Mostafa Dastras April 16th, 2020

The 3 Ingredients of an EffectiveCold Emailing Campaign

Outreaching is still the first way some businesses approach customer acquisition. SEO, social media marketing, paid advertising, etc. could all do wonders but you have a huge budget and a dedicated team to see results from them. 

Cold emailing, SMS marketing, messenger marketing, etc. or any other form of outreaching, on the other hand, are still low-hanging fruit. The tools you need to implement them are cheap compared to SEO tools, you won’t need to wait for months or years to see serious results, and obviously they’re a great way to form a good relationship. 

Contrary to what most people think, cold emailing is not a numbers game. The 2% response rate from cold emailing is typically the result of sending recklessly composed emails to random people. If you want your cold emailing to stats to hit the roof, you really need to have a strategy in place and consider cola emailing as a marketing channel that needs dedicated time and effort. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the 4 main strategies you need to have in your cold emailing campaigns to boost your response rates and land prospects. 

1. Figuring who you should reach out to

Targeting the right person and email address is the key step in a successful cold email. Missing out one or two of the other steps in your cold emailing might not have a lethal effect. You might still get a response from people. But missing out the right person and email address right off the bat simply ruins the whole process. 

In some cases, an email through a contact form might do the trick for you, but in most cases, you really need to find the right decision-maker to send an email to. Obviously the right decision-maker is the one you’re trying to help with your cold email. If you’re offering a product that could help a company with their link building, you need to reach out to the SEO manager or content manager of that company. Depending on the size of the company, you could reach out to these roles:

0-10 employees: The decision-maker is usually the CEO, unless the company has co-founders in the vertical you’re selling into (e.g., CTO for Product, CMO for Marketing) or has experienced VPs.

10-50 employees: VPs generally have buying power here.

50-500 employees: At this size, look for specialized roles, such as Sales Manager, Business Development Manager, etc..

500+ employees: Find regional, specialized roles, such as East Coast Rep, North America Rep, New York City Rep, etc.

To find out these people and their email addresses, the first thing you should do is check out their “about us” or “our team” page. You might find the right person and their email address there. If this didn’t work out, you could check out the company’s LinkedIn page. Then search for specific roles in that company. You could then use a tool such as Hunter or ZeroBounce’s free email verifier to find out the email address of that person. 

2. Truthful communication

This one goes a long way. The whole idea of sending cold emails to people is proposing help with their specific problems. And of course, everybody knows the help won’t be free so there you go -- you sell. 

For this, you need to have a good understanding of their problems and their needs and you need to state it as clearly as possible. So the whole email would be about them not you. 

Being truthful in cold emailing is the only way you can make sure people trust you in the long run. 

Avoid tricking people into opening your emails or clicking on your links. The negative effect of your clickbait subject lines will be effected when people find it out. Here are some examples of clickbait subject lines I’ve found in my own inbox: 

  • Want my website?” (offering an affiliate link to sell me his website theme)
  • “I told you not to do this” (I had no previous communication with them)
  • “Your subscription is expiring” (What subscription?)
  • “Re: your invite” (using “Re” to make me think I had communicated with them)
  • “[last chance] Re: your offer”
  • “Re: Join . . . in London on October 19th - save your spot now!”

3. Offering a single and concise benefit

Singularity and conciseness of your offer is the key in cold emailing. People typically avoid spending time on reading rambling emails from total strangers. To capture their attention, you need to make sure you know exactly what it is you’re offering and offer it in a way that’s easy to understand and actionable. 

To do this you need to start from the subject line all the way through the closing line: 

  • Write an interesting and concise subject line. Curiosity-invoking elements such as questions, facts, and numbers could be useful. Sales
  • Do your homework and get to know your recipient. Are they complaining about anything on social media or their blog? Are they interested in anything specifically? Or do they despise anything? Have they recently published a blog post? Gather as much information as you can to use in your subject line and your email’s body. 
  • Visit their personal website, sign up for their newsletter (and tell them about it in your email), read their content, see if they were mentioned in the news, research their position and tenure at the company, and find out who they’ve worked with and the challenges they face.
  • See if the company has had a recent achievement, reputable client, an article featured in a major publication, or a new feature released. Make sure none of the challenges or wins they experience goes unnoticed.
  • Close your email by asking for a simple low-barrier response that would elicit a simple action. Avoid asking too many questions.. Questions such as “Would this be a problem for you?”, “Interested in a free demo of how our platform can [cite the benefit]?” or, “I think the best way to discuss what we can do for you is over the phone. Would you be interested in that?” would be great. 

Check out a couple of cold emailing samples from SalesHandy:


Cold emailing is still the cheapest and most profitable customer acquisition channel for most businesses. The tools it needs are cheap and easy to use. It has the potential to have quite high open/response rates if done right. And it builds a person-to-person relationship with your customers.

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Mostafa Dastras

Mostafa Dastras is a writer at The Digital Project Manager, a leading digital project management resource hub and community run by the indie digital publishing team at Black & White Zebra. His work has appeared on some top publications such as HubSpot, WordStream, SmartInsights, LeadPages, Sendinblue and MarketingProfs. Visit his blog, LiveaBusinessLife or reach out via social to connect with him.

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