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Small Business Lead Generation & Cold Email | B2B & B2C

Create lead generation with cold email. Great for startups, business development, networking, small businesses, & more
Evan Kimbrell
7,190 students enrolled
English [Auto-generated]
How to create an evergreen lead generation machine.
What the common pitfalls of bad cold email are.
How to craft body copy that converts based on multiple frameworks.
How to write email subject lines that get open rates as high as 80%.
How to write an effective Call-To-Action (CTA) for your email campaigns.
How to build an Ideal Customer Profile for your target audience.
How to build professional customer personas for their audience.
How to use "threading" techniques to find your audience.
How to determine who in a company you should reach out to.
How to build a contact "hit list" with the right tools and information.
How to mine LinkedIn for contacts that you can reach.
How to determine where you should mine for contacts.
How to use Google, press releases, and attendee lists to pull contacts you might have missed.
How to use directories to build a list for B2B sales.
How to build a B2C list off Twitter and other social media platforms.
How to tactfully prospect within your own network.
The basics of cold calling.
How to find any person's email address.
How to use tools like Hunter, VoilaNorbert, The Harvester, and Datanyze to find email addresses.
How to handle @info and @contact email addresses.
How to figure out edge case email scenarios where tools don't work.
How to scale up your lead generation process with outsourcing.
How to find virtual assistants and contractors with the right skills and right price.
How to write job post ads and conduct trials prior to hiring.
How to buy bulk prospecting leads and incorporate them into your process.
Common copywriting concepts like AIDA, CBI frameworks, and UVP.
How to use emotional triggers in your emails without feeling spammy.
How to use the 3 golden rules of cold email to never launch a failed campaign.
How to pick the best times during the day and week to email.
How to follow up with prospects.
How to incorporate replies into your sales funnel.

If you want to make any idea a successful one, you’re going to need some outside help. Whether it’s finding customers or just expanding your contact list, cold emails are the way to go. In this easy-to-follow course, we’re going to focus on building a lead generation campaign that will grow your business, your network, and your opportunities.

Cold email may have built up a bit of a bad reputation, but that’s only because people don’t know how to do it well. When used properly, the technique opens up access to any individual in the world, whether that’s the average shopper or a Fortune 500 CEO.

Need investors or clients for your business? Use cold email.

Need interviews for your podcast? Use cold email.

Simply want to meet someone you find fascinating? Use cold email.

You may run a small retail business or work on the sales team at a startup. You may just want to gauge interest in a business idea you’ve conjured up. Whatever it is you’re trying to do, the lectures in this course will teach you how to reach out to people and capture their attention instantly.

We’ll take you through the entire cold email process from figuring out your target audience and building a hit list to effective copywriting and follow-up techniques. Campaigns can be a rollercoaster, so we’ll also show you what to do when things aren’t going your way. Plus, you’ll learn the best software to use and how to automate the most time-consuming parts — even if you have no budget at all.

This course focuses equally on B2B and B2C sales with techniques and customizations for both scenarios. So whether you want to rake in those customers or secure a million dollar deal, you’ll walk away with a strategy that works for you. All you need to start is an email account.

Included in the course

• Over 118 lectures, teaching you how to run a cold email campaign from start to finish.

• Over 6 hours of instruction.

• Over 3 hours of behind-the-scenes practice lectures.

• 3 successful case studies.

• Tips and tricks from experts.

• Watch a live campaign run from beginning to end.

About your instructors

Evan Kimbrell has 20 courses on Udemy with over 340,000 students from 180 countries. His courses primarily focus on business, entrepreneurship and growth marketing. In 2013, Evan started the digital agency Sprintkick and used cold email techniques taught in this course to grow his business to a multimillion dollar run rate within the first year.

Zach Valenti is a creative entrepreneur and YouTuber. He’s built extensive campaigns with cold email for his own consulting business as well as his critically acclaimed podcast, Wolf 359. He’s used cold email to run a podcast, sell mental health awareness hardware to universities, and find clients for his videography consulting business.


Course Overview

If you're a startup or small business, you're going to be doing plenty of cold emailing. This course gets into the nitty gritty of generating leads, including what to do when things don't seem to be going your way.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to make the most of the course.

  • An overview of the topics we’re going to be covering.

Join our community on Slack!

What works

What cold email looks like (awful emails we've gotten)

Cold email generally has a bad reputation. And that’s because most people suck at it. Sometimes, it’s unpersonalized and reads as spam. Sometimes, it’s so poorly written that you literally have no idea what the company is trying to sell. Here’s a few examples.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Examples of badly written cold emails.

