A Guide to Cold Outreach for Agencies

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The agency industry has changed dramatically in recent years. A shifting industry and fierce competition leave those who don’t actively pursue new leads behind. Even frequent sales prospecting might not be enough if your cold emails aren’t hitting the mark.

 

This guide is here to help. We’ll explore why many cold email templates and cold calling scripts often fall flat. More importantly, we’ll equip you with the knowledge to craft and run successful cold outreach campaigns, as well as how to leverage powerful tools like agency CRM and AI to generate real, tangible leads for your agency.

A Guide to Cold Outreach for Agencies

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Why Most Cold Outreach Emails Fail to Produce Results

Let’s take a look at what doesn’t work. 

 

Why Most Cold Outreach Emails Fail to Produce Results

 

These kinds of emails are incredibly common and do not perform well. The reasons are simple: they tend to be irrelevant, self-serving, and unappealing, among other things.

 

Rule number of successful cold outreach is to address the problem areas first. It’s important that you have your sales ducks in a row before you make contact with sales prospects. Let’s dig deeper into the following cold outreach aspects:


  • Irrelevant Outreach: Identify prospects with the specific problem you’re solving.
  • Unappealing Offer: Understand your prospects’ desires, goals, and frustrations to create compelling offers.
  • Self-serving Behavior: Focus on solving the prospect’s problem, not just selling your product.
  • Low-value Offers: Ensure your offer has sufficient perceived and actual value.
  • Unclear Communication: Clearly explain your offer and company to avoid confusion.
  • Untrustworthiness: Build trust by sharing reviews, case studies, awards, and leveraging connections.

 

If you have these ingredients in your cold outreach campaign, you’re ready to send out your campaigns. 

 

Related: Not happy with your cold calling results? Follow this cold-calling guide to improve your performance.

 

What to Prepare for Successful Cold Outreach

Cold outreach can be a goldmine for agencies, but success hinges on thorough preparation. Before crafting your message or dialing that number, take a deep dive into these key areas:


  • Audience research: conduct in-depth audience research to understand your ideal client’s desires, goals, fears, frustrations, and specific problems. This knowledge forms the foundation for personalized and impactful outreach.
  • Client Segmentation: group prospective clients into buckets based on various factors, including size (small business), industry (retail or outdoor), location (regional vs. national businesses), or topline revenue (e.g., $1 – $5 million in annual revenue). 
  • Channel selection: consider factors like mutual connections and industry norms. Should you reach out via phone, email, social media, or a combination of these? Always prioritize respecting privacy and avoiding intrusive communication.
  • Create your message: prospects crave personalization. Show you’ve invested time in understanding their situation with ultra-relevant messages that grab attention, offer immediate value, and address their specific issues. 
  • Client follow-up: life gets busy, and prospects might miss your initial message. Develop a follow-up strategy acknowledging this while respectfully persisting for a clear answer. Aim for a decisive “yes” or “no” to move forward efficiently.
  • Benchmarking: are your cold outreach efforts working? What’s the open rate for each of your messages? How many people respond to your outreach efforts? What’s your conversion rate? You’ll need to measure the performance of each of your client segments. This is an essential step that’s often ignored, but you won’t be able to get consistent results without key performance indicators. 
  • Outreach optimization: using the data from step six, you can change your audience, messaging, channel, and timing. If you’ve done a good job with benchmarking, you’ll have consistent data you can use to improve your cold outreach efforts. 

 

Let’s go through each of these steps in closer detail.

 

How to Run Successful Cold Outreach for Agencies

Step 1: Audience Research

 

Audience research is where the money is made. 

 

You can use audience research tools like Ahrefs, Sparktoro, or similar tools to turbo-charge your sales prospecting and get the data-driven answers you need from your audience research. Some of the data that you can get include: 

 

  • The website(s) prospects visit
  • Demographics (including keywords used in prospect bios and profiles)
  • Where prospects spend their time, e.g., preferred social networks
  • The tools they use to manage their business
  • Their skills and interests 

 

Another option is to look at your CRM solution. Potential customers might not have been contacted or deserve a second chance. If you use Pipeline CRM—one of the best agency CRMs in the market—you can easily find these prospects in your customizable contact and lead management by filtering the contact list and details.

