What is Cold Email? (Definitive Guide-2022)23 minutes read

Cold email? What is a cold email? Is it like the spam emails I receive or any promotional emails? Do you often scratch your head thinking about this? Well, then our handy guide is here to clear your doubts. 

In this guide, you will learn every aspect of cold email. From its meaning to how to send an effective cold email. In short, everything. 

So, let’s get started! 

P.S: It will be a long ride, so keep your notes and coffee handy.

What exactly is a cold email?

What exactly is a cold email?

Cold email meaning:

“A cold email is an initial e-mail that is sent to a receiver in order to gain a benefit in terms of favor, sales, opportunity or any other dual-sided gain.”

In short, when you email someone you don’t know for some particular reason is cold emailing. Also, cold emailing is not just limited to sales, there are several examples of cold email that we can experience and see in our day to day lives.


Student sending emails to HR professionals for internships, marketer sending emails to gain publicity and traction for their new product or salesman sending mass emails to unknown people in order to sell his product.

These all are a few of the many examples of cold emails in day-to-day lives.

It works for the student. It works for the marketer. It works like magic for the salesman. So, now that we have established the basic idea of cold emails, let’s dive into the evolution of cold emailing but before we jump into that here is a pro-tip.


Cold email is like a dart thrown in the dark. Sometimes it might hit, sometimes it may not. However, it’s important to make sure that you throw the dart in the right manner in order to maximize your chances of hitting the bulls-eye.

So today we’ll explore some of the best practices and unseen perspectives regarding cold emailing that will help you master the technique.

Why is cold emailing important?

There are countless reasons why cold emailing is important for a business. Here are the two most crucial ones:


Marketers can reach out to prospects (future customers) that might not be aware of the product. Cold emailing helps in creating awareness amongst the people in general.

A person might be looking for a Travel package to Dubai and when he gets it all served in his inbox, he would love it. Therefore cold emailing helps in connecting people who might be needing each other.

Lead Generation:

As the name suggests, markets can generate new hot leads while using cold emails. The beginning of any type of sale is generating a lead. Once the seller gets the lead, it’s his job to get it to the stage of sales.


The possible harm using cold email technique that people popularly argue about is:

Cold email gets annoying at times – This might be a possibility in a few cases. But following proven cold emailing best practices you can overcome this challenge. For eg; Always have an Opt-out/Unsubscribe button out there in the email that will help you get rid of this annoyance (if at all).

If you don’t know how to add unsubscribe button or opt-out option in the email, no worries, we have covered it in under our FAQ section. Also, we have mentioned other best practices that one needs to know later in this blog.

Evolution of cold emailing as a sales process

Cold Selling

“Whenever someone tries to connect to a stranger in order to sell something, it comes under cold selling.”

We can categorize the evolution of cold emailing under the umbrella of cold selling.

Before the technological era, people used to randomly go around the streets and try to sell to strangers. We didn’t have a term for that at that time but we can call it traditional or P2P (Person to Person) cold selling.

Direct Mail:

As the courier service was invented, companies saw a benefit in it. They started sending newsletters and promotional letters as a post to strangers. They saw a massive hike in their sale due to this methodology. This can be called the introduction stage of mass cold selling.

Cold Calling:

After that, as technology evolved and telephony was invented, sellers were able to sell their product/service by calling strangers and compelling them to buy their product. This is known as cold calling.
Pure cold calling was used by many but misused by some. The development of crime rates due to fraudulent calls had started due to which there was a need for change.

Cold emailing:

In the digital era, it has become annoying when one has to talk to someone in order to buy a product or gain some benefit. This is why cold emailing boomed. People will get to the point information regarding the subject and will be having time in order to think whether or not to reply or take any action. This feature itself made cold emailing effective and viral.

This was the beginning of an era. Cold emailing had taken the steering for becoming the best and most preferred medium of cold selling and it is going on till date, with the likes of UBER and ProductHunt using it to launch and grow.

Is cold email still effective in 2022?

Larry Kim, the founder of WordStream, wrote a blog titled “This Is Why Cold Emails Are the Best Business Practice for Entrepreneurs“. The title literally says it all. It doesn’t matter how old or new the technology is. If it is working, there is no reason not use it to your own advantage.

