What is Cold Email? A Beginners Guide

Cold emailing has blown up in recent years and it’s obvious why when you see the results of a well run cold email campaign. For many companies, cold emailing is one of the single most valuable channels for generating revenue. So, let’s dive deep into cold email to learn about who uses it, what tools they’re using, and if it’s legal.

Let’s dive in! 

What is cold email?

Cold email is the process of emailing someone that you do not know or have no relationship with, generally with the goal of hopping on a call to sell a good or service.

This is similar to cold calling, just performed over email instead of over the phone. 

Who uses cold email?

Cold email is an extremely popular method of getting in touch with a prospect so you’ll find it across a variety of industries. The biggest users of cold email are outbound sales teams, recruiters, and even private equity firms. 

How do companies find someone’s email?

Companies find email through data providers like LeadLoft, ZoomInfo, Hunter.io, or Lusha. Sales teams and other cold emailers use these products to help uncover contact info and, in LeadLoft’s case, automate outreach via cold emails or even calls.   

An example of how this works is LeadLoft’s Chrome Extension, which allows you to navigate LinkedIn, and uncover contact information by simply clicking “Save”. The chrome extension even verifies contact information for you so you know the quality of the data delivered. 

This is just one of the tools companies use. If you’re interested in diving deeper, we shared all of the methods you can use to find someone’s email here

What tools do companies use to send cold emails?

Some people opt to send cold emails manually but that’s an extremely time consuming process. Nowadays, it’s most common to find companies using cold emailing software or CRMs with cold emailing features.

Here are some of the most popular cold emailing software solutions:

The cold emailing features allow users to enroll large prospect lists all at once, track replies, track opens, and even follow up automatically.

This is all done by building Playbooks, sometimes called sequences. They allow you to build a series of emails that will send out over time and if you don’t get a response, the next email will send out automatically without you ever having to lift a finger. 

Here’s an example of what a Playbook might look like: 

Is it legal to send a cold email?

It’s 100% legal to send cold emails in both the US and the EU but it's important to understand that the Laws do change between borders so it’s recommended that you read up on the local regulations before entering into a new territory. 

Wrapping Up

If you are interested in cold email and looking to give it a test run, I recommend checking out LeadLoft's Cold Email Masterclass. The course covers everything you need to know about cold email.

Another important aspect is the contents of the emails you are sending. The difference between a well written and poor cold email can be a 30% reply rate. Meaning you’re getting 30% fewer responses than someone else. This is why testing your email copy and learning how to write great emails is extremely important. If you’d like, we shared our golden cold email template here for you to copy. 

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