Sales Or Spam: The Solution To Cold Email Outreach With Adam Rosen(Episode 121)

Patty Farmer podcast

Cold emailing, much like cold calling, often has a bad reputation as spammy or salesy. But when done right, it can be a great way to make personal connections with prospects. In this episode, Adam Rosen, a founder of a tech startup with a penchant for supporting business owners, takes us deep inside cold email outreach. He shares some of the top strategies to convert prospects to clients. One strategy when sending cold emails, don't forget to follow up! On average, it takes us four emails to get one successful meeting booked. At Adam's Email Outreach Company, they do eight follow-ups—trust me, it will work for you! Tune in on this episode to know more!

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About Adam Rosen

MMAM S7 121 | Cold EmailAdam Rosen is an entrepreneur that loves to support business owners and share his rollercoaster startup journey to help those on a similar path.
As a founder of a tech startup, Adam spent 5 years leading a college recruiting startup that was acquired in 2019 by a leading college marketing firm.
On the side, he is a paid speaker and has coached hundreds of startup and small business owners.
His primary focus is on helping startups get more sales appointments, hassle-free, through his lead generation business, Email Outreach Company.

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Sales Or Spam: The Solution To Cold Email Outreach With Adam Rosen 

I am looking forward to sharing this episode’s industry expert with you. If you do not already have your pen and paper out because you are prepared, you are going to want to get it. We are going to be talking about email, specifically, cold outreach email, how to scale it, how to use cold email to find new clients, grow your audience, and break through the noise to get to your buyer.

Let me you a little bit about our guest. Adam Rosen is a sales-focused serial entrepreneur that loves to support business owners and share his rollercoaster startup journey to help those on a similar path. His primary focus is on helping startups get more sales appointments hassle-free through his lead generation business, Email Outreach Company.

He has the stats to prove it, over $1 million revenue-generated, 5,000 plus appointments, and 500 plus sales. It has got them on the phone with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. He is willing to share how he did it, what his story is, and how you can improve your sales by implementing some of the strategies he is going to share with us. Thank you so much, Adam, for being here with us.

Thank you so much for having me. I am excited to be here with you.

One of the things people hate hearing about is email and cold email. One time I read Chris Brogan said, “Email is not dead. Bad email is dead.” A lot of times when people think of email and outreach is that they do not want to do it. They do not think it is effective. They would rather get on social media all day, make cute memes, and think, “That is going to work.” We are going to prove that that is not necessarily what you can do, although it can be integrated. We want to talk about email and some of the things that people think about.

When we think of email, we think of spam and what we have to do to get out of the spam folder. I am going to ask you all kinds of things, but before we do, you have an amazing story. I am all about lifestyle by design. I love the way that you have your lifestyle, how you are living it, and how you are living your business. You have a great story on how you got there and went from $500 deals to $5,000 deals per client every month. Let’s hear about it.

For me, I never worked a true 9:00 to 5:00 job. I never worked in the corporate world per se. I ended up starting my first company right out of college. It was three weeks before I graduated. I and my two other original co-founders started a campus recruiting tech platform. We did that for about five years. We built a platform with about 100,000 student organizations on it. Our clients were customers like Bank of America, Amazon, and AT&T. We did that for about five years and we were acquired back in 2019.

When I say we were acquired, people assume that I moved out to Hawaii, had a Mai Tai in my hand, and was retired at 27 years old. Unfortunately, that was not the case. While I did move out to Hawaii, that part is true, I was not a retired 27-year-old. The reason why I say that is because, in the startup world, things are often over-glamorized. We share all the good stuff, a lot of fluff, and sometimes, frankly, even BS.

We rarely share the truth, the nuts and bolts, and the dirt that comes along with their journey. The biggest problem we had as a startup was that we never got the true product-market fit. We did not have a sticky enough product, which especially in the SaaS world is so important. What we were always great at was getting new customers and how we got all of our customers was through cold email outreach.

I do a lot of coaching and working with startups and small businesses. I love working with small businesses. I always say that they are the heartbeat of America. They are what make America great and special. We need to do more to support those folks. Whenever I am talking to startups and small businesses, I always preach, “You have got to get to product-market fit. Once you get there, you have that foundation to expand to whatever level you want to expand to, but until you get there, it is going to be a real challenge.”

