What are the 3-5 examples of successful prospecting emails sent to engage large corporations?

of one

What are the 3-5 examples of successful prospecting emails sent to engage large corporations?

Research into successful prospecting emails revealed that many prospecting campaigns require a series of emails to generate the most success. However, I was able to identify examples of four single prospecting emails that have had success with prospecting large corporations. The fifth example includes all emails in a series of five that were required to successfully engage Fortune 500 companies or similar large corporations. Please note that although Wonder typically rephrases direct quotes, the emails have been reproduced word-for-word to provide you with the exact message that will allow you to replicate success. In addition, the first three emails are examples from slightly out-of-date sources, but as indicated by the current comments on the blog, they are still relevant examples of successful prospecting emails to large corporations.


This email was designed to land an executive level meeting with Starbucks. The sales representative for Twilio, a cloud communication platform for businesses, chose to begin at the top by sending the email to Starbucks’ CEO, Howard Schultz. The idea behind this email was to generate a list of new ideas for Starbucks that could be executed using Twilio. Despite being familiar with the Starbucks brand, the representative still performed extensive research into its current initiatives to ensure she could “propose specific ways that Starbucks could leverage Twilio.” The reason this email was so successful is that executives love new ideas. As Jill Konrath, author of numerous sales strategies books once said, “people respond to ideas, even if they are wrong.” This kind of email requires significant research so “it is a tactic best suited for high-value prospects.”

The email reflects three proven strategies to ensure high prospecting success. It starts with the representative showing that she is excited to share her ideas with Starbucks. Then, it transitions into explicit ideas for Starbucks’ business using Twilio’s services. Finally, the email closes with value as the representative requests a meeting to continue “idea-sharing” rather than asking for a time to demonstrate the product. This indicates the representative sees their future work together as a partnership rather than a sales pitch.

Hi Howard,

After my last email, I got really excited and wanted to share some ideas I had on how Starbucks could leverage Twilio:

*Mobile app distribution — reduce friction by allowing your website visitors to download your mobile app by texting the download link to their phone. Our technology intelligently detects whether a phone is on iOS or Android OS and sends them to the right app store.

*Picture message a coupon to your customers on their birthday. Why tell them how good a frap will be when you can show them the gooey ribbons of caramel?

*New VIP service: text your order in to your local Starbucks. Get your favorite thirst quencher sooner.

*Picture message Starbucks coupons w/QR codes to your friends on special occasions.

*Leverage geo-location services to MMS special deals to customers when they are in close vicinity to a Starbucks.

The possibilities are really endless.

I’d love to chat with you further about how other companies are using us, as well as chat more about how we can help foster Starbucks’ future innovative ventures.

What’s the best way for me to get 15 minutes on your calendar?

Twilio Representative”


This email from Yesware, an email sales software company, to TOPO a company that helps businesses with sales development, shows the importance of earning the recipient’s trust by showing the executive that the representative has a “deep understanding of [the] business and has thought about why [they] should connect.” Please note that although TOPO is not on the Fortune 500 list, it is a company that would require an excellent prospecting email to garner a response. This is because TOPO is a company that specializes in email marketing.

The email emphasizes what the two companies have in common, which indicates the representative is “focused on the value of an equal business relationship.” Second, the representative provides a reason for engagement by making a business case for connecting with the executive. He uses publicly available information about TOPO and “tie[s] it back to Yesware,” giving the impression that the representative performed significant research into the company. Finally, as with the Starbucks example, the representative closes the email by requesting a business partnership rather than a product partnership by “exploring how [they] can work together to achieve common goals.”

“Subject: Looks like we have plenty of things in common...

Hey Craig,

Here are some commonalities between Yesware and TOPO:

*Twilio is a customer (and also an integration partner now powering our click-to-call feature)

*We are a Salesforce.com ISV partner, and it looks like Salesforce.com is a client of yours

*Our Director of Sales, Mike Haylon is on the speakers list at the Saleshacker conference. He also used to work at Netsuite, another client of yours

*Most importantly, we’re focused on driving results. Customers like Twitter, Acquia, and the Financial Times have seen a 25% growth in new business using our product. Customers choose our sales technology to accelerate their sales efforts.

