Best Cold Emailing Practices to Help You Reach Genuine Engagement

November 13, 2023

Veljko Ristić

Cold Emailing: Strategies To Connect With Anyone

Do you feel like your email marketing efforts aren’t reaping the results you had in mind? It might be time to take a closer look at the art of cold emailing.

Contrary to its name, cold emailing should feature a warm, engaging approach. It’s not just about reaching out. It’s about forging new relationships and expanding your clientele.

In this guide, we’ll prove that with the right strategies, you can establish contact with anyone.

The strength of cold emailing in business communication

Cold emailing is a pivotal element in contemporary business communication, although it’s clear that cold emails can’t replace inbound marketing. Still, they do the trick as an additional way to stimulate growth in the short term while inbound campaigns gain momentum.

A cold email isn’t intended to sell. The role of a cold email strategy is to spark the interest of a potential business partner and continue communication through another channel, usually a call or a meeting. Hence, it’s often called outreach email.

Usually, you’d knock on an unfamiliar recipient’s inbox folder with a specific goal in mind. Each email should have its own unique goal, all of which align with your overarching marketing strategy. 

stats on the average response rate for cold email

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Initially, outreach increases brand awareness and gives you the opportunity to introduce your business and yourself to a new contact. 

The features that make cold email such a powerful tool also attract the attention of scammers and spammers. If you plan to use this technology to promote your business, you need to ensure that:

  • Your emails aren’t considered spam from a legal point of view.
  • Your emails aren’t perceived as spam by users (for example, due to irrelevant content).

The legislation regarding commercial email is the US Anti-Spam Act (CAN-SPAM Act) and the GDPR in Europe. In a nutshell, it prohibits using misleading information in the email header or subject line.

Nevertheless, cold mails have a number of advantages that set them apart from other types of outbound marketing.

1. Reach new customers

The primary purpose behind cold emailing is to introduce your business to individuals who may be unaware of your existence. This is why you collect new contacts through a LinkedIn email finder, pop-up forms, lead magnets, or other ways to discover new leads. Your task is to establish a contact as a basis for further correspondence. That allows you to showcase your best offerings and strengthen brand building.

The term “cold” highlights this unfamiliarity. Per a study by klenty.com, ‌reply rates for such emails can escalate to 8.5%. That means for every 1,000 cold emails you send whether CC or BCC, you could expect up to 85 replies.

2. Save time and money

Cold emailing isn’t about sending messages into the digital void. It’s a cost-effective alternative to hefty advertising and marketing expenditures. The right approach can help with cold email personalization for different potential customer groups. Thus, you can save precious time over individual outreach.

3. Generate interest in your business.

One of the downsides to cold emails is that they can seem impersonal at first. But, if you write them properly (we’ll show how later), they can generate interest in your business.
Offer something valuable to the recipient, and you’ll establish a business relationship and earn their trust. This way, cold emails can be an effective way to build a strong and long-lasting customer base.

Research and personalization: The Key ingredients to effective cold emails

graphic showing cold email stats on personalization

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Two factors stand out in email marketing: research and personalization. Whether drafting a cold email or strategizing for broader email marketing campaigns, one mantra remains pivotal: Know your audience.

Gathering information on the recipient:

Before you type the first word, delve into the recipient’s world. Understand their company, recent ventures, accolades, and any pertinent news. Use open sources, their self-representation on a profile site, and set up social listening.

LinkedIn, in particular, can be a treasure trove of information. This could involve insights from individual professionals on LinkedIn, where many professionals share their experiences and expertise in their respective fields. By tapping into these resources, you not only demonstrate your commitment to understanding their background but also showcase your industry knowledge and awareness. This comprehensive research approach not only enhances the effectiveness of your email but also sets the stage for meaningful engagement and collaboration.

Apply what you discover:

Mention recent achievements of the recipient’s company. Another way is to correlate current industry news with your offerings. That’ll make your email stand out.

For example, you learned about a recent award that the company received for its product. And your solution successfully complements the achievement and opens up opportunities for collaboration.

