Table of Contents

  1. Choose the Correct User
  2. Targeting Strategies
  3. Copy Best Practices
  4. Nurturing
  5. Debug Bad Results

Choose the Correct User

Who the outreach user is can have a huge impact on the success of your campaign. Here are a few things to consider.

Be a Real Person

Make sure it's a real person, do not do outreach from a sales@ email address or from a company LinkedIn profile. Cold Outreach is a 1-1 communication style, and you want to appear as real and authentic as possible.

Match Seniority

Choose a senior person, Founder or C-Suite is best. A good rule of thumb is to match the seniority of the person you are trying to contact. A CEO is going to respond more another CEO, than to a sales rep.

Update LinkedIn Pages

Before a prospect responds, they will probably take a quick peak at your website, then your LinkedIn profile and/or company page. Make sure these are up to date and look professional. You have relevant content and descriptions that relate to the audience you're targeting.

Set a Real Profile Image in Gmail

What looks more real and authentic than an actual picture of you? The little things matter when you are making first impression. Get a real profile pic uploaded so people can see your beautiful face when you contact them for the first time.

Pro Tip 🌟

Create a brand new inbox that is dedicated to outreach. It should look similar to the real email addresses that your company uses (not an alias). This way you can keep regular work emails separate from prospect responses.

Targeting Strategies

Recently Hired E-commerce / Growth / Marketing

Getting in front of senior decision makers during their first 6 months in a new role is a great way to get a high response rates. You can assume that they have budget and are looking for solutions to help them ramp up and generate quick performance.

Put yourself into the shoes of a Director of E-commerce that just started their job 2 months ago. What problems are they looking to solve? How you can you help them look good to their new boss?

Platform Specific (Shopify / WooCommerce / Magento / Amazon)

If you work within a specific ecosystem, why not hone in on that and mention it in your scripts. Each e-commerce platform comes with it's own set of strengths and weaknesses, and the more you can show your prospects you understand them, the better. For example,

Are you limited by the types of subscriptions you can set up with Shopify?
Are you looking for ways to get your store to show up higher on Amazon?

Email Technologies (Klayvio / MailChimp / Constant Contact)

Identifying stores that are running email campaigns can give you valuable insight into how advanced your prospect is. If an e-commerce company is using Klayvio, it could indicate that they are more savvy and understand the value of industry-specific tools. If they are running MailChimp, upgrading their email marketing could be a quick win for your agency.

Advertising Technologies (AdWords, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram)

Most e-commerce stores rely heavily on paid advertising, so this should produce a fairly large list of prospects. Try to think about mixing and matching these ad platforms to come up with a theory about your prospect that you can speak to in your script.

If someone is running Facebook Ads, but has not explored TikTok, what does that allow you to pitch them?

What if you find an e-commerce store that is only running AdWords, and nothing else?

Job Postings

Actively job openings for specific positions can be a good indicator that a company has a need. A few positions you might be looking for:

  • E-commerce Manager
  • Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Paid Advertising / Facebook Ads
  • Email Marketing
  • Content

If you can find stores that have these types of job postings, you know they are looking to grow and have the budget to bring on more help.

How can your service save them from the risk of a full time hire?

City by City

City specific campaigns work because of the familiarity and authenticity you can build. Start with your own city or the largest metro area near you. What is unique about that city, and what can you mention in the beginning of your script to sound casual and light hearted.

It might seem corny to talk about the weather, but we've seen it work first hand!


Hi {{FirstName}} - how are you? I hope you're enjoying the Florida weather with a tasty Publix sub.

Los Angeles

Hi {{FirstName}} - how are you? I hope you’re enjoying the perfect LA weather (Elon please finish those traffic tunnels soon).

San Francisco

Hi {{FirstName}} - how are you? Hope you're enjoying springtime in SF and Karl is staying away!

Niche Categories

Another great strategy for producing highly customized copy is to segment your prospect list by product category. For Example:

  • Pets & Animal
  • Baby & Maternity Products
  • Beauty & Cosmetics
  • Food & Beverage

If you know what your prospect is selling, you can customize your script by name dropping similar clients, or speak about specific results you delivered for another company in their category.

We just finished up a social media campaign for a similar Cosmetics store, can I show you the results?

Is waaayyyy more powerful than:

We just finished up working with another e-commerce store, can I show you the results?

New Store Launches

Most companies are going to have a Year Founded associated with them. If you create a campaign targeting stores that have launched within the last year or so you will be able to customize your outreach scripts to their issues.

Common pain points of newly launched stores:

  • Setting up email nurturing campaigns.
  • Building checkout abandonment strategies.
  • Searching for first Marketing hire.

iOS Tracking Issues

With the latest changes to iOS, many e-commerce marketers are losing visibility into how mobile campaigns are performing.

This is a huge pain point right now that is on everyone's mind.

