Mastering 15+ Cold Email Best Practices in 2024

Created On:
March 18, 2023
Updated On:
April 30, 2024
Cold Email Best Practices

Acquiring high-quality prospects for a business can be challenging because cold emailing campaigns can be hit or miss. However, it's important to note that cold email marketing techniques can indeed deliver excellent ROIs when done correctly.

Therefore, to increase the chances of success with cold email campaigns, it's essential to do your research on your target audience and craft personalized messages that speak to their specific pain points and needs. It's also important to ensure that your emails are well-written, concise, and visually appealing, as these factors can greatly impact the recipient's decision to engage with your brand.

Cold emailing is the most effective way to generate many business leads and drives almost 20-30% more conversion rate if done right. In simple words, cold emailing is like making door-to-door sales, in which you tend to get a lot of "no" responses. So to get positive responses, you must follow cold email best practices that has been described well in the article! 

What is Cold Emailing?

Cold emailing sends initial emails to potential prospects to start conversing with them. These customers might need to be made aware of your products or services. The aim is to turn those cold prospects into regular customers of your business. Cold emails are known for building, recruiting, and networking; therefore, it is the best prospecting strategy to reach out to your customers and introduce them to your offer. 

This simple process of cold emailing has been broken down into four simple and easy steps:

  • Find the email address and contact information of a prospect.
  • Draft an email for the prospect.
  • Send follow-up emails to them.
  • Evaluate the responses you get from the prospects.

Cold emails have different goals depending on their scenarios. For example, you can use cold emails for:

  • Reach out to customers or companies interested in your brand's products or services.
  • Building a good relationship with the prospecting leads of your business
  • Negotiating a deal or making a deal with a customer who has shown interest in your business
  • Getting customers to sign-up for your newsletters or webinars.
  • Growing the social media email list of your business

What is the Success Rate for Cold Emails?

Generically, responses for cold emails are low. However, if you try using some templates, or personalizing your cold emails, that can help your cold email open rate by 22%, and even that increases the email response rate by 30%.Therefore, it is worth doing it; designing and executing some fantastic cold email strategies can significantly improve email open and response rates. 

Does Cold Emailing Work?

Cold emailing can indeed be an effective outreach strategy when done correctly. It allows you to connect with potential customers who might not be aware of your brand or offerings. However, the effectiveness of cold emailing hinges on several factors, like the quality and personalization of your emails, and the relevance of your message to the recipient.

What is an Average Cold Email Response Rate?

Before understanding the average cold email response rate, let us first understand the basics of cold email response rate. Cold email response rate is a metric that is considered to decide the success of the email outreach of any business. This response rate means the number of potential clients who responded to your emails. It typically indicates whether the respective client is interested in your products or services. An excellent cold email response rate varies between 1% to 10%, but this can vary depending on the kind of business you are in. Below is a simple formula for calculating the average cold email response rate to understand it clearly:

How Long Should a Cold Email Be?

In terms of cold email best practices, brevity is key. A concise and straight-to-the-point email around 100-200 words long is likely to have the most impact. Start with an engaging subject line, a personalized introduction, and then get right to the point. The aim is to pique the recipient's interest and encourage them to respond, rather than overwhelming them with information.

Should Cold Emails be Considered Spam?

No, cold emails are not Spam, only if done right. Cold emails are targeted emails with relevant and personal content related to the target audience. The businesses sending cold emails have a legitimate purpose behind sending these. So to ensure that your cold emails do not land in the spam folder, they should include the following:

  • The sender's full name
  • The relevant information about your brand, like your website links, social media profile links, physical address, email address, and phone number. 
  • The content of the email should be personalized for the recipient
  • The content of the email should be written in plain English
  • There should be no clickbait in the subject line of the emails.

For example, the below email is a cold email that has landed in the spam folder because of the highlighted reasons in the image. So make sure you avoid such mistakes. Also, if required, you can take tips to avoid landing in spam folders from SmartLead AI, the best email marketing software in the market.

