Mastering cold emailing in B2B sales: Strategies and tools for effective outreach

Table of Contents

1. Cold Email essentials

1.1 What is cold emailing outreach?

Cold email outreach is a strategic method of initiating business relationships without prior contact. This approach involves sending personalised, targeted email messages to potential clients or partners who have not previously interacted with your business.

The key aim is to introduce your high-value service, showcasing how it aligns with the recipient’s business needs and objectives. Effective cold emailing requires a deep understanding of your targeted clients, a clear value proposition, and a respectful, professional tone. It’s not about making an immediate sale, but rather about planting seeds for future business collaborations.

For SMEs, cold emailing is a cost-effective way to reach decision-makers, expand their network, and ultimately drive business growth by building meaningful connections.

Cold email senders

1.2 Why is cold emailing outreach important?

Cold email outreach is a vital tool for small to medium-sized enterprises due to its direct and personalised approach to tapping into new markets and building professional networks. In the B2B realm, where relationships and trust are paramount, cold emails serve as a first step in establishing connections with potential clients or partners.

This method allows your company to present your unique value propositions directly to decision-makers, bypassing traditional advertising noise. It’s particularly crucial for SMEs, which may not have extensive marketing budgets, to provide a cost-effective channel to reach a targeted audience.

Moreover, cold emailing enables your enterprise to tailor your messages based on specific client needs and industry trends, thereby enhancing the relevance and effectiveness of their communication.

Importantly, this approach can lead to higher conversion rates as it focuses on prospects who are likely to have an interest or need for the specialised services offered. Additionally, it facilitates feedback and insights directly from potential clients, enabling SMEs to refine their offerings and market strategies.

outreach efforts

1.3 What tool to use?

For SMEs, selecting the right tool for automating cold email outreach is important, and one such tool that stands out is Instantly.

Instantly offers advanced personalisation features, enabling businesses to tailor their messages specifically to each prospect’s interests and needs, significantly enhancing the relevance and impact of each email. Its robust segmentation capabilities allow for targeted emails based on various criteria like industry, company size, or role, ensuring the message resonates with the intended audience. The automation functionalities in Instantly include scheduling options to optimise send times for higher email open and response rates.

Additionally, its comprehensive analytics provide insights into key email performance metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, allowing for data-driven adjustments to the outreach strategy. A standout feature is its seamless integration with CRM systems, ensuring all prospect interactions are efficiently tracked and managed. Tools like Instantly, along with others such as HubSpot and Salesloft, offer scalability to accommodate business growth.

For B2B firms, a tool like Instantly balances sophisticated automation capabilities with user-friendliness, ensuring teams can effectively manage campaigns without needing extensive technical expertise. This approach streamlines the outreach process and maximises the chances of engaging valuable leads, driving significant business results.

sales emails

2. How to send your first cold email campaign

2.1 How to set up a campaign

Setting up a cold email campaign using a tool like Instantly can be a game-changer for your company.

The process begins with defining the campaign’s objectives and identifying the audience your company wants to target. This involves segmenting prospects based on specific criteria relevant to the service offered, such as industry, company size, or decision-maker roles.

Once the audience is defined, the next step is to craft a personalised cold email template. These cold email templates should have a professional tone, a clear value proposition, and a compelling call-to-action, tailored to address the unique pain points and needs of each segment. Instantly’s personalisation features can help in customising a cold email template with dynamic content like the recipient’s name, company, or industry-specific references.

The next critical step is to schedule the emails in your email account or with an automatic tool. Instantly allows for strategic scheduling, enabling the emails to be sent at times when they are most likely to be opened, based on data-driven insights. Before launching the campaign, it’s essential to integrate Instantly with your CRM system to ensure seamless tracking and management of responses and interactions. This integration facilitates a streamlined workflow and enables the sales team to follow up effectively.

Once the campaign is live, monitoring performance through Instantly’s analytics is vital. This includes tracking open rates, click-through rates, and response rates, providing insights that can be used to refine the campaign in real time. A/B testing different email elements like subject lines or call-to-actions can further optimise the campaign’s effectiveness.

Engaging cold email

2.2 How to set the follow-up sequence of your outreach

Your company needs to set up an effective email sequence for its cold email campaign using a tool like Instantly.

