cold email guide

Cold Email Outreach and Sales for Profit – The Definitive Guide To Growing Your Business

You can grow almost any business with a properly executed cold email outreach and sales system. However, the process of doing effective cold email outreach and sales prospecting, requires not only the right mindset – but also the right mix of tools.  Everyone talks about how to write emails and the pitch but no one covers the other aspects that are important and are happening behind the scenes. In this mini-guide to Cold Email Outreach and SalesI will cover the steps that go into successfully running cold email campaigns successfully.  You will learn why most cold email outreach campaign fail and what to avoid. You will also learn how to exactly go about building your email list and what the best tools in the market are to help you do so. A big shout out and thanks to Mike for his course Cold Email Academy from, where I learnt a lot and made some of my notes below. Please get the full course if you want all the detailed training (I just touch upon a few things here, and I highly recommend this course for anyone who wants results). Also, a big thanks to Jeremy for – for building an amazing web tool that I highly recommended. I also made extensive notes related to the technical setup side of things from the book.  My top tool to find leads online is Leadscrape. I have been very amazed by the results it gives, and it’s very easy to master.  I highly recommend these if you’re serious about getting results with you B2B lead marketing! 

What is Cold Email Outreach?

For those of you who have no idea on what Cold Email is – its basically a way of getting in touch with a person who has never met you or had any contact with your brand or business over email. To do the “outreach” (reaching out and connecting with them) over email, you basically setup a system that consists of various software tools that are setup to send your message (your email) to your database of “prospects” or “leads”. And, all of this is done without being intrusive and sounding too “salesy”.This last part is key! This method is mostly used for B2B (business to business) messaging and not B2C (business to consumer) which would be considered to be spam – as the sheer numbers would not warrant a one-to-one personal communication. The system is setup to send out a series of timed emails and follow ups to your target email list (sales leads and prospects) using the available automated tools and systems. 

Getting a proper target list is the most important step in the process as that is essential for you to execute the necessary follow up steps. 

These include all the various tools you use to setup and send your timed email campaigns, and in this guide I go over every vital aspect. Rememberwith great power comes great responsibility.  If you try and abuse the tools or the system, the algorithms and AI built into them will detect you quickly and block your accounts. Also, make sure you comply with local laws, and take legal help if you need prior to starting out.  With that said, lets get started.  

Cold Email – Facts vs Myths

When most people hear about sending emails to prospect customers or people they don’t know (which is why its called a Cold Email) they immediately think of spam. Email marketing through cold email has gotten this association because 95% of the people who use it as a means to reach out and get customers or clients – are doing it wrong and indulging in selfish methods that immediately classify their methods as spam.  I want to make it very clear that as long as you comply with the proper method to reach out to people through email and your emails are in compliance with the laws – cold email is NOT spam. You will in fact be thanked a lot by the people you send emails out to!  You just need to do this right. B2B Emails that are compliant and follow simple things like delivering value, asking a question, looking to help, etc are safe and in fac perfectly healthy. Even B2C emails where you DON’T sell to consumers but look for new partnerships or distribution channels etc are perfectly compliant!

Cold Emails are by far also the most cost effective way to build any business – IF done right.

People think its expensive – but its not! Its certainly cheaper that Paid Ads, Content Writing, and Retargeting – giving you a much higher ROI if done right.  Cold emails can be used as an effective means to initiate sales for your organization, for business development and build strategic partnerships with potential prospect clients. 

The Four Phases of Cold Email


This is the initial phase, where you basically go through hordes of databases, resources etc that you have access to. You can use some of the nifty tools that are available to gather this data based on what data you want to gather or scrape of remote resources. This is a massive undertaking and is very critical that you understand your target market and where they potentially could be located / hang out. 


This is when you take all the targets you find and start looking for their contact information based on how you will go about reaching out to them. In this case we are looking for email addresses, but it could include links to contact forms or profiles on Business sites like Linkedin etc. 


This is the actual process of crafting out the email (very important to say the right thing the right way) and setting up your systems to send out the emails. Note: You have already qualified the lead through research by the time you do this. You could be sending out a series of timed sequential emails in this phase. 


The Sales phase kicks in when anyone who you have reached out to responds positively. They are now effectively a “lead” for you. You need to then push this lead on to your sales team – so they can start the product demo, do  a sales call, answer questions or whatever they need to do after the prospect has been qualified as a lead.  

Writing Email Copy

While writing the first cold email that goes out to a potential prospect your number one goal is to start a positive dialogue with them. You do this by getting them to respond positively in some way or the other. By getting a positive response – I don’t mean getting sale! 

  • A good approach is to get an easy one word response from them a a reply to your email. A simple “yes” or “interested” or “sure”. This allows you to get your foot in the door so you have opened up the dialogue with them and can send them more info. 
  • Another approach is to get them to setup a call so you can talk to them.

