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You need to reach your dream client to schedule a meeting and create a new opportunity. You email on Monday morning, waiting for your prospective client to respond to your cold email with a date and time to meet, but your contact doesn't respond. You tell yourself that your contact hasn't had time to read your impeccably well-crafted email, as you followed the best practices that the email gurus promise will cause your client to respond. You even followed your CRM's advice and added a question in the email, as it increases engagement.

On Wednesday you send a second email "bouncing the prior email to the top of your contact's inbox, where your email is now at the top of a list of 127 emails, a number of them far more important than yours. It's clear that you believe your email is more important than the other 126 and that you demand that the person you hope to someday be your client give you their attention, like a two-year old infant.

No matter what the cold email gurus recommend, there are several reasons your emails are not read or returned. When the content of the email is a boring, snooze-fest of content about your company, your clients, and your solutions, it's a perfect list of things your client isn't interested in reading.

Bad Cold Email Strategies

Your email is one in a million, which is not a complement on the content of your message, but a hyperbolic description of what it feels like to receive so many emails, many from sales organizations and salespeople.

The average businessperson receives around 127 emails each day. In a year, that amounts to 27,940 emails a year. With more sales and marketing leaders using automated sequences or sequences, these numbers are likely to grow. Because of the avalanche of emails that cascade into your client's inbox, you can count on your email being deleted to clear out anything that isn't a priority.

Many of these automated cold emails are identified as spam due to their low open rates. The faster a sales organization sends these emails, the faster platforms like Google move them directly to spam folders.


Why Clients Reject Your Cold Email

Assume your contact is a busy person with a lot of responsibility and more work than they could do in two lifetimes. You treat them to the gift of your cold email, telling them who you are and the company you work for, share success stories with links to big companies, and explaining why your contact should do the same, asking them for a meeting. The content of your email creates negative value to a busy person, forcing them to lift their finger from the keyboard to click the delete key. Your email is click-worthy, only if the click is the delete key.

The content of the communication isn't interesting enough to command your client's attention, and there is no question you can ask the client that will transform your self-oriented, "why us" email into something your contact will find valuable. More emails and "bouncing them to the top of the inbox" is a brute force approach, and one likely harm you by proving you want what you want, even if your contact doesn't.

The Rules for Cold Email

You can make selling easier by understanding a couple simple rules. The first rule is that you create value before capturing the value you helped to create. Creating Value requires that you provide your contact with something they find useful or helpful. We call these relationship deposits, and it is a form of content-marketing in reverse. Instead of waiting for your contact to search the internet and stumble into your killer content, you provide it to them directly, without asking for anything in return.


The second rule is the Trading Value Rule. This rule commands you promise your client something valuable in trade for their time or their commitment to a next step. Your client knows that you want a meeting, and your email projects you will pitch them your company and, after bludgeoning them with questions, your solution. How valuable is that experience to your prospective client? This is one reason that “sales is broken.”

From Cold to Warmer in One Email

It's difficult to understand why a sales organization or salesperson would choose a medium that is overpopulated and one that causes the owner to experience a sense of dread knowing what awaits them each day. What's more troubling is the fact that when everyone does things the same way, the lack of differentiation makes the hours you spent studying on LinkedIn wasted time, as your contact deletes your message or moves it to spam (the fate of many "bouncing up "emails).

Email with something your contact will find valuable, some idea that you believe will help them in their role. Don't ask for a reply, a call, or a click on your calendar link. Instead, ask for nothing in return. Do these enough times that your client recognizes your name and connects it to the value you have created? Then, pick up the phone and call the contact and tell them you have something you'd like to share with them, having proven that you are a value creator.


To shorten the time to a meeting, make the call first. Using the Trading Value Rule, promise you have insights worth sharing and book a meeting, an approach that will prevent you from having to send additional emails and "bounce them up." When you can't reach the client, you can send a smarter, value creating email that is worth your client's time.

Post by Anthony Iannarino on February 11, 2022
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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