Decision-makers with spending power have to make critical decisions every day. Making the correct choice directly correlates to their ability to meet the goals set forth for them by their boss. If they are the “boss” they are accountable to their shareholders.

This is not new information to you. If you’re the decision maker, you know that when making a purchasing decision there can be a lot of “noise” out there with various service providers offering the “Best” solution to help you achieve your goals. The science of decision-making is complex. What’s your process for making a business decision? Your considerations probably include:

  • Having an existing relationship with a vendor – this could be a vendor you’ve used in the past or one that has built a social relationship with you
  • Reputation of a vendor (brand equity)
  • Colleague recommendations – Asking your colleagues at other companies what solution they are using and if it’s working for them

Well, what does that have to do with ‘cold’ emails? If you’re sending out ‘cold’ emails to prospects, your message needs to stand out, otherwise it’s just noise and will get ignored. So how do you get through to a key decision-maker with spending power? If your company has a good reputation, chances are most of your prospects are inbound and you’re not making a whole lot of cold calls and emails. If you don’t have this luxury, try the 4 C’s email methodology.

The 4 C’s Methodology can be used for one-off emails, as a template for several people at one company or as part of a blast to hundreds of people at multiple companies within a given vertical.

4 Cs email marketing

The 4 C’s

  1. Connect
  2. Commonality
  3. Credibility
  4. Close


I’ve seen it a million times – sales people, marketing folks, management – when sending an email to a cold prospect, the first thing they do is either introduce themselves and who they work for or jump straight into an explanation of how great their product is.

These emails don’t get responses. Why? Because people don’t care who you are, what your company does, or how great your product/service is. What they care about is making a deadline, hitting their number, and achieving their goals and objectives. If their current solutions for achieving their goals aren’t working, they’re already looking for alternatives. If you happen to reach out to this person at the right time, you could be gold.

But chances are, people are happy or, at the very least, complacent with the products and services they currently use. They have no reason to want to change unless the opportunity cost of an alternative is so high that it could save them money, make them money, or help them to more easily achieve their goals.

This is where the ‘connecting’ comes in. Because people genuinely do not care about who you are or what you have to say, you must immediately demonstrate in your email that you have done your research on them, on their company, and that you understand and empathize with the decisions they have to make on a daily basis. There are many ways to demonstrate value and show that you’ve done your homework. I like the ‘current events’ approach.

Currents events can be used at three levels:

  • Individual
  • Company
  • Industry

For the individual, connecting could be something as simple as:

Hey John, I saw that you were recently mentioned in WSJ, commenting on the impact of mobile apps on SMB’s. Congrats on the write up, I found the article very interesting.

For the company:

Hey John, I recently read the article in Business Week about how <Company ABC> is adjusting it’s branding in order to penetrate new verticals.

For the industry:

Hey John, Did you get a chance to read this article in Forbes? It discusses the impact of making the right technology decisions in your industry.

In all three examples, the opening line is NOT about who you are, what you do or how you do it. The goal here is engage the prospect in a non-threatening way that makes the recipient want to read more. Be honest, how many emails do you get a day? If they’re long or about something you’re not interested in, what do you do with that email? You delete it.

Connect with your audience by immediately discussing the things that are important to them. If possible, mention the problem they are likely facing.


Ok, so you’ve made a strong intro, piqued their interest, and connected with your prospect. Now what?

Transition into how you can help them achieve their goals. Demonstrate that what you both have in common is that you want to help them achieve their goals.

From what I know about you/your company/your industry, I know that email deliverability is a major issue right now and that companies like <Company Name> have been looking for solutions to improve deliverability. Is improving email deliverability something that’s a priority for you right now?


Pretty straight forward – demonstrate value by referencing how you have helped similar clients achieve similar goals. If you have recognizable clients, it’s ok to name drop a little. If you have measurable KPIs, use them.

John, as it turns out my company, ABC Solutions, has helped companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL increase their email deliverability by over 10%, helping them close more deals and improve their bottom line by 8%.


Close strong. Be assertive. Be Specific. Mention the topic, not the solution. No one wants to be ‘sold’ to, but people are open to finding new business partners that can help them achieve their goals.

Are you available on Thursday, November 7 between 2p-4p for a quick 8-minute call to discuss email deliverability? Please confirm your availability. If you’re not the right person, I’d greatly appreciate a redirect.

Thanks John, looking forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,

Keep it short. Engage the recipient and make them feel important. Give them a reason to want to respond. Use the 4 C’s.

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