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Cold Email Marketing Guide

Cold Outreach or Outbound Marketing 2022

Cold Email Marketing is a campaign tactic used mainly by B2B sales and marketing professionals who want to automate their lead generation efforts.These campaigns use automation technologies that connect to your existing email account to send a series of text-based emails to contacts who match their ideal customer profile (ICP). The advantage of these automated programs is they are easy to implement. All you need is automation software and a good list of contacts with email addresses to start. The only thing required is to monitor your inbox for replies, identify opportunities, book meetings, and close sales. The disadvantage of these programs is that you can only send up to 200 text-based emails daily, so you
are limited on your market reach and use of graphics, and it’s easy to get blacklisted if you are not careful. NOTE: While these programs are great for generating leads, they do not entirely replace your sales efforts.

Subject lines generate

email opens…

…body copy generates

email responses

or replies.

Learn more about how to develop an ICP here.

For this guide, we will assume you have acquired a list of ideal contacts, picked a sales automation platform, and connected your email account to that platform. So, where do you start? With the subject line! With cold email or outbound marketing, most people focus on increasing the number of replies you get from your campaigns. But to get more responses, your emails need to be opened first. Subject lines generate email opens; body copy generates email responses or replies.
A/B testing is critical to uncovering the best subject line with the best open rates. Once you test two different subject lines, the subject line with the best open rate becomes your new baseline to test yet another subject line. Testing isn’t done after one, two, or even three tests. You should continuously test subject lines until you are convinced you have the best subject line.

Subject Lines Best Practices
Keep subject lines short and personal. More often, emails are being opened on mobile devices where longer subject lines are cut off. Subject lines with 3-7 words are most effective. Use a Creative Subject Your prospect first sees your subject line and who sent the email. The combination of the subject line and the email address will determine if they’ll even open your email (Step one).

SIDE NOTE: To be statistically relevant across all variations you are testing, we like to have at least 1,000 emails sent for each subject line before determining the winner.


Subject: Our CEO wants to talk to you
Subject: Your advice is needed
Subject: Looking for feedback
Make sure you come up with a creative subject line to achieve a good email open rate. For example, questions in the subject line consistently perform better than other subject lines across all of our clients.
Subject Line Examples
Subject: Is this a problem?
Subject: A Big Mistake!
Subject: Any chance you can help?
Subject: Introduction?

Personalized Subject Lines
If you’re trying to reach out to an employee at a particular company, including their name or the company name in the subject line can help. Whenever I see my name or the name of my company in a subject line, I’m willing to open the email and at least scan it in case there’s something vital for me.
Variable Examples
Subject: [company]
Subject: [company] + YourCompany = Success
Subject: Looking for HR contact at [company]
Subject: [first_name], who should I address?
Subject: [first_name], is this worth consideration?

Sender Name
The sender’s name is important. Make sure your sender’s name is a real person who matches their profile on LinkedIn.

Subject Line Wrap Up
The tips above are the ones we use here at Sales Lead Automation to ensure our client’s open rates remain high enough to provide the proper level of engagement with their prospects.

• Always test at least two subject lines with the identical body copy
• Test using your prospect’s name or company name in the subject line
• Don’t make your subject line sounds like a marketing email
• Experiment with questions in your subject lines
• Always deliver in your email what you promise in your subject line

Email Writing Basics
We usually recommend writing short, concise emails with one call to action (CTA). However, you can write longer emails if you sell or offer a considered purchase with an extended sales cycle. Still, longer emails are ideal for a marketing automation platform using graphic-rich HTML email vs. a sales automation platform that sends a text-based email.

Call to Actions
Remember what you want your prospects to do when writing your emails. Ideally, you want them to take action like schedule a meeting, sign up for a course, book a demo, download a piece of content, or reply. So your emails need to have a clear purpose and call to action. Moreover, if you want to get a response, give the recipient a question to answer. Asking 1-2 questions in your email gives you the best chance of generating a response. Bottom line, prospects don’t mind you sending them a long cold email if your content is valuable or relevant.

Reading Level
Make sure your text is easy to read, and your content is presented logically and in easy-to-read order. Emails written at a third-grade reading level are most likely to get a response. Simpler words and shorter sentences consistently yield better results, period.
The format of your emails is just as important and possibly more important than the actual copy. Why? People tend to scan emails vs. read every word. So if your email is lengthy, play around with the format by bolding or highlighting words of
importance. If you are sending HTML emails, test colored headlines in different sizes as well.
• Using bullets is also a great way to improve readability.
Positivity defines how positive or negative the context of your email reads. The highest email response rates come from emails that are slightly positive in tone.
Spam Words
Limit the number of spam words you use as much as possible (1-3 words top). Reducing the number of spam words increases the chance your email will be delivered into the inbox vs. spam folder. We are working on a lit of spam words to avoid, which we will post on our website soon.

