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Cold Emailing: The Ultimate Guide You Need In 2021

March 1, 2021
    cold emailing guide
    Photographer: Solen Feyissa | Source: Unsplash

    Cold emailing is more complicated than most other types of communication for two reasons. Firstly, the receiver doesn't know you. Secondly, you can not have verbal interaction in the first place, so your approach cannot be modified in real-time. As a result, many cold email attempts fail.

    However, cold emailing is proven to be a powerful and cost-effective tool in case of making initial contact with your prospects.

    For example, if you have limited resources but you want to reach out to thousands of leads, you can create automated campaigns and start cold emailing before calling them.

    Even when you have a good list and customized emails, it takes some extra work to finesse your outreach. If your campaign gives you less than 10 percent open rates on your emails and replies, or if you would like to improve your overall cold emailing methodology, this guide can help you step up your game.

    Step 1: Warming up your email address for cold email outreach

    Your customers already receive tons of emails every day. Consequently, plenty of promotional emails land up in their spam folder. Follow the following tips to ensure yours don't.

    Tip 1: Choosing Email Provider

    Generally, we use 2 types of email providers. Such as:

    • Paid (for example, G-suite) for 10% yearly discounts contact us.
    • Free (for example, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.)
    • Custom SMTP

    Choose any paid email provider if you want your corporate domain to gain the trust of your prospects. In addition to that, a paid email provider’s deliverability is much better than that of a free one. A lot of spammers can be seen on the internet, creating a bad image of the free email providers.

    Tip 2: Setting Up Email Profile

    No one would care to open your email if your profile hasn’t been set up perfectly. Nobody cares for an email coming from “Shabab” that has no profile picture.

    Creating Google Account
    Setting up a Google Account

    Try to fill up the email profile with authentic information only. Furthermore, add a real name and photo.

    Tip 3: Stopping emails from going to spam

    SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are technical forms in which an email provider tests whether the email really came from you and not from anyone else.

    Two of the ways of configuring email authentication are shown below for your convenience.

    SPF

    SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is an email verification method created to prevent spam by checking the sender's IP address. It helps secure your domain(s) from spoofing and ensures that your emails have been sent accordingly. Mail servers that obtain mail from you use SPF to validate whether the emails that tend to come from your domain actually came from your domain or not.

    Note: If you have purchased your domain from a Google collaborator while signing up for Google Workspace, you may not need to configure SPF records.

    Follow the following steps to configure SPF records for your domain.

    #Step 1: Creating TXT record for SPF

    An SPF TXT record specifies mail servers that are authorized to deliver mail to your domain. There can be only one TXT record for SPF for a specific domain.  However, a domain TXT record may specify multiple servers and domains that are authorized to deliver mail for the domain.

    TXT Record Contents

    If all of your organization's emails are sent from Google Workspace, you can use this text line for your TXT record:

    v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all

    Important: If, in addition to Google Workspace, you deliver mail in one or more of these ways, you must create a custom TXT record:

    1. You're sending mail from other servers.
    2. You are using a third-party mail service.
    3. Your website uses a service that creates automated emails, such as the "Contact us" form.

    For instance:

    v=spf1 ip4:192.168.0.1/16 include:_spf.google.com include:sparkpostmail.com ~all

    This TXT record enables Google Workspace, the IP addresses listed, and the SparkPost, a third-party service, to send emails for your domain. Customize your TXT record by going through Server information for your TXT record and TXT record format.

    #Step 2: Enabling SPF for your domain

    Enable SPF to your domain provider by adding an SPF DNS TXT record. To enable SPF, update the SPF DNS TXT record to your domain provider.

    1. Get a text file or text line that defines your TXT record. Follow the aforementioned step if you find it daunting.
    2. Sign in to your domain host management console. If you're not sure who your domain host is, follow the steps in the given link. Find the provider of your domain.
    3. Retrieve the page where you might be updating TXT records for your domain.
    4. Put a new TXT record for your Google Workspace email servers.

    If your emails sent from your domain(s) are still going to spam, even after following the above steps and enabling SPF, try troubleshooting your SPF records.

    DKIM

    DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) implies the possession of an email message by a specific entity. This will add a coded signature to the header of all outgoing emails. Email servers that receive authenticated emails use DKIM to decode the message header and check that the message has not been altered after it has been sent.

    If you don't configure your DKIM, then Gmail uses its default DKIM. DKIM signing improves email protection and helps avoid e-mail spoofing. Furthermore, we recommend that you use your unique key on all outgoing emails.

