Cold Emails 101 - The What, Where, When, Why, and Hows of Cold Emails

Course Introduction

A cold email is a sales email that a sales representative sends to a potential customer with whom they have no prior relationship.

As 80% of customers prefer to be contacted via email, cold emails have become a popular sales outreach technique in B2B sales. Cold emails provide sales professionals with a cost-effective and continuous means of turning cold prospects into paying customers.

Open rates for cold emails range between 15.22% and 28.46% - (DB, 2022)

As successful as cold emails can be, you might struggle with getting a high response rate if it's not written correctly. To help you write winning cold emails, this course will give you a walkthrough on the basics of cold email writing.


Lesson #1: Cold Emails as an important marketing tool

A cold email is a form of sales prospecting tactic that involves reaching out to individuals or businesses to build relationships and possibly get them to take your desired action - purchase or partnerships.

Some of the examples of how businesses use cold emails include:

B2B SaaS startups cold email enterprise businesses to sell their products.

B2C companies reach out to high-profile influencers for affiliate partnerships.

Freelancers email business owners to offer their services and get contract work.

Entrepreneurs contact investors to pitch their business ideas.

With an open rate of 10% - 40% and a conversion rate of 2% if done properly, you can leverage the power of cold emails to push your sales pitch into the faces of hundreds or even thousands of interested prospects and have them talking to your salesman in no time.

Some of the crucial reasons why cold emails are important to your business are:

  1. Networking: Cold emails are an effective tool to reach out and connect with your prospects to explore business opportunities
  2. Lead generation: Cold emails are mostly targeted at your prospects and enable you to slowly generate qualified leads, build relationships with them, and eventually convert the
  3. Brand awareness: Cold emails help you reach out and connect with individuals who have no idea of your business - thereby increasing your brand awareness.
  4. Scalability: You can easily measure your email performance and success. Based on these statistics, you can restrategize and plan for a better campaign.

Lesson #2: Understanding cold emails

According to a McKinsey study, sending cold emails is almost 40 times more effective than social media.

While cold emails can be super effective, they can also be very challenging judging by the long process that sales reps have to go through to achieve sales.

A better way of approaching cold email is to focus on relationship building with your prospects - although sales may happen at the end - you would have to do a series of follow-up emails to achieve that.

By sending your prospects cold emails on a regular basis, you get to build a strong relationship with them and keep your products or services at the top of their mind when they are finally ready to make a purchase.

Compared to their sales outreach channels, cold emails are one of the all-time favorites of sales reps - an average conversion rate of 15.11% - and business owners for the following reasons:

  1. Targeting: Cold emails allow you to target the people you want - your ideal customers - and personalize your messages to each prospect to connect with them.
  2. Value-driven: Cold emails allow you to offer your prospects value that they will benefit from.
  3. Access to decision-makers: Cold emails give you the opportunity to access your important stakeholders
  4. Cost-effective: Cold emails don’t cost a fortune to help you build relationships with your potential prospects and possibly convert them into paying customers.

Lesson #3: Cold email vs Unsolicited emails

Spams are unsolicited messages sent via email to people who might not even have an interest or need for the product or service advertised. They are not targeted and deliberately sent to offer value to the recipients. For example, sending emails about car maintenance services to people who don’t have a car is going to end up as SPAM.


(Image: Zapier)

Whereas, cold emails are structured and effective means of sales outreach that salespeople use to send targeted messages to people who most likely need the products or services. For example, sending messages about employee management techniques to HR managers, business managers, and owners.


(Image: Criminally Prolific)

Although both emails are unsolicited, you can differentiate and prevent your cold emails from being sent to SPAM folders by:

  1. Targeting the right people
  2. Delivering value to them
  3. Personalized messages

We will discuss more on the components of a good cold email in subsequent lessons of this course.


Lesson #4: Components of a Cold Email.

Cold emails are unsolicited messages sent to targeted individuals with the aim of building relationships and ultimately achieving sales. In order for your cold email to achieve your desired result, it has to contain the following key elements.

1. Edit the “From” line.

Your “From” line is your first point of contact with your prospects.

Edit your “From” line to let your email recipients (prospects) know who you are - your name and company - to create a good first impression.


(Image: Klenty)

2. Write an intriguing subject line.

With over a third of email recipients, open emails based on just the subject line and a 35% open and conversion rate, your subject line is an important element of your email that could determine whether your emails get opened or not.

Keep your subject lines short, personalize them to target your prospects, and include interesting facts to invoke their curiosity.


(Image: Klenty)

3. Craft a compelling introduction

Your email introduction should address your recipients - their achievements, pain points, goals, and interests to gain their attention. Make it short and targeted at your proposed solutions to their problems.

Woodpecker recommends keeping your introduction to 2-3 sentences max to connect with your prospects.


(Image: Klenty)

4. Propose Value

Value proposition differentiates your cold emails from spam. This tells your prospects why you are reaching out to them.

A good value proposition should;

  1. Tell your prospects what your product or service offers.
  2. Tell them how they will benefit from your product or service.
  3. Inform your prospects of your unique selling proposition.

For example:


(Image: Klenty)

5. End your email with a call to action.

Cold emails with just one call-to-action had a 42% increase in CTRs

An effective call to action (CTA) serves as a bridge between your cold email initial outlook as an unsolicited message to a potential business opportunity.