  • Explanations of why they’re unsuccessful.

  • How a good cold email should make readers feel.

336 templates for subject lines & cold email body copy
Getting into the mindset & myths

There are a few myths surrounding cold emailing. Namely, that no one wants to receive them. Most of them, however, simply aren’t true.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The myths about cold emailing and why they’re myths.

  • The number one rule to remember when crafting a cold email.

Review sheets & resources - all in one PDF!

Deciding on your target

Intro to targeting

Figuring out the kinds of people you want to target may be a boring step, but it’s a crucial one. If you miss this stage, you could create some serious issues later on.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why targeting is so important.

  • What can happen if you fail to target appropriately.

Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

To effectively target people, you need to know exactly who it is that you're looking to reach out to. Building a customer persona is a great way to do just that.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What a customer persona is and why it's useful.

  • How to put a customer persona together using logic.

Building personas off data

Creating a customer persona through guesswork may require a little tweaking further down the line. But if you already have customer data, you can go one step better.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What customer data to use to build a customer persona.

  • How to use this data to target potential new customers.

DIY threading

If you're looking to target a small group of people, threading is your best bet. It's simple, straightforward and shouldn't take up too much of your time.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The process of threading and how it can be used to figure out who to target.

  • Real-life examples.

  • Pros and cons of the technique.

Practice - Building personas

Practice time. We're going to show you exactly how to build a customer persona, taking everything you've learnt from previous lectures into account.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Walkthrough of how to build a customer persona using real data and a theoretical company.

  • How to use this customer persona for a cold email campaign.

How companies are broken down

The last thing you need to think about when targeting is how to find the best person to target within a company itself. Obviously, this mainly applies to B2B.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How company hierarchies work.

  • Which job roles fall into each section.

What level do you target

Let's dive a little deeper into B2B targeting. Now you know how company hierarchies work, you need to determine which job role to target. Remember: going straight to the top isn't always the best move.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to use a company hierarchy to figure out who to target.

  • Key things to remember during this process.

  • Useful examples and strategies.

Review & Recap: Section 3

Finding the right person

Prospecting 101

Now, you need to make a list of exactly who you’re going to be cold emailing. Don’t get too ahead of yourself; names are all you need right now.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The definition of prospecting.

  • A brief overview of what the process involves.

Building a hit list

A hit list is the spreadsheet that will store every piece of information relating to your prospective customers. How do you set one up? It's super simple.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What a hit list is.

  • What software to use to create it.

  • How to lay it out, whether you're B2B or B2C.

Using Airtable for your hit list

If you're looking for a little more functionality than a simple spreadsheet provides, consider Airtable. Part spreadsheet, part CRM database, it offers tons of time-saving features.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The features that Airtable offers.

  • How much it costs.

  • Examples of how to arrange your hit list using Airtable.

Where to mine - overview

Time for the mining to begin. The process can work in one of two ways, depending whether you're a B2B or B2C business.

Covered in this lecture:

  • An introduction to the two directions of mining.

  • An overview of what the next few lectures will cover.

Mining with LinkedIn (free) - B2B/B2C

LinkedIn is one of the easiest places to mine potential customer names. The best part is that you don't have to pay for most of it.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The process of using LinkedIn to mine for free.

  • Different filters and strategies to narrow down your search.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator (paid) - B2B/B2C

LinkedIn's premium mining tool will cost you, but its additional features may well be worth the cash. Here's why.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The difference between free LinkedIn and the Sales Navigator option.

  • How much the premium version will cost you.

  • Features you can use to your advantage.

Mining with Google

Google is another free mining tool. Use it the right way and you can find all the company contacts you'll ever need.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to use Google to mine for companies.

  • Example of how it's done.

Using press releases for mining - B2B

Still struggling to find the name of a person from a particular company? Press releases are your last resort.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to use press releases to find people within specific roles.

  • Ways to use Google to do this.

Award winner mining - B2B

Targeting award-winning businesses is a good move. Not only will an award give you a reason for reaching out to a company but it will also make your business look great if you win the company over.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why you should mine highly rated businesses.

  • How to effectively use Google to do this.

Conferences and attendee lists - B2B/B2C

There's a conference for everything these days. Who attends, speaks at and sponsors these events can make great targets for your B2B or B2C cold email campaign.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Two different ways to mine from conferences.

  • Quick and easy strategies to help you do this.

Presentations, slides and publications

Academic-type people are likely to have created a presentation or contributed to a publication at some point in their career. Here's how to use them to your advantage.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to use presentations and publications to source contact details.

  • More benefits of this method.

