How to Write a Badass Cold Email to a Brand New Industry

Changing your voice when approaching a new vertical is an often overlooked and important factor in the success of a sales email campaign.

I began selling into manufacturing in Q2 of 2018 with an email formula in mind that I was certain would not fail. It’s a formula that most sales development professionals are familiar with:

  1. Outline a potential issue
  2. Explain how another company in the same industry was combating that issue
  3. Explain how we corrected the issue
  4. Add a differentiating value to sweeten the deal
  5. Ask for a meeting or a phone call

Here’s the copy that tanked:

Hi {FirstName},

Lots of people visit your website every day, but connecting with them can be difficult.

{OUR CLIENT} Saw a 500% increase in sales conversations generated from their website within their first month using our tool.

We integrate seamlessly with your current website and help deliver a consistent stream of contacts to your sales reps.

The best part is that it takes less than a day to set up and you don’t spend a dime until you get results.

Can we carve out 10 minutes for an intro chat?

Short, sweet and to the point with 5 sentences. Fairly “standard” sales email when writing to young companies… so why was it tanking?

Here are the problems we found one sentence at a time:

  • Non-applicable pain point
    • It’s not that the statement itself was untrue, however, we found that a majority of our prospects were not trying to connect with website visitors and relied predominantly on phone/email inquiries for their business.
      • Side Note: Manufacturing is an “old-school” industry where prospects value a personal connection or explanation more than other verticals - this email jumps straight into outlining a pain point.
  • Wrong value offered
    • The original value offered was for an increase in organic web leads and easy integration with an existing website. With more research into the industry, many of the prospects use their websites solely for existing clients and were not considering using the web to grow their businesses.
  • Added value was not applicable
    • If the prospect is not already focusing on developing business online, then who cares how fast we can get set up.
  • Impersonal call to action
    • This CTA is fairly common - it assumes that the prospect read the email an may be interested in more. It’s great in a lot of situations, however, it was not performing for this campaign.

Here is the Copy that Performed


I saw on online you might be the best person to speak with about new business for {Company}.

We’re a free service for B2B manufacturers, helping them find untapped revenue streams.

For example, our client Douglas Machines didn’t care about their website and focused on relationships for sales.

We help them realize their small website visitors were qualified buyers who prefer to email or use a chat box.

Would it be okay to share some ideas with you?

Please let me know.


Can you see why the later had the greater impact?