I do a good deal of business development. My outbound tactic of choice is email. It’s so much better than phone. It’s more polite. People opt-in to email. Like an ad, they choose to read or not to read. The outbound phone call is intrusive; it doesn’t take into consideration the recipient. Bad form, in my opinion.
When doing outreach, I find it is best to be you-focused rather than me-focused. That is to say, attempt to find something of a compelling nature that interests the email recipient. The more strategic the better. Now I’m not going to go all “where is the pain point” on you. I never read that pop marketing book, but I can tell you the last thing a prospect wants to talk about with a stranger is her or his business pain. (Probing so is impolitic and impolite.)
One more thing, when your first email does not get a response. Don’t be discouraged. A couple of days later, send the same one again leaving the Re. in the subject line. You’ll be surprised how often you get a response. It shows you are persistent and it gives readers who see the first email message on their smarties a chance to respond while at their desk.
In my view, biz/dev emails are not spam if there is something of value in them…of value to the prospect. The higher the value the more likely there will be a response. Be brief, be selfless and it’s okay to infuse the waters with a little personality. Peace.