B2B Sales Blog
Back to Blog Index

How to Warm Up Cold Leads with an Email

“We’re using cold email campaigns to try and warm up leads before inside sales calls on them. My question is, when should the sales reps be calling after we know an email has been read by the prospect? We know speed is critical but I feel that responding too quickly has too much of a “Big Brother” feel to it. Your thoughts?”

First things first… Sending a cold email to a prospect before calling them doesn’t “warm” them up.
The definition of a warm lead is when a prospect is raising their hand. That’s it.
How many times have you sent an email out, tracked it with tools that told you when the prospect opened the email only to call them and have them still give you some sort of blow-off or stall? I’m betting a lot!

How to Really Warm Up a Lead Via Email Marketing

Understand that the end game is to get your prospects to reach out to you! A warm lead is when a prospect raises their hand (by either picking up the phone and calling you or filling out a form on your website and submits a request to be contacted).
If you truly want to “warm up” leads for your inside sales team through email marketing, here’s what you need to do:

1 – Start with a quality list.

This means use resources that attract your target audience that want to hear from you again. Developing and then promoting valuable “how to solve” webinars is a great way to attract targeted prospects and build your email marketing list. (For an example of this, view our free voicemail strategies webinar) You will want to STAY AWAY from purchasing lists, etc.

2 – Be consistent.

Sporadic “Hey, we need deals so let’s blast out a mass email” campaigns often do more harm than good. You want to have well thought out material that goes out on a consistent basis for your audience to read.


Your subject line and your headline in the email have to be short and creative. Something that HITS your targeted audiences hot buttons!

4 – Help, not Sell. Solve, not Promote.

The content of your email should not be about you and what your product or service does, but rather focus on a problem that your audience has and that your company is an expert at solving, and then give the information away for FREE on how to solve it! This makes your targeted audience WANT to read what it is that you have to offer. It also builds your brand as a valuable resource – a Subject Matter Expert, if you will, to your targeted audience.
The majority of your email list won’t have a problem that needs solving right now, however, as you provide quality advice on solving issues they deal with, when a problem arises that they can no longer afford to ignore, they will know who to call / contact. And now you reap the benefit of speaking with a warm lead that you can help.

5 – Call to Action.

Make sure that at the end of your email marketing campaign / newsletter that you have a clear CALL TO ACTION for those who may be in need at this moment for your particular expertise. Make it clear and easy for them to hit the CONTACT ME I NEED HELP button so that your inside sales team can be busy helping prospects that need it, rather than trying to figure out who to call that has read the email.
Just make sure your inside sales team knows what to say when calling those warm leads. The last thing you want after investing the time to generate those true warm leads is to have your sales team blow it by calling them and saying “Did you have any questions?” or “I’m just following up”.


How to successfully sell by phone – Live Online Sessions from Michael Pedone
Register Now for Our Next 8-Week Phone Skills Improvement Program!

  • Eliminate “No, Thanks”, “Not Interested” & “We’re All Set” Responses
  • Learn a step-by-step process for Cold Calling and Warm Calling
  • Neutralize Gatekeepers & Get Voicemails Returned
  • Ask Engaging Questions Instead of Probing
  • Improve your Qualifying Skills
  • Learn more effective Sales Questions to ask (and ones to avoid)
  • Give Stellar Presentations & Handle Objections
  • Close Follow-up Calls and Get Targeted Referrals
  • How to Set & Achieve Your Toughest Sales Goals
  • Improve Your Time Management Skills

Duration: 1 hour per week for 8 weeks
Where: Online @ your desk, conference room or home
Presenters: Michael Pedone