How to Write Cold Emails

Writing effective cold emails involves several steps:

  1. Subject Line: The subject line should be intriguing and personalized to prompt the recipient to open the email.
  2. Opening Line: This should be a personalized greeting that shows you've done your homework about the recipient.
  3. Body of the Email: This should be brief and focused, showcasing the value you can provide and why it's relevant to the recipient.
  4. Call-to-Action: Finally, be clear about what action you want the recipient to take next. This could be scheduling a call, signing up for a demo, or any other action that moves them further down your sales funnel.

Cold Email Best Practices to Nail Your Marketing Strategy

Good marketing is an essential part of every organization. Considering a well-designed email marketing structure helps boost the business's sales, and to follow this, you need to go through the below cold email best practices that make it easier to achieve success. Let's dive in:

1. An Optimized and Excellent Subject Line

It is rightly said that almost 47% of the recipients open up emails with interesting subject lines only. So you should always write great subject lines for your cold emails. Subject lines are typically the first line on behalf of which the recipients think of opening that email. While creating subject lines, you can also refer SmartLead AI for some great examples of subject lines that can help you increase your email open rate. To optimize your subject line and make it awesome, you need to follow the below two steps:

  • First, ensure the word count of your subject line is between 6 - 10. 
  • Secondly, you can personalize your subject line, as that also helps in increasing the open email rate by 23.6%.

2. Only Send the Same Email to One Customer

Most of us also receive emails from various companies offering their products and services daily, but we need to open them. Because those emails seem very generic therefore do not catch our attention. So creating a valuable and exciting cold email is essential to see recipients' attention immediately. 

Therefore, never use the generic cold email templates; always try to start your email with some custom content. Such starts leave a good impression on the customer reading it. 

3. Understand Your Prospects

The first and most crucial step for cold emailing is that you need to understand your prospect. Knowing your target audience in advance is always better, just the basic information like their demographics, interests, likes, and more. 

Once you understand them, it becomes much easier to draft messages for them, so they look relevant because only a relevant email gets opened up and responded to.

4. Keep Your Email Content Short

Sending lengthy cold emails to clients is worthless, so keeping an eye on the word count is essential. Long messages make the customer click on the "delete" icon. Research proves that drafting short emails between 50 and 125 words is enough to engage clients. 

Shorter emails immediately get to the context of the message and allow the recipient to make their relevant decision regarding your product or service. It is rightly said that the golden rule of cold emailing is "deliver value to your prospects"; that's why to add your information in bullet points in the message.

5. Be Friendly in Your Emails

While drafting cold emails for your customers, sit down and create the message with a relaxed mind. Just avoid using those fancy words and perfect grammar, and prepare your mail in a simple layman's English language. No need to sound like a professor in your mail; just be clear and concise with your words. Be friendly and write as you talk. 

6. Jump to the Main Pain Point

Discussing the pain areas in your cold emails is an interactive way of showing that you care for your prospects and understand their situations. 

To know about their pain areas, you need to perform good research on their likes and dislikes. So when you discuss their pain points in the mail, it does not show that you are seeing your products or services to them, though it shows that you are solving their problems. Therefore, they get more interested in responding to you. 

7. Proofread Your Emails

Before clicking on the "send" icon, always proofread it. The emails should be free from grammatical, typing, or other generic human errors. Proofreading your emails helps you from losing your clients. 

8. Add Images, Emojis, and Videos in the Email Body

You can make your cold email interactive by adding images, emojis, and videos in the mail body. They catch the reader's eye and attract their interest in your business.

9. Use Cold Email Templates

As we all know, using templates while drafting emails is helpful. So you can refer to some cold email templates with the help of the best email engagement software, SmartLead AI.

These templates ensure all your team members send your clients the same email. You can make simple adjustments in the template and share it with the client, saving a lot of your time and effort in repeatedly drafting the same kind of emails. 

10. Send Your Emails at the Correct Time

Sending emails at the correct time is essential as it helps improve response rates. A study said that most people read and respond to their emails at the beginning of their day between 6 - 9 AM. Additionally, Monday is the best day to improve your email opening rate by 20%. 

11. Go With a Personalized Approach

Personalization in your emails is critical for cold email lead generation. It opens many doors for you and even improves the email response rate. One survey shows that almost 63% of recipients do not respond to un-personalized emails. Below are some tips for adding personalized content to your cold emails:

  • Start your email by using the recipient's first or last name
  • Make the customer feel valued
  • Describe your products or services in a way that can solve their issues
  • Draft your email in a way that the customer should not feel like a copy-pasted one

12. Use a Conversational Tone in Your Emails

The essential effective email marketing tip is that the cold email should be easy to read and understand. Before sending, read your email to ensure you are having regular conversations with your clients. Use a friendly tone in your cold emails and maintain professionalism.

13. Send Follow-up Emails

It has been proven that the senders must follow up on 70% of unanswered cold emails. You should always pay attention to sending follow-up emails to your clients. If you don't get responses from a client in one go, it is a thumb rule to send at least 3 - 4 follow-up emails, and there should be a few days' gaps between each email. The companies suggest the below rule for follow-ups:

14. Keep Track of Your Email Performance

Understanding what your client wants is essential to a winning email marketing strategy. Just track your email metrics and understand, are they opening emails in the morning? Are they responding to emails with shorter subject lines? And much more. Tracking these analytics and testing various approaches helps get more business leads. 

15. Talk About one Point, not Multiple Points

If you discuss only one topic in your email, it helps the customer to understand what you are expecting from them. Because one cold email with multiple issues must be clarified for the recipients, you tend to lose connection with them. It makes them bored. A clear and crisp message winds the heart of the recipient. 

16. Do not Only Write About Yourself

Just keep in your mind that the recipients do not care about what you are offering them; they care about how much benefit that product or service will be for them. They don't know anything about them, so first, build a relationship with them by making your cold emails relevant to them. 

17. Include Your Signature in the Email Body

When the prospects see your signatures in the email body, hit the trust factor in them. Your signature proves that you are from a genuine business, not a scammer. Good email signatures should be short and include only the following details:

  • Your Full Name
  • Your Job Title
  • Your Contact Number
  • Your Website Address
  • The Company Logo

18. Include a Call-to-Action button

Including CTA's in your emails makes it easier for the recipient to respond to your email. It is like a magic button that guides the prospects about the further step. Including one such button at the bottom of your email is best. 

19. Never use Attachments

Your cold emails should be quick and straightforward; adding attachments is never a good idea. Because seeing attachments in marketing emails makes the client think it is Spam, you should add links to your website or social media pages but not the attachments. 

Sample Cold Email Template

A simple cold email should cover the following sections:

  • Introduction about you or your company
  • Reason for emailing
  • What will you offer the client, and how is it essential for them to?
  • Proof that your products or services work
  • Call to action button
  • What do you expect them to do next?
Below is an example of the template.

Key Components of an Effective Cold Email

An effective cold email incorporates several key components:

  1. Personalization: Use the recipient's name and reference specific details about their business or industry to show that you're genuinely interested in helping them.
  2. Value Proposition: Clearly articulate what you're offering and how it can benefit the recipient.
  3. Social Proof: Incorporate testimonials or case studies to build credibility.
  4. Call-to-Action: Direct the recipient towards the next step, making it easy for them to respond or take action.

How to Automate a Cold Email Campaign

Automation is a major part of cold email best practices. To automate a cold email campaign, you can use various software tools that allow you to send personalized emails to a large list of recipients. These tools can help with list building, email personalization, scheduling, and follow-up emails, making your cold email campaign more efficient and effective. However, remember that even automated emails should feel personal and relevant to the recipient.

What Not to do in Your Cold Emails?

