top of page

Beginner's Guide to Email Marketing & Cold Calling

Updated: Jun 17, 2019

Want to grow your business faster than new customers seem to be finding you? Learn how to proactively reach out to potential customers through a simple outbound marketing strategy:

Part 1: Lead Generation (how to find potential customers)

Part 2: Email Marketing (how to "warm up" your leads)

  • Create simple emails that convert

  • Optimize your email signature

  • Use Mail Merge for G Suite

  • Report on email clicks

Part 3: Cold Calling (how to build your sales pipeline)

  • Only call people who are interested

  • Prepare a simple script

  • Listen to examples

  • Make it a weekly routine

Video (above) and transcription (below) from Makeshark's "Learn Email Marketing & Cold Calling" workshop given at Cultivate Grove City in Grove City, Ohio.

Workshop is lead by Dustin Pearce from Makeshark in Columbus, Ohio. Dustin has worked with local companies to increase SEO 414% and grow online sales by over $500,000 annually. Dustin previously helped national brands like Hulu, Kroger, Huffy Bikes, and Orbit Gum.

Part 1: Lead Generation

"We’re going to get started. If you want to take a chair, we have a lot to cover. Usually this is covered in two workshops—"outbound marketing and sales" and then "inbound marketing and sales"—and usually the feedback is "we need more time"... So my response was to cram both into 90 minutes."

"My name is Dustin. My background is in graphic design, so basically no sales skills. My last job was for a software company. When I finished redesigning their website, I asked the COO if I could transition into marketing and sales. Their VP of Sales trained me on "lead generation", which basically consisted of me finding leads, and hime making twenty phone calls at a time in a conference room. I got to see first-hand that this was all it took to start a relationship and start the sales process. I’m going to share some of those techniques."

"We are going to find leads, do a marketing email campaign, then narrow down who to cold calls. Because cold calling suck, and can be very scary and time consuming, we

re going to only call people who 'click' on emails. What that does is narrow down a thousand people to maybe twenty people you have to cold call. Plus, this gives us the confidence that these people know who we are, and are at least somewhat interested, because they clicked."

"To be transparent in where Makeshark gets our clients at, this is our client customer breakdown: 1) email marketing; 2) referrals; 3) SEO; 4) workshops, and; 5) other. The reason share this is one to be one, be transparent, and two, because I personally want to have a strategy for each of these areas."

"I like to start off workshops by showing this (somewhat) funny video. Growing up I didn’t have many movie, but one that we did have was Billy Madison. So this is to sets the tone for the workshop..."

"I always think about this when I’m doing stuff for my company. You really have to work hard to make things work. You can’t just do a little bit of work—it truly takes a lot to make stuff happen."

Lead Generation: Background Story

"As I said in the beginning, I started out in graphic design and had no background at all in sales. My old boss basically handed me a book of leads and had me filter out ones that we could do business with. We sat down in a conference room and he would cold call all of these people. Since I understood Linkedin, Facebook, and Google, I was like, 'there’s a better way to find these people that is free.'"

"Typically you have to pay for directory books, and they’re a limited supply of leads in them. Each year has a new version, so they go out of date. Linkedin, however, gives you access to all of these people, it's constantly growing, and it’s free! Similar with Google Maps and Facebook. These are the ways I am going to share how to generate the leads to put into your email marketing campaigns and then cold call."

"The important thing in lead generation is not just shotgun email, but to understand who your market is. You want to target your messaging and to continuously reach out on an ongoing basis. You need to segment your lists by niche. If you are targeting a larger company, you may need to niche down to a specific person at the company. For instance, you may need to reach out to the accountant, or the project manager."

"There are a couple different ways to generate leads for small businesses. I’m going to share with you how to use Google Maps, the company’s website, and company's Facebook page. For larger organizations, I’m going to use a similar technique, but with Linkedin. These methods are very labor intensive, but you can shorten the time involved by using a web scraping tool. Also, I recommend outsourcing some of the work on or by hiring a stay at home parent."

Lead Generation: Small Business vs. Large Businesses

"Let’s start with selling to local businesses. Go to Google Maps and type in your niche, including location—for example "landscaping companies Columbus, Ohio". Then, go to each company's website to look for an email address. Once you find an email address, add it to a spread shseet along with the company's name. If you can't find an email address on the website, try their Facebook page. If there is no name associated with the email address, just use "Hey there,".

