How to Create Cold Email Sequences That Drive Sales

It’s almost impossible to get B2B executives to buy a SaaS or e-commerce product they didn’t know about with mere sales emails

Among other things, you need to: 

  • Create a good first impression and get them to engage with your messages.
  • Show them why your offer is relevant by highlighting the unique pain points you solve.
  • Educate them on the product and how they can use it.
  • Create some product experience to show them the lifestyle they can have using your product.
  • Highlight the values they can expect from using your product.
  • Handle their objections. 
  • Show your unique advantage over competing products.
  • And more.

So, as you build your product and are on the cusp of launching a marketing campaign to sell it, it can be challenging to nail all these components down into your messaging strategy.

And that’s why you need a cold email sequence.

A cold email sequence allows you to build a step-by-step cold email campaign, a messaging system that feeds your prospects with the right message at the right time throughout a well-designed sales process and eventually gets them into paying customers. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to create highly converting sales emails you can use to close your potential clients in the B2B space.

Among other things, we also incorporate cold email templates you can use as inspiration to come up with a killer cold email sequence that will generate leads and paying customers. 

Note: Struggling to get replies or book meetings with prospects that fit in your ICP? We’ll help you get 6 SQLs or book 6 meetings with prospects that are ready to buy for only $999/month. Book a 15-minute consultation now.

What Is A Cold Email Sequence? 

A cold email sequence is a series of cold emails that you program using a time interval and/or based on triggers/events and sends automatically to your prospects. 

The true power of a cold email sequence is that it works like the buyer’s journey. It involves funnel-like messaging with a nurturing email sequence that moves your prospects through stages of the buyer’s journey — from the first touch to the step you close them and turns them into customers. 

Throughout the cold email outreach process, your job is to feed your targets with the necessary information to learn about your product offer, build a relationship, and eventually get them to buy from you.

Read more: How to Generate B2b Leads With Cold Outreach [Case Study]

Why Sending Cold Email Sequences Is Important?

The whole value of sending cold email sequences revolves around the fact that sending a single cold email and calling it quits won’t get you any results. 

Statistics show that it takes a sales rep an average of 5-7 cold emails before closing a client. 

Think about cold calls. You cannot get a customer to buy from a single call. No matter what you sell or what value you provide during the call. 

Case in point, a study by The Brevet Group confirmed that 80% of sales require five follow-up calls after the meeting. The same goes for cold emailing. 

As the marketing and sales adage goes, the fortune is in the follow-up. You need to send follow-up emails after the first touch email before expecting results. 

And the best way to do this is to write a powerful follow-up email sequence. This means creating cold email campaigns with the appropriate number of follow-up emails.

There are a lot of success stories and statistics out there, but here is the main reason why this is how it needs to be. 

When cold emailing prospects for the first time, there are a couple of boxes you need to check off before they can trust and buy from you. 

Here are the main considerations. 

  • They didn’t know who you are
  • They didn’t know about your product
  • They didn’t know about your brand
  • They might not be aware of the problem you’re trying to solve
  • They’re not ready to buy right away
  • They don’t trust you right away
  • And more and more objections

So you need a cold email sequence, a funnel to break the ice, move prospects from problem aware to solution aware, create a nurturing email sequence to convince them of the value of your offer, handle their objections, and get them to buy. 

This process is the very reason you need a follow-up email sequence to make your communications more impactful and stay on top of your prospects’ minds. 

You can provide more value as you move your prospects between stages with your email sequence, easily build a relationship with them, and eventually win them over. 

Read more: 30+ Effective Sales Email Subject Lines To Get Opens

The Anatomy Of a Great Cold Email Sequence

Here are a few traits and characteristics of an effective cold email sequence. 

It’s run on autopilot

You create your email sequence and compose it with X cold emails, follow up as many times as your cold email campaigns require, and have it all running on autopilot — without having to send them manually or one on one. 

You can also incorporate trigger-based follow-up emails in the sequence to send specific emails to prospects if they reply or want out of your mailing list. 

