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Cold e-mailing techniques?

When trying to approach a medium size company to sell them a service, is it better to go through the generic "Contact Us" page or email someone directly? Most companies have enough info in the "about" section to target a good person to contact. Would it be considered bad form to try to contact them directly via some network or direct email?

I'm not sure if that would be considered thinking outside of the box and looked upon favorably or seen as not following procedure. I guess there is no crystal ball, just wondering what the general consensus on something like this would be.

15 Replies

Justin McGill
1
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Justin McGill Entrepreneur
Founder of LeadFuze (All-in-One B2B Lead Generation Platform)
Hey John - MUCH better success going directly to the person. I wrote a whole guide on cold email best practices which you can find here:https://www.leadfuze.com/complete-guide-cold-email-outreach-best-practices/ The software can help you gather the contact info also. Let me know and I can add some additional prospects for you. Good luck!
Amy Weicker
5
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Amy Weicker Entrepreneur
Director of Marketing, Marketing Consultant, Social Media Strategist, Customer Experience Enthusiast
Direct. One of my fave sales hacks is contacting a CEO or someone clearly higher up than your target and asking them if they're the right person to be talking to. Often, they'll cc the right person (someone junior to them) introing you/suggesting they follow up. Easy in. Alternatively, something like QuotaDeck can be awesome for turning cold emails into warm ones.
Carolyn Goodman
0
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Carolyn Goodman Advisor
President/Creative Director at Goodman Marketing Partners
I agree with both Justin and Amy that it's far better to go direct. LinkedIn is a great tool to research and find your target, and send them an InMail. That way it doesn't get lost in the recipients in-box and the receiver feels a bit more obligated to acknowledge you and respond.
Thomas J. Kaled
1
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Thomas J. Kaled Advisor
Business Development Consultant @ thomas.kaled@gmail.com
Two very good answers and your technique certainly has it's applicability. If you record each approach in your CRM you might obtain a difference in 'hit' or 'time to close' rate. It will take a reasonable sample since it is a trends analysis but it's probably a data point worth recording (designate them Method A, B and C and analyze pipeline outcome).The best way to find a qualified prospect is through a client so in addition to the aforementioned I like to use this method as well.
Greg Welch
0
0
Greg Welch Advisor
Founder, President & CEO at SquishClip
When possible always try and get an intro to the the "right" person from someone they know. You might know that person or know someone who can introduce you. I warm intro always trumps any cold call or cold contact in my opinion. It takes a bit of leg work but you can use LinkedIn and the web to see who you need to talk to and then find who you know that might know the person you are trying to reach.
Amy Weicker
0
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Amy Weicker Entrepreneur
Director of Marketing, Marketing Consultant, Social Media Strategist, Customer Experience Enthusiast
The tool I mentioned, QuotaDeck, does exactly what Greg suggests... minus the manual legwork. It'll help connect you to people who can give a warm intro. Incredibly useful, particularly in dealing with high level decision makers who are inundated with sales emails / calls / tweets / inMails.
Terry Tormey
0
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Terry Tormey Advisor
President & CEO at Prevention Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Not a big fan of "cold emails." Pick up the phone and attempt to reach your primary target. Be persistent!
Harsh Vardhan
0
0
Harsh Vardhan Advisor
Co-Founder & Chief Number Cruncher: Cookedin.com
John, this is the cold mail formula I tried. Beginning by researching the details on the Net (LinkedIn inclusive), capturing pertinent data relevant (spreadsheet)to the business offer. Followed up via mail, to the CEO/MD/Sr. Manager, with a brief on our company and the offer - suggesting, it would be followed up by a call from a senior (VP - Marketing). Usually had a good, response. At least the VP Marketing usually got a good response on his follow up calls! :) P.S. VP - Marketing had the spreadsheet before him, at the time he would be making calls.
Rodrigo Vaca
1
0
Rodrigo Vaca Entrepreneur • Advisor
Product & Marketing
I get 3-5 cold emails a day. And, yikes @Terry. Sorry - I think that advice highlights the "pester your customer" sales approach.

Do they ever work? At least for me, 99% of the time, they don't.

A long time ago Seth Godin talked about Interruption Marketing. And I can certainly see how many companies are still fixated on using it. Now - is it always wrong? Not necessarily. And of course, when you need to start generating revenue and you have no other means, I can see why taking that route is tempting.

But when you most do it, make sure you do it right. Quality and not quantity. Some time ago I put together some tips for people doing outbound sales, particularly over email in a b2b sales scenario:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/improve-your-outbound-sales-7-tips-from-prospect-rodrigo-vaca


Justin King
0
0
Justin King Entrepreneur
B2B eCommerce Adviser and Strategist, Founder of eCommerceandB2B.com, Senior Partner B2X Partners
Optin emails in many cases convert high and provide much better engagement. If you want to do it on the cheap (not buying software), I wrote an eBook on how to do this in LinkedIN - a pretty unique method. http://ecommerceandb2b.com/download/5379/. That is a direct download - not email gated. I sell it for $4.95 - but my contribution to your cause - if you wouldn't mind giving me feedback if you decide to implement the method.
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