Let’s explore how we can work together to help your customers share the same experience our customers have had since using Yesware. I can also share with you some more customer success stories and why our market-leading product is chosen by high-growth sales teams.

When is the best time for you to connect? I would be more than happy to facilitate an introduction to Mike Haylon if that’s preferred by you.

Yesware Representative

P.S. It looks like your session title is “TBD.” If there is any data/information I can help provide you to strengthen your presentation, please let me know.


This email is from Switch Merge to a “big company,” and although the actual corporation is not named, it is considered an excellent example of a prospecting email that was designed to get the attention of an executive who had already been identified as the appropriate person for the representative to contact. It is a more product-centered email than the first two examples, but it “still represents a personalized way to engage with hard-to-reach prospects.” This example makes use of an “explainer video” that can be personalized to the executive, allowing him or her to “understand who you are and why you are unique in a quick visually appealing way.”

The three features of this email that make it a standout example are that it personalizes the experience, it “delivers a call-to-action” through video content, and it uses “video viewer data to determine next steps.” The sales representative is able to see when someone views the email and “can continue to pursue this prospect knowing they have a high-level understanding of what [Switch can] do.”

“Subject: Example Email

Hi Paul,

Switch Merge offers a video personalization platform that helps marketers deliver personalized, targeted messaging through video content. We integrate with Salesforce and Pardot to leverage what you know about a prospect, elevate lead nurture programs and measure effectiveness.

We would love to connect with Mark and share Switch Merge with him. Would you be able to pass on this video that we personalized just for him? (It even includes his LinkedIn photo. He looks sharp and he will never have seen anything like this before.)

Sales Representative



This email was sent to an executive at a Fortune 500 retailer and is a prime example of the challenger sales model, although it is significantly longer than the other examples given here. This type of email has four components, which are:

*Add value right away (many of the other examples wait until the end to show what value they can add to the prospect)

*Instead of asking to interrupt an executive’s day to ask questions, start the email out with an idea

*Show that specific research has been conducted on the prospect by pulling publicly available information from “various company reports”

*Show confidence by clearly articulating ideas that emphasize an equal business partnership

The challenger sales model requires the representative to show there is an existing relationship through research and thoughtful ideas, even if there really isn’t one. According to Jon Colgan, author of this email, sales representatives need to “be bold enough to suggest right away how [they] think [they] could help someone (and do not give people canned pitches). Tailor these suggestions to the individual [they] are pitching, and be brave enough to risk enduring silence or a no; or rather, be respectful enough to permit prospects that freedom to choose.”

Please note that no subject was provided for this example.

"Pop quiz: how many [ABC Retailer] customers use [ABC Loyalty program] rewards?

Answer: 7.9 million.

Here is why I ask. In 2015, these 7.9 million [ABC Loyalty program] rewards members accounted for 67% of [ABC Retailer] sales.

Two-thirds of the pie!

What does this data tell us?

Nailing retention overall — [ABC Retailer] has figured out how to do loyalty and retention well. But mostly offline.

Failing online — E-commerce sales ([ABC Retailer's e-commerce website]) in 2015 accounted for only 17.1% of sales.

Look, I know that omni-channel is the long-term goal, and that we are not too far away from the lines blurring in customers' minds between offline and online.

But that changing consumer perception does not de-emphasize the strategic importance of online as a distinct channel for sales--one whose importance to [ABC Retailer] has only grown in the last six quarters.

As a concrete example (no pun intended), the importance of e-commerce in [ABC Retailer]'s case amplifies every time they close down an under-performing brick-and-mortar store. When a store closes in a given neighborhood, their customers who live in that neighborhood, with no physical store nearby to visit, take their shopping online.

And [ABC Retailer] has closed quite a few stores lately. Plus, even for the stores that are still operating, overall traffic is down.

How is [ABC Retailer] leveraging their lessons learned with offline-retention to grow e-commerce sales through online-retention?

