How to Write Cold Emails That Always Get Read

Want to write a cold email that will definitely catch some VIP's attention? Need to get your foot in the door with a fresh, exciting contact? In this video, special guest Alex Berman (Experiment 27 Founder) spills his best strategies for writing the perfect cold email that always gets read.


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Full Transcript of The Video

Eric Siu: In this video, we're going to talk about how you can find the right people to contact, how to cold email, and the number one sales tip from Alex Berman. My name's Eric Siu. I'm the cohost of the Marketing School podcast, I'm the host of the Growth everywhere podcast where we nerd out on marketing and entrepreneur. Alex Berman, the guy that you're going to see, a very smart guy, has a great YouTube channel on sales training, and you're going to learn from him, you're going to get better, so enjoy.

Alex Berman: The first thing I like to do is think about cold emails as the recipient. All of us have received cold emails in the past, and it's pretty obvious when you receive a bad cold email why it's bad. A couple things hit you right away. One, when you look into your Gmail inbox, you'll see the subject line. Two, you'll see a little bit of the first line of the email. Those two things will make you decide whether to delete that email or whether to open it.
The first thing to do is to make sure the subject line is at least neutral. That's why I like generic subject lines. I'm a big fan of, "Hi from Alex," I'm a big fan of "Quick question." The one that performs the best for us at Experiment 27 is, "Question about," and then their company name so, "Question about Tide or Question about General Electric." The reason those generic subject lines work is because they don't turn somebody off. If you had pitched your product in that subject line, there's a much higher chance you're going to get deleted, which means they're not even going to read the body of the email.
The second thing is that first line of the email needs to be very specific towards their business. I like to use a compliment. I might say something like, "Hey Mark, came across Agency Name. Congrats on working with Power Rangers." Or, if you're targeting local restaurants, "Hey, just looked at your website. Loved the food photography." Something specific, and then what that'll do is get them to open the email, which means you've already beat out most of the bad cold emails because you're not in spam and you're actually getting opened.
We're talking about responses here, and the main way that I've found to get somebody to respond to an email is to tell them something they already think is true and speak it as an expert, and then tell them the solution. For instance, "Hey," do that normal compliment, "Hey, found your website. Really like the work you're doing with Power Rangers. My name's Alex and I do marketing for digital agencies."
If I'm talking to a digital agency and I say I do marketing for a digital agency, that's instantly going to make them spark up. If you're targeting SaaS companies, you could say, "Hey, I do marketing for SaaS companies," or you could say something like, "Hey, I just got off the phone with the CMO of a major telecom company and they had these two main issues. Here are the solutions, I'm wondering if you're dealing with anything similar."
Then, two specific ideas, I like to use the exact same ideas per industry. For instance, when I'm reaching out to CEOs of an agency with between $1 million and $20 million in revenue, they're most likely going to be dealing with the same issues. Where, if I was reaching out to the CMO of that same type of company, they might have different issues. Those two issues only come from talking to your customers.
A good example of this is, I just got off a coaching call with somebody who sells Facebook ads in the eCommerce space. In his idea email, the main things he was pointing out, number one was that Facebook ads with videos sell worse sometimes with Facebook ads with still images, so he recommended testing both. That is a very niche, very specific idea. Coming up with those is how you get responses.
Then finally, ending each email with a call to action. "Let me know if you find this interesting. Would love to hop on a call with you and discuss further. Would you mind if I sent over a few times?" The call to action doesn't really matter, as long as it is a question they can understand that ends with an actual question mark. You'd be surprised how many emails go out that end in periods.
It goes back to putting yourself in the shoes of your customer. Who would you rather buy from? For instance, if you're the CEO of a major company, let's say your T Mobile, huge enterprise company. Would you buy Facebook ads from somebody, or would you delegate that decision to a CMO? Would that CMO delegate that decision to another Director of Marketing, maybe Director of Marketing Paid Acquisition, something like that? Thinking about that decision making tree at the targeted company is the main way that I find titles to go after.
Then from there, it's using LinkedIn to identify the target customer, typing in Director of Marketing T Mobile, for instance, will bring up a list of people, and then it's going back to those assumptions to find which of these right targets is the one that's going to buy from you. For instance, there's a Director of Media and Marketing at T Mobile, probably a better fit than Director of Field Sales at T Mobile. If you're selling a product that benefits the field sales team, that would be better. For each specific company, especially if you're targeting someone like the Fortune 500, it's worth doing this deep dive specifically.
Otherwise, if you don't want to do all of this research, the quickest way is to start with the CEO, email them. If they don't get back within two weeks then go down one level, email the Director of Marketing. If they don't get back within two weeks, then go to the next level. I do not recommend sending multiple emails to the same company at the same time, because that is a quick way to get written off by that entire company.
My number one sales tip is to approach every client call not like you are a sales guy trying to pitch a product, but instead like you're a doctor trying to diagnose a disease. What does that mean? For instance, when I am on a sales call, and we sell marketing services for agencies at Experiment 27, I'm talking to an agency owner. I know because of our research and because of our cold emailing process that they're between $1 and $20 million in revenue, and based on our past conversations, not with them but with other agency owners in the same spot, I have a very good idea of how they think and problems they might be dealing with.
I'm not going to come right out and say it. Instead, I'm going to give a two second pitch on what Experiment 27 does, and then ask them about their marketing. "Have you hired a marketing vendor in the past? Who runs marketing for you right now? Do you have key performance indicators set up?" Questions that don't lead them toward a specific answer, but do give me a better idea of what they need.
I know your sales managers might have given you scripts or key points to hit, but the easiest way that I've found to sell anything is to listen to a question, think of a case study that you might have in your head that relates to it, and then answer the question based on your past experience.
If they say, as an example, "Oh, we've run all of our marketing internally this entire time and it's just me who runs the marketing," I can say something like, "That happens in a lot of agencies. The one founder tries to take on marketing and also sales and also do production, and it slows everything down. I know a ton of marketing agencies where, based on their client results, you'd think they were crushing it. Then you look at their own website and their inbound leads are way lower than where they should be. That's the exact type of thing that we help with." What I did there is I heard his answer, I internalized what he said, I listened to him, and then I took it back to the Experiment 27 pitch and brought up one of our case studies.
This is our Alex Berman from Experiment 27. If you want free sales training, check out It's a playlist of our most helpful videos on scaling a company, sales, and negotiation. If you need marketing support for your digital agency, check out, and obviously, subscribe to Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Congrats, you just got a power up. Now go do something with it to go level up. Don't forget to subscribe, and we'll see you tomorrow.

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