Your ‘Cold’ Follow Up Email Sucks

You got a lead because someone attended a webinar that your company was hosting or sponsoring. Or maybe someone downloaded some content. Now it’s your job to follow up with them to see what sparked their interest and if they want to buy what you’re selling.

If you’ve ever attended a webinar or downloaded content, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

The majority of sales people send the same generic email template to those leads because it’s easy to do and it doesn’t take much time. Copy and paste the template, change the name, the title of the webinar and the subject line. Or, configure a mass email and you’re done even faster. Boom!

You’ve followed up to all 20 leads you got and now you can go back to doing what you were doing prior.

But, where’s the value?

The subject line of you letting me know that you’re my point of contact doesn’t encourage me to open the email. I open it anyways because I’m in sales and I’m always trying to evolve.

Introducing yourself as the main point of contact and letting me know that you saw I attended the webinar isn’t valuable; I don’t care. I know I attended the webinar and if I wanted to buy your product, I would call you direct.

Run on sentences about all the cool things your product does, and all of the cool clients you have doesn’t help me either. Good for you; so how does that help me in my job?

The soft close at the end of the email asking for 15 minutes is such garbage too. Having used this approach myself, I know it wouldn’t be 15 minutes. It’s a bait and switch to get 30 minutes on my calendar.

The crazy signature with all of the different images is slightly overwhelming… AND don’t forget about the unsubscribe hyperlink at the bottom of the email. Wow, I can remove myself from your list? How personable of you!

So, it goes from, ‘Do you have any questions about the webinar?’ To ‘When can we talk about my product?’

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it! And I used to do it! Man, it feels good to admit I’ve come a long ways. No wonder nobody ever responded to my awful ‘cold’ follow up emails. I wasn’t providing ANY value. I was just doing my job of following up to the leads.

Having the right subject line is a game changer. Do a little research on the prospect and personalize your approach to following up. A few minutes on LinkedIn or Twitter will give you plenty of information about the prospect or the company they work for.

“Well Jordan, What if I can’t find them on the internet?” If you can’t find them on the internet, chances are they aren’t real. And, if a prospect can’t be found online… are they a good candidate to talk to about your software? Also, depending on your company, the form should capture a phone number. Try calling! Cold calling isn’t dead.

Leveraging information within the webinar and how it pertains to sales people is a better approach than asking me if I have any questions. I can’t even remember when the webinar was. Try relating the webinar to something on my profile. Even though I’m not the decision maker, I’d be more likely to respond to your email if you personalized it and somehow caught my attention.

Instead of asking me if I’d be interested, you need to tell me why I need to be interested. “You’re going to be more efficient, giving you time back in my day.” Or “you’re going to continue receiving great customer service reviews.” (My company is well known for great customer service and someone that has done research would know that.)

I’m not a fan of the soft close for a meeting because it’s kinda like the, “Got time? {shrug}

I personally like something like, “How can I get 30 minutes on your calendar to share more?” Or, if you’re in outside sales, “I’m going to be in your area next week, what day and time work best so I can share more?”

Everyone has their own favorite close. Your geography can change the type of close you use too.

I used to write those sad ‘cold’ follow up emails. Now I’m receiving them. 18 months ago I stopped writing those types of emails because I started focusing my time and energy on personalized outreach. Social Selling is a word that’s taking the industry by storm. Do yourself a favor and personalize your approach. Your prospects won’t roll their eyes every time they get an email from you.

“Okay, Jordan… You’ve told me what I’m doing wrong. How can I fix it?”

I’m glad you asked!

Do your research! What information do you already have about this prospect in your CRM (Customer relationship management)? Look at the prospects website. Look at their LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms. Do they follow or engage with people you follow too? Search the company’s 10-K, ‘about us’ page or just plain Google them!

What are their business priorities? Are they focused on building their brand or reaching new markets? Are they opening up new locations and have a lot of job openings?


Subject Line: Mutual Connections – Connect week of April 4th?

Hi Karen,

Those recommendations on your LinkedIn profile speak volumes about your character. Look at that! We also share a few connections. Based on your Tweets, I can see that you absolutely love your company. Wouldn’t it be great if it was easier to find dedicated talent like yourself?

The webinar you recently attended touched on a few ways to cut down on time spent recruiting. Imagine getting 2 hours back in your day!

My company aggregates all jobs boards allowing you to post to THE very best ones… seamlessly!

I really think I can save you time and possibly money. At the very least, you’ll acquire a new online resource.

When can I share more with you?




Did I get your attention and did I provide value? Did I leave you feeling like you want to learn more? Take a little more time to personalize your emails and your prospects will be thanking you. Nobody has the time for you to ask them about their strategy or if they have questions about your product… They want solutions and innovative ideas.

Be human, personalize your approach and most importantly… provide value!


If you’ve liked what you’ve read, you’ll definitely like The Ah-Ha Moment. Don’t hesitate to connect with me on LinkedIn & Twitter!