What They Are & How to Send Them


The objective of a cold email is to establish a business relationship with a prospective client you do not know (yet). Much like an in-person conversation, first impressions matter. Cold emailing requires a certain amount of skill to get it right, but if you succeed, it can dramatically enhance your business' lead generation and sales. 

When it comes to targeting new markets, cold emails are the most effective way to find new prospects and fill your pipeline with leads. It’s a chance for a conversation where one may not have happened before. Sending out cold emails to large groups of prospects in the form of an email blast can also be a good way to obtain more leads if you don’t wish to interact with each one individually.

When it comes to cold emails, there are three things to keep in mind:


Target Prospect List

You must know who you are sending an email to so that you can be sure what information you are sharing is valuable.


Getting recipients to engage is everything, but there's a fine line between being helpful and being intrusive.


If you are able to understand the data behind your campaign results, you can pivot efficiently when necessary to maximize your results.
A cold email campaign is a low-cost and measurable way of creating new leads. Compared to organic content efforts, the results can be far more predictable. Website copy, blog posts, and gated content may engage users who already know what they are looking for, but what about the untapped audiences who don’t yet know of your brand? This is your chance to share what you have to offer and make the connection for them as to why they need to work with you.

Cold Emails Explained: What They Are & What They Aren't

Simply put, a cold email is an email intended to start a conversation and establish a connection with individuals belonging to your ideal target audience. Sending cold emails is an effective way of reaching new prospects, just as handing out business cards is at conferences.

Cold emails are direct and professional, yet friendly. The recipient should be sent relevant information that will help them do whatever they do, better. Cold emails are not, however, spam messages designed to gather personal or financial information.

The term “cold” is synonymous with most outbound marketing efforts, and often associated with intrusive sales tactics. Rather, cold emails are vehicles for making connections. Think of them as digital business cards — if your prospects benefit from the product or service you present them with, then they will be glad to hear from you.

Why Your Business Should Send Cold Emails

First and foremost, cold emails expose your business to more people.  It is possible that prospects with the exact pain points that your  product/service is designed to address will never come across your  company. This could be for a number of reasons, but it’s one of the  biggest benefits of considering cold emails as part of your ongoing  marketing efforts. Fortunately, you can rapidly boost your brand  awareness with a simple cold email, and you will soon see why  it remains one of the most effective marketing strategies for B2B  organizations today.

Marketers often wonder if inbound marketing is more effective than  outbound marketing. Depending on your business, you may need to utilize one more than the other, but both are useful in their own right. 

In our experience, cold email can be more effective than all inbound marketing efforts combined. The standard inbound approach draws prospects to your website through targeted content, SEO, and experiences tailored to your ideal customer profile. Meanwhile, outbound marketing delivers content and solutions to your total addressable market, or TAM. According to the average inbound conversion rates, it is possible to determine how many website visitors can be converted into marketing qualified leads (MQLs). 

For example, if you had 30,000 website visitors, the conversion rate from visitor to MQL would be .74%, totaling 222 leads. This number is calculated in the following way:


Website visitors
Average Conversion to Lead %
Total Leads
Average Conversion to MQL %
Total MQLs

Depending on your industry average, this may be a reasonable number, but the ultimate goal should be to continually improve on these metrics. In comparison, outreach practices such as cold emails, see an average of a .97% conversion rate from TAM to MQL.

Using our own client data, here is how our numbers compare to inbound conversions:


Total Prospects Targeted
Our Client’s Avg. Converstion to Lead %
Total Leads
Our Client’s Avg. Conversion to MQL %
Total MQLs

For every 10,000 prospects you contact via cold email, you can generate 23 more leads than with inbound marketing efforts. As you can see, both methodologies are key components in your overall marketing strategy. Using the methods together will give you the edge your business needs to achieve your goals every time.

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What to Include in a Cold Email: A Breakdown

Subject Line & Preview Text

Subject lines are critical to your cold email campaign success. Aim to  evoke emotions and to give the reader a sense of what the email will  be about here. To avoid being cut off in their inbox, keep it under 40  characters, or about five to seven words. 

Do not include aggressive sales or overly promotional phrases like  “buy now!” or “free offer” to ensure you don’t end up in spam. Instead,  using an open-ended question or presenting a deadline will focus the  reader's attention.

The preview text is all about communicating with the prospect in a genuine and thoughtful manner. This is not the place for you to push an offer or a sales pitch at them. Highly effective preview text focuses on their need to improve, change, or innovate.

Body Copy

You have just three seconds after a recipient reads the subject line and opens your email to grab their attention. Remember that the goal of this email is to provide them with value and nothing else. Simply state that you can provide XYZ value by doing XYZ thing for them, and that if they do want to learn more, they are more than welcome to contact you. If your cold email is an explanation of the history of your company or an announcement that you have won an award, it probably has little value to them. Instead, explain how you can help them get more business, improve their internal operations, or whatever your business’ products or services aims to do.

