There’s a big issue in sales leadership today – outdated mindsets.

Too many leaders stick to old beliefs about cold outreach even though they’ve never tried themselves or learned from their early mistakes. There’s a battle between cold emails and cold calls – and hardly anyone seems to do both well.

Cold calling is difficult these days. Decision-makers are barely accessible by phone. Plus, remote work arrangements and mobile devices complicate it even more. Add in low response rates, a big time sink and the costs of dialing, and we have a clear winner.

But despite all that, many traditional sales directors still swear off cold email – whether it’s because of their first failed attempts or thinking that cold emails are too pushy, could risk violating data privacy laws (they don’t), could negatively impact the company’s image or simply aren’t effective.

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In this article, we're going to make the case for cold email and why it's even more effective than you thought.

The Case for Cold Outreach

These are our top six reasons why cold email doesn’t deserve the reputation it gets in some circles:

1. Cold Email is Tried and (Proven to Be) True

Cold email has stood the test of time as a fundamental B2B sales channel. For decades, it has consistently proven its value in reaching and engaging potential leads.

Today, where nearly 350 billion emails are sent globally every day, email is an even more ubiquitous and indispensable tool for communication. It makes sense then that studies reveal that a significant 80% of buyers prefer to be contacted via email.

That’s why 44% of CMOs vouch for email marketing. Additionally, they’re willing to put 8% of their marketing budget into these initiatives.

With its track record, cold email is an essential part of B2B communications. And despite new digital channels, it remains a cornerstone method for initiating connections, generating leads and closing deals.

2. Cold Emails Get Results

The beauty of cold email is that it's trackable and measurable. You can see how many prospects opened the email, replied and turned into deals. This means we can look at what works and what doesn’t.

For example, we know personalization can affect the success of our emails. Using a person’s name or company in the subject line can boost open rates to 43.41%.

We can increase our chances in other ways, too. Questions in subject lines can increase open rates by 11% because you piqued the lead’s curiosity.

Even a simple emoji in the subject line can have your open rate increase by 8%.

What about actual replies and moving leads down the funnel? Studies show email sequences that include 4-7 messages can have 3x response rates compared to shorter ones.

At Findymail, we're averaging around an 8% reply rate and close a deal every 300 emails or emails. Of course, we specialize in B2B contact information, so we have a competitive advantage, but as we say – iteration to perfection.

All that is to say that the numbers back up why cold email is an effective strategy for lead generation and driving sales, particularly in segments that would have overlooked your ads.

3. Cold Email Offers High ROI

Another plus side of cold outreach is its ROI. For every dollar spent on email marketing, companies can see returns as high as $36.

Of course, frequency plays a role in getting the best results. We’d say somewhere between 9-16 emails per month is optimal. That way you keep regular contact with prospects without overwhelming them.

Cold email wins when compared to other marketing channels like social media, too. It’s about 40x more effective at acquiring customers than organic or paid Facebook or Twitter.

If you want to maximize the ROI you get from every initiative, cold email is the best approach.

4. Cold Emails Allow for Laser-Focused Targeting

Precision targeting increases the relevance of each message and the likelihood of engagement. With detailed customer profiles, you create a holistic view of each lead’s specific needs and interests.

From there, you can segment email lists based on various criteria – such as demographic details, past purchasing behavior or engagement levels – so that each lead receives the most personally relevant content.

The benefit here is that segmented email campaigns have been shown to increase revenue by as much as 760%.

The real secret of cold email is its iterative A/B testing process to refine your strategy. You experiment with all parts of your emails, from subject lines to the call to action, to find what delivers the most revenue.

The A/B testing approach can increase your email engagement by up to 37%.

In essence, cold email offers a unique opportunity to target customers more accurately and discover how to truly connect with them, giving it a clear advantage over other marketing channels.

5. Cold Emails Increase Brand Awareness and Generate Leads

One attribute that helps cold email stay relevant is that you can reach a broad audience directly and efficiently. It’s a direct line of communication to your new prospects.

