I like still like to go old school in my ad sales outreach and actually call my prospects. I will take the results of calling prospects vs. the emailing approach any day. But don’t get me wrong, emailing can be super-efficient and effective.

Every sales rep both calls and emails clients. The key to success is the combo of a call and email. It really works!

Carl’s 5 Step Plan to Combo Call/Email Success

1. Pre-planning

The previous afternoon, I target the 50 calls I’m going to make the next day.

2. Calling

Start by trying to get as many calls in before noon. My hit ratio for a human actually answering the phone is about 30%. The people who pick up are usually existing clients that I have a good working relationship with. My hit ratio for new prospects answering the phone is about 10%.

3. Voicemail

For those unfortunate souls that don’t get to talk to me live and in person, they get an email. My voicemails are about 30 seconds long, max. They cover three things:

  • Why I’m calling
  • What the great opportunity is
  • I tell them I’m going to send a follow-up email and they can respond either way.

4. Email

I like to switch things around with subject line and email copy each time I contact a client. Need ideas? Here’s 5 great email subject lines that clients/prospects will open.

Here’s a typical email:

Subject line: <First Name — I just left you a message!
Email copy: I use Gmail and often take advantage of the canned responses. You really can’t tell these are pre-written. I have five or six versions of the email depending on where I am in the sales cycle and what I’m selling. They are pretty short, 4 or 5 brief paragraphs max. Important: Paragraph #2 is written specifically about the client and their product/service. (This makes them want to keep reading.)

5. Results

Only about 8% of brave souls actually call me back. But about 35% actually respond to the email. And they had already listened to my voicemail. That’s initial contact! Then we move forward from there.

The combo works!

My call/email combo strategy has been cranking along well. Also, video links to what you’re selling can really help give life to it all.

Contacting existing clients and prospects is still a numbers game. And the harsh reality is you have to get your calls and emails in if you want to win. Try the dynamic duo of the call-email approach and you’ll see improved results!


ad sales outreachMore about Carl: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. In his past life, Carl launched 5 successful niche magazines. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan, podcast host and part-time blogger. His 15 minutes of fame took place in the mid-eighties when he launched his famous, “Buy an Ad, Get a Cat” ad campaign. He has long since patched things up with the SPCA.


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