Well we’re here to tell you that cold email lead generation is still an incredibly successful lead generation strategy, and you can count on it not going anywhere—especially when paired with other outreach efforts like cold calling and LinkedIn prospecting.
In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about cold email marketing, including:
A cold email is an unsolicited message sent to a recipient who has no prior relationship with the sender. It’s a proactive outreach strategy often used in B2B sales and marketing to initiate contact with potential leads or prospects.
Cold emails aim to spark interest, establish credibility, and ultimately drive a desired action, such as scheduling a sales meeting or exploring a business opportunity. When done correctly, cold emails can be a powerful tool for generating leads and expanding business connections.
Cold email is not spam. Cold email differs from spam primarily in its intent and approach.
While spam emails are typically unsolicited and sent indiscriminately to a large audience, cold emails are carefully targeted and sent with a specific purpose: to initiate a meaningful business conversation. Cold emails are sent to individuals or companies who may have a genuine interest in the sender’s products or services. They often include personalized content and respect privacy regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM act.
Unlike spam, which floods inboxes with irrelevant or harmful content, cold emails aim to provide value, solve problems, or offer solutions tailored to the recipient’s needs. When done ethically and thoughtfully, cold email can be a legitimate and effective communication tool in the business world.
The length of the first cold email should strike a balance between conveying essential information and maintaining the recipient’s interest. Generally, it should be concise and to the point, ideally around 150 to 200 words.
The responsibility for cold email marketing in lead generation typically falls on the sales and marketing teams. If businesses have the resources to build an in-house lead generation team, the responsibility lays on mix of BDRs, SDRs, or email marketing specialists.
When handled between sales and marketing teams, sales professionals are often tasked with crafting and sending the actual emails, as they are the ones who will ultimately engage with leads and convert them into customers. However, marketing teams play a crucial role in providing targeted lead lists, creating compelling email templates, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.
To have an effective cold email marketing strategy, there must be close collaboration between these two departments to align messaging, strategy, and goals, ultimately driving the generation of qualified leads and the growth of the business.
There tends to be a lot of confusion around who is responsible for lead generation: sales or marketing. Read our blog here to explore the different lead generation tasks each department is responsible for.
Cold emailing is effective for lead generation because it enables targeted outreach to potential prospects. By sending personalized, well-crafted emails to individuals or businesses likely to be interested in your products or services, you can initiate meaningful conversations and capture leads.
Cold email marketing is a cost-efficient strategy that allows for scalability, reaching a broad audience with minimal investment. It also provides valuable data insights for refining your approach. When executed thoughtfully and ethically, it can build relationships, nurture leads, and ultimately drive conversions, making it a powerful tool in the lead generation toolkit.
At Abstrakt, we collaborate with B2B companies to align cold email marketing efforts with cold calling, ensuring we reach the right prospects at the right time to schedule high-converting sales meetings. Explore how we approach B2B appointment setting for our clients here.
Decision-makers receive a ton of cold emails a day from businesses looking to build a partnership. With the constant stream of sales emails rolling through their inboxes, how can you help your business stand out from all the different sales emails they get?
If you want to get responses from your cold outreach emails, you should:
- Write Subject Lines That Look Like They’re From a Person—Not a Marketing Department
- State the Purpose of Your Message From the Start of the Cold Email
- Follow the Four Cs of Writing Sales Email Copy: Clear, Concise, Compelling, Clever
- Keep It Simple—Don’t Overwhelm the Prospect With Too Much Information
- Close the Cold Outreach Email With a Call to Action
One of the biggest downfalls sales and marketing teams make with their cold email campaigns is writing subject lines that look like they’re from a business, not a person. When crafting cold outreach campaigns, personalize them for the prospect, and don’t come off as too salesy. They should be quick, catchy, and immediately resonate with the prospect that receives them.
While clickbait-y subject lines may boost open rates, they negatively impact response rates. After all, if a prospect doesn’t see the value of your cold email content, they might unsubscribe, potentially blacklisting your campaigns.
