Perfect Your Cold Email Outreach Campaign with the Least Effort Involved

Vladislav Podolyako
Mar 25, 2022
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For a while, the importance of sales emails has been underestimated, yet the approach has changed over the past few years. The introduction of cold outreach has proved to be one of the most effective ways of lead generation in the marketing industry. Thus, cold email campaigns have become twice as requested.

Should the notion of cold email outreach come of interest to you, Folderly’s experts have landed a comprehensive and detailed guide into the world of cold emailing. With such an informative manual at hand, you can unleash the full marketing potential that will return in the form of an ever-growing user base and increased revenue rates.

Cold email outreach: the basics

It may seem a lot simpler than it actually is to create a personalized email that will trigger users' attention and nurture your sales journey together. The modern era implies that effective lead generation takes time and a practical outreach campaign to work out successfully. All due to the fact that present-day customers are a lot more spoiled with the variety of available offers.

Thus, cold email outreach is more of a marketing campaign that involves hard work on the client list, email templates, and related strategies to make every new venture twice as successful as the previous one. The responses that a marketing campaign brings will help you grow and nurture a reliable base of potential customers.

The general definition of a cold email

The easiest way to grasp the notion of cold emailing would be to define what a cold email is. No matter the type of product or service your company offers, you need prospective customers to be fully aware of it. At times, a potential client may come knocking on your doors, but in the majority of cases, it works the other way around.

When you send out cold emails, your email recipients aren't yet formally introduced to your sphere of influence. The general intention is to break the ice, catch the recipient's attention, and start building relationships that will be mutually beneficial.

How legal are cold emails?

Sending cold emails is legal, so there is nothing to worry about. However, your cold emails should not resemble spam emails in any way. There is even a unique Can-Spam Act, which American vendors should familiarize themselves with when working on email templates.

Generally, you can keep clear of spamming if your cold email covers the following points:

  • The subject line is intact, and the message itself is well-personalized
  • Valid contact data and recipient's real name included
  • The real value proposition is clearly represented along with the primary intent of the cold email
  • Cold email outreach should trigger sales conversations with no pushy content or aggressive propositions

Primary pain points of an average cold email campaign

When you start working on your outreach campaign, you need to realize that two main factors predefine the success of your venture. These are the following:

  1. Good response rates
  2. Acceptable open rates

Open rates

No matter how great an email template you come up with, what matters is whether the user interacts with it or not. Based on the open rates stats, you can determine whether the strategy was a success or if you should polish one or more components of your personalized email.

Those of you who are new to the email marketing sphere may falsely assume that a 100% open rate is the sole goal to aim at. However, according to marketing specialists, a rate of 25% is good. Should your outreach campaign get over 35%, you can count yourself lucky and successful.

One of the main benefits of monitoring your open rates would be to upgrade your existing cold email outreach. However, the statistics you get can be quite vague at times. That is why it is advised to consider the rates in sync with response stats.

Response rates

When it comes to the rates of user response to any launched cold email campaign, the percentage gets as low as 5% for good response and up to 20%–40% ­for excellent response. Surely, the higher the percentage, the more successful your outreach campaign is.

Vital perks of launching a cold email campaign

When you are about to promote any product or service that your company is good at, you may want to decide which marketing strategy to put to use in the first place. There are a few undeniable advantages that a well-planned email campaign can bring into the process.

Growing number of potential customers

One of the primary pillars of a profitable email campaign is increasing the list of new prospects. While your company name may be known within certain circles, cold emailing will assist in spreading the word among those unfamiliar with the brand. The more people get involved in the process, the more leads will transform into paying customers later on. The same approach works for businesses that have just hit the market and want to raise brand awareness to establish a paying consumer base.

Decreased intrusiveness of cold outreach campaigns

We don't want to undermine the essential role that cold calls have, but it's hard to deny their quite intrusive nature. Due to the untimely call, potential customers may be lost, and things like that will rarely happen when it comes to cold email outreach. In the case of cold emailing, a user will interact with it when and if it is convenient. Such an approach will signify that you value your consumers' comfort more than anything else.

Less expensive marketing strategy

One of the most common pain points of growing businesses is the lack of financial resources available. However, in the case of personalized cold email, the sending cost is almost non-existent. All it takes is to invest in a variety of helpful cold emailing software and send countless emails within seconds. Aside from the financial component of the approach, when you send cold emails, it will be a lot less time- and effort-consuming compared to cold calling, for instance.

How to build a successful cold email outreach strategy?

