This Cold Email Sequence Got a Positive Response From Our CEO

Susan Fennema, the founder of Go Beyond the Chaos, knows how to get a CEO’s attention: Be relevant.

Yes, you can “steal” Susan’s sequence below, but that’s not the most valuable thing about this post.  It’s the psychology of the emails’ effectiveness that will help you craft the best emails for your audience.

Touch 1

Subject: Basecamp consultancy collaboration


Basecamp rocks! I am a fan of not only the software, but of your vision and the company itself.

When I hear people complain that Basecamp doesn’t work for them, I believe that, in most cases, they haven’t taken the time to adapt their process to the structure (or flexibility) that Basecamp allows. Having developed a process that works great for the software development company I currently work for, I have tailored it and implemented it for other software development companies as well. Additionally, I have over 25 years of experience in developing processes for ad agencies and other creative companies.
While every company has different processes and needs, almost all can benefit from a project management structure to use Basecamp to its fullest. There might be a few who are correct that “Basecamp doesn’t work for me”, but most of them just don’t know how to put it to work for them.

I am launching my own business consultancy firm this month and would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you on how to keep some of your subscribers around longer. I can help your clients improve their business processes and organizational structure, resulting in: improved team productivity, enhanced internal communications, lower employee turnover, the elimination of silos, and reduction of costs. Meanwhile, it will help keep your subscribers engaged and more fully “dependent” on Basecamp as a solution to their project management needs.

Would you be willing to talk through some possibilities of how we could collaborate?

I look forward to hearing back from you!

Susan Fennema
Chaos Eradicating Officer (CEO)
Beyond the Chaos

Touch 2 – 8 days later

Subject: Re Basecamp consultancy collaboration


I wanted to reach out to confirm that you received my email, below. Would you be willing to talk through some possibilities of how we could collaborate?

Positive Response from Prospect (3 hours later)

Hi Susan!

Sorry I haven’t gotten back to you yet. I forwarded your email on to Mercedes – she’s our COO and heading up partnerships and opportunities like this. You should be hearing from her any day now.

Sound good?

Why this cold email sequence got a response

  1. Compliment: Receiving a compliment has the same positive effect as receiving cash
  2. Benefit:  Communicates how Basecamp could benefit from Susan’s service
  3. Action: Asks for a response


  1. Cut, cut, cut.  There’s a 65% chance your email will be read on a mobile device.
  2. Pick one or two benefits instead of writing a laundry list –  “how to keep your subscribers around longer.” Period.
  3. Give permission to say no.  “Jason, feel free to say no, but is this something that sounds interesting?”  If you give someone a way out, it will improve your chances of getting a response.  This tactic is supported by numerous psychological studies and Jim Camp, the author of No, The Only Negotiating System You Need for Work and Home.
  4. Make the meeting easier to schedule by including a scheduling link  (I recommend Calendly).
  5. Use eight “You’s” for every two “I’s”.   “You” is one of the most effective words you can use, because it connects you to your prospect.  You want to make sure that you’re talking about your prospect more than you’re talking about yourself. This is called the I-you ratio.

The Rewrite – Using “The Dot Connector Template”

The Dot Connector template is one of the most effective ways to get a response.

Here’s the format:

  • Give some authentic love
  • Point out an obstacle, roadblock, or problem you noticed 
  • Share your unique perspective on how to solve the problem 
  • Gauge interest

Here’s a rewrite of Susan’s email using the The Dot Connector template.

Subject: Quick question: re Basecamp 3

Hi Jason,

Congratulations on the new release of Basecamp 3.  I’m a big fan of your product, vision, and company.

For the past several months I’ve spent considerable time teaching your clients how to get their teams to adopt Basecamp 3.  Based on what I see, the biggest adoption roadblock is that Basecamp’s features become the focus rather than how it can be used to make your work life more awesome. 

I’ve developed a unique implementation approach that’s typically able to get teams actively using Basecamp within 30 days (So that you can keep your customers around longer).

Jason, feel free to say no, but is this something that sounds interesting?


Happy Emailing!