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Creating an Effective Prospecting Email

By Lynn Louis, KY APEX Accelerator Procurement Consultant


This article was originally published in our monthly KY APEX Accelerator Newsletter. If you have any questions about this topic, your KY APEX Accelerator consultant is here to help! Not a client? Sign up here.

In the government sector, prospecting emails are an essential part of a successful marketing strategy as they are used to introduce your business and services to potential customers. A prospecting email can be used in many different ways, such as after receiving a referral to an individual or department, after attending events or when making a cold contact. The following recommendations are suitable when the prospect is a government agency or a prime contractor.

Complete Market Research

Effective prospecting emails are written after market research has been conducted to understand the prospective business, the goals to be accomplished and the problem to be solved. The better you know the prospect, the easier it is to create the prospecting email. 

You may consider using to locate the agency’s small business office website. Other suggested places to research include agency procurement forecasts, government websites, social media accounts (especially LinkedIn), the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS), the System for Award Management (SAM) and

What are you looking for in your research? Your research should reveal if the prospect buys what you sell, how they buy products and how often they make purchases. Additionally, you should learn the point of contact within the organization and the procurement requirements or guidelines you will need to follow.

TIP: Engage or connect with the prospect on social media before sending an email by liking or commenting on a post.

Keep It Short 

You are not writing a dissertation, so keep your email short. The idea is to capture and keep the reader’s attention for a brief period. Two or three paragraphs with a 200-word maximum should suffice to deliver your message. The reader should be able to read the email and understand the message in less than one minute. When you clearly understand what you want and need to say, you can articulate your message in a few paragraphs.

Make It Personal

Use facts and information obtained through your research to make that personal connection with the prospect. It is not about your company; it is about building a relationship and establishing a foundation of trust with the prospect. Be sure to use the prospect’s name and tailor each email to be unique to the prospect. Do not use an email template.

Use a Referral

Using a referral can mitigate the “cold call” perception of the email. Finding a referral is not always as challenging as it may seem. Because the first person you connect with during your research is not always the correct point of contact, you may be advised to contact someone else within the organization. You can then list your initial point of contact as a referral on your next email.

For example, Mary Smith, the small business officer, may tell you to reach out to Jane Doe in procurement. In this case, when emailing Jane Doe, you could use Mary Smith as a reference by saying, “Ms. Smith recommended that I reach out to you.” 

Communicate Value

Share the value your solutions provide instead of focusing on selling your product or service. If you do not know the value your company can provide, it will be difficult to express how you can meet the needs of the prospect. Consider how they will benefit and explain how your company adds value through characteristics such as being agile, creative, innovative or responsive. 

Include a Call to Action

Clearly state the immediate action step you want the prospect to take and shy away from requesting multiple actions in one email. The call to action should be strategic to the goal you are trying to accomplish, which could be to review the capability statement, schedule a future call or connect at an upcoming event. 

Follow Up

After sending your prospecting email, it is important to follow up. Make a quick phone call to gauge interest in your services and answer any questions. Creating an effective prospecting email takes time and effort, but it can be a valuable tool for growing your business. By following these steps, you can create an email that resonates with your target audience and encourages action.

If you need assistance in creating a government contracting prospecting email, please reach out to your KY APEX Accelerator procurement consultant. You can also request assistance from our team by contacting us at or by registering as a client on our website


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