That is how my email business was born. We were great at setting up sales appointments all through cold email. One of the startups that had been advising said, “Adam, can you talk to my Head of Sales? She is struggling to get meetings booked.” I said, “Sure.” I talked to her, found out what the issue was, and called on my business partner. I said, “Let’s build something for these guys.” Their Founder was on board and that is how Email Outreach Company was born.

MMAM S7 121 | Cold Email

Cold Email: Small businesses are the heartbeat of America. They're really what makes America great and special.

That is interesting because sometimes people do not realize that there are opportunities every single day right in front of them. Sometimes when you are hearing people talk about something that is not working, there is an opportunity there. Maybe the opportunity is a new business idea. Maybe it is a collaboration idea. Maybe it is a referral idea to put people together, but those ideas are all around. A lot of times, I hear people say, “Squirrel.” We all hear that. It is all about the squirrel syndrome. I call that brilliant idea syndrome myself, and I have it badly.

I am always on the lookout for something either for me or for somebody else. When people talk about opportunities, they call them OPPs. You got to look for those OPPs. OPP stands for Other People’s People. To me, that is the name of the game. What can you do? Email is a perfect lead-in for them. I want to know what companies should use email outreach so that whoever is reading knows, “He is talking to you.”

Frankly, cold email can work for any type of company. For us, the two types of companies we do not work with are B2C companies. They are not always the best fit. There are avenues you can take if you are a B2C person. One of which could be reaching out to podcast hosts to get on their podcast to share more about what you do and get in touch with their audience. There are use cases for B2C. We do not typically stay in that lane.

The second type of company we do not work with is companies with a small universe. What I mean by a small universe is a small number of companies to reach out to because, at the end of the day, cold email is a numbers game. There are ways to improve the numbers when you reach out to them, improve the people that open it, respond to it, etc. Those are two types of companies we do not work with, B2C and a company that is niche and has a small universe.

If you do not fall into those two, you are the company that he works with. That is a much shorter answer. You can just narrow it down to those two. I love that. What would you say are some common email outreach mistakes? This could be the meat and potatoes right here. People make a lot of them and they do not realize that times have changed. I used to love it when I would get these super robust emails. I had all this great information. I would save them in a folder. The thing is, I never went back to reach them. I just knew they were robust and I wanted to go back, but I did not. Times have changed. What are those mistakes that people keep making over and over again?

Number one, I want to go back to one of your earlier points. Cold email does not work if you do not know what you are doing. Instagram ads do not work if you do not know what you are doing. Newspaper ads do not work if you do not know what you are doing. Spotify ads do not work if you do not know what you are doing, etc. Any of these advertising mediums that we use, if we do not follow the basic principles that will typically lead to success, we are not going to be successful. It does not matter what medium we use. We got to know what we are doing. That is number one.

Number two, to your point, how do you get as short and sweet as possible and show that you understand the person you are reaching out to? You are able to speak their language. You are able to articulate your message, the problem that you solve, and your solution in a short and sweet manner. How do you present the call to action in a very simple way? How do you make things easy for them to take the action that you want them to take? My business partner and I do a lot of talking around Gen Z in the workplace because of our tech company.

One of the things we talk about is how Gen Z has the attention span of a goldfish. It is about eight seconds. I hate to break it to all of us other generations, we all have a short attention span. When it comes to email, if you do not get to the point, they are moving on, deleting it, and not reading it. You have got to show as short of an email as possible that you know who they are, what their problem is, how your solution might help them, that social proof to give you yourself some credibility, and then, “Do you have fifteen minutes to chat on the phone about this?”

A lot of times, people feel like we have to do the niceties. I heard you on a podcast where you were talking about how one of the mistakes that people make is that they do all those pleasantries on from, “Hi. How are you?” When I heard you talk about it, it made me laugh because my time is valuable. Hit me right away why I should even read further down. Can you talk a little bit about that? That was gold.

