What To Do When Cold Emails Fail

The hidden guide to closing deals with hustle

Updated on November 4, 2019

Anyone who has been cold emailing for a period of time knows that sometimes it just doesn’t cut through the noise.

No matter how clever your subject line, or how many emails you send, some decision makers will simply just ignore it.

Their inboxes are crowded.

Mail filters catch it before it even reaches them.

Or they just delete it upon arrival.

But, sometimes you really need to break through to specific target accounts. Maybe this is a large deal that could be worth $20k+ or $100k+ of revenue.

Are you really going to let the fact that a cold email isn’t getting through stop you from winning that business?

In this post, I am going to share with you some alternative methods that my outbound marketing company has used to get ourselves and our clients in the door, even when cold email fails.

Stand out and be unique

Think about the last time you got a physical package in the mail that you were not expecting. Chances are, you were excited to open it up and curious about what is inside.

Now imagine for a moment that when you open up that box, you find something so unique and different that it completely catches you off guard.

You open up the box, and on the inside you find a vintage book with jute twine wrapped around the outside and a tag with YOUR name handwritten on it.

You immediately find yourself in complete curiosity as to what this could be. So you unwrap the twine, and when you open the book, you find that it has been hollowed out and filled with unique contents, just for you.

On the top you find a letter that has been wax sealed with your name hand written on the outside.

Then, underneath you find a scroll with information about this company that wants to work with you and a moleskin notepad and a nice wooden pen.

You read through the letter and are amazed as this has been personally written just for you. This entire package was custom created just for you.

When the creator of this package follows up with a call or email the next day, you feel absolutely inclined to give them a response and maybe even a conversation.

Give your prospects an experience they can’t ignore

As you will see through the example above, we created an experience for the prospect. We designed something so unique and so custom that it was hard to ignore.

Every day decision makers are getting countless cold emails in their inbox.

And sometimes they even get mass mail marketing campaigns sent to them.

But rarely do they get something as unique and personal as the experience I just described.

Another approach, send a message in a bottle

Hollowing out a vintage book takes quite a bit of time, so here is an approach that will cost you hardly anything and can be accomplished very quickly.

One prospect that I had was an development agency who was based out of Japan. The CEO was a notoriously a bit of a goofball on podcasts, so I decided to have a bit of fun with this one.

I grabbed a bottle from my local thrift shop and slipped a piece of paper in it. Written on the paper was a short web address that went to a custom landing page on my website.

When he received the bottle and went to the landing page, he was greeted by a fun little video. The video starts off with the 80's hit "Message in a Bottle" by the Police and then cuts to a personal video of me on camera talking directly to the prospect.

Notice how I mixed a bit of fun and entertainment with the sales pitch? You can't help but laugh a bit when you experience this, which puts you at ease for the sales pitch that comes after. The prospect who received this loved the bottle and ended up hiring me afterward.

To see just how much of a reaction this post had on him, see his email response below.

Spicing things up with some hot sauce

On a recent podcast interview I did with Ryan Meo of ScaleSquad, he shared a story of how he used hot sauce to drive hundreds of thousands of dollars of new business to his agency. Here is what he did.

He bought roughly 1,000 bottles of generic hot sauce and had them white labeled with his custom packaging on it. The messaging on the packaging was something cheesy like "Want to spice things up? Give us a call at ScaleSquad."

Then, after sending out these 1,000 bottles, they just started cold calling all of their prospects.

Although instead of it being the typical cold call sales pitch, they opened up with the line "Hey, we are the guys who sent the hot sauce."

This fun and low-pressure approach generated tons of business for them. Many of the respondents on the phone would start whole conversations about how they loved the approach AND the hot sauce.

Slowly, they were able to nudge this toward a sales conversation, and as a result they won hundreds of thousands of dollars of new business… with hot sauce.

One final piece of inspiration from a college graduate

Now if you think that this is too hard or challenging to do, then think again. A recent college graduate used this same approach to land his dream job right out of school. Here is what he did.

He dressed up as a Postmates delivery driver and took doughnuts with his resume inside to roughly 20 of the top companies that he wanted to work with.

In many cases, he got the chance to walk right in and meet the decision maker at the company he wanted to work for right then and there. In other cases, they were not available when he arrived, but he was still able to get his resume in front of the decision makers in a way that stands out from the noise.

If this college graduate with hardly any real world sales experience can go above and beyond, so can you.

Ground rules for using these tactics

Before you dive in and start with your eye-catching outreach campaign, I do want to share a few simple ground rules. 1. Need high Customer LTV - The clients you use this on should be worth at least $20k+ in annual value. Otherwise the tactics may work, but your ROI may become questionable. 2. Keep it professional - Deliver packages at work, not at someone’s home address. 3. Follow up - Just because you send a package doesn’t mean they will immediately call you. People are still busy so follow up via email and phone several times referencing your package.

Stand out and be unique

If there is one message I want you to walk away from this blog post with, it is stand out and be unique.

We live in a world where anyone can blast out 1,000 cold emails a day. Try a new approach, stand out and be unique.

Jake Jorgovan helps agencies and consultants win their dream clients. He runs an outbound marketing company, and also blogs and podcasts at Jake-Jorgovan.com. He is also author of the book Win Your Dream Clients.

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