The Ultimate Cold Email Guide
- 2020 EDITION

Gabriel Matthias Sim

In this massive value packed post, I’ll be running through my experience of the 5 Client Challenge with Dino Gomez, exactly what I did, the tools I used, and the results I’ve gotten.

If you are curious about what is the 5 Client Challenge by Dino Gomez, check it out here


One fine night, with one too many beers, I decided to take up the 5 Client Challenge with Dino Gomez, as a wager against the man himself – Dino Gomez. My night out kinda looked like this

Talk about drunk texting, lol. It caused me a ton of additional work but I am honestly glad I did it as it gave me an opportunity to write a case study post (as I have always wanted to). Liquid courage FTW (for the win).

The idea of the 5CC was conceived by Dino Gomez as a result of many people asking the “ONE” question.

Well, the results that we got from our case study proves that not only are you able to do so, but most clients could not care less about the other campaigns that you have, or have not done before. As shown in my Facebook post about the 5CC above, we did the entire client prospecting campaign not only using ZERO case studies, but also a persona that is a complete beginner at this. We also picked a niche where we have never run any ads before, and have no existing clients at the time we started this outreach campaign.

Most of you would be happy to hear that my team and I have gotten decent results within our first 30 days, and even better ones over the next 30 days. We prospected in the Microblading & Medispa niches.

The Results

Most guides like these leave the results till the end of the post. To spice things up, I am going to share our results from the campaign, right from the beginning.

From sending out approximately 6,000 cold emails over the course of 30 days, we managed to get 39 trial clients in total and have so far, converted 6 of them into full time paying clients (from 16 completed trials).

Now that we have gotten the main question everyone has had in their heads out of the way, it is time for the massive value post that you guys have been waiting for – How did I do it?


For this case study, I went to a buddy of mine who has been working as a one-man agency for the last couple of years. I helped to set up the entire system for him and coached him through the entire process, and he manages all the clients himself including running the ads.

I have been following up with him on a weekly basis to make sure the entire system is going exactly the way I would have set it up, and to help coach him on how to scale the agency beyond just him as an owner-operator.

This post is going to cover Stage 1 of the entire process, which is setting up your Cold Emailing System.

I do not own any part of the 5 Client Challenge by Dino Gomez, or receive any commissions for promoting it (or any other software in this post).

1. The Plan

A. Reverse engineering your Numbers

I am a huge believer in planning your numbers out beforehand, so you know exactly what to expect, adjust, and adapt to. It also gives you something to work towards, instead of mindlessly doing things with no quantifiable objective.

For this case study, we decide to start a brand new niche agency “from scratch” with the aim of acquiring 30 paying clients (each paying at least $1000usd/month) by 31 December 2019. This would take us to a solid $30k/month revenue stream which would be a nice side income stream for us.

Given that we officially started this in March, that would give us a total of 9 months to hit our goal. (on average, we would have to acquire 4 new clients per month in order to hit our goal)

The numbers below are extremely conservative estimates. This gives you a ton of room to make mistakes and also, the worst-case scenario would be you get more leads than you were expecting. You can absolutely close 5 clients by sending out 5 Sniper-like emails but I personally like to take cold email prospecting as a numbers game where you “spray and pray”.

Sales Funnel Diagram 1. This is the sales funnel I had planned out with conservative numbers & conversion rates

I’ve been through the entire process of scraping emails manually before, and although we’re going to be using tools to massively increase the pace, we are once again, going to use a conservative estimate of 200 emails/day to map out our plan.

At a pace of 200 Emails / Day per person, you’d be looking at 50 days, or a little under 2 months, to get 10,000 emails. You can expedite this process with the tools that I’m going to mention below, or use VAs (virtual assistants) to speed it up many times over. We typically bring on board 2 VAs purely to scrape these emails, to increase the numbers to 400 Emails / Day and that takes us 25 Days to get a total of 10’000 emails.

B. Stages of the Sales Funnel

In order to start this prospecting campaign, there are a ton of different components involved for the entire funnel to work, and to follow through with the prospect and close them as a client. However, you don’t need everything to get started, and as my brother always told me, “done is better than perfect”.

What we are going to do here is to list everything out in steps, as well as plan out the systems we will need to complete, and eventually automate the entire prospecting and sales funnel.

Stage 1 – Emailing Cold Prospects

Stage 2 – Following up with Interested Prospects with a Video Audit

Stage 3 – Closing leads into Trial Clients

Stage 4 – Closing Trials into Retainer Clients

Overall, there are 4 main stages for a prospect to transition into a client. If you are just starting out, your main objective is to start off with getting as many prospects as possible, into Stage 1

You want to then progress through Stages 2 – 4, as and when necessary, while setting up systems along the way to automate it as much as possible.

Having a system in place where you can send out thousands of emails automatically, and also having a system as well as standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place to handle them are massive assets that will help you ensure that your pipeline will always be filled with leads.


It’s important to note that at each point in time, you NEED to keep filling up the top of your pipeline with more prospects (Stage 1).

Even if you have 10 ongoing trials or 10 existing paying clients, you need to continue getting more prospects. There is never a guarantee that a campaign is going to go your way forever, or even if it does work well, some clients are just too much trouble to deal with, and you might end up dropping them.

If you end up dropping all of your clients a couple of months later, without any existing leads in the pipeline, there will be a long waiting period for your prospecting to get you more clients again.

I can say from experience that this is a very unpleasant thing to go through especially if you have no other source of income.