Do note that both these responses are in return for your intention to provide them with some high value item in return. Either a consultancy / strategy session, a free website audit video, an industry report etc.   

Concise + Clear + Casual = The 3 C’s of Cold Outreach Email!

When people read emails they generally scan the subject line and then scan through the body copy.  You want to keep things short and clear and always write in a casual manner. You need to speak to them on a one-on-one basis without any fancy buzz words or confusing sales copy.  Keep your sentences short and your email to not more than 2 to 5 sentences. Don’t put more thn 2 sentences together in the same paragraph. Pay attention to things like names, your spellings and grammar. Nothing is a bigger put-off than a shoddy email with errors like these. Avoid the use of exclamation! marks if you can. And if you must use it – use it only once. Avoid the use of the question mark – and if you use it – it should be reserved for use in your Call To Action. You could also, use it in your subject line – if you are trying to evoke a high open rate through  pattern interrupt. In their minds they are probably thinking – who is emailing me? is this spam? what do they want from me? how long will this take to read? As in all sales copy – its important that you spell out the BENEFITS first. That is important. Don’t even get to the features of what you have in the initial email. If you do that – you will be talking about yourself and your products/service rather than addressing your prospects pain and their needs. This will cause them to channel out.  You must spell out specific benefits in your email that address their pain points and their needs. An example would be to say – “Our customers see a huge rise of 65% on average of all sales within 10 days of installing our risk-free software” 

Building Your Personalized Message

I have found that if I do a bit of research on my prospect and personalize my message to something I find about them – I get their attention a lot more.  You can look up their activity on Linkedin, or in their blog. You could find a common connection, or simply comment on something (news item) that you think they might find interesting. Flattery works – so if you can compliment them right up front, without going overboard, you will definitely get their attention. So, you open with a personalized email and then you bridge over to what benefit you/your solution/service/company can provide them. Show them their pain point and remind them of their need in a subtle manner and then how what you have will help them and get them their desired result (the benefit) – without going into any mentions of the features of what you have initially. You can get them engaged by talking about a specific problem and talking about a beneficial solution that they can have. The crux of your email should be your value proposition that you are bringing to the table. You probably have many that you can give – but review them all and see what the strongest one is.  Spell out the benefit(s) clearly and early on within the value proposition.  You Call to Action (CTA) – The Close You can close with a question that leads them to take a specific action – to one of the goals of your email. You probably don’t want them to ask for a call right off the bat initially. That would be a huge commitment for them to make. You just want a micro-commitment from them. A simple reply to your email – saying “yes” or “no” to a question you ask – so you are not engaged in a conversation with them. .  If you must get them on a call – then have them reply by simply giving you a time to schedule the call.  

Your Subject Line

Crafting a good cold email subject line is in no doubt a very critical part of the sales funnel, as it is the first thing your receiver sees. 

How long should your subject line be?

You should aim for about 5 to 10 words in your subject line and not more than around 50 to 60 characters. Make sure to check how your email looks on a mobile device as well because about half of them will be read on mobile. Make sure to see how the “preview” part of your email looks in mobile and desktop – as they will see that as well when they scan your email. This is like a sub-headline and it should relate to the main subject. 

Here’s some subject line ideas you could use 

  • Do you know someone they know? You can reference them and put them in the subject line
  • Insert your Twitter profile
  • Insert a compliment on something they did or achieved
  • An article they just wrote or some accomplishment they achieved
  • Insert their name or their company name AND your company or benefits


Subject Line in Follow Up Mails

  • Refer to the value your are offering. This gets their attention fast
  • You can make a statement that itself is of value to them
  • Insert a question that relates to the pain of the value you can solve. Questions get opened at a higher rate.
  • Insert an insightful statistic of the industry / niche
  • A recent event or trade show that took place that is relevant and significant
  • Insert a result you achieved with a similar client in the same niche


How To Customize and Personalize Your Outreach

Basic Customizations

Use mail merge to inset their name, company name, city, phone number intelligently that blends with the copy of the message. Make it look so its not too obvious that it was just a template that you used. You could insert a note about the weather in their city! A lot of people like to talk about the weather with people they don’t know just yet and you could use this as another connecting point. 


