How to write new business emails that get responses? It’s all in the research.

If you’re sending cold emails to introduce your agency to future clients, a little desk research can dramatically increase your success rate.

That first new business email can dictate the whole tone of your relationship - either leaving the reader thinking you’re a self-centred salesperson, or an expert looking to share their knowledge.

If you can find the time to dig a little deeper with your research, your new business efforts will stand head and shoulders above the countless copy and paste emails that land in the inboxes of Marketing Directors and CMOs every week.

We get it. Research takes time that most of us don’t have. That’s why many people only look at the basics. They hash out a few all encompassing trends per sector and voila! Whilst that is useful, it’s just a starting point.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here’s what you should be researching before you even think of clicking ‘Compose New Message’.


With your key decision makers identified, it’s time to head to their LinkedIn. Here you’ll find information about their role, responsibilities and goals (all things you can use to steer which aspects of your agency you dial up and talk about). Take a look at the types of posts they’re sharing for an insight into their current interests, and reference them in that crucial first message. Demonstrating that you know their world and share their passions makes them more likely to turn to you for advice. 


Trawl Google for articles your key contacts are quoted in, webinars they’ve featured on and conferences they’ve spoken at. From these you’ll get an idea of not only how they think, but how they talk. Maybe they’re quite formal, or perhaps they’re more conversational… However they speak, matching their tone in your message will make it easier for them to connect with you. 

A search for their brand in the  trade press will also let you know which campaigns they’ve worked on recently – more great material to create a truly bespoke email. Mentioning things that are specific and important to the reader flatters them. And flattery goes further than you might think.


The company’s website and social channels are obviously a great starting point for understanding their history, demographic and tone of voice. But there’s plenty more to be explored. Annual reports will outline the brand’s goals for the year ahead, while job specs often share future ambitions and details of their strategy. Taking the time to understand the business’ aims is essential, as you can then use your email to explain why your agency is perfectly positioned to support them on their journey.


We know it sounds like a lot. But this is the difference between your email getting a rapid delete, or receiving that all-important reply. 

At the most basic level, this depth of research shows your future client that you actually care. And that they’re not just one of a thousand people you’ve emailed that day. This alone means you’ll get more responses; ergo more opportunities to explore projects and collaborations. 

So… it’s time to get digging.

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