Why Warm Emailing Is the New Black


You and everyone should be warm emailing. Often.

Probably weekly.  

In 2000, I cold called people at companies to sell them textiles.

Everyday I would go to the office, run a report in ACT (this is pre-SalesForce) and print out the list of opportunities that needed to be called.

Pen in hand, I would sit down at my desk and go line by line: marking off everyone that I called on the list.

A lot of people wanted to set up a meeting. A lot of people didn’t want want to even hear why I was calling. It didn’t really matter, though. I just needed to get enough people to set up meetings.

This is how B-to-B sales used to work. You had to pick up the phone and call people you didn't know anything about.

Even though there was email at the time, people were not using it like they are today. LinkedIn didn’t even exist yet. (What a nightmare!)

Fast forward 15 or so years and you will see that warm emailing has taken the place of cold calling.

Anyone who was born after 1990 cannot even imagine picking up the phone to call a person to sell them something without even looking at LinkedIn. That would be crazy!

Nowadays, you can easily check out someone’s LinkedIn, Twitter, their blog or read an article that they were quoted in, etc. That is how you turn a cold call into a warm email. You get to know the person - in a non-weird creepy way, of course.

Warm emailing has democratized reaching out to people. You do not need to be this super smooth-talking salesperson to connect with people.

And it is not just for selling. You can send a warm email anyone.

Who I have warm emailed recently? Someone who wrote an article that I really enjoyed, someone who is in the same industry that I think highly of, the founder of a company whose service I really like. And they all replied to me.

One thing to keep in mind is: just because technology exists and makes everything easy, doesn't mean you will be awesome at it.  You have to remember that there are actual people behind social media profiles and they want to be treated that way.

Best practices for warm emailing include:

Learn about the person. Email inboxes are very special places. You need to show respect to the person you are emailing and make it obvious that you have done your homework. No one likes a spammer.   

Great subject line. The point of sending an email is because you want that person to take some action, right? Create an attention grabbing and truthful subject line to spark their interest in opening the email.

Well-written copy. Take the time to make sure you don't have typos or grammar mistakes. If you write something interesting, the person just may respond to you.

Check out some other tips for warm emailing.

Things to avoid when warm emailing:

Obvious temples. No one likes to receive emails that are obviously templates. Just don’t send them. It clogs up inboxes and wastes everyone’s time.

“Best person” subject line. I don’t know if this works or not. Well, it must work because I get this email all the time from different people. When I see this subject line I think to myself “Are you kidding me? You want me to be your secretary?” This is the modern version of calling the receptionist and asking  questions to find out who the decision maker is. The old version is better. Stick with that one or don’t do it at all.

Measure twice, cut once. I know that everyone makes mistakes. But please test email campaigns before sending them out. When I get emails that says “Hi [First Name],” I am sure that they are not even trying. Right?

I hope I have convinced you to warm email someone. Who will you warm email today?