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Leveraging LinkedIn to Send the Perfect Cold Sales Email to Your Prospects



Every time you shoot a cold sales email, after mustering every ounce of optimism, you wish that your prospects actually open it. In the process, you hope it effectively communicates your value proposition and progresses a conversation to the ultimate coveted stage of a “paying client.” Only sometimes, it doesn’t. Users block, or mark your thoughtful work as spam, signalling the end of the line. And it’s back to the drawing board.

Here, this drawing board is called a “cold” email, and for good reason. After a while, the rampant neglect towards your efforts just feels, how do we put it, cold. Indeed, unopened rejection causes cold shudders. The fear of getting blacklisted is as pertinent as getting your sender reputation severely damaged; however, there’s a chance to circumvent these perils.

A careful and effortless tweak to your existing B2B sales stratagem will get you an increase in response rate. A gesture as simple as logging in to LinkedIn can blow the wind in your sails for an average response rate between 20–30 percent.

This process however, differs depending on the nature and value of the product or service being sold, and the size of the organization buying it.

Quintessentially, a cold sales email is nothing short of tossing a Hail Mary. There’s no better example of “creating something out of nothing” than a response to one of your frosty mails. Given that context, the above-mentioned numbers look mighty impressive. And getting there isn’t as sordidly laborious as you might think.

Intrigued? Let’s start scratching the surface.

From Personalisation to Conversation

Even though the premise is prefixed with the world “cold,” you don’t have to be. In a world of bot interactions, be human. Therefore, the key ingredient becomes establishing a personal touch. Don’t force a rapport from the get-go, but don’t gravitate around off-the-shelf, cookie-cutter templates either. One size doesn’t fit all, especially considering the nature of B2B sales.

bad cold sales emailThe cookie-cutter approach

A conversation bubbles up, eventually, but only after you’ve nailed the first “P” of cold emailing down to a tee. Thus begins the wisdom!

Every cold sales email to a high value prospect should include a great deal of personalization

Every cold sales email I send includes a great deal of personalisation, a.k.a. the first “P”—emphasis on the verb! My take on it includes a lot of improvisation; however, there are basic guidelines I follow every time. You’ll be surprised as to how effective they are in attracting the right set of clicks. Let’s paint the broad strokes, shall we?

Cold Sales Email: My Blueprint

Firstly, I scour LinkedIn for every piece of relevant information about the individual (my potential client), ranging from a news item, a status update, written or shared article, to every personal or company milestone. Remember, there’s no such thing as too much information. Make judicious use of your time here.

Building relatability becomes the next step. Here is when I begin connecting with the individual through all the information at hand. During this process, it’s prudent to have all senses of perception firing on all cylinders! You never know what might come in handy. Think of this process as knowing the fine line between hearing and listening; you must always choose the latter.

Then begins the process of prospecting for buyers. For B2B sales, buyer persona is primarily identified by industry, followed by department, education, company size, seniority level, typical role in the company, etc. Only after I understand the buyer persona of my targeted segment do I slide in my introduction, which is a one-line summary about my product or venture. I keep it short, crisp, and to the point. There’s no need to dive into a full-fledged monologue.

good cold sales email using a referenceBeing concise is a virtue

The content in a cold sales email should be about the recipient and not the sender

Why? Because the conversation needs to be about the recipient and not about me. Once I say my bit, I request permission to send additional material if he/she wishes to know more. This common courtesy goes a long way.

People respond positively to the gesture even if a conversion isn’t on the cards for the time being. This may beg the question, “what good does that do?” To which my answer is that it gives me an opportunity to send a LinkedIn connection request, which is accepted nine times out of ten.

very good sales cold emailPerfecting personalization

From thereon in, the person is always privy to the content I constantly share, making me a visible, memorable presence in their feed. And if ever the need for my service arises, guess who has the chances of getting a call?

This would all be conjecture and highly hypothetical had I not had such experiences culminate in the form of conversions on many occasions. That’s why I’m here to tell you it works!

But what happens when there is neither interest nor relevancy?

In such a situation, when there’s a dearth of information, or if I feel my lead isn’t as promising as I thought, I select people associated with him/her; ex-colleagues or schoolmates are more effective. Subsequently, I write the mail taking these references. Of course, I always loop in the people whose reference I take. And more often than not, conversations get going!

The disarming nature of a conversation takes the robotic, force-fed, and transactional aura of simply “selling” out of the equation, which is when a proper exchange of thoughts takes place. All you need to do is pick up on the cues and be ready to troubleshoot on the fly! And if you’ve really been listening, that should be cakewalk.

However, knowing when to fight this battle ensures judicious use of your time. A lot goes on behind the scenes before sending a well-thought cold sales email, so ensure the effort has every chance of getting noticed and appreciated.

In a nutshell, engage in these best practices for marquee, high-value clients. For smaller clients, it’s best to test the waters without a great degree of personalization. If and when you get a response, that’s when you go to work!


There are myriad ways to decode the subtle art of successful cold sales emailing. I found a mantra that has worked for me, and it didn’t require a drastic overhaul, just a simple realignment. Sure, there isn’t a sure-fire “wax on, wax off” approach to garner a 100 percent hit rate. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help your chances, you really can. Try giving it a shot, and feel free to share your thoughts and strategies in the comments section below.


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