cold emailing

Create a networking email campaign that gets replies : In 5 steps

Mihaela Cicvaric
Last Update
Jan 17, 2024
Reading Time
7 min.

Before jumping into analyzing the 5-step campaign, you need to know that your network is your net worth. Wondering why?

Through networking you can:

  • meet potential business partners
  • get an intro to new businesses
  • learn from industry leaders
  • get business recommendations

But the question is - how do you reach out to people? How do you connect with them without feeling awkward? Luckily, we’ve tested tons of networking campaign approaches in the past years, and in this article, you’ll get:

  1. five easy steps to get in touch with anyone
  2. the secret campaign framework that generated $100,000 in revenue
  3. actionable tips to make your networking email campaigns stand out

Step 1: Find the right people to network with

Your outreach results depend on how well you pick your target audience. The worse you target your audience → the lower the response rate → the more you think that cold emails suck, right?

But, when sending cold emails, your goal is to land in the right person’s inbox and actually get a response from your prospects. That’s why you need to make sure you’re reaching out to the relevant people.

So, how do you find them?

LinkedIn is a great source for finding potential contacts. Here are a few ways you can do it too:

Search for someone’s connections

On LinkedIn, members are usually connected with like-minded users, so searching for someone’s connections helps you quickly find potential people to network with.

The simplest way to do it is to:

  1. Go to the connection’s profile.
  2. Click on the [number] connections as shown below.
search someones's connection

From there, you can access the list of members’ connections with additional filtering options such as locations, company, school, industry, language, etc.

Check out a member’s activity

After finding the right person to network with, make sure to check out their activity. Why? As mentioned before, members are usually connected with similar profiles, so checking people’s activity is a way to find new ones to network with.

How do you do that?

Simply go to "All activity" on your prospect's profile:

check out someone's activity

From there, you can easily spot which posts they comment on and like.

Once you see the posts they engage with, you can start following the same creators, and hence, start building relationships with them. By repeating those steps you’ll be able to build yourself a relevant networking list and create new opportunities.

Step 2: Pick a catchy subject line

Now that you found the person you want to connect with, it's time to actually create the networking campaign. To boost your chances of getting replies and actually meeting with people, you might wanna pay attention to a few elements. One of them is the subject line.

If you wanna boost your chances of getting replies, make sure your subject line is memorable and informal.

Over the years, we've tested many networking email subject lines, and here are the ones for you to try:

networking email subject lunch

The goal? Our CEO, Guillaume, wanted to meet with other people working in Marketing & Growth, in top startups in Paris.

Open rate? 96%

Why it worked?

  • It's short and specific.
  • Asking a question in the subject line triggers interest in opening the email.
  • Lunch is something you usually have with your friends and colleague so it helps to set a friendly and familiar tone at the start.
networking email subject i've got a story for you

The goal? Getting a team member featured on a podcast/show.

Open rate? 84%

Why it worked?

  • It sounds intriguing and makes the prospect want to know more.
  • Stories are something we listened to as kids and as adults through business storytelling. When people tell stories, other people listen, especially if it's tailored to them.
networking email subject invitation for

Goal? Build community through an event.

Open rate? 90%

Why it worked?

  • It includes a name as a detail relevant to the recipient and gives a sense of exclusivity by having an invitation.
  • When you customize your content with e.g. the first name, it grabs the prospect's attention more easily and they are more likely to respond.
networking email subject i love your work

Goal? Will Cannon from UpLead and his team use this subject line to get founder interviews for their blog.

Open rate? 80%

Why it worked?

  • Complimenting your prospect’s activity shows your genuine curiosity about their work.
  • It’s human nature to want to hear positive feedback, especially about their everyday efforts.
  • It shows you invested time in research and, therefore, doesn’t feel generic.
networking email subject liked your post on linkedin

Goal? Our colleague used this subject line with people who engaged on his LinkedIn to establish a more close connection.

Open rate? 88%

Why it worked?

  • Complimenting prospects sparks their interest in finding what else you have to say.
  • Mentioning a specific post shows you’re a true follower and an important part of their personal brand.

P.S. If you wanna go deeper into how to write cold email subject lines to get more replies, check out our ultimate Cold email subject line guide.

