How to Book Appointments with Cold Email (2023)
How to Book Appointments with Cold Email (2023)
Last updated:
September 2, 2021
Christian Bonnier
Christian Bonnier
Christian is creative director at ListKit and co-founder at KnowledgeX.

Cold email is an incredibly powerful outbound sales tool when it’s used properly.

Instead of giving Zuckerberg thousands of dollars to see if your Facebook ad campaign works, you can start a cold email campaign by warming up a domain and buying a ListKit for the price of a new pair of Jordans

In fact, high performing email campaigns generate around $40 for every $1 spent. Now that’s ROI!

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Why is Booking Appointments with Cold Email Important?

To get a reply from your cold emails, it mostly comes down to saying the right things to the right people and presenting the right offer. With this formula, you’ll be able to get positive replies from your ideal customers consistently.

So, let’s say your email campaign is dialed in, you’re getting a good response rate, and people are interested…

Now what?

Here’s how to go from sending a cold email to getting a call booked on calendar.

Crafting A Strong Cold Email Message

For high ticket B2B products and services, the goal of a cold email is almost always to book a sales call with the prospect.

You don’t need to go for the hard close on the email, and since the prospect is cold, you shouldn’t be pitching your services in the inbox anyways.

Plus, you want to make sure they’re a good fit for your products or services and build trust to push the deal forward. This is best done on a discovery call.

With this in mind, the only purpose of the initial cold email is to simply get a reply back.

This is the simple formula we use to get interested replies from prospects:

Personalize It

Every cold email should have a personalized first line to open.

This will show the prospect that

  • you’ve done your research and care about their company and role
  • sent the email individually to them (even though it is automated)
  • you genuinely care about helping them and solving their problems

These lines can be written manually one-by-one, outsourced to a VA or freelancer, or generated via artificial intelligence.

Each has their own advantages and disadvantages, but it mostly depends on whether you have more time or money to allocate to the process.

Keep It Short

Your cold email should be no longer than 2 sentences: a personalized first line and a question.

In reality, you have at most 5-10 seconds to grab a prospect’s attention and interest them enough to reply back to you.

Case studies, details about your offer, pricing and unique aspects of your company are all great talking points, but save them for when a prospect actually replies back to you.

Note: this is a general rule of thumb but it varies from industry to industry and offer to offer. Test relentlessly to get the best results from your cold email campaigns!

Ask A “Yes” or “No” Question

To get the best results the question you ask in your cold email should be easily answered with either a “yes” or “no” response. Only then should you begin to pitch.

This is great to pre-qualify the prospect because, when you’re cold prospecting, you never really know if that prospect is a perfect fit for your offer.

Don’t assume. Instead, ask and clarify from the start of the conversation.

We follow this formula: “Quick question, do you/are you (insert pain point, desire, end result, service they’re currently using)?”

Here are some examples:

  • “Are you able to take on new clients for {company}?
  • “Do you use Klaviyo for email marketing?”
  • “Are you currently working with a business coach?”
  • “Do you have a low Shopify site speed score?”
Handling Replies To Your Original Email

Having a cold email script crafted that will get you replies in your inbox is a great first step, but the game is just getting started.

Since the original email doesn’t mention a call to action for a meeting, it’s on you to lead the conversation towards a call for the prospect to learn more (and to eventually close a win-win sale!).

Prospects will throw a variety of different replies at you, and some situations won’t be as straightforward as others.

If a prospect flat out says “yes, I’d like to learn more”, great! You just got what we call a “lay-up”, the easiest call you’ll ever book on your calendar.

But in most cases, it’ll be a little more complicated and cryptic.

Here are the situations we run into most often, and how to handle them:

Requests For More Info

This is usually a deflection rather than the prospect giving you a hard no.

To keep the conversation moving towards a phone call, we give them a quick overview of our offer with a CTA of hopping on a quick call to learn more.

For our offer, it would go something like this:

“I’ll keep it brief. We would reach out to your ideal prospects leveraging LinkedIn and cold email, and you only pay us for the calls we book on your calendar.

If you’d be open to discussing further, send me some times that work with you for a quick call.”

By doing this, you show them how you’re able to bring them value while intriguing them enough to book a call with you.

Price Objections

This is a textbook trap question.

Rather than replying with your pricing structure or retainer size, push them to get on a call with you.

Since the prospect doesn’t even have a clue about your offer or how valuable you can be to them, deferring to a phone call to break down pricing is your best option.

Here’s how we handle this:

“Happy to discuss pricing with you over a phone call so we don’t waste both our times talking via email.

Our services are highly flexible and it would be better to discuss a custom pricing structure for your needs face to face.

This might not be a fit, and I know this is not the answer you’re looking for, but let me know if this helps and you’re open to going over what this would look like for you on a quick call.”

The Colleague Referral

We deal with this all the time.

The initial prospect deflects us to their partner or employee, and tells us to relay information to them.

You may think it’s a good time to just move on from this prospect, but you actually have the leverage in this case.

Since you’re being referred by someone else in the company, this person has incentive to listen to you, especially if they’re a lower level employee being referred to by a CEO or executive.

Here’s how we open the email in this case:

“I was speaking with NAME (or your CEO/CMO/etc) via LinkedIn in regards to a call discussing (INSERT YOUR OFFER), and they recommended I reach out to you. When’s a good time for a 15 minute chat?”

Booking Calls Manually On Calendar

Once you get the client to agree to a call, ask them for a few times that work for them in the next week or two rather than sending over your calendar link.

We’ve found that for whatever reason, prospects take offense to calendar links and will be apprehensive to book if you send one to them.

To avoid this, confirm a time that works with them and then manually input their information that works on your Calendly or whichever scheduling tool you use.

After that, it’s time to put on your sales hat and close the sale!

Pro tip: our Lead Gen Masterclass will walk you through all the way to the closed sale.


Cold email is a tremendous resource for filling your sales pipeline with leads and appointments.

You’ll be able to generate highly qualified sales calls for your high ticket B2B business for a fraction of the price of paid ads and, once you dial it in, it can be very consistent.

Hook prospects in with a short, concise cold email, lead the conversation towards a call, manually book some time on calendar, and close the deal – this is how you book book appointments with cold email!

How do you deal with cold email replies? Leave your thoughts in a comment below!

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