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3 Minutes of Advice Based on Sending 2.3M Cold Emails

Email is the backbone of every thriving business. It’s direct, timely, personal, and scales beautifully.

Today, we’re diving into what we’ve learned from sending over 2.3 million cold emails.

Our goal is to help you refine your targeting, sharpen your messaging, and perfect your outreach strategy, without having to invest your own 10,000 hours.


1. Everything We Learned

2. The Results

3. How To Do It Yourself


A shameless plug: Scout helps users build their ideal customer lists, personalize outreach, and manage the entire process, by REDUCING 10+ HOURS OF WORK TO JUST 20 MINUTES.


Everything We Learned

Read time: 3 minutes

"Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.” - Joe Chernov

1. Begin With The End In Mind

  • Map Out Every Stage Of The Sale: Knowing what you want to achieve ahead of time creates crazy efficiencies. If you can't answer this question: "Who do you want to talk to and what do you want them to do (first and last)?" then don't send the email.

2. Email Starts Well Before You Write Your Email

  • Data Drives Success: Your lists need to be squeaky clean. Formatted correctly, chock-full of useful data, scrubbed, and validated. Your email list drives your ability to personalize at scale and keep your sender reputation strong. You'll save hours by putting in the time upfront to make sure that your data doesn't have columns containing "Three", "3", "3.0", and "THREE".

3. Email Ops

  • It's Not Your Email, It's Your Email Software: 9 times out of 10, deliverability and engagement suffer at the hands of poor email software. Want to see it in real life? Try sending 50 individual emails and then send the same one to a list of 500. Mass email systems aren't built for engagement, they're built for scale. So, unless you're sending 100K / Mo., you've probably got the wrong setup.

  • DMARC, DKIM, SPF, IMAP, SMTP, IP, CANSPAM: Unfortunately, these are all acronyms that you will need to know. For the purposes of brevity, we'll let you look them up.

  • Batching, Throttling, and Randomization: Staggering your sends at random times improves your delivery and protects your reputation. Humans don't send emails on the hour, every hour, your email system shouldn't either.

4. Content (and Structure) is King 👑

  • Personalization is key: We achieved 60%+ open rates in multiple campaigns in a variety of industries. How? Hint: Including a first name is table-stakes. If you can grab something ultra-timely, hyper-personal, and make it relevant, you're stepping into the big leagues. (e.g. cities are good, subdivisions are better).

  • Psychology works: Your job is to make it easy for the reader to say yes... or no. People love to say "no." Try to rephrase your content to drive a "no" and watch it work wonders.

  • Spacing is your friend:

Breaking sentences out structurally works.

Even if it doesn't make sense.

It keeps readers moving.


5. Subjects Get You Opens, Brevity Gets Replies

  • Say It In The Least Words Possible: The shorter the message, the better it performs. If you wrote 4 paragraphs, reduce that to 4 sentences. Then reduce it to 4 lines. It's still probably too long. Make it shorter and watch your engagement double.

6. Trust, Credibility, and Reputation Matter

  • Email Is Based In Sales Too: People respond to others that they know, like, and trust. Do everything you can to achieve that. It will help you in the long-run when you're looking for repeat business and referrals.

  • They're Going to Google You: The first thing the recipient will do is head to Google or LinkedIn. You want to maintain a professional online presence that tells them you're someone they can know, like, and trust.

  • Your Email Reputation Is Just As Important As Your Online Reputation: Every email provider rates you based on 4 things: 1) Your domain reputation, 2) Your IP reputation, 3) Your sender reputation, and 4) Your content.

7. WIIFM --> CTA

  • "What's In It For Me?": Can they immediately tell why you're reaching out and how it impacts them? If not, you will want to revise your copy.

  • Call To Action: Always end with one. Make it simple to answer. Don't ask multiple questions or ask a question and provide a link. It's confusing. Focus on getting your recipient to take one single action.

8. It's Not A One-And-Done

  • Most Replies Come After The First Email: If you want someone to take action, every email should have a follow-up.

9. Email is Counterintuitive, Non-Obvious, And Can Be A Full Time Job

  • The Things You Think Work Don't: Images, links, long-form narratives... throw it all out the window. Email providers calculate your image to text ratio, too many links push you to a promotional tab and long-form, carefully considered verbiage gets tossed in the trash.

  • KISS: Really, keep it dead-simple, find a baseline, and start your A/B tests from there.

  • It's Part Art, Part Data-Science, Part Technology: So much goes into building the perfect strategy, and without a strong foundation, it can all change in a day. Someone who can master language, data, and deliverability truly is a 🦄. These are often three separate jobs, entirely, and each one is a full-time job, in its own right.


The Results

We've seen it all. 60%+ open rates, 28% response rates, 18% click rates. All on cold email.

And we've been fortunate enough to see what doesn't work, and learn from that, too.

We've acquired 90% of our users via email and we've heard the wins from our customers: $4M deals in less than 7 days; $7M in deals in less than 90;

$12M opportunities; and so many more.

We've seen email work in Real Estate, Lending, Insurance, Finance, Moving and Storage - in fact, there hasn't been an industry that hasn't found success. The use cases are endless.

As long as you can clearly articulate who you want to target and what you want them to do (and the data exists to identify them), Scout has the tools to help you prove your use case, automate the outreach, and scale the process.


How To Do It Yourself

If you want a step-by-step primer, we've created one for you that you can access here.

We've also put together a simple workflow with all of the steps required to nail execution:

  1. Identify recipients

  2. Prioritize Send Lists

  3. Attach Emails

  4. Scrub and Validate Emails

  5. Format

  6. Write Content

  7. Build In CANSPAM Compliance

  8. Map Mail Merge Tags

  9. Schedule Drips

  10. Monitor Results

  11. Repeat

If you want to take the easy route, find a time to schedule a demo with our team.


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