my buddy Sam Laber of Datanyze shared this great article he wrote on cold email. ps if you want more help with SDR & Predictable Revenue training, check out predictable university. 

The concept is not new. In order to consistently hit quota, sales development reps must strike a balance between volume and personalization. If you’re emailing at too low a clip, you risk being put out of commission by a few bounces and an out-of-office. If you toss hundreds of emails over the fence each day, you’re putting your success and the company’s reputation at risk.

This post isn’t about restating a well known fact using different language. It’s about creating a simple process that helps strike the right balance. It’s about taking what’s worked and what hasn’t. It’s about formulating a cold email methodology that makes your team’s semi-personalized emails stand out from the heavily-automated crap, and even the highly-personalized one-offs.

But before we dive into that. Check out our epic Predictable Revenue Infographic to refresh you on the core principles of Predictable Revenue and SDR’s.

The Predictable Revenue Guide – Infographic

*Click on the infographic to embed on your own blog

Emotions book demos; logic wins deals

SDRs understand that their job is to book qualified demos. For most orgs, that looks something like a 30-minute meeting with a decision-maker who has the budget and need for your product.

Here’s the disconnect: too many SDRs are trying to win the deal before winning the meeting.

In most cases, winning the deal is nearly impossible — it involves numerous touchpoints, multiple stakeholders and a dizzying web of budget and legal approvals. Winning the meeting involves one guy, in one department, with one agenda and 30 minutes to kill next Thursday. To convince this guy, you don’t need a clear-cut business case with hard ROI stats, you just need a story.

Telling stories starts with your customers

So how can you take what you’ve currently got and turn it into a story? The first step is to look at the stories your customers have already given you. If you have a kickass product and the marketing team is pulling their weight, you should have a nice catalog of case studies to pull from.

A typical case study format goes something like this, and provides a starting point for your pitch.

The Before: What was the customer doing before they chose you? What were their pain points and how were they being addressed?

The After: How has your product improved things for the customer? What previous solutions and process did it replace and how has that impacted the business?

The Results: What kind of results came after adopting your product? How do these results measure up to previous performance?

A storytelling framework for cold emails

Now let’s meld this into a storytelling framework. Back at Inbound14, Gartner research analyst Jake Sorofman gave a really neat presentation on the rise of Big Content, which confronts the realities of buyer attention spans. (Highly recommend checking this out in full, by the way.)

In the deck, Jake has a slide detailing a framework marketers can adapt to make their content and messaging rise above the noise. The framework is based on a 30-second reader attention span and three principles: situation, impact and resolution. It also applies really well to sales development.

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Let’s take an example from something we’ve done here at Datanyze. Granted, everyone is going to be slightly different, but I believe the same principles still apply.

We recently completed a case study with HubSpot’s Marketing Operations Manager, who needed help passing the right leads to her sales team at the right time. That was situation.

The below cold email outlines a way to take this case study and turn it into a cold email pitch that tells a story by defining a situation, describing the impact and giving a resolution. (Admittedly, the subject line is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but that’s why you test, right?).

Subject: the sales/marketing blame game just isn’t cool


Hey [Name]

[SITUATION] As a marketing ops professional, I’m sure you’re all too aware of the sales / marketing blame game that occurs when sales doesn’t follow up on the leads you worked so hard to drive and prioritize.

[IMPACT] This game is far from fun and, without the right infrastructure, can lead to stagnant pipeline, low conversion rates and more ill will between sales and marketing..

[RESOLUTION] At Datanyze, we love solving this problem and have helped hundreds of marketing ops teams effectively enrich, score and prioritize their inbound pipeline with a unique set of tools and data. Oh, and it all lives in your CRM and marketing automation platform, so forget the heavy lifting…

Are you free for 30 minutes next week to talk things through?



Scaling your stories into outreach sequences

The key to injecting storytelling into your outreach cadence is familiarizing yourself with each buyer persona. If you sell to marketing teams, you need to have a specific story lined up for each role your product impacts. Be sure to confirm these stories by referencing case studies and talking to these roles within your own company.

Once you have your stories, it’s important to constantly test and tweak them using data from your sales automation platform. Remember, there are many ways to tell a story, so continue working on your subject line, delivery and close to get the most out of each persona.

Read more: 6 Email Subject Line Tricks That Actually Work

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