Sample Cold Email
The very first email you should test is an introductory email. The email should be short and to the point and describe who you are, what pain points or problems you solve, and for who with one or two CTA’s.
Hello [FirstName – John],
I noticed your title was [Title-VP of Procurement] at [Company – ABC Pest Control], and I wanted
to introduce myself (I hope you don’t mind).
[Insert–Who you are and what pain you solve]
[Insert–Sample clients]
[Insert–Clear call to action]
Use a complete email signature with a link to the sender’s LinkedIn prole

Email Example:

Note: test your email with and without a signature for best deliverability using Glockapps or Mail Tester (Free). Signatures are often the cause of lousy deliverability.

Emails Sequences Best Practices
Now that you have a good idea of how to create/test your subject lines and the first message you want to send to your prospects, it’s time to create an email sequence where you send a series of emails over a period of time (usually days, weeks and even months). Why do we use sequences? The average person receives close to 140 emails a day. Expecting a
response from someone who doesn’t know you after sending them just one email is unrealistic. Most often, it takes several emails over a period of time to generate a response. It also takes time to figure out the right subject line and body copy your prospects’ respond to the best. Bottom line: Keep your email short and sweet; don’t send long advertising or sales
messages—those emails are rarely read and are usually ignored.

How long does it take to refine your email sequence? It varies for each client, but generally, the first month is used to warm up your email account for best deliverability and test various subject lines for best open rates. We begin to test email copy and offers using the best-performing subject lines from month one in month two and beyond. People often get frustrated when they begin planning their first email sequence. So in this section, we’ve gathered the top-performing email sequences from several of our customers to use as examples in creating your email series.

We will assume you have already defined your ideal customer profile, downloaded and prepared your data for personalization, and are now ready to begin testing.

If you decide to add additional segments, keep in mind that you will need to write two versions of copy for each new segment or persona for testing purposes. All because one segment or persona responds well to one message doesn’t mean the other segments will respond the same.

A/B Test Splits
We recommend writing at least two different email series or sequences for every campaign/segment, known as A/B test splits. It is very rare we ever run an email sequence with only one version of the copy. You don’t want to skip this, especially if you don’t have experience sending emails to prospects in a particular industry. Typically, we would create a Response Campaign designed to do one thing: generate a response from our ideal prospect. Then we like to create an entirely different campaign called an
Action Campaign.

NOTE: having a good database of ideal prospects and personas makes it much easier to build an extremely efficient and effective email marketing sequence turning your cold prospects into warm leads. This is also an excellent time to identify potential segments for personalization. For example, you might want different messages for one industry or job title vs. another.

The goal is to determine which body copy works best in generating our desired outcome. In some cases, you might want to establish credibility by sharing relevant content before asking for a meeting. In other cases, you might only be interested in getting a prospect on the phone or scheduling an appointment. When building your email sequence, you can mix a combination of response messages and action messages into your email series. But you have to be careful you don’t ruin your testing efforts by creating too many variations.
It will be hard to determine which email version or sequence performs best if you have too
many variables.

Responses Campaigns are designed to ask a question:
• Do you have this xxxx problem?
• Are you the right person to talk to about xxxxx?
• Can you help me?

Action Campaigns are designed to get your target audience to take action:
• Download a whitepaper or case study
• Click on a link, sign up for a demo
• Register for a webinar

Hello [First Name],
I noticed you’re [title] at [company] and I wanted to introduce myself because my company recently wrote a whitepaper I think you will nd interesting.
The WP covers XXXXXXX.
You can download the whitepaper here if interested.
I’d love to get your feedback if you read it.
[Insert your Signature]
Hello [First Name],
I noticed you are the [title] at [company] and wanted to introduce myself (I hope you don’t mind).
I help companies like yours [describe the pain point].
We work with clients like [insert companies you work with in similar industries and sizes]
Would you be up for a conversation?
Any feedback is appreciated.
[Insert your Signature]
Example Email Sequence Below
Response Campaign A
Email 1A

Email 1B

[First Name],
I hate to bug you, but I am still hoping you can help me. I shot you an email hoping to talk to you about how we help companies like yours (insert the pain you solve).
We help several companies in your industry and would like to see if we can’t help you.
Any feedback is appreciated.
[Insert your Signature]

As you can see, we have two completely different messages to the same target audience. Over time (ideally after 1000 email sends), we can determine which email message generates the best response rate.

