A business could have the best new product, excellent customer service, and collaborative company culture, but it would not be successful without effective marketing. One of the most crucial aspects of a good marketing strategy is email.

Email is a potent communication tool utilized by a vast percentage of the world. Emails are cheap to produce and distribute, yet effective. They have the potential to transform a stranger into a loyal customer with nothing more than a few words and a link.

In this article, we will explore the best techniques to increase responses from your cold emailing strategy.


Cold emailing is the act of sending an email as your initial point of contact with a potential customer in the hope of eliciting some form of engagement. This can be anything from a direct response to your email or a click-through to your website landing page.

It’s an excellent marketing tool used in a variety of industries, especially sales. For example, let’s say you’ve just launched a shopify ecommerce store, and you’re selling unique bath products. Sending a cold email to various potential customers can drastically increase your conversions and raise awareness about your new brand.


Sending out mass cold emails has never been easier, especially when you use high-quality marketing software. The COVID-19 pandemic has pretty much brought a halt to any in-person networking opportunities. Luckily, cold emails have the potential to alert a large number of individuals about your product or service. This allows you to increase your email and contact list.

Cold emails are also a great tool for lead generation. This is the process of nudging a potential client into your sales pipeline.

Another advantage is that, as mentioned above, everyone uses email. And unlike social media marketing, where a prospective customer or follower may overlook your post, emails will remain in their inbox awaiting an action. Door-to-door salespeople and cold phone callers require the immediate response of the customer. Emails can be consumed at any time.

Let’s have a look at the most effective methods you can use to improve your cold emails and increase responses:

1. Personalize your emails

There’s nothing worse than receiving an email that is clearly a template sent out to everyone. Customers want to feel like individuals, not just numbers and letters in a large database. Personalization is the only way you can stand out from every other spammy cold email.

The average person receives hundreds of emails every single month. It’s not a surprise that emails that look familiar or those that engage the recipient personally are more likely to be opened.

A cold email marketing campaign aims to convince the recipient to take some sort of action. Recipients are far more likely to do so when they feel like you have their best interest at heart. Mentioning their name or a detail about them is a great way to form a more personal connection.

The key to great personalization is research and data. You need to narrow down to whom you want to send your emails. How old is your audience on average? What is their occupation? Gathering knowledge of your own or ideal customer is crucial.

Consider this scenario. Let’s say you’re a company that produces customer care software for businesses. Your first step is to segment your audience. This is the process of splitting up your current and potential customers into groups based on their characteristics, such as:

  • Business size
  • Industry
  • Geographical location

The next step is to create cold email templates that are specific to each group. In this example, you can create an email that explains why and how customer care can be improved with your software. But, you can tailor it to specific industries or sectors, such as ecommerce or healthcare.

Companies and databases can provide you with a large number of email addresses. The key here is to sift through the pack and find high-quality contacts with an increased chance of responding. After that, you create specific email templates and then sprinkle in some additional personalization, as above.

2. Don’t neglect the subject line

The subject line is the second piece of information a recipient will read after the sender’s email name. A great subject line will entice the reader into opening the email and set a precedent for its content. A poor subject line will cause the receiver to discard the email immediately and block your email address.

So, how do you write a good one?

As much as we would love to say there’s a one-size-fits-all or a list of best cold email subject lines you can use, that just isn’t the case. Every one has to be targeted and personalized to the specific receiver. But, there are still some best practices that you should adhere to:

  1. Don’t look like spam – a well-written and personalized subject line can give you enough credibility to encourage the customer to read your email. Bad subject lines are often riddled with exclamation points, capital letters, “buy now” instructions and emojis. We’re not saying to omit these entirely from your copy, but use them in moderation.
  2. No waffling – you have around nine words or 50-60 characters essentially to advertise your email to the customer, don’t waste them. Be concise. Think about what you’d like to hear if you were in their position. After all, you’re an expert in your field; use your knowledge.
  3. Continuously optimize – once you’ve written a cold email subject line that you’re happy with, you need to test it. Think about all the rigorous trials you’ve probably endured to come out with your product or service. The same principles need to be applied to the subject line copy. The best way to do this is by using A/B testing. This is the process of sending out two identical emails with different subject lines and observing which one results in the most conversions or actions.