That being said, it is difficult to juggle multiple things at the same time, especially if you are a one-man agency. This is why having the right systems in place is crucial to having a business that can continue scaling at maximum efficiency.

2. The Process

A. Stage 1 - Cold Emailing

Stage 1 is going to be focusing on getting prospects into the top of your funnel. Before getting your first interested prospect, this is absolutely the priority to get set up, which can be done within 1-2 days if you follow this guide.

1. Email Sequence

By now, you should realise that the fastest way to get started is to start sending out your cold emails to prospects. However, before we can get into that, we need to have an email sequence crafted out.

From my experience, sending out 1 email rarely does the trick. The “publicly known” secret to having a successful cold outreach campaign is having a follow-up sequence in place.

We typically have 3 Parts to the Cold Email Sequences that we use, to get the prospect to progress through the funnel –

One sequence to get them to agree to receive the video introduction/audit (Sequence 1)

After they have agreed to the above, one sequence to get them to watch the video (Sequence 2)

And lastly, after they have watched the video we sent, one sequence to get them to hop on a call with us. (Sequence 3)

In each “mini” sequence, we have a maximum of three follow-ups so its sufficient opportunity for them to be informed (as they might have missed the first or even second email), but not too many to be pushy.

The entire email sequence is depicted in the diagram below:

Email Funnel Diagram 1. This is the layout of the email funnel I had planned out with 3 follow up sequences, for each objective - getting them to agree to me sending the video, getting them to watch the video, getting them to book a call.

Dino and the rest of the Pixel Scout crew have been incredibly helpful with their templates, and I highly recommend using one of them to get started. Here is my rendition of their main template, below:

Subject: {{NICHE}} Question


I just visited your website {{CLIENT_WEBSITE}} a few minutes ago and had a couple of questions for you.

Are you taking on new {{NICHE}} clients at this time?

We have a proven system that can get you 40-70 leads per month for your {{BUSINESS_TYPE}}.

Would you like us to send you a short 5 minute video on how we do it? If yes, reply “1” to this email.

If you are not interested in getting more clients for your {{BUSINESS_TYPE}}, reply “2” to this email and we will stop contacting you.

Looking forward to hearing back from you!

Best Regards

Matt Simpson

Sample Email 1 Template – An example of a Niche and Business Type combination would be (SEO), and (Marketing Agency) respectively.

The recommended template is just the first couple of sentences, whereas I personally inserted the text in bold. The reason why I did so, is due to my system being 90% automated. Manual labour is only required 10% of the time when someone replies.

You would get an INSANELY high reply rate by using just the first two sentences, as it is a very click-baity email (the prospect thinks YOU are a potential customer). However, you will need to reply to all of these “positive” replies, most of whom will stop replying to you after the first email once they realise you are trying to sell something to them.

I would rather cut that out completely, be straightforward with what I am offering, and only follow up with those who are genuinely interested in my service (a.k.a. a qualified lead).

For the full email sequence I used, I paid a copywriter $1000 USD for a 10 email sequence, with a commission of $10 USD/per call booked.

If you are just starting out, I would recommend using the above first email as a guideline, and craft your follow-ups using some references from blogs such as Mailshake. Aside from being an incredible cold email tool (up next), they also have a ton of free resources for cold email tutorials.



I highly recommend tweaking ANY template you use, as it quickly gets saturated from people spamming it to the nether realms. If you are using a template, you have already massively expedited the entire process so I would definitely spend some time (not too much) adjusting it so that it is going to be something unique.

The baseline of anything should be “would I respond positively to this if I was the one who received it.”

Don’t be a lazy arse even if that is your first instinct. That is not how a good business foundation is built.

Once you have sorted out your email sequence, you now need the following to start prospecting for clients:

  1. An Email Account (or multiple email accounts, depending on the volume of emails you are sending per day)
  2. Setting up the Automated Email Sequence (So that it automates 70% of the Process)
  3. Building a List of Prospects to Email (Email Addresses of Prospective Clients)
  4. Setting up Zapier to automate another 20% of your emailing system

I will be covering each of these steps with insight into my personal set up, as well as my recommended tools of choice. And before you ask, yes if you have an alternative tool of choice, feel free to replace the ones I recommended with them, as long as they get the job done.

Just note that I have spent the last 4 years testing out a bunch of different tools, and these are the ones that I personally think work the best.

2. Email Account - GSuite (Recommended)

I am definitely not an expert in email marketing and dealing with deliverability issues on a high level, but I have been sending hundreds of thousands of emails over the last few years using paid GSuite accounts.

These cost $6 usd / month per email and tend to allow you to send more emails per day (recommended that you warm it up over the course of 2-4 weeks if its a new account) as compared to a free Gmail account. Once an account is warmed up (progressively increasing the number of emails you send per day), you should have no problem sending 100-200 emails a day and getting them all into your prospects’ inboxes.

It also allows you to set up a custom domain email, e.g. [email protected] which definitely looks more professional especially since you are trying to present yourself as a business owner.

If you want to send more than 200 emails a day, I would recommend setting up a second email account to avoid getting flagged for spamming.


Always set up a second (third, fourth, fifth, etc) domain and use those to send your cold emails. I NEVER use my main domain email for cold email outreach, as you risk getting all your emails being sent to spam (which will be a pain if that is your main means of communication with your clients).

So if my main domain is, I would buy and, and set up the email addresses [email protected] and [email protected] and use those to send out my cold emails.

