Imagine this: Most of your prospects are overwhelmed. All those messages that come into their inbox are boring, reused email templates and don’t offer value.

Add social sites, phone calls, texts, television, and hallway conversations to this list.

They are bombarded with information all day long.

So, how do you exactly stand out among the masses vying for the same attention?

With the help of experts, of course. Who wants to waste time reading emails from someone who doesn’t demonstrate competence or address the solution to a need?

In this guide, we’ll share valuable tips from cold email experts to help you generate better campaign ideas. It’s up to you, the marketer, to consider their tips and make your own decision.

And if you’re interested in using a helpful tool for your cold email campaign with readily-available cold email templates, be sure to check out InboxAlly.

Let’s dive in.

Cold Emailing: What Is It, Its Purpose, and Its Success Rate

Cold Email Experts ShareCourtesy: Canva/Getty Images Signature

A cold email is a personalized email sent to someone that you or your company haven’t interacted with before. It’s also a way to begin a conversation in the online world.


When done right, a cold email can cause the prospect to be interested in your brand or what you have to offer. It can also turn strangers into buyers or customers.

And in case you’re wondering, cold emails aren’t spam.

In the past, marketers reached out to anybody by buying a list of prospects and sending a mass email to that contact. Today, however, email service providers act as gatekeepers. They detect emails that don’t offer value or will not benefit the recipients and send them to the spam folder.

To ensure that your cold emails won’t land in spam, you have to make sure that:

  • They are informative, relatable, and sincere, unlike reckless spam emails.
  • They open up opportunities for recipients to interact with you through product demos, webinars, and calls.
  • They target a certain pain point the user is going through and provide solutions to resolve such.

Success Rate

Based on QuickMail’s analysis of 65 million emails, the average open rate of cold email campaigns is 44%, while the click-through rate is 3.67%.

An open rate informs you more about the cold email’s deliverability than the efficiency of the subject line. Regardless of your intriguing subject line, most prospects will open every email that lands in their primary inbox.

However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a value on your open rate. Monitoring it will still tell you if your emails are delivered. If it drops below 40%, it often signals a deliverability problem.

Cold Email Experts Share What’s Working for Them

Cold Email Experts Share What’s Working for ThemCourtesy: Canva/kasto

Here are tips shared by cold email experts themselves and what they did to be successful in their campaigns.

1. Do Your Homework

Market research is important to understand your prospect’s psychological preferences. It’s also an effective email marketing approach because you’re showing your recipient that you know them.

Viki Zabala, First Orion’s Chief Marketing Officer, told Forbes that marketers should research their target audience’s website, company news, or LinkedIn page. They should also research anything that will allow them to gain insights and make a meaningful connection.

Zabala also shared that on that first contact (email), offer value to build credibility and trust.

2. Aim for a Person, Not a Generic Email Box

After doing your research, identify who you’re going to email. It’s better to aim for a person than a generic email box.

And this is only possible by finding a specific name rather than sending it to careers, for instance. Vicki Salemi, career expert for hiring resource platform Monster, told this on CNBC.

3. Be Clear About Why You’re Reaching Them Out

Clarity is the key when performing cold email outreach. Cynthia Johnson, author of Platform: The Art and Science of Personal Branding, shared this on Harvard Business Review.

She added that email marketers should assume that the person they’re contacting is busy. If you’re specific and direct with what you’re asking them and the reason why, it creates a perfect environment for a thoughtful and confident response.

Moreover, each sentence of your cold email template should be written in such a way that engages the readers, pulls them up to a point, and they’ll finally agree to your offer.

4. Personalize Each Message

Personalizing each message will give your campaign a much better chance of landing in the inbox and staying out of the spam folder.

Nanditha Menon, a Business Development Representative (BDR) at the B2B software marketplace G2, also agrees with this. She told Klenty that personalization is very important, especially if your strategy includes multithreading (account-based selling).

Multithreading is building a list from the same business account and reaching out to them using a personalized email.

Menon also said that if she’s reaching out to a marketing person, she should be solving a marketing problem. If she’s reaching out to a CEO, then she should be solving a larger problem, such as brand visibility.