The first step is to define the sequence’s structure, determining the number of emails and the interval between each follow-up email. This sequence should start with an introductory email that succinctly introduces your company and outlines the value proposition of your service. It’s vital to make this initial contact informative, relevant, and non-intrusive.

Following the introductory email, the sequence should include a series of follow-up emails, each designed with a specific purpose, such as providing additional information, addressing common pain points, or offering case studies or testimonials. Your manager should space out these follow-ups strategically over days or weeks to maintain engagement without overwhelming the prospects.

With Instantly, you can automate this sequence, ensuring each email is sent at the optimal time based on the recipient’s engagement patterns. The tool’s personalisation features can be used to tailor each of your emails in the sequence to the recipient’s industry, role, or specific business needs, enhancing the relevance and impact of the communication. Additionally, Instantly’s analytics capabilities allow you to monitor the performance of each email in the sequence, such as open rates and click-through rates, providing valuable insights for real-time adjustments.

It’s also important to include a mechanism for recipients to easily opt out of further emails, respecting their preferences and adhering to email marketing regulations. Finally, ensure that the sequence is integrated with your CRM system, enabling seamless tracking of responses and facilitating timely follow-up actions by your sales team.

cold outreach campaign

2.3 Number of contacts

Deciding the number of companies to contact in your cold email campaign, especially for SMEs offering high-ticket B2B services, requires a balance between reach and personalisation. Begin by analysing your service’s market capacity and your team’s capacity to handle responses. For high-ticket items, where the sales cycle is typically longer and more complex, it’s more effective to focus on a smaller, highly targeted group of prospects. This approach ensures that each outreach is personalised and relevant, increasing the likelihood of engagement.

Using a tool like Instantly, start by segmenting your market based on specific criteria relevant to your service, such as industry, company size, and decision-maker roles. Estimate a realistic number of companies in each segment that your team can effectively engage with. It’s crucial to consider your team’s bandwidth for follow-ups and further interactions, as personalised engagement is key in high-ticket B2B sales.

In Instantly, set up your campaign to target these segmented groups. Utilise the tool’s advanced personalisation features to tailor each email, making the recipients feel that the message caters to their specific needs and challenges. The platform’s automation and scheduling functionalities can help in managing the volume of emails sent, ensuring that your team can effectively handle responses.

Furthermore, use Instantly’s analytics to track the performance of your campaign, and be prepared to adjust your targeting criteria based on the response rates and engagement levels. This data-driven approach allows you to refine your campaign and focus on the most responsive segments.

cold email strategy

3 Cold emailing sample

3.1 Subject line of your cold email template

Crafting an effective subject line for a cold email is crucial, especially for SMEs in the B2B sector, as it significantly influences the recipient’s attention and therefore the open rate of the email.

The subject line should be concise, clear, and intriguing while avoiding any clickbait-style phrasing. For instance, a compelling subject line could be “Unlock New Growth Opportunities with [Your Service]” or “Elevate Your [Prospect’s Industry] Operations with Proven Expertise.” These examples are specific and relevant, hinting at the value proposition without giving everything away, thus sparking curiosity.

It’s important to personalise the subject line where possible, perhaps by including the prospect’s company name or industry, to make the email feel more tailored and less like a mass campaign. Avoid using generic phrases like “Just Checking In” or “Quick Question,” as they tend to blend in with other emails. Additionally, be mindful of the length; keeping it under 60 characters ensures that the subject line is fully visible on most devices, including mobile.

Remember, the goal of cold email subject lines is to pique interest and encourage the recipient to open the email, serving as a gateway to the valuable content you have to offer.

cold email format

3.2 Content in your cold email template

When composing the content of a cold email for SMEs, it’s essential to focus on the content in the email body on clarity, relevance, and value.

For writing cold emails you should start with a personalised greeting, using the recipient’s name to establish a connection. The opening line should be engaging, possibly referencing a recent achievement or news about the recipient’s company to show that you’ve done your homework and you are up to date. The core of the email body should succinctly introduce your company and explain the service you offer, emphasising how it can specifically address the challenges or goals of the recipient’s business. For example, the personalised cold email template could include: “At [Your Company], we specialise in [Service], which has helped businesses like yours in [Industry] achieve [Specific Benefit].”