 

How to Run Successful Cold Outreach for Agencies- Step 1

 

Then, use this information to: 

 

  • Create a list of prospects to pitch
  • Gather prospect contact information
  • Create content that solves specific problems and answers questions
  • Create supplemental content for prospect follow-up
  • Defuse objections before they’re raised
  • Create compelling offers 



Step 2: Client Segmentation

 

Now, sort your prospects into buckets. For example, if you’re an agency targeting manufacturing companies, you could segment your prospects by revenue, size, location, types of manufacturing (e.g., automotive, textiles, plastics, furniture, etc.), and focus (e.g., B2C, B2B, B2G, etc.).

 

Segmentation is essential because it facilitates task batching. You can create workflows that group similar tasks, research, and processes together. This means you can give prospects the customization and personalization they want at scale. 

 

Additionally, customer segmentation shows you which groups are profitable. Let’s say you initially focus your agency’s attention on large B2C manufacturers. Later, you discover that selling to small B2B manufacturers is much more profitable. 

 

You can make the switch. 

 

If you send outreach messages indiscriminately and haven’t segmented your prospects, it’s much more difficult to achieve the clarity or results that lead to long-term revenue growth. 

 

Learn more about how to segment your prospects and the 6 segmentation groups in this guide.



Step 3: Channel Selection

 

Through the audience research step, you know where your prospects spend their time. This means you (a.) know which platforms they use, (b.) know how to find prospects (via keywords in their bio/profiles), and (c.) the best ways to get in touch. 

 

This is important for several reasons. 


  • You’re able to identify advertising opportunities 
  • You know where your content marketing efforts will amplify your cold outreach
  • You can use these channels to earn more contact info 
  • You can identify the pitching rules and requirements for each channel (e.g., Reddit vs. YouTube vs. LinkedIn)
  • What to say in your cold outreach messages



Step 4: Create Your Message

 

Now, we’re ready to pitch our prospects. 

 

If you want to convert cold outreach to warm leads and sales revenue, you’ll need to focus on the right type of content that demonstrates results. This includes case studies, actionable lead magnets, and irresistible offers.

 

Of course, there’s a cadence to these. If you show up in someone’s inbox and make an offer, that won’t go over very well. On the other hand, leading with a case study is a straightforward way to get prospects to self-identify. 

 

Here are a few cold email templates you can use as inspiration. 

 

Related: Discover more FREE email templates in our databank, such as email ideas for introduction emails, demo requests, and follow-up emails. 

 

Cold Email Template 1

 

Hi [Prospect],

 

Last week, I helped [name: similar business], a small manufacturing company just like yours, generate [$623,417] in new revenue. Here are the results I achieved for them: 

 

  • 4x increase in leads, averaging 42 leads per day with a monthly lead value of $2.4M
  • Decreased cost-per-lead from $127 to $13
  • Increased sales conversion rate from 3% to 9%, tripling sales in 1 month. 
  • Increased monthly recurring revenue (MRR) by 34%

 

I do this for [manufacturing] companies like yours. Are you interested in the case study showing what I did and how I did it? 

 

[Signature]

 

Cold Email Template 2

 

Hi [Prospect],

 

When we worked with [name: similar business], a small manufacturing company in [location], we generated 417 leads for them in a single month. We helped them close 90 of these leads, with a total lead value of [$1.8M] in month two. 

 

We cut their cost-per-lead in half (from $57 to $26.50) 

 

I do this for [manufacturing] companies like yours. Are you interested in the case study showing what I did and how I did it? 

 

[Signature]

 

Cold Email Template 3

 

Hi [Prospect],

 

A recent study from [source] stated that U.S. manufacturing firms in the [midwest] overspend on raw materials, paying 36% more than companies in the south. 

 

Are you paying too much for raw materials?