While you may want to be out-of-the-box with your cold email subject lines, remember that unclear subject lines are less likely to be opened. Good cold email subject lines are often much simpler than you think, so don’t overthink them.
Here’s a cold email template (with a subject line and content) we use to immediately engage prospects:
To have an effective cold email campaign, don’t beat around the bush about your message. Cold emails that convert state the purpose of the email from the get-go.
Many marketing teams think they need to tiptoe around the subject matter regarding their offerings. But the most effective cold email campaigns immediately state what your company does and why you’ve made it in their inbox.
If you aren’t direct at the beginning of your cold sales email, you risk turning prospects away because they’re not sure what the point of the message is and they feel like they’re wasting time.
Here’s a cold email intro example template we use to immediately engage potential buyers:
If you know and follow the rules to writing good marketing copy, then this next section shouldn’t be new to you because cold email marketing follows the same concept. When writing cold emails, it’s important to follow the four Cs: clear, concise, compelling, and clever.
If your product or service offering is unique and complex compared to other solutions, make it as easy to understand as possible. While this may be difficult to do without getting straight into the pitch, it quickly shows the impact of what you have to offer.
One way we like to look at the clarity of your sales emails is by following the mother-in-law principle. Most people will tell you to write email copy that can be understood by a third-grader. While this may be a good concept in theory, a third grader probably won’t understand what your business does no matter how many times you explain it to them. Your mother-in-law, on the other hand, is likely well-versed in life already—you don’t need to break down your business to the bare bones with her, but you still need to explain it in layman’s terms.
As discussed earlier, you need to get to the point of the email from the start. While you may have a lot you want to share with the prospect, spread out content and don’t get too in-depth with the first email you send. Keeping it short and sweet is the best way to pique the interest of prospects and encourage them to read the whole email. To keep email copy concise, it’s important that you follow the 90, 4, 3, 2, 1 formula.
Here’s the breakdown:
**including use of emojis
Decision-makers get sales emails from similar businesses every day, so what makes your company stand out from competitors? When you write cold emails to prospects in the sales pipeline, make them compelling and leave prospects wanting more.
When you think of your company differentiators, what makes your business unique from the rest? Differentiators could include a new product or service offering in your industry, statistical proof of your company’s impact, the number of growing businesses you’ve supported, client testimonials, etc.
And the last (but not least) important component of the four Cs is cleverness. If the copy and content within your sales email is boring, decision-makers aren’t going to want to read more and they’ll more than likely send your email right to their junk folder. Don’t go overboard with your cleverness and leave the prospect confused—it’s best to find a happy medium to keep them both entertained and eager to learn more.
When sending a cold email, don’t give the prospect too much information. More often than not, cold emails don’t convert into sales opportunities after the first email is sent. It requires consistent effort to establish brand awareness and build trust with the decision-maker.
Start the conversation by acknowledging your target market’s common pain points about their current solution and showcasing how your company’s product or service will reduce or eliminate their concerns. If the prospect wants to learn more, great! You can direct them to your website to learn more or suggest that they schedule a sales meeting to learn how your offerings can directly impact their everyday business functions.
But if they don’t respond, your following sales emails should encourage them to want to learn more. This could include sending them relevant blog posts or sharing case studies of clients in similar markets or industries so they can picture themselves in the shoes of your customers.
Last but not least, what do you want the cold prospect to do with the information you’ve just given them? Closing your cold outreach emails with a strong call to action (CTA) helps the decision-maker understand what you want them to do from here.
When sending your first cold email to a prospect, make sure the email’s tone isn’t too forward or too hands-off. As a cold emailing best practice, we often suggest a closing CTA to be a question to get the prospect thinking, such as:
- Would you be open to learning more?
- Are you interested in starting a free trial?
- When would you be available to chat more?
Ending a cold email with a CTA (specifically a question CTA) encourages the prospect to open up the conversation without them feeling too much pressure to make a purchase. If the CTA is too focused on making a sale, this could scare them off from wanting to respond, putting your email marketing efforts at stake.