No matter how simple and affordable the notion of cold emailing seems, it takes a well-planned and properly tested strategy to achieve any preset goals. Modern marketing experts point out that there are a few steps you can take to create an effective cold email outreach strategy.

Target prospects

One of the most misleading tactics to follow is to center the email body around the quality and uniqueness of your product or service. While you may crave to glorify the effort and thought put into the creation of your line, the aim here is to attend to a consumer's needs. It helps to target the user's pain points that you can help solve. A formal intro that describes your brand is enough. The rest of the email template should be fully dedicated to the customer.

Can the sales-y tone

The first few emails should be about the response rate, not the sales rate. It helps to work on a growing bond between you and a consumer. Those companies that neglect this tip and jump right into the selling are prone to losing the prospects they aim at. If you don't get a response straight away, no one dismissed follow-up emails. The primary purpose of the follow-ups is to indicate your genuine interest and dedication to the cause. Once your target audience thinks that you are trying to help them solve their existing issues rather than sell your product or service, the quality leads will head your way.

Polish the subject line and the main message

It is yet another common mistake to center all the attention on the subject line and leave the rest of the content added to your email templates out. One of the key points to realize is that power words for the car industry and fashion niche will differ. That is why you should be willing to test different email templates to monitor the click-through rates, cold email response rates, and other vital statistics.

Respect potential customers

It is not enough to monitor your cold email response rate and get excited when it spikes. You should know how to reply to every response that you get. Being cold and seemingly uninterested in each separate sender is the worst path to head down. You should be willing to compose as personalized an answer as possible. Don't rush to hit the 'Reply' button the moment you notice a response. You should take time and plan the response as well as you would any table-turning follow-up email.

Personalize the outreach campaign

Personalized cold email is one of the best ways to grow the prospects list. A cold email can be strategical yet with a warm tint to it. Don't hesitate to exploit as many contact details as you can afford. You can try to showcase your knowledge of how your product or service can affect the recipient's personal well-being. If you want your cold emails to generate genuine interest and bring in revenue in the future, you should address the specific matters you can help people solve right away.

Deliver uncompromised value

People value proposition types that carry direct benefits. So, it helps to pack your cold email outreach with those. Should you be struggling with the decision to form a fair value offer, try answering the following questions before you send out your cold emails:

  • What may your potential customers require from you? Can you provide them with what they ask for?
  • What are the main issues your services can solve?
  • What is the social proof of your product's worth and effectiveness?

How to develop an effective cold email campaign

Just like in the case of an outreach strategy that requires a fair share of theoretical research and knowledge, an email campaign should include a series of steps to be taken to achieve the desired outcome. A brief outline of a success-programmed email outreach campaign should look the following way:

  • Work on the main goals of your email campaign but make sure that you can measure the results.
  • Define and research your target audience to generate as precise an online profile of a potential user as possible.
  • Work on cold email subject lines and body so that they are as personalized as possible and curiosity-charged.
  • Check your cold emails before sending them out, at least twice.
  • Exploit the benefits of follow-up emails.
  • Test every email campaign to observe the results and changes.

Now, let's discuss each mentioned step on a deeper level so that there are no questions left unanswered when it comes to practical and success-charged cold email outreach campaigns!

Step 1 – Set proper outreach campaign goals

It will be little use to work on a cold email outreach campaign without some definite goals in mind. No matter your company name, you should decide on what you are trying to achieve through the campaign. To give you a push in the right direction, we'll point out a few questions that you may be willing to answer to clarify your goals:

  • What is the product or service that you are trying to sell?
  • Who can be potentially interested in your offers?
  • When should you reach out to your potential customers?
  • How many follow-ups are you ready to invest time and effort in?

Aside from the mentioned questions, you may want to gather some information on the users' needs and objectives, along with the potential problems they face at the moment. Finally, you should also try to monitor your prospects as closely as possible. Pay increased attention to the click-through rates, open rates, and especially every cold email response rate.

Step 2 – Identify your potential customers

No matter how well-planned your email campaign is, you will get an unsatisfactory response rate when the recipients aren't in need of what you can provide. It may take a little extra time and effort for your marketing team to identify an ideal prospect profile, but it will be worth the fuss.

You should realize that the more aware you are of your clients' needs, preferences, goals, and fears, the easier it will be to convince them that your offer is almost invaluable.

Step 3 – Work on a good email copy

One of the main facts to memorize when you are working on a personalized cold email is that a receiver is an actual person. Such an approach will ensure that you can craft an email copy that will drive readers to do what you want them to. This step is especially vital in the sales industry since all it takes is the right emotion to make a purchase.

