How I Got A 95% E-mail Success Rate When Prospecting (For Free)

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In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to get a 95% success rate when sending prospecting e-mails. This doesn’t just apply to sales; you can apply this to marketing/PR and more.

There are tools out there like SalesLoft that can get you e-mails in bulk but sometimes the bounce rates can go up to 30% or higher (we’re still happy customers because it ultimately saves time when you need to scale).

However, if you’re just starting out and need a cheaper (free) alternative, I have just the process for you that yields a much lower bounce rate.

Who this is for:

  • Companies with less than 15 employees
  • Companies still trying to figure out a sales process
  • Companies that are on a tighter budget
  • Entrepreneurs that just started prospecting on their own

What you’ll need:

  • G-mail/Google Apps
  • Google Docs
  • Rapportive

If you already have tools that you’re paying for and have a sales team established, this post is NOT for you. You’ve been warned.

So here’s what you’re going to need to make this work:


There’s lots of sources out there for you to pull contact information such as ZoomInfo or I just like going with LinkedIn or Crunchbase because those have served us well.

After you have qualified the prospect, you’re basically looking for 3 things:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Domain Name

Get that information and put it into a spreadsheet with columns for the items above.

That brings us to the next step.

E-mail Permutator


This handy Google Doc will come up with different e-mail permutations for you to use. Saves you a lot of time from doing it all manually. This is also helpful because each company has different e-mail patterns and it’s a lot of manual work to have to guess on your own.

Free Download: Get the e-mail permutator that will give you different e-mail permutations to make guessing e-mails easier.Click here to download the template for free

Note: you can also use e-mail formatter as an alternative.


Rapportive (acquired by LinkedIn) is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to see the social profiles of each e-mail address. It’s helpful for seeing if an e-mail address is ‘real’ or not.

After you have your e-mail permutations from the spreadsheet above, copy and paste all the e-mails and drop them into the ‘To:’ field in Google Apps:


After that, you simply hover above each e-mail and wait for something to pop up on the right sidebar:


Also keep in mind that sometimes even though their information doesn’t show up on the right side, you can see their picture on their Google+ profile. That’s an indication that the e-mail is good:



When I use this method, it takes me roughly 1 hour to get 40 prospects locked and loaded for e-mail outreach. 1.5 hours top. Coming from a conservative standpoint, you can assume that a regular sales development representative can get 60 initial e-mails sent out each day. The rest of the time should be dedicated to phone calls and follow-up.

That means 1,500 initial e-mails sent per month. If you are using a sales tool that gets 30% bouncebacks, you’re losing out on 450 e-mails. At 5%, you’re only losing out on 75 e-mails.

What would all this mean for your business based on your conversion rates and deal sizes?

If you’re having trouble with follow up, you should refer to my post on how I was able to increase my response rates by 333%.

The downsides to doing this

  • It’s manual
  • It can be draining (but hey you have to start somewhere right?)
  • You’re limited to Google Apps
  • You’re dependent on Rapportive (sometimes it doesn’t work)

The upsides to this

  • It’s free
  • Your e-mail bounce back rates can be up to 83% lower

Putting It All Into Action (Screencast)


If you need a cheap, simple way to prospect with better e-mail success rates, this could be a good solution for you to get kicked off with the Predictable Revenue way of selling. When you’re ready to start scaling up your sales team, you can learn about how I got great response rate using sales automation tools. Once you start switching to paid tools, the downside is that your e-mail bounces will go up but you’ll be able to make up for it with volume.

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