Here are three things you need to know to make an informed call on its effectiveness:

1. Email usage is still on a growth trajectory

(Source: Stastica)

As shown in the graph, it has been predicted that the number of emails sent in the next few years is just going to multiply itself and by the year 2022, it might reach 333 Billion emails per day.

2. Millennials and B2B business decision makers are obsessed with email

According to stats by Forbes, Millennials are obsessed with emails. They would rather get an email for work purposes than get a phone call.
It also says that 34% of millennials get annoyed when they are sent an email promoting a product they are not interested in. Further proving our point that sending a cold email to the right person will add value to the customer’s journey.

3. You need to know the best practices to surf this wave

For it to work in an effective way you need to know and validate two broad prospectives:

  • Best practices for sending cold emails
  • Find the right people to approach who find your ice-breaking valuable

The last one is probably the most important one. If you are an ice cream seller running your truck outside a diabetes restaurant or an ice-maker in the Himalayas, it’s cool to assume you won’t get any clients there. So, find the right buyer personas who have interest in what you have to offer.

To ensure that your cold email campaigns are resulting oriented, you need to bifurcate your contacts in different segments. For e.g. –

Position – CEO, Vice president, Board member, Program Leader, Programmer, etc

Similarly, you can also bifurcate them in terms of the number of team members, website visits, etc. It completely depends upon you and your product how do you want to do it.

After bifurcation of these segments, make sure you write a customized cold email copy for every single segment accordingly. The tone, structure, format, etc should be tailor-made for the people in that segment. This will make you more relatable and hence increase the chances of them following your call to action.

Now it’s the time to open the doors of the dam. Start sending email campaigns and roll that cold email out to your future clients.

The 5 best practices of cold emailing

Here we suggest a few proven ways that will amplify your chances of writing the best cold email ever:

1. Subject Lines are super important

It is the factor that will decide whether the person will open the email or not. It is the first contact of you with the receiver and should be written very strategically.

E.g. – If there is a travel agent who wants to sell a package of his recent Dubai tours and he knows that you are looking for traveling to someplace, which email are you more likely to check?

  1. Subject line – Tour Packages for Dubai


2. Subject line – Don’t you want an amazing vacation?

The first one seems like regular promotional email while the second one makes you curious about the email.

Once the person is curious, half of the job is done. That is why you should make sure that you know how to write a killer subject line.

2. Email Body should be slim

The human attention span is decreasing as fast as developing technologies are changing our daily consumption habits. Some research has put forward that the human now has a shorter attention span than goldfish. Keep your email body as short as possible.

There are three parts of a cold email body.

Introduction – Make sure you honestly define who you are.
Purpose – Come to the point.
Salutation – Thank them for their time and insert a salutation where you include one point of your contact.

For example –

Here are our packages for the Dubai deal:

Couples (7 days) – 2000$
Single (7 days) – 1100$

Couple (15 days) – 3000$
Single (15 days) – 1650$

I hope you are having a great day. I am Max from travel-friendly Pvt. Ltd. We believe that traveling is the best part of life and recharges your energy that monotony would have discharged.

Hereby attached is a PDF which shows our rates for different trips across the continent. If you have any query, you can reach out to us at any time.


+91 746-64521

Here the second email body seems more welcoming and cheerful rather than the first one. Make sure you write an ideal email body.

3. Personalizing emails calls for extra points

When someone you have met after a long time remembers your name, you get a good feeling right? The same psychology works with emails as well.

Mark won’t like to talk to a person who calls them “Hey Prospect” instead of “Hey Mark”. So why would anyone?

Therefore always remember to personalize your cold emails before sending them. It matters more than you could possibly imagine.

So we have established that sending a personalized email makes a huge difference. So make sure to personalize your cold emailing outreach.

4. Follow-up is inevitable

“80% of sales require at least 5 follow-ups after the meeting”
It is inevitable in this world, to get the deal done without following up with the person for a few times. People consume so much content these days that they have a short memory span for all the content they saw online. Emails are no exception. That is the reason we need follow-ups. Thanks to modern-day cold emailing tools, one can automate their follow-up with conditions and the tool to automatically take follow-ups from the person by sending them emails.

If you are still unclear on follow up messages, you can learn how to write an effective followup that will ensure readability.

5. Best time to send email

There are two different aspects you have to take care of when you’re deciding on when to send an email that will get you a positive response.