Cold emailing looks a lot different now than it did 10 or even 5 years ago. Therefore, it’s important to follow the latest cold email marketing practices to ensure you get the most impact from your efforts.
Here are some ways to approach cold email marketing in the digital age:
Personalize Email Content
In today’s cold email landscape, personalization is king. Marketers leverage cutting-edge tools and data to craft tailored messages that resonate with recipients. This means addressing them by name, and acknowledging their company, industry, and even past interactions. It’s all about forging genuine connections in your outreach efforts.
Segment Lists Based on Similar Criteria
Blasting generic emails to a massive list is a thing of the past and will negatively impact your cold email efforts rather than helping them. High-performing email marketers segment their audience based on different segmenting criteria, such as stage in the sales funnel, product or service interest, buyer personas, and more. This approach ensures that your campaigns are focused and hit the mark, resulting in significantly higher engagement rates. It’s all about quality over quantity in the email game.
Automate Tedious Cold Emailing Efforts
Automation tools have transformed cold email marketing. They empower marketers to create email sequences, automate follow-ups, and trigger messages based on recipient actions. This not only boosts efficiency but also scales your outreach game. It’s like having a 24/7 marketing assistant at your fingertips, working tirelessly to nurture leads.
Follow Data Protection Regulations
Today, there are more strict data protection laws like GDPR and CCPA; therefore, cold email marketers must tread carefully. Staying compliant and securing proper consent have become essential for keeping your email domains alive and reducing the risk of being blacklisted. It’s a shift towards a more responsible and respectful approach, ensuring that recipients’ privacy is respected for every outreach attempt.
Optimize Emails for Mobile
No matter the type of lead generation method you choose to practice, it must be optimized for a mobile-first interaction—and cold email marketing is no different. Cold email marketing efforts must be finely tuned for mobile screens, ensuring a high-quality, seamless user experience. It’s all about meeting people where they are, making sure your message is visually appealing no matter if it’s on mobile or on a desktop.
Add More Interactive Elements
Modern cold emails should be more interactive. They should incorporate features like surveys, quizzes, and polls to actively engage recipients. It’s not just about delivering a message; it’s about sparking a conversation. These interactive elements invite recipients to participate, making the email experience more dynamic and captivating.
Cold email marketing has evolved to become more sophisticated, personalized, and focused on building meaningful connections with recipients. Marketers are increasingly adopting ethical and data-driven strategies to deliver value to their audiences while adhering to strict regulations.
Most businesses could benefit from cold email lead generation. However, not every business wants to immediately jump into building and implementing a strategy.
If you’re on the fence about adding cold email marketing to your lead generation process, here are some things to consider if it’s right for your business:
- Cold calling isn’t super effective for your market
- You want to maximize lead gen with a multi-channel approach
- You want to automate more business growth processes
While many companies prefer to keep their everyday operations internal, outsourcing cold email lead generation provides significant benefits for growing businesses.
Companies should consider outsourcing cold email lead generation if they want to leverage specialized expertise, save time, and scale efforts efficiently. An effective cold emailing strategy can take years to create, but outsourcing to a company with a proven track record can empower your sales team quickly, and for less.
Cold email lead generation outsourcing allows businesses to focus on core everyday operations and benefits from an objective perspective. From cost efficiency, quality assurance, and the ability to tap into a dedicated team of professionals, there are many compelling reasons to choose to outsource your cold email lead generation campaigns.
Cold email marketing plays a vital role in advancing your outbound lead generation strategy. When paired with cold calling, you have a greater opportunity to reach prospects from various platforms, resulting in more sales meetings set.
At Abstrakt, we collaborate with growing businesses to help them implement and sustain a cold email lead generation strategy that yields long-term results. With our sales expertise and advanced email marketing tools, we have the ability to consistently engage with prospects and effectively pitch your product or service offerings.
When you’re ready to gain the most impact from your growth efforts, contact the experts at Abstrakt!