This can be highly effective if done right. Take time to do this with your power leads that are valuable to you and will give you more business.  Its worth it! For this, you can get info about the prospect from their Linkedin activity. Things you can look out for, and include as a talking point in the personalization are… where they are from, school or college / university they went to (this resonates well as people are proud of this), accomplishments they have achieved and listed, their hobbies, a recent blog they wrote, any places that they have posted an opinion on, any recent certification or promotion they got, any comments they have made on their site, any video about them or a subject on their website / podcast or webinar. Don’t mislead them ever in the subject line or body copy – as that would be violating email compliance laws.  Make sure that you always send the email to yourself, take a 30 minute break and then read it as though you were the receiver… both on mobile and desktop.  Many years ago, when I setup my mobile game development company and was handing all outreach and sales – I would try and insert an initial customized message addressing my prospect directly. My outreach systems back then (although very raw and naive!) brought in revenues in excess of $400,000 over year and I was quickly able to scale the operations. This is what cold email outreach, even for beginners – if done right can do for you! 

Writing Follow Up Mails – Tips

Sending follow up mails is another critical part of the process. Just like all the other steps, it cannot be ignored.  About 50% to 60% of the responses you get will come from a mail in your follow up sequence and not from your initial touch point mail. The ideal number of follow up mails is around 8. Don’t hesitate to send follow ups – but don’t send follow ups that annoy them! Its possible that you did not get a response from the first mail, because your subject line was not apt and was a bit weak or was just not read. Every follow up mail in your sequence should add a bit of value to the communication and slowly build up their trust in your – rather than being repetitive or salesy. Most people don’t respond because they are too busy at that moment, so if you send a few more mails you only increase your chances of getting them at a better time – IF you adhere to the other basic items while writing the mail ofcourse. Stick to the same format and angle that I have mentioned in your initial mail for your follow up mails. Try variations in subject lines that spell out different benefits, angles, and try different Call To Actions in the body copy / close. You could insert a recent success story of a customer, or a result that one of their competitors had. You can also include a recent event / trade show or milestone that is related to your product. Just be creative and use humor if you need to! It works well at times. Just keep talking to your prospect as though you were having short bursts of conversation with them and building rapport. The best days to send are Monday to Thursday at around 8am to 4pm – but this can change for you. I do some promotions on Thursdays for a business of mine and it works well for me. 

Your Deliverability, Open and Response Rates

You need to make sure that your emails are clean and over 90% to 95% of them reach inboxes without bouncing. Anything more than that and you could run a risk of hurting your sender reputation score. Typical Open rates of emails should be at the very least 25% but aim to get 50% or more. As you become an expert set higher targets and go for 70% or more. Your response rates should be at the very least 5%. However, a good campaign gets around 10% to 20% responses. Anything below these levels means you are doing something wrong. You either have a targeting problem (sending to the wrong audience) or a messaging problem (something wrong with your message) – assuming that what your are offering or selling is quality and has value. 

A Multi Channel Approach

Just like in all marketing and branding, while you are sending out your cold email outreach series of mails – it makes sense to try and find alternate connection points through which you can put your brand / name in front of your prospects. This will raise your credibility and increase your response rates in your cold email campaigns. You could warm up your prospects and get into their mindsets by a neat little trick. Simply take their email addresses and upload to Facebook and create a custom audience to target and prime with your brands ads ahead of time. Then when they read your email – they wont immediately recall where they heard of you, but they will know they have come across your brand somewhere. This will raise your credibility. You can continue to use this method by showing your ads to them even once your campaign is underway. You can connect with someone you just mailed on Linkedin. personalize the connect message to get a higher response rate and lets them see you as being less invasive than the other messages they get. If you do Cold Calls – this could be another way for you to get an additional touch point with them as your cold email campaigns are running! If you can comment on a tweet they made or a blog post they wrote – that’s another way of getting into your prospects radar and mind set. 

Sender Reputation

Your Sender Reputation is a score that all the various email providers and Internet Service Providers that are located all over the globe assign to your domain and IP adderess it is hosted on.  You need to make sure that your sender reputation is kept healthy always as it ss a very important metric and affects your email deliverability. To ensure that your sender reputation is not affected every email on your list should first be checked before its used. This is because every bounced email affects your sender reputation negatively. 

Maintaining A Healthy Sender Reputation

There are many things that you can do to help your sender reputation.

Make sure to clean and scrub your email lists (use a tool to check their validity via pinging the mail server for existence of the email) prior to sending mails.  Reduce spam complaints by making your emails less salesy and provide value or engage properly so people don’t complain and click the spam button thereby triggering filters. Similar content is flagged as spam, and so to counter this – you need to insert appropriate customized text that is tailor-made for each email address. You can do this by having your VA insert special comments that you then pull and insert into the mail via mail-merge. Avoid sending to generic email addresses on the domains like info@ marketing@ sales@ support@ and look for specific emails by name of person. However, this is not always the case for a small niche business, but its better to stick with this rule. Make sure you do proper email shortlisting and prospecting well from your email leads that you get so you avoid spam traps – which are basically emails setup by email providers and are not supposed to receive any mails and exist for catching spam. there is no way to avoid these. Avoid buying lists that may be harvesting these spam traps and get your domain flagged quickly. Do not start off by blasting out a large number of mails every day. Don’t send 500 mails a day! Spread your email broadcasts over time on a day to day basis. Its better to send 50 per day or 10 per day over a period of a week or so instead of one blast of 500 in one day! Do not send CCs in your emails. Its best to send each mail to one person… no BCCs also! If you are using a third party outbound SMTP service like DuoCircle, Sendgrid, Amazon SES, Mandrill etc. – then they will monitor your sender reputation very closely. If you trip their filters by falling below a certain set percentage (sendgrid is 70%) because of the mistakes you make – they will immediately stop delivering your mail from their IPs and services to you. 

