Booking meetings via cold email is an amazing way to network, build relationships, and grow your customer base.

Cold email sometimes gets a bad reputation. But, if you write an email that’s:

  • Authentic

  • Provides value to your recipient

  • Makes replying a no-brainer

You can almost guarantee that you’re going to book meetings, even with people who have never met or heard of you.

Most people don’t mind receiving cold emails - if they're done well.

That’s the key.

Your email needs to be compelling and prove that it’s worth someone taking 15 - 30 minutes out of their day to meet with you. 

In this guide, I’m going to show you everything you need to know to start booking business meetings with prospects, potential partners, and new connections, from start to finish.

By the end, you’ll be able to find prospects and book meetings using email outreach - without looking like a robot.

Let’s dive in.

Booking Meetings Starts with Good Targeting

If you run a lead generation agency for B2B software companies, and you’re sending emails to CEOs at B2C eCommerce companies, you’re not going to book any meetings.

It sounds like common sense.

But, it’s easy to fall into the trap of quantity over quality.

If your prospect isn’t a fit for your offer, they’re not going to reply to you. Successful campaigns start with great targeting. Here’s how you can find and qualify prospects to improve your meeting booking rate. 

Building Your Contact List

Use Sales Navigator to Identify Good-Fit Prospects

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a powerful way to find people on LinkedIn that match your exact criteria for a qualified prospect.

You can filter results by:

  • Company size

  • Job title

  • Location

  • Industry

  • And much more

You can quickly build a list of prospects that match your buyer persona.

Once you’ve narrowed down your search criteria, you can use LinkedIn automation tools like TexAu to extract profiles from search results into a spreadsheet.

This process is possible with a regular LinkedIn account, but Sales Navigator gives you access to more powerful search features that will make this much faster.

Finding Prospects at Events

Events are a goldmine for prospecting. Whether it’s an in-person or online event, you can usually find an attendee list publicly available on the event website.

You can also search for the event name on social media. People might be posting LinkedIn or Tweeting that they’re attending in advance of the day.

If you know someone’s going to an event, you can send them an email to see if they’re interested in meeting. 

Being at the same event is a good icebreaker, and your prospect will see you have something in common with them.

Finding and Verifying Email Addresses

Finding Your Prospect’s Email

Inaccurate contact data wastes 27.3% of sales reps' time each year, so this part of the process is vital. 

There are various ways to find people’s email addresses at scale (we wrote an extensive guide to it here). You can use pre-built contact databases like ZoomInfo, do it more manually with an email permutator, or run prospects through tools like Clearbit Connect.

Once you have your email addresses, you need to verify your emails. Verifying them will reduce your email bounce rate and help your email deliverability.

You can automatically verify email addresses inside QuickMail.

When you create a Bucket to import prospects into, make sure to select the ‘Verify emails’ checkbox. 

If the emails can’t be verified, you can automatically reject them.

This process ensures you never email outdated, invalid emails that are guaranteed to bounce, hurting your campaign.

Considerations When Choosing Prospects

It’s tempting to email as many people as you can to book more meetings. But that’s not great practice.

If you start emailing people who aren’t a perfect fit for your meeting request, you’ll get fewer replies, and burn trust with those people.

Before emailing someone, ask yourself:

  • Are they the best person at the company to email?

  • Will the meeting benefit them?

Ask those two questions when reviewing your prospect list. If there are people where the answer is ‘No’, remove them from your list.

Building Your Target List Over Time

If you scrape 1,000 prospects from LinkedIn, you can’t email them all at once.

If even 10% of them agree to meet, you’ll have a week with 100 meetings and no time for anything else.

If your meeting request isn’t time-constrained (for example, to meet someone at a conference), you’d be better to make prospecting a regular activity. 

For example, each week, source 50 new prospects, and email them. 

This has two benefits:

  1. You’ll never exceed email sending limits

  2. The prospects you find will be relevant

  3. You can spend more time personalizing each email

This helps you avoid the trap of signing up to an email database tool, downloading 1,000+ emails, then when you finally get around to emailing them, you discover they’ve since left that company or changed roles.

Warming Up Your Email Account

Before you email anyone, you need to take steps to ensure you won’t be instantly labeled as spam by Email Service Providers (ESPs) like Gmail and Outlook.