 

Our calculator shows you in real time. 

 

We pull data from [4,691 sources] to identify whether your supplier’s pricing is high or low. It’s free, and you can get answers in 60 seconds

 

Oh, forgot to mention.

We also provide you with a list of vetting suppliers offering the same raw materials for less.

Hope this helps. 

 

[Signature]

 

Cold Email Template 4

 

Hi [Prospect],

 

Remember how I said we generated 417 leads for [name: similar business] in a single month? We helped them close 90 of these leads, with a total lead value of [$1.8M] by month two. 

 

I’d like to do the same thing for you. 

 

Here’s the catch. 

 

You pay per lead. No upfront costs. You pay for what you use. We keep the content, landing pages, and materials we create for your business. 

 

If you hate selling, we can help you close these leads, too. 

 

Are you interested?

 

[Signature]

 

What about sales calls? If you’re cold calling, you’ll need a script for that as well. Here are some cold-calling scripts you can use. 

 

Cold Calling or SMS Script 1

 

[Prospect],

 

It’s John with [Company]. Last week, I helped [name: similar business], another company in town, generate [$623,417] in new revenue. Here’s a 20-second rundown of the results I achieved for them: 

 

  • 4x increase in leads, averaging 42 leads per day with a daily lead value of $2.4M
  • Increased sales conversion rate from 3% to 9%, tripling sales in 1 mo. 

 

If you’re interested, text “Go” to [827-XXX], and I’ll send you the case study. I’ll show you what we did and how we did it.  

 

Cold Calling or SMS Script 2

 

[Prospect],

 

It’s John with [Company]. So apparently, [source] thinks you’re paying too much for raw materials. They say you spend 36% more than companies in [county]

 

Are you paying too much?

 

I’ve got a calculator that shows you.

 

We pull data in real-time from [4,691 sources] to determine whether your supplier’s pricing is too high or really low. It’s free, and you can get answers in 60 seconds

 

Are you interested? If so, text “Go” to [827-XXX], and I’ll send you a link to the calculator so you can try it out for yourself. 

 

Cold Calling or SMS Script 3

 

Hi [Prospect],

 

John with [Company] here. Remember how I said we generated 417 leads for [name: similar business] in a single month? We helped them close 90 of these leads, with a total lead value of [$1.8M] by month two. 

 

I’d like to do the same thing for you. 

 

Here’s the catch. 

 

You pay per lead. No upfront costs. You pay for what you use. We keep the content, landing pages, and materials we create for your business. 

 

If you hate selling, we can help you close these leads, too. 

 

Interested?

 

Text “Go” to [827-XXX], and I’ll send you a link to the calculator so you can try it out for yourself. 

 

Cold Calling or SMS Script 4

 

Hi [Prospect],

 

John with [Company] here. Last week, I told you how we quadrupled leads and tripled sales revenue for [name: similar business] in one month.

 

It seems like you aren’t a fan. 


No problem at all.  

 

I don’t want to keep spinning my wheels here if you’re not interested. If I haven’t heard from you by [date/time], I’ll remove you from our list. Cheers! 



These cold email templates are concise and cold-calling scripts grab attention, lead with value, and speak to outcomes. If you’re sending out cold emails or making cold calls, each message should meet this standard, with no exceptions. 



Step 5: Client Follow-up (How Much Should You Do?)

 

Did you know that 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up attempt?

 

They give up because they don’t know what to say! They’re unsure how to “follow up” with sales prospects without feeling like a pest. It’s awkward and often comes across as self-serving. 

 

Here’s a better option. You lead with content. Use compelling content to follow up with prospects. 

 

If you get stuck in creating appealing content, use AI. For example, you can use AI-generated emails in a variety of ways:

 

  1. Jumpstart the creative process as an inspiration generator.
  2. Customize specific sections of your cold outreach campaign (e.g., content for triggers, follow-ups, broadcasts, or pitches)
  3. Use AI-generated emails as variations you test against your originals. 

