What is Cold Email Outreach

Cold email outreach is when you contact someone via email who doesn’t know or have any connection with your business.

This often happens when you and the business are in different industries.

The email is meant to get their attention so that they might consider your offer or service.

Cold email outreach can be beneficial because it offers a fresh perspective on a company that may not have considered what you were offering before now.

cold email outreach

(Image Source: Criminally Prolific)

Is Cold Email SPAM

No, cold email is not spam.

For the most part, it’s seen as an opportunity for a company to get its message out there and turn that into a possible sale. After all, you’re just reaching out with marketing messages they haven’t considered before now which makes this outreach more personalized than any other form of advertisement or promotion.

There is a difference between bulk pharmacy product emails (which accounts for 81% of spam) and one-to-one emails to a targeted business audience.

Under the CAN-SPAM Act, you can send emails to business people that you do not know.

However, you want to make sure you are complying with the rules that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has outlined.

Luckily, that isn’t difficult to do. Here are the seven things you need to incorporate when sending cold emails:

  1. Don’t misrepresent who you are – Basically, your “From”, “To”, and “Reply-To” information needs to identify who you are.
  2. Don’t use misleading subject lines – Using a subject line of “Your receipt” when pitching your product/service would be misleading. Keep it real.
  3. Identify if the email is an ad – If your email is an advertisement or special coupon offer, just make sure it is labeled as such.
  4. Include your business address – This can be a PO Box or your physical address, but you have to include it. The ideal placement for this information would be in your email signature.
  5. Give them an opt-out option – You don’t have to use an “unsubscribe” link which takes away some personal aspects of the email. Instead, ask them, “Please let me know if you are not the right person to contact for this.” It’s a good alternative that keeps things personal.
  6. Honor opt-outs – If they don’t want any future emails, make sure they don’t get any more emails. I don’t even respond to the request, I just make sure they don’t get any more follow-ups.
  7. Know what others do/send on your behalf – Even if you hire a company to handle your email outreach, you are still legally responsible. Make sure whoever you have working on your email outreach understands these seven rules.

8 Cold Emailing Use Cases

Perhaps you’re wondering about the main purpose of cold emailing. Here are some reasons why you use cold email:

1. Lead generation cold emails

Cold emailing is a great way to find new potential clients. You can use it for lead generation as well, but you should be careful when going down this route.

And the first thing you should do when you know how to send cold emails is to create your lead list.

You would need a list of leads for cold emailing and LeadFuze is the best way to find and manage your lists of accurate leads. With its easy-to-use interface, you can create a list in seconds with just one click. You’ll never have to worry about finding new prospects again!

Your emails must be read by real people who want what you’re selling. That’s why with this tool you can make sure that every single lead has been verified as an active person interested in the product or service being offered.

And if they don’t match up, LeadFuze removes them from the list, so you won’t waste time sending out messages that will go unanswered. It’s like having a team of salespeople working for you – but without all the hassle and expense!

generate cold email leads with LeadFuze

Sign up today and get 25 free leads!

2. Market research cold emails

This is becoming more and more common, but the process can be time-consuming.

You can use it to validate a startup idea, learn pain points of a target market, gather survey results, or strictly for data gathering purposes that you use for a report or whitepaper.

Be sure you follow up with them when you publish the whitepaper and thank them for contributing.

3. Cold email for an invitation

This is one of the most popular ways to get speaking engagements.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask about presenting at a conference or leading a workshop, even if you don’t have any related experience yet.

The worst they can do is say no!

4. Cold email for influencer marketing

Advocates are the people who can’t be bought.

They will tell their friends about your brand and promote it for free because they believe in what you’re doing.

Sometimes, all that influencer marketing needs is a little nudge – a cold email outreach.

5. Networking cold email

Networking is all about building relationships.

You might be initially cold in your email, but once you start chatting to them a little more and finding out what they’re interested in, the relationship will warm up quickly.

Just remember that not everyone wants their inbox filled with messages from people who want something from them – so always introduce yourself and be clear about what you want.

6. Cold email for hiring

If you’re looking to hire new talent, a cold email could be all that it takes.

So many of us have our social media profiles up – and we don’t know who’s watching! It might just take an introduction or two from someone the same company as you for them to get in touch with their CV.

7. Cold email for link building

If you’re looking at link building, cold emailing people about their content is a great way to kickstart things.

The only rule of thumb here is that the email has to be relevant. If it’s not going to make sense, and they’re unlikely to share your post or talk about it because they don’t have anything in common with you, just don’t bother.

8. Partnership cold emailing

Cold emailing is a great way to find new partners for your business.

If you’re looking for someone with specific skills, finding them through cold emails can be much more successful than other methods – and it’s quick too!