I personally buy all my domains from &

Also remember to set up a 301 Redirect from your “spare” domains to your main agency domain so that if someone tries to visit the former, it redirects them to the main agency website instead of showing a 404 or domain parking page.

3. Setting up Email Campaign - MailShake (Recommended)

I set up the entire email sequence on Mailshake. I have been using MailShake for a variety of cold email campaigns over the last 3 years, and I have been repeatedly impressed on multiple occasions, on how they have improved their tool.

If you are just getting started, the Basic $29/month account has more than enough features to run this outreach campaign. They also have a 30 Day Guarantee so you can test this out risk-free.


Just to clarify here, MailShake, in their own words, is “ a simple solution for cold emails “. You will have no issue importing huge lists and sending cold emails using MailShake, whereas autoresponders like ActiveCampaign (while they have their own uses) are not big fans of sending unsolicited emails. Importing a large list into your Autoresponder account and using that to send cold emails will most likely result in your account getting banned, not to mention it would be WAY more expensive.

AutoResponders are mostly used for email marketing campaigns where people choose to opt-in to your list. We will be using this as part of our funnel later on, but not for the purpose of cold emailing.

Let us recap the 3 email sequences that we need to get set up, as mentioned earlier on in this guide. We will need to set up the following as “individual campaigns” on MailShake-

One sequence to get them to agree to receive the video introduction/audit (Sequence 1)

After they have agreed to the above, one sequence to get them to watch the video (Sequence 2)

And lastly, after they have watched the video we sent, one sequence to get them to hop on a call with us. (Sequence 3)

Step 1 – Create a new Campaign

Once you have logged in to your MailShake account, click on the +New Campaign button on the Dashboard.

You want to name the Campaign properly so you can identify which campaign this is immediately from the Overview page. I typically name my Campaigns as such:

First Campaign

[NICHE] Seq. 1 – 1, 2B, 3B, 4B

(One sequence to get them to agree to receive the video introduction / audit (Sequence 1))

Second Campaign

[NICHE] Seq. 2 – 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A

(After they have agreed to the above, one sequence to get them to watch the video (Sequence 2))

Third Campaign

[NICHE] Seq. 3 – 3C, 4C, 5C

(And lastly, after they have watched the video we sent, one sequence to get them to hop on a call with us. (Sequence 3))

Step 2 – Add in List of Prospects

I personally just add in my own email here, so that I can immediately test out the sequence once it is completed.

The “real” list of prospects will be added in later on via Zapier and Google Sheets, but if you are keen to get started or the person managing this prefers to just add in recipients in bulk, you would just import the full CSV of contact information here.

Step 3 – Adding in the Email Sequence

Add in your email subject as well as the contents of your email at this part of the setup.

By using {{FIELDS}}, it allows you to customise your email to a certain extent without coming off as too spammy an email.

You need to have a column on your Excel sheet (if you imported your contacts) or Google Sheet (if you are planning to use Zapier integration) for each of the fields filled in for this to work.

This is what the email will look like once it is sent out:

Next, you want to click on the “Add Follow Up” button, and add in the follow-ups of your sequence.

I personally prefer putting 5 days between each follow-up so that the recipient does not get pissed off (too easily).

Once you have all of your follow-ups set up, the campaign should look like this:

The follow ups are sent to get the prospect to move along the sales funnel, so the way that MailShake is set up is, once a prospect “becomes a lead” on MailShake via their Lead Catcher, the sequence stops sending follow ups.

You can select the actions that need to be taken in order for them to become a lead, on a campaign level. This is why you have to split up the full email sequence into 3 separate campaigns, as there are 3 different triggers required for each “milestone” for them to progress to the next part of the funnel.

To set the triggers, go to the “Campaigns” tab on the left of the MailShake dashboard, and click on the campaign you want to edit.

Click on the Settings tab, and you should see the Lead Catcher settings for that campaign (as depicted in the screenshot below).

By default, all campaigns will have recipients turned into leads when they reply.

For Campaign 1, if they reply to your first sequence saying yes, they want the video audit. You would set up the Lead Catcher for that campaign to change the recipient to a lead when they reply to the email. (You will still need to sift out the ones who replied asking you to f**k off, unfortunately).

Once the recipient asks for the video, you need to put them into the second sequence, which sends out the first email with the video link, and it is accompanied by that particular follow up sequence to get them to watch the video.

For Campaign 2,

You want to make it so that they become a lead when they click on the link to the video or reply that they are interested so the setting for this would be for the recipient to “Click any Link”, or “Replies” as shown below.

Likewise for Campaign 3, as they would either reply to you saying they are interested or not, or clicked on the link to your booking calendar and booked a call with you.

Up to this stage, you now have your 3 Email Campaigns set up, so the only manual work needed is to add recipients into the correct respective campaigns depending on their responses.

We will further automate a larger portion of this as we go along this guide but for now, this already saves you a TON of time as you do not need to manually send follow-ups to people.

Multiply 8 follow up emails by 1000 people and that is a lot of emails to send out manually otherwise.

4. List Population

Now that you have the entire email sequence set up, this is going to be the fun part. Populating your list with thousands of prospects.

There are two methods of doing this; manually and semi-manually.

I’d recommend starting off with the “pure”, manually method so you can understand the entire process, before moving on to the second, more efficient method. To populate your list and start sending emails, there are 3 things that you first need to have.

First, you need a list of relevant keywords to input into search engines in order to pull up the relevant business owners (that you are targeting) in the search results.