What does an effectively crafted cold email look like? A few major components are known to work when the right person is targeted.


One of the easiest ways to increase response rates is to make a receiver wonder what you offer. Skillful use of a subject line is what it takes to master in the first place. According to modern research, almost 50% of users are inclined to open an email if the subject line triggers their curiosity. What’s more, almost 70% of receivers send an email to spam based on the very same subject line. Now, when you realize the stakes, you may wonder: how do you improve the cold email subject lines you use?

  1. Keep it clear and concise.
  2. Make it informative and relevant.
  3. Sprinkle the subject line with original and compelling wrapping.
  4. Emphasize personalized and urgent motives.

There are many different techniques and approaches to help you improve a subject line's effect on your target audiences. Some experts claim that implementing the user's first name to the subject line improves the click-through rates. However, different cases demand various approaches, and the best way to improve your results is to test different subject lines until you find the Holy Grail.

You should understand that those readers who go beyond the subject line usually count on something as compelling when they continue interacting with the cold email. That is why the introduction should be as clear and honest as possible. Try to focus on the receiver and what you can do to help them solve any existing matter, but don't try to intimidate or overwhelm the reader with loads of information. Use these tips when working on your cold email copy:

  • Craft a genuine message aimed at real people.
  • Introduce yourself briefly and provide the details on how you can assist the right person.
  • Emphasize your respect for the time spent on reading but sticking to concise cold emails.
  • Add a quality call-to-action part.
  • Proofread the message before sending it.
  • Keep away from all capital letters and excessive punctuation in the email body.


We have briefly mentioned the addition of a call-to-action part to your cold email. If you don't know what it is and why you may need such a part implemented into your cold email templates, now is the perfect time to learn. An effective CTA will help you convince the reader to follow the path you set in front of them. There are a few routes to push a receiver in after interacting with the message:

  • You may want to help them realize when they need your product or service.
  • You may hint that they are bound to buy the offer.
  • You can ask them to become your affiliates.
  • You may ask them to sign up for a meeting with you.

While there are a few approaches to an effective CTA, the end result is always the same — you want your prospects to become paying users eventually. Yet, the key here is not to push too hard to scare a reader away. No one likes a clingy offer. So, a single call-to-action per message is more than enough.

Precise personalization

There is a circling assumption that a cold email outreach should be fast and effortless. However, if you want to boost your sales, you may want to spend some time and effort working on your cold email copy. It is a tedious process to personalize every message, considering that not all of them will bring success. Nevertheless, even if half of those emails get quality leads, the process is worth the effort.

Should you choose this challenging approach, it will take you more than just the contact details to achieve the goal. You may want to look up additional information, such as the following details:

  • Location
  • Position
  • Hobbies
  • Mutual connections
  • Existing challenges
  • Recent achievements

You don't have to gain all the mentioned information. When skillfully implemented in the cold email, even a few points will double your chances of successful conversion.

Cold email signature

Once you are through with the subject line, main message, and well-crafted call-to-action part, you may want to call it a day and send the copy out. However, there is one more part of the email that is majorly overlooked — email signature. You will be surprised at how memorable a component of the email signature can be. Experts advise adding the following data to your cold emails:

  • Company name.
  • Your position.
  • Contact details, including physical address and phone number.
  • Website link.

Such obvious and common details will ensure that there is a real person behind this cold email.

Step 4 – Carry out a sanity check

It may seem that precise proofreading is enough to determine whether you should send cold emails you've recently written. However, there are a few more things to rule out before you hit that Send button.

  • Does your email look robot-sent?
  • Are you being too pushy and impatient?
  • Is your message a bit too spammy? Would you read such a message?
  • Is your email well-displayed on all available devices, including mobile ones?
  • Do you expect too much from this cold email outreach campaign?

Such a sanity check will help you ensure that there isn't anything out of order about the existing copy, and you can initiate the campaign.

Step 5 – Send follow-up emails

It has been already established that the major intent of a cold outreach campaign is to raise awareness and make your company's name recognizable. The primary steps are to help potential customers understand which problems you can solve. Thus, automated follow-ups should be there to help you seal the deal effectively.

Often, brands don't get the response they have been expecting from the cold email campaign. There are many underlying reasons for that. However, working on follow-up emails is what can increase your sales rates. You don't want to overwhelm the prospects with those, but an occasional reminder that you are still waiting for them is a good practice. Some experts point out that as many as up to 8 follow-ups are acceptable within a single campaign.