The fact of the matter is what should you be doing and what should you outsource? In the beginning, hire a VA. There are a lot of things that they can do for you. I have several VAs myself, but unless this is what they are an expert at, I always like to say it all the time, if you want expert results, you got to hire an expert. That is important. I love the fact that you are crystal clear on that. For people whose follow-up is not your thing, you are not good at it, this is another option to be able to have you handle that for them, too. That is important. I want to tie that back into what I said in the beginning, which is spam.

A lot of times, entrepreneurs, the number one thing they complain about is they get stuck in those spam folders. They have to all worry about the whitelisting and asking people to add you to that, “What if we are on Gmail and we get in the wrong tab?” If that is your issue, why do you even want to do that? Let’s talk a little bit about spam. We are talking about sales, spam, and some of those solutions. It seems like yours are so short and sweet that what could get in the spam folder because you are staying out of the spam jail. You are not doing the things that they do not want to hear. Can we talk a little bit about that? That is something that people ask themselves all the time.

MMAM S7 121 | Cold Email

Cold Email: You've got to make emails easy and enjoyable for prospects to read. You have to remove any friction from that email.

It is huge. Even when I talk to these larger companies that are becoming customers, one of the big problems they have is they are worried about their own domains getting in trouble. If your domains are on that, you are in spam jail or Gmail or Google is tracking you. Seeing you as a company that is sending out spam emails, all of your emails are going to be going to spam.

Even if it is using different email accounts, if your domain is in spam trouble, it is going to affect everything. If you are especially a technology company that is trying to send emails through your platform or any messaging throughout your platform, it is going to affect that too. Spam is always neck-and-neck with setting up meetings. It is also about getting to keep companies out of spam. There are a lot of measures that anybody could take to ensure that.

When we work with a new customer, we create a new domain for them. It is just of precaution. Even for me, my domain is While I do cold emailing on, We also have a domain connected to my dot-com account, but that is where I want to send the majority of my cold emails. If anything does happen with spam, it does not affect my primary domain. That is one thing.

Number two is you got to warm up these email accounts. There are ways to do spam warm-ups so that there are constant emails being sent from your email address, not to real people, but through technology to show Gmail, “This is a company, an individual, an email account, that is sending emails back and forth. They are not just sending these mass emails.”

There are other things to do like spacing out your emails. When we send an email campaign, it is not 1,000 emails sent in 10 minutes. It is 1,000 emails are sent over a day or multiple days. They are spread out so that it is tougher for Google to track that. I see people that send cold emails where they have 1 million different links and images in there, and all that stuff.

That is another way for Google to say, “This looks like spam. Let’s mark it as spam.” When we send our emails, we do not even put a calendar link in that first email. There are no links in our email until they respond, then it is, “Here is the link to my calendar to book some time.” Those are some basic things that anybody can do to minimize the chances that they go into spam jail.

You said something that I want to touch on. When you were saying your simple call to action about fifteen minutes to chat, you are not giving them the link to the =calendar at that time. You were waiting for them to respond and say, “I would love to get on a call for fifteen minutes,” and then you give them the calendar link?


That is powerful right there. I hope everybody wrote that down. What do you think about when you are thinking about spam? This is one of the things that I see a lot. I like it, but I am always wondering about it. say, I'm in a mastermind group or I am part of a summit or something that is going to be short-term or specific. I noticed that in front of the subject line, in brackets or parenthesis, they put something so I recognize that, “That is that.” Maybe they send different emails out, but they want me to know that this is about the six-week thing I signed up for. I have always wondered, “Do brackets, parenthesis, semi-colons, and colons seem like they would be a tip-off for spam?”

They can be. All those things can be. Even for us, before we send a campaign, we check the spam. With the tool that we use, we are able to do a spam checker before we send out this mass email. It does a test. It sends it out to twenty real but fake email inboxes. Did all twenty go into the inbox? Did 18 go into the inbox, 1 went into spam, and 1 went into promotions? Did 10 go into the inbox and10 went into spam? We are able to see what the results were. If it is all inbox, great, we are going to send it out.

If there are some issues with it, how do we tweak things like the subject line? Do we tweak things in the body of the email? Do we remove tracking? Sometimes, if you have tracking open where it says if they opened it or if they clicked, that can also trigger spam. There are all these sensitive things that can trigger spam. That is why we always test out every email before we send it. Based on what the results are, we will make some minor tweaks to it.