Keep in mind that this isn’t anything like “set it up in a cold email software and forget it” because you’ll have to monitor campaign results and move prospects to different segments based on how they reply or react to the previous emails in the sequence. 

It works like a chain

Unlike a single cold email, cold email campaigns with multi-step follow-up emails allow you to nurture your prospects and provide value and gain credibility that leads them to buy. 

As we mentioned in the intro, cold email sequences aim to provide your prospects with step-by-step information about a product or service they did not know existed.

The whole idea is that your prospects are not ready to buy right away. And so, the email sequence helps you build a stairway up to purchase — going from education to product integration. 

You get to include several email touches with different marketing materials and calls to action (CTAs) that help you move your potential customers along the process. 

The biggest value of this strategy lies in the value it provides to your prospects and the relationship you build with them. 

Using email sequences allows you to provide information that answers prospects’ questions and provides ways they can solve their pain points or grow their business. 

It fosters trust and lets you move prospects throughout your sales cycle, which ends up with them buying and you getting new customers.

This makes it a great tool for creating long-term relationships that build trust and brand loyalty. 

Read more: 650+ Power Words to Boost Your Conversion (+ Templates)

It incorporates the sales funnel and the buyer’s journey

If you know a thing or two about B2B marketing, you probably know that conversion doesn’t happen overnight. It takes multi-step strategies to get most companies and B2B executives to buy a product, and that’s true for any type of content marketing. 

Let’s take content marketing, for example. Selling a SaaS tool will require a blog content calendar that includes:

  • Top of the funnel content: (Awareness stage) For example, an informational blog post about your tool and how it is the solution that solves your customer’s biggest pain point, etc. 
  • Middle of the funnel content: (Consideration stage) Posts that have both informational and commercial value. Here, marketers don’t aggressively push for product integration but show your value (over the competition, for example).
  • Bottom of the funnel content: (Decision stage) Posts with commercial value and aggressive marketing. Generally, a blog post is filled with social proof, pain points, solutions, etc. And more content for fulfillment and retention.  

An email sequence work (almost) the same way. So first thing, it’s not anything like sending one cold email and sending random follow-ups. 

You will need to create a structured, well-thought-out, and streamlined message sequence using the buyer’s journey and the sales funnel. 

And for this, you will need to create a certain number of emails spread over a well-defined period — usually from an initial email to a breakup email.

Think of it like a content calendar that you deploy for a specific result at the end of the quarter. 

Each email in the sequence should build up on the previous email and move your prospects one step ahead in the funnel — from awareness to decision to loyalty.

Here is an example of a well-structured cold email sequence. 

You can see how each email builds on the previous one and how they all form one sales funnel. 

That said, here are a few goals you may need to keep in mind while writing your cold email sequence to make it impactful and set yourself up for maximum results:

  • Assist them in their purchase path, educate them
  • Handle any objections or reservations they have along the way
  • Establish authority and credibility in the industry
  • Make you an expert so that you become their provider of choice when they’re ready to buy

Note: Struggling to get replies or book meetings with prospects that fit in your ICP? We’ll help you get 6 SQLs or book 6 meetings with prospects that are ready to buy for only $999/month. Book a 15-minute consultation now.

How To Create An Excellent Cold Email Sequence in 4 steps

So, how do you create a cold email sequence that’s so good that people want to read it and buy from you?

In our experience, there are three main things that you need to nail down to perfection:

  • Know who you’re selling to
  • Provide the right content at the right time
  • Know how and when to introduce your product

If you do these right, everything else will fall into place, and you’ll be able to sell your product like never before. 

That cleared; here are specific actions you need to take to ace your cold email sequence. 

1- Build your target audience / Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

If your cold outreach strategy targets the wrong person, you might as well bang your head against a wall. Nailing down the right person to target is the first step to ensuring good results for your email campaign. 

If you target the wrong people, it doesn’t matter how compelling you make the offer and the cold email; it all goes downhill from there. So, how do you find your audience segment

Your target audience is the companies that will best benefit from your solution. So simply ask yourself about the needs or problems your product or solution solves. The answer will let you know who your product is important too, and that’s the very audience you should target with your cold emails.

