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Have you tried an outreach email campaign only to watch it fall flat? Do you think that outreach emails just don’t work for you?

If your first attempt at sending out a cold email resulted in a mountain of no’s, don’t worry. It takes an incredible amount of work to create a truly effective cold email campaign.

Luckily, we’ve done a lot of that legwork for you already. In this article, we’ll show you exactly how to write an outreach email that attracts new clients and builds your MSP business.

Elements of an Effective Outreach Email

We could write an entire article by itself on the key elements of a converting email, but we’ll try to keep this brief. These are the five attributes we’ve found to be the most important when crafting a cold email:

#1. Personalization/Customization

If you’re going to go through the trouble of sending an outreach email, then you should invest the time it takes to personalize and customize your message.

Now, I don’t mean that you have to hand-draft each message one by one; there are plenty of tools that can automate this process.

Use the recipient’s name (be sure you’re emailing the right person) and company name. Send tailored snippets of content based on that person’s interests and needs. There are a number of ways to customize an email.

And the good news: when you personalize your outreach emails, you can boost your reply rate. One company enjoyed a 10% increase in their reply rate after using advanced personalization.


#2. Credibility

While you may know quite a bit about the individuals on your outreach list, they probably don’t know anything about you. Personalization won’t mean a thing if you don’t establish why the reader should listen to you.

Show your credibility by demonstrating your expertise, referring to an individual or company you both know, or find common ground on which to build.

Or use social proof.

As Daniel Kohn, CEO and co-founder of SmartMail, stated,

If you have 207,000 subscribers, mention it. If 87% of first-time buyers become repeat customers, tell them. If users save an average of $73/week using your service, highlight it.

Whether by numbers, knowledge, or commonalities, establishing your credibility up front will help you get your foot in the door with all of your cold emails.

#3. Value

Once you’ve gotten their attention and earned their trust, you need to offer your audience something they value.

Research has shown that pain is more motivating for people than pleasure—meaning people will go farther out of their way to solve a pain point than they will to find pleasure. What does this mean for you?

If you can offer relief from pain rather than simple, fleeting pleasure, then your audience will see your offer as truly valuable. So valuable, in fact, that they might stop what they’re doing to respond to your email.

#4. Creativity

According to an infographic from Boomerang, many people delete about half of the emails they receive each day—and it only takes them about five minutes to do it.

Creativity is the element that will help your cold emails stand out and survive in your audience’s inboxes.


Ask yourself how these potential leads are already being contacted. Is there a channel, medium, or format no one has tapped yet? You can also get creative in your tone and tactics. Try humor or empathy, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

#5. Readability

Like I mentioned above, people are inundated with emails each and every day. That means they don’t have time to spend carefully reading each one; your email must be skimmable, easy to digest, and concise.

At the same time, you don’t want to gut all of the value from your email in the name of brevity. Where’s the balance?

Boomerang found that emails written at a third-grade reading level earned the most responses (53%) as compared to those written at lower or higher levels. Simpler words and shorter sentences are the winning strategy for most sales email campaigns.

You also want to reach an optimal length within your email. Long enough to communicate something meaningful, yet short enough to fit into a reader’s busy day. The same researchers from Boomerang discovered the sweet spot between brevity and depth to be between 75 and 100 words. That’s about the length of these last two paragraphs combined.


How to Craft an Effective Outreach Email

Now that we’ve covered the basic ingredients, it’s time to put pen to paper—or fingers to keyboard in this case. Let’s break down exactly how to approach a cold email, piece by piece.

Subject line

Make your subject line unique and engaging, something to spark your reader’s curiosity. As you can see in the graph below, keeping it to three or four words gives you the best response rates. At the most, stay below 50 characters (or about eight words) so your subject line is completely visible in the inbox. Questions, challenging statements, or personal connections all perform well as subject lines.


  • “X tips for [pain point]”
  • “I thought you might like [piece of content]”
  • “Did you know [surprising statistic]?”



Once you’ve gotten your prospect to open your email, you use the opening lines to keep their attention. First of all, use the person’s name and company name to personalize it. Then establish your credibility, explain why you’re emailing, and set up common ground if possible. You can also introduce an unexpected or surprising element at this point to hook their attention.


  • “[Your name] here from [company name]. Based on your [social media], you’re a fan of [idol] so I wanted to reach out.”
  • “Yep, this is another outreach email that says who I am and asks for a meeting; but I’ve [specific research you’ve done on person].”
  • “We’ve heard your organization could use some help with [pain point]. Did you know that we [your service, including social proof statistic]?”


If you’ve introduced a pain point, offer a solution. If you’ve established common ground, relate that to the service you provide. If you have excellent content to help your reader, link to it. Include social proofs here to bolster your offer and make the reader feel more confident in your MSP service.


  • “We provide IT support to leading organizations like [Customer 1], [Customer 2] and [Customer 3] with stability, security, and reliability in mind, so you won’t have to worry about [pain point] anymore.” (source)
  • “Based on [research you’ve done on person or company], I thought you might enjoy this [free content from your organization].”
  • “[Pain point] is a difficult problem that many organizations struggle with. In fact, [statistic about many organizations struggling with pain point]. We wanted you to know that you’re not alone. And we can help.”

Call to Action (CTA)

You’ve laid a foundation, hooked their attention, earned their trust, tapped into a pain point—now it’s time to land the lead. Make sure your email ends with a clear call-to-action. There should be no question in the readers’ minds as to what their next step should be.

Keep in mind your goal for these emails: you likely won’t convert people directly into clients from these messages. But you can earn responses and schedule meetings to help leads further down the customer funnel.


  • “Do you have ten minutes next week to chat? I’d love to explain [solution to pain point].”
  • “If you want to [goal the organization wants to achieve], then let’s talk next week.”
  • “How does your calendar look for [specific date and time]? I’d love to schedule a quick chat.”


If you’ve tried an outreach email campaign before and watched it fail, it’s time to try again. Cold emails, when crafted with careful attention and then measured for success, can be an incredible lead-generation tool for your MSP organization.

Bring in new clients and watch your business grow with these winning strategies for your next outreach email.