The biggest pro is the ability to scale without significantly increasing costs. With traditional advertising, you’d need a substantial budget for ad space on LinkedIn, Google Ads or conference sponsorships.

Another factor to consider is that cold emails serve as the initial touchpoint that can start a dialogue between the brand and potential customers. This interaction can be nurtured over time through well-planned follow-up emails, gradually building a relationship that leads to a sale.

Each email in the sequence can offer additional value, further establishing the brand's credibility and trustworthiness.

Remember, cold email isn’t supposed to replace your sales reps or current channels. It’s there to accentuate and amplify what you’re already doing.

By coordinating cold email campaigns with social media, content marketing or event marketing, you can create a cohesive strategy that reinforces the brand message across multiple platforms and offers a practical entry point for every qualified lead to start talking to you on their terms.

6. Cold Emails Fight Ad Fatigue

Ad fatigue is never pleasant, but nowhere is it as dangerous as in B2B sales, where cycles are typically longer and involve multiple touchpoints before a prospect converts into a customer.

With the average American seeing from four to ten thousand ads every day and 91% of them considering them intrusive, you need a better icebreaker.

On the other hand, we all live in our inboxes. They’re the first and last things your prospects review every day. Unlike an ad, your message reaches them directly and there is no “diffusion.” The message is meant for them and, if written well, resonates enough to initiate contact.

Since you can hyper-personalize your cold emails, prospects are less likely to perceive them as generic advertising. Instead, they’ll understand how you can bring value to their table.

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How to Get Started with Cold Outreach and Avoid Pitfalls

Now that we’ve covered why cold email is still relevant, let’s cover how to do it properly and maximize its potential.

Understand the Importance of Targeting in Cold Outreach

Targeting is the foundation of any successful cold outreach campaign. It involves identifying and reaching out to prospects that align with your ICP or ideal customer profile.

Data is your aide when it comes to identifying your ICP. Look at existing customers to identify common characteristics and behaviors that led to successful engagements. Focus on factors such as:

  • Firmographic information
  • Purchasing patterns
  • Interaction history

Based on the patterns you observe, your next step will be segmentation.

Break your potential market into groups of prospects with similar profiles that match your ICP. Leveraging tools like your CRM software, email marketing platforms and data enrichment systems will help here.

For example, if you use Findymail’s B2B contact information and CRM Datacare solutions, you will get the most accurate email addresses for your leads directly into your CRM.

And with Datacare’s deduplication and automatic updates, you’ll fill the information gaps and ensure your team can reach out with confidence.

We have already touched on how cold email helps in your targeting endeavors, but it’s a point we want to stress again because it’s absolutely essential for your cold outreach to be successful.

Understand the Technical Side of Cold Emails

The technical side of things is another big reason why sales leaders disregard cold outreach. If there is one thing we’d like you to take away from this article when it comes to the technical aspect, then it’s email deliverability.

Email deliverability both looks at your sender reputation (your legitimacy as a sender, based on your domain setup and emailing behavior) and the accuracy of the email addresses you send mail to.

Understanding Sender Reputation in Cold Outreach

Sender reputation in cold email reflects how email service providers (ESPs) and recipients perceive the sender based on past email-sending behavior. It encompasses factors such as email engagement rates, spam complaint rates and overall email deliverability.

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For example, if a salesperson consistently delivers personalized and valuable content that resonates with recipients, their sender reputation is likely to be positive. As a result, their emails are more likely to reach the recipients' inboxes.

On the other hand, if they send generic emails that result in high spam complaint rates or low engagement, their sender reputation may suffer, leading to decreased deliverability.

How Does Accuracy Factor into the Cold Outreach Equation?

Firstly, sending emails to incorrect addresses results in high bounce rates (emails not reaching inboxes). To ESPs, this means you might be engaging in low-quality email practices. Your domain might be blacklisted or, at the very least, your emails will be relegated to the Promotions folders.