Add substance with data:

An email full of relevant industry statistics or data about your proposal doesn’t just sound professional. It also speaks to credibility. It’s ‌tangible proof of the value you bring to the table. Don’t be afraid to open up your reporting and introduce readers to authoritative indicators of your growth and prospects.

Avoid one-size-fits-all:

Generic templates or bulk emails are cold email customization’s nemesis. Instead, tailor your message to resonate with the recipient’s unique needs and interests. A personalized touch, a reference, or a mutual connection can bolster your email’s engagement quotient.

Personalized content is the secret sauce that can transform a mundane email into a compelling conversation starter. By crafting content that speaks directly to the recipient’s pain points, goals, or interests, you demonstrate attentiveness and relevance.

Segment for success:

The Writecream group highlighted that segmented email campaigns generated a whopping 36% of total cold email revenue. Prepare segmented content pieces for your audience and cater specifically to their interests.

chart showing main barriers to effective email marketing
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The tone is everything:

While sounding casual or familiar is tempting, remember that a cold email is often the first impression. Opt for an official but friendly tone steeped in professional language. It strikes the right balance, fostering trust and underscoring your credibility.

With these tips, your cold emails won’t be just another notification in someone’s inbox. Use them to show how thoughtful personalization and preparation compel recipients to engage.

Use an attention-grabbing subject line that encourages open rates

chart of open rates according to email subject line lengths

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The email subject line is the first thing potential clients see, and in many ways, it determines whether they’ll open the letter or send it to the trash. The necessity to stand out makes the email’s subject line a symbolic gateway into its content. Here’s how to craft that perfect, curiosity-inducing subject line.

  • Conciseness is Key: With today’s diminished attention spans, brevity reigns supreme. Keep it six to ten words and avoid details you can move to the body. A concise subject line offers a clear snapshot of the email’s essence.
  • Be Direct, Not Vague: Subject lines like “Unlock Your Potential” are ambiguous. Instead, the message line “5 Proven Steps to Boost Your Coding Skills” speaks directly to the reader’s interest.
  • Tease Curiosity, Not Clickbait: Curiosity-inducing subject lines like, “The future of web development is here: are you ready?” can pique interest. Still, your task is to ensure the content delivers on its promise. Remember, trust, once broken, is hard to mend.
  • Evade Spam’s Grasp: Certain words can trigger spam filters. Phrases promising grandeur, like “Shed Pounds Instantly”, always sound spammy. Be sure to avoid other words that endanger relegating your email to the dreaded spam folder:
A list of spam-triggering phrases to avoid

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  • Be Recognizable: Your sender profile matters. A genuine photo, a recognizable name, and a professional email address can imbue trust. It’s the virtual equivalent of a firm, confident handshake. The same applies to the email signature, which can play the role of your business card. Make sure that the recipient has all the credentials for the feedback.

Personalized email subject lines aren’t just about custom-tailored content. They’re about creating a moment of connection in a digital world saturated with impersonality. When done right, they forge a bond with the recipient.

The art of writing a compelling cold email body

Cutting through the media noise requires more than a catchy email subject line. The real essence lies in the cold email body. It is a place where persuasive writing techniques marry value propositions. This unity creates a narrative compelling enough to garner a response. Here’s a guide to mastering this art.

  • Set the Email Tone with the Opening Lines: They capture attention and hint at the value you’re offering.
  • Address the Pain Points: Show that you’ve done your homework. Identify challenges they might face and demonstrate how you can alleviate them. The key is to make them realize they need what you’re offering before introducing it.
  • Offer Relevant Solutions: Describe how your product or service can solve their challenges. Remember, relevance is the linchpin holding your email’s narrative together.
  • Leverage Social Proof: Mention companies you’ve worked with or share success stories. Add weight to your proposition, showing that others have benefited from your offerings.
  • Demonstrate Your Expertise: The cold email body should exude your industry knowledge. Using industry-specific terms emphasizes your authority. It assures the recipient you’re not any other generic sender.
  • Keep It Concise: While details matter, brevity is equally important. Use concise sentences, bullet points, or bold fonts to emphasize crucial parts.
  • Define Your Objective: Clearly lay out what you expect from the recipient, whether it’s a phone call, a meeting, or feedback.
  • Evoke Action with a CTA: An effective call to action (CTA) goes beyond just asking. Offer a free trial, a downloadable resource, or an exclusive offer. The goal is to make the next step as frictionless and enticing as possible.
Three important tips to create an engaging CTA

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Crafting an impeccable cold email body isn’t about bombarding the recipient with information. It’s about building a narrative where each sentence flows into the next.

