4 strategies for getting results from your cold email marketing campaigns
Last updated: October 12, 2023
Considering starting a cold email marketing campaign? Cold email can get you right in front of your target audience and help you attract important new business opportunities. But it’s not as easy as looking up a few emails, writing some copy, and letting the responses roll in.
You need to select the right email provider to meet your sending needs, stay off of spam lists, thoughtfully research your audience, and build and verify your list to ensure you’re emailing real addresses. And oh, after all that, you need to write cold emails that compel your audience to convert.
But you’re in luck, because we’re getting into all of it below. Read on to learn more:
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What is cold email marketing?
Cold email marketing is the process of contacting people you don’t have a relationship with through email. Typically, the goal is to introduce your product or service as a fit for their needs and encourage them to learn more through a phone call. But people use cold emails for a variety of purposes: like asking someone to join them on a podcast or join an affiliate program.
Whatever the ask, a good cold email has three key elements.
- A concise message that speaks directly to a specific need or pain point the recipient is experiencing
- Accurate and message-relevant personalization,
- A specific call-to-action
4 strategies for developing winning cold email marketing campaigns
Pick an email provider that accommodates high sending volume and has deliverability services
A cold email marketing campaign is only as good as the technology powering it. If your email service provider limits the amount of emails you can send per day, or has functionality and performance issues, it will hinder — not help — your progress. Look for an email service provider with:
- High-volume sending capabilities. Avoid providers that charge extra for additional contacts.
- Scheduling and follow-up functionalities. This will help you stay on top of conversations and move your audience closer to a sale.
- Dedicated deliverability services. That’s especially important because you’re sending a lot of emails to people that don’t know you — and aren’t likely to open or click your message. If you’re not careful, the inbox service providers will view you as spammy and start diverting your emails to spam folders. To avoid this, pick a provider that will monitor your deliverability for you. For instance, Omeda has a dedicated deliverability team that watches your deliverability around the clock — and intercedes with the ISPs on your behalf if you do end up with issues.
Warm up your email
That said, a helpful email service provider alone won’t protect you from deliverability issues: Sudden, large increases in sending volume will trigger the ISPs and get your emails sent to spam. So instead of emailing your whole 5,000-prospect list at once, start by messaging a few and gradually increase your sending volume over time.
Research your audience
You wouldn’t do the spray and pray approach if you wanted to find the job of your dreams. Find good-fit customers by thinking hard about:
- What product or service are you selling? What problem does it solve? How do customers benefit after using the product? Do they feel better about their jobs? Do they save time?
- What industry is your target audience in? What job titles do they have?
- What issues do people in those job titles most often face in their work — and how can your product solve it?
Use these questions to start forming your ideal prospect. For instance, if you’re selling a CDP and subscription services to media companies, you would want to target audience development managers, marketing and subscription managers in the media industry.
Find their correct email address
Once you’ve got your ideal prospects in mind, use sources like ZoomInfo, Snov.io, or Hunter.io to find the contact information of people fitting that profile. Also use LinkedIn searches, and communities to find professionals in your target and job title. And don’t forget your own professional network or industry conferences for inspiration — you never know where inspiration might strike.
Building your list is only half the job, though. Next you need to verify that each email address is still valid. Emailing too many inactive addresses doesn’t just cost you responses — the lack of engagement harms your deliverability and gets you sent to your recipients’ spam folders.
Many email service providers have built-in tools to help you double check your email addresses: For instance, Omeda uses FreshAddress to make sure each account on your list is active and receiving email.
Top considerations when delving into cold email marketing
While personalized, well-written cold emails can kickstart business for you, bad sending practices can blow back on your brand. Keep these pros and considerations in mind as you decide if cold email marketing is for you:
Pros of cold email marketing
- Cost-Effective: Cold email marketing is relatively inexpensive compared to traditional marketing channels like direct mail or advertising. Sending emails is often more cost-effective, especially for small businesses and startups.
- Scalability: Cold email campaigns can be scaled up or down easily to reach a larger or more targeted audience, depending on your business goals.
- Direct Communication: Cold email gives you a direct line of communication with potential customers or leads, so you can tell your story firsthand.
- Lead Generation: Cold email marketing can help generate leads and identify potential customers who may be interested in your products or services.
- Personalization: You can personalize cold emails to make them more relevant to recipients, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.
Considerations and risks of cold email marketing
- Spam Concerns: Cold emails run the risk of being perceived as spam. Besides having your customers mark your emails as spam,
- Legal Compliance: Marketers must comply with email marketing regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act and GDPR, which require including an unsubscribe option and accurate sender information in each email. Violating these rules could cost you thousands
- Low Response Rates: Cold emails typically have lower response rates than those sent to subscribers that have already opted in and know the sender. You may find that you’re taking on legal and spam risk for minimal payoff. This shouldn’t deter you from cold emailing entirely! Just review your response rates and always consider the risk/benefit ratio of continuing your cold emailing program.
- Reputation Risk: You’re acting as a representative of your company every time you send an email. So anything from a few typos to an overly aggressive tone, misrepresentations, or negative comments about other brands will blow back on your brand. Maintain ethical and professional boundaries in all of your communications.
- Time Costs: There’s a reason that most cold emails suck. It takes a lot of time to build a list of prospects, personalize emails for each one, and maintain follow-up. Especially for larger campaigns (or smaller teams), this can be a dealbreaker.
- Deliverability Challenges: If you haven’t warmed up your email, or you’re not using an email service provider with a deliverability team, reaching your recipient’s inbox can be challenging, as email service providers may classify them as spam or bulk email.
- Unpredictable Results: Since they depend on the whims of busy people answering their emails, cold email marketing campaigns can be unpredictable. So you may need a few rounds to refine your strategy and achieve consistent results.
FAQs about cold email marketing
Do people respond to cold emails?
Response rates to emails are about 1-5%. However, with a focused and verified list, concise and pleasant copy, and a compelling offer, you can exceed those rates and drive more business.
How do you write a cold marketing email?
To get responses and business, your email needs to do three things:
- Present the problem that your audience is facing — and that you hope to solve.
- Demonstrate proof that you’ve already helped other companies achieve those goals.
- Suggest a clear call-to-action.
Convey those points with clear copy and a pleasant tone, so you can get the point across without making your audience uncomfortable or annoyed. See it in action below in this cold email example:
Is cold emailing considered spam?
Getting an unwanted email from a stranger may feel like spam to you. But there’s a meaningful difference between cold emails and malicious spam. Cold emails are personalized messages sent to individuals with the intention of making a sale or starting a business relationship, whereas spam emails are blasted to thousands or millions of people at once and provide nothing of value to the reader.
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