Seed Keyword List (Step 1/3)

Method A - Old School Manual

There are a couple of ways to do this. First, you can use the following variations below and fill in the blanks:

{service} {area}

{service variation 2} {area}

{service variation 3} {area}

{service} {area variation 2}

{service} {area variation 3}

So in the above example, you would get:

Microblading NYC

Eyebrow Salon NYC

Microblading Tattoo NYC

Microblading new york city

Microblading ny

Replace the area with  different cities/states based off the population. Chances are, you are prospecting in the US and this is the list which we refer to from Wikipedia. One you are done, you should have at least 50-100 seed keywords to start scraping your list. You can also replace the service with other variations as I have done above. One way of looking for ideas for variations for the service is searching “{service}” in Google and scrolling down to the bottom of the page where it shows you other searches related to it.

Google Search related terms at the bottom of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Method B - Keyword Research Tools (Recommended)

Alternatively, you can use a keyword research tool such as AHRefs’ keyword explorer (paid), or Google Keyword planner (free) to search for all the keywords related to the seed keyword.

Personally, AHRefs is my go-to Swiss-army knife for SEO and I use it on a daily basis. You can get the job done using other free tools but as this is the tool I am familiar with, we’ll go with this in the guide.

Login to your AHRefs account and go to the Keyword Explorer Tool. Put in your main seed keyword, in this case I used {microblading nyc}. Make sure that you have selected the same country as what you are prospecting in.

Once you get to the next page, click on “Phrase match”and that will give you the closest, most relevant keywords that you are looking for. As you can see, from my seed keyword I managed to get a total of 123 keywords in total.

Select all, and export the file into a .CSV and you have your main batch of keywords right there ready to move on to the next step.


If your secondary objective is to eventually upsell the client from Facebook Ads management into SEO, we recommend doing an additional step of checking for keyword volume for that particular keyword using Keyword Research tools such as AHRefs (Paid) or Google Keyword Planner (Free Option).

Keyword search volume, while not 100% accurate or conclusive, gives you an idea of how much potential that particular niche has in terms of potential customers per month for the service provider. If there is a large amount of search volume, chances are you're able to convince the prospect (in future) that it is a worthwhile investment to pay you for SEO.

This step to search for keyword volume is completely optional if you are just looking to close clients on Facebook Ads management. You can skip the above step entirely, or do it in the future on different prospecting campaigns.

List of URLs (Step 2/3)

Now that you have a list of seed keywords, the next step is to acquire all the URLs of websites that are ranking for those keywords on Google (primarily).

For this step, there are 3 methods to do this.

Method A - Old School Manual

Go to and put in each keyword one at a time, and copy and paste each URL into a spreadsheet.

If you are not from the country you are prospecting (e.g. I was in Singapore at this time, and I am prospecting in the U.S.), be sure to turn on a VPN so that you are using the Google from the country you are prospecting in as each country’s SERP gives different results.

To make things quicker, click on Settings >> Search Settings and set the number of results per page to 100 (typically its 10 results per page).

This will save you time on clicking through 10 pages with 10 results each, and instead have 1 page of 100 results right off the bat.

Method B - AHRefs SERP Export

If you used AHRefs to get the keywords in the previous step, you can click on each keyword manually from the “Phrase Match” page to go to the keyword page.

Once you get to the keyword page, scroll down to the section that says SERP Overview for “{keyword}”. Click on the export button and you will get a .CSV file with all the URLs ranking for that specific keyword. Rinse and repeat for the rest of the keywords, add them together on a single excel sheet and remove duplicates. Viola. 

Sample Excel sheet Exported from AHRefs. The highlighted column is what you are going after.

Method C - Scrapebox (Recommended)

Screenshot of the Website -

Scrapebox is an amazing tool that allows you to input multiple keywords at once, and scrape all the search results and put them neatly into a file. This is my preferred method of doing it, so export the list of keywords from AHRefs, and input all of them into Scrapebox to get all the URLs almost instantly.


Scrapebox saves a ton of time but it takes a while to set up if you are not familiar with the tool. I'll update this guide eventually with a walkthrough on how I Set it up but if you plan to use this I recommend watching their tutorials, on how to use the tool effectively.

List of Emails (Step 3/3)

Now that you have a list of URLs of potential prospects, the next step and final step in this section is to collect their email addresses. There are 2 methods that you can do this.

Method A - Manual (and/or using a VA)

Visit each individual URL and search for the email address (and other relevant contact information such as the first name, name of the company, etc.) When I first started out, I got a VA (virtual assistant) to work on this as their daily ongoing tasks. On average, a decent VA can get you about 120 emails a day  consistently in 8 hours.

Method B - (Recommended)

There are a ton of Email Scraping tools out there and I’ve tested a bunch of them. To date, is one of my favourites and I still use it for a bunch of different projects that I require scraping emails for.

Essentially it works similarly to other tools out there such as and ScopeLeads, but has the most cost effective plan as well as a high hit-rate and accuracy compared to the other tools in the market.

Once you login to the dashboard, you want to select “Tools” from the header and select “Bulk Domain Search” . As you can see, there are a bunch of other options for you to scrape emails as well, but this is the main feature that I personally use.

Once you get to the “bulk domain search” page, add in your Excel sheet with all the domains on it. NOTE that you need to remove everything else other than the domain URLs  from the spreadsheet before uploading it into Snov.