Cold emailing is a strategy to get conversions for your business. So below are some mistakes you should avoid while sending these emails to your prospects:

  • Use of spamming words
  • Lack of formatting of email
  • No personalization in the emails
  • Not adding company address and signature in the mail
  • Using unsubscribe link
  • Creating lengthy messages
  • Forgetting to replace the generic template content with recipients' details
  • Talking only about you and not the customer
  • Avoiding the use of CTA
  • No follow-ups
  • Typing and grammatical errors

Final thoughts

People say that cold emailing can either do your business or ruin it. So getting a few techniques wrong can reduce the trustworthiness of your brand in your prospect's eyes. So you can easily use the above-mentioned best practices to create a powerful marketing campaign with cold emailing and get more leads with it. The primary benefit of these tips is that they help build long-lasting customer relationships. As it is said that cold emailing is both a science and an art, use creative approaches to get conversions for your brand. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Cold Email Best Practices

1. How Do You Write a Good Cold Email Sequence?

Creating an effective cold email sequence follows the principle of cold email best practices. Begin with a strong introduction that showcases your understanding of the recipient's needs or challenges. Each subsequent email should build on the last, offering additional value, addressing potential objections, and always including a clear call-to-action. Remember to space out your emails appropriately to avoid overwhelming the recipient.

2. How Many Cold Emails Does it Take to Get a Response?

The number of cold emails needed to elicit a response varies depending on several factors, such as the relevance of your message to the recipient, your industry, and the quality of your email. However, it's common consensus that persistence is key, with research suggesting that it can often take between 3-7 follow-up emails after the initial contact to get a response.

3. How Important is Personalization in Cold Emailing?

Personalization is vital in cold emailing. It signals to the recipient that you've taken the time to understand their unique needs and challenges, thereby increasing the likelihood of a response. This can range from simply using the recipient's name to tailoring the entire content of the email to their specific industry, role, and challenges.

4. What Metrics Should I Track to Measure the Success of My Cold Email Campaigns?

In line with cold email best practices, there are several key metrics you should track to gauge the success of your cold email campaigns:

  1. Open Rate: This shows how many recipients are opening your emails. If it's low, you may need to improve your subject lines.
  2. Response Rate: This indicates how many recipients are responding to your emails. A low response rate might mean you need to enhance your email content or targeting strategy.
  3. Conversion Rate: This measures how many recipients perform the desired action after reading your email, such as scheduling a call or signing up for a demo.
  4. Bounce Rate: This shows how many of your emails aren't being delivered. A high bounce rate could imply issues with your email list.
  5. Unsubscribe Rate: This measures how many recipients are opting out of your emails. A high unsubscribe rate could suggest that your emails aren't resonating with recipients.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Author’s Details

Tanmay Shukla

Tanmay is a SEO Content Writer at Smartlead. His zeal and enthusiasm in writing led him to the path of being a Content Writer. He has been advancing in this field by possessing more knowledge and skills. His constant endeavor has made him a whiz in SEO, Creative Writing, and driving sales through writing.


Edited by:

Charu Mitra Dubey


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Frequently asked questions

General Questions

What is Smartlead's cold email outreach software?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Smartlead's cold email outreach tool helps businesses scale their outreach efforts seamlessly. With unlimited mailboxes, fully automated email warmup functionality, a multi-channel infrastructure, and a user-friendly unibox, it empowers users to manage their entire revenue cycle in one place. Whether you're looking to streamline cold email campaigns with automated email warmups, personalization fields, automated mailbox rotation, easy integrations, and spintax, improve productivity, or enhance scalability with subsequences based on lead’s intentions, automated replies, and full white-label experience, our cold email tool implifies it in a single solution.

How does the "unlimited mailboxes" feature benefit me?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Our "unlimited mailboxes" feature allows you to expand your email communications without restrictions imposed by a mailbox limit. This means you won't be constrained by artificial caps on the number of mailboxes you can connect and use. This feature makes Smartlead the best cold email software and empowers you to reach a wider audience, engage with more potential customers, and manage diverse email campaigns effectively.

What do you mean by "unibox to handle your entire revenue cycle"?

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The "unibox" is one of the unique features of Smartlead cold email outreach tool, and it's a game-changer when it comes to managing your revenue cycle. The master inbox or the unibox consolidates all your outreach channels, responses, sales follow-ups, and conversions into one centralized, user-friendly mailbox.

With the "unibox," you gain the ability to:
1. Focus on closing deals: You can now say goodbye to the hassle of logging into multiple mailboxes to search for replies. The "unibox" streamlines your sales communication, allowing you to focus on what matters most—closing deals.