    If you do not create your own DKIM domain key, Gmail will sign all emails with this default DKIM domain key: d=*.gappssmpt.com

    Emails that were sent from servers outside of the mail. google.com is not going to be signed with this default DKIM key.

    Steps to configure DKIM

    1. Develop a domain key for your domain.
    2. Connect the public key to the DNS records of your domain. Email service providers will use this key to check the signatures of your DKIM emails.
    3. Turn on the DKIM signing to start applying the DKIM signature to all outgoing emails.

    You can also use various tools to check these settings. Check your SPF and DKIM settings easily with Mail Tester.

    Check SPF and DKIM Keys

    Once you’re done with the configuration of email authentication, you need to warm-up your email account before using any tools.

    Warming-up your email account properly is a crucial move to stop getting your emails labeled as spam. This means ensuring your email address looks as real as possible before you use your automated tool. But how to actually warm-up an email account?

    Tip 4: Warming-up your email address

    One of the most important factors an email provider checks is whether or not you’re playing by the rules, especially if it’s a new account.

    That's why you should warm up your email address always.

    A warm-up email address is the one that sends and receives emails as a normal human would.

    But don’t you worry because OutReachBin has got your back. Worry less, warm-up your email addresses without any mess with our Email Warm-up tool. We connect positively with your emails, helping you develop your credibility as a sender every day. Here’s how you do it:

    1. Go to OutReachBin (https://outreachbin.com/) and create an account.
    2. Enable warm-up for your email just by clicking on the enable warm-up button.

    Enabling Warm-up

    Allowing your email to warm up is much simpler than you think! Simply follow the steps:

    1. Tap on the Enable Warm-up option
    2. Set your Interactions Per Day configurations (up to 40/day is the limit as well as the default)
    3. Set your response rate settings (30 percent is the recommended setting)

    See how this popup setting looks like!

    Configure Warm-up Settings

    When you’re done with the above steps, you’re good to start your cold emailing outreach.

    Once you’re done with the configurations, the system will automatically start ramping up emails for sending and warming-up. It starts with 1,2,4,..... and goes all the way up to 40 per day. The numbers increase gradually.

    The system also sends replies to your inbox from other emails in the network. That means you get new prospects without having to manually search for them. The fun fact about this tool is that the whole thing is automated.

    Step 2: Finding email addresses of prospects

    Cold emailing is not about sending emails to everyone that crosses your mind. Targeting fixed prospects and planning ahead of time is a good cold emailing strategy.

    Instead of sending emails to everyone, find the pain points of your customers. Figure out who’s your next potential client. Once done, you'll be able to plan a beautiful pitch in your cold email that will reflect in the hearts of the recipients.

    But how to actually find email addresses?

    There are a lot of ways to find addresses - Chrome extensions, databases, and so on. You can take ideas from the following to find the email addresses of your prospects.

    1. Searching in LinkedIn

    LinkedIn profiles often provide cold email addresses you are looking for. You will find many users keep their email addresses on public display on LinkedIn. So, you can actually search for the type of prospect(s) you are looking for and note down the email address for future use.

    Use the search box on the top of your LinkedIn home page to start searching and targeting your next potential prospect.

    LinkedIn Search Box

    When you find the right profile, expand the drop-down menu from contact info just below the bio.

    Finding email addresses for cold emailing

    This technique can either be successful or get missed, but it's worth a shot. It's one of the quickest ways to get a confirmed, valid email address.

    If there's no email address on public display, don't think about it.  We've covered you with a few more assured ways to locate your prospective addresses.

    2. Using Various Extensions or Plugins

    Instead of manually searching for email addresses, you can use some extensions or tools to do that for you. Here are some of the best email finding tools that you can use to level up your game:

    #1 Leadhype

    Leadhype Ninja is a Chrome Extension that helps you automate find prospects and collect their data. It not only helps you to extract data and find email addresses from LinkedIn but also helps you to scrape data from Facebook and YouTube. Leadhype also has a Google Sheets Add-On, Leadhype Magic. With the help of this add-on, you can format your data with just one click.

    Leadhype Ninja

    #2 ContactOut

    ContactOut is a free Chrome Extension that allows users to locate email addresses from LinkedIn and GitHub as well as send email campaigns. It also has a vast database where you can access billions of email addresses using its Search Engine powered by Artificial Intelligence.

    ContactOut

    #3 Datanyze

    With a view to making cold email outreach a warmer experience, Datanyze helps you capture data while you browse through social media profiles and different company websites. The extension offers two packages, namely, Nyze Lite (free with 10 credits per month) and Nyze Pro ($39 with 1080 credits per year).

    Datanyze strives to not only help salespeople communicate with quality prospects but also provide icebreakers that contribute to fruitful conversations.

    Datanyze

    #4 SellHack

    SellHack is another tool you can go through if you’re a salesperson or an outreach enthusiast. This tool lets you generate leads, locate email addresses, and make a proper list of your potential prospects.

    SellHack

    In addition to the 12-step email verification search engine, this tool allows you to automate your sales and reminds you to follow-up. Thus, you can find your next prospect faster in real-time.

    Once you’re done finding the right email addresses, you need to make a CSV file. Save the results in a CSV file for the next step. Saving all results to a CSV file can be messy as well. So you need to keep it clean. In order to do so, you need to format the CSV file. To format your file, you follow these tips below:

    • Headers must be clearly marked
    • No spaces next to the names of the column
    • Use separate columns for first and last names
    • The name of the corporation should be simple, with no legal details like "LTD" and so on.

    Now that you found email addresses and saved those in a CSV file, how do you actually upload it?

    Connecting email account and setting sender address

    Before getting started with cold emailing, you need to connect with your email provider.

    Head over to the signup page and create an account. After signing up, log in to your account by filling out the credentials.

    Connecting to an email provider is quite easy. If you are using a Gmail or GSuite account with your unique domain, you may follow the steps below:

    Adding email provider

    Tap on the Email Providers option from the left panel. Next, click on the sign-in with Google option from the top right corner of your screen. The process is very simple. Just allow permissions, and you’re good to go.

    Adding email provider

    Uploading email list

    Once you've found emails, done registering on OutReachBin, create a new campaign, and upload your email list, i.e., the CSV file.

    Creating New Campaign
    Creating New Campaign

    Input the name of your campaign and press Next.

    Uploading CSV
    Uploading CSV

    Then upload your CSV file or enter emails manually.

    Type In Your Message and Set Intervals For Each Step
    Type In Your Message and Set Intervals For Each Step

    After you upload the CSV file or add email addresses manually and press Next, the above screen will pop-up.

    Type in your message and set intervals according to your preference. Then schedule your campaign according to your timezone. You’re good to go with your new campaign.

    Personalization

    With OutReachBin, you can easily create your personalized campaign. Click here to get started!

    If you’ve followed the above steps, you’ll get the pop-up to upload a CSV file or type emails manually. Here’s an example of the next screen that will pop-up on your device after you are done uploading a CSV file.

    OutReachBin offers you the option to choose your custom variable(s). For example, if the first column of your file is company name (as shown below), it’ll show you a dropdown menu to choose a custom variable from a list of options under the option Type. It will also show a sample on the rightmost side of the screen. For our example, it’s DS, BacklinkSEO, Verifybee.

    You get a number of custom variables while creating a campaign. Follow the steps:

    Create New Campaign>Input Campaign Name>Upload CSV

    Cold Emailing - Personalization
    Personalization

    Once you’re done setting up your custom variables, enter Next.

    Using Custom Variable in Text Body
    Using Custom Variables in Text Body

    The above screen will appear on your device. Here you can see we have used the variable first name while writing a text body. So, you can actually save a lot of your time and effort just by using the custom variable options.

    Here’s the drop-down menu for it:

    Custom Variable

    You can also send test emails to check before sending the actual ones.

    Step 3: Creating cold emails and getting responses

    Many cold emails don’t get replies back. We are here to help you out. Follow these simple steps and get responses from your prospects.

    You’ve already added your email provider if you have followed the aforementioned steps. Now, enable reply tracking and warm-up by following the on-screen prompts.

    Enabling Reply Tracking
    Enabling Reply Tracking

    But how to finesse the cold email message that you’ll send?

    Writing a perfect cold email

    As already mentioned above, you can create your campaign and add your email list and start writing your email body.

    There are tons of templates online that can help you write an awesome cold email. Other than that, here are some tips and tricks to draw the attention of your prospect(s).

    1. Customization

    The majority of the population receives a huge amount of emails every day. Their inboxes are very crowded. So, it's impossible to open your email unless you tailor it to your audience. Personalize your email messages to get the receiver's response.

    For instance, you’re writing for any previously known candidate. Instead of just copy-pasting any email template, you can modify it according to your prospect. Such as:


    Dear {First Name},

    Hope you find this email well.  We had reached out a while back about the possibilities with a well-known agro-based firm. Things are still going well at {CompanyName}, but your name has resurfaced again with regard to a particular opportunity that I thought you might be interested in.

    As you’ve prior experience with an agro firm and since they have a good reputation for candidates coming from a similar background, I felt it makes sense to reconnect, considering the quest's unique nature.