Select “Emails only” as the option and start scraping. Typically I put 1 contact per domain but if you want to play it safe, you can put 2 or even 3 contacts per domain. Scraping more contacts from the same domain do not take up more credits (unless you verify all the emails).

Once you’re done with the scraping process, export the final list and you have all you need to get started with your prospecting.

Rinse and repeat this process as much as possible so the top end of your funnel will always have incoming prospects to follow up with.

Coming this far in the guide, your brain must be halfway fried by now and you must be wondering… What am I supposed to do with these emails now? 

Well first off, at this point, if you have followed and implemented everything so far, I would like to say to you…

You have successfully set up your first email prospecting system, that is about 70% automated. At this point, it should have taken you no longer than a week AT MOST to get everything up to this point sorted out. Keep populating the list with the above step, make tweaks along the way, and you are well on your way to closing your first 10 clients.

5. Tracking Prospects - Google Sheets

Good ol’ Google Sheets - A Screenshot of my Client Prospecting Tracking Sheet

Remember all those Customised Fields we set up on the MailShake campaigns? Well, from fiddling with this system for over 3 months, this is the fastest way I have found to populate the list quickly, and efficiently, while also keeping track of the progress of your prospects. Set up a Master Tracking Sheet on Google Sheets to keep track of all your prospects and leads. This works as a great makeshift CRM

You will have 5 Main Tabs in total – Basically, the 5 stages which your prospect will move through.

Every tab essentially has the same headers,


First Name

Last Name






Date Sent


Except for the First tab for Sequence 1 which has the Keyword field instead of the Video column. The Keyword field is for you to fill in which keyword you used to do the search on Pixel Scout when you got this prospect’s contact information. You can use it to further customise your email saying something the lines of “I found your website by searching for {{Keyword}}”, or just use it to keep track of which keywords you have already done searches for via your scraping.

…Is what I would like to say, seeing that it has been 5000 words thus far, but unfortunately I still have some additional FREE value for you guys.


The next step is a BONUS MODULE for you to further automate another 20% of your system, but again is not 100% necessary depending on your set-up. This is going to be a tad bit technical as it has to deal with Zapier, so if you are not familiar with this and you NEED to get started ASAP, I would advise you to put this on hold at the moment, and re-visit it when you can afford to spend a few days figuring this out. I would NOT recommend this for people who are not familiar with Zapier whatsoever or have issues struggling with tech.

6. Automating Systems - Zapier (Highly Recommended)

Zapier is an amazing tool that has saved me a ton of time in many different situations. It helps you to integrate 2 different applications or softwares together (in many cases where APIs are not available), which saves you a lot of time from doing certain processes manually.

To set up a “Zap”, you need 1 Trigger App (and action), as well as an Action App (and action action lol).

The trigger app is the app you choose, where changes are made, causes the action app to make the corresponding change. (Hope this is clear and makes sense, basically if A happens, B happens).


In most cases, the free version works well enough. However, I use it for Facebook Lead Ads as well, to automatically populate a spreadsheet and inform my client via email when a new lead comes in. As Facebook Lead Forms are a premium feature, I have a paid subscription for this. But for the purpose of cold emailing, the free account works just fine.

The trick here is to use Zapier to shift the prospect to the right tab, based on the action taken. There will be a total of 5 Zaps, which will help you to further automate a portion of the systems.


MAKE SURE you have already created the full sheet BEFORE working on setting up this automation. DO NOT change anything on the sheet headers or title of the sheet once you link it to Zapier. Otherwise, it might cause the automations to break.

Overview of Automations

This overview will give you an idea of what these automations are used for. If you feel that not all of them are necessary, you can choose not to implement any of these Zaps as they are purely optional for this set-up.

They do take a bit of time to figure out if you are new, but in the long run, if you plan to use this system repeatedly it will save you a lot of time in the long run.

As mentioned, there are 5 Zaps (or 5 automations) in total. Each of these automations are tied to a single action that you would have to otherwise, manually implement. These 5 Automations are:

Automation 1 – Importing New Recipients into MailShake (Campaign 1)

Without this automation, every time you scrape a list, you need to consolidate everything and manually import the CSV file into MailShake. With this automation in place, all you need to do is to continue populating a Google Sheet, and it will continuously import new recipients into MailShake.

Automation 2 – Consolidating all Replies (Sequence 1) into a Spreadsheet

This allows you to keep track of all the replies to the initial Sequence 1, and have a birds-eye view of all the replies as well as check if they are legitimate leads.

Without this automation, you would have to check the Lead Catcher manually on MailShake each time a new reply comes in, or your email inbox.

Automation 3 – Importing Interested Prospects who want access to the Video, into Sequence 2

Without this automation, similarly to Automation 1, you need to consolidate all your interested prospects and manually import the CSV file into MailShake.

This is going to be more tedious in my opinion, however, as you need to send different URLs (if you are doing a custom video audit) and you do NOT want to wait on a warm lead, so you will have to import a new list every time someone replies positively, wanting the video.

Likewise with this automation in place, all you need to do is to continue populating a Google Sheet (with different video links in the respective column and rows), and it will continuously import new recipients with the customisation into MailShake.

Automation 4 – Consolidating all Replies + Viewers (Clicks to View) of the Video Sequence (Sequence 2) on a Spreadsheet

Similar to Automation 2, This allows you to keep track of all the replies and people who click to view the video, from Sequence 2. This also gives you an overview of all the leads as well as check if they are legitimate leads.

Without this automation, you would have to check the Lead Catcher manually on MailShake each time a new lead comes in. You will not be able to use your email inbox as Gmail (without add-ons) will not inform you if the prospect had clicked on the link.