The sales numbers suggest they are not.

I am not sure if this is something they are still doing, but I read a report recently that said [ABC Retailer] is targeting its best customers with direct mail? And at first, I thought, 'wow, snail mail...really?' But hey, if it works, keep doing it--just do not stop there.

If they are still getting juice out of the direct mail turnip, then just imagine the juice they could get if they were to add email-based retention to the mix.

Yet sales from their 'loyal customers' segment outstrip sales from their e-commerce channel 67 to 17.

If that bothers you (like I think it should), then I would like to help.

You have the data. You have the instincts. You just lack the results.

We are really good at getting results. Our formula is simple:

Leverage the customer data you already have (e-commerce and analytics platforms, for example).

Hyperpersonalize all marketing messages to each individual customer via email.

Automate sending the exact right message at the exact right time based on data science, algorithms, and predictive analytics.

Could you connect me to the person on your team who is in charge of e-commerce sales?

Thank you,
Sales Representative"


This email series has increased a company’s prospect email open rate to 83% and its response rate from 5% to 13%, a 333% jump. Although it is not specified that this email was sent to large corporations, the email wording suggests that it was. According to the author’s results, this series of emails were successful for five reasons:

*They are short and to the point. The 4th email example given above would be too long in this author’s estimation. He believes that CEOs “don’t have time to read long-winded emails. Get to the point and MAYBE they’ll respond. Write them a short novel and expect silence.”

*The follow-up emails were automated using automation software.

*The emails provided context.

*Directions were clear. The prospect could either click a link to set up a meeting, ignore the email entirely, or unsubscribe.

*It opened with an interesting hook that was relevant to the prospect’s interests. With the multitudes of digital marketing agencies in the world, the sales representative had to figure out how to differentiate themselves from the others. They did this by pointing out what experience they have that other companies don’t. Please note that only the first email template is available directly on the website provided. To obtain the other four email templates, one must request a free download by giving the website a valid email address.

Email 1:

“Subject: Revenue Growth

Hi [Prospect Name],

My name is [Name] and I’m with [Company] a [description of services]. We’ve worked with venture-backed startups to Fortune 500 companies like [Notable company partners].

We take a different approach to growing companies and aren’t like other companies in [Prospect’s industry].

We move quickly and if we don’t think we can kick butt for you, we’ll be upfront about it.

Are you free for a chat this week or next about marketing? If so, please pick a time slot here: [Link to scheduler].

Thank you,
Sales Representative”

Email 2:

“Subject: Growth Initiatives

[Prospect’s first name]

I wanted to see if you had 5-10 minutes to connect re: [product/service]. We’ve been able to generate solid revenue for our clients and both are still fairly untapped.

Can you point me to the person that handles this?

Thank you,
Sales Representative”

Email 3:

Hi, [Prospect’s first name]

We recently helped a company [Accomplishment] by [Product/Service].

Can you point me to the person that handles [product/service] to discuss further?

Thank you,
Sales Representative”

Email 4:

“Subject: Scaling Customer Acquisition (or equivalent)

[Prospect’s first name],

One of our clients was able to acquire about 6,000 customers at half of their target cost per acquisition number. Is this something that might interest you right now?

If so, can you point me in the direction of the person that handles this?

Thank you,
Sales Representative”

Email 5:

“Subject: Are You Okay?

[Prospect’s First Name],

I reached out previously regarding [Product/service] and haven’t heard back from you yet.

This tells me a few things:

*You’re being chased by a T-rex and haven’t had time to respond

*You’re interested, but haven’t had time to respond

Whichever one it is, please let us know as we’re getting worried!

Thank you,
Sales Representative”


Although many email sales experts suggest that several emails will be required before a prospect responds, there are some strategies that appear to be highly successful on the first attempt. The first four email examples represent those strategies, while the fifth example shows how a cold-call email with a series of follow-ups can successfully engage executives at large companies. In addition, here is a link to 101 additional email templates to provide extra examples of prospecting emails for a wide variety of situations.