Cold Email Marketing Strategies and Effective Marketing Channels

Small businesses struggle to generate leads without the massive marketing budgets available to their competition. I mean, really! A Super Bowl ad this year cost $7 million for a 30-second spot. And that doesn’t include the massive dollars needed to hire celebrities and movie-quality producers, not to mention the costs for location, lighting, editing, etc. Social media was once a tool that helped level the playing field for small businesses able to create engagement with customers and prospects. However, those days are gone as organic social media reach continues to decline every year. That leaves very few promotional options that small businesses can afford. In this scenario, email marketing strategies are game-changers for small businesses looking to expand their customer base and increase their revenue. Email marketing involves a strategic approach and set of tactics aimed at generating leads, scheduling calls and meetings, and closing deals by introducing oneself, the company, and offerings to potential customers who may not have heard of them. The best is that email marketing strategies offer the highest return on investment (ROI) of any marketing strategy, online or off, as you can see below.

email deliverability
Image courtesy of Maven Marketing Lab

To help you get started, this blog post provides you with practical tips and strategies to boost the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, including segmentation, personalization, and follow-up techniques. Get ready to launch a successful email outreach campaign with these proven methods.

What does cold email marketing mean?

In simple terms, cold email marketing involves reaching out to prospects who haven’t expressed an interest in your product or service. It involves sending an email to someone who has never heard of your company but could benefit from what you offer. In much of the US and EU, such techniques are a violation of privacy laws such as GDPR and CanSpam (involving hefty fines) but cold email marketing is legal when the target of the email message is a business. Hence, you can’t use cold email marketing unless your target is outside these regions or you target businesses with your messaging. However, much of the following discussion applies equality to cold email marketing and email marketing to a subscriber list that opted-in to such communications.

The type of cold email marketing we’re talking about here involves sending to subscribers or businesses; hence, it meets the requirements imposed by these laws. Cold email messages are simply a different tone than marketing email messages, as we’ll discuss below.

Email marketing strategies

Email marketing strategies involve crafting messages that aim to introduce your business, demonstrate your value proposition, and ultimately convert the prospect into a customer.

email marketing strategies
Image courtesy of Sales Blink

Note that cold emailing is not just another form of spam. When done correctly, it is an effective marketing strategy that builds trust and rapport with potential customers by showing them the benefits offered by your products. Email is the preferred method of communication for most people, especially in B2B sales. Studies show that 86% of professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes.

Let’s look at some eye-opening statistics that highlight the potential of cold email marketing:

  • Users open more than half of all emails on mobile devices.
  • Email marketing generates an average ROI of $42 for every $1 spent.
  • An email with personalization is 26% more likely to be opened.
  • 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel for generating revenue.
  • Cold email has a response rate of 15-25%, depending on the industry.

These statistics demonstrate that cold email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses looking to generate leads and close deals. By following best practices and crafting compelling email messages, businesses can establish meaningful connections with potential customers and drive their business forward.

Why use cold email?

cold email messaging
Image courtesy of Sales Handy

Cold emailing is an effective strategy when a business wants to generate high-quality leads by targeting specific individuals or companies likely to be interested in their products or services using cold email software. It also provides a scalable channel for revenue generation that businesses can replicate across multiple campaigns or sales cycles. Cold email messages are more informative and persistent than other marketing channels, increasing brand awareness and improving response rates.

Benefits of cold email marketing

There are several benefits to using cold email marketing:

  • You don’t need high budgets: one of the most evident benefits is the low costs compared to other marketing channels.
  • Opportunity to personalize the experience: Personalization is key to generating high response rates in cold email marketing. Businesses can tailor their messages to each recipient’s interests and needs, which may result in a higher chance of converting them into customers.
  • Networking: Cold emailing provides an excellent networking opportunity. Reaching out to new contacts can lead to valuable partnerships and collaborations.
  • Opportunity to warm up cold leads: A cold email campaign can help businesses warm up leads that have gone cold as a result of a lack of follow-up or interest.
  • Higher response rates: Cold email has a response rate of 15-25%, depending on the industry. By contrast, direct mail campaigns have a response rate of only 5-9%.
  • Cold emails are persistent: Unlike other forms of marketing, emails can be sent multiple times and remain in the recipient’s inbox until they take some action. This provides a higher chance of converting prospects into customers eventually.
  • Cold email marketing increases brand awareness: Consistent and well-crafted cold emails can increase brand awareness, even if recipients don’t respond immediately. When the recipient needs the product or service that the business offers, they are more likely to remember the company that sent them an informative email in the past.

Integrating email marketing strategies into your digital marketing

When it comes to effective cold email outreach, the choice between cold emailing and email marketing depends on the specific goals and needs of your campaign. Businesses should choose the strategy that aligns with their overall marketing strategy and provides the most value to their audience.  To maximize the effectiveness of the outreach, it’s essential to consider additional marketing channels that support cold emailing efforts. Here’s a rundown of some marketing channels to consider in conjunction with cold email marketing.

proven digital marketing tools
Image courtesy of Kitsap Score

Email marketing

Email marketing strategies are an excellent complement to cold emailing as it helps build relationships with existing customers and leads. Businesses might use email marketing strategies in the form of newsletters or promotional offers to a company’s email list, segmented by their interests and actions. Personalization and automation are key components of email marketing that can help nurture leads and build brand loyalty, improving the chances of conversions.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing can help businesses reach a broader audience beyond their email list. Businesses might use social media marketing to build brand awareness by creating engaging content, running targeted ads, and engaging with potential customers. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are excellent choices to reach out to prospects.

Content marketing

Content marketing can help businesses establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry. Creating high-quality blog posts and other forms of content that provide value to prospects can attract new leads who can then be reached out to over email. Such content marketing efforts also improve the rank of your links in search engine results; bringing more traffic to your website.