Email 2 in the Sequence
The second email in your sequence goes to people who didn’t respond to the first email, Email 1A
or 1B with the subject line “Introduction?” after x number of days.
You can send this second or follow-up message the day after the first email, three days, or even
a week later; it’s up to you. (100% customizable)
We generally recommend you send the second email 3 or 4 days after the first email.
Regarding the subject line for the follow-up email, you have two options. Leaving the subject line
blank will use the same subject line in the first email, “Introduction?” and include the original message
of the first email below the second email. So the prospect sees you sent two messages.
Or you can create a new subject line for this follow-up email like “Reconnect?” or something similar.
Email 2A

The process can be daunting, so we want to remind you that Sales Lead Automation
can help you figure everything out and put this strategy into practice FOR you.

[First Name],
If you recall, I sent you a whitepaper last week on how companies like yours use articial intelligence to take the guesswork out of which prospects your salespeople should call today vs. tomorrow? I’d like to show you how we help companies become more eective in their sales eorts using our AI technology.
Would you be up for a quick conversation?
[Insert your Signature]
Email 2B

NEXT | Third Email in the Sequence
This email goes to people who didn’t respond to either the first or second email. At this point, you can test various versions of email copy with different forms of call to action:
• Sharing content to download
• Directing them to a video on what you do and how you can help
• Inviting them to a webinar or recorded demo of your application
Most clients ask us how many touches or emails they should send before giving up, and the answer is always the same. It depends on the data, the number of contacts you have to test, and the number of messages you send over x amount of time. Some clients send as many as 17 emails over 14 days. Other clients send three messages over two weeks. As a rule of thumb, you should base your tests on the number of contacts you have that match your ideal customer profile. I’ll explain in more detail after we look at the following emails. At this point, we haven’t received a response to the two previous emails sent, so it’s fair to think that this person is not interested in your product or service or is the wrong person to talk to about your product or service. That’s where you’d go to email number three in your email sequence.

[First Name], who should I address?
[First Name],
I’m still hoping you can help me.
I am trying to nd the right person at [company] responsible for [xxxx].
I’d like to send them some information about our [insert pain and value proposition].
Can you help point me in the right direction?
[Insert your Signature]
Email 3A

Email 3B

[First Name], who should I address?
[First Name],
I have sent you a couple of messages regarding the whitepaper I sent you, but I’m starting to think
you might not be the right person to talk to about your sales eorts at [company].
I have three more whitepapers (below) I’d like to share with the appropriate person, but I’m not
100% sure who that person is.
• Top 5 ways to [xxxx]
• Latest trends in [xxxx]
• Latest Research Study on [xxxx]
Any help is appreciated in pointing me in the right direction.
Thank You

You can send as many emails as you want or any time you like when creating your sequences.
That’s why we put so much emphasis on testing. There are four primary areas you need to test:

Reach vs. Touches
When building your sequences, you must consider the impact that sending multiple emails (known as “marketing touches” has on your market reach. To safely send outbound emails using your primary work email, you must limit the number of emails you send to under 200 a day or risk getting blacklisted and your emails going into the spam folder.

NOTE: That’s why we recommend using a subdomain. This helps increase the volume
of emails you can send while protecting your primary email account.



of touches
over X
amount of

Here is an example to help you visualize the impact of the number of marketing touches vs. market reach:

Let’s say you have 5000 contacts in your email list and are sending 200 emails daily. It will
take 25 days to send everyone on your list the first message.
However, since you are sending three emails to each person “Introduction?”, “Reconnect?”
and “Who should I address?” and you only wait four days in between each step (in this
example). Your actual email volume looks like this below:
• Step 1 emails week one
• First 4 days, you send 200 emails = 800 emails
• Day 5, you are now sending 100 step one emails and 100 step two emails
• And by Day 9, you are now sending 66 emails for step one, 66 for step two, and 66 emails
for step three

So the number of new contacts being added to your campaign (66) is a third of the original volume or reach of 200 a day.
It’s essential to remember this as you decide how many emails you want to send in your sequences when planning for your Reach vs. Touches. Hopefully, we have given you some ideas to consider when launching a Cold Email Campaign or
Sales Automation Program.
Check out our following Guide on Account-Based Email—Best Performing Email Campaign
Account-Based Email campaigns are where we copy (cc) all of the influencers at your targeted
accounts in the same email. These email campaigns generate the highest response rates across all
of our clients.