Speed Up Your Sales Funnel with Cold, Warm and Hot Messages

Speed up your sales cycle with hot, warm and cold messages image

As you try to speed up your sales funnel you realize that Marketing is tough!

But you want to know what makes it tougher? Not having a grasp on what’s really going on in the mind of your Ideal Customer.

That’s why you have to know your target … your buyer … the person you are selling to – inside and out.

Which is a big ask I know.

When You Know Your Buyer

But once you really get to know them and understand their wants, needs, opinions, emotions and real desires, what do you say to them to get them to buy?

Because that, afterall, is what we are trying to get them to do.

Well, once you understand the buyer’s journey and know that there are points along the journey where the buyers interact with you, you will start to see that cold, warm and hot messages are needed to speed up your sales funnel.

You Need Three Types Of Messages

These get their attention, build interest and create the desire to take action.

But If you were looking for examples of this out in the wild, you may not really see them at first. 

That’s because the advertising you see in your day to day life is interpreted by your mind as a blob of words that have no meaning because they don’t apply to you. 

But once you start paying attention and categorizing what’s being said, you see the cold, warm and hot messages come into focus.

For instance, let’s look at infomercials.

An infomercial, regardless of length, is designed to persuade you to purchase.

That means they want to take you from cold to warm to hot and finally to purchase as fast as possible.

Let’s look at a classic infomercial example – the original Ginsu Knife Commercial from the 80’s

Here’s the transcript of the Ginsu knife commercial that aired on February 8th, 1980:

“In Japan the hand can be used like a knife, but this method doesn’t work with a Tomato.

That’s why we use the Ginsu.

It’s a knife no kitchen should be without.

The Ginsu can cut a slice of bread so thin you can almost see through it.

It cuts meat better than an electric knife, and goes through frozen food as though it were melted butter.

The Ginsu is so sharp it can cut through a tin can and still slice a tomato like this.

It can chop wood and still remain razor-sharp.

Once more it’s a knife that will last forever.

How much would you pay for a knife like this?

Before you answer, listen, it even comes with a matching fork to make carving a pleasure.

Wait there is much, much more.

We also want you to have this 6 in 1 kitchen tool.

It peels and slivers carrots … peels potatoes and slices paper thin potato chips.

This amazing little knife even grates carrots, grates cheese and makes beautiful decorative vegetables.

How much would you pay for all these items?

Well, we’ll even give you a set of 6 precision steak knives. 

The handles even match the Ginsu

And to make the offer completely irresistible, you’ll get this unique spiral slicer.

Down and down, around and around, and you’ll have a beautiful garnish for your dinner table.

Now how much would you pay?

You get the Ginsu knife, the matching carving fork, the versatile 6-in-1 kitchen tool, a set of 6 steak knives and the spiral slicer.

You get them all guaranteed in writing for 50 years for only $9.95.

It’s the most incredible knife offer ever.

Here’s how to order:

Call toll-free 1-800-835-2246, or save C.O.D. charges by sending $9.95 to Ginsu box 6688 Chicago.

You get the Ginsu knife, matching carving fork, 6-in-1 kitchen tool, 6 steak knives and spiral slicer.

This is the original Ginsu –  the only knife offer with a 50-year guarantee.

Don’t accept imitations – order now!”

In this example, you can see cold, warm and hot messages arranged in order.

The Cold message begins at the first word and continues down to “How much would you pay for a knife like this?”

Then follows the Warm message from “Before you answer…” down to “Now how much would you pay?”

Finally, the Hot message starts at “You get the Ginsu knife, the matching carving fork, …” and continues until the end of the commercial.

When you look at the copy (written text) for this ad, your first inclination is to see this as one “thing.” That’s why we call it an “ad.”

But when you break it down, you start to see the pieces within it and even begin to see strange details that raise questions – like the second sentence, “That’s why we use the Ginsu.” Who is “we?”

Matching Your Messages to the Buyer’s Journey

You don’t easily recognize the Cold, Warm and Hot messages in an ad.

But the thing is … in order to speed up your sales funnel, it’s really important for you to know what, where, and how the cold, warm and hot messages work inside your sales pipeline and marketing funnel.

So here’s the definitions along with some examples to make it easier to understand.

Let’s use the classic AIDA formula which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

This formula represents the buyer’s journey. I know you probably weren’t told this before, but all the classic (and modern) marketing formulas represent the buyer’s journey.

Each stage of the buyer’s journey has a different goal as it relates to the buyer and their problem that needs to be solved.

I know this is weird, but I reworked the Goldilocks fairy tale to remember the goals associated with the phases of the AIDA buyer’s journey:

The three bears look at Goldilocks …

Cold says: “Do you have this problem?” (Are you starving?)

Warm says: “Here’s the solution.” (Here’s some tasty food that will make you happy. Eat and you will live)

Hot says: “and here’s what you get.” (It’s porridge, and there is some honey in it.)

Simple and effective. But now let’s expand on it a little.


The Cold message is the Attention stage. At this stage, the buyer doesn’t know about you … and they don’t really know about or fully understand their problem. It’s up to you to get their attention and hold it long enough to start presenting Warm messages to them.

The Cold messages are really problem based and use those problems to get attention.

Cold Message Examples:

  • Did you know, now you can put false eyelashes on in 30 seconds?
  • Would you like to generate more leads, connect with more prospects, have more conversations and meetings and generate more sales?
  • Are you feeling tired, sluggish, and afraid people are going to start calling you fat?


