How to Run a Cold Email Marketing Campaign That Warms Leads & Makes Sales

The article talks about 5 important elements of cold emailing that help a business make better sales. The Key takeaways are about manual prospecting, email personalization, email signatures, and much more!

Customer acquisition is vital to business success. But you can't just sit back and wait for customers to come to you. If you want your business to flourish and grow, you need to find ways to bring the right people to you.
Enter cold email marketing. A cold email is simply an email sent to someone with whom you have had no prior interaction. Cold emails are considered less intrusive than cold calls and are therefore much more effective. Marketers generally rank email marketing as their most crucial channel for lead generation:

Are you convinced? It's not difficult to run a great email marketing campaign, but you need to follow a few essential steps. Read on for my step-by-step guide that will show you exactly how to run a cold email marketing that brings in leads and makes sales.

1. Build Your Email List

Before you can start sending emails, you need to have a list of email addresses to send them to. The higher the quality of your email list, the more effective your campaign will be.

The first step is to create your customer persona, or a profile of your ideal customer. This process helps ensure you're focusing your efforts in the right place. There's no point sending hundreds of emails to people who don't need what you're offering! Here's an example of a customer persona:

You might be tempted to expedite this process by buying lists of data. Resist this urge! In most instances, you'll just be wasting money on low-quality, often inaccurate data.

Manual prospecting, though time-consuming, is a far better bet. LinkedIn is a great place to start as it allows you to search for people by name, job role, or company.

If you want to contact an individual but can't find their email address, use an email finder like Voila Norbert. It's also a good idea to use an email verification service to validate the addresses you find, decreasing your bounce rate. Taking care of your deliverability score is vital in the early stages of an email marketing campaign.

2. Write a Killer Email

Personalization is critical, and this begins with your email subject line. According to Optinmonster, including the recipient's name in the subject line increases email open rates by 10% to 14% across industries. Other useful subject line tricks are to use emojis (this may or may not be appropriate depending on your audience) and to introduce a sense of mystery to entice the prospect to open the email.

It is also essential to personalize the body of your email. Use the person's name and use an informal language that implies familiarity. In other words, write as you would to a friend. Introduce yourself, but don't spend too much time talking about yourself! Your email is not about you but about the prospective customer and the problems they need to solve. I try to use the word "you" at least twice as much as the words "I" or "we" in my marketing emails.

Finally, your email should end with a clear and straightforward call to action. This is what you want the email recipient to do. Examples might be "download your free guide now" or "give me a call."
Here's an example of a great cold outreach email a consultant might use:

Subject line: Katie, problem with your website
Hi Katie,

My name's John, and I help companies generate more leads. I was reviewing your website and came across a couple of problems, which if you fixed them, would help you generate more revenue for your site.

Here's a two-minute video I created for you going over some of these issues - [NAME OF COMPANY]:

If you're interested in arranging a video call next week, I'd be happy to share a few more details. Look forward to hearing back from you.

Speak soon,


You can use a similar type of template for your outreach campaigns. The key is to clearly define your value proposition. Essentially, you need to ask yourself, "what can I provide for free to get the person to pay attention to my message?"
The better you can answer that question, the more likely you will be to get a response.

3. Focus On Your Email Signature

An email signature can be an essential element of your value proposition. A 2019 survey of over 750 marketers and business owners found that 82% use their email signature to increase brand awareness. Almost half of the respondents - 48% - said that they use email signatures to drive traffic to their websites. A further 34% use them for lead generation, and 25% to increase sales.

Some respondents even said they use their email signatures to announce new products, promote events, retain customers, and generate new leads:

Source: Marketing Charts

In other words, your email signature is vital real estate - make the most of it! Embed a relevant link to your company website, and include your social media handles as appropriate.

"Make sure to add an email signature with a clear Call to Action to your cold outreach emails. I've signed up five clients this year from people who clicked through from my email signature to a sales page."

Nico Prins, Launch Space
Leveraging this final element not only makes your email look more professional, but helps you achieve your business goals. It would be an oversight not to create an email signature given that it's so easy to set up.

4. Automate, Automate, Automate

Busy small business owners understand the importance of efficiency. Fortunately, it's possible to scale your cold email campaign and achieve the best possible results without it taking up all your time.

Automate wherever you can. Instead of using spreadsheets to keep track of your campaigns, use a customer relationship management system that automatically manages and analyzes your interactions with customers and prospects. Use an email marketing tool to track the cold emails you’ve sent and the recipients’ responses.

You can also optimize the results of personalizing your emails. Begin by scoring your leads against specified metrics. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:
  • What is the lead’s current job title? Do they hold the most relevant position?

  • What industry does the lead work in?

  • Does the lead use a competitor’s product?

  • Have you had contact with the lead before?
Assign values to each lead in your email outreach tool. The final score will determine how you will personalize each email to increase your chances of a conversion. For high-value prospects, you might spend extra time researching before writing a highly personalized outreach email. For those with a lower score, merge tags that auto-fill the person’s name and company may suffice. A robust analysis and scoring system will ensure you’re using your time and energy in the right places.

5. Don't Forget to Follow Up

Your campaign doesn't end once you've sent your cold email. Follow-up is one of the most crucial stages of the email marketing process. If you don't get a reply the first time, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll never get one.

Iko System reported an 18% response rate to its first email to cold leads, a 14% response rate to the second email, and a 12% response rate to the third email. The company's sixth email received an astounding 27% response rate!

Source: Iko System

Yesware also concluded that the more emails you send, the more opportunities you create for your recipient to reply:

Source: Yesware

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying you should spam your prospect. It's essential to ensure your emails are appropriately spaced. Creating an automated email sequence using your marketing tool allows you to automatically send emails at pre-designated intervals, ensuring you never miss the opportunity for a follow-up.

Your email sequence might look something like this:
Day 1: First follow-up (wait two days)
Day 3: Follow up (wait four days)
Day 7: Follow up (wait a week)
Day 14: Follow up (wait two weeks)
Day 28: Follow up (wait a month)

Your email sequence should be dynamic, meaning that you can adjust it depending on your prospective customer's responses.

It's essential to vary the content in each email in the sequence. Copying and pasting your original email will quickly annoy your prospect, and, after two or three emails like this, they'll stop opening them. Instead, make sure you're offering value. Your emails should contain useful, informative content. They should always be focused on the customer, their pain points, and the solutions you can offer.

Cold Email Marketing The Right Way

There's no arguing with the statistics: email marketing works. It is still the most effective digital marketing channel. But simply spamming out cold emails to everyone in sight without a clear plan won't cut it. Both strategy and creativity are crucial when it comes to designing your cold email marketing campaign.

To sum up, remember my top tips:

Take the time to do manual prospecting. Your email list will be much stronger as a result.
When you write your email, focus on personalization and offering value.


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