First, use CheckMX to ensure your SPF, SKIM, and DMARC records are in place. 

These are records that prove to ESPs that you are who you say you are.

Then, warm up your email account using QuickMail’s auto-warmer. 

It warms up your account by sending automatic emails to people every day and generating automatic replies.

This will help you show ESPs that your emails get engagement. You can leave it running 24/7, and it’s a great way to improve deliverability and make sure your emails aren’t landing in the spam or promotions folder.

You’ll see a useful report showing you where your emails are landing. If too many are landing in spam, it’s time to pause your cold email campaigns and figure out why.

Subject Lines: Do They Matter?

You’ll often read things saying the subject line is the most important part of your email. The truth is, our data on millions of emails shows that subject lines are less important than most people think.

As long as your subject line is simple, short, doesn’t have typos, and doesn’t look like an email that a spammer would send, you’re good to go.

You can personalize it by adding in custom fields like {{prospect.first_name}} or  {{company.name}}, but it doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.

Effective meeting request subject lines are:

  • Catching up at {{event}}

  • Quick question {{prospect.first_name}}

  • {{prospect.first_name}} + {{your name}}

If you need more inspiration, check out our guide to cold email subject lines here.

A Personalized Opening Line is Key

If you want to stand a chance of booking a meeting with a busy prospect, your opening line is critical.

It shows up in Gmail/Outlook’s preview snippet, so it can help with open rates, too.

The key is to keep your opening line short and to the point. 

Highlight something personal that shows you’ve done your research into your prospect.

If you’re expecting them to give you their time, you need to prove you’ve done at least a little bit of research into them.

Example opening lines topics can be:

  • Mentioning personal or company news, e.g., congratulating them on new funding, or a promotion they received at work

  • Recent content they published on their blog or LinkedIn

  • New features or product launches

  • Mention an event you both went to or are going to attend

A personalized opening line in your meeting request email will instantly boost trust and warm up your prospect for your call-to-action.

Aggravate a Pain Point

Most of the time, people won’t book a meeting with you just for the sake of it.

This is particularly true if you’re booking meetings for sales purposes, but either way, you need to give someone a good reason to spend time in a meeting with you.

By aggravating a pain point you know someone has (and suggesting a way to solve it), you’re far more likely to get a reply.

A few examples of what this might look like:

  • I noticed you’re publishing podcasts on Spotify, but aren’t putting them on YouTube.

  • Saw you’re running Google Ads, but don’t have an affiliate program yet.

  • I noticed your job ad for an SDR has been live for a few months, but it hasn’t been filled.

What these sentences do is highlight a problem they have. It could be related to hiring, marketing, sales, growth, or anything else they care about.

The key is that it’s a pain point you know they want to solve. If you can show that you’ll solve it for them, they’ll be happy to jump on a call with you.

After that, show how you can solve the problem for them. Ideally, you’ll have case studies you can pull from.

For example:

  • We recently helped {{client_name}} get 128% more weekly listeners in 3 weeks with our podcast promotion system.

  • We helped a brand like {{company}} hire an SDR that with 5+ years of experience in {{industry}} within 3 weeks.

  • After we partnered with {{partner.company}}, we’ve driven $20,000 worth of opportunities their way.

Whatever you do, make sure to back up your claims with evidence. A case study, a testimonial, or name dropping similar clients.

Don’t get distracted by the details - at this stage, your goal is to start a conversation that can lead to a meeting.

Your Call To Action

If your goal is to book a meeting, your call-to-action needs to reflect that.

Example CTAs could be:

  • Are you available for a 10-minute chat this week?

  • Are you free for a call on Friday to discuss {{pain point}}?

  • Do you have 15 minutes free to discuss partnership opportunities?

However, there’s a caveat - because a meeting is a big ask, you may not want to lead with a lower commitment question.

For example:

  • Worth a conversation to discuss?

  • Is that something you’re interested in?

  • Is this a challenge you’re trying to solve right now?

Despite not being an explicit request for a meeting, these ‘low commitment’ CTAs are an effective way to start a conversation.