2. Centralized lead management: All your leads are managed from one central location, simplifying lead tracking and response management. This ensures you take advantage of every opportunity and efficiently engage with your prospects.

3. Maintain context: The "unibox" provides a 360-degree view of all your customer messages, allowing you to maintain context and deliver more personalized and effective responses.

How does Smartlead ensure my emails don't land in the spam folder?

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Smartlead, the best cold email marketing tool, ensures your emails reach the intended recipients' primary inbox rather than the spam folder. 

Here's how it works:
1. Our "unlimited warmups" feature is designed to build and maintain a healthy sending reputation for your cold email outreach. Instead of sending a large volume of emails all at once, which can trigger spam filters, we gradually ramp up your sending volume. This gradual approach, combined with positive email interactions, helps boost your email deliverability rates.

2. We deploy high-deliverability IP servers specific to each campaign. 

3. The ‘Warmup’ feature replicates humanized email sending patterns, spintax, and smart replies.
4. By establishing a positive sender reputation and gradually increasing the number of sent emails, Smartlead minimizes the risk of your emails being flagged as spam. This way, you can be confident that your messages will consistently land in the primary inbox, increasing the likelihood of engagement and successful communication with your recipients.

Can I integrate Smartlead with other tools I'm using?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

Certainly, Smartlead is designed for seamless integration with a wide range of tools and platforms. Smartlead offers integration with HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Clay, Listkit, and more. You can leverage webhooks and APIs to integrate the tools you use. Try Now!

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What type of businesses sees the most success with Smartlead?

No, there are no limitations on the number of channels you can utilize with Smartlead. Our multi-channel infrastructure is designed to be limitless, allowing you to reach potential customers through multiple avenues without constraints.

This flexibility empowers you to diversify your cold email outreach efforts, connect with your audience through various communication channels, and increase your chances of conversion. Whether email, social media, SMS, or other communication methods, Smartlead's multi-channel capabilities ensure you can choose the channels that best align with your outreach strategy and business goals. This way, you can engage with your prospects effectively and maximize the impact of your email outreach.

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Do you provide me with lead sources?

Smartlead distinguishes itself from other cold email outreach software by focusing on limitless scalability and seamless integration. While many similar tools restrict your outreach capabilities, Smartlead offers a different approach.

Here's what makes us uniquely the best cold email software:

1. Unlimited Mailboxes: In contrast to platforms that limit mailbox usage, Smartlead provides unlimited mailboxes. This means you can expand your outreach without any arbitrary constraints.

2. Unique IP Servers: Smartlead offers unique IP servers for every campaign it sends out. 

3. Sender Reputation Protection: Smartlead protects your sender reputation by auto-moving emails from spam folders to the primary inbox. This tool uses unique identifiers to cloak all warmup emails from being recognized by automation parsers. 

4. Automated Warmup: Smartlead’s warmup functionality enhances your sender reputation and improves email deliverability by maintaining humanized email sending patterns and ramping up the sending volume. 

5. Multi-Channel Emphasis: Smartlead places a strong emphasis on multi-channel outreach. You can reach your prospects where they are with the LinkedIn outreach feature.   With Smartlead’s cold email automation software, you're always one step ahead in your outreach efforts, enjoying the freedom to scale your initiatives and seamlessly integrate with other tools—all while maintaining a focus on maximizing the impact of your outreach.

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How secure is my data with Smartlead?

Ensuring the security of your data is Smartlead's utmost priority. We implement robust encryption methods and stringent security measures to guarantee the continuous protection of your information. Your data's safety is paramount to us, and we are always dedicated to upholding the highest standards of security.

How can I get started with Smartlead?

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Getting started with Smartlead is straightforward! Just head over to our sign-up page and follow our easy step-by-step guide. If you ever have any questions or need assistance, our round-the-clock support team is ready to help, standing by to provide you with any assistance you may require. Sign Up Now!

How can I reach the Smartlead team?

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We're here to assist you! You can easily get in touch with our dedicated support team on chat. We strive to provide a response within 24 hours to address any inquiries or concerns you may have.

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