Secondly, accurate email addresses mean that your emails will reach the right recipients. Tools like Findymail offer actionable, rich email data.

Finally, if you have a robust CRM lead enrichment strategy, an accurate email address is the foundation for getting the rest of your data, including firmographic, technographic and intent data, which you can use to tailor your cold emails according to your ICP’s current challenges and goals.

Of course, cold outreach goes beyond the tools and tech you use. There are things behind the scenes you need to know like:

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
  • Domain-Based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)
  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
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Another issue is using your primary domain for cold emailing. It can pose risks such as damaging your domain's reputation and deliverability if marked as spam. To mitigate these risks, use a dedicated subdomain or a completely separate domain for cold outreach. This approach keeps your main communication domain from being blacklisted.

Tools like Woodpecker help automate this process and maintain high deliverability rates with automatic warmup and more.

Practice the Power of Personalization

While we've touched on the impact of personalization above, it deserves more time. It’s key in differentiating your emails from the countless others flooding your prospects' inboxes.

We showed how personalized subject lines improve open rates but personalization within the email content can increase response rates by as much as 140%​ and click-through rates by 81.5%.

But how do you create compelling, personalized content for someone you’ve never met?

  • Use of Data and Insights: Get as much relevant data about your prospects as possible. This can include their industry, role, recent business achievements or challenges they are facing.
  • Segmentation: Segment your email list to tailor your messages more precisely. Again, this requires a keen understanding of your ICP and what resonates with them.
  • Dynamic Content: Use dynamic content in your emails that adjusts according to the data you have on each prospect. This could include different images, body text or offers based on the recipient's past interactions.
  • A/B Testing: Always test and refine your approach. Test different emails within the same segments. The goal is to optimize each part of your cold email so nothing is wasted.

The three key laws related to cold email include:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM)

What Does GDPR Say about Cold Email?

Despite the misinformation, GDPR does not forbid cold email. Instead, the best practices for implementing it state that you should have a legitimate interest in contacting the prospect, i.e., you should have grounds to believe they would benefit from your offer.

Assuming you will do in-depth research and tailor the offer to your prospects, you will be well within your rights to contact them through cold email. Of course, always allow the recipients to unsubscribe and offer a way for them to request data deletion.

What Does CCPA Say about Cold Email?

The CCPA, while specific to California, shares many of the same hallmarks as GDPR with a focus on consumer rights to privacy and control over their personal data. Under the CCPA, if you send cold emails to California residents, you have to clarify how the data has been collected and how it will be used.

Similarly to GDPR, Californian residents have to be able to opt out of the messaging and request for their data to be deleted. However, you can still contact them through cold email, presuming you have also met the requirements for GDPR.

CAN-SPAM and Cold Email

CAN-SPAM regulates what your cold emails should include, but it doesn’t forbid them. For example, CAN-SPAM states you should use accurate From, To and Reply-To headers, include an opt-out mechanism, state your physical address and never use deceptive subject lines.

And there are many other laws around the world, but the idea is the same – be careful with how you’re using data. Compliance starts with understanding the specific requirements of each regulation.

Level Up Your Marketing with Cold Outreach and Findymail

Cold email doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It complements and amplifies existing marketing and sales strategies.

As we've explored in this article, it’s not only an effective method for direct communication and lead generation, but it also significantly enhances ROI and brand awareness.

However, cold outreach relies on the quality of your data. Findymail has recently introduced Datacare, a feature designed to ensure your CRM and contact information data is always clean, updated and compliant with the latest data protection regulations.

Datacare automatically enriches and cleans your CRM data. It keeps your email lists free of duplicates and outdated information, so you can maintain low bounce rates and improve the overall health of your marketing pipeline​.

With Datacare, you can significantly reduce the time spent on data management and spend more focused on strategic engagement and closing deals.

Ready to see how Datacare can transform your cold outreach approach? Sign up today for early access.