15 May The 80/20 of cold email outreach

I used to send out cold emails that I thought were amazing. They were long, wonderful, talked through our company’s history and our background, whilst adding in lots of images of our wonderful products.

I spent a whole morning crafting a wonderful email, deep down sure that each email would individually be worthy of the Pulitzer Prize.

writing cold emails

how I saw myself, crafting emails

I’d then spend hours finding the right people and fire off each masterpiece with a smile on my face – sitting back to wait for the positive responses I was about to receive from people begging to do business with us……

I’d fire off the email, then hit refresh on my screen, waiting and waiting for the response.

After frantically hitting refresh 20 times
I’d check my internet connection, convinced that anyone who received my email would respond immediately and there must be a problem with the network.

I mean why wouldn’t they?
It was the perfect email.

Then at the end of each day I’d feel like this:


After a few days I looked at my results

Do you know how many replies my perfect email received?

zero responses cold email

Literally none.

Hours and hours crafting emails and very little response.

It was depressing, to say the least.

So, I declared to everyone ‘COLD EMAIL DOESN’T WORK’

And whilst I was literally about to throw in the towel, a friend of mine send me a link to an article that explained how companies like Salesforce and other silicon valley giants used cold email to grow revenue by millions of dollars.

I knew then that if they could do it – then i could do it.

And I know that if I can do it..anyone can do it.

The fix and mastering cold email

So I spent hours researching who got results with cold email (this is long before I started cold emailing for clients).
I tested, tweaked, refined and honed cold email and found there are very important elements that help to multiply the response and lead generation rate.

Fast forward to now and we continually help companies drive leads every week through a system that averages a 30% minimum response rate.

The 80/20 of cold email

So here’s the 80/20 of how to send a cold email – the simple 20% of elements that drive 80% of the results.

These 5 rules only work in respect of CONTENT – i.e. what your email says. We’ve assumed you have the right target (as the wrong target makes all of the below irrelevant).

keep cold email short

I wrote too much.
My email was like an essay
I thought that if my cold email included enough text, then I’d hit the right spot with the customer and they’d be compelled to reply.


That doesn’t work.
It really doesn’t.

Research has even proved that short emails get better responses.


cold email formatting
In the big wide world, nobody cares about you.
Your mum does,
Your friends do.

But unfortunately, people who you email from out of nowhere really don’t care about you at all.

The mistake people make is they think:

‘well, they don’t know me so I need to write LOTS about me’

This is not the way to do it.

If you only get someone’s attention for 2 seconds then you’d better make sure you add value and grab their attention.

If you want to see a bad example of a cold email, just open your gmail and browse through the spam section. If you’re like me you have hundreds of emails from people saying

‘I know HTML really well and can do PHP and CSS’

That’s NOT the way to send a cold email.

But a great example of a cold email that has a superb response rate is below. This email received a 28% response rate:

Subject: 10x COMPANY’s traction in 10 minutes

Hello NAME.

I have an idea that I can explain in 10 minutes that get COMPANY its next 100 best customers.

I recently used this idea to help our client CLIENT NAME almost triples their monthly run rate.

NAME, let’s schedule a quick 10 minute call so I can share the idea with you. When works best for you.

Source: Predictable Revenue

Follow up cold email

I gave up after 1 email.

Well, I really don’t want to bother them’

I really did believe that was the reason why.

But after some more research and after looking at my own email activities, I realised that’s not the way to do it.

When someone gets an email from someone they haven’t heard from before, their natural reaction isn’t:


It looks like this:


Clearly there are a number of people who will NEVER use your product or service, but that shouldn’t stop you attempting to reach those that do want to.

And there are many reasons why someone may not pick up your first email.

Data proves that the 4th email gets as many positive replies as the first email

So keep going – make 5 or 6 emails your minimum you send. Until they say no, if you beleive your product can help them – you have every reason to follow-up.

cold email mobile

Gone are the days when everybody used Lotus Notes or Outlook Express to read an email – nope, many many people will just read your mail on their phone whilst juggling 30 other tasks.

So, should you approach with flashy images or 15 logos at the bottom of your email?

Or a snazzy call to action:


The short answer is no.
A short email, that looks great on mobile – is better than one that looks great on a desktop, but not on any other device.

cold email subject length

Please don’t start your email with something long and dull about introducing your company.
It just won’t work.

Keep it simple – Statistics show that 28-39 characters is the optimal subject line for email opens


The 5 rules above are great guidelines for principles you should follow when you send out cold email.

There are a lot more elements you can change which will multiply your results even further. Finding the right people to email is an even bigger challenge.

If you get it right, you’ll hit a 30% response rate like we regularly do for our clients, at SCALE.

Our copy and clone email list – some of the most successful emails from B2B companies with remarkable response rates and revenue from simple emails.

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