If your prospect is interested, they’ll reply, and you can start a conversation from there. After you send your recipient more information, they’ll be happy to book a call with you.

5 Meeting Request Email Templates You Can Use

Now, here are 5 example email templates you can use.

I’d recommend customizing these to your exact industry, recipient, and industry. 

Networking Meetup Template

If you’re regularly attending networking events, online or in-person, it’s a great idea to network with people attending. If there’s potential for collaboration or doing business together, most people will be happy to meet for a quick chat.

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Saw you’re attending [conference] in June.

I’m going to be there with [your company]. We recently helped [similar company] solve [pain point]. It’d be great to chat and explore if there’s potential for future collaboration.

Interested in meeting for 15 minutes on {{day}}?

Best,

{{inbox.friendly_name}}

Sales Meeting Request Template #1

This meeting request email template makes it instantly clear that you’ve done your research. You then show results you generated for similar clients, building social proof.

The call-to-action is simple, but, if your targeting is right, you’ll get a great response rate.

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Loved your podcast episode with [guest name]. I noticed you’re not publishing them on YouTube, though.

We recently helped [similar company] re-publish their podcasts to YouTube and in two months, they’ve already generated 10,000 new listens.

Worth a conversation to see if we can do something similar for {{company.name}}?

Best,

{{inbox.friendly_name}}

Sales Meeting Request Template #2

This email template takes advantage of recent company news. You’ve shown that you’ve looked into their current hiring activities and proven that you’ve done similar work for other companies like theirs. 

Considering hiring is a key growth lever for companies, many will be happy to have a 15-minute chat.

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Congratulations on the recent round of funding - fantastic news! 

Noticed that you have a few job posts already live for front and backend developers. We recently helped [similar company] hire 5 new team members after they closed their Series A, who are all still with the company.

Do you have 15 minutes on Friday to chat about your hiring pipeline?

Best,

{{inbox.friendly_name}}

Partnership Opportunity Template

This email template is open-ended, isn’t too pushy, and leaves the door open for discussions. If you have a clear idea of the partnership, you can make that clear in your email.

The key here is that there’s a mutual benefit - it probably won’t work if you’re a small agency or startup founder emailing the CEO of a Fortune 50 company.

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Nice work launching your new integration with [product]. 

I had a few ideas that might make sense for a partnership between {{company.name}} and our brand. We have similar audiences, and I think there’s potential to drive some sales each other's way!

Sounds like something worth discussing?

Best,

{{inbox.friendly_name}}

Schedule a Coffee Chat

If you’re looking to grow your network, cold email is a great way to book meetings with like-minded people. Look for people doing similar jobs at similar companies, and use a template like this to reach out.

The key here is to show the person you’re reaching out to that it’s worth it for them.

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Enjoyed your recent article on scaling Facebook Ads - planning to test some of those tactics in our marketing at [your company] this quarter.

As we’re both in similar roles, I thought it might be interesting to connect and share some learnings I’ve recently had that you might be able to use at {{company.name}}.

Want to grab a virtual 20-minute coffee next week?

Best,

{{inbox.friendly_name}}

Didn’t Book a Meeting After Your First Email?

If you sent a personalized email to someone but they didn’t book a meeting with you, didn’t reply, or didn't even open it, don’t worry.

55% of email replies come from a follow-up.

Luckily, you don’t need to set yourself reminders to follow-up manually in Gmail.

You can use a cold email tool, like QuickMail, to automate your follow-ups, without compromising on personalization.

To create follow-ups, just head to your campaign “Steps” section.

From there, make sure you’ve added a new step, with a delay. 3-5 business days is enough.

Then, add a new ‘Email’ step.

Write your follow-up email, and that’s it.

All you have to do is start your campaign, and if your first email doesn’t get a reply, your follow-up will be automatically sent after the number of days specified.

It’s a simple, effective way to boost your reply rate.

Wrapping Up

As always, remember the advice here is just that - advice. The cold email templates and examples should always be tailored to your unique business and customers.

That said, if you follow the advice, from building a quality list, verifying emails, and writing simple, compelling meeting request emails, it’ll be hard not to book meetings.

If you need a system to send personalized outreach emails and follow-ups at scale, QuickMail can help - just click here to start your free trial, no CC required..