How many spam emails do you get every day? I'll bet most of your emails never even get to the person you are looking for- they end up in their spam filter.
I'm not sure what you mean by "potential partners", but at the very least you need to call them. And prepare and reherse your pitch before you get on the phone.
Make them come to you. That means building/doing something that they find interesting or that makes them curious. You will have far more success if you can get them to look for you.
If they do not respond, take that as a no. Just keep running your business independently of their response.
If you really want them to respond, you can try to see if you can get an introduction. An introduction will increase the chance of response by a huge factor.
But really, if it isn't a totally crucial connection, I'd just focus on growing your business. If they see you growing and doing well, they will come around and reach out to you at some point.
Patience and the ability to be patient, is often very helpful in these matters.
As mentioned above, cold calls and unsolicited emails rarely work, particularly with business development deals like this. Instead, find other ways to speak to these companies. I don't have much context about your business here, but these are some of the ways you can get in touch with the right people:
Once you get a real conversation going with someone ask if he or she is the right person to talk to. If not, ask for an introduction to someone who handles their partnerships- once you're in the door, getting passed over to the right person usually isn't too hard.
In the development of partnerships -- you need to conceptualize it as a B2B sales campaign. As such you need to have a very focused and clean sale.
The B2B sale on partners has two compoents:
1. The sale of the business
2. The sale of the business opportunity.
Your communications and supporting collateral must effectively address both sales propositions in a one-two punch.
First a review of the key points on a B2B sale:
Identify your targets : -- not just by group, but by name. Not just the name of the company-- the name of there decision maker. Not just the decision maker but the people that need to give you access to the decision maker.
Know your targets : Who they are? What organizations and groups are they part of? Where did they go to school? What common interests do you have? What people in common do you know? How are they connected to your network? What church do they attend? Are they a major political donor? Is there a non-profit they care about?
Who knows them? --How will you connect with them? Who will give you the referral? Who do they share their "pain points" with? How will you end up accross the table referred by a trusted advisor?
Be prepared to pay -- There are people who charge for access, charge for the research, charge to tell you just when to call son-in-so and say that so-in-so called. Don't write these people off. Your market is about who knows who-- and if you don't -- well, you better be willing to pay the person who does.
Customize your message -- Know why your product will make sense for this company. Do research. Personalize your presentation. Convert every general to a specific. I don't want to know how much it could save -- tell me how much it will save ME. You better know what the critical pain is of the buyer and how you are resolving it. If your not -- don't waste their time or yours.
Practice, Practice, Practice -- Your voice mail message is a pitch. You phone convversation is a pitch. Your "coffee" will be a pitch. Every single word should be written. Crafted. This poetry not prose. (Obviously my answers on here would no be a good guide) Practice deliveri in front of mirror. On video camera. Over the phone to a friend. here on a chat board. To a stranger in the elevator. Polish it. Improve it.
Assume the close -- Have the contract, Have the deal, have the offer, . . . . be ready when they are no matter what. (I showed up to a closing meeting a week ago Monday with the contract. they agreed. I pulled it out. And then . . . no pen. I had to go and borrow one from the server. Doh.)
Current Campaign Now lets go to the very specifics of your current "campaign". Lets call it "Cold Mailing" Here are proposed steps after the email:
Network Campaign : Find a event that your target will attend. Plan to attend. Plan to position yourself accross from them. get into conversation. Trade business cards. Follow up with an personalized email that you would like to: Continue the conversation we started at the about how could add value to their clients by .
Referral Campaign : Find someone who knows your target well. Meet with them. Explain. Ask for help. Know specifically what you need. Have a sample referral note all ready drafted. Provide it. Have the referrer send a mutual introduction email. You follow-up with an email -- and a phone call.
Air-cover campaign : Write a white paper around a case study. Distribute it through appropriate business channels. Send advanced notices of it to the prospective partners requesting their personal feedback. Blog in support of its distribution. Host a webinar in discussion of the white paper's findings. Make sure that all of the prospective partners receive personalized invitations to the webinar.
Mix these three campaigns together for the same target group. You will get your partners.
Rarely does a "cold call" approach to soliciting partners/investors bear fruit. You need to network and form relationships with people that work for or know other people within the companies with which you want to do business. Most business gets done by referrals/word of mouth.
Bottom line: you are the gatekeeper. Start opening gates by winning new friends/contacts.