Best Practices for “Cold” Email Marketing

Email marketing can be an incredibly useful component of a successful new business winning strategy. Much like cold calls, cold emails can be sent to prospective customers in an attempt to engage and win them over with a product or service. But as always with email marketing, there are risks associated, so you want to be sure you are employing best practices in your approach. We’ll cover those critical best practices here.

Email marketing can be a dangerous game - be sure to apply best practices when playing.
Email marketing can be a dangerous game – be sure to apply best practices when playing.

Consider that the customer will likely read the email on his/her phone first. Statistics show that 43% of email is now read on a mobile phone instead of on a desktop. You’ll want to make sure that your email can be easily read and digested on a mobile phone. Keep it short and to the point.

You’ll also want to consider that many people will go back to the email on their desktops after reading it on their phone, so ensure that it reads and appears nicely both for mobile and for desktop.

Personalize the subject line. To make the email appear less like spam, try to give it a personal touch. Utilize the individual’s name in the subject line, and get to the point of your value add. If you are selling financial consulting services, use a subject line like ‘Peter, I can help you with your financial management needs.’

Test different subject lines. Important for every email marketing campaign is the review of analytics. Most email marketing solutions will allow you to evaluate success metrics for the emails you send. Important metrics to review include evaluating which subject lines get the best open rates. You can also test different email content for which gets the most responses and has the highest click through rate (CTR) to your website.

Be persistent. Some businesses claim that a majority of their new business comes from simply being persistent with cold emails, but that it can also require as many as nine emails on average before the customer engages or responds. The trick is in not sending consecutive emails too closely to one another so as not to appear annoying and be labeled spam by the prospective customer.

Warm up a cold email with a personalized subject line.
Warm up a cold email with a personalized subject line.

Attempt to set up a time to meet. It’s always great to include a clear request for next steps with your lead. Suggesting a day and time to meet is a great idea as it simply allows them to say yes rather than having to think about how to respond to your inquiry. Make it easy for your prospective customer.

We definitely recommend cold email marketing as a strategy for winning new business. It can take some time to get a prospective customer to engage, but it’s well worth being persistent as there are so many businesses who claim this is an effective approach to ultimately converting the lead. Just be sure to apply email marketing best practices so that you don’t wind up losing the business, and getting yourself blocked by email providers.

Do you have a great cold email marketing strategy to share? We want to hear it!


Cara Aley is a freelance writer who covers a wide variety of topics from financial topics for Billfloat to business tips for entrepreneurs.

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