15 Cold Email Outreach Best Practices to Apply

Need some tips and tricks to make your cold emailing journey better? Here are some best practices you can apply:

1. Put yourself in their shoes

Before you reach out, think about what they’re likely to want from your email. You need to give them a good reason for taking the time and effort to get back in touch with you – if there’s something in your pitch that will grab their attention or make them feel like it would be beneficial for them, go ahead and include it!

2. Experiment with subject lines

Just like you test different headlines to see which ones are most effective for your blog post titles, it’s worth testing out a few subject lines and seeing what resonates best with the recipient.

Some people prefer getting emails that have an enticing offer right up front – so if they’re looking for new leads or clients, invite them to get in touch.

Others might want to know more about what you’re offering before they’ll bother getting back in touch with you – if that’s the case, use a subject line that explains why your email is worth their time and effort.

If it doesn’t seem like either of those would work for them, then try something else! Use an intriguing question or ask for introductions to other people that they might know.

Remember, the more time you spend on writing a cold email subject line and content before sending cold emails, the better results you’ll get in terms of getting a response from them!

cold email outreach subject lines sample

(Image Source: Brafton)

3. Warm-up your prospect

Warm-up your receiver by asking them how their week is going or what they’ve been up to lately.

If you’re looking for feedback on your product, make sure that it’s easy for the other person to give specific feedback by following these guidelines: identify a single topic and send concise questions with enough time available to respond before the deadline.

For example, “What would you think of a new mobile app that helps you track your spending and save money?”

If the person has time, they’ll be more likely to answer.

But if not, make sure to ask them when they’re available for the feedback!

4. Write like you talk

The most successful email campaigns are written in a conversational tone that sounds like it’s coming from one person.

Avoid clichés, as well as complicated words and phrases – stick to the basics, and you’ll be able to get your message across more effectively with less effort!

5. Forget the introduction

The introduction of your email is the most important part, so forget it!

If you spend too much time trying to make a perfect intro for your cold email sales campaign, then you’re going to lose people’s attention before they even read what it is that you have to say.

Instead, just jump into whatever point or question that you’re trying to get across right away.

6. Get to the point

Leaving your reader guessing about what you’ve got to say is a strategy that will leave them disappointed. So, instead of wasting their time with long opening paragraphs and explanations, just get straight into whatever point or question that you’re trying to make in your email campaign.

It’s not always easy to know when this would be appropriate, but it’s usually best to do this when you’re giving an opinion or asking for something.

Even if your email is in response to a question that the person has asked, keep your opening paragraph short and get straight into answering their question as soon as possible.

7. Make it clear why you’re reaching out

It’s important to make it clear why you’ve got in touch with your prospect. Whether that’s because they fit the profile of someone who could use your services or they have a problem which you can help them solve, let them know what motivated you and give an idea of how much time commitment is involved if there are any demands on their time.

8. Personalize when you can

Show your receiver that you’ve taken the time to read their website, blog, or other materials before getting in touch with them. A polite mention of a comment they made on a post would be an excellent way of doing this and will give them confidence that you’re not just trying to push the product down their throat without taking any interest in them.

Do not use a business email address and make it clear that this is personal correspondence with your prospect in the subject line, such as “cold call” or “call for advice”. People are much less likely to open an email from an unknown source if they think you’re trying to sell them something directly.

9. Use social proof to win over prospects

The more people you can name who have used your product or service, the better.

This is because people are more likely to believe you if they think that plenty of other people like your service as well. This could be potential customers, clients, or just friends and family members who have used what you’re selling.

cold email outreach social proof

(Image source: Campaign Monitor)

10. Mention the one thing you want them to do

If you want a prospect to do something specific, such as fill out an application or set up an appointment for further discussion, then make this the last sentence of your email.

11. Put all contact info in your signature

All of your contact information should be at the bottom of every email you send. This includes your physical address, phone number, and website URL.

This way, they’d know how to contact you when they want to.

12. Use images and videos

Add an image to your email, or embed a video if you have one. These are more likely to be shared on social media and can help make people feel more connected with what you’re selling.

Images and videos can make your email more interesting to read!

13. Include a P.S.

A P.S. is a great place to ask for feedback about the content you’ve sent, or provide them with more information on your product or service that they might be interested in!

It’s also good practice to include contact details there as well – don’t forget those!

14. Polish your text

There’s a lot of advice out there about how to cold email, but keep in mind that this is your time, and you should take the time to make it sound as good as possible. Avoid any spelling or grammar mistakes – typos can be infuriating!

And don’t forget the punctuation! It may seem like not using punctuation will save you time, but it can also make your email hard to read.

proofread cold email

(Image Source: IAFOR)

15. Use cold emailing software

It’s easy to forget the latest email etiquette tricks if you’re not using them every day. Cold email tools allow you to get a reminder of what your recipient might like or dislike, which will make sure that you don’t miss any steps.