This is possibly a negligible automation, however, as you would probably not have many of these and at this point, you might want to check each lead manually.

Automation 5 – Importing all Video Viewers who did not book a call, into the follow-up sequence (Sequence 3)

For this particular automation, you will have to check your list of video viewers against your booking app of choice, to see if they had made a booking.

Again, this is possibly a negligible automation, as you would probably not have many of these and at this point, you might want to check each lead manually.

Phew… now that we have gotten all of that out of the way, it is time to start the tutorial on how to actually set up these automations.

Automation 1 - Sending out New Emails Automatically (Zap 1)

You want to start off by populating the first tab, Seq1, with all of the new prospects contact information.

Zapier will then detect the new rows, and upon updating the email column (trigger), add the information of that particular row to MailShake as a new recipient. (action)

If you are struggling to understand this so far, I would recommend just sticking to completing this one Zap and leave the rest of the steps out (work on those manually). As the bulk of the emails being sent out will be on the top end of the funnel, it will be a lot more manageable to handle any responses that come in after the first sequence.

Step 1 – Make a Zap

Click on the huge orange button that says “Make a Zap”. This will bring you to the next screen that asks you for the trigger app as seen below:

Step 2 – Select the Trigger App (Google Sheets)


You want to select Google Sheets as the trigger app. Remember, the entire automation is triggered when the email column of a new row is updated.

Step 3 – Connect to your Google Sheets Account.

Step 4 – Select “New or Updated Spreadsheet Row”

Step 5 – Select the Spreadsheet that you will be populating.

For the First Zap, you want to select the first Tab on the sheet for the Worksheet Option. This should be the tab where you keep filling up with new prospects and their contact information. Do NOT delete anything in this tab, always add it further down the list.

Select the Email column for the Trigger Column so that the Zap will not fire off until all of the information is added to that row. For this reason, the Email Column should be the last thing you fill in on the sheet.

Step 6 – Test out the Step

Make sure you have dummy info filled in on the first 3 rows of each tab so you can test if the Zap works. If Zapier pulls in the information accurately, then you are good to go.

Click on continue once everything is working. If you missed out putting in dummy information, fill it up now then click on the “See More Samples” button to refresh.

Here comes the next part of the setup. You need to set up an Action Step

If all went well, you should be at this page now, where it is prompting you to set up an action step.

Step 7 – Add MailShake as the Action App

If this is your first time setting it up, login to your MailShake account. Simple enough.

Step 8 – Select MailShake Action

Next, you want to select “Add Recipient by Email Address”.

Step 9 – Selecting Columns and Text Replacements

This is the part where you need to be EXTRA CAREFUL. Make sure you select the correct columns for the correct fields. It will show you the sample fields you put in on your sheet previously.

For text replacements, MailShake works via replacing any text in {{TEXT}} fields, so on Zapier when you set this up, remember to use the exact same word on the left field, without the “ {{ “ and “}}”.

On the email template itself on MailShake, you will have to include those squiggly brackets (if that is what they are called).

Step 10 – Send Test to MailShake

Once you are done with the previous Step, click on “Continue” and check that all the fields are correct. Then click on “Send Test to MailShake”

If everything works out, it should show you the following screenshot below:

Step 11 – Check MailShake Campaign

Just as a precaution, you want to go to your MailShake account, and select the campaign that you have set up this Zap for.

Click on the “Recipients” tab and check that all the information is correct and present. By clicking on the recipient, and selecting the “Pending Sequence” tab, you will be able to check if all the custom fields were synced properly.

Congratulations, now you officially have your first automation Peon working for you to send out emails.

Automation 2 - Consolidating all Replies (Sequence 1) into a Spreadsheet

This allows you to keep track of all the replies to the initial Sequence 1, and have a birds-eye view of all the replies as well as check if they are legitimate leads.

Without this automation, you would have to check the Lead Catcher manually on MailShake each time a new reply comes in, or your email inbox.

Unfortunately, regardless of whether you use this automation or not, you will still have to check the leads that come in at this stage if it was a legitimate one or not, as MailShake cannot differentiate between someone who agrees to receive the video, and someone who replies telling you to f**k off.

If you think the latter is a joke, I assure you it is not.

This was from one of the first outreach campaigns that we had sent out a few years back. I still remember feeling demoralised for a couple of minutes that people were rude enough to spend time just to shit on you.

I responded by putting the same person back into my next funnel as he did not unsubscribe or ask to be unsubscribed, so he replied me a week later again. Go figure.

So back to the topic at hand, setting up this automation.

Step 1 – Make a Zap

Similar to the first automation (and all future automations), this is the first step. Click on the huge orange button that says “Make a Zap”. This will bring you to the next screen that asks you for the trigger app as seen below:

Step 2 – Selecting the Trigger App ( MailShake)


Here, you want to select MailShake as the trigger app. Remember, for this automation we are looking to shift respondees into the next tab of the spreadsheet. When they reply to your sequence, it will trigger this zap.

Click on the less common options, then select “New Reply”


Make sure on MailShake all leads are assigned to your email address. If it is unassigned then the zap will not trigger on the next step.

Step 3 – Selecting Campaign and Type of Reply

Here you want to select the Campaign, and also the type of reply. Make sure you select ONLY Campaign 1, which is the campaign (sequence) that is trying to get the prospect to agree to receive the video. For the Reply Type, we will leave it as “Any” so that we do not have to deal with MailShake accidentally classifying replies wrongly.

