Quick Trick to Increase Cold Email Responses

by Scott - 6 Comments

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People you don’t know are always more likely to respond to your emails when you’ve been referred. It signals you’ve been vetted.

cold email

Unfortunately, we don’t always have someone willing to introduce or refer us to the person we’re trying to reach. One way to combat this is by creating a referral. The methodology is pretty simple and can be applied even before you’ve identified the decision maker:

Step 1. Call Above Someone in the Organization

By calling above, I mean call someone who holds a higher, related position within the corporate hierarchy. I.E. If I’m trying to reach the VP of marketing, try calling the Chief Marketing Officer’s office.

When you reach this person, simply ask them who is responsible for the initiative related to your solution.

“Hey Joe CMO,

I was hoping you might be able to help me out here….(wait in order to engender attentiveness)

I’m looking to connect with the person in your department who manages social media marketing. Do you know who that might be?

Mike Mokaymo does? Awesome thanks so much”

In their haste to get off the phone, this person will almost always reveal exactly who you need to talk to.

2. Cold Email the prospect indicating the referral in the subject line

Email Title: Social Media Marketing via Joe CMO

As soon as your prospect sees you were referred by their superior, you become important. The likelihood they respond skyrockets. Put yourself in their shoes…what’s worse than someone potentially wasting 15 minutes of their time? Blowing someone off who their boss wanted them to talk to.

The body of the email could go something like this:

Hi Mike Mokaymo,

Joe CMO directed me to you as the person who handles social media marketing.

Our company X has developed a tool to manage their brands reputation which saves average clients 2 hours every single day. Just ask the guys at W, Y, and Z companies.

When you have a few minutes, would enjoy the opportunity to connect to see if we might be able to get you some of that precious time back : )


Maybe this person is looking for brand management tools. Maybe they’re not. Either way they’re probably going to return my cold email because I’ve indicated that I was directed to them by their boss – which I was (in 6 seconds).

BUT SCOTT. There’s no way I can get the CMO or even a VP on the phone! That’s completely fine. Just ask the secretary. They will definitely know who within the organization you need to speak to. When directed by the Secretary you can just subtly change the language:

Email Title: Social Media Marketing via Joe CMO

Hi Mike Mokaymo,

I was told you were the person to talk to about social media marketing from the office of Joe CMO.

Notice the difference? When referred by an administrative assistant you can still convey importance by stating you’ve been directed to them “from the office of” their superior.

This has been very effective for optimizing cold email responses and is pretty simple to do. Give it a shot.

New to this blog or interested in business development? You can find me on twitter here and read more business development posts here.

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