Why we’re trying something new with our cold approaches

We’re all about tailored, personalised first contact.

Late last year, we made the decision to share this video on our social channels.

We shared it because, well, quite simply, we really bloody like it.

But also – and more importantly – it represented the first product of a new tactical approach to how we engage potential new clients. An approach based on the idea of tailored, personalised first contact.

It’s since proved quite the talking point, so we thought – heck, let’s share our thinking behind it in our first blog of 2021!

Things began when we launched Early Sports Marketing back in November 2020.

As a new service in the sports sector, we knew we’d have to think differently to cut through and make strong first impressions. Especially in such strange times as a national lockdown.

The idea spawned from my experience of being on the receiving end of many a cold approach as a client at The FA.

Now when I say a lot, I’m talking two or three a day. Up to 15 a week. More than 780 a year.

And you know what? Very few, if any, ever stood out.

At first, I would read them. Give them the attention I felt the agency’s time and resources deserved. But in the end, I stopped reading and started deleting. It unfortunately became part of my day’s admin.

Quick, easy…gone.

I didn’t need to know what was in them because they were all pretty similar.

“Hi. We’re X agency. We do this kind of marketing. We’re really different from other agencies because we offer great service, but it’s different. We’d love some time to take you through it…”



Yes, every so often I could’ve been deleting ones that may have genuinely been interesting. But then again if they looked and felt generic, probably not.

So, when I joined Early Marketing & Creative, I put something forward to my management: We should do it differently.

We’re a creative agency, so let’s put our creativity up front right from the off instead of erecting unnecessary gateways for prospective clients to jump through just to see what we can do. Like follow up meetings. Or promises to share our creds deck as “an action”.

Let’s not be like everyone else. Instead, let’s identify clients we would love to work with and go all out on approaches completely tailored to them.

Show our creativity, our passion, our desire to work with them from minute one.

So, that’s what we’re doing.

We’ve identified a select target list for year one. And we start by spending time researching them, understanding as much as we can about their business, their customers, their tactics, the market they’re operating in.

Then, using that insight, we look for opportunities we believe they can exploit.  And we present them in a tailored creative approach they can’t ignore.

We then drop it in their inbox as something nice and shiny to look at at the end of their week.

It’s certainly a higher-risk strategy. We know without the context of their existing strategies, budgets, relationships, we may be delivering them ideas at a time when they’re just not thinking about new agency support. They may even just do what I did as a client and go straight for the delete button.

But, still, we feel it’s a risk worth taking in the pursuit of being brilliant, creative, and tailored in everything we do at every stage of our relationship with our clients.

Of course, like most things, we’ll forever be honing and building our capabilities with this through a trial and learn process. And time will tell on its success over the long-term.

But we’re committed to it and we’re excited by its potential to cut through and make positive first impressions. And hopefully lead to new clients.

What do you think of this approach? Do you agree on the need for agencies to find new ways of cutting through?

We’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you want to share them, drop us a line using the form below.

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