14 Tips: How To Use Email to Re-engage Cold Prospects

You can’t win every prospect. But you can re-engage them. Here’s a post dedicated to using email effectively to win prospects you thought you had lost for good. You can’t win every prospect. But you can re-engage them. Here’s a post dedicated to using email effectively to win cold prospects you thought you had lost for good.

Email to Re-engage Cold Prospects

If there’s one hard truth every sales rep and marketer has to deal with, it is the fact that even the most promising deals fall through. How you respond – will to a great extent – determine the outcome.


One way is to dismiss such leads as “water under the bridge” and move on to the next best lead. We don’t suggest that way. We want you to fight the fight! Think about it, after all the effort you have put into building the relationship, you shouldn’t give up. Instead of letting cold or dead prospects fizzle out, you can use email effectively to re-engage with cold prospects and hopefully get some deals won.

Why Is It Important to Re-Engage?

There are a number of convincing reasons why re-engaging is a great idea. First, re-engaging dead or cold leads is always easier than marketing to new ones. When a warm prospect suddenly turns cold that could mean a lot of things. It could be that they are dealing with more urgent matters. It could also be because a competitor has redirected their focus and now they are weighing more options.


Letting them go at this point means losing not just their business but countless opportunities to get referrals from them. You are also losing the chance to be the top brand on their minds when they will eventually be ready for a deal.


When a warm prospect suddenly turns cold that could mean a lot of things.

How to Use Email to Re-engage Prospects

The biggest challenge in using email to re-engage cold prospects is knowing what to say, when and how to say it. Admittedly, you simply cannot keep sending emails to cold prospects asking if they are now ready to make a purchase. Here are a total of 14 ideas on how to do it:

1. Be Available and Helpful

The one thing you are sure of regarding your cold prospects is the fact that they are not ready to buy. For now, the best thing to do is to find ways to be helpful to them and be available. Doing this ensures that over time, you remain at the top of their minds. That way, when circumstances change and they reconsider buying, it is highly likely that you will get top priority.

2. Ensure Your Message is Relevant

In order to make your email messages relevant, you want to keep abreast of the prospect’s current situation as well as try to understand future needs. This will ensure that your messages resonate with them. A great place to start in this regard is checking the news. Find out what is happening to them or their competitors and adapt your message accordingly. If they find your content interesting and specialized to their needs, they will be less inclined to discard them.

3. Have a Case of the Mondays? Timing Matters

Time your emails appropriately to increase the likelihood that your prospects open it. Monday morning is the worst time to send an email. This is because it would have to compete with countless other unread messages from the weekend. In the same vein, it is important to send your emails at optimal intervals. Consider automating the process to make sure every message goes out exactly when it is supposed to.

Practical Examples of Re-engaging with Email

4. The Nine-Word Email

According to a report from the Harvard Business Review, curiosity is one of the strongest triggers for making a message viral. With that in mind, the nine-word email aims to pique cold prospects’ curiosity, ensuring they click on your email and get the message.

The general formula for this email goes like this:

Subject: Prospect’s first name e.g. Joyce

Body: Are you still interested in getting [insert your service or product]?

It could be tempting to add something to this shockingly brief message, but the directness and simplicity is the whole point.

5. Disarming Cold Prospects with Honesty

There is a marked difference between being desperate and showing some level of vulnerability. You might have tried different approaches to re-engage your client only to get a lukewarm response. It might be time to call in the big guns by showing your hand.

Example Email:

Hi Joyce, We have not managed to take a step forward since we sent you our proposal. It seems to me like we might have gone wrong somewhere. Could I ask for an honest assessment of what we may have missed and what we need to do to get the ball rolling?

What makes this message disarming, apart from the honesty, is that it can move the conversation from sales to creating a relationship. And you never know, you might actually discover a weakness on your side that you need to address.

6. When and How to Close the Loop

When all else fails, it might actually be time to let go. But how you do this could actually open the way for future re-engagement. Letting go gives you a chance to move on from a hopeless situation. However, it could also be what your prospects need for them to take action.


In this case, you could find a creative way of requesting to put a prospect’s project on hold. They might not see this coming and that could prompt a reaction.

Important Tips to Keep in Mind When Using Email to Re-engage

7. Let Your Prospect Know Why You Thought of Them

Over the course of your interactions with the prospect, you must have learned a thing or two about them. For instance, they might have mentioned specific challenges that they needed to solve. Periodically reaching out to them with product updates that address those specific challenges is a winning strategy. To make your email outstanding, add a personal touch, explaining a specific reason why you thought of them.

8. Play the Role of a Consultant Rather than a Sales Person

After you have your initial pitch to a prospect collapse, keeping a prospect warm is challenging. However, you could take a consultative selling approach to make it work. Make it a habit to share market updates and trade insights to keep them up to speed with changes. Seeing as this comes at no cost, they might appreciate the gesture and turn to you when they are ready to buy.

9. Request for Referrals

If you built a genuine relationship with your dead prospect, they can become a reliable source of referrals. They likely understood the value of what you had to offer but were not ready to commit for one reason or another. It could be that they know others facing similar challenges and if you ask them in an appropriate manner, they could connect you to them.

10. Show that You Care

Creating an authentic connection and delivering value revolves around caring about prospects as human beings and not just leads. With that in mind, you can always find common points of interest over which to connect. In the process, you might find that you establish a stronger relationship and build trust.

How to Get a Prospect to Respond to Your Emails

Nothing is quite as unnerving as having a formerly warm prospect ignore your emails. As you may have noticed, it takes time and effort to come up with the right things to say when re-engaging with email. But you need a response to know whether your efforts are paying off or not.


Here are some tips to get prospects to reply to emails:

11. A Little Humor Goes a Long Way

When you make your prospect smile, they tend to relax. And this can melt their objections and make them more receptive. Find a way to break the ice when emailing and you might just soften their hearts.

12. Peer Pressure

Mentioning other stakeholders in your prospects’ industry is likely to elicit a reaction. Human beings by nature take cues from those around them, especially people they esteem. If your lead realizes that competitors are receptive to your ideas, they might just want a piece of the action.

13. Give a Reason

Always provide a reason for your requests as people tend to comply when you tell them why. Prospects, like everyone else, are busy and they will be doing a favor if they respond to your email. Convince them why it is necessary.

14. Personalize

Readers are more trusting of messages that mention their names. Use your prospects’ names repeatedly in your message. Additionally, you can research specific challenges that they are facing and suggest a solution. Mention something unique about their brand or link to something on their site.

The Benefits of Re-Engaging Cold Prospects

Even though handling radio silence from a once-warm prospect might seem insurmountable, doing it right can yield countless benefits. You never know what cold prospects are dealing with on their side. But no matter what it is, you can build a stronger business relationship by taking the opportunity to re-engage.
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