You should be natural in your emails

10 Helpful Takeaways From Years of Outreach Experience

Read our top 10 recommendations for email outreach. No, they aren’t technical so no DKIM for you, my friend… but there are plenty of other good tips!

Over the last two years of my professional career, I’ve run a ton of email outreach campaigns and have collected many nuggets of wisdom. After one particularly long audit for a client, my esteemed colleagues and I decided to put in writing 10 random (but very useful) outreach takeaways. We need to get them out of our system, even though you haven’t asked to hear what we’ve got to say so here goes nothing… 🙂

A CEO is a Special Type of Human 👨‍💼

I swear it’s true. Just about any C-level person will be happy to engage in a conversation with someone who was a total stranger two seconds ago if said convo is about a current pain point he or she is battling with.

Yeah, yeah, referrals are better. We know. But researching the accounts you’re working on can go a long way when it comes to pressing the right buttons at the right time. In other words, if you strike a nerve, you get a response.

Brush Up on the Basics of Sales 📗

Shhhh… let me tell you a top-secret secret. Nothing unique has been invented in the business communications structure in the 21st century. Sure, new platforms like LinkedIn have been created but as far as entirely new sales processes or an offer-counteroffer dynamic, nope, nothing new.

Every “new” marketing tactic is really just a juxtaposition of some dusty 100-year old principle and the latest tech gimmick. The point? If you know just the basics of sales, you can do successful outreach.

Don’t Confuse Yourself 👻

This is a common one, but that doesn’t make it any less important to keep in mind.

PSA: You are not your audience. I REPEAT, YOU ARE NOT YOUR AUDIENCE. Don’t confuse yourself with them.

Just because you and your college buddy love chatbots doesn’t mean your audience does, especially if your audience is a bunch of senior citizens who couldn’t give a hoot about what fancy new technology is out there.

If a person prefers to talk over the phone or have an offline slide deck in PDF format, don’t argue; just do it (whether that’s your preferred way or not).

Cover Your Bases, But Do It Wisely ✋

It’s important to address common objections that might stop people in their tracks and deter them from engaging with you. While your copy should cover these objections, it shouldn’t do so directly, which can make you sound desperate, gimmicky, and just plain ridiculous.

It’s best to take the subtle route. And, in case you couldn’t guess, saying “We guarantee that we don’t fuck up or your money back” is not subtle. At all.

Don’t Trust Your Own Eyes & Ears 👁️

Always read your emails to other people out loud. Seriously. Grab a teammate, a friend, or anyone nearby (no, the dog doesn’t count…) and start reading.

As you go, remember this: If it’s hard to read, it’s hard to understand. That’s a problem you can’t afford to have when doing outreach, especially if you’re trying to connect with non-native English speakers like yours truly.

Leverage the Red Horse Rule 🐴

The “redhorse rule” is a common copywriting trick that, when used strategically in one of your follow-ups, can save an entire campaign.

Give this a try. Make an outlandish statement or say something provocative in your email. Make sure it’s something that will grab readers’ attention even at the risk of sounding stupid. You’re probably thinking, “How on earth could that be a good idea?” I’ll tell you how.

People LOVE pointing out other people’s mistakes, which could create just enough engagement during outreach for you to turn the tides in your favor. Genius, right?

Waste Not, Want Not ♻️

You can’t take anything for granted in business but, still, many people do. Wasting contacts is a particularly big problem. Often, people get a list of leads, upload them and start sending emails only to find that their campaign seriously underperforms. Well, no other choice but to pause it, right? WRONG. All you’ve got to do is unenroll people who didn’t get the first email from this campaign and let the follow-ups run their course.

On the other hand, there are a lot of missed opportunities when it comes to dead emails. Most likely, you validate email addresses. But what do you do with the undeliverable ones? If you’re smart, you send an email to (or any generic mailbox that is easy to find) and politely ask for John Doe’s email because the one you had ( bounced and you need to talk to him.

It’s all about keeping as many doors open as possible.

Keep Improving Your Campaigns ⭕

Iterate your copy and campaigns. People will write you back and point out the weak parts of your campaign.

Don’t let that valuable feedback go to waste; iterate the copy as long as you’re sending emails. You have to because there’s no magic template or a one-size-fits-all solution. You’ve got to be willing to figure out what works.

As in life, perseverance, unwavering focus on your goals, and the willingness to roll up your sleeves and put in the work are what makes a winner.

📧 Follow-up like there’s no tomorrow

In email outreach, the money is in the follow-ups.

If you start a conversation and don’t check back in with the person on the other side, you’ll lose that opportunity. If you’re sending sales emails or are guiding someone through the process, you should be following up every 2 days or on the day they tell you to. Otherwise, you won’t win deals.

It’s as simple as that.

Tell ‘Em What They Get Out of the Deal 💬

Benefits over features is the name of the email outreach game. As far as we’re concerned, if your email contains the word “unique” (or a synonym), you’ve already lost.

Very few people care about how special and unique you and your product are. What they do care about is how you can solve their problems, help them reach their goals, and give them what they want. So focus your copy on the outcomes and benefits the recipient can expect. You’re almost guaranteed to get far better results.

What’d You Take Away From These Takeaways?

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed these nuggets of wisdom. May they bring you unprecedented email outreach success.

On the other hand, do you disagree with any of these recommendations? Press the button below and we’ll argue about it. After all, that’s the whole purpose of the internet, right?

📧 Argue about cold emails

Alex Balabanov

Alex Balabanov

Chief Email Officer at Balabanov & Co
Expert penguin turner