Cold email copy that gets replies encourages the recipient to interact with you, much like a conversation. Don't just talk at the individual, ask open-ended questions and allow them to respond. Always write in a professional voice that is casual in tone. As a result, you sound more human and approachable.


Don’t forget to include a call-to-action, or CTA, in the email that encourages the recipient to take the action you want them to take. Whether that be to read your latest blog post or join a free webinar, individuals are more likely to take action when you make it simple for them to do so. When the CTA is not clear in the email, the reader may overlook it and not know what to do next. Thus, wasting their time and yours.


Make your signature a reflection of who you are. This is where the recipient can see that you are indeed an expert in your industry and a trustworthy resource to work with. Be sure to include your name, title, and company, as well as your website and LinkedIn profile. You should only include personal information, like your phone number, if it is necessary. For instance, if you have a CTA inviting individuals to call for a free consultation.


Unlike an internal communication such as a newsletter, the design of a cold email should be very simple. Your best bet is to use no imagery, aside from a logo in a signature or header. This is because you have not yet explained who you are yet, and you want to establish a connection and get them hooked on what you offer first. Unlike newsletter subscribers, these individuals have not opted into your communications and overall brand. In addition, adding too many or large images in your email can result in it being marked as spam.

Learn how to write your own powerful cold email:

3 Tips for Sending Successful Cold Emails

1) Know the Recipient

Cold email implies that you do not know the recipient, but you likely have at least some information about him or her. Your email list should have been compiled using criteria that narrows down demographic information that matches your target market and buyer personas. Using the basic data you already have, you can do some deeper research on them. Start by looking at their LinkedIn profile and finding out more about their role and the company they work for.

The key to knowing your prospect are the struggles within their work. What is the problem they need to solve? Once this is understood, your product or service can be introduced as the solution. By researching the individual first before sending out a cold email, you can feel confident in reaching out and initiating a conversation.

The key to knowing your prospect are the struggles within their work. What is the problem they need to solve? Once this is understood, your product or service can be introduced as the solution. By researching the individual first before sending out a cold email, you can feel confident in reaching out and initiating a conversation.

2) Get the Right Software

Not all email software supports cold emails. HubSpot, for example, only supports inbound email marketing. While HubSpot boasts incredible marketing tools, you will need to look elsewhere to execute cold email campaigns. Whichever email software your company uses must provide advanced automation capabilities, personalization features, the ability to easily manage contacts and lists, while letting you assign and analyze various campaigns.

Some of the top software for cold emails include;
  • QuickMail
  • Salesmate
  • Outreach
  • Yesware
  • Mailshake
  • Close
  • SmartReach
  • Woodpecker
3) Send From a Senior Member

Be sure to send the email “from” a senior executive within your company. Have it come from the CEO, founder, or other senior member so that the recipient — who is likely at the same level — is ready to talk business.

Acceler8now has B2B email specialists that can create and manage your cold email campaigns

Talk with us to discover our process.
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Next Steps to Take After Sending a Cold Email

Follow-Up, Follow-Up, Follow-Up

It is normal to not receive a response to a cold email. In fact, the average response rate of a cold email is 1%. Chances are, they may not have seen the original email, it may have gone to spam, and so on. Do not give up just because they don't reply!

If recipients are not in need of your product or service, give them the option to tell you with a clear opt-out section in the email’s footer. Over the next few months, continue to send out four to seven additional emails. Note that each of these emails must provide even greater value than the last. Otherwise, there is no incentive for them to respond.

Track the Metrics

The open and reply rates are the main analytics that show you what content and subject lines are effective and what needs to be changed. Remember that different industries have different open rates, so know what to look for. For example, IT prospects have higher rates than manufacturing prospects due to the nature of how and when they receive information.

Realistic targets can be set by taking a look at your specific industry’s average open rates. According to Mailchimp’s research, open rates may range from 15.22% to 28.46%, which widely varies by industry.

Send an Alternative Email

Additionally, if you are sending several emails out at the same time, send alternative versions divided by audience to see which approach performs better. There is a possibility that your target audience prefers a short and direct email over a longer and more detailed one, and vice versa. Or, perhaps they respond better to a CTA in the form of a button rather than a calendar link. You will never know what works unless you test it.

Getting the Most Out of Cold Emails for Your Business with Acceler8now

How your business finds leads can make or break you. Here at Acceler8now, our cold email marketing service gets your brand in front of your target audience to help your sales teams close more deals.

With our cold emailing services, we take a comprehensive approach to this process. We start by identifying your target market with our advanced tools and resources. Our experts then analyze the data to compile a robust email list to further empower your cold email efforts. Each email is created, delivered, and tracked by our team. We regularly report on progress and any changes occurring as a result of testing. By leveraging our services, you can expect your sales teams to have full calendars in a short amount of time.

Schedule a meeting on our calendar to learn more about our sophisticated cold email services and what to expect from working with us.