Zoho for Cold Email Campaigns: Yay or Nay?

Created On
July 5, 2023
zoho for cold emails

Zoho is a household name for cloud-based productivity and collaboration business tools. Some of their most popular products include

  • Zoho CRM
  • Zoho Mail
  • Zoho One
  • Zoho SalesIQ
  • Zoho Social

These services are affordable and super efficient in streamlining business operations. 

But, are they any good at cold emailing?

This blog post includes detailed PROs & CONs of using Zoho for cold emails. I will answer if you should use Zoho services for cold emails and, if yes, how to do that.

Is Zoho a Good Idea for Cold Emails?


Zoho isn’t a good idea for cold emailing because ZOHO DOESN’T PROVIDE ANY COLD EMAIL TOOLS.

But, you can integrate many apps and software with Zoho to send cold emails with high deliverability. To learn how to use Zoho for cold emailing, jump to the next section. 

And to get a detailed idea of why using Zoho for sending outreach emails isn’t a good idea, read this section. 

No Lead List Uploading Option

A cold email campaign includes uploading an email list (of potential customers) and sending them cold messages in bulk. This is why every cold emailing software has the option of uploading a lead list.   

But Zoho products such as the CRM or Zoho Mail don't have a prospect list (of cold contacts) uploading option. 

It means COLD prospects are a big NO-NO for Zoho products. 

Once you get a reply from the cold prospect, then, you can carry forward the conversation using Zoho CRM. 

It’s the best product to track a lead in the sales funnel, as it provides detailed contact information for the sales team. 

Cold Emails Violate Zoho Anti-Spam Policy

When it comes to Anti-Spam policy, Zoho has very strict guidelines. You can’t send an email to contact if you have:

  • Used a third party (by any means) to buy, loan, acquire, or rent contacts/leads.
  • Not contacted a legitimately obtained contact in the past two years.
  • Scraped or copy pasted email addresses from the internet.
  • Received an “unsubscribe” request/message for your emails from a lead.

If you send an email to a lead, only if you follow the below guidelines:

Zoho’s terms of use directly say NO to sending emails to cold leads. Once you manage the first step of the conversation, only then can you use the Zoho campaign to send emails to your warm leads.

Designed for HTML Emails

Like other popular email marketing platforms, the Zoho campaign is also designed for HTML based email body. 

Marketers can create amazing HTML email templates using Zoho. These emails are mostly filled with images, colors, headings, and text. It is perfect for sending emails to consenting B2C customers. 

However, we all know HTML emails are a red flag 🚩 for cold emails. Sending HTML emails with images and colors alerts spam filters, eventually landing the cold messages in the spam. 

This is another major reason why Zoho isn’t a good idea for sending cold mail.

No Email Performance Tracking with Zoho Mail 

Zoho Mail is undoubtedly one of the most popular (and many of our favorite) Zoho tools. Many business owners use this platform for official email communication within or outside their organizations.

This is why it’s quite understandable that you are tempted to send cold emails from Zoho Mail directly. 

But, unfortunately, that’s not a good idea for cold email marketing. This software was built to target personal and normal business email usage. Therefore, it doesn’t come with any email performance tracking dashboard. 

In simpler words, you can’t track open rates, reply rates, click-through rates, or any other important metrics of your cold campaigns using Zoho Mail. 

You can track warm email campaigns on Zoho CRM, but that’s not the same. 

The best way to send cold emails using Zoho Mail is to integrate with a cold emailing tool like Smartlead, where you can track 

  • Sent rates
  • Open rates
  • Clicked rates
  • Reply rates
  • Positive reply rates 

No Personalization at Bulk

Zoho campaigns or Zoho Mail are good for sending bulk emails to a warm lead list. For small businesses, these services are, in fact, excellent options to save money and run the business. 

But, are they good for contacting cold prospects?

One of the primary rules of successful cold email campaigns is personalization. Personalized email messages assure a stable open rate, reply rate, and click-through rate.

Sending the same email to a large group of people is a cold emailing suicide. To avoid that, personalization is a must. But Zoho products can’t help with that.

For personalization at the bulk level, you need a tool like Smartlead that provides the SPINTAX feature. 

This feature lets you use similar words within brackets so that the AI can create different emails by randomly choosing a different set of words.

For example:

{Hi | Hello | Hey} 

{Let's jump on a call | Are you free tomorrow? | Keen for a demo ?}

It’s a great tactic for creating “different” versions of the same CTA or text. Personalization using spintax pushes the email provider into thinking you’re sending a different email to different people. 

This is way better than sending the same email to 1000 cold leads.  

How to Use Zoho for Cold Emails?

Now that you know we can’t send cold emails from Zoho directly, let's jump into finding alternatives. 

Yes, you can use Zoho to send cold emails. But, only by integrating with other tools. 

Integrating Zoho Mail with Cold Email Tool

Zoho Mail is an email service provider like Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc. It’s an email hosting platform where you can see your email conversations. 

You can send cold emails using Zoho Mail, but it can’t be more than 10 to 20 messages per day. To send 100 or 1000 emails per day from Zoho Mail, you need to integrate it with cold emailing software. 

How to Integrate Zoho with Cold Emailing Software 

To understand this process, let’s take an example—Smartlead. 

Smartlead is a cold email automation tool that lets you send thousands of cold emails per day to your target audience without compromising deliverability. 

#1 Setup Your IMAP Settings on Zoho Mail

Open Zoho Mail and navigate to Mail Accounts:

Zoho Mail ➡️ Settings ➡️ Mail Accounts

Now, click the email address (you want to connect with the cold emailing tool) from the left listing.

Next, go to IMAP Settings under the Mail Accounts section and click on the “IMAP Access” section.

