Cold Emailing: What It Is, How to Create, and Mistakes to Avoid

Date: 2023-06-29 | Time of reading: 13 minutes (2456 words)

Cold emailing is a method of sending emails to individuals who have not consented to receive electronic correspondence from a particular organization. It presents an excellent opportunity for self-presentation and initial introduction to potential consumers who may not yet be familiar with your brand.

The outcomes of such email campaigns can vary. The recipient may find the text intriguing and want to learn more about the organization, or they may choose to delete the email or mark it as spam. Therefore, it is crucial to configure such email campaigns effectively in order to establish a positive relationship with potential customers.

Cold emails are an element of a marketing strategy that allows for the expansion of the customer base. However, they should be used while considering specific rules, as there is a risk of not only losing potential buyers but also alienating existing ones.

It is important to remember that customers' email inboxes are personal spaces where they do not want to receive unnecessary or irrelevant information. Your main goal should be to gain their trust and interest from the first email.

Cold messages: notion

Cold letters are information that includes an offer with a commercial purpose.

Real example of a cold message with commercial  offerAn example of an email containing commercial offer

Cold emails are not the same as spam, but if certain rules are not followed, they can end up in the recipient's "junk" or "spam" folder. Consumers do not want to waste their time on generic and trivial mass emails, as they perceive them similarly to annoying phone calls from banks or persistent offers over the phone from various companies.

It is important to emphasize that mass cold email campaigns are illegal.

A legitimate method of sending cold emails is to do so manually and with a specific purpose. By employing this approach, you reduce the risk of being marked as spam, and the reader may become your customer in the future.

Cold mailing vs other types of mailing: what’s the difference?

There are several kinds of letters that come to customers. We are going to find out exactly how they differ from each other.

Promotional email campaign

It serves as brief calls to action for customers. It is sent to those who have agreed to receive email newsletters. The main goal is to persuade the customer to make a purchase.

Promo email, real example of a message with CTAAn example of a promo email


Spam is the mass sending of messages to individuals who have not consented to receiving them. It is illegal and is highly negatively perceived by the audience.

Transactional Emails

Transactional emails are automatic emails that are sent to customers after they have performed specific actions on a website. For example, a confirmation email for an order, a password reset email, or a notification about the status of a delivery. Despite customers not explicitly opting in to receive transactional emails, they are still considered lawful as they contain necessary information and are not typically seen as intrusive.

Transactional email, real example of an automatic messageAn example of a transactional email

Cold mailing

In cold mailing, contacts do not provide explicit consent. It is sent from a personal email or through a third-party domain. While it can be legal, it relies on proper message sending methods and positive user responses to be effective.

When to send a cold message

To ensure lawful cold email sending, please follow these rules:

  • Use a reputable email service provider (e.g., Mail.ru, Gmail, Rambler, Yandex) or send emails from your personal account without relying on mass email services.

  • Aim to personalize the emails, such as addressing the recipient by name.

  • Do not exceed a specific daily email limit. For instance, Gmail currently has a limit of 500 emails per day. However, by adhering to the aforementioned rules, it is unlikely to exceed this limit.

Despite the set limitations within a 24-hour period, actions that appear suspicious or mass-sending personalized offers may raise red flags.

It is important to note that the content of the email should not violate any legal restrictions.

Pros & Cons of cold emails

The main advantages of cold mailing include

  • Expanding the customer base

These emails follow a similar structure to cold calls but offer several advantages: they don't disturb customers at inconvenient times and allow for better timing and control over the message delivery.

  • It takes less time for the customer compared to phone calls

When a company calls a consumer with a promotional offer, it often triggers a negative reaction and consumes their time. For many, phone conversations are already effortful and can be overwhelming.

In contrast, a text email does not elicit such a reaction as it can be quickly skimmed to understand the message without interacting with persistent salespeople. There are fewer actions required, which leads to customers perceiving the offers more positively.

  • It remains visible to the consumer for a longer time

A phone call is easily forgotten by a person once the conversation ends, whereas an email stays in their inbox until they view it. The recipient reads the email, keeps it in their inbox, and may revisit it later.

  • Scale of distribution

The more calls that need to be made, the more personnel are required, whereas sending an email can be scaled with just a click of a button. Cold mailing is a simpler and more modern method of expanding the customer base compared to phone calls.

The disadvantages of it include:

  • The risk of being perceived as spam

Consumers may not appreciate receiving unsolicited email campaigns without their explicit consent, especially if the email resembles spam. There is a chance that they will not read it and immediately delete it. In such cases, your efforts will not yield the desired results.

To avoid this, it is important to understand how to create a cold mailing campaign correctly and adhere to certain rules, which will be discussed in the following section.

How to create a cold mailing

Let's go through the stages of creating cold mail campaigns:

Stage 1: Identify your target audience

To create effective cold emails, you need to research all available sources and compile a list of potential customers. Then, segment them and create a specific profile for each segment based on their characteristics, interests, and needs. Develop your unique value proposition that highlights the benefits of your product to the customers.

These research findings will attract customers' attention with interesting and personalized offers, thereby increasing the likelihood of acquiring new clients.

Personalized email for target audienceAn example of a targeted & personalized email

Stage 2: Choose the email subject

The subject line of your email is what immediately catches the recipient's attention. It determines whether they will read or delete the email. It is important for the subject line to clearly reflect the purpose of the email. Consider using a compelling offer that will grab the customer's interest. Most importantly, the subject line should not be "screaming" or contain overt gimmicks, as these are clear spam indicators. Even if the recipient reads an email with such a subject line, there is a high chance they will still send it to the trash.