Step 3: Break the ice with a customized intro

Wanna boost your chances to get a response from your prospect? Then you should catch their attention and create a connection right from the start. How do you do that? Through icebreakers!

In short, an icebreaker is the first sentence of your email. The sentence that your prospects read first and the sentence that can make your email stand out from the crowd. The goal of an icebreaker is to let your prospects know that you took the time to do your research and create something personalized just for them.

There are tons of ways to build an icebreaker that we covered in our Intro lines article, but here are the most important ones to get you started:

1. On a personal level

In this example, Simon watched an inspiring interview with the VP of Sales and wanted to connect with him. Therefore, he used the shared opinion from the interview as his icebreaker:

personal level pitch

A personal approach like this:

  • helps you find common ground for future conversations
  • shows you put your time and effort to reach out
  • doesn’t sound generic which makes your prospect more likely to reply

2. Based on company news

Here’s another example of how Simon got in touch with a prospect after seeing his company update. Prospect wrote about how their business went from a small team to unicorn status in a few years. Since lempire is on the same path, Simon used company news for the icebreaker:

pitch based on company news

In case you can’t find anything personal about the people you want to network with, you can use this company-focused approach. Mentioning similarities in business can be a great conversation starter for later sharing of growth tips.

3. Based on a job post

As we built an email automation software, seeing his prospect posting about hiring SDRs was a good sign for Simon. It means that their team is growing and facing challenges where our tool can help. That's why he used the job post as an icebreaker:

pitch based on job post

As Simon, always try to find common ground and a point that resonates. Show you did your research, and create a personal connection through a genuine compliment. It will make your prospect relate more easily and motivate them to reply.

Step 4: Use personalization to build a connection

Personalizing your campaigns is the best way to make your emails stand out and boost your chances to get replies. And you can do it by adding personalized images, videos, or even landing pages.

Just imagine you’ve received the email below that contains a catchy image with your name on it. It would grab your attention immediately, right?

image personalization in cold email

Personalized images, videos, and landing pages show your prospects that you’re willing to go the extra mile to get in touch with them, which is definitely a point in your favor.

Wondering how you can add personalized images to your emails? Then check out this video Charlotte prepared for you.

When a lead clicks on the thumbnail, make them land on a landing page that is customized for every prospect individually.

Here’s an example of how Simon personalized a landing page for his prospect:

personalized landing page example

What makes this approach good?

  • Custom text and video are unique ways to present value that will catch the prospect's attention.
  • Embedded Calendly keeps the prospect on the page, without spending too much time figuring out which action to fulfill next.
  • All important information is on the same page which makes it easy for the prospect to book a meeting.

Here’s a guide on how you can use videos as well to boost your cold outreach and get more replies.

Step 5: Pick a conversation-starter CTA

The purpose of your networking campaign shouldn’t be selling. It should be building relationships. And what better way to build a relationship than to have a good, friendly conversation. To get there, the key is to use CTA that will boost curiosity and make the person click on your video to be able to give you their thoughts.

A little trick to increase the click rate is to add a question referring to the video as “So, what do you think?”.

Why does it work? Questions like this boost curiosity and make the person click on the video to be able to give you their thoughts.

The key takeaways

Whether you wanna exchange knowledge with industry leaders or find co-founders, networking opens tons of opportunities for your professional growth. Moreover, you can use networking to find new potential customers and grow your business.

So, before reaching out to people, keep in mind these five tips:

  • Make sure you're reaching out to the right people
  • Use a subject line that will grab their attention
  • Use customized icebreakers to get them hooked
  • Personalize with images and videos to build a connection
  • Insert conversation-starter CTA to increase reply chances

These will not only help you expand your portfolio of professional connections, but also help maintain a positive reputation.

Happy networking!

Mihaela Cicvaric
Content Marketing Manager @ lempire | Sharing everything you need to get replies to your cold emails

What you should look at next

Receive weekly outreach tips in your inbox, sent to 210 000+ salespeople, marketers, founders, and entrepreneurs worldwide!

Subscribe to the lemlist newsletter
You've successfully subscribed to the lemlist newsletter!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.