Include in your cold email a brief case study or testimonial that illustrates the success of your service. This provides credibility and helps the recipient visualise the potential impact on their business. You should write cold emails in a professional yet approachable tone, avoiding jargon to ensure the personalised message is clear and easily understood.

The email should conclude with a clear and direct call-to-action, such as scheduling a call or requesting a meeting, to discuss how your service can benefit your potential customers’ business. Make it as easy as possible for them to respond, perhaps by suggesting specific times for a call or providing a direct link to your calendar.

Lastly, keep the cold email concise; respect the recipient’s time by delivering your message in a few short paragraphs. Remember, the goal of the email is to initiate a conversation, not to close a sale. By focusing on how your service can add value to their business and help with their pain point, you set the stage for a productive dialogue.

3.3 Call-to-actions in your cold email template

Crafting an effective call-to-action (CTA) in a cold email is crucial for SMEs in the B2B industry, as it guides the recipient towards the next step in the engagement process.

The CTA should be clear, direct, and easy to act on, reflecting the ultimate goal of your cold email. For your company, a suitable CTA might be to schedule a consultation or a demo, which allows for a more in-depth discussion of the service’s benefits and customisation according to the prospect’s needs.

An example of a cold email CTA could be: “Would you be open to a brief 20-minute call next week to discuss how [Your Service] can specifically help [Prospect’s Company] achieve [Specific Goal or Overcome a Specific Challenge]?”

This CTA is effective because it is specific in terms of the time commitment required (20 minutes) and the purpose of the call (to discuss tailored benefits). It also provides a direct means of action (calendar link), making it easy for the potential client to respond.

It’s important to align the tone of the CTA with the rest of the cold email — professional, yet approachable, and always focusing on the value it brings to the recipient. Avoid vague or generic CTAs like “Let me know if you’re interested” as they lack immediacy and clear action steps.

By providing a specific and straightforward CTA, you increase the likelihood of a response and move one step closer to establishing a valuable business relationship.

entire message

3.4 Stand out even while using cold email software

To stand out in the crowded inbox of potential clients, especially when using cold email software, your company must focus in their cold email on personalisation and providing unique value.

While automation tools like Instantly streamline the process, the content of your cold emails should feel as personal and tailored as possible. Start by leveraging data insights to segment your audience for your cold email campaigns effectively. Craft a cold email template that addresses the specific challenges, interests, and potential needs of each segment.

For example, if targeting SMEs in the technology sector, your email could begin with a reference to a recent industry development or challenge, like, “In light of the recent cybersecurity advancements, we understand the increasing pressure on tech companies like yours to enhance data security.”

Incorporate elements that can’t be automated, such as mentioning a recent achievement of the recipient’s company or commenting on a relevant industry trend. This approach demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to understand their specific situation, setting you apart from generic, mass-sent emails which are often sorted directly to the spam folder.

Another way to differentiate your emails is by offering immediate value, such as a free resource like an insightful article or a blog post relevant to their business. For instance, “I thought you might find our latest whitepaper on cutting-edge AI solutions in [Industry] insightful. It addresses some of the key challenges I believe [Recipient’s Company] might be facing.”

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, cold emailing, as an essential tool for SMEs in the B2B sector, is about strategically initiating and nurturing business relationships. It involves a personalised approach, utilising tools like Instantly for segmentation, automation, and effective communication tailored to the recipient’s needs.

The importance of cold emailing lies in its ability to reach decision-makers directly, offering a cost-effective means to present unique value, laying out the specific pain point of your client and a perfect solution and establishing a foundation for long-term business growth.

Setting up successful campaigns requires careful planning, from crafting a compelling and catchy subject line and content to defining email sequences and deciding on the number of companies to contact. Each element, including cold email subject line, content, and call-to-action, should be thoughtfully designed to resonate with the target audience, addressing their specific challenges and demonstrating the unique value your service provides.

Moreover, standing out in a sea of automated emails demands a focus on personalisation and offering tangible value, positioning your company as a knowledgeable and credible solution provider in your industry.

Ultimately, cold emails are not just a tool for immediate sales but a strategic approach to building meaningful, long-lasting business relationships, crucial for the sustained growth and success of your company in the B2B service market.