Step 4 – Testing Zap

To test this zap, you would have needed to reply to the sequence at least once to have the sample picked up. I would recommend replying to the email from the test you ran in the first automation so you can test this step as well. Once the sample data pulls out properly, you want to move on to the next step which is setting up the Action App / Step.

Step 5 – Setting up the Search Step (Google Sheets)

Set up an Action step, and select Google Sheets as the action app. Here, you want to select “Lookup Spreadsheet Row” as the action.


The reason why we have an additional step here is, in order to dynamically update the next row on the spreadsheet, you need to add a search step which allows Zapier to check if there is anything in that particular row/field.

It will keep searching until it finds an empty field, then populate that row with the information provided from MailShake. Without a search step, it will just populate the same row and overwrite the previous information that is in it.

Step 6 – Select Spreadsheet Account

Select your Google Sheets account that contains the Prospecting sheet you are using.

Step 7 – Set up fields for “Search for Row” (Google Sheets) Step

Here, select the same prospecting spreadsheet that you are going to be using throughout the campaign.

For the Worksheet, select your 2nd Tab, and for the lookup column select the Email column.

For the lookup value, select the recipients’ email from the MailShake automation.

What this does is, Zapier will search the email column for that particular email address. If it does not find it, it will populate a new row with all of the information you provide it (from MailShake). This prevents any duplicates from being added to the sheet.

All the other values below the Lookup Value will be left blank for this step.

Once you are done with the above, it is time to finish up the automation by creating another action step.

Step 8 – Setting up the Action Step (Google Sheets)

Add a new action step and select Google Sheets as the Action App.

Step 9 – Select “Create Spreadsheet Row” as the action.

Step 10 – Select your Google Sheet Account

Step 11 – Fill in Information for Creating Spreadsheet Row

For the first 3 Fields, these are all pulled up from Google Sheets.

Select the prospecting sheet, as well as your second tab (the tab that you wish to populate with the information of people who replied).

For the remaining fields, use the information provided from the MailShake integration. I leave the URL and comments sections blank as I will have to fill these up as I go through these responders manually anyway. (And it takes up too much time to set up the automation for this).

Step 11 – Run a Test

Run a test for this zap and make sure everything shows up fine.

If all is well, congratulations!

You have officially completed your second automation. Now that wasn’t so hard now was it? (Lol jk, probably pissed myself the first couple of times I tried setting this up).

Automation 3 - Importing all Interested Prospects (for video) into Campaign 2 (sequence 2, video URL with follow up).

For this particular automation, you will follow the exact same steps in Automation 1, except that you will select tab 3 (Sequence 2) on the Prospecting Sheet in Step 5, as well as the video URL column instead of the email column as the trigger column.

For Step 9, you will need to add an additional text replacement field that is VIDEO_URL and select the respective column on the Google Sheet so that it populates each email and recipient with their respective custom video.

If you are doing a generic video URL for all recipients, you can remove the text replacement field completely and just put the URL (which will be the same for all recipients) into your MailShake email template (for Campaign 2).

Automation 4 - Consolidating all Replies + Viewers (Clicks to View) of the Video Sequence (Sequence 2) on a Spreadsheet

For this automation, you will follow the exact same steps in Automation 2, except that you will select “less common options” in Step 2, and select “New Lead” instead of “New Replies”.

Make sure that on your Campaign settings for this particular campaign/sequence on MailShake is set up so that Leads are captured regardless of reply or clicks.

You will also need to select tab 4 (S2 lead pending) instead of tab 2 on the prospecting sheet in Step 7 and Step 11.

Automation 5 - Importing all Video Viewers who did not book a call, into the follow-up sequence (Sequence 3)

For this particular automation, you will follow the exact same steps in Automation 1, except that you will select tab 5 (Sequence 3) on the Prospecting Sheet in Step 5.


Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. It has been a massive challenge to complete this post guys, even more so than running the actual campaign in my opinion.

If you have any questions, or opinions on how I could have improved my writing or process, feel free to add me on Facebook here and I will do my best to help out and/or take in your positive input! Please do NOT spam me on technical questions and how-tos. I have already provided the entire blueprint and foundationfor building the system. Please put in the effort to at least figure out how to get the materials sorted, yourself.

If you enjoyed this blog post, do sign up for my Mailing list below for updates on future posts, be it SEO, Facebook Ads, Running an Agency or a Business. I promise not to spam you and only provide a ton of value to you folks.

Lastly, I hope that this information will be useful for those of you who have read through it. Please, PLEASE take action on this. I would love nothing more than to know that I made a difference for at least one person with this post.

To your Success


45 thoughts on “The ONLY Cold Email Outreach Guide You’ll Ever Need”

  1. I’m going to admit, i only scratched the surface reading this post – BUT such amazing value in such a short period of time – I’m going to go grab a Latte and sit down with this one. Truthfully, an adult man should not get so excited about a blog post – but anyway….Bring it. Thank you in advance for such a thought out Ultimate Guide.

    1. Thanks Frank! Glad you got insight from the post and I appreciate the kind words. Hope that when you finish your Latte and the post you get a ton of value and have a great day ahead! 🙂

      p.s./ we’ve all been there… adult men getting excited about nerdy blog posts 😛

  2. Hey Gabriel,

    Thanks for undertaking and sharing this MAMMOTH challenge and post!

    It’s just on 1am here and my head is now spinning with the info you shared…in a good way.