Your competitors’ customers are also ideal for your business. These are ideally the customers of companies that sell a product or service that addresses the same pain point as yours. So you can look for companies that use your competitors’ products and target them with your cold email outreach.

Next, ask yourself about who or the companies that CAN actually adopt your product or are eligible to do so. Simply because a target has a problem you can solve doesn’t mean they CAN buy or they will be able to adopt your solution. Why? 

  • Budget: The company needs your product or service. Great!! But can they pay for it? Do they have the financial means to buy your product?
  • Geography: Are they geographically eligible for your product? Can they access your product? Or will the product work where they are?
  • Logistics: Are they logistically eligible for your product? Can they actually use your product? Do they have the necessary talent and tools for it?

Figuring this out will help you check off-targets that will be useless to target and get you to focus on the right customer profile. 

2- Research your buyer persona

The question you need to answer here is who are you going to target at the company?

Suppose you sell a Fin-Tech piece of software specific to digital marketing agencies. Should you be sending your cold email to the CEO? The marketers at the company? Or the accountant? 

The point is to send your cold email to someone with the expertise to understand your product and, with the decision, power to further your cause. 

In this very instance, your cold outreach will best make sense to the accountant. And that’s your buyer persona

For every company you target with your Fin-Tech software, you should always seek people in the finance department with the decision-making power to adopt your product.

Also, in the B2B space, depending on what product you sell, the decision-making power may not be attributed to a single person but rather to a buying committee — which will propose and amend ideas before implementation. 

And so, you need to target these companies accordingly. This is also important because you’ll have to write your emails according to their personas. 

3- Create powerful icebreakers for your first touch email in the sequence

As the name implies, icebreakers are designed to help you break the ice between you and your prospects and make them more receptive to your message. Using icebreakers is all about making basic research to make your leads feel valued.

For most sales reps and marketers, the prospects or leads they will be targeting don’t know about them or their product. The same applies to you.

Creating icebreakers allows you to have a good first impression and set yourself apart. It reinforces the statement that you did your homework before reaching out to them. 

Here is how we do it at Nerdy Joe before launching our campaigns.

Check their social media

We start by checking prospects’ activities on social platforms and popular online communities. In most cases, LinkedIn and Twitter work for most B2B professionals. 

Record their activity

Next, we look at their latest activities, their company’s activity, or anything else. The idea is to find a recent interesting aspect or element from their life and spark it at the beginning of the message to smoothen the conversation. 

So, we look at things like posts, likes, comments, recent promotions, job recommendations, impressive career paths, a share, mention, a selfie, and whatever data we can talk about to create a unique first touch.

Put everything in a spreadsheet

Here is an example of how we keep it all in a spreadsheet before the campaign.

Read more: How to Write Cold Email Opening Lines That Get Replies

4- Always add a clear and simple call to action (CTA).

This is an engagement email sequence, adding a call to action should be a must. You always want your prospects to take a specific action. That’s the whole interest of reaching out to them. 

Adding a CTA should be simple and straightforward. 

  • Want your prospects to buy?: Add a purchase button and urge them to click it. 
  • Want your prospects to reply?: Ask them to do so.
  • Want your prospects to perform a specific action?: Add a button pertaining to that action and ask them to take it.

Read more: How to End an Email: 20+ Best Ending Phrases and Ways to Sign Off

5- Factor in the Buyer’s Journey Stages

Now that you know who you’re reaching out to, it’s time to learn how to reach out to them and the best practices for doing it. 

As we mentioned earlier, you can only convert most buyers with multi-step marketing strategies, especially in the B2B area. 

They don’t know about you or your products, and when you do tell them, they will have doubts and constraints. 

That’s why you need to create a follow-up email sequence that factors in the buyer’s journey. 

Creating a cold outreach sequence with the buyer’s journey in mind allows you to take your prospects from point A, where they are not aware of your product, to point B, where they are product aware, and then to the next points until they purchase your product. 