Remember that the most effective cold emails make the recipients feel valued. 

Follow-up strategies: Maximizing your chances

The art of cold emailing is one aspect of effective communication. The next phase, equally vital, is the follow-up. 

Statistically, follow-up emails triple the chance of getting a response. Persistence and timing make the difference.

Space out your follow-up emails judiciously. The general recommendation is to do the first one after three days and the second seven days after the initial outreach. It gives your prospect enough time to process the original email and keeps your proposition fresh.

Your follow-ups should include more than just reiterating what the first email said. Add something new. It may be an article relevant to their industry. Add recent news to strengthen your proposition.

Each follow-up is a chance to approach the prospect from a slightly different angle. Present various facets of what you’re offering. It deepens their understanding and showcases your depth.

Persistence is key in conversions. However, being overly persistent without adding value can border on annoyance. The tone should be understanding and patient, acknowledging their busy schedules.

Conclude your follow-up emails with an open-ended question. Instead of passive statements, questions provoke thoughts and often compel a response.

Cold email follow-up sequence

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Thus, follow-ups to cold emails require a symbiosis of ‌craft and science. The science is in the persistence, timing, and leveraging tools for maximum efficiency. The synergy of these elements determines the efficacy of your outreach strategy. Remember, it’s not about inundating the prospect with messages but making each communication count.

Effective cold emailing tips for successful cold emailing

If executed poorly, a cold email campaign can give off spam-like vibes and not pass through a scrupulous check of mailbox settings. It could deter potential clients or partners. When done right, it becomes an important touchpoint in your product discovery session. The crux of email outreach success is a fine line between assertive outreach and overwhelming inboxes.

Here’s a recap of what to keep in mind: 

  1. Limit Bulk Sends: Avoid sending hundreds of emails in one go; it’s a surefire way to get flagged as spam.
  2. Right Tools: When in doubt, find the cold email software that suits you. Usually, such systems offer a wide range of services, from the automation of mailings to the ability to report on campaign results.
  3. Setting the Right Tone: It’s essential to first establish a connection before asking for any favors or sales. 
  4. Professional Signature: Your email signature can be a trust-building tool. Include your name, designation, and a direct contact number. Linking to professional profiles like LinkedIn provides a way for recipients to verify your credibility.
  5. Track the Results: The job isn’t over once you hit ‘send’. Tracking your cold emails gives you insights into open rates, response rates, and areas of improvement. 
  6. Mobile-Friendly Approach: Data indicates that between 48% and up to 85% of users, depending on the age group of users, open emails on mobile devices. No wonder crafting mobile-optimized emails can increase engagement rates.

To sum up

When it comes to cold email campaigns, no one can promise it’ll be easy, but it’s definitely worth it. Mastering cold emailing requires practice, patience, and understanding your audience.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s essential to be flexible. Experiment with different email styles, subjects, and content. Send out variations of your emails to different segments of your audience. You’ll get invaluable insights into what resonates most with your target group.

Remember, first impressions matter, and your message is that all-important first handshake.

Veljko Ristić
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Veljko Ristić

Linguist by trade, and a digital marketer at heart, Veljko Ristić is a Content Manager who’s been in the online space for 10+ years. From ads to e-books, he’s covered it all as a writer, editor, project manager, and everything in between. Now, his passion is with email infrastructure, with a strong focus on technical content and the cutting-edge in programming logic and flows. But he still likes spreading his gospels while blogging purely about marketing.