    If you're eager to learn more, kindly let me know if you’re up for a quick call. Once again, thank you for your time. I'm expecting to hear from you.


    2. Subject line

    The subject line is one of the most critical aspects of any email. It decides whether or not the recipient will open an email. Even if you write an amazing body, more than fifty percent of it won't be opened.

    Here are some sneaky subject lines to grab your prospect’s attention:

    1. “Hey, {First Name}! You were recommended to me by [Connections’s Name]”

    If you share any mutual connection with your prospect, make sure to mention his/her name in the subject line. The more your prospect trusts your acquaintance, the more likely you will get a reply back.

    2. “Up for a new role?”

    Use this one if you’re reconnecting with any previous candidate.

    3. “Idea for [any problem your prospect might be facing]”

    People are more likely to click on any mail if it contains any idea to solve their problem.

    4. “Don’t open this email”

    Reverse psychology always works. Try it out today.

    5. “We have so much in common {First Name}!”

    Use this one if you can trace your prospect’s interests. To trace this common interest go through the social media profile(s) of your prospect.

    The subject line is the trickiest part of any email. What worked last month or the last prospect might not work for this one. Be versatile, creative, and imaginative for the best outcomes.

    3. FOMO

    The email needs to induce emotion in your prospect's mind. The emotion we've seen working all these years is FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out. You can't be clear about it, though, but you can implicitly imply that they don't really want to lose out on what you're offering.

    To imply that they will miss something if they don’t open your email, you can use a sneaky subject line to grab their attention. Such as: “Don’t miss out on the opportunity!”

    4. Be precise and straightforward

    Nobody's reading a long mail. You don't want your mail to get lost. Be as straightforward and easy as you can in your cold emails.

    Take a look at the following examples:

    1. There are problems with the email.
    2. The email has problems.

    Although the first sentence is grammatically correct, it is wordier than the second one.

    1. There are several good reasons to delay sending this email.
    2. We should delay sending this email for several reasons.

    This is another comparison to show you how redundancy can be avoided.

    5. Let them feel the need

    The email you send is for them, not you. Don't tell them what they can do for you. Tell them what you can do and offer.

    Suppose you’re offering them a discount. Mention it in your email. “If you want to make the best use of this offer, respond to this email within 24-hours” can be a good example sentence that makes your prospect feel the need.

    6. Don't use fancy terms

    Besides being succinct, you need to avoid phrases that could confuse the recipient. Be as simple as you can with your emails. Make your email readable and convenient. There are just a few brief seconds that your reader can give to your message. Make sure you offer value in those split seconds.

    Look at the following two sentences:

    1. The pond exhibited a one hundred percent mortality response.
    2. All the fish in the pond died.

    The comparison makes shows how avoiding unnecessary jargon makes your sentences clear and easily understandable to your readers. So, next time be precise and straightforward while writing the email body.

    7. Write with honesty

    Be truthful, and don't make a high statement. Instead, be honest with yourself. This applies not only to your emails but also to your business in general.

    Don’t bluff. Instead of saying, “We offer the best service in the entire industry. You won’t ever have trouble navigating your way through.”, say, “Our 24/7 customer service is here to help you out with anything and everything you need. Feel free to reach out to us if you need help navigating your way through our service.”

    8. Call to action

    Make sure you make a call to action. It's better if it's kept easy. Like, you can simply ask them to respond to your email address. Asking applicants to register and submit their resumes for an overview will reduce the response rate. Again, asking them to check their availability on their calendar would do the same thing.

    Tell your audience exactly what step you want them to take next, and make it as simple as possible for them to do so. Would you like them to fill out a form? Offer them a direct link to that sort. Better instead, add the form directly to your email.

    Don’t ask them to respond to your email as well as fill out a form. You’ll end up getting ignored. Rather choose one of the CTAs. The upside to providing just one CTA is that it's actually helping you keep your email concise and to the point.

    If you follow the aforementioned tips, you can easily write an awesome body and start cold emailing.

    Follow-up email after getting no response back

    There is no strict rule to set the delay between each mail. However, the default framework that we recommend is:

    • A 1-day delay between email 1 and 2
    • A 3-day delay between email 2 and 3

    You can also add a new step by pressing on ADD NEW STEP at the bottom left side.

    Send follow-up emails only when it’s necessary. Don’t be pushy. Maintain a good relationship with the clients.

    Don’t forget to personalize the text bodies of your emails using custom variables that we offer. It will create an impression that you wrote it by yourself. As a result, your prospects will be more likely to open it and respond to it.

    Not getting responses back to your emails? Here are 10 follow-up email templates that produce results!

