Sales strategies

A five-step cold email sequence that generates more meetings

Jean-Paul Klerks
CGO at
April 9, 2024
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Since our previous blog guide covered how to write cold emails that get replies, let’s now discuss a five-step cold email sequence that can bring more meetings to the table.

This is a zero-fluff quick guide of a five-step B2B cold email outreach sequence that guarantees more meetings. 

The structure of this article is pretty simple. Below, you’ll see the five steps, each coming with a relevant email example. The five steps are the following:

  1. Initial email
  2. Credibility/case study 
  3. Thoughts?
  4. Referral
  5. Bye for now

We test thousands of outreach emails, follow-ups, time between follow-ups, and many more daily. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution - we have seen that this sequence works well for many users. In particular, the initial email, credibility/case study, and referral provide the most positive replies.

Let’s dive in! 

Initial email

This is obviously your very first email in the sequence. Start with a brief observation. Then, follow with a problem or an insight derived from your observation. 

Once you made it clear you understand their problem and are in a position to help them solve it, offer the solution. Wrap up your email with an interest-based call to action. 

[lead_name] - I know you’re the only one in charge of new business. (observation)
It can feel overwhelming to be responsible for the full sales cycle and keep the deal flow going. That latter is usually the trickiest part. (problem derived from observation)
Did you know you can leverage AI to 10x [company_name]’s sales too? (solution)
Mind if I share the strategies here? (interest-based CTA)
P.S. [Personalized compliment]

Credibility/Case Study 

The second email should be a logical continuation of the first one. Even if they haven’t replied to you, don’t change the topic—continue from where you stopped. Typically, it’s recommended to send the second email 3-4 days after you sent the first one. 

Your second email should provide value, adding more credibility to your previous message and your status as an expert. 

Share a helpful resource—it can be a video, a whitepaper, or a blog post. A bullet list of tailored strategies can also do the trick. In other words, the resource you share should be relevant to your prospect's problem or situation. 

If applicable, you can share a customer’s success story too. 

Hi {lead_name},
The strategies I had in mind were going after:
  • DMUs in companies similar to [company names of case studies mentioned on [lead_name]’s website]
  • Companies who are hiring for [roles/job titles [lead_name] could reach out to, to sell its product/service to]
  • [roles/job titles [lead_name] could reach out to, to sell its product/service to] who recently changed company
  • Relevant companies who recently visited your website
A good chunk of these are in-market for a [product or service [lead_name] is selling] right now.
For most of them, you can use to automatically contact them. In addition, researches the leads to ensure all emails are relevant and personalized.

Mind exploring?
P.S. Tom Slocum, Founder of The SD Lab, shares their thoughts on how automatically sent 200 emails that got them 20 replies and 2 meetings booked.


Give it another 3-4 days before you send your third email. It should be short and sweet—a maximum of three sentences. In this email, ask your prospect if they thought about your previous email. End your message with an open-ended question. 

[lead name], since you are the only one in charge of new business and are responsible for the full sales cycle, I thought this would be worth discussing.

Any feedback on my previous message? 

Referral - another person in the same company

Let’s be honest; this email is a slightly sneaky way of trying yet again to elicit a response from your prospect. The whole idea is to drop the name of someone else in the company (it can be either someone more senior or a peer, if any) and ask the prospect if this third person would be better suited to carry on the discussion. 

As a second step, explain why you’ve decided to reach out to them in the first place. 

It’s recommended to send your fourth email around 7 days after you sent the third.

Hi [lead name],
Would [referral name] be better suited to discuss getting more business? 

Bye for now

This last email in the sequence should feel like a pause rather than the end of the conversation. Here are a few things you can cover:

  • Highlight that you have already reached out to them several times and explain why you’ve done it
  • Make a naive assumption, e.g., “The timing may not be right” 
  • Make another naive assumption, e.g., “You might be wrong” 
  • Leave with a yes or no question 
[lead name]  - I’ve reached out a few times to discuss expanding new business. 
Thought could help with end-to-end sales automation. 
Assuming this is not the right timing. 
Let me know if I am wrong. However, I’ll stop my outreach for now. 
Do you think this will be a priority during the next two quarters? 

Wrapping up

And there we have it! We've journeyed together through this five-step cold email outreach sequence, exploring each step with a sense of adventure. From crafting that all-important first email, sprinkling in credibility with a case study, to gently nudging with a "Thoughts?" email, and cleverly using a referral before signing off (for now). 

This isn't just about sending emails; it's about laying the groundwork for relationships that could lead to exciting collaborations. Each email in this sequence is a stepping stone towards understanding and engaging your potential clients meaningfully. 

Keep these steps in your toolkit and approach your next cold email with confidence and a touch of creativity. And in case you are wondering if there is a way to automate this, believe it or not, there is! can help you automate your sales outreach end-to-end, bringing you a steady flow of leads you can talk to and deals you can close. Give it a spin by signing up for free.

Jean-Paul Klerks
CGO at
Jean-Paul Klerks
CGO at

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