Some cold email marketing software also includes a template for you to fill out so that you can get things started more quickly.

14 Cold Emailing Mistakes to Avoid

With all these tips, it can be overwhelming. So let me leave you with some cold email mistakes you need to avoid.

Email Mistake #1: Playing to the wrong crowd

When you send an email, it’s important to know who your audience is. If the company does not fit with your niche then don’t bother sending them a B2B cold email. It will just make them annoyed, and they may even block future emails from you if they feel like their time has been wasted

Email Mistake #2: Saying “just checking in”

If you are going to send a cold email, then make sure it stands out. Saying “just checking in” is not enough of an intro for them to take notice and reply.

Email Mistake #3: Not using email templates

A lot of people don’t use email templates. It’s important to have a template for all your outreach emails, so you can be sure that the tone is consistent, and it will make you look more professional.

Email Mistake #4: Not focusing on the call-to-action

If you don’t focus on the call-to-action, it can be very confusing what you want a lead to do.

If you just send a straight sales email, it’s likely going to come off too sharp.

Cut out all the fluff. Take away everything you can that doesn’t add clarity. Figure out what you want the lead to do and only include words that make that most likely.

cold email outreach call to action

(Image Source: Travel Payouts)

Email Mistake #5: Not reading the audience

To get more replies, you need to start by reading the audience. What are their interests? Who are they connected with on social media? Determine what’s important to them and use that in your outreach.

This will help you create a relationship so when it comes time for sales, lead might be more likely to buy.

Email Mistake #6: Being afraid to improvise

The best way to start is by doing some research. You could do your own outreach, you can use a service like Hunter or LinkedIn Sales Navigator. But don’t be afraid to let the words flow and improvise as well!

Email Mistake #7: You’re not entertaining

To keep a reader interested, you need to be entertaining. This applies to your subject lines and the body of the email as well.

Try to stand out via humor or personalization. Just be purely valuable to your lead without asking for anything (at first).

Email Mistake #8: Failure to experiment

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different email campaigns. This will help you in the long run and make your emails more effective!

Always be testing something. Make a list of email split tests (we’ve got over 50 for you right here) and start doing them one at a time. Double down on what works and forget what doesn’t.

Email Mistake #9: Emails are too long

Don’t send more than one or two paragraphs for a cold email.

If you have the time to write out an entire page, then it probably deserves its own blog post!

Your emails shouldn’t even be 6 sentences.

Remember: Long-form sales copy still has a place in the world, but long-form sales emails don’t. Like, at all.

Email Mistake #10: Forgetting your audience

Address your recipient’s pain points in the first sentence of your email.

You may not be so vain in your cold emails, but if you say “I” too much, it will seem that way.

Your email should show your readers “what’s in it for them”.

Email Mistake #11: Breaking the law

spam cold email

(Image Source: FluentCRM)

There are a few legal rules that you should know before doing any cold email outreach

  • Do not send spam emails to more than 500 people at the same time.
  • Don’t use false or misleading header information in an attempt to mislead recipients about the origin of your message, making them think it came from someone else.
  • Don’t falsify the sender address of your message.
  • Do not include a false or misleading subject line in an email.

Email Mistake #12: Only sending one email

Your first email will not be opened by the majority of your leads.

So, make sure you send more than one email. Actually, send 4-6. And, if you’re really wanting to maximize effort, include other forms of contact (i.e. voicemails, social media, direct mail).

Email Mistake #13: It’s clearly canned

Don’t get lazy. Personalize the email with some context for your lead’s specific preferences and needs

Try to “touch” each of your emails and master the template to sound as close to sending a personal email as possible. It may even be worth trying to send a truly personal email (using a template). If results aren’t there, revert.

Email Mistake #14: You lie

Don’t try and fake the funk.

Your subject line makes a promise, so make sure it’s in the email.

When Should You Send a Cold Email

According to YesWare, the best time to send your cold emails is 11 AM and 1 PM.

Based on their data, they received an average of 46,000 replies from the 1 PM email and 45,000 replies on the 11 AM email.

Furthermore, the study revealed that there were low response rates between 8 PM-7 AM, so you might want to avoid those times at all costs.

And the best days of the week to send cold emails are Monday and Tuesday.


Overall, cold email outreach is a great way to find leads, provided you do it well. It’s a great way to start conversations with people who would otherwise not reply without initial contact.

Make sure to keep in mind the mistakes that you might be making and use this article as a guide.


Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

We have over 60,000 monthly readers that would love to see it! Contact us and let's discuss your ideas!

Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was written by Content at Scale, a solution that uses AI + a team of optimization specialists to publish hundreds of high quality, SEO optimized content straight to your blog. It’s the first and only solution that allows you to truly scale content marketing.