    Will read again over lunch tomorrow and start to put your guide into action.

    Have a great day 🙂

  3. Philip Harris

    Absolute quality Gabriel. Thank you so much for the effort you have put into this excellently informative and actionable detailed formula. top marketer an
    d human being my friend. Kudos to you Gabriel.

  4. Awesome write-up man! 🙂 Loving the pro tips re: using throw-away domains and reply automation sequences with zapier. Did you encountered any email delivery issues with sending out 200 emails (and F/U emails) per day?

    1. Hey David! Thanks for that I appreciate it.

      As long as you warm up the accounts progressively over 2-3weeks you shouldn’t have much issues with delivery. If you want to play it safe, I’d get more email accounts and distribute new emails across them.

  5. Gabriel – This is amazing! Going through it and can’t wait to implement. Thank you so much!
    – fyi, I tried to Subscribe via the opt in but waited too long to access files… Please let me know if this is still available.
    Regardless, Thank you!!!

  6. Superb post Gabriel!

    The integration stuff with Zapier is really cool and looking at this for a few tasks after seeing how straight forward to setup.

    Cheers mate

  7. Hi Gabriel, You’re probably enjoying Dinos wedding as I write 😉 Great Post. Will have to print out and read a few times to get my head around it all. I’ve got 3 domains for my agency. Main is (so i’ll leave that one be as its the main one) and i have a .com and .uk which I’ll use for emails. What’s the best way to warm up the 2 accounts. sending emails to people i know? and getting them to reply? Thanks for all your work on this. 😉


    1. Hey Christian!

      We just start the cold prospecting right away, but from 20 emails a day and slowly increase that to 200 over a period of 2 weeks.


  8. Forgot to thank you here, Amazing work Gabriel, truly grateful for this, this has saved me a ton of time, time is precious and damn expensive and you gave me that. Many thanks

    Adrian Cramer

  9. Hey Gabriel, thank you so much for this article – it’s solid gold!

    One problem I did encounter was that I entered my email to get the email sequence and I never received it. Is that still available?

    Also, possibly a dumb question, the cold email references a video and then is later referenced that it would be custom for each potential client. What type of video/audit is it? Does it just kind of go over their online presence and then the type of campaign we would set up for them?

    Any feedback would be most helpful.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hey Kevin,

      theres some issues w the form integration I am using at the moment so for some reason not everyone who signs up gets the form.
      I periodically check and manually send out the rest so you should have received it already, let me know if you haven’t.

      The video audit is available in the FCS group so just do a search and you should be able to find it 🙂


  10. Richard Lawton

    Hey Gabriel, Thanks for putting so much effort into this experiment and for then being so generous as to share it in such detail. Much appreciated. As mentioned by Yohan before me, I also tried to sign up twice and receive your email templates but without success. Is there a way to access them? I would love to put your teaching into action and they would be a great help! Thanks again!

    1. Hey Richard,

      You’re very welcome! Glad you found it helpful.

      theres some issues w the form integration I am using at the moment so for some reason not everyone who signs up gets the form.
      I periodically check and manually send out the rest so you should have received it already, let me know if you haven’t.

      I’d highly advise you to use it purely as a concept and guide though, and write your own/engage a copywriter


  11. Wow! that is the best post ever on how to get clients via cold email! I bought pixel scout and haven’t got round to using it yet. Now I’m excited!

  12. Isidro Jaruda Jr

    Great information Gabriel. The video you are sending to the prospects are the website audits? Thanks

    1. Hey Isidro,

      to be frank there is no fixed format for a video audit as it depends on the client / prospect, hence I did not include it in this blog post.

      It should include things as simple as suggesting changes to their website to help with their conversions (clearer text, call to actions, adding a facebook pixel, etc). Clients are not technical and you want to build as much rapport as you can without confusing them.

      Hope that helps.

  13. Gabriel, this is an awesome piece of work. Effectively, it is that “track to run on” that so many are looking for. Your effort in putting this is laudable! …and VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!
    I am sure that this will be the GOLDEN NUGGET in the vast realm of information that we wade through each day, that will be life changing for some.

  14. This is amazing! This could have definitely been sold and I would have bought it no problem. This post has soooooooooooooo much value its crazy.

    I really do appreciate this. It is getting me out of a rut and I love it. thank you very much again, Gabriel.
    1 question. Do we need to create 1 of these sequences per email account? for example, I have everything set up with one email account now to use a second or a third account do we need to do this process for every email account?

    1. Hey Kibsaim, appreciate the kind comment! Great to hear you’ve gotten value out of it 🙂

      For sequences, if you’re talking about using MailShake then yes, you need to set them up separately as you require one MailShake account per email account. I believe if you have the higher level subscription to manage all the accounts on 1 dashboard, you’re able to duplicate the sequences though I’m not 100% sure.

      What I typically did in the past (when I was more actively doing cold emailing) was set up a completely different sequence on each account, and target different niches so I can test everything across the board concurrently. Then double down on the variation that worked the best. Hope that answers your question!

      1. Kibsaim Hernandez

        yes, thank you very much! I’m actually using snov.o for the email campaigns and you can add as many email accounts as you need only thing is, of course, looks like I have to create new campaigns and new zaps for them as well. But it’s well worth the effort. so to send out per-say 600 emails a day to one niche then i need 9 campaigns which I can copy paste and 15 zaps total to make it all work.

        There should be an option built in to distribute the sending between email accounts that would be nice.

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