The time of day – After a study conducted on over billions of email addresses, the results showed the best time to send your emails out is just at around 10 AM. That’s when most emails are opened anyways, so the chances of your being opened grow dramatically. If you don’t have a good reason for doing so, avoid sending your email before this hour of the morning. Never send emails at 3 or 4 AM, as those will just look weird in the receiver’s Inbox.

The day of the week – If you’re trying to reach business executives, Tuesdays and Thursdays are usually seen as the best response days in a week. This is what marketers say to be the best days for B2B emailing.

If you want more such examples on appropriate and inappropriate time, you can read one of our blogs called best time to send emails.

Email templates for different types of cold emails

Life is not about one big thing, it’s about a million little things. You need to make sure you are doing these little things. One of this is taking a follow-up. With the increase in social media and internet influence, there has been a decrease in memory span. Do you remember what were the last 3 posts you saw on the internet last? Most of you won’t. This is why we need to follow-up.

Remind the person that we are still here waiting for his attention. This will
1. Show that you care about the people
2. Grab eyeballs to your cold email
3. Help you increase your readership

Cold email templates that you can help you understand how exactly it works

Hey {Name},

I am the at {Company}. I have reached out to you in order to tell you about this interesting app that we have launched. Being tech savvy, I think you might like it. We call it.

Do tell me if you want to learn what it is and how it works.


Hi {Name},

I read your blog regarding {Topic of the blog} . It was an amazing read. The content spoke for itself and the tone was very well defined. Also, I feel like our tool can help you with the . We can also customize our tool for you as a thank you gift for writing such an awesome blog. Let me know if you are up for a chat or call anytime soon. I’ll be happy to hear from you.



If you think these cold emails are awesome, you should check out 5 Cold Email Templates That Will Break the Ice for You

Follow-up email templates that you can use in order to maximize your readership

Directly address the Elephant:

Hey {Name},

It’s me, again. This is just a follow-up email in order to remind you that the offer we were talking is still on.


Head Marketer

A reminder of a date:

Hey {Name},

Last time we talked you wanted to get in touch at around November. Since we are really close to the end of October, this is the reminder to the same.


Your sales Dude

You can use these sales email templates and 50 best other sales templates for your personal use and give your sales chart a boost.

Things you need to do before sending a cold email campaign

This brings us to the part where we talk about what to make sure before sending an email campaign. VESC is important to ensure your cold email campaign has a high deliverbility rate helping you reach your recipient’s inbox rather than their Spam folder. Before learning more about VESC, ensure that you know how to send an email campaign here.

VESC – It is the acronym for the checklist that you are going to follow before hitting the send button in your email campaign. VESC stands for
– Validate Prospect list
– Ensure Clear CTA
 Set Automated Followup
– Check Email Spam score

Let’s dive into these in detail:

1. Validate Prospect list

Start with the validation of your email list. The people you are email should have some kind of similarities. As mentioned earlier, you need to ensure that all these people are right.

So the first thing that you need to do while sending a cold email campaign is validating those email ids. Otherwise, you might not get effective results and also get into trouble by sending the wrong email to the wrong person.

2. Ensure Clear CTA

Here are the examples of CTA (Call To Action) that are popularly used by mailers:

  • Download the app now.
  • Get on the call now.
  • Subscribe to us.
  • Sign yourself up.

When you are sending an email, you need to make sure that you make only one clear CTA. Your reader should not get confused. For E.g. –

Hey T’Challa,

It has been observed that users from your area are technologically advanced and sound. In order to give the most to you, we have also come up with the app. It is freely available on the app store.



3. Set Automated Followup

Setting an auto-follow-up in your campaign is a smart move. It not only saves time but also boosts your efforts. How? When you set an auto-follow-up, there are different sets of conditions. Conditions like:

Not Opened – If you activate this condition, your follow-up email will be sent to all the people who have not opened your email.

Not replied – If you activate this condition, your follow-up email will be sent to all the people who have seen but not replied to your email.

Been Sent – If you activate this condition, your follow-up email will be sent to all the people in your email list, regardless of their email opened, replied or seen.

Based on these conditions, you can filter out prospects who are genuinely interested in your product and chase them.

4. Check Email Spam score

Your email can be three things:

Which category does your emails lie in? Can you know it? Yes, you can. Thanks to mail-tester.