Setup A New Domain for Your Campaign

 Setting up A New Domain to handle your email campaigns avoids any issues from affecting your main business domain and website.  An easy way to save your primary domain from a probable chance of bad sender reputation is to NEVER use it while sending your mail. You can setup a new similar domain and host an email on that new domain instead. For example – you can get a new domain like or or and then create a personal email address on this new alternate domain like – [email protected] – and use that to send the outreach emails. If by any chance this domain or email gets flagged due to some oversight in following proper guidelines (that I outline this guide) – you can simply book another domain and continue with your cold email outreach from that new domain. Always make sure the IP address the domain is hosted on is not the same as your main website. Do make sure you also setup proper DKIM keys, SPF records, DMARC etc on this new domain for proper mail deliverability rates etc. You need to make sure that your email and domain is all setup OK. You can use the Google Toolbox to check MX records and run checks to see if your domain is setup properly. A great tool to check if your email message is clean and has a low spam score is Mail Tester. When you access this site they will tell you to send your mail to the random [email protected] address they setup to receive the mail and then you have to click the check your score button to get a score. This is a very nifty tool and I use it even when I am broadcasting out email campaigns to my lists on various autoresponder services – as it helps me get immediate feedback on where my email could land up (spam box, non-primary tab etc). You can use a service like Sender Score – to monitor the sender score of the email address you are sending from over time. This will allow you to see how ISPs and email provders / gateways etc view your email address early on so you can fix things quickly before your reputation gets bad due to an oversight.   

Compliance and The Law

Email CAN SPAM Act and Laws Around the World

You need to be familiar with the various laws in your country of business operation. The USA CAN-SPAM Act (around which most other countries are structured but this is not legal advice by any means). Here is a document you should download and read. The Act, basically… 

  • forbids the use of false of misleading headers
  • warns against use of deceptive subejct lines
  • tells you to make sure to inform the receiver that the email is an ad
  • requires you to communicate your business address in each email
  • requires you to insert a clear method on how the receiver can opt-out of any future messages from you
  • requires you to honor all opt-out requests from your list. They have 30 days to send your the opt-out request so you need to make sure you check carefully and regularly
  • If you hire someone to setup and send email campaigns on your behalf, you are required to monitor what they are doing and are responsible for it.

This is what the CAN-SPAM Act has laid down as the core items. Just make sure to…

  • Send from a real person always!
  • Do not have any deceptive subject lines
  • Be clear in saying what you are offering them

 The CAN-SPAM Act clearly classifies emails into three main categories (and requires you to include the unsubscribe info if it falls into these). 

  1. Commercial Content (emails that promote or advertise products and services)
  2. Transactional or Relationship Content, (emails that are related to current existing relationships or any transactinos like order information from a purchase via your website or a feedback form email), and
  3. Other (which is neither o the first two)

The third of these is very vague.  The Act specifies very clearly that, any email whose primary purpose is commercial advertisement to sell or promote a product or service – is considered to be a commercial e-mail… and so will need to have a necessary opt-out info etc included. What this means is that you can send out an email like – “Who is the marketing head in your company?” or “Could you please put me in touch with your marketing team lead”…. and you are not required to put the unsubscribe message in the footer of your email. And technically, you could put a link in your signature area that that says something like checkout our products at http://… You should look at the laws in your country before you start sending out the emails, and lot of countries are structured around the CAN-SPAM Act so make sure to look this up and abide by the local law in your territory! 

Setting Your Email Campaign Goals

Before you start any email campaign make sure you know exactly why your are sending the mails. Is it to sell products? get a lead? start a conversation with an influencer? book a product demo? get feedback? hire someone? get more subscriptions to your youtube channel?  Having a clear goal in mind, will help you evaluate the success or failure of each campaign your run. 

Its also very important to realize that Cold Emails are shunned for B2C (Business to Consumer) type campaigns and should be used only for B2B (Business to Business) emails.

 Don’t ever mass spam end Consumers with mails as that is a sure way to get blacklisted and get into trouble. 