5. FAQ

5.1 Cold emails vs. LinkedIn messages – What works better?

In the realm of B2B outreach for SMEs, the debate between the efficacy of cold emails versus LinkedIn messages is significant. Cold emails have a broader reach, allowing you to contact prospects outside your immediate network, and are typically more formal and detailed, suitable for presenting comprehensive information about your services. They also provide more space for personalisation and the inclusion of attachments or links to additional resources. However, they can sometimes get lost in cluttered inboxes or be filtered out in spam folders.

LinkedIn messages, on the other hand, benefit from the professional context of the platform and often have higher open rates due to the perceived credibility of a LinkedIn profile seen as social proof. They are particularly effective for targeted networking and building relationships, as they allow for immediate access to the prospect’s professional background, facilitating more personalised and relevant communication. LinkedIn messages are generally shorter and more direct, which can be advantageous in capturing the attention of busy professionals.

The choice between the two depends on your specific objectives and target audience. For in-depth presentations of services, cold emails might be more effective, while LinkedIn messages could be better for initiating conversations and network building. A combined approach is often the most effective: using LinkedIn for initial contact and relationship building, followed by more detailed discussions through email. This strategy allows your company to leverage the strengths of both channels, maximising the potential for successful outreach and engagement with high-value prospects in the B2B space.

5.2 What is a recommended sequence to send follow-up emails?

In the context of SMEs specialising in B2B services, the decision between a high-sequence (multiple automated follow-ups) and low-sequence (fewer follow-ups) cold emailing approach depends on several factors, including the nature of the service, sales cycle length, and prospect engagement level.

High-sequence strategies are generally effective for longer sales cycles typical in B2B contexts. They involve a series of carefully crafted follow-up emails, providing additional information, addressing potential objections, and reinforcing the value proposition over time. This approach is beneficial for nurturing leads, building a relationship, and keeping your service top-of-mind for prospects. For example, after the initial pitch, subsequent emails could offer case studies, testimonials, or detailed insights into how your service solves specific industry challenges.

Conversely, a low-sequence strategy, comprising a few, more impactful emails, is suitable when dealing with a more targeted, well-researched list of prospects, where each message must convey substantial value. This approach respects the prospect’s time and attention span, focusing on quality over quantity. It works well when your service’s value is straightforward and can be communicated effectively in fewer interactions, or when your prospect base is highly specific and refined.

The choice between high and low-sequence strategies should align with your overall sales and marketing approach. High-sequence is ideal for gradually building interest and awareness over time, appropriate for complex, high-value offerings. Low-sequence suits scenarios where the value is immediately apparent, and the goal is to quickly gauge interest or fit. 

However, The tendency goes to a low sequence as if the client does not reply, it shows that you accept it as “No, not interested”. In a world where masses of emails/messages are sent, this shows a kind of respect and professionalism.

email, email marketing

5.3 Why should I use an automation tool?

Using an automation tool for cold emails is particularly beneficial for SMEs in the B2B service sector, primarily due to the efficiency and scalability it offers.

In the realm of high-value services, the sales cycle is often complex and lengthy, requiring consistent and tailored communication with numerous prospects. An automation tool streamlines this process by enabling the scheduling of emails, segmentation of contact lists, and personalisation at scale. This means that you can send out a large volume of emails that are individually tailored to each recipient, addressing their specific needs and challenges without the impracticality and time consumption of manually writing a cold email for each client.

Furthermore, automation tools offer valuable insights through analytics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, which are crucial for refining your approach and understanding what resonates with your audience. By analysing this data, SMEs can adjust their cold email template, timing, and targeting to optimise the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Another significant advantage is the ability to set up automated follow-up sequences. This ensures that potential leads are nurtured consistently, increasing the chances of converting them into clients. In the B2B space, where decision-making can take time, these follow-ups are critical in keeping your offering at the forefront of prospects’ minds.

Moreover, automation tools often integrate with CRM systems, thereby ensuring a seamless flow of information and enabling sales teams to track interactions and engagements efficiently. This integration is vital for maintaining an organised and systematic approach to sales, which is essential for SMEs dealing with high-value transactions.

Related articles
Copywriting and the Art of a Compelling B2B Email Sequence
Navigator's Edge: How to get the most out of Linkedin Sales Navigator
How to write a Sales Script: Crafting the Perfect Structure for a Setter Call
If you knew all the steps, scaling your business would be easy, right?

One Last Step: Where Do You Want It?