3. Have a clear goal and action in mind

When you meet a stranger at a party, it’s a common courtesy to engage in small talk. This consists typically of mundane chatter with no real purpose. This is the precise opposite of a good cold email approach.

You should always be polite and respectful in your tone, unless it doesn’t fit your brand’s voice, but you should skip the pleasantries. Having to scour through dense copy to discover an email’s true purpose is a huge turn-off for customers. It feels deceptive, wastes time, and can see your prospective client disengage.

The first step to navigating this process successfully is ensuring that you know why you’re sending the email. If your answer to this question is that “I want more people to check out my website,” then you need to get way more specific.

  • What part of your website?
  • What product or service are you advertising?

Answering these questions will allow you to form the crux of your email. For example, if you think your company has created the best free marketing collaboration tools, you need to explain their features and benefits, such as team messaging and file-sharing, clearly to the reader and encourage them to click through. The best way to do that is by using a call-to-action (CTA).

A CTA is a button or link that encourages action from the email recipient. It can be a link to anything from access to a webinar to a 30-day free trial page. Making this button or link visible and surrounding it with whitespace is one of the best ways to increase response rates.

4. Enrich your customer’s life

After you’ve established your email’s exact purpose, you need to demonstrate how a customer can benefit from using your product or service. Your products could have countless selling points, but your cold email needs to contain only those that resonate most with your recipient.

Once you understand your audience, the market, and your products, figuring out a potential customer’s pain point becomes much easier. The idea is to add value to their life.

Value can be found anywhere. Maybe your client is someone who fishes regularly, and your new hook can increase their catch rate, or perhaps they’re a small business owner who’s struggling with admin and needs a new intelligent document processing system.

Here are a couple of the best tips you can use to add value to a cold email:

  • Use the problem, explain, solution structure – pose a problem, tell the customer why this problem is adversely affecting their life, and solve the problem with your product or service.
  • Show testimonials – real-life people validating you is one of the best ways to add value to a cold email. People trust testimonials far more than a marketing campaign. They legitimize your company, demonstrate that your product or service works, and show that you are enriching customers’ lives.

5. Always consider your timing

Emailing is one of the cheapest, most effective, and most abundant forms of communication. People check their emails day and night, and thanks to mobile smartphones, this is even easier on the go.

Having a large window to send cold emails is both a blessing and a curse. If you send one at the wrong time, you risk never having your email seen and ending up in the trash. Conversely, a well-timed email can significantly improve the chances of a response.

For example, let’s say you’re a small coffee shop that has just opened, and you have acquired an email list based on people’s geographical locations. Sending out a free trial coupon at 5 p.m. would be useless, as most people drink coffee in the morning, and by the time the following day comes around, the receiver will have forgotten. But, a well-timed email at 6 a.m. offering easy access to a QR discount code that can be redeemed on the way to someone’s work is far more likely to be successful.

Creating a cold email scheduling strategy is crucial to the success of your email marketing campaigns. And luckily, with all the email automation tools available, it’s simple.

Email automation

Email automation allows you to create all emails in advance, set a schedule for sending, and then forget about them.

Not only that, you can even schedule automatic follow-up emails. This is incredibly helpful as it maintains engagement with the customer, and it can even help encourage a customer to convert.


Cold emailing is a necessary and valuable part of any email marketing strategy. There are numerous benefits, including its affordability, scalability, and flexibility. It can raise awareness about your company and help you draw in a much larger customer base. But, when done incorrectly, it can actually damage your brand reputation and make you seem like any other spam email.

Let’s quickly recap the best practices:

  • Make your customers feel special and like they’re actual human beings through personalization.
  • Your subject line is one of the first things a recipient sees. Take time crafting excellent copy to increase your opening rates.
  • Be clear and concise with what you want from the reader. Include a prominent CTA button or link. Use Fresh Essays or Grammarly to check the spelling of your text
  • Your audience needs to feel like what you’re offering them will improve their lives. Showcase why you think it will in as few words as possible.
  • Use time to your advantage. Understand not only what your audience wants but when they want it and use automation tools to help.

Author’s Bio:

Richard Conn is the Senior Director, Search Marketing for RingCentral, a global leader in unified communications.

He is passionate about connecting businesses and customers and has experience working with Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Experian, Target, Nordstrom, Kayak, Hilton, and Kia. Richard has written for sites such as Cincopa and Multibriefs.

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