Doing so helps you cover all the steps in an average sales cycle that are necessary for your success, and in the end, your prospects will be the most compelled to consider you. 

Let’s reiterate all the steps you have to take your prospects through. 

  • They don’t know who you are, what you offer, or even your company.
  • They might not be aware of the problem you’re trying to solve.
  • They’re not ready to buy right away.
  • They don’t trust you right away.
  • And more and more objections.

With that in mind, your cold email sequence should look like a slope that mirrors the buyer’s journey. Here are the different stages of the buyers’ journey. 

Unaware – Pain – Solution – Product – Most aware

Now, here is a visual representation of an example of a cold email sequence based on the entire buyer’s journey. 

Also, depending on your target audience and product, it can be that your prospects are already deep in the buyer’s journey—in which case you’ll have to prepare your emails accordingly. Maybe they’re unaware and still facing the pain. 

Maybe they’re facing a problem and looking for a solution.

Let’s say, for example, that before you, your target prospects were using a competitor’s product or tool. In this case, your email shouldn’t include all the steps in the buyer’s journey. 

You should build a specific sequence with relevant messages starting from the solution stage. 

A good idea is to create one email that rapidly goes through all the previous stages and slides directly to the solution stage. 

You should always take the time to properly identify which stage of the buyer’s journey your target prospects are in before kicking off the campaign. 

This way, you can customize your email body to reflect each stage.

Otherwise, your campaign will be a hot mess with messages not relevant and provide no value to the readers. 

6- Make relevant offers

First of all, not all offers are great for your target audience. Your offers are only welcome when they’re relevant and appealing to the target audience. 

So first thing, you cannot make the same offer to prospects in different stages of the buyer’s journey. Since they’re not on the same journey, you should create different segments and feed them accordingly. 

This means you have to design specific emails and offers tailored to where they are on the buyer’s journey. 

For example, for prospects that are at the “Unaware” stage, your main goal is to build product knowledge. 

It makes little sense to offer anything at that stage.

But for your prospects who are already at the “Solution” stage, your goal is to create a product experience that leads to adoption. And so your 40% off offer is welcome here. 

Also, since your goal is to create a product experience, you can create another segment for prospects who are reluctant, have objections, or must go through leadership to get buy-in for product adoption, etc. 

Ideally, those prospects are already at the solution stage.

And so, for these people, it can be a great idea to offer extended free trials (7, 14 days, or one month), free coupons, etc., to get them to act on your offers and give your product a chance. 

3 cold email templates with different touches

Your cold email sequence should be composed of several emails riddled with product advantages, objections and doubt handling, soft and aggressive selling, and more.

Cold Email Campaign 1

Here is a visual representation of the cold email sequence template, along with the buyer’s journey you can use.

Now, here are cold email templates that you can include in this sequence. 

1st touch: Intro email

2nd touch: More advantages

3rd touch: Handling objection

4th touch: Adding more value

5th touch: Selling softly

6th touch: Selling aggressively

7th touch: Breaking up

Cold Email Campaign 2

1st touch: Intro email

2nd touch: More advantages

3rd touch: Handling objections

4th touch: Providing value

5th touch: Gentle reminder email

6th touch: Soft selling

7th touch: Soft sell and breakup

Cold Email Campaign 3

1st touch: Intro

2nd touch: More advantages

3rd touch: Handling objections

4th touch: Low-risk offer

5th touch: Right person, right direction

6th touch: Selling

7th touch: Breakup

It’s Time to Create Cold Outreach Sequence That Close Deals

  • There is no doubt that you can get tremendous marketing results using cold email sequences. With a good cold email sequence, you can convert a prospect into a paying customer and improve the loyalty of current customers. 
  • Keep in mind that your main objective is to always make your prospects want to go to the next step. Each sentence in your email body should prepare and make them more open to receiving the next message.
  • The main advantage of email sequences is that once configured, they work for you. The sending is totally automated and spread over a predetermined period of time. This is the great advantage of Marketing automation.

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