Cracking the Outbound Code: Messaging, Sequences & Email Frameworks (2/2)

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Diving right into pt.2 of cracking outbound w. Jason Vargas.

Setting up cadences / sequences

Let’s talk about how we set up your cadences or sequences in your SEP (Sales Engagement Platform).

A lot of organizations that we work with, a lot of times their first email says a lot about why they’re reaching out, and then all the other steps are like “following up”, “what do you think?”.

Often times the touches feel very disjointed.

So the structure that we use is what we call “value sets”.  Think of them as a mini cadence within the larger cadence, where the first e-mail drives the main value prop.

What are we trying to say, what’s the pain we’re trying to address?

And then all those additional touches have the same theme as the initial email, which that’s what the value proposition is. So all the resources point back to that, all the emails point back to that, whatever else we’re doing points back to that.

Now if that value proposition doesn’t resonate, then the next value proposition comes after that.

Now we’re talking about a new proposition for that particular persona. All the resources, calls, emails, bumps, whatever, they all push back to the new value prop. Again, we’re just driving that.

So you end up having three different value propositions to the prospect you’re reaching out to. So if one doesn’t resonate, maybe the other will and maybe spark a conversation. So that’s typically how we structure our sequences/cadences for our customers.

This is a simple. really effective way to be able to create and provide more context and more content for the people that you’re reaching out to:

Founder Question

How simple should the reply bumps be? Especially for people, and do you bifurcate it for people who have responded and haven’t responded? Do you try to bring people back in with providing some value instead of just the follow up? Would  love to know how you look strategically at the reply bumps.


Yeah, so the reply bumps we actually always have it in the last step within that value set because we’ve sent resources, we sent a lot of things that were valuable and so we typically don’t just say, hey, any thoughts? That used to work really well back in the day. And everyone’s like, oh my God, everyone adopted that. So the moment you got that email, like, okay, this is the automated email, so it is short and sweet, but we reference the resource that we sent, or a little bit about the value prop.

We do have a little short sentence or a one liner, but it’s not the “any thoughts” kind of email anymore. But the intention is you really want to drive back to all the previous actions that were done.

Another thing to point out here, after this first email, it’s all replies for the value set and then the next value set is a new subject line and everything is a reply back to that subject line and then the same here.

Sequence / Cadence Weaving

The other thing we started doing for our customers that works really well is we call it sequence or cadence weaving, see below:

What weaving really is, if you ever look at your own experience, when a rep reaches out to you and they call you, the experience feels (again) kind of disjointed. And so when we are designing, we look at, okay, if I’m sending an email, I want to reference that, “Hey Mike, I’m going to give you a call in a couple of days if I don’t hear back from you”.

And then when you call him and if you’re leaving a message it’s, “Hey Mike, I sent you an email a few days ago” So again you’re pointing back to another touch. So again you’re referencing it. “And afterward Mike, I’ll reach out to you on LinkedIn, I’ll connect with you and send you a message there”. So you’re literally tying each step together. So it really feels like this organic experience.

Founder Question

Most people do have some of the main basic tooling, but not everyone’s using a sales engagement platform, at least at the moment. But for something like sequence weaving, because this is a really powerful concept, how do you suggest teams track and organize it if they don’t have a sales engagement platform in the early days? Is there a way to track and manage it?


Yeah, you’ll have to use something like an SEP (and there are cheaper solution) or you’ll have to use your CRM or anything that can capture this data if the activity is getting logged somewhere. Is it more from a tracking standpoint or is it more of like a measuring standpoint?


I would say a bit of both. But even just tracking, as you mentioned, making this a pretty human experience that flows nicely, it feels a little bit more natural when you’re talking about coming at it from multiple channels with individual accounts. Maybe you want your reps tracking that and they’re able to do it, but just wasn’t sure if you’ve seen before. You have maybe the full tool stack, like how someone can organize and track that and still get that as best as they can. That pretty natural flowing experience without maybe having as much tooling at your disposal.


The SEPs make it easier, but if you’re designing templates that your reps can use and even if you did in the spreadsheet, like day one you’re doing this, day two you’re doing that. You want to write the messaging and the scripts, the emails,  in a way that the last thing that email says is, “hey, I’m going to follow up with a phone call”. You want to write your scripts with, hey, I left you or sent you an email, I’m going to take an action on LinkedIn next. The SEP just makes it much easier to execute and from a tracking standpoint as well. But by any means, we write all this in a Word doc initially as we’re building this out. So you can build that experience into your messaging.

If you guys are doing this manually and setting up templates within Gmail, for example, you can still get the same result. Again, it’ll be a little more manual, a little more difficult, but doesn’t mean you can’t do it because it’s built into the messaging itself.

Pain / Personalization

All right, so here is the pain and personalization. So what is the pain they’re experiencing, What’s the reason why you’re reaching out?