The warm message is the Interest stage. In the beginning of this stage, the buyer knows about their problem, the problem they would like to solve, and/or the promise you are making – but they still don’t know about you and if they should listen to you.

As they progress through the stage they come to trust you more and more. Especially if you are giving them something of value and appear to know what is important to them.

The warm messages consist of benefit statements and promises.

Warm Message Examples:

  • It’s less messy. You don’t have to struggle with glues. There is no damage to your eyelashes.
  • What if your sales and marketing teams could work together to provide a better user experience for your leads and prospects. What if it sped up the time and lowered the cost to acquire and close leads? What if you could get all the leads you wanted and had a complete, affordable, semi-automated process to attract, and capture leads, convert them to customers and retain them for two to three times longer?
  • Imagine feeling healthy and vibrant. Your body feels loose and supple. You glow from the inside, beaming with radiant health, vitality and energy.


The Hot message is the Desire stage. In this stage, the buyer knows about their problem, knows about one or more solutions, and is now choosing vendors. 

The most important thing to know about this is, the buyer has probably already made up their mind when they looked at the cold and warm messages of the available solutions. The buyer has already been mentally “branded” by the sights, sounds, and feelings they experienced during the exposure to cold and warm messages.

But now, they are reviewing, and trying to second guess themselves. Which does happen, but it’s rare. 

It’s typically the first, or second and better solution they saw that gets the sale. Which is why quality Cold messages broadcasted widely are super important.

In the case of several companies having compelling cases for their products or services, it creates friction in the buyer and they either have some form of regret, or they postpone their purchase.

I realized this with my friends who still play golf, and from when I played. 

What do golfers want to do? Hit the ball 300 yards off the tee, straight-down the middle. 

How do they do that? With the newest driver – designed to make all their drives do just that.

But after having read all the information and brochures on the latest and greatest, most-popular drivers – how do you choose? Everyone makes a compelling case. 

This driver corrects my slice. That driver won more tournaments. The other driver is known to hit longer. Heck, it might even be illegal to use in tournaments because it’s so forgiving and explosive.

Anyway, that’s another huge topic altogether, but as you can tell by the example above, there is a lot of micro-focusing on the solution done in this stage.

And that micro-focusing and “trying it on” is what creates the desire for the solution – because the buyer is making movies in their head about all the benefits they are going to get and how it’s going to change their lives.

Hot Message Examples:

  • Just put on our special magnetic eyeliner like you would usually put on your eyeliner;  place the magna-lash on your eyelashes, and it “snaps” into place! No more … ( repeat warm messages … )
  • The Client Magnet System organizes all your sales and marketing processes into one system that is aligned to give you exponentially greater results at less cost, in less time. This isn’t a “funnel” or a “campaign” or a “tactic” this is a complete system designed to make you the dominant player in your market. ( repeat warm messages … )
  • Get in the best shape of your life easily with BodyFlow. We use a mixture of high-intensity training, weightlifting, body sculpting, cardio, and yoga to create a powerful fat-burning, body-shaping system that gets results. ( repeat warm messages … )

Wrapping Up

Before I wrap up this post on speeding up your sales funnel, I want to mention three things you should know.

First, I consider the offer as part of the Hot message. But it also stands on its own. Using the AIDA formula, I like to think of the Action stage as the home for the purchase and onboarding messages.

That puts the offer in the Hot message / Desire stage.

But there are other formulas than AIDA – and I move the “Offer” wherever it needs to be to make those formulas work. 

Second, you don’t have to start every message with a cold message. This is what most marketers do, which is why you don’t recognize Cold, Warm, and Hot messages in the wild.

Consider this message: 

“See Marketo in action – Watch a 4 minute demo”

Is that a cold message?

No. Obviously it’s a hot message isn’t it? 

The thing is, you could go-to-market with a warm message or a hot message for people who already know about the problem and are looking for a solution, or people who know about the solution, but are looking for the best vendor.

Third, Warm messages are buried within Cold and Hot messages. They span the entire buyer’s journey. 

Once you get someone’s attention, you can only talk about their problem for so long until you have to point to the solution and all the awesome benefits that will change their lives forever.

So that cold message ends warm.

A warm message typically starts warm and ends hot.

And a Hot message starts warm, heats up and keeps pushing warm messages before it gives an offer.

Adopting this idea, another way to look at the AIDA formula stages is:

Cold – Attention you unique person. If you are experiencing X, there is Y available and it gives these benefits.

Warm – The benefits of Y.

Hot – The features of the Y solution and the benefits (what it means to you) – here’s how to order.

Give Me Your Feedback

I hope you enjoyed reading this article “How to speed up your sales funnel with cold, warm and hot messages” and have a good idea of the differences between the different types of messages (Cold, Warm and Hot).

I’d like to know if you found this article helpful or useful. And if you are already using messaging for each stage of the buyer’s journey like this, what tips and tricks, realizations and ideas have you had?

I’d love to hear!


About Michael Miller

Mike Miller is the co-owner of Mindwhirl.com, a Digital Marketing Agency in Atlanta, Georgia that focuses on aligning sales and marketing for exponentially greater results.

Michael’s mission is helping small business owners understand, and organize their marketing so they can make money and grow.

Mindwhirl helps business owners plan and implement effective, profitable marketing campaigns and sales programs.

If you need more sales, we know how to get leads and grow businesses. Call us today at (770) 295-8660, or email Mike at mmiller@mindwhirl.com.

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