"For large businesses, we are going to do a similar thing but on Linkedin. On Linkedin, I could search for "utility companies" and I get a list of over 4,000 different companies. Copy these onto a spreadsheet, then go through the company pages one by one, looking for the name of the employee you want to reach by title."

"A lot of people get hung up with cold calling because there’s a gatekeeper. I’ve almost never have been shut down by a gatekeeper, and I think the reason why that that when I call a large company, I ask for an actual person, I don't just say: “Hey, this is Dustin with Makeshark; who is in charge of...?” I’m saying, “Hey, this is Dustin. Can I speak with Daniel Morris?” I did some research to get past the gatekeeper and it makes it sound more personal. For large companies I found success in finding email addresses by simply typing in their full name, title, "@" their domain, and the word "email" into Google. Their email address is usually on a document online somewhere."

"Now there are some shortcuts you can do. One is using a directory. This is especially good if you are targeting local companies that are a part of an association. So in this case I just looked for "general contractors in Columbus, Ohio" on Google and found The Associated General Contractors of Ohio with over 400 contractors, company names, phone numbers, key contacts, and their email address. In this case all we have to do is copy all of this into a spreadsheet and upload this into a email marketing tool."

Lead Generation: Web Scraper

"In situations where lead generation is very tedious, what you can do is use a web scraper tool. I use one a Chrome add-on called Right click a page and inspect the code. If you haven’t seen this before, it’s not as scary as it seems. It's just the elements that make up the web page. You’re just selecting parts of the page where the web scraper will pull information from. You can use this in Google Maps, Linkedin, and any website that has a list. After scraping a page export the data as a CSV. It's a very helpful tool to streamline a repetitive task."

Part 2: Email Marketing

"I assume by now that you are familiar with email marketing software like Constant Contact and MailChimp. The issue with software like this is that their contact-based pricing. We don't want to pay per contact, because most of our contacts will never turn into customers. Another issue with tools like these are that the emails they send are HTML based, and include images that often get send straight to the receiver's spam folder."

"Instead, I use Mail Merge lets. Mail Merge lets you personalize your emails and still have them come across as plain-text—and it’s only $29/year! Your email should at least be personalized to include the recipients company and first name (if possible). I always end my emails with, “are you the right person at your company to talk about this?” My email signature is pretty simple also. I put my company name as a link to the website and then a link to a 1-minute video called “what is Makeshark?” our analytics show that a lot of people click this video link.”

How to setup Mail Merge:

  1. You must be using G Suite for email

  2. Open a new Google Spreadsheet

  3. In the menu, click "Add-Ons" > "Get Add-Ons"

  4. Search for "Mail Merge" and add "Mail Merge with Attachments" by

  5. Click "Add-Ons" > "Mail Merge" > "Create Mail Merge"

  6. Add your list (first name, company name, email address, etc.)

  7. Click "Add-Ons" > "Configure Mail Merge"

  8. Add your contact information > Enable tracking > Use a draft email > send a test

  9. Click "Send" when you are ready

Step 3: Cold Calling

"After sending out your email you are ready to start cold calling. Under Mail Merge you can run a report of "opens and clicks" then filter you list to show action by clicks first. A good workflow is to then copy the email address into HubSpot where you can click to call with VoIP. This also lets you record conversations for future use. Usually it is best to wait at least a day before running the report and making your initial phone calls."

"I found the most success by scheduling these weekly. I hate cold calling and it makes me nervous, but making it a weekly helps make it easier. Like I said before, my background is not in cold-calling. When I learned how to cold call, I was delivering pizzas on the weekends and I would repeat me script to myself between routes until I got comfortable on the phone."

"My typical cold-calling script goes like this, 'Hey (Name), this is Dustin with Makeshark. How are you today? (then I pause for their response before jumping into your pitch). I’m calling because Makeshark is a web design company in Columbus that helps small businesses grow online. Who would be the right person at (company) to talk with about that at?'”

"That leaves it open to engage in a normal conversation. I know people who are better than me at cold-calling who will ask for their pain-point, but I’m not good at that and it’s not natural for me. There’s a lot of fear that people are going to hang up, or be rude to you, but in my experience that almost never happens."

"A quick couple of things to recap, when leaving voicemails make sure to end by repeating your name and company, along with spelling out your phone number and email address."


bottom of page