What’s the risk to them, what are they going to continue experiencing and then what’s the offer, what’s the solution to the pain that you’re offering? So when we craft emails, this is a structure that we design our emails for our customers, using the pro framework pain (above) or personalization. This is where if you understand what their pain is and you’re reaching out to using a high touch framework, you have a lot of data you can personalize a little bit more.

If they don’t do anything different, what’s the risk to them? And then what’s the offer, how are you going to solve the problem? This is a process that we use:

So once you’ve done all of these things, especially for reps this is what you can add into your play design is first understanding who’s your audience, who you’re targeting, where do you find them?

Where are you going to find them? And what are you going to provide them?

Are they going to live in your CRM? Where are they going to live for your reps to be able to go find them and execute on them?

Messaging strategy based on the data and research you do have available by your audience, what is your relevant message going to be? What are the touches? What’s the approach going to be? And how will you effectively prioritize and engage your audience across touch points? Again, that’s part of all play design.

And then the one thing when you’re designing a play is what’s the next action? How will you manage the outcome and plan for next steps? If they don’t reply, what are you going to do with them? Oftentimes when we get into someone’s SEP, there are thousands and thousands of leads who have only gone through one sequence of cadence and now sit in purgatory.

So you want to make sure as you’re thinking about that, don’t just reach out to someone one time and then never talk to them again, or reach out to them again. You want to plan for what is the outcome? Or if they do reply, what’s the outcome, how do they address that? So these are the four things that we typically look at when we’re also designing the strategy: audience messaging, strategy, engagement and next action.

Founder Question 

How do you balance the creativity of reps or your best reps wanting to have some autonomy versus just the consistency of messaging, how you’re positioning your product and the pain point of the potential customers. It’s always a bit of a difficult one. So how have you found a healthy balance between those two?


Yeah, great question

We get that a lot as well, especially now that Chat GPT is in play.

So we build that into the messaging. First part, leaving space for them to personalize. And then the second thing is training.

And then how do you then take all that information and craft it in a way that’s relevant?

That we try and train them into. That’s really important. If you’re going to give them the space to personalize, awesome.

But you also have to be responsible to train them on where to find it.

Be very specific, and go find the data on LinkedIn. Teach them how to then take that information and create a sentence that is very relevant and makes sense based on that data. If you can do that, then I will give reps free rein all day long to be able to personalize that. And if not, then it’s the standardized message.

It’s not going to be 100% perfect, But if you can be responsible for that sentence and where they find the data and how they take the data and craft a message, that’s where you have a little more level of control while giving them autonomy.

👀 More for your eyeballs

Huberman never disappoints and this is a good one on how to enhance performance and learning by applying a growth mindset.

👂 More for your eardrums

Joined this week by the VP of Marketing at, Nicole Smith👏 She shares an extremely tactical 4-part framework on aligning Sales & Marketing, a topic that we can all relate to.

🚀 Start-ups to watch: 

Capchase got featured in SaaStr’s blog this week. Great SaaS businesses are still charging ahead🔥

🔥Hottest GTM job of the week: 

Product Manager at Magical, more details here.

See more top GTM jobs here

I’ll leave you with this study on giving feedback/praising team members that I found interesting:

“Praise for intelligence can undermine children’s (and adults) motivation and performance.

Praise for ability is commonly considered to have beneficial effects on motivation. Contrary to this popular belief, six studies demonstrated that praise for intelligence had more negative consequences for students’ achievement motivation than praise for effort.

Fifth graders praised for intelligence were found to care more about performance goals relative to learning goals than children praised for effort.

After failure, they also displayed less task persistence, less task enjoyment, more low-ability attributions, and worse task performance than children praised for effort.

Finally, children praised for intelligence described it as a fixed trait more than children praised for hard work, who believed it to be subject to improvement.

These findings have important implications for how achievement is best encouraged, as well as for more theoretical issues, such as the potential cost of performance goals and the socialization of contingent self-worth.” – The American Psychological Association

*you can go deeper on this in the Huberman video shared above*

Go spread some words of encouragement for someone’s work ethic today vs. their ability. It’s still tough out there and we could all use some extra motivation.

Thanks for reading.

Enjoy your weekend.

Barker ✌️

Before helping found GTMfund, Scott spent 4 years at Outreach as Director of Strategic Engagement. He was in charge of aligning key relationships with VCs, BoDs, ecosystem partners and community members to drive revenue and strategic initiatives across Outreach. Scott initially ran revenue/partnerships for Sales Hacker (which was acquired by Outreach in 2018). Prior to Sales Hacker, he led and built outbound Business Development teams at Payfirma and MediaValet. Scott also advises for a number of high growth start-ups and is the host/author of The GTM Podcast and The GTM Newsletter. At GTMfund, Scott leads all fundraising efforts and runs the media arm of the firm. He’s also responsible for assessing investments, team management, LP/community relationships and GTM support for founders.

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