Cold emails with bad examples of subject linesExamples of email subject lines that are over-catchy

Stage 3: Create high-quality content

The content of your email should be valuable and relevant to the recipient. Consider the format in which you will deliver the information to your customers (images, videos, text). Also, keep in mind that the way you present information may vary depending on the segment of your audience.

Stage 4: Pay attention to the design

Create email messages that display correctly on laptops, computers, and mobile devices without distortion. Use block segmentation, employ various fonts and images. Your goal is to make the email as visually appealing and user-friendly as possible.

Stage 5: Determine the length of the email

Cold emails should be of optimal length to maintain the reader's interest. Present the essence of the information concisely and informatively. Avoid describing the brand's history, achievements, etc., in the content. This information can be relevant later when the cold prospect transitions into a warm lead.

Stage 6: Add a Call-to-Action (CTA)

Without a CTA, the reader may not understand the purpose of the email and close it without taking any action. Including a clear call-to-action at the end is essential, as it helps the recipient understand the intended goal of the email. Avoid direct calls to purchase the product, as the sales process typically requires more time and nurturing.

You can use the following calls-to-action:

  • Download the guide, instructions, manual.

  • Seize your opportunity.

  • Agree to subscribe to our newsletter.

  • Try it for free right now.

Stage 7: Create multiple cold emails

Typically, sending a single email won't yield the desired results. To prompt the desired action, it's necessary to send multiple emails. In each email, it's beneficial to experiment with different subject lines, content, and CTAs. For example, if the first email suggests subscribing to your newsletter but the recipient doesn't take action, you can offer a gift or discount for subscribing to the newsletter in a subsequent email.

Stage 8: Conduct analysis

To track the effectiveness of your cold emails, it's important to regularly monitor which emails prompt recipients to take the desired action. The following metrics should be examined:

  • Deliverability

This metric reflects how many people actually received your emails. A low deliverability rate may indicate that your emails are either being marked as spam or going straight to the recipients' junk folders. In such cases, consider changing your domain.

  • Open Rate

The open rate is directly influenced by the subject line. If your emails are not being opened, it's advisable to change the subject line and try to come up with more engaging and compelling ones.

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The CTR indicates the number of recipients who clicked on the call-to-action button or link in your email. If your CTR is low, it's important to delve deeper into understanding your target audience. This will help you identify what aspects of your offer are not resonating with them. Consider modifying the content accordingly.

Mistakes to avoid when sending cold emails

Mass mailing to everyone

Sending mass emails to random recipients will not only yield poor results but also increase the chances of being flagged as spam. People who are not interested in your product or service may mark your email as spam. Therefore, it is important to build your own cold email list and interact exclusively with that audience.

Common templates

Avoiding common templates is recommended as well. Using templates will not distinguish you from your competitors, as many others are also using them. It is much more effective to utilize original designs and creative layouts. Alternatively, you can start with existing email templates and customize them to align with your unique concept and branding.

Sending emails from the company's domain

Sending emails from your company's domain when conducting cold email campaigns can increase the likelihood of being marked as spam. If you end up on a blacklist, your partners and employees may not receive your messages.

Playing tricks with clients

Attempting to deceive or trick customers is not advisable. While using sensational or deceptive headlines may initially capture a customer's attention or lead to a click, it is unlikely to result in a positive outcome. Deception is easily recognized by consumers and can elicit a negative reaction.

In cold emails, it is important to generate interest without resorting to tricks or deceit. Be honest with your customers, and they will appreciate it.

Sending out without double checking emails

It is important to check the emails before sending them out for any spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors. Additionally, attention should be paid to the tags used in the email. Incorrectly formatted tags can result in displaying unclear letters and symbols. If a recipient notices errors while reading the email, they might perceive it as spam.

How to collect leads for cold mailing

Social media

One of the most popular methods is to share links to specific web pages with useful information. To access the content, users are required to provide their email address.

Offline methods

These methods include various workshops, conferences, exhibitions, surveys, and presentations that help expand your customer base with interested individuals.

Manual search

This method can be time-consuming. You manually search for relevant contacts, for example, using LinkedIn or social media platforms.

QR Codes

Place QR codes on products or as separate elements. When customers scan the code, they will be directed to a specific landing page or server.

Purchasing a ready-made database

This method is quite questionable as it often results in a low conversion rate. Purchased databases may be spam-filled, and a significant portion of the email addresses may be invalid.


A cold email is the sending of messages to a recipient without prior contact or their explicit consent to receive such emails.

  1. Cold email outreach is legal when approached correctly.

  2. Mass cold emails, however, tend to be ineffective and provide little value to both recipients and organizations. Consumers receive unwanted information and spend their time deleting messages, while organizations waste time reaching out to disinterested contacts.

  3. A more effective approach to sending cold emails is to manually send them from a personal email address with personalized messages tailored to specific recipients.

  4. The advantages of this method include expanding the contact base, scalability, saving time for both the company and the recipient, and generating greater interest from recipients compared to cold calls.

  5. When creating a cold email, it is important to address the recipient's potential questions: "Why are you emailing me?", "Who are you?", and "What do you want from me (what is the desired action)?".







If the article was useful to you, share it with your friends ;)