Paid advertising

Paid advertising can help generate leads by targeting potential customers based on factors like interests and demographics. Google Ads and LinkedIn ads are excellent platforms for B2B marketing that can drive traffic to a business’s website and ultimately convert them into leads.

Six parts of an effective (cold) email strategy

email marketing strategiesIdentifying your target audience

The first step in building an effective cold email campaign is identifying the target audience. Businesses should carefully choose their target audience based on factors such as location, industry, and interests. Your campaign’s success heavily relies on this step.

Crafting the perfect subject line

The subject line has one of the most significant impacts on email open rates. It should grab the recipient’s attention, create a sense of curiosity, and convey the email’s purpose.

Writing an effective message

Crafting an effective message is crucial to the success of a cold email campaign. The message should be personalized and concise while addressing the recipient’s pain points. It should highlight how your product or service can provide a solution to their problem.

Selecting your call-to-action

The next step is to determine what action the recipient will take after reading the email. This could be anything from scheduling a meeting to downloading a white paper. It’s important to choose a clear and concise call to action that creates a sense of urgency, encouraging the recipient to take action. Implementing your CTA via a button generates 28% higher click rates than using a link.

Building a follow-up plan

Even the most effective cold emails do not always receive a response. A follow-up plan should be drafted based on the recipient’s behavior, such as whether they’ve opened or replied to the email. A well-crafted follow-up plan increases the chances of a response.

Reviewing metrics

Tracking metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and response rates are essential to measure the success of a cold email campaign. It helps to make adjustments and improve the campaign’s effectiveness.

Bonus: using email automation tools and techniques

What is email automation?

Email automation is the process of using software to send pre-written emails to subscribers or customers at predetermined intervals or triggered by specific actions. It allows businesses to create personalized and targeted email campaigns with minimal effort.

marketing automation
Image courtesy of Deskera

For instance, an e-commerce business may set up an email automation campaign to send a welcome email to new subscribers, followed by a series of promotional offers and product recommendations based on their browsing and purchase history. Email automation helps to streamline marketing efforts, increase customer loyalty, and drive sales through timely and relevant communication. Automated messages generate a 70.5% higher open rate and over 150% higher click rates than batch-and-blast emails. Automation also helps increase revenue by targeting subscribers who have shown interest in specific products or services.

Benefits of using email automation tools

Email automation tools are a must-have for any modern-day business. They not only save time and effort but also improve the overall efficiency of email marketing campaigns. Here are some of the most significant benefits of using email automation tools:

Enhanced personalization

By segmenting and categorizing your email subscribers, automation tools can help to personalize your messages according to their demographics, interests, behaviors, and preferences. This leads to higher engagement rates and more conversions.

Example: You can send exclusive offers and discounts to subscribers who have regularly purchased from your store in the past.

Increased efficiency

Automation tools can automate repetitive tasks such as scheduling, follow-ups, and triggered messages, saving time and effort.

Example: You can set up automated welcome emails for new subscribers that go out immediately after they sign up.

Improved accuracy

Automation tools ensure that emails are sent out accurately, minimizing human error in the process.

Example: You can use automation to set up A/B testing for email campaigns, allowing you to improve your email content and strategy over time.

Better insights with A/B testing

Automation tools provide in-depth analytics and insights into your email campaigns’ performance, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

Example: You can analyze which subject lines and call-to-actions perform best in your email campaigns and streamline your approach accordingly.

Increased revenue

With automation, you can reach out to customers at the right time with personalized messaging, leading to more conversions and revenue.

Example: You can send abandoned cart reminders to customers who have left items in their online shopping carts, resulting in increased sales.

Top email automation tools and their features

There are many email automation tools available to businesses, each with unique features that cater to different needs. Here are some of the top email automation tools:


  1. Email and form builder with customizable templates
  2. Automation workflows with triggers and actions
  3. Segmentation for targeted emails and drip campaigns
  4. Advanced reporting for email performance
  5. Easy integration with popular landing page tools


  1. Visual campaign builder to create detailed campaigns
  2. Automation workflow recipes
  3. Segmentation for targeted emails
  4. Drip campaigns, cart reminders, and product recommendations
  5. Powerful analytics to track email performance


  1. Comprehensive workflow builder with a range of actions
  2. Segmentation and automated workflows
  3. Email templates and contact management tools
  4. Sales automation through CRM integration
  5. A/B testing to optimize email campaigns


  1. Advanced segmentation and dynamic content for personalized emails
  2. Powerful automation workflows with conditional logic
  3. Lead scoring and predictive analytics for targeted campaigns
  4. CRM integration with sales automation
  5. A/B testing and reporting for email optimization


  1. Drag-and-drop email editor with customization options
  2. Automation workflows for abandoned carts and welcome emails
  3. A/B testing and reporting for email optimization
  4. Segmentation and personalization for targeted campaigns
  5. Integration with popular e-commerce platforms


By leveraging targeted strategies and adhering to best practices with cold emailing, companies can engage potential customers effectively without being intrusive. Successful cold email marketing hinges on understanding the audience, personalizing the message, crafting an irresistible subject line, delivering a clear value proposition, providing a straightforward call-to-action, following up effectively, and continuously testing and optimizing the approach. With a bit of effort and skill, you can make cold email marketing work for your business and achieve your desired conversions. Good luck!

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Guest Post by Sarah Markson

Sarah Marksons is a Marketing consultant primarily in B2B lead generation. She’s best known for her insightful blogs on email marketing, B2B and SaaS companies, and business growth. Sarah also has a good network in the sales industry, especially in the digital sales community. Apart from her work, she contributes to the community as an animal rights advocate. She loves creative writing, aspiring to make the world safer for everyone through marketing, writing, and everything she does.