Using directories - B2B

People that run a business will have been listed in at least one online directory. Use the right search criteria and you've got yourself a lead list.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to use online directories for mining.

  • Examples of reliable sites to use.

  • How to narrow down your search.

OPTIONAL: Using communities for mining - B2C

Online communities are formed of people with mutual interests. If you're a B2C business, these groups and forums are a great way to connect.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to find online communities focused on your area of interest.

  • Pros and cons of this mining method.

Twitter keywords - B2C

Twitter's advanced search function is a secret to most people. But it's surprisingly useful when looking for cold email contacts.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What Twitter can be used for.

  • How to navigate the advanced search function.

  • How to sort through the results.

Exporting competitors' followers on Twitter - B2C

Checking out who follows your competitors will give you plenty of names to reach out to. Here's how to obtain that list effortlessly.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to find competitor businesses on Twitter.

  • How to export their follower list and add it to your spreadsheet.

Personal network - how and when to use it

Don't forget to consider the people you know and how they may be able to introduce you to potential prospects. Not everyone will be useful, but there may be a few hidden opportunities.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Two ways to use your personal network in the mining process.

  • What to avoid doing.

Prospecting best practices

When prospecting, you need to build a system that can be repeated over and over again. After all, a business always needs new customers.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Two methods of prospecting and how they work.

  • Reasons to consider each.

Cold calling

When you can't find a person's contact email anywhere, the only thing left to do is hop on the phone. Cold calling may seem scary, but it can be effective if done well.

Covered in this lecture:

  • When and who to cold call.

  • Three situations you're likely to find yourself in when cold calling.

Follow along - Scripts for informational cold calling

Not sure what to say when making a cold call? Don't panic. Instead, follow these simple scripts.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Scripts for various cold calling scenarios.

  • What to do when you don't get the information you want.

Practice - Cold calling - Making a real cold call

Here's an example of a real cold call. Remember your goal is to get as much information as you possibly can.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Recording of a real-life cold call.

  • Review of the call's success.

Practice - Mining

Now's the part where we put all of our mining knowledge into practice. Watch to see exactly how to use LinkedIn, Google and more to find contacts for a cold email campaign.

Covered in this lecture:

  • A real-life walkthrough of the mining process.

  • Explanations of the decisions that we make.

Review & Recap: Section 4

How to find the right email address

How email hunting works

Gathering emails isn’t the most exciting task, but it’s one you should spend some time doing. Luckily, the process isn’t that difficult.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How the spectrum of email hunting works.

  • How the majority of email addresses are laid out.

Using Email Permutator + Mailtester

If you don't have much budget to spare, there are plenty of free ways to find and verify a person's email. Here are two of the best.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Free tools to use to find a person's email address.

  • How to verify if the address exists.

Hunting for emails with Hunter.io

Hunter.io is a more accurate way to embark on the email quest. If you're a fan, you don't even have to leave the site to send your cold emails.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What Hunter.io can do.

  • How to use all of its features.

  • How much it will cost you.

Using Voila Norbert

Voila Norbert is yet another email hunting tool. It's not the cheapest service around, but it's probably the quickest.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Basic and more advanced features of Voila Norbert.

  • How much it will cost you.

How to find email addresses of social media profiles

Some social media users freely share their contact details. Others are a little more secretive. Here's how to find the emails of Twitter users you're interested in.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to source email addresses of Twitter users.

  • Various strategies to help achieve this.

Tricks for when you're not sure

Sometimes, you will fail to find a person's email or have more than one potential address. If you've reached the end of the road, don't give up. Use these tips and tricks for one last go.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What to do if you can't find an email address.

  • Tips for when you have more than one email for a prospect.

Alternatives to email

From personal social media messages to contacting a generic company email, there are several options to consider when email hunting just isn't working.

Covered in this lecture:

  • A list of options to try when you can't find a person's email.

  • Which options tend to be the most effective.

Practice - Prospecting for our interview campaign

Here, we show you exactly how to go about the prospecting process, from start to finish. There's the easy and the hard way; the free and the costly.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Real-life examples of prospecting.

  • Walkthrough of the various methods available to you.

Review & Recap: Section 5

How to find the right email address - enterprise edition

Why these tools are different

So you now know how to search for individual emails. If you don't know the specific person you're looking for, you'll need to try a different technique.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Introduction to the B2B email hunting method.

Using Datanyze

Datanyze is one tool that lets you find all of the email addresses within one company. Bonus: it's (mostly) free.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to use Datanyze to find company emails.

  • Other useful information Datanyze can give.

OPTIONAL: Using The Harvester

The Harvester is one for the more technical people out there. With a little coding knowledge, it'll help with any B2B email search.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What The Harvester is and how it works.

  • How to use it to find business emails.

How to scale prospecting

Intro to scaling

The last thing you want is to spend all of your time mining and prospecting leads. That’s where scaling up the process comes in. In this section, we’re going to focus on two methods that have proven to be the most effective.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The two best ways to scale up the mining process.

  • A brief introduction to the tools that can help you do this.

The 4 rules of outsourcing

Of course, there are some important things to remember when it comes to outsourcing. In a nutshell, going cheap isn't always the best way.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Four rules to stick to when outsourcing mining and prospecting.

  • Why these rules are so important.

Intro to Freelancer

If you want to outsource your work, Freelancer is one of the easiest sites to use. Here's a few reasons why.

Covered in this lecture:

  • An overview of how Freelancer works.

  • How to find people to hire.

  • How to communicate with people you hire.

  • Tips and tricks to remember.

Writing a job post

Writing a decent job post will require a little effort. The more information you give at the start, the less time you'll spend fixing things later on.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What elements make up a good job post.

  • How to write one on Freelancer.

  • Pros and cons of paying a fixed or hourly rate.

Going over your bids & setting a trial

Once you post your job ad on Freelancer, you'll start receiving bids pretty quickly. To weed out the good from the bad, give candidates a trial.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to filter job candidates using a trial.

  • What makes a good trial.

Bulk prospecting / buying leads

Buying leads in bulk is a quick alternative to hiring freelancers — especially if you're doing a B2B campaign. There are so many sites out there offering this kind of data, so be wary of a few things.

Covered in this lecture:

  • When bulk buying leads could come in handy.

  • Various sites that offer this tool.

  • Tips and tricks to help the process.

Review & Recap: Section 7

Strategizing / Copywriting principles

4 useful copywriting concepts

Writing effective copy is harder than it looks. Throwing a bunch of words onto a page isn’t going to get you or your product far, so here are a few acronyms to keep in mind.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What good copywriting should do.

  • An introduction to four reliable copywriting methods.

The AIDA formula

The AIDA formula is a tried-and-tested way of marketing a business or product. Follow the sequence and you'll be winning over clients in no time.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What AIDA stands for.

  • How each step works.

  • How to put each part of the formula into practice in a cold email.


Your unique value proposition (or UVP) should be the focus of your cold email campaign. Understanding what it is and acquiring the skill to express it in your copy will put you on the path to success.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What UVP is and the four parts that go into it.

  • Why it's so important in cold email campaigns.

  • Real-life examples.

The CBI framework

How you write your copy will depend on what you're selling and who you're selling it to. Saying that, there is a specific framework you can follow.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The three different approaches of copywriting.

  • Real-life examples of these frameworks.

Emotion based copywriting

The last thing you want is for your recipient to view your email as a chore. To avoid this, add some kind of emotion into your copy.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Why emotional triggers are necessary for success.

  • Eight emotions to think about when writing copy.

Review & Recap: Section 8

Subject lines

Subject lines

An email subject line is like a book cover. If it looks boring, no one's going to read its contents. Luckily, there is an art to crafting a great subject line.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What makes a great subject line.

  • Some dos and don'ts to remember.

Subject line templates for cold email

A compelling subject line will engage the reader within seconds. Whether you want to ask them a question or simply show that you have something in common, here's a few templates to keep in mind.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Email subject line templates.

  • Why each template works so well.

Practice - Subject lines

Time to try out some subject lines. Here, we show you some real B2B and B2C examples that are likely to work well.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Examples of real B2B and B2C subject lines.

Practice - Rewriting bad headlines

So many cold emails have bad subject lines. Let's try rewriting some to see the pitfalls to avoid in the future.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Examples of bad email subject lines.

  • How to rewrite and improve them.

Practice - Writing subject lines for our interview campaign

You'll probably want to try out a couple of subject lines. Here's a few we went with for our very own cold email campaign.

Covered in this lecture:

  • A walkthrough of the process of creating subject lines for a real-life campaign.

  • Why we made certain choices.

Review & Recap: Section 9

Your body is a wonderland

Intro to body

So you’ve sorted the subject line. Now it’s time to take a look at the body copy of your cold email campaign. Figure out your goal and the rest should come naturally.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What good body copy should do.

  • Examples of cold email goals and how to figure out your own.

Length, spacing, punctuation

Before you get into the actual content of your campaign, you need to be au fait with some of the technical stuff. After all, you don't want people to find it difficult to read your email.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How long a cold email should be.

