Cold calling is a hard way to get sales.

Half the time, you end up leaving voicemails that nobody listens to. And the other half, you’re getting hung up on.

But while cold calling might be hard, cold emailing is easy.

In fact, Bryan Kreuzberger says that cold emailing gets him a 90% response rate.

Bryan, the founder of Breakthrough Email, has used this cold emailing approach to win $20 million in new business from clients like Bank of America, Home Depot, and MasterCard.

In his Mixergy course, Bryan shows you how he uses cold email to close more sales. Here are three highlights from the course.

1. Use the Company Hierarchy

When you’re ready to send an email, you should send it directly to the decision maker, right?

Wrong, says Bryan. There’s a good chance they’ll blow you off, and then it’s game over. “Normally, it’s like, ‘sales guy, please cease and desist,’” he says.

Plus, it’s difficult to know who the decision maker really is. “Trying to find the right person for me to talk with who’s actually the decision maker is a long process,” he says.

So how do you find the decision maker and get them to hear you out?

Use the Waterfall Technique

Go directly to the top.

When Bryan wanted to pitch Best Buy, he wrote separate emails to the director of marketing, the VP of marketing, the CMO, and the CEO.

“I know the CEO of Best Buy isn’t the right person for me to talk to,” says Bryan. “But I can put together an email that is crafted from [their] perspective. They’ll just delegate it. And now [the person the CEO delegates to] has to take my meeting.”

Bryan says this technique uses the company’s hierarchy to your advantage. The request is coming down from the CEO to the manager, much like water flows down a waterfall. And if the CEO asks an employee to do something, they have to do it.

In the case of Best Buy, the VP of marketing emailed Bryan back, asking him to present to six executives, who he says he never could’ve found on his own.

2. Do Your Homework

For a cold email to work, you have to write about the things your prospects care about.

But how do you figure out what they care about?

“I don’t have the answers,” says Bryan. “Most of my clients don’t have the answers.”

For instance, Bryan says that when he asks current customers what they like about his service, “they’ll say, ‘Oh, you’re really responsive. Your service is great. We can always depend on you.’”

But “the person who is considering working with you doesn’t care about those things,” says Bryan. “That’s not where they are.”

So how do you get inside the mind of your prospects?

Ask the right questions

Ask your top clients about what their life was like before they started working with you.

“By asking the right questions, you can get the right phrases to understand what your client was dealing with, which is very likely the exact same thing that your prospects are dealing with,” says Bryan.

To do that, Bryan asks questions like, “What problem were you trying to solve?” And, “What convinced you to hire us?”

“We want [to know what] was really going on in their world at that time,” says Bryan. “Take notes…you want the actual words that your clients use…because we’re going to use those phrases in our email later on down the road.”

3. You Have Exactly Three Seconds

When you send a cold email, the first few sentences are critical.

But Bryan says that far too often, people write an email like this: “Hey, my name is Bryan Kreuzberger, I really think that we should meet.”

Those emails are quickly trashed. “If you’re hitting this executive, they’re looking at their phone, you have three seconds before they decide what to do with your e-mail,” says Bryan. “It’s like, ‘Hey, get to the point.’”

So how do you get to the point in three seconds?

State your purpose

Start with the right subject line, then explain your purpose.

“The subject line is ‘appropriate person,’” he says. Then Bryan writes, “I’m writing in hopes of finding the appropriate person who handles multi-cultural media? I also wrote to person X, person Y, and person Z in that pursuit. If it makes sense to talk, let me know how your calendar looks.”

“Your first couple of sentences should be consistent with your subject, because since this is a cold outreach, trust is really important,” says Bryan.