Email Outreach Strategies That Work

Every week I speak with business owners about email outreach.

And I see a lot of misconceptions about what works and what doesn’t.

So I thought it would be a good idea to shine some light on approaches that work. And provide some examples along the way.

Ultimately, the only email outreach strategy that works is a transfer of value. The more value you provide, the more responses you’ll get. It’s that simple.

So in this article we’re going to look at four outreach strategies that deliver value for your target.

Let’s get started!


Specificity As An Email Outreach Strategy

The biggest problem with cold email is most marketers are so focused on pushing their solution they don’t think about the person reading their pitch.

They craft emails that apply to pretty much anyone. Because that’s who they’re sending it to.

Here’s an example of the crap we all get in our inbox every day.

long cold email copy

The sender is telling me they have absolutely ZERO information about me, and can’t be bothered to find out. But they expect me to reply to their message? 

And they wonder why their cold email response rates are low!?

A better approach would be to provide hyper-specific value that relates to where we are in our business journey.

If someone said to me…

We built a tool for outsourced B2B lead generation experts to verify catch-all emails. Would that be of potential interest?

… I’d be very open to learning more!

So how prevalent is aimless messaging?

Last year I looked at the most recent 562 cold emails that I received.

I identified 160 unique companies and classified their messaging as Relevant, General, or Irrelevant

Only 12.5% of outreach messages demonstrated any understanding of Sales Higher or what our business challenges might be.

35% of the messages were generally applicable to us. But not in a specific way. For example, a SaaS tool or a general business service.

The remaining 52.5% of companies had no reason to contact me and shouldn’t have wasted the digital ink.

In short, a WHOPPING 87.5% of emails should never have been sent!

Cold Email Follow Ups

Takeaway: Contact people for a reason. When you’re intentional about your reasons for reaching out, they’ll be far more likely to reply.

Consider An Irresistible Offer

The first email outreach strategy to consider using is an irresistible offer.

If you’re not familiar with the idea, it refers to an approach where you offer your prospect something so good they’d feel dumb saying no.

For example, we used to offer prospects a free leads list. There was no obligation on their end so it made sense for them to agree. For us, developing the lists was a lot of work. But there were few direct costs because we already pay for data tools, anyway. 

A client of ours works in a niche content area. She offered prospective clients a free article for their blog. Which is a massive value! And as you can imagine, a lot of people took her up on it.

Irresistible offers work because they’re, well, irresistible.

But use this approach with caution. It’s VERY easy for people to agree to receive your offered value. 

But YOU need to deliver. And that’s hard to do at scale.

It’s worth noting that we don’t do free leads lists any more because they eat up a TON of time. 

And our content client stopped offering free samples, too. She got several new clients but her free offer overwhelmed her ability to produce.

Irresistible offers work amazing when you can deliver the same value multiple times without incurring additional work.

Or when you can dedicate enough resources that it makes sense to run an irresistible offer at scale.

If neither of these conditions apply to your situation then consider ways to introduce friction into the delivery process.

For example, if a prospect agrees to receive a free article then you could schedule a quick call to discuss topic ideas. During the call you can qualify their content budget and decide whether it makes sense to proceed.

Takeaway: Irresistible offers WORK. Sometimes they work too well.

Replicate Your Successes

One of the most common reasons business owners want to meet is they’re keen to replicate their best clients.

They found a client they really enjoyed serving. And now they want a dozen more just like them.

Success duplication can be incredibly effective because you already KNOW the impact you’re going to create for the person you’re contacting. And boy does that make for great email copywriting! Your prospect knows you’re contacting them intentionally. And they can see the outcomes you’ve created for others in their exact situation.

It just works!

We helped a client here in Singapore achieve some incredible outcomes. For every 19 people she contacted she got a meeting with an engaged decision maker. And our campaign had a huge impact on her bottom line.

So I’ll bet you can guess what we did next!? 

That’s right, we reached out to similar businesses in the USA that aren’t her competitors. We reached out to 68 companies and 8 of them booked a meeting.

When you’ve already solved a problem it only makes sense to find people with the same problem.

Of course it’s easier in some industries than others.

Software developers are the perfect use-case for this. Someone has already paid them to solve a niche problem. And by paying for custom software (which isn’t cheap) they’ve effectively validated the market. So the next step is to find as many people as possible that share that problem.

Create Observational Value

No one wants to feel like they’re just a number on a list. Which is why creating observational value is so effective as an email outreach strategy. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Find something your prospect is doing (or likely to be doing).
  2. Comment on it in the context of your own solution (ie add value).

That’s it – not complex. But it’s really, really effective. Probably because sales triggers require more effort than people want to put into their email outreach.

Here are a couple of examples:

I noticed your trucks are running on diesel.

Are you using a fuel additive yet? Samurai Trucks started using our formula and now they spend $0.12c/l less on fuel. Can I send you a couple of bottles to try?

You announced you’re opening a new branch office in Singapore. Have you looked into visas yet?

Observational value leans into what you know someone is doing or plans to do. And in this context your message doesn’t feel random or irrelevant.

In fact, just the opposite! Your prospects will appreciate you being proactive about helping them in the next stage of their plans.

Observational Collateral

Our final email outreach strategy is just a variation on the Observational Value strategy described above.

The only difference is that in this case we’re providing value in the form of middle funnel collateral.

This approach can generate knock-your-socks-off response rates because you combine account research with valuable collateral. When done right, there’s NO reason for your prospects to turn down your offer.

Here are a few examples:

I saw you get over 100k site visitors every month, but I didn’t see your newsletter. DId I miss it?

This year Jerry Japan grew revenues by 16% higher, ALL from their newsletter. And they were at the same starting spot as you. I prepared a case study on how they did it. If you’re open to exploring growth channels, let me know and I’ll send it over.

As you’re probably aware, Generative will be affected by the recent legislation. To help you navigate the new rules we’ve created an easy to follow compliance checklist. Do these before the end of the year and you’ll be 100% compliant with the new rules. 


I saw you just incorporated – congratulations, that’s awesome. You must be so excited! 

Are you in charge of tax filing? I recently made a video I thought you might find helpful. It’s called, “3 Mistakes That Get New Companies In Trouble With The Tax Authority”. 

Let me know if you’d like to take a look.

These lead magnets are structured so they’re very relevant to the end user. And they’re hard to say no to because the potential value is very high. 

And since the risk is basically zero prospects feel like they’d be silly not to explore your collateral offer.

Email Outreach Strategies That Work!

So there you have it – 4 email outreach strategies that are proven winners.

Which one makes more sense for your business? Are these different from what works for you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.  You can contact me on Linkedin or send me a note on our contact page


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Here’s the exact process we used to generate over 4000 B2B sales leads



Matthew Murray

Matthew Murray

Matthew Murray is the Managing Director of Sales Higher. He knows any company can THRIVE with enough qualified sales leads. So he’s spent the last decade helping companies meet engaged prospects and win new deals.

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