 

Just make sure that AI-generated emails receive a once-over before they’re sent out to prospects. Sending out an email filled with gibberish is a deal breaker for many prospects.

 

Learn more about how to write sales email outreach with AI in this blog.

 

Step 6: Benchmarking


It’s important that you’re able to track your messages across platforms (e.g., phone, SMS, email). You can do this automatically if you’re using CRM software like Pipeline CRM. You’ll also want to verify that your CRM software can send bulk campaigns and semi-automate the follow-up process.

 

It’s important that you’re able to track your messages across platforms

 

Use your CRM to create automated multi-step email automation sequences. You can add prospects based on various triggers such as deal, person, company, calendar item, activity, or customer. 

 

Use your CRM to create automated multi-step email automation sequences

 

What about SMS messages? 

 

If you’re using a CRM, you need dialer integrations. Pipeline CRM integrates with tools like JustCall, Dialpad, and Kixie. Here’s the great part about these integrations. They allow you to use these services to send, receive, and log SMS messages directly inside your Pipeline CRM system without switching applications. 

 

Step 7: Outreach Optimization

 

At this point, you’ll want to identify the specific factors that impacted the success or failure of your cold outreach campaign. This means you’ll need to go through a list of metrics you can use to measure the success or failure of your cold outreach strategies. 

 

Here’s a list of metrics you’ll need to monitor to optimize the success or failure of your campaign. 

 

  • Open Rate: The number of people who have opened your messages
    Here’s the formula: Open rate = Total of Emails Read / Number of Delivered Emails × 100 
  • Click Through Rate (CTR): The number of people who click a link or call to action in your messages and arrive on your landing page
    Here’s the formula:  CTR = (Number of clicks / Impressions) x 100
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of people who completed a conversion event (e.g., sign-ups, opt-ins, engagement, purchase, etc.) 
  • Revenue Generated: A simple calculation of the sales revenue generated by your cold outreach efforts
    Here’s the formula:  Sales Revenue = Number of Units Sold x Average Price per Unit
  • Unsubscribe Rate: The number of people who opt out or unsubscribe after you’ve made your cold outreach to them
    Here’s the formula: Unsubscribe Rate = Number of Unsubscribes / Total Number of Contacts
  • Spam Complaint Rates: The number of people who have reported you as spam
    Here’s the formula: Spam rate = Number of Spam Complaints / Total Number of Emails Sent × 100

 

What can these metrics tell you? 

 

  • Poor open rates? Play around with your subject lines 
  • Poor click-through rates? Focus on the specific outreach messages that are underperforming
  • Poor conversion rate? Work to improve your offer, the clarity of your offer, and your pricing
  • Unsubscribe rates? Improve your audience targeting and segmentation
  • Lots of spam complaints? Work to improve credibility, trust, and social proof factors

 

How to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Cold Outreach

Focus on continuous improvements for long-term success. Consider adding CRM software for agencies to your outreach tool stack. It’s an easy way to account for the vast majority of requirements in this guide. 

 

Using your CRM agency reports, you’ll be able to identify: 

 

  • The best times to send your outreach messages 
  • Which messages work best
  • How to structure your offers so you maximize response
  • The ingredients that lead to increased conversions consistently
  • Seasonality and trends in client behaviors (e.g., clients conducting agency reviews in the spring)

 

Level Up Your Cold Outreach Strategies for Increased Results

Use the guide to cold outreach above as the guidelines for your next sales prospecting campaigns. Remember the following points:

 

  • Cold outreach winners select and segment their audience carefully
  • Add significant value to each message 
  • Focus on the right channels, creating irresistible offers that get prospects to take action

 

Follow these steps, and you’ll find that you can consistently make cold outreach work for your agency, regardless of your industry or niche. 

 

Adopt an agency CRM solution like Pipeline CRM to help you manage all your leads and communication. We streamline your sales process from lead generation to nurturing with our robust features, such as built-in AI email writing assistance, automated email sequences, and customizable deal stages.

 

Try Pipeline CRM for free for 14 days. Sign up now!