MMAM S7 121 | Cold Email

Cold Email: A thousand emails should get you about two meetings if you know what you're doing. The more you can send, the better.

Do you have any tools or resources you can share? I use a headline analyzer a lot. That is one that I use. I am always checking. I A/B test and send my stuff out with more than one for that reason. Do you have any resources, tools, or something that people can be looking at?

My favorite tool for mass outreach is GMass. You will find it. It hooks into Gmail best. I believe it does hook into Outlook, too. It is a little bit more complicated, but it is an amazing tool. It is lightweight and does everything that you need. That is where we run all of our customers as well as our own email accounts. It is inexpensive and can do everything that you need it to. It is a powerful tool and simple to use.

Let’s talk about social media quickly. How does cold email outreach tie into social media? A lot of people think that is the name of the game. One of the things I work with my clients on is social selling. There is a space for that, but social selling and email are like peanut butter and jelly. It is if you do it right. There have to be some strategies on how to implement a social media strategy around your cold email outreach. Do you have a few tips about that? What are you thinking about that?

My main tip around it is always around self-awareness. Whether I am telling myself, whether I am sharing it with any companies I advise, or any small businesses that I teach and work with, it is always about understanding yourself. If you are someone that is not good at social media, you do not like using Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or whatever social media site, you are not going to be able to leverage it to the level you need to. You made do not have the capital to outsource it to get it done professionally, do not do it because you are going to get no results from it. It is the same thing with email. If you are not going to outsource it and you are not good at it, but you are great at social media, focus on that.

Number one, focus on what you are great at versus trying to do all these other things that you are probably not going to yield great results from anyway. If you are good at both and you can do it or outsource it, it is a great compliment to the work that you are doing through cold email. Whether people look at your website or your social media, there are ways to track everyone that becomes a lead through Instagram and then throw them into a funnel that you can reach out to through email outreach. There is a way to connect the dots, but my number one thing is to understand and be real with yourself.

If you are great and you like social media, or you can outsource it to a professional that can do a great job with it, you should do all of the above because they all can add value to it. If you are someone that does not like social media and you do not want to outsource it, you are not good at it, just focus on what can get you the best results. Do not waste your time doing things that drain your energy and do not get you good results.

If one is a problem, it is going to affect, too. One of the last questions I have for you is, do you believe that in order for people to do cold email outreach well, they have to have a minimum-sized list?

We send to 1,000 new contacts per month for our clients. That is on the low end. We can send several thousand more than that, too. If you are sending 1,000 emails and you can do an okay job, you should be able to get two meetings. You should be able to get a few meetings if you can do a decent job. You could do the follow-ups. That is how I look at things. A thousand emails should get you about two meetings if you know what you are doing. The more you can send, the better.

Should they already have that list or are you going to help them cultivate that list, too? Is that part of what you do or do they already have to have a list?

Some companies come to us with a list, “We have all these emails. We are not good at converting them. Take them and convert for us.” A lot of times, we are going to get the list. That is part of our onboarding process. We focus on, “Who is your niche? Who is your audience? Who do you want to attract? We have a good list-building team that works with us that is able to find contacts but also scrub the contacts to make sure that it is the highest likelihood that they are accurate and real emails.

Going back to spam, if you are sending a bunch of emails to not real email addresses, that is another way to spark the spam gods that are going to be looking at it. Make sure that the email list is accurate. We even have some clients that are not a good fit for us to work together for our main business, but that will use us to get contacts for them. We are able to do it at a low price as well as to find them the contacts and make sure that they are as accurate as possible. Back to your earlier question, we do help with that.

MMAM S7 121 | Cold Email

Cold Email: If you do follow up, it gives you a real chance. But if you don't follow up, it's going to hurt you.

I want to make sure that everybody goes to your website again. I love the fact that you offer a demo. You read and think, “That sounds great,” but until you see it in action and get a demo, it is a wow factor. That is where you start realizing. A lot of times, one of the biggest dangers, and not very good way to be thinking of something as a solution, is to look at the price first. When people ask the question, “What does it cost?” that is the wrong question.