One of the most critical points about a success-programmed follow-up email is that you implement additional value to each one. In addition, you should keep away from repetition since you can never know if the previous messages have been read. If they have been, you will impose a careless impression, and that will ruin the potentially established connection between you and the prospect.

Should you notice that the follow-ups bring in no response, you may want to send one final message to your prospects. It is a 'breakup' email. The main purpose of such an email is to inform the recipient that you won't be sending them any messages. Such an approach will indicate your devotion and care about the user. Besides, you still leave room for future cooperation should a prospect decide to reach out to you.

Step 6 – Split test your email templates

Various indicators can confirm the success of your campaign or notify you that your cold email outreach mission is failing. However, it is not enough to idly monitor the stats when you want to successfully sell the product or service you offer. When you see the undesired open rate, conversion rate, or response rate, you need to work hard to improve those.

Split testing is the best way to spot the weak point and fix it. You can separately test the following components of your cold email:

  • Subject lines.
  • Email bodies.
  • CTAs.
  • Personalization.
  • Timing.
  • Value proposition wording.

Testing isn't the fastest process on the radar, but the insight you can extract from it is truly invaluable. These are the steps to take when you are trying to test your outreach example:

  • Choose a separate component to center your attention on.
  • Work on two different copies of the same element (two subject lines, CTAs, intros, etc.).
  • Consider the time you are willing to spend on testing.
  • Divide your prospects list into two equal groups.
  • Provide each group with a definite variant (either A or B).
  • Compare the result you get.

While you are working on the testing operation implementation, you should keep in mind that testing a few elements at once won't give you any reliable results. It is best to split test one component at a time.

Mistakes to avoid when you send cold emails

Cold email outreach isn't the simplest technique to master and implement into your sales routine. However, the results it is known to generate are truly inspiring. With all the practical information mentioned above, you may want to rush and launch your outreach campaign, and you should rightfully do so after you familiarize yourself with a list of the most common mistakes to keep away from.

Wrong user base

When you are aiming at your potential customers, you need to be 100% sure that the contact data you own is correct. However, aside from the active email account, you should be positive about the prospect's interest in your services. Sending an outreach campaign to the wrong people will serve you no good. Not only will you waste your resources on the campaign, but you may end up needing a spam test since too many recipients send your offers straight to the Spam box.

Vague subject lines

It may seem that such an insignificant element of the cold email as a subject line can affect your deliverability rate. Yet, just like in the case with the wrong target audience, a vague subject line can force many users to tag your emails as spam, and that will decrease your email deliverability negatively. Besides, unattractive lines won't catch the receiver's attention, so your offer will pass unnoticed, no matter the effort you put into the campaign.

Missing CTA

A cold email outreach campaign won't serve you any good without a compelling CTA added to it. The truth is that a recipient may not get the intent behind the message without a direct pointer as to what you would like them to do. When you lightly push a prospect in the desired direction, you will kill two birds with one stone since you will get yourself a potential customer, and you will help them to make the right decision.

Overwhelming self-promotions

No matter how great a service you offer, you shouldn't try to force a user to buy it. It is essential to prove to the reader why the product you present can make their lives better. These are the customer's shoes you should be walking in. The better you understand their pain points, the easier it will be to offer the product that can solve them.

Long emails

It helps to understand that cold email outreach is different from all other marketing techniques and strategies. While you may want to preach to the audience and enlist all the perks and benefits you can provide, a cold email should be as concise, informative, and personal as possible. Show the readers that you value their time and interest with short email copies.

Missing email signature

Another mistake that can ruin the whole outreach campaign is a missing signature. A recipient should be aware that the message is authentic — there is no other option rather than sign it properly.

Wrapping up

Cold email outreach is a great way to improve your conversion rate and grow a dedicated user base once correctly implemented into the sales process. The outreach campaign relies on numerous elements and pieces, and we have dwelled on them in the review. The last thing that we would like to offer is a chance to improve your deliverability scores. Folderly is one of the best email deliverability services on the market. Should you feel like your well-planned cold emails miss the primary inbox, you can contact our professionals who will help you get rid of the issue in no time!

Vladislav Podolyako
Vladislav Podolyako
Founder & CEO
Vlad’s decades of entrepreneurial wisdom and business building experience have allowed him to successfully mentor a diverse group of business owners, entrepreneurs in growing their companies. A recognized expert in the areas of transforming organizational culture and leadership development, B2B Sales, Marketing, spent more than 10 years building technology products, with a background in communication networks and electronic device engineering.

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