Cold email: What is Cold Emailing and how Does it Work?

The cold email is a form of communication, similar to cold calling, designed to initiate a conversation between two parties. Used for everything from job applications, to capturing the attention of a potential customer, cold email can be a powerful resource when leveraged correctly. However, like any sales or marketing tactic, cold emailing must be initiated with care.

What is a cold email? Cold email meaning

A cold call email, or cold emailing is an email sent to a specific receiver without initial contact from that person. In other words, you send a message to someone hoping to receive their attention, engagement, and interaction in return.

Just as calling someone from a list of contacts and presenting a sales idea is “cold calling”, cold emailing follows a similar structure. Notably, cold emailing isn’t just a solution for sales. There are several kinds of cold emailing which you may have encountered in your day-to-day life.

Some of the most common uses for cold email are:

  • Market research: If you need to develop an insight into your target audience, cold emailing is a great way to collect information and responses from customers.
  • Invitation: If you’re hosting a workshop, podcast, or webinar, you can invite people via cold emailing and develop attention for your event.
  • Lead generation: The most common reason for cold emailing, 89% of marketers use email as their primary lead generation channel. Cold emailing helps with the discovery of potential customers for your business.
  • Hiring: Reaching out to people with specific skills is a great way to gauge their interest into working for your company. LinkedIn and email are both excellent methods of contact.
  • Applying for jobs: If you’re applying for a role with a new company, sending a cold email presenting your skills is a great way to get attention.

How to Write a Cold Email

While there are cold email services out there which can help with this process, many people will choose to engage in cold emailing themselves. Whether you’re using cold email for job prospecting or to attract new leads, it’s not always easy to stand out from the crowd. Use the following tips to improve your chances of success:

1. Examine the mailing list

Sending a cold email to as many people as possible isn’t always the right strategy. Generally, your mailing list should only include the people who are interested in your office. Track down users who once visited your website, or subscribed to your email newsletter. These people already have an interest in your product.

If you’re looking for an employee, or you want to start a new role, you can search through social media and LinkedIn to collect cold emailing opportunities.

2. Make the right impression

Just as with writing any email, writing a good cold email requires you to fill out the from and to fields in your email carefully, along with entering a good “subject line”. Imagine the person receiving your email is meeting you for the first time. What do you want them to think about you from the moment they’re finished reading the small snippet in their inbox?

Once you get your lead through to the body of your email, make sure they can find plenty of contact info, including your phone number and the address of your office. You can arrange this information in your signature.

3. Prepare your pitch

If you use templates for your cold email, make sure it doesn’t look spammy, or contain dime-a-dozen slogans. The best email should be engaging and relevant to the person you’re contacting. Make sure you use your company’s unique tone of voice, or your personal brand voice.

Remember, it’s generally not a good idea to overload a cold email with pictures and videos, as this can make it difficult for someone to load your message, and may make you come across as unprofessional, or spammy.

4. Send your emails

Finally, make sure you’re sending your emails in a well-planned structure. You may need to consider sending follow-up emails if people don’t initially respond. It might also be a good idea to set up an email marketing automation tool, so you can track responses to your email, and look at things like click-through rates.

Email marketing tools also allow you to A/B test things like subject lines and email content to see what works best for you.

What Might a Cold Email Look Like?

There are tons of cold email examples out there.

The key to success is learning how to appropriately position yourself to your intended customer and write an engaging message. In this example from we see how the template introduces the individual and who they work with and engages the reader with simple requests.


The example is also good because it uses informal, engaging language that won’t scare too many people away. Remember, cold emails can be suitable for all kinds of messaging, not just selling things. You can use a similar approach to writing an email applying for a job.

The Importance of Cold Email

While cold-email isn’t the newest form of marketing and lead generation, it can still be a valuable way to collect leads and achieve important goals when used correctly. Using the tips above, you should be able to design a cold email strategy which doesn’t scare away your prospects, and helps you to find new opportunities.

Read also:

What is Sales Call Planning? A Sales Call Planning Guide

Sales and Marketing: Why they Work Best Together