To create a good cold email, craft a compelling call to action (CTA) for your email to instruct your prospect on the next line of action. Keep it short and straight to the point.

For example,


(Image: Klenty)

6. Customize your email signature.

A customized email signature contains important information about who you are and crucial information about where your prospects can reach out to you and your company.

A good example of this is;


(Image: Sloovi Email Signature)


Lesson #5: How to write cold emails that work

An effective cold email should contain the following:

1. Do your research.

Research is the hallmark of your cold email outreach. Do comprehensive research on your target audience, your market, and their challenges/interests. Get an in-depth understanding of your leads and write to them via your cold email.

2. Target your message to your audience.

With a clear understanding of your target audience, create a list and tailor your cold outreach email to these specific groups of people. Personalize your email by addressing their challenges or pain points and proffering immediate solutions that your products or services can provide.

Relevant and customized emails can increase your open rate by 45% - DB, 2022

For example,


(Image: SalesBlink)

3. Validate yourself.

Tell your prospects about you and your mutual connections to gain their attention. Don’t hold back on any vital information about you, your company, and the network that can help you connect with your prospects and build relationships with them. For example,


(Image: Sales Hacker)

4. Solve their problem.

Your cold email should proffer solutions to your prospect's challenges/pain points from the onset. Being an unsolicited message, your cold email should offer relief to your email recipients to connect with them and ultimately, sell to them. For example,


(Image: Adoric)

5. Keep it short, easy and specific

Keep your cold email short, direct, and straight to the point. Avoid wasting your recipient's time on unnecessary information. If you wish to get your prospects to perform an action, tell them in a direct and clear manner. For example,


(Image: Nutshell)

6. Be Appreciative.

Work on your cold email tone to be appreciative and submissive to your prospects. Say “Thank You”, “Please” and “I would appreciate it if…” to get on your prospect's good side and coax them to respond to your email or click on your shared links.

For example,


(Image: Criminally Prolific)


Lesson #6: Cold email best practices

Here are a few boxes to check before sending out cold emails to your recipients.

1. Contact the right audience.

Compile a list of people that fit into your ideal customer profile based on research and send your emails to them. Be sure that these people need and are interested in your products or services to get the best out of your cold emails.

2. Avoid sending bulk messages.

There’s only a thin line between a cold email and spam. Instead of sending generic messages to your recipients, send personalized, valuable, and tailored messages to your prospects to increase your chances of success.

3. Write an interesting subject line.

Automated emails which include personalization have a 75% higher open rate than those that don’t


(Image: Fuzen)

Personalize your subject line with your prospect’s first and company name and arouse their curiosity in your subject line to increase your email open rate.

4. Proofread your emails.

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Grammatical errors are detrimental to the success of your cold emails. Before sending out your emails, read them properly to correct any mistakes in their names, company, and email body to avoid giving off the wrong impression.

5. Consistently follow up with your prospects.

Cold email campaigns with 4 to 7 follow-up emails get 3x higher reply rates.

Email reminders are crucial to increasing the success of your cold emails. Develop a follow-up schedule to remind your prospects of your emails. Demand curve recommends sending follow-ups 3-5 times after your first email.


(Image: Sloovi Outreach)

Check out our sales tool, Sloovi Outreach to power your daily reach rate and automate your followups.

6. Send your emails at the right time.

According to HubSpot, cold emails with the highest click-to-open rates are sent by 10 am (21%), 22% open rate by 1 pm, and experience an open rate spike by 6 pm.

7. Measure your email performance

Performance measurement is crucial to cold email effectiveness. Regularly measure your cold email open rate, click-through rate, response rate, and purchase rate to measure your cold email performance.


Lesson #7: Conversion metrics for cold emails

Measuring performance improves performance. Keeping track of the below metrics will enable you to identify areas you can improve.

1. Bounce Rate.

Bounce rates measure the percentage of cold emails that did not reach their intended recipients. Categorized into two types - Soft Bounce is when the email bounces because your recipient’s email is full while hard bounce is when your email bounces when you send it to a wrong email address.

2. Open Rate.

Open rate is the percentage of successful recipients who opened your email. The average open rate for cold emails is between 20 - 30%.

3. Click-through Rate.

The Click-through rate is the percentage of your email recipients who click on at least one of your email links. The average click-through rate for cold emails is 3-5%.

4. Response Rate.

Response rate is the percentage of your email recipients who respond to your emails. The average response rate for cold emails is 5-10%.

5. Purchase Rate.

The purchase rate is the percentage of your cold email recipients who eventually make a purchase. The average purchase rate for cold emails is 0.5-1%

6. Conversion Rate.

The conversion rate measures how many recipients opened the email, clicked through, and signed up for your proposed offering (a demo, a free trial, etc.) or purchased an item. This metric is the most substantial measure of how well your cold emails perform and move people into the sales funnel.

You can increase your conversion rate by;

  1. Be clear with your CTA.
  2. Design a compelling landing page with minimal distractions.

Conversion rates can be measured with simple calculations. In addition, any good email service provider like Sloovi Outreach should be able to provide these throughout your campaign dashboard so you can easily see and analyze the information in real-time.