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Cold Email Strategy: 10 Steps to Follow to Get a Higher Response Rate

Before we start exploring the best and most effective ways to do cold emailing, there are two things to keep in mind.

  1. Cold emailing is not easy.
  2. Cold emails are incredibly effective if done in the right way.

Every email you send will have to compete with hundreds of other emails in a professional’s inbox. For them, you are a stranger and they are mostly receiving emails from colleagues and subscribed email lists. You can stand out among those emails if you do it smartly, strategically, and in a professional way. The average response rate of cold emails is 1-5%. You can beat that number if executed in the right way.

First, let’s understand what cold emails are before delving into the strategies that will bring you improved opening and conversion rates.

What is a Cold Email?

Reaching a person with an email with whom you have no prior connection, is called Cold Emailing. Cold Emails are different from spam emails by having legitimate business purposes. A similar way to reach a person is cold calling. But, cold emails are a lot easier to do at a large scale. In both cases, you are trying to connect with a person with whom you have no previous relationship, for making a connection or conducting business.

How cold emails are different from spam?

When done professionally, cold emails stand far away from spam. Cold emails are personalized, targeted, and relevant.

A well-done cold email should have:

  • Full Name
  • The contact information like social profile, phone number
  • Personalized content
  • A clear reason for contacting
  • No clickbaity subject line

While spam emails are:

  • Have a clickbaity subject line
  • Fake or no company name
  • Not at all personalized
  • Ask to fill out the dubious form or ask to click a link
  • Often commercial, trying to sell something

10 Steps To Follow That Makes Cold Emailing Work

These solid steps will raise your cold emails above in the recipient’s inbox and will bring you the results you are chasing.

1. Email Warmup

From sending a few emails to sending a large number of nearly identical emails will trigger email providers and will be flagged for spamming. This will happen quickly to an email address and domain which are relatively new. Before sending cold emails at a large volume, you need to warm up your domain or email address.

There are many email warm up tool that use automated processes to send emails from your email address. They often open those emails, sometimes reply and mark the emails as important and not spam. These tools start with small numbers and gradually increase the volume and frequency of emails per day.

Although Google cracked down on warmup tools, there are several available.

2. Email List

The success of your campaign depends on how well you understand your target audience. Right pitching to the right audience brings success to an email campaign. A perfectly designed campaign will fail if pitched to the wrong audience. The whole aim of cold emails is to convince someone and to convince someone you need to understand what matters most to them.

There are several tools that help you collect email addresses like, Voila Norbet, and But keep in mind that the quality of emails is far more important than the quality. Use a reliable bulk email verifier to ensure the quality of your email list.

3. Right Platform for Cold Emailing

Email platforms like Hubspot, Woodpecker, and Mailchimp are some of several emailing platforms. You can choose according to your needs and budget. But why do you need these platforms? You need these platforms to

  • Speed up the workflow
  • Ensure high deliverability rates
  • Use their cold emailing features like scheduling and follow-ups
  • Access their no-cap limit of emailing

4. Personalization

Personalization is what makes your email different from spam. It’s the most important element of a cold email campaign. Your email should feel like they are made as a one-to-one message, even though you are sending thousands of emails at once. In that matter, you can send an announcement email to introduce your business to potential customers who have not interacted with your brand before, but you should try to personalize the email content .

Every cold email platform has a mail merge feature that helps personalize the emails. Their way of function varies as some pick data from Google sheets while some from CSVs. You can include pretty much every detail that highly personalizes the emails such as

  • Recipients’ names
  • company name
  • Links to various social media and website
  • Any other specific info

5. Subject lines

A subject line is the first place to start with. You must deliver the promise you made in the subject line. Consider waiting until you write your whole email. A good Subject line must be

  • Clear and Direct
  • Personalized
  • Short and have value
  • Non-clickbaity

6. Copywriting

Writing and composing an email is an essential element that brings success to email campaigns. There are numerous tactics that you can deploy depending on the potential customer.

  • Offer, Don’t ask. Busy, non-engaging high-ranked officers in corporations don’t have time to waste with you in conversion. Offer them a solution directly.
  • Add Value, not obscurity. Tell them your features and benefits in a short format instead of long paragraphs explaining in detail.
  • Design your email from the perspective of the recipient, not yours.

7. Schedule

Schedule your emails in a way that they hit the recipient’s mailbox when they are engaged. Most of the cold email platforms allow you to schedule your emails.

  • Pick an ideal time that you want your email to hit the recipient’s inbox.
  • Consider skipping weekends and other holidays if they lie in between your campaigns.
  • Send repeated emails for any new edition to your prospects.

8. One-to-one message simulation

We have discussed earlier that cold emails must be personalized in a way that makes recipients feel special. It’s not about fooling them.

  • Add one or two real and well-researched lines which hit the pain point.
  • Embed images rather than using hosted ones. If needed, host images on your own server.
  • Consider turning off click tracking, that can be a red flag.
  • If you are sending emails to old contacts, consider sending them as replies.

9. Follow-ups

Follow-up is a critical step in cold emailing that should not be overlooked. If someone is not replying to your first email, don’t think they are not interested. They must be busy with daily household chores, meetings, project deadlines, shopping, and many more things.

  • Send follow-up emails until you get a reply. It might take three to four consecutive emails.
  • Sort out non-replied emails using reply templates and send follow-up emails.

10. A/B Comparison

The goal of cold emails is to obtain as much output as possible. Trusting your instinct is good but the behavior of the audience is the ultimate source of truth. Analyze your campaigns to find out which version is doing the best.


Cold Email campaigns do work if done effectively and in a professional manner. You just can’t expect someone to reply and fill a contact form with a few blunt lines without any formal introduction and trust building. Follow the above-described ways to drain out the best output from your cold email campaigns.

IEMLabs is an ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we are also a proud member of EC Council, NASSCOM, Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The company was established in 2016 with a vision in mind to provide Cyber Security to the digital world and make them Hack Proof. The question is why are we suddenly talking about Cyber Security and all this stuff? With the development of technology, more and more companies are shifting their business to Digital World which is resulting in the increase in Cyber Crimes.


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