It is better to send a B2B pitch to an influencer in your niche – who would then communicate your product to their community via their email, blog, twitter or any channel they choose.

 When you set your goals make sure you are consistent in your actions. Don’t send out mails and give up if things don’t work for you. Not getting a response should tell you to tweak things. Either your target list or prospects is way off or your message is wrong.  You should never ever try to close a deal in the first mail. If you try and sell upfront, it will no-doubt be seen as an intrusion with the receiver. 

Your aim is to warm up your leads and go slow.

Go slow and think about how you can build a relationship with them first and foremost.  Start conversation with them first! Garner their interest by being curious or providing them with some value first. 

You should have good copywriting and communication skills if you want to succeed at this – so, take time to invest in these writing skills or hire an experienced person to get this done for you!

Getting replies that are rejections are a normal part of any sales process. You should be prepared to fail 99 times out of a 100 or even 999 times out of a 1000! Rejection is part and parcel of the process… and that’s what solid sales persons are built to withstand. If you can’t, then sales is not for you! 

Email List – Quality over Quantity

The quality of your email list is the most important factor in determining your success rates or positive responses. If you scrape a list that is not targeted or is contains prospects that are not related, then your response rates will be dismally low. 

Even the best of email copywriting or communication will fail if you send it to the wrong audience.

Further, that will discourage you and will not give you a true picture of the effectiveness of your message. To help keep your list clean and response rates as high as possible – make sure you don’t use generic emails like sales@ mail@ info@ as these tend to lead to poor results – unless, you are using them to send an email out asking for the right person to get in touch with. 

Buying Your List from a Third Party Leads Provider

If you are buying your list of leads from someone, you need some way to authenticate the emails. You should always check and verify the validity of the emails using any third party email verification service like – , , that I have mentioned in the resources section below. 

Scraping Your List of a Niche Directory

If you find a niche directory which lists contact information, and you want to scrape the third party site for the emails – this can be a goldmine for you. Make sure to follow appropriate data scraping laws. There are tools that will allow you to setup and scrape the website like Visual Web Ripper, or – or you could always hire someone off or to do the job for you. Try and think out of the box while trying to find how to find the right prospects. For example if you are targeting sites that use a specific CMS or technology or for example are using a competitors WP plugin or Javascript code – then you can use a service like or or to scrape the web for sites that use the specific footprint of the competitors inserted code. 

Linkedin Leads

Linkedin is a great way to connect up with prospects on a quick one-to-one basis. You can keep linkedin for the power leads – the ones you cherish the most and would like to connect up with at a closer level. Tools like can help you reach out in large numbers – but be very careful when you use them as it could result in your account violating Linkedin’s Terms Of Service.

Use Meet Leonard sparingly and carefully – always following the guidelines laid down by the developers of the tool.

Another method on linkedin would be to join groups where your prospects hang out or are a part of and then messaging them from inside that group. A  Linkedin initial communication ice-breaker – would be to send a message to someone whom you and your prospect are connected to – a common person. The message could be something like – hey, I noticed we are both connected to xyz .. how do you know him? what a small world this is! … or something along these lines. 


If you are targeting to find brick and mortar businesses – then is the perfect place to look for your prospects.  

Conferences, Trade Shows and Meet Ups

Conferences that your target audience attends is a great place to network face to face and find potential prospects that you can then follow up with. If you find a conference, but cannot attend it – you could send out a mail to potential prospects saying… “hey, I Saw that you are going for the conference abc and I wont be able to make it, but I would like to connect up with you after the event if its ok?” You can also attend local meetups in the niche you are targeting to meet business heads. 


Referrals from existing customers is a great way to build a strong list of prospects. Tip – When you send out a mail and you get an out of office autoresponder message – you should scan these messages as they will generally contain the email address of another person in charge whom you can then connect up with. 

Hiring a Third Party

If you want to hire a third party to find all your leads you can try as they are specialists in this service, or get in touch with me and I can definitely help you out with this.   

Other Tools and Tricks You Can Use  for Prospecting

  • Find the Customers of your competitors!
  • Find Competitors of your current customers!


Digging Deeper into Linkedin

A good tip is to drill down later into the search results as most people only mine the initial result and miss out the results that rank later.  You should gather information about the profile such as the past things they have done and any articles or blog posts they may have made in Linkedin or other places. This will help you personalize your outreach and will get their attention. 

Finding Your Competitor’s Customers via Footprints

If your competitors customers are using some special code inside their pages you can use a web tool like NerdyData to easily find them all. 

The Guru Followers Method

With this  method you basically find the gurus and thought leaders your typical prospect (customer avatar) follows. They could be using their tools, reading their books, etc in social.  You’re looking for the top influencers in your niche – who are basically talking to your target audience.

To find and scrape all their followers you use a tool like or . Get the report from these tools and then upload it to – This should give you a large chunk of emails for each group!

 You should follow the Gurus in the niche and see the thought leaders that they follow. See what groups they hang out on in socialmedia and other places., and follow them and compile look-alike profiles of other prospects. 

Finding Email Addresses

You can find  email addresses, people working in a company from their website or domain.  If you want to find email addresses of prospects directly – you could use many of the tools that are available and that I have listed in detail in the resources section of this post below. (I will also be writing a post shortly on my step by step method to finding email addresses of anyone online. The draft is ready and I just need to clean it up!) Here are some tools that you can use to hunt for emails (there’s most at the end of this post in the resources section)

  • – free tool
  • – allows up to 10 checks per month
  • – scrapes emails of sites your visit
  • – checks twitter feeds of people to see if they have shared their email in a tweet. You can also use advanced twitter filters or google search commands to do this.
  • – finds email addresses from domain name
  • Consider searching the Terms and Conditions page of a website as they are required by law to inset their email address in it.
  • Googling the name of the person + email may work sometimes
  • – another good tool
  • – also a good tool

As a last option you can use to guess the email address of the person. is another fantastic tool that is becoming very popular for verified linkedin email accounts. They did a Initial Coin Offering (for their cryptocurrenncy token) in 2017. If you have their tokens you can purchase credits easily or simply pay for them if you don’t have tokens. They even allow you to earn credits if you upload your Linkedin list! They also have a free plan (100 contacts per month). 

Verifying Email Addresses

Once you scrape or source your email addresses – its very important that you verify each email address before you use them in your campaigns, as this will help keep your domain reputation score healthy.  You can use a service like or to help you do this. They basically ping the remote SMTP servers to check the validity of each email and that it exists, and then break the connection and not send the email.  I use Atomic Email Verify as its a one time cost software tool that you can run on your desktop or VPS and its very effective. You pay once and never again, unlike the other SAAS tools that take a small amount of money for each check. 

Maximizing Your Response Rates

Quality of The Prospects in your list The very first and most important factor (and I’ve said it before) is to ensure that your target audience is well matched. To get this right you have to go about your sales prospecting and building your sales leads list properly.  

Having a poor list is the number one reason why most people fail at this – so make sure you do this right!

Its all a matter of researching for your target market in a manner that is accurate. To do this, you may want to first create a persona that defines what your target prospect looks like. Create a customer avatar and define their demographics and psychographics accurately. If you are sourcing the lists from different places – then batch out and segregate the lists based on each source – so you will know which source was more reliable when and if your mail verification fails or they come back undelivered. The subject line of your email is the first touch point you have with your prospects attention. You can’t be misleading with it and you need to evoke action.

Your subject line can be thought of as a contract between you and the reader as to what they can expect if they open the email.

Make sure your message in the body of the email is aligned to the subject! Otherwise, you may get great open rates but poor responses. Personalizing the subject line with the receivers name inside it – may or may not work. You need to split test this to see if it works in your niche and with your target audience and there is no statistic that says it will work. Also – if you don’t like Gmail adding your follow up messages into one thread, then you may just need to personalize the subject line. 

Catchy Subject Lines

Here are some subject lines that are catchy. Quick Question

  • ask a question and keep the body of mail short as peopel like short concise targeted mails / questions and you will increase your resposne rate

 ABC referred me

  • name dropping is good and works well

 Meeting today? Coffee today?  

  • if you are in the same city, you could ask this

 Can you help? Who can I talk to regarding sales? 

Talk To One Person When Writing Emails 

Make sure that when you write email copy you write as though you are talking to ONE person.

Use the “you” word when you can. Don’t talk to many people.

Write and talk as though you were talking on a one-to-one basis with one person face-to-face. This is copywriting 101 and you must follow it. If you get to salesy in your first email, then its going to decrease your response rate, and get you flagged as a spammer. Don’t do this! Be clear in your email and the message you are sending out. Don’t complicate the content and the message. Keep it simple silly! (KISS). Ask for one Call-To-Action at the end of the email so they know exactly what to do next, and don’t give them way too many choices unless its clearly spelled out.

To get a higher response rate – lower the commitment or the action step they have to take next.

A simple CTA may look like this … reply *yes* if you are keen and we’ll send you the link to book your call slot. Asking a simple question like – “Who is the appropriate person I can speak to about ABC” – works well, because they just have to reply with a name and they already know the answer, so they would probably respond. You can also get a micro-commitment in the form of a link click Call-To-Action in your emails. Simply insert a choice of say 4 links, and ask them to click on the correct one. Then once they click (and complete the low commitment you setup for them to do) – you can then follow up and ask for a bigger commitment later… like, “Thanks for letting me know. I have another quick question to bounce of you…”  Its important to realize that you are still a stranger in the eyes of your prospect in these initial stages and you must try to find ways for them to engage with you without having to do much work. 

Finding A Common Liking with Prospects

This is a great way to bond with your prospect. Finding a common topic of discussion and making sure that you speak their language is a great way to connect. Use terms that they are familiar with and bring out a topic that you think they would be passionate about – be it some recent piece of news in the industry, a hobby, people you both know, common shared experiences that you can empathize with (if you are both start up entrepreneurs for example) – all work wonderfully well in starting a conversation. 


Reciprocity as made popular by Robert Cialdini from Stanford University – works extremely well. To make the power of reciprocity work, you need to first give them something that is of value to them without asking first for anything in return.

Give before you ask!

This could be a free report that you make specifically for them – when they reply with interest, or perhaps a free ebook, free video etc. If you use the custom report that is tailor-made to them (like maybe a site audit) – then you can do the work when they reply showing interest only – otherwise this is not scalable as you wont be able to send out custom reports to each email lead ahead of time! 

Follow up mails with humor?

You can send a follow up mail with some humor in it (that could be say a 3rd or 4th touch point) as an attempt to evoke a response with a higher rate. The mail could ask them for a quick click as a micro-commitment. For example… 

I’ve been trying to reach you but either you’re swamped with mail or an alligator ate you <img draggable= Whichever, I’d like to know with one click below… … and then go on to include some links including… “i’m not interested”, “I missed your mail” .. etc.

You can then capture the link click with or use to lead to a Google or Wufoo webform so you can track the clicks – and then simply ask them (and talk to them very casually while they are on the page)….

hey thanks! Could you drop me a quick note with more details please? 


Adding Images To Emails

Including animated GIFs works very well and can increase your engagement and response rates.   

Customizing Your Email Body Copy

Customization of your email body is important not only from the aspect of letting each user know the message is made for them, but also prevents your emails from being identified as mass spam. You can use mail merge to create a special field with text info that gets included in the P.S. area or somewhere in your emails – and that is keyed into your spreadsheet that the mail merge uses by your VA who you instruct to find unique information on each prospect. For example, you could include something like… 

Hey, I loved your blog post XYZ and do agree with you. OR – Your tweet – ABC makes was spot on!

And, if you cannot customize your emails in this manner – then either slow down the daily number of emails you send out or craft out a few emails that you rotate to the prospects. 

Warming Up Your Leads

You could also technically warm up your prospects with your brand before they get your mail. You can do this by uploading you email list into Facebook or Google and then target to show them banners / your brand / message etc. However, make sure to comply with the rules of these ad networks as they may not allow you to do this in some cases. Its important you read their terms for uploading email prospect targets for banner ads. 

Sending Your Mails

You can send emails and manage your campaigns using a SAAS web tool or a desktop tool. These only manage your campaigns and track them etc providing you with a neat dashboard that shows your what is happening. At the very core – they all connect to an SMTP provider which is essentially you email host… the place your email is hosted and the service that provides you with the outbound SMTP . This could be a provider like Sendgrid, Amazon SES (Simple Email Service), Mandrill or the new upcoming outbound SMTP service provider that also offers phishing protection and other email security features that the others do not offer. Basically, you can setup your system to send mails either through a desktop tool or a SAAS web app like , or . The desktop or SAAS tool will connect with your SMTP server service provider like Google Apps, Amazon SES, Sendgrid or Mandrill. Both options work well and differ in features and cost.  Using a SAAS service will cost you monthly, but then you don’t need to leave your PC running all the time that you will need to do with the desktop tool or optionally setup a VPS to run the desktop tool on. 

The SAAS tools are more advanced and my recommendation. I would not advise a desktop tool.

Whatever method you use, just make sure to never ever send out large quantities of mail as it will only hurt your sender reputation and get caught as spam quickly thereby nullifying all your effort. 

Resources Section

SAAS Tools for Cold Email Prospecting, Managing and Tracking Campaigns – Highly recommended, great support and fantastic features. – Neat, slick and a great tool for those starting out. – Allows you to insert custom images inside the email. – Outreach on autopilot while keeping communication personal. – The sales engagement tool with the simplest, cleanest interface. Zero bloat. – The Market-Leading Sales Engagement Platform – mostly for SEO purposes. This tool allows you to find and scrape addresses of websites that are lacking certain SE criteria and allows you to email them from right inside the dashboard. – A browser plugin that is a great way to manage your email communications and time the sending of your personalized responses to warm / hot leads. – Powerful analytics, automation, and enhancements for your outbound communications. – Send mass mail from insider of Gmail using this browser extension – Gmail Mail Merge Method for sending mail using Gmail and spreadsheet – TEAR – Total Email AutoResponder (may not be perfect). – Email Send Master – can Send Bulk Emails, Auto-Reply, Subscribe/Unsubscribe, Deal With Bounced Toutapp Leadfuze Growbots 

Finding Email Addresses ( SAAS web tools ) – Web service – pay as you go for finding email addresses. – Crowdsourced database and looks pretty slick. Raised money through an ICO recently. – Finds email addresses right inside Gmail as you type and its free! – Find business email addresses. Simple, fast and free email search using the crowd-sourced database – BULK email finder $49 for 1k emails per month. – Enter domain and it finds all emails associated or first and last name and domain, find any email address $49 for 500 email runs. – $49 for 1k email lookups – do twitter searches and export lists of people names, bio description, followers, twitter handle etc. – $29 per mo for 150 emails or $99 for 500 emails per month – find anyone’s email – Chrome extension that lets you search for emails without leaving the page Bonus Method using Rapportive + Spreadhseet combo trick  

Desktop Lead Generation Tools and Email Scrapers – Find Unlimited Local Businesses Leads – Yellow Pages Spider – Extract Data from most popular “yellow pages” directories. – Serp Digger- Extract VALID Email Addresses From Linkedin Twitter Instagram Pinterest and More – LinkedIn Lead Extractor- Extracts data from LinkedIn such as name, email, business name, address, phone number – The Scrapebox Extension for email scraping. – has a ton of tools that look good! – A very expensive Desktop tool to get data from Cragislist, BackPage, Ebay Lead Search, Yellow Pages Scraper, Automated Twitter Marketing, Twitter Trends Demand, Traffic, Facebook Lead Serve, Social Lead Detective, Google Maps Extractor, Yahoo Auto Answer Bot, Social Mail Hacker, Linked Lead Connect, Email Gunner, FB Open Graph Investigator, Miracle Traffic Bot  

Email Verification Tools – check email addresses one by one Atomic Email Verifier is a desktop tool that lets you check validity of email addresses for a one time cost.  

Track Actions in Mails you Send and Follow Up Manually – A browser extension that lets you track when emails are opened. Free but need to pay monthly to remove branding. –> allows you to track clicks, Know Who, When and Where Read, Clicked and Forwarded Your Email – Track email open and reply rates, link clicks, attachment opens and presentation pageviews. – lets you send email through their dashboard and track opens, clicks etc. – manage your mail, follow ups, scheduling, track opens and clicks.  

Recommended CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

If you’re looking for a decent web based CRM tool you might want to check these out (this list is in no way comprehensive and is just a start!)  

Booking Calls / Calendar Apps

And, if you need to book calls and schedule demos etc, these are some good tools out there. WordPress Bookly Plugin Book Like  A Boss  

The Prospect Scraper Tools, That I Personally Use

If you want to know my secret method and tools to find prospects in any niche – then drop a comment below about this post and send me a message and I’ll share the tool names with you. These are absolute gems, and I found them by trying a ton of tools out there. I don’t really want to openly share them here (yet)… so if you want it you need to work for it <img draggable= Over to you… 

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  1. This is great. Thanks for sharing these detailed tips and tools for building a cold email outreach strategy. One tool that I can recommend is this linkedin lead generation tool. Having been using this tool for a while. They scrape and build prospective lead list for your business automatically. Thus saving you good amount of time and money. This list could later be used for cold email outreach as well. Hope this helps. Being a marketer, I believe in the potential of email marketing!

  2. Hey Vishal,

    Wow, what an epic and actionable article on cold email outreach and software. I think this will help give people a much better idea of how to approach it with success and stand out from others.

    And thanks for the mention — we over here at QuickMail are very flattered by your kind words! 🙂

  3. whenever you stumble upon a common name and are finding it difficult to track email of person down, try adding additional information along with the name. This could be anything ranging from the company they are working for to their hometown. This will make it easier for you to find that one person among the 8 billion people in the world.

  4. Hey Vishal, it was a wonderful journey to your spicy resource page. No doubt email marketing can play an awesome role to increase any product or service sale. You have mentioned some effective email outreach and sales profit ideas. It’s really a cold and outstanding write up. Message personalization, outreach, subject line, reach and response and what not you noticed in this treasure. I like the way you put the ideas for your readers and fans. I would like to say my cordial thanks for your wholehearted job.

  5. Hey Vishal!! What an epic article! No doubt email marketing can play an very important role to increase sales.
    You have got some really good ideas and actionable steps/ It’s really an amazing piece of content that needs congratulations.
    Keep it up! We wanna see more!
    I like the way you explain things and I say thank you for your effort
    Stay safe!

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