It will spam score your email from 1-10 (10 being the best) and suggest you changes accordingly.

By making small changes like setting up DKIM, SPF records and Custom Domain Tracking, you can increase your score.

Always test your spam score before you get ahead with it.

What are Cold emailing tools?

Cold emailing tools can be identified by a few key features. If your tool has these features, it can qualify as a cold emailing tool. Here is the list of those features:

  1. Email list and contact management – It is not enough just to find the right people to outreach to, you also need to manage and categorize it. Exactly what people to send the email, at what time, with what salutation, all these questions are answered with a good email list and contact management.
  2. Outreach Management – Once the people are managed, outreaching comes into play. Outreach management features like drip emailing help your cold email land inside the primary inbox and make sure your efforts do not go vain.
  3. Automated follow-ups – As mentioned earlier, follow-ups can play a big role in cold emailing. The Followup will send a different mail to the person who has opened but not responded, different to the person who has not opened and different to a person regardless of anything. The tool should be having an automated follow-up features handy for your ease of work.
  4. Recipient engagement Data – After the journey of cold emailing, in order to understand how effective your cold emailing campaign was, you need to get the information of the same. There are multiple features which help with this. Features such as:
    • Open rates – Number of times a user have opened your email and the percentage of all the emails being opened from the emails and campaigns that you have sent.
    • Response rates– Number of times a user has replied to your emails and the percentage of all the emails being responded from the emails and campaigns that you have sent.

The best cold emailing tools

Here is the list of cold emailing tools that we find works great and will work for you:


Short version – It’s the best cold emailing tool.

Long version – Saleshandy provides you with fantastic features like Email tracking, Email Verification, Mail merge, etc. and helps you take data-driven decisions by showing email and link opens. Apart from these features, the best feature of Saleshandy is Mail Merge with Auto Follow Up which lets you send out the cold emails and help you build a relationship with your prospect with constant follow up emails.

It’s an all in one Outbound sales automation tool and an effective cold emailing tool for prospecting that enables automated personalized cold emails & follow-ups.

Saleshandy has been used by thousands of professionals like recruiters, salesmen, marketers, bloggers, realtors, freelancers, etc. since its inception.

The basic plan starts at 9$ per month if paid annually and 12$ if paid monthly.

Your first personalized 200 cold emails are on us.
Try it now for free!


Woodpecker is another cold email tool that provides you with personalization and campaign analysis feature. You can integrate it with other tools like Zapier and PieSync. The Basic pricing starts at 39$.


Yesware is another email productivity software that gives the feature of email tracking, email campaigns and mail merge making it a cold emailing tool. Yesware integrates with the salesforce and sync user data directly there, so that a user need not keep a track of his logs in different systems.

The Basic pricing starts at 15$ if paid annually and 19$ if paid monthly.

These were some of the tools that will make your cold email effective. In order to know more such tools, you can have a look at 29 best cold emailing tools blog. It would definitely help you.


Cold emailing in the era of GDPR

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is the revolutionary regulation by European Union that made sure that data and privacy of an internet user stay intact. This has a lot to do with a few data leaks that lead to people’s security issues.

In hindsight, this keeps the data of European Union citizens safe. Other countries have also started preparing these kinds of law and made it loud and clear to the companies that when the privacy of their citizen is at stake, they will not take a back step.

So, how legal cold emailing is in this era of GDPR?

In short – If you are not doing anything wrong, not stealing their data and cold emailing people after their consent has been given, you are pretty safe.

How are GDPR and cold emails related?

Because consent is important. As a cold email sender, you should stay aware of other people’s right to privacy. The user must be well aware of the fact that the information that you have has been provided by him. You should be the one who makes sure that the users know it. After you’ve asked for consent from the individual in order to process his personal data, the latter must give it back to you freely, in the shape of a clearly stated “affirmative action”, as stipulated in the law.

After the GDPR, you are responsible to show the proof that the client or the prospect that you have been cold emailing has affirmatively shown interest in opting in in your mailing list and thus sharing their personal information to you. In case you are not found with a legal legitimate proof, the punishment that a business could suffer from is pretty high. That’s why it is advisable to maintain the GDPR standards.

Sounds interesting enough to you? You can read the complete guide to email marketing after GDPR for more information.

We hope that we have solved all your doubts and queries related to a cold email.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply