4 Ways to Use Agile Sales to Improve Your Cold Email Conversion

May 8, 2018

The very idea of sending cold emails may cause you to shy away from even considering it. You may wonder if you’re wasting your time. Does it even work? With the cold email open rate being lower than that of an opt-in email list, and it sounding a little like cold-calling, it’s understandable that some companies aren’t excited about giving it a try.

In order to make cold emails convert, there are a couple things we need to reframe as we think about it. First, we need to approach cold emails as a way to start a conversation, not make a sale. When you’re sending cold emails, you can’t come on too strong. Nowhere in a cold email should you be trying to sell the advantages of a product or service. A cold email should always include the ways in which your business can help that person. That’s it. You’re only looking to establish a relationship at this point.

The other thing we can begin to look at regarding cold emails is using agile sales. According to Hubspot, agile sales “takes project management strategies from the IT world like sprints, standups, and constant iteration and applies them to selling.” Agile sales teams work together to continually work on the best ways to sell to customers, and they use data and deep communication to improve their processes and increase revenue.

Rather than just going in blind, making best guesses, and casting a wide net hoping to catch an undefined “something,” agile sales helps you track, measure and then improve your cold email approach. Here are four ways to use agile sales to improve your cold email conversion.

Define Your Target Market

Perhaps one of the largest advantages to using agile sales is the ability to define your target market. In the past, businesses had to make more assumptions and do a lot of “hoping for the best” when it came to who they thought they should be contacting. Through the use of agile sales, you know exactly who you should reach out to. You’ll understand more about your prospects, what their business model looks like, and whether nor not your product or service is a fit for them, making it simpler to narrow in on those companies and contacts you should spend your time on.

Prospects Are People

For all of the technical aspects of agile sales, it’s surprisingly good at making things more personal. Because you’re going to have a good read on who your contacts are, from a data perspective anyway, it’s easier to think of them as a person, rather than a random contact on a database. It’s easier to imagine them as they really are; probably very busy, needing emails to be short and direct, and someone with a lot of problems to address–some of which you can hopefully solve.

Reach Multiple Contacts

Most companies have several decision makers involved in every decision, purchase, and change they make. When you’re trying to find the right contact within a business, your odds are better that someone will read it and you may hear back if you reach out to more than one person. It’s important that each email isn’t identical, so try not to use a canned approach. If you can find some personal way to connect to each person differently you’re better off, but if not, try changing the copy to be different in some way. Within some agile sales or customer relationship management (CRM) tools you may have the option to use an email finder feature to give you a hand with locating the right contacts within the companies you’re looking to connect with.

Easy Does It

It can be tempting to really go for it when you’re trying something new, especially if you’re trying out a new tool or learning a new, promising strategy. But with cold email marketing, it’s best to learn what has the highest response and conversion rates by sending emails in small batches. Then, you can track and measure what results you’re getting and make the necessary changes and improvements moving forward. Think of it like testing and iterating your process according to your tests, and you’ll have a lot more success than putting all your eggs in one email basket.

Remember that cold emails are a way to begin a conversation and start to develop a relationship. You’re not looking to make a sale right out of the gate. Keep this in mind as you craft your email copy and approach prospects looking for qualified leads that will convert.

Using agile sales may be one of the best ways to build a cold email strategy that allows you to utilize metrics in order to focus your efforts in the right places. Before you start sending cold emails you’ll be armed with a clearly defined target market and have the information you need about your contacts.

Jessica Barrett Halcom


Jessica Barrett Halcom is a writer for, with specializations in human resources, healthcare, and transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN.