Zoho for Cold Email Campaigns: Is it a Yay or Nay?

Created On:
July 5, 2023
Updated On:
March 14, 2024
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!

Smartlead cold email outreach tool

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?

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

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


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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"?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

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?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

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!

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

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.

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

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.

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

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?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

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?

Email automation FAQs- Smartlead

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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