Featured Resource: Cold Email Template for Digital Marketing Services – 7 Unique and Effective Email Templates

5. Avoid Salesy or Generic Subject Lines

Marketing expert Kevin Kaminyar shared on Entrepreneur to avoid sales or generic subject lines when sending cold emails.

Instead of sending, “Hey [name of recipient], want more leads?” you can send something that shows you know the prospect personally if you’ve done research on them. A good example of this would be, “[Name of recipient, congrats on the new funding round!”

In addition, giving attention to the first line in your cold email templates is important because it contributes to 40% of your campaign’s open rate. However, avoid selling something in the first line.

“I was just browsing your LinkedIn profile and saw that you recently got a promotion at [company name]” is a good start.

If possible, Kaminyar suggests not to ask for a meeting in the first email because the recipient’s commitment level during this time is very low. Instead, a soft CTA, like “Worth a quick chat?” or “Interested?” would be better.

6. Establish a Connection

Sarah Doody, founder and CEO of Career Strategy Lab, told CNBC to establish a strong anchor point between you and the prospect.

Perhaps you’ve met in person, conversed online, or have a mutual friend. Mention how you’re connected or you know each other, and you’ll instantly boost your chance of getting a reply.

Doody also recalls how when she herself receives a cold email, she doesn’t pay much attention to them. Typically, she would send a generic response, such as “[I’ll] get back to you soon if it’s a fit,” referring to a time when she worked in recruiting.

Meanwhile, she would most likely respond to the emails she received with a point of connection – whether a recent conference or a shared experience. “Connections are key,” she went on. So, leverage that in your cold email subject line.

You can use any of these subject lines as an example: “Networking via [mutual contact’s name or professional industry organization” or “Hello from [alma mater name].”

7. Have a Minimalist Mindset

According to Mark Colgran of Yellow O B2B Sales company, it’s better to aim for an email that’s between 50 to 150 words maximum.

We’re used to amazing experiences in microformat, just like how we consume data and how we use Netflix and Uber. As such, email remains effective when used right.

Michael Halper, CEO of Sales Scripter, adds a point. He told to treat email word count like packing a two-week trip.

In cold emailing, treat your word like a victory. When you write emails, type them, then review them. Look for every sentence and word that you can remove and still convey your message. The longer the email is, the faster it will be deleted. So, find ways to say the same things but in fewer words.

Halper also reminds us to be ruthless editors in cold emailing. Review and revise until you have your campaign’s simplest, clearest version.

8. Keep it Short and Actionable

Just like Colgan, Tucker Max, co-founder and CEO of Book In A Box, believes in the value of keeping your message short. He also adds it should also be actionable.

Max also shared via HBR that writing shorter emails is better because they’re more likely to be read. Moreover, emails that request specific, clear action get a higher response rate. Rambling, long-winded emails aren’t ideal.

One of the best ways to keep your emails short and direct is to compose them as you’d talk. Remember that it’s your first time to meet this person, so you will not just walk up and begin pitching them.

Instead, introduce yourself first, connect something with them over a shared interest or friend, and make a request. The co-founder and CEO also recommends reading your email out loud first. If it sounds natural, then it will read well to your recipients.

Featured Resource: How Long Should a Cold Email Be?

Cold Email Experts Share What’s Working for ThemCourtesy: Unsplash/Tyler Franta

9. Tell the Recipient Where You Live

Ryan Lallier, CEO at SalesGevity & TechSelect, shared his prospecting advice on LinkedIn. He wrote, “In your opening line or statement, tell the recipient where you live.”

For instance, “My name is [Your Name], and I live in [city].” Follow this with, “I see you’re located in [State, City, or Region].” Then, tell the recipient what you sell or your service and ask if they’re interested in learning more.

Lallier also added that this cold email strategy may sound “lame” at the start, but you’d be surprised how much it can increase your reply rate. When he tried this on their campaign, this hack got him a 5% average reply rate on emails pitching a commodity.

10. Add a Video

Like including images in emails, adding videos can also increase the effectiveness of your email. Andre Oentoro, founder of BreadnBeyond, shared this with business development and growth consultancy Christian Banach.

Oentoro added that people perceive videos as more valuable than text because they are more expensive and challenging to produce. So, if people see a video, they make more time to consume it.

