• Tom Dewhurst

How to generate leads with cold outreach

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Who are we talking to?

Entrepreneur, growth marketer, and digital strategist with experience working with established brands such as Capita PLC and startups including Evvnt, Trustist, Carpe Drive (Jaguar Landrover).

Currently helping B2B software and services companies with a “sales development as a service” through generating booked sales calls on their calendar without any admin hassle. Check out

Outside of marketing consulting work, I mentor startups through and am a mentor for London and Partners (Mayor of London) business growth programme.

Which growth channel are we talking about today?

Cold outreach has evolved and is now done through multiple channels.

Describe this channel to someone who’s never done it before?

Cold outreach is the process of defining who you’re looking to get in touch with, crafting messages that will elicit a response, and executing across B2B channels such as Linkedin, email and follow up phone calls. The goal is usually to get a phone appointment with the prospect and persuade the client they will receive value from spending their time talking to your company. Unlike content marketing, it is not waiting for new prospects to have time to find you. Instead is much more proactive in finding new prospects that have been pre-qualified by sector, revenues, company size that could be interested in your products and services solving their problems.

What frameworks have you used?

We use our own - below!

Can you share any relevant case studies or projects?

We worked with a video testimonial service called Applause Labs. Their offering is very defined in that they have a pre-recorded set of questions for ecommerce companies to send to customers to give reviews. After testing targeting other markets such as digital agencies, ecommerce had a much better fit and this is where a combination of Linkedin, email and leaving ringless voicemail had a great impact.

Any challenging projects?

Projects or companies that are in very competitive or saturated markets often have to try harder to get the attention of their prospective clients, as their competitors are also doing outreach. We found this means better content to include in the outreach such as ‘how-to guides’ and ‘case studies’. It’s also important to target specific industries with relevant content to their challenges or otherwise it’s hard to cut through the noise.

Top 3: mistakes to avoid?

  1. Not warming up email/Gsuite accounts and getting your email account blacklisted.

  2. Sending generic messages with no value or benefit for the prospect in mind.

  3. Giving up too early without testing different messages.

Top 3: KPIs?

  1. Delivery rate - dependent on how accurate your email list is.

  2. Open rate - the subject line and a snippet of your first line will depend on how well this works.

  3. Reply rate - do you include a call to action to reply?

Top 3: tools for this channel?

  1. Gsuite

  2. Lemlist


Top 3: tips and hacks for this channel?

  1. Record a video using and talk over the top of a google or PowerPoint slide. Talk about how you helped a client and what results you achieved. Then download this video file and upload it to Youtube or Vimeo account. This will be much quicker to execute and publish as you won’t have to brief designers and copywriters to create a case study. Also, you will get much quicker feedback on what needs to be improved and iterate and improve as you go.

  2. Not waiting on a landing page or website rebuilds is another. Quite often cold email is treated as the same user journey as ads directed at a landing page. The reality is it should be an iterative process and although having a website is important, too much planning and not improving as you go means you lose valuable time testing.

  3. Asking for compliance in emails is a good way to gauge if people are reading your emails. “Hit reply and I’ll send you a link to our report”. Also, this gets around having to include links in email which can prevent emails being delivered.

For clients, what are the pro's and con's of working with Growth Division marketing experts?

For clients they have handpicked channel experts. From the experience of both working in-house at growth startups and brands I found that the company would often pick suppliers who worked with much larger companies and budgets, which aren’t always available for startups raising funds.

Also, an agency approach will typically pitch a solution based on their core competencies such as PPC or SEO, typically few channels work depending on the business model so getting this testing phase right early on is crucial for startups.

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