#2 Set the SMTP & IMAP Settings on the Cold Email Tool

Go to the cold emailing tool you are using and navigate to the “Email Accounts” tab. Now, click on “Add Account” and type in your email address & password. 

Next, fill up the other pieces of information as shown in the below image. 

The SMTP Host changes based on your location. You need to copy it from your “POP3 Out” SMTP setting, as shown in the below image. 

#Test Your Connection

The last step is to test your connection by clicking on the Test Connection Button.

By now, you must have received an email in the Zoho mail account you connected with the cold emailing tool. 

Integrating Zoho CRM with Cold Email Tool

Hands down, Zoho CRM is a very compatible platform for sales and marketing purposes. 

Zoho CRM provides

  • Lead management
  • Features to create a sales pipeline
  • Multi-channel communication medium and many more

As great as Zoho CRM is, it doesn’t allow contacting cold leads. To do that using this platform, you need to integrate it with cold emailing software. 

There are many cold email tools in the market that provide native integrations with Zoho.

What’s the Best Tool for Cold Email Campaigns?

Zoho is a good option for CRM, email service, etc. But, you need to subscribe to cold emailing software to ace a cold emailing campaign. 

Smartlead is built specifically for cold emails. It warms up your email address before sending personalized mass emails, ensuring high deliverability and success. 

Curious how Smartlead does that? 

Keep reading!

Email Warm-Up

Google has banned the use of any AI-based automated email warmup tool for Google accounts, but that doesn’t stop Smartlead. 

Its unique algorithm is built to imitate a humanized sending behavior that ensures a good sender reputation. The warm-up feature guarantees your emails land in the primary inbox, not the spam folder.

Smartlead also “manually” moves your email messages from the spam folder to the primary inbox and marks them as important messages. 

It takes around one month to warm up an address before starting to send bulk mail from it. 

To learn more about email warm-ups, read this article. 

Personalized Messages

Sending personalized emails is crucial for cold campaigns. Different emails for different people send the message to ESPs that you are a genuine email sender, not a robot or spam. 

For basic personalization, you can add custom fields, such as your recipients’ first name, last name, company name, and opening lines in the lead list (in .csv format).

For advanced personalization, use Smartlead’s spintax feature. Thanks to this feature, you can provide similar words in brackets like below so that the AI can use random words and create different messages for different people. 

Automate Follow-Ups

Following up is an extremely important cold email practice. It will take more than 5 follow-up emails to bag a response from a potential lead. 

While it’s easy to follow up 10 to 20 leads, it’s an impossible job for bulk prospects. 

This is where Smartlead can help you. All you need to do is create sequences of email messages. 

A/B Testing

A/B testing is an email marketing tactic in which marketers create two or more versions of the same email and send it to smaller groups of prospects. This is to check which version works better before sending it in bulk. 

It’s a test drive before launching the campaign full-scale. This is why it’s an important feature in a cold emailing tool. 

With Smartlead, you get this feature in all pricing plans. 

Final Thoughts!

Zoho is undoubtedly an efficient service provider for businesses and offices. It has become even more popular with the rise of remote work culture, almost as an alternative to Google Workspace. 

However, it’s not the best tool for cold emailing. If you want to increase ROI with cold emails, it’s better to shift to a dedicated cold emailing tool.

You can check out Smartlead, for instance. 


Smartlead, get your email delivered and bring sales 

Make me an outreach pro

Ensure your emails always reach your lead's inbox by using unlimited sender accounts leveraging AI personalization, and implementing email warm-ups.This way, you can concentrate on sealing the deal without worrying about email delivery issues.

Here's how to do it

1Sign-up for Smartlead.ai

2Upload your lead list.

3Start sending emails

P.s. You can also use our pre-built templates available in the app.

What’s a Rich Text element?

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Author’s Details

Rajnish Das

Rajnish Das is an in-house writer at SmartWriter and SmartLead. She writes product-oriented, data-driven content for B2B SaaS audiences and educates them on marketing and sales topics. Her expertise includes outbound marketing techniques like cold emailing and LinkedIn outreach.


Edited by:

Charu Mitra Dubey


Frequently asked questions

General Questions

What are active leads?

Active leads are the contacts you upload in Smartlead, similar to contacts in HubSpot; if you upload 1000 leads to a campaign, they are considered 1000 active leads. If you upload similar leads to a new campaign, they are not considered a “new active lead” as they already exist in our system.

Do you provide mailboxes, or do I need to connect my own?

We don’t offer mailboxes yet. You need to get your own dedicated list of mailboxes using popular providers like Gmail, Outlook, Zoho, and others that exist in the market. Once you get them, follow our detailed guides to connect them quickly.

Do you offer guides and articles on succeeding with cold emails?

Absolutely, one of our most popular guides can be found right here. It's been used by a large percentage of users to go from zero to cold emailing experts. Covering all topics from email infrastructure to copywriting and lead sourcing.

Is another tool needed for warmups?

No, Smartlead has over 200,000 highly reputed mailboxes connected. The advantage you get along with naturalized AI conversations is access to aged domains you will never find in any warmup tool.

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It is used popularly by agencies to automate their entire lead generation process as well as to connect Smartlead to external tools to push and pull data from. You can also connect to 1000s of apps using Zapier.

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Anyone that can close deals from demos will succeed with Smartlead. It works for Sales companies, Marketing agencies, SaaS businesses, Recruitment, and offline companies (like construction).

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We do not provide you with leads. You will need to use other data providers. These leads can be automatically added to Smartlead using our API or bulk uploaded via our CSV upload system.

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We're building native integrations with Hubspot, Salesforce, Close, Pipedrive, and many more. The best part, due to our open API and Webhook infrastructure, you can connect to any CRM in the world without an issue.

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