And it's undoubtedly a problem that most e-commerce agencies are working to solve! Messaging around this could pair well with the Advertising Technologies strategy mentioned above.

Demographics Analysis

This strategy is a little more abstract, but can be very power if applied in the correct way.

Looking at the current employees of a target company can tell you a lot about what stage they are at, and what problems they might be struggling with.

  • If an e-commerce store has a CTO/software engineer on staff, you can assume they have more technical capabilities.
  • If an e-commerce store has a dedicated SEO manager, you can assume they have a decent sized marketing team with lots of specialized roles.
  • If an e-commerce store has a dedicated Social Media manager, you can assume that Social is a priority for them, and they are probably running more advanced strategies than a Founder would alone.

Copy Best Practices

Subject lines

Short and sweet is best for your subject line. Remember, this is supposed to look like 1-1 communication, not a marketing newsletter. A good exercise is to look through your inbox for real emails that you send to colleagues and clients and try to match the length and tone.

Pro Tip 🌟

Use an outreach tool that has replacement tokens so that you can customer the subject line with their company name.

{{Company}} growth chat
Holiday social idea for {{Company}}
{{Company}} shopify store design

Ask Questions About Pain Points

Nobody wants to grab coffee with someone who starts every sentence with "I, I, I." Same applies to cold outreach. Think hard about what the person you are contacting is struggling with. If you can ask them about their biggest pain point and then offer a highly relevant solution, chances are pretty good you'll get a meeting.

Don't worry about explaining everything your agency is capable of all at once. Instead focus on trying to understand their challenges, and let them know you are here to help.

Provide Value

Hands down the best way to get responses to cold outreach is to offer something of immediate value that makes a prospect want to say Yes. Do you have content or knowledge that you can "give away"? A few examples of what these carrots could be πŸ₯•

  • A checklist for how to do X
  • Helpful content related to DTC marketing
  • Free analysis of one social channel
  • Takeaways from other projects in their category

Clear Call to Action

Make it easy on them! A clear call to action helps to reduce friction for the reader.

Interested in a quick chat next week?

Is an easy yes/no question with a clear next step. Versus...

Let me know if you are interested in learning more about my agency.

Which is vague, and puts all the effort on the prospect.


You can expect to get more responses that say "no thank you" / "maybe later" than responses asking for meetings. That is just the nature of doing outreach to people who have never heard of you! The key question is, do you have a way to stay in front these prospects automatically over the next 6-12 months?

A very common response might be:

"No thank you, we already have X, Y, or Z".

Or ...

We are not looking at these types of issues until Q4

Follow Up Later

A very simple canned message to a prospect like this might be:

Thanks for getting back to me. I understand that now is not the right time, but do you mind if I check back in 3 months to see how things are going?

If they say yes, add them to another sequence that kicks off 3 months from now with a fresh pitch.

Add Them To A Newsletter

Add them to the newsletter:

Sounds like you have things under control right now. Would you mind if I add you to our Shopify Stores Growth Newsletter? We share monthly tips for helping stores like you grow sales.

Share a Resource

Leave them with something of value to build trust, and so they will come back if the need arrises.

Thanks for letting me know. I just recorded a training about ways to get your ROAS up post iOS 14. Can I send it to you to save as a resource in case your needs change?

Debug Bad Results

Say you spent tons of time crafting the perfect script, but when you launched the campaign it underperformed. How do you begin to understand what went wrong?

Poor Open Rates

The first thing to diagnose is your deliverability. We expect open rates of 50% or more. If you see open rates in the 10-20% range, you are most likely going to spam so prospects aren't even seeing your email. The best copy and prospect data in the world won't matter if you don't make it to the inbox!

A few tools to diagnose your deliverability issues:

Poor response rates

If your open rates are high, and your response rate is < 3%, you most likely need to take a look at your copy and improve your pitch.

A good place to start iterating is by analyzing your "no thank you's".

No thanks you, we are already doing X
No thank you, we don't need Y

If you are getting responses like these, take a moment to ask the prospect another question or two about their situation. They have spent the time to respond to you, chances are they will give you more information if you just ask. You can use their feedback in your next script to explain your services in a different way, or talk about why you are better than their current solution.

Poor meeting conversion rate

If you are getting warm responses, but less than half of them are turning into meetings, you might need to evaluate your nurturing process:

  • How quickly are you responding to prospects? If you are waiting a day or two, they might already be on to something else. You should be responding to prospect same day, at minimum. The quicker you respond the better.
  • Are you following up? We get responses all the time that say "Yes, I'm interested," and then we need to send them 3 follow up emails before they actually book a meeting. If they showed interest, follow up everyday until they respond or take action.
  • Are you writing high quality responses? If someone asks a question, or wants to see more resources or information, make sure t0 acknowledge their response and don't just fire off your calendar link. They will be more likely to convert if you show genuine interest in them as a person!

Interested in testing some of the cold outreach tactics discussed in this article? Drop us a line!