    Scheduling emails

    Try to schedule your emails according to your prospect’s timezone. Here’s an example:

    Scheduling Emails
    Scheduling Emails

    If you take a closer look, you’ll notice:

    1. The maximum reach per sequence step each day is set to 100 (which is also the default setting). This is because you don’t want to be pushy, but you can control this depending on your goals, SMTP limits, and warm-up schedule.
    2. The timezone is set according to the receiver’s timezone.
    3. Don’t send emails on weekends. It’s likely that they (your potential client) won’t bother about opening an email from an unknown source on their days off.

    But how do you send these cold emails?

    Sending cold emails

    Never use any email marketing software to send cold emails. You may wonder why so. The answer is simple. They send bulk emails - tons of emails all at once.

    You need to send emails one by one. Use OutReachBin and leave the emailing game to us. We send automated emails in a way that imitates human actions and maximizes your ability to deliver.

    This is one of the easiest things to do with OutReachBin. It integrates with your email provider automatically, and cold emails are sent out for a couple of hours or the whole day, according to your plan. We don't blast anyone's inboxes, unlike some marketing software!

    Step 4: Understanding cold emailing metrics

    You found email addresses, created an account, sent awesome pitches for cold emailing, but how do you evaluate those emails? How will you know whether it’s giving you a good or bad result?

    This is where the open, click, reply, and bounce rates enter the picture. But you still want to grasp the meaning of what they're inferring to you.

    Open Rates

    It displays the number of people who opened your mail.

    Your open rate is estimated to be more than 50 percent. If this is less, check your deliverability before you waste time thinking about the subject lines. A possibility is that people are not receiving your emails in the first place.

    Click Rates

    Click rates totally depend on your campaign strategy and goals. Ideally, you should target a 40+% click rate for your campaign.

    Reply Rates

    A successful response rate starts at 8%. If you see lower results, concentrate on the following:

    • More customization, fewer standardized templates
    • Researching and engaging the right audience

    Bounce Rates

    You need to ensure that your bounce rate is below 5%. The less, the better.

    If this is higher, start checking your emails before you send them. Or else, you're going to ruin your image.

    Step 5: Take ideas from classy cold email templates and personalize them according to your targeted audience

    It's difficult to send great cold emails from the start. But we got your back. Click here for a few cold email templates that will motivate you to get some wonderful results and generate leads.

    If you are a recruiter or you work for any recruiting agency, here are some templates that can get you started.

    Try not to copy the exact content. Change it according to your audience.

    Some Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Is it illegal to send cold emails?

    Cold emailing is legal as long as you properly identify yourself. Include correct sender information with a business address and refrain from poor tactics, as well as provide a convenient method for unsubscribing.

    2. Does cold emailing still work in 2021?

    Cold emailing is a great marketing tactic that is still effective in this century. Many global marketers in the B2B industry still use cold emailing to reach out to their prospects.

    3. What should you not do in your cold emailing outreach?

    While cold-emailing can get you great results, a bad cold email can ruin your reputation as well. Here are 9 simple yet effective tips to finesse your cold emailing outreach:

    1. Never use any purchased email list (without reviewing it).
    2.  Do not copy templates/prototypes for your cold emails. You can take ideas from the templates but do not copy them.
    3. Do not send the same email to everybody.
    4. Avoid sending long emails.
    5. Do not be rigid.
    6. Do not just send an e-mail. At times, send multiple emails for follow-ups.
    7. Avoid obscurity.
    8. Do not attach files.
    9. Do not ignore the reports. The metrics we have discussed above can indicate great signs that will help your cold emailing methodology. Don’t ignore that.

    So, keep the above-mentioned things in mind while writing your cold emails.

    4. What’s the best time to send cold emails?

    Actually, this depends on your audience or prospects. Set a time according to the timezone of your prospect for better outcomes. We would recommend sending it between 9-11 a.m. in the morning. According to Campaign Monitor, 53% of the emails are opened or received between 9 a.m.–5 p.m during workdays. We recommend you avoid weekends. It’s more likely that they won’t open it on weekends.

    5. Have other questions that we didn’t cover?

    For further queries, reach out to us anytime at team@outreachbin.com or contact us by visiting OutReachBin.

    All Set

    Now you know all the nitty-gritty of cold emailing, what’s stopping you? Generate loads of leads by cold emailing and share the results with us.

    For getting started with cold emailing, signup NOW! Feel free to reach out to us anytime, and we will always be there to assist you.

    Article written by Shabab
    An avid writer as well as an outreach and marketing enthusiast. When he's not writing, you'll find him questioning his existence for the umpteenth time.
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