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What's your cold email goal?

What is a cold email?

A cold email is an email you send to prospects you have no prior relationship with. This means they didn't opt in to receive it, nor you've been in communication with them before.

Everything you see below...

  • You scraped somebody's email from LinkedIn and you're trying to convert them into customers
  • You're asking various website owners to give you a backlink
  • You're pitching an Instagram influencer for sponsored posts
  • You’re contacting people to increase your network

... is a cold email.

Cold emails have played a pivotal role in helping us reach first $250K in the first phase of lemlist growth.

Guillaume Moubeche, CEO @lemlist

How to write a cold email?

Here are things you should consider if you want to create an effective cold email and improve your cold outreach:

Write a compelling subject line

The subject line is one of the key factors based on which people decide whether or not to open your email. So your subject line should be catchy and personalized to drive attention and motivate your receiver to open it.

Keep your cold email brief and simple

People don’t tend to spend too much time reading your “email poems”. So always try to be brief with your sales pitch and talk about them and the value they will receive. Not you or features of your product/service.

Be straightforward and use clear CTA

Even if your offer sounds interesting, people can just skip it because your call-to-action is not clear. Want to meet for a coffee? Or maybe have a demo call? Then make sure your receivers understand what they should do next by offering them an easy option to book a day and time.

Personalize your email to the recipient

Personalization is your superpower if you’ve made a deep research and already know your sales prospect on a deeper level. If done right, you may receive a reply straight away. Depending on your cold email template you can personalize text, images, or even blow their mind with personalized dynamic landing pages.

What is a cold email template?

Cold email templates are templates that were created by other professionals and are proven to work after lots of sent emails and A/B tests.

They are a great starting point for your email outreach process. By using templates and adapting them to fit your audience and style, you will most likely increase your cold email open, click, and reply rates.

Depending on the needs there are different email templates for cold outreach that can be used.

Sales cold email templates

Cold email templates for sales professionals will help you receive a better open rate and close more deals.

Click to open sales cold email templates

Networking cold email templates

Below examples are the templates you can use for networking if your goal is to reach out to a blogger, get a backlink, invite someone to be on a podcast, etc.

Click to open networking email templates

Cold email template for jobs

Looking for a job or in search of top talent? These job application and job offer email templates will help you.

Click to open recruiting email templates

Best cold email templates

Every email campaign is different and has its goals. But the below email examples are the best cold email templates we saw in terms of open, click and reply rate. 

Coffee chat email template

B2B cold email template

Personalized video thumbnail

Cold email to grow your community

Best collaboration email example

Webinar invitation email

Are cold emails spam?

Cold emails are DEFINITELY not spam.

There is such a thing called the CAN-SPAM act.

It states that you can send emails to business people that you do not know. However, you have to play by the rules that are outlined in the Federal Trade Commission's guide.

So the rule is simple. Don't send spam.

A proper cold email accomplishes three things...

  • targets relevant people who might be interested in something
  • it's personalized
  • has a specific request
good cold email example

Unlike spam that completely misses out on all those points.

  • it's generic, no personalization
  • has high commercial intent and promises unreal things
  • can have a fake name and fishy contact info
bad cold email example

How to avoid spam filters?

We strongly suggest to follow these rules in order to make sure your cold emails never go to spam.

Pay attention to your complaint rate

If you send spam, people will mark you as a spammer. The more people mark you as a spammer, the more your "complaint rate" increases.

Needless to say, this is very bad for business.

Authenticate your domain

Domain authentication is the same process as when you’re checking in for your flight. In the outreach world, your email provider performs an “ID check”.

They want to verify that the email is really coming from you. In short, you'll have to set up two parameters: DKIM and SPF. After you authenticate your domain, you'll see an instant boost in email deliverability.

Analyze your results

Cold email results and metrics matter. Keeping your reply, click and open rates high not only brings value to you, but it also sends signals to email providers that you're one of the "good guys".

If you see a problem in your metrics, address it immediately.

  • Low open rates? Check email deliverability!
  • Low click and reply rates? You're not personalizing enough.
Verify emails before sending anything

Before you press send, we can't stress high enough how important it is to verify email list. The objective is to keep your bounce rate as low as you can, but at least below the 5% level. As you can probably guess, the more unverified emails you have, the more you risk to be hit with a higher bounce rate.

High bounce rate equals more of your cold emails heading to spam.

Before sending a single email, spend time assessing whether an email is valid or not. There are tools that help you clean lists in seconds.

Never send email blasts

Never send blasts. Never use email marketing tools for cold email outreach campaigns.

Spread out your cold emails. Between 200-500 emails per day is optimal.

Warm-up your email address

Similar to the way athletes warm up before a game, email addresses also need to prepare too.

Email warm-up is a process that involves gradual increase of your sending volume. A warmed-up email address is one that has been sending and receiving messages as a real person would, when creating his/her email.

Best part, lemwarm does this automatically for you.

Personalize your message

Cold email personalization is so much more than using just first and company names in your pitch. You should aim to make your cold email feel like a tailor-made suit or dress.

Nobody likes to receive copy/paste-ed generic emails, so there's no point in sending them. You will just waste both yours and your prospect's time for no apparent reason.

sales email examples

How to send cold emails?

One of the main reasons why cold emails are so loved is because it's not super hard to build a list and start sending them.

All you need is an email finder, a proper cold email tool and you're golden.

In reality, this is where some of us hit a roadblock.

The point here isn't to send thousands of emails. Your objective is to close as many as you can.

It's super important to identify your target audience early on and divide your list into segments for one simple reason.

No client is the same. Their pain points, budgets, company sizes, tool stacks, and needs are all different. As a result, your approach ought to be different.

It's also key to draw a line between cold email and email marketing tools. This will save you from another typical email outreach mistake. Using a tool like MailChimp to send cold emails.