The right question is, “How much money can it make me?” It is an investment, like everything else. I truly believe that you cannot ask anybody else to invest in you if you are not willing to invest in yourself. That is the name of the game. That is important. Adam, you have been very generous. I appreciate it so much to be here with us. You have a strategy. What is your number one marketing, media, and money strategy to share with our audience?

It goes back to following up. When you are sending cold emails, do not forget to follow up. On average, we have tracked all the meetings that we have booked for our clients as well as for ourselves. We have seen how many emails it takes for them to respond to emails that end up turning into a successful meeting that was booked. On average, it takes 4 emails to get 1 meeting booked.

We do eight total follow-ups in our sequence. If you do follow-up, it gives you a real chance. If you do not follow up, it is going to hurt you. One of the other data points, too, is if you only send one email, that means you are only going to get 17% of the meetings that you could be getting. You are missing out on 83% of the potential meetings if you only send one email.

I talked to a lot of companies that either try to do this on their own or lead gen companies that reach out to me. They will tell me their process. I am like, “You are only sending one email. You are only sending two emails. You are only sending three emails. You are not even giving yourself a real shot to get a meeting booked. You have to follow up.” One of our customers never had a corporate client before. One of her potential biggest customers came from our 8th follow-up.

The woman who is a Chief People Officer got back to her and said, “I am so sorry. Thank you for following up. Can you hop on a call tomorrow?” They hopped on a call. The pilot was bought on that call. They are talking about a potential six-figure plus deal, which would be an absolute game-changer for this company. If we did not follow up those eight times, that opportunity does not even occur. You got to follow up and follow up in a tasteful way that will resonate with the folks.

That is an important tip. A lot of times, people will drop the ball on follow-up and then say, “That does not work.” You did not work it. It is like, “You have a plan. That is great, but you got to work the plan.” That is important.

To that point, one of my other biggest pet peeves is let’s say, I am sending you a follow-up email because I want to get on the phone with you. I am sending you all follow-ups. In the follow-up, I say, “You clearly do not care about this because you are not responding to my emails.” I am mad at you for not responding to my follow-up emails. I see that all the time.

People that are sending these mass emails get offended because the people do not respond. They almost throw a jab at them versus whenever we do a follow-up, it is all about, “If this is interesting to you, look at our main email. Look in this short, sweet way. We are describing this in the follow-up. Let’s talk. If not, no worries. I will not keep following up and bugging you anymore.” If you take that approach, people will appreciate and respect it. If you start antagonizing people for not responding to you, that is the best way to get people to get annoyed with you. That is why everything from email, you got to do it in a tasteful way and in the right way.

Even if somebody says to me, “1I am not interested right now. This is not the right fit for me. I do not have the capacity.” I am not going to spend any more time. I want to do it tastefully. Maybe when the time is right, they are going to come back and say, “I love that she emailed me, but when I told her, I did not have the capacity, she stopped bothering me. She did what she said she was going to do which speaks volumes.” You are right.

In the email world, we pay for our email based on how many contacts we have. To me, if somebody is not interested, I would rather you unsubscribe. The name of the game is that. That is important. Adam, thank you so much. How could people connect with you? They are going to want to. I am sure they are going to want to have that demo, but what is the best way to reach you?

Thanks again for having me. I had a blast like I knew we would. The time flew by, so thank you. To learn more about what we do, you can go to If you want to email me, you can email me at If you want to follow along, I do a lot of traveling. Like Patty, I am also a digital nomad that bounced around the world. I share a lot of my Instagram about my travels, and business thoughts that I have. You can find that @AdamIRosen and the same with LinkedIn, it is AdamIRosen.

Everybody is going to want to do it. Thank you again so much, Adam, this was fabulous just like I knew it was and would be. Thank you so much. To our guests, thank you so much for tuning in every week to the show. We appreciate you being here. We want to say a special thank you to our sponsor Meg Schmitz, Founder of the Take the Leap Franchise Consulting Company.

The franchise industry is booming as people look to diversify their income streams with essential businesses without having to quit their day job. To learn more and to schedule a call, go to The conversation is free, but the insights are priceless. Thank you so much for being here. We will see you again next time. Have a phenomenal, productive, and profitable week. Thank you so much.