How to write a great First Touch Email

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Importance of the First Touch

The first email in a sequence, also known as first touch, is analogous to the first minutes of a conversation with a stranger - it is your only chance to create a good first impression. You have to master the art of crafting good first touch emails because they will be paramount in the success of your outbound sales strategy.

This article walks you through some generic best practices and gives you a formula to ace your first touches.

Best practices

The main purpose of cold emails is to build a relationship that will eventually turn into a business partnership. Keep this in mind and be particularly careful in the way you craft your first touch emails. 

  • Structure your email in a way that makes it easy for your prospects to find answers to these questions.
  • Put yourself in your prospects' shoes when creating your first touch email
  • Be personal. This means you should include personal information about your prospects, i.e. their name, job information, or any recent news. Personalization is easy and helps your emails to stand out.
  • Make your emails concise and transparent. The emails should be short, straight to the point, and don't overpromise. Remember to provide value with every touch-point.
  • Be original (use humor). People appreciate a good laugh. You might break through the noise and get the reply you wanted. You can use a pun, a nice joke, or a GIF that the prospect relates to and understands.
  • A/B test every assumption.

6-Step Formula to Writing Great First Touch Emails

1. Personalization with good reason (be relevant)

Rule #1: Don’t start by presenting yourself.

Starting your emails with a great first sentence is crucial. Prospects will pay attention to your email if you hook them quickly, if you don’t, they will miss the point and archive your email.

The goal is to grab their attention with something specific you know about all prospects. These data points are everywhere, all you need is to connect the dots.

For instance, grab the attention of VPs by mentioning they recently changed jobs. This shows them you have a reason for reaching out. This type of information is usually one of the strongest buying intent signals that someone is looking to shake things up internally.

Examples of great attention grabbers:

“Hi {{first_name}}, I was doing a bit of research on {{company_name}} and saw that you have just recently joined (...)”

“Hi {{first_name}}, I saw you commented on {{original_poster}}’s LinkedIn post (…)”

2. Natural segue & did my homework

To make sure you have their attention, show them you did your research carefully.

Transition and connect the hook you used in the first sentence with the problem you are trying to solve. Don’t forget to create an intriguing message and make it all about them.

Examples of great connectors:

“Is this change of jobs also an opportunity to review your tech stack?”

“I completely agree with what {{original_poster}} mentioned about the fact that {{topic}}. I would even add that at {your_company}}, we solved that challenge. (...)”

3. Problem

Now, that you have the prospect’s attention, make sure your message is compelling by mentioning a problem they care about.

Keep in mind that not everyone in your audience cares about problems in the same way. For instance, C-level executives have different problems than middle managers or individual contributors.

Use this knowledge to adapt your message accordingly. The same can also be true for different industries, managers at different locations, etc.

👉 Read this article to see how you can do this with if/then statements in cold emails.

4. Approach and solution

Segue with a clear and concise value proposition. Leave the details for the call if the prospect is interested in a specific issue.

This is an example of how we present Amplemarket to some of our prospects:

“At Amplemarket we combine world-class prospecting software (think zoominfo+lusha+leadiq combined) and multi-channel outreach (email and Linkedin) all in a single place to help gain precious time back so they can double their quota.”

5. Proof (optional)

Social proof has a positive impact on your conversion rates. One of the easiest ways to do it is to show relevant examples of existing customers. Example:

“Just wanted to tell you that we already have several companies like Deel, MoveWorks, and H1 using the product and with really positive results (sales reps spend on average 2x more time on the phone closing deals instead of doing pre-call email and are able to reach out to 3x more leads)”

6. Intent-Gauging Call To Action (CTA)

Finish your emails with one simple call to action. The “secret” is to always A/B test different calls to action. Sometimes a simple question like "What do you think?" or “Does this sound interesting to you?” works better than trying to immediately schedule a call. Or vice versa.


Example of a GREAT Cold Email:





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