Although we're talking about the best-in-class newsletter tool (that we also use for it btw), using it for cold emailing will dramatically lower your deliverability.

By using lemlist, your messages are sent one after the other, thus imitating human behavior, which providers prefer to see. By doing so, you won't risk hurting your email deliverability and your emails won't go to promotions or spam.

Is there the best time to send emails?

When you research what is the best time to send an email on Google, you'll see many different studies.

We've tested some of the tactics on our campaigns. And the biggest advice we can give you is to never follow other people's data blindly.

Here are a few things that work for us though.

1) Afternoons perform better than mornings across all metrics, especially open rates. We found out that between 12pm - 16pm works best for us.

As we using lemlist, all we need to do is set the right schedule for each of our campaigns.

2) I never saw a big difference between reply and click rates across different days. All working days are rolling pretty good for us.

3) Our typical follow-up schedule looks like this:

  • 2-day delay between email 1 and 2
  • 2-day delay between email 2 and 3
  • 3-day delay between email 3 and 4

4) The key thing is to not let too much time pass between follow-ups, but don't overwhelm people either. Day delays play a bigger role.

To set up delays, we just tell lemlist how long to wait before every email in the sequence. Easy peasy!

5) Avoid weekends. Not because Saturdays and Sundays can't perform. Avoid them because it isn't cool.

When you start sending cold emails, analyze if there is a particular time when your emails get opened and replied to. Assess whether your prospects are busy at certain hours. That will tell you if you need to take this into account or not.

Cold email mistakes to avoid

Optimizing your cold email for the wrong goal
Going in guns blazing, trying to sell at all costs if we talk about sales. The goal of cold email outreach here is not to seal the deal. The real ambition is to get a reply and get on a call with your prospect, so that you can sell later. Always remember then when you go into full sales mode, you sound exactly like a typical salesperson who gets forgotten immediately.
Sending all cold emails at the same time
It's not about how many cold emails you send. It's about how many replies you get and how many prospects you can close in the later stages. Plus, there's not a single reason on the planet why you should hurry and send hundreds of emails in a day. Not only the odds are against you, but you will suffocate your email reputation down this road.
No understanding of your ideal customer profile
One of the most overlooked steps in the cold email process is not understanding who is your target audience. If you start sending emails to prospects who are not in your ideal customer profile, you will keep wasting your time on trying to sell the unsellable. Make sure you thoroughly understand and know your target audience, as well as how can your product or service bring value to their world.
Didn't set up all technical components
You can have the best cold email and top salespeople in your team, but if your prospects don't see the email to begin with, you're not going to win. Having your emails land in the primary tab and not in promotion or spam folders is extremely important. Always keep email deliverability in good check, don't send spammy emails, personalize and set up all technical details in the right way.
Didn't warm up your email domain
Email warm-up is a process that involves gradual increase of your sending volume. A warmed-up email address is one that has been sending and receiving messages as a real person would, when creating their email.
By using lemwarm, a feature that's connected to your account, you'll warm up your email account automatically.
Didn't verify your email list
In order to successfully deliver your outreach campaigns, you have to pay attention to the quality of the email addresses in your list. Otherwise, if you keep sending to invalid emails, you will keep getting hard bounces in return. Every time you receive a hard bounce, your sender reputation takes a hit. There are tools to help you verify emails. We recommend Bouncer.
Sending one-size-fits-all cold emails
Copy/paste-ing other people's emails and sending the same cold email to all people may be efficient, but is far from effective. Similar to the way one suit or dress doesn't fit every individual, a cold email needs to be personalized for every prospect. And when we say personalized, we mean that you thoroughly understand what pain points is that individual or a segment within the audience facing, and how can you help them solve it.
No follow-up emails
People sometimes forget to reply to your email. It's not that they are not interested, but they've forgot or were too busy at that moment in time. Sending relevant follow-up emails guarantees you more replies.
Not testing enough
When you're not sure about what's the best approach to cold email a certain audience, always A/B test. Don't waste time debating subjective opinions and let the market be the judge.
Unclear call-to-actions
Prospects expect simplicity and for you to navigate them to the promise land. Therefore, it's super important for you to be sharp and clear with your call-to-action, offer one or two links, and eliminate friction from the sales funnel. If you give your prospect too many choices or haven't explained clearly what do you expect them to do, you will lose those leads for good.
Chasing perfection obsessively
When it comes to it, you will never know how one cold email performs until you test it and let your audience tell you. So make sure you don't spend hours debating or second-guessing yourself. Test instead, analyze the impact, learn, don't repeat the same mistakes and double down once you figure out what approach works best.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reviewed
cold email tool
300+ reviews on Capterra

"We had massive success using lemlist to grow our sales pipeline. When you work with a good company and they help you become more successful, I can just highly recommend them.“

GABRIEL FRASCONI, SE Director @Zendesk

Every salesperson needs lemlist. It’s so simple to use, easy to connect with your CRM and their automation features will save you a lot of time. We booked more meetings using lemlist compared to other tools we used in the past.

Alla Zeitoun, KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER @Meero

"My emails simply stand out amongst all that noise of emails we receive every day. Building relationships with top talents is much easier thanks to highly personalized emails."

Mark Lundgren, Co-Founder @SourcingChallenge

lemlist cold emails vs. regular cold emails

Your piece of mind
Other cold emails
Cold email templates that will grab your prospect's attention and help you stand out in any inbox
Ability to create personalized images and customize them individually at scale
Best-in-class sending algorithm that keeps your emails invisible from spam filters and on top of anyone's inbox
Unique opportunity to automatically warm up your domain, maximize email deliverability and be a part of probably the coolest mailbox network out there
Leverage a frictionless way to book more meetings by using dynamic landing pages