As shown in a MarketingProfs survey, the majority of marketers found that email videos have higher click-through rates. It also had the biggest impact when emails were opened. The text “video” alone increases an email’s open rate by up to 18%, Oentoro went on.

11. Send a Follow-Up

Sometimes, when you send cold emails, they are not answered. So, when your well-crafted, relevant content goes to the trash, it’s a complete waste.

Don’t worry, though, because your recipient may just overlook the first email. That’s when sending follow-up emails becomes helpful. The recipient may just be too busy, or they have overlooked it.

Send at least one follow-up email to get a positive result in your email campaign. According to Andrei Vasilescu, CEO and Digital Marketing Specialist at DontPayFull, this is true. He shared via Enterprise League that you may even ask your recipient for an alternative time to contact.

Featured Resource: Email Deliverability Experts And Consultants

12. Limit Hyperlinks to Two at Most

Putting links in emails is helpful because recipients can visit any page you want them to with one click. However, too many links would be a mistake that can cause your emails to land in the spam.

Ethan O’Connell, who’s in charge of growing Leadfeeder’s outbound sales team, shared via NetHunt that you can limit your links to two at most to eliminate the risk of your cold emails landing in spam.

Too many links, O’Connell said, will alert the spam filters and make your email look sloppy. But if you really have to include links in your email, ensure to include them within a sentence or work. Avoid using messy, raw links that make you look like a rookie marketer.

13. Make Your Emails Mobile-Responsive

Ed Cravo, co-founder and Head of Marketing of Groundbreaker, told InboxAlly to optimize the email layout for mobile. Failure to do so can lead to lower open rates.

A mobile-responsive design is the practice of coding and designing email templates that automatically adjust to the shape and size of the device on which they are viewed. This means when someone opens your email on a tablet, smartphone, or desktop computer, the email will be easy to navigate and read.

Tips to make your emails mobile responsive

  • Optimize images and media
  • Use a single-column layout
  • Use touch-friendly buttons
  • A/B test and monitor

14. Use an Interest-Based CTA for a C-Suite

According to Florin Tatulea of SalesFlo, it’s best to be concise and use an interest-based call to action when you write effective cold emails for a C-suite (those in top management positions).

True enough, it’s the highest-performing CTAs for cold emails compared to open-ended CTA and specific CTA.

In addition, cold emailers have more success with such types of CTA because they pique the recipient’s curiosity than asking for their resources upfront. It’s the type of CTA that simply asks the prospect to confirm their interest in taking the next step.

An example of an interest-based CTA is: “Are you interested in learning more about [insert topic]?”

15. The Time You Send Matters

For Simonas Steponaitis, Marketing Manager at Hosting Wiki, it’s all about good timing. He told Enterprise League that the ideal time to send your cold email depends on your prospect.

Remember that your prospects more likely have a different time zone. The ideal day and time to send emails is between Tuesday to Thursday, around 10 am. However, if it’s bulk emails, keep at least a 5-minute gap to send between two emails.

By observing this in your cold emailing, there’s less possibility for your email to end up in your recipient’s spam folder.

16. Be Patient

Stacy Gentile, the Director of Marketing for Vengreso, told Forbes that patience is central to a successful cold email.

There’s no problem if your cold outreach is slowly rolling. However, ensure your list is in your scope and deliver value slowly over time. Bring your audience along, but don’t be pushy.

Aside from business growth, Gentile believes that there are many benefits to delivering value over time. One benefit is that your audience will interact with you when the timing is already right.

On the other hand, you will get in trouble quickly if you blow your readers up and adopt the I-want-success-now mentality in email marketing.

This is true, of course. Customers often take many touches to convert to a certain service or product.

Now, It’s Your Turn

Courtesy: Canva/Getty Images

Successful cold emailing is a task that requires persistence, thorough research, and expert copywriting.

Every prospect that passes through your sales funnel is unique. Thus, pitch them with a template with a high chance of converting them into clients or buyers.

The good news is it’s easier to get the formula right by following what cold email experts themselves have done. Their tips will also be your weapon for turning conversations into sales.

We’ve gathered these tips. Now, it’s your turn to put them into action.

Good luck, and happy emailing!

If you like this article on cold email tips, make sure to check out our blog post on 30 Experts Share their #1 Tip to Improving Email Open Rates

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