  • How many sentences there should be in a paragraph.

  • Basic punctuation and grammar tips.

4 parts of every cold email

Cold emails can generally be broken down into four parts. Each part has a purpose, so here's how to use them to your advantage.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How to structure a cold email using four distinct sections.

  • The function of each part.

3 golden rules of cold email

If you're completely stuck, don't worry. Remember these three cold email rules and you're guaranteed a successful campaign.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Three rules to remember when writing a cold email.

  • The importance of each rule.

How to address your prospect

How you address the person you're emailing can be the difference between a read or a trash. Here's a few things to keep in mind.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What you want to convey in your address.

  • How to find out which name your recipient likes to go by.

The Hook

A good hook will immediately grab your reader's attention. Write a bad one and you'll probably lose them forever.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The definition of a hook and what it's there to do.

  • How to write a good opening sentence.

  • Techniques to fall back on if you're stuck.

The Bridge

The next part of your cold email is the bridge. It's there to show your reader what you're offering. Just try not to make it too long.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What a bridge is and does.

  • How long it should be.

  • Some effective bridge examples.

The Pitch

So you've perfected your bridge. Unfortunately, it won't be of much use if it leads to nowhere. That's where the pitch comes in.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What a pitch is and why it's so important.

  • What a pitch should contain.

  • How long a pitch should be.

  • Example of a successful pitch.


No idea what CTA stands for? Come right this way to get the lowdown on the most instructive part of your cold email. Figure this part out and the rest should come naturally.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What CTA means.

  • How to fit a CTA into your cold email.

  • Examples of good CTAs.

How much do you customize?

You may not have the time or resources to send out hundreds of bespoke emails. But personalising them in some way could land you the result you're looking for.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Three levels of email customization.

  • Pros and cons of each one.

Sending emails from company or personal email

Deciding whether to send your cold emails from a personal or company address depends on what you're trying to sell. Here's a few helpful pointers.

Covered in this lecture:

  • The difference between using a company or personal email address.

  • When it's best to use a company address and why.

Using spintax to sound more personalized

Spintax is a quick and easy way to customize your emails. Ensure the right info is in your hit list and you're good to go.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What spintax is.

  • What it's used for.

  • How to incorporate spintax into your cold email campaign.

How to handle "contact@ / info@" email addresses

If you haven't been able to find someone specific to reach out to, you may have to contact a generic company address. Here's what to do in that situation.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What to do when you don't have a specific contact.

  • How to handle this with both large and small businesses.

Practice - Rewriting bad body copy

Reworking other people's emails is a good training technique. Figure out where they went wrong and you won't make the same mistake.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Examples of unsuccessful body copy.

  • Where they went wrong.

  • How to rewrite them to a much higher standard.

Practice - Rewriting bad cold email from Perspectivo

Here, we're going to take a real bad email that we were sent and rewrite it from start to finish. That's subject line to CTA.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Understand how a cold email goes bad.

  • Understand how to correct those wrongs.

Practice - Sample email for our interview outreach (Evan)

Now, we're going to show you how we wrote the cold emails for our very own campaign. First up is Evan's technique.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Insight into how Evan's cold email process works.

  • Explanations for the decisions he made.

Practice - Sample email for our interview outreach (Zach)

Zach takes you through his cold email process, explaining why he does what he does and how to avoid the pitfalls.

Covered in this lecture:

  • How Zach wrote his cold email from start to finish.

  • Why he chose this particular approach.

Review & Recap: Section 10

Flair / Rich media / Attachments

Why media is important & how to use it properly

Certain media types can work well in cold emails. Others may only irritate your prospects. So be careful which you choose.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Which types of media to avoid in a cold email and why.

  • Tips for incorporating media like images.

Emojis, exclamation points, and smiley faces

Flair is the term for anything other than normal text. It can be emojis, exclamation points or capital letters. But when and if you use flair depends on who you're talking to.

Covered in this lecture:

  • When to use flair techniques.

  • How to use the various types of flair.

  • Things to avoid.

Using GIFs

When cold emailing, GIFs can be a tricky one. If you're intent on using one (just one), here's how to do it well.

Covered in this lecture:

  • Two instances when it's appropriate to use a GIF.

  • How not to use them.

Using Loom for screensharing

If you're trying to sell software, you probably want to show prospects what it can do. Loom allows you to easily record your screen and share the results.

Covered in this lecture:

  • What Loom is designed for.

  • Why you may want to use Loom.

  • A walkthrough of how to use it.

  • Various other Loom functions, including editing tools.

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