media Strategist, Customer Experience Enthusiast

December 1st, 2015

Direct. One of my fave sales hacks is contacting a CEO or someone clearly higher up than your target and asking them if they're the right person to be talking to. Often, they'll cc the right person (someone junior to them) introing you/suggesting they follow up. Easy in. Alternatively, something like QuotaDeck can be awesome for turning cold emails into warm ones.

Jessica Magoch Sales doesn't have to be a dirty word. Get more clients without being icky, sleazy, or just plain annoying.

December 4th, 2015

If you truly believe what you offer is going to help your prospect, then be unapologetic about trying to reach them. Anything cold, however, is going to have the lowest return, so do what you can to get in front of them. 

Justin McGill Founder of LeadFuze (All-in-One B2B Lead Generation Platform)

December 1st, 2015

Hey John - MUCH better success going directly to the person. I wrote a whole guide on cold email best practices which you can find here: The software can help you gather the contact info also. Let me know and I can add some additional prospects for you. Good luck!

Thomas Kaled Business Development Consultant @

December 1st, 2015

Two very good answers and your technique certainly has it's applicability. If you record each approach in your CRM you might obtain a difference in 'hit' or 'time to close' rate. It will take a reasonable sample since it is a trends analysis but it's probably a data point worth recording (designate them Method A, B and C and analyze pipeline outcome). The best way to find a qualified prospect is through a client so in addition to the aforementioned I like to use this method as well. 

Rodrigo Vaca Product & Marketing

December 2nd, 2015

I get 3-5 cold emails a day. And, yikes @Terry. Sorry - I think that advice highlights the "pester your customer" sales approach.

Do they ever work? At least for me, 99% of the time, they don't.

A long time ago Seth Godin talked about Interruption Marketing. And I can certainly see how many companies are still fixated on using it. Now - is it always wrong? Not necessarily. And of course, when you need to start generating revenue and you have no other means, I can see why taking that route is tempting.

But when you most do it, make sure you do it right. Quality and not quantity. Some time ago I put together some tips for people doing outbound sales, particularly over email in a b2b sales scenario:

Paul Lange Brand Loyalty & Customer Experiences Trainer | Financier | Investor | People, Planet, Profits with Purpose

December 4th, 2015

There are no rules. Do whatever resonates most strongly with your personal values, not what you think everyone else thinks you should do. Some would call that being a maverick. I call that being uniquely you and not giving a damn what others think. If the person you are contacting shares your values you'll click and wont piss them off. If you do piss them off then its better to find out directly. 

"The purpose of being business is to do business with people who believe what you believe" - Simon Sinek

Very very true!

Carolyn Goodman President/Creative Director at Goodman Marketing Partners

December 1st, 2015

I agree with both Justin and Amy that it's far better to go direct. LinkedIn is a great tool to research and find your target, and send them an InMail. That way it doesn't get lost in the recipients in-box and the receiver feels a bit more obligated to acknowledge you and respond.

Greg Welch

December 1st, 2015

When possible always try and get an intro to the the "right" person from someone they know.  You might know that person or know someone who can introduce you.  I warm intro always trumps any cold call or cold contact in my opinion.  It takes a bit of leg work but you can use LinkedIn and the web to see who you need to talk to and then find who you know that might know the person you are trying to reach.

Amy Weicker Director of Marketing, Marketing Consultant, Social Media Strategist, Customer Experience Enthusiast

December 1st, 2015

The tool I mentioned, QuotaDeck, does exactly what Greg suggests... minus the manual legwork. It'll help connect you to people who can give a warm intro. Incredibly useful, particularly in dealing with high level decision makers who are inundated with sales emails / calls / tweets / inMails.

Terry Tormey President & CEO at Prevention Pharmaceuticals Inc.

December 1st, 2015

Not a big fan of "cold emails." Pick up the phone and attempt to reach your primary target. Be persistent!