What Is Cold Email – And How to Make It Work In 2020

Nowadays, most companies are striving to make the most out of each email campaign. Address to the reader, create a catchy headline, include engaging photos and videos – if there’s anything that can be added to an email, they will add it.

And this strategy definitely brings results. Customers loved tailored emails where companies get personal and try to create a real connection. It increases long-term loyalty too.

But what about cold email?

Does sending plain, targeted offers still work in 2020? Should we include this basic marketing technique in our strategy or ditch it altogether?

In this post, we’ll explore how cold email works and why you should still include it when planning email campaigns.

But first things first…


What is cold email?

Cold email means sending your company’s special offers to a targeted audience using email. Most of the times, cold emails are sent without establishing a certain connection to your recipients first (hence its name).

Send cold emails correctly while adding a touch of empathy and you have a real shot at expanding your loyal base of customers.

Send cold emails wrongly and your offers will end up straight in your recipients’ SPAM folders.

Depending on your company’s services, offers and dynamics, organizing a low-and-slow cold email campaign can ultimately increase your sales numbers.

However, you do need a few skills to make it work. Here are all the details:


Lead identification

During this first step, you’ll want to find out who is your ideal prospect for this type of campaign. Luckily, there are plenty of tools which can ease the process and help you find potential customers who might enjoy your offers.

But what is a good list of recipients without a well-written email?

This question brings us to my next point…


Writing the actual email

The most important thing before writing any type of email is to put yourself in your target’s shoes.

Regardless of your domain of activity, your recipients are probably busy juggling between at-home activities. They’re tired of negative news brought by the pandemic.

Right now, they have no idea who you are. Your goal here is to make an email so good that they click, read and maybe access your offer.

With that in mind, let me present you a few golden rules of cold email writing:


Rule #1: Never mislead your audience

Everyone can recognize a cold email because it’s clear, actionable and goes straight to the point. And that’s perfectly fine and reasonable.

Many marketers are still trying to cover up cold emails using subjects or introductions such as ‘a mutual friend just mentioned you,’ which is wrong on every level. Tempting as it may be, this is a beginner’s mistake that hurts your brand identity to an irreparable extend.

Needless to say, the same rule applies to extreme subject lines such as ‘your account will close unless you click here’ or other type of similar ‘threats.’ Yes, you may hear ‘success’ stories based on this technique, but if you want a loyal audience who sees you as trustworthy, just don’t do it.


Rule #2: Appreciate your audience’s time

Tempting as it may be to create a long story around your campaign, that’s exactly what you want to avoid when it comes to cold emails.

Remember: you’re about to send this email to busy people who don’t know who you are. This means you have literally a few seconds to make a point, so make it concise and as engaging as possible.

It’s equally important to offer them an easy way out. Those who aren’t interested in your emails should be able to unsubscribe very quickly.


Rule #3: Relax!

One of the best pieces of advice I received as a marketer is to treat my audience as if they were my best friend.

Show your good intentions, provide your readers with valuable and/or engaging information, maybe help them smile a bit as they go through your offer – and you can say you’ve done your job.

No hidden pixels for read receipts, no free reports in the emails, no desire to track your readers’ every move.


Although cold email is meant to ultimately skyrocket your sales, you should design your emails with the purpose of starting a conversation. This is an inexpensive way of broadening your marketing horizons and, with time and patience, it might truly be worth it!

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