cold outreach

Client acquisition is vital for any small business. Adding to your customer base is the only way to achieve the kind of sustainable growth that all firms desire. Brands must work hard to gain trust and build those client relationships.

Of course, you won’t convert every lead. That’s why good cold outreach is important. Increasing the volume of leads you connect with, in the right way, will help you generate more business opportunities.

In the remainder of this article, you will learn about effective cold outreach strategies you can apply to your business. Let’s get started.

What is Cold Outreach?

The sales and marketing arena is rife with catchphrases and jargon. It’s always worth making sure that everyone’s on the same page when it comes to the meaning of any term.

Cold outreach is the process of contacting a lead who has had no prior interaction with your business. You’re reaching out to those leads for the very first time. Whether you send them an email or give them a call, you’re looking to make a connection that didn’t previously exist.

Cold calls can be an example of cold outreach. Some businesses still mass-call lists of leads with no prior connection to their company. For the most part, though, when it comes to client acquisition, cold outreach by email is effective. It’s a crucial element of your business development strategy.

Source: Smart Insights

In spite of the rise of social media, email is still the communication channel of choice for most businesses. It’s also one of the best channels for marketing and outreach, as it can be done relatively quickly at scale.

Email outreach platforms make it quick and easy to reach out to a long list of leads. You can personalize messages, segment your list, and perform other simple tasks with minimal effort. Much of the process is now automated.

There are plenty of different ways to improve your cold outreach. Below you’ll find some tried and tested hints and tips. By taking just a few of them on board, you’ll improve your chances of landing those crucial clients. Read on, and you’ll learn about:

  • Offering value via cold outreach
  • Personalizing your cold emails
  • Injecting creativity into your cold outreach
  • AB testing email elements
  • Following up effectively

Offering Value Via Cold Outreach

Many business owners make the mistake of treating cold outreach like a job application. It’s an entirely different process. Recipients of a cold email don’t care about the history of your firm or you as an individual. They also won’t often respond well to a list of your product or service’s main features.

What is more likely to get a lead’s attention is an explanation of how you can help them. Your cold emails need to show how your service will add value to your prospect.

Showing a lead how their business will be better off through working with you is a surefire way to get more replies to your cold emails. Show prospective clients how you can help them, but don’t be too strident criticizing their current operation. You won’t get anywhere by trashing the business of those you want to start working with.

Always Personalize Emails

Email marketing automation can make life much easier for companies. While such platforms make your work easier, you still have to put in the time and effort.

Before sending cold outreach messages, do some research into who you’re contacting. Try to email business owners or decision-makers directly. Don’t message generic email addresses. That way, you can speak personally to the person in charge.

When you’ve identified who to contact, add some personal touches to your email. It does make a difference. Emails with a personalized subject line are fully 26% more likely to get opened. That’s not the only step to take to achieve personalization, though.

The body of your email should also be personalized. Relate the intro to the email to its recipient. Make sure that when they read it, they know you wrote it yourself. That makes it easier to explain how your service can make the recipient’s life easier.

Bottom line?

If you want your emails to get read, you need to understand your audience, the language they use, pain points, and what resonates with them.

What’s more, this data is a crucial step to know your customers, segment your marketing efforts, and further personalize other areas of your offering (think: user experience).

Be Creative With Your Cold Outreach

Even personalized emails can feel generic and boring. The leads that you’re contacting will get dozens – or even hundreds – of emails every day.

Any message that doesn’t grab them and instantly appear interesting will get deleted. You need to inject some creativity into your outreach to ensure your emails capture the imagination. Kyle Racki, CEO of Proposify, shared a great example via his blog.

He received a cold email from a company called FullStory. The initial email had an engaging subject line. The email spoke personally to him and demoed the firm’s tool, working on Racki’s actual website.

This email outreach campaign was so effective that its recipient went on to blog about it. That’s what you should be looking to achieve with your email campaign.

Test, Test, and Test Again

You can’t expect to craft the perfect, personal, and creative email first time. AB testing the main elements of your copy is the best way to learn what resonates with your leads.

The best place to start testing is your subject lines. Try to think of as many attention-grabbing and creative subject lines that you can. Then, set to work testing out how effective the different options are.

Fortunately, you don’t even have to use your subject lines for real emails to test them out. You can head over to a testing tool like, instead. Those kinds of tools rate your proposed subject lines so that you can see which ones will work best.

It’s worth testing out other elements of your messages, too. Each professional cold email you send should end with a clear call to action (CTA). The CTA you use is something you can also try out and test in different versions. What you want is an assertive and confident CTA that’s still easy to respond to for leads.

Usually, you’ll be trying to get your leads to give you a call. Your CTA should make it as simple as possible for them to pick up the phone. Things to try may include suggesting possible times for a call, or even featuring a link to a scheduling tool.

Get Your Follow-Up Right

Cold outreach is about making the first contact with a new prospective client. That doesn’t mean you can send a single email and then forget about it. Follow-up is a critical part of the cold outreach process.

It’s important to get the tone of your follow-up emails right. Too many people go down the dangerous route of getting passive-aggressive.

Don’t fall into the trap of asking a lead if they got your first email. Everyone knows that’s code for saying’ ‘I know you got my first email, why didn’t you reply?’ That’s not the way to persuade a prospect to become a client.

Instead, go back to explaining the value your product or service can add for the lead. Don’t merely repeat your first email, but come at the same idea from a different angle. Make it abundantly evident that your prospect will be missing out if they don’t take the opportunity to work with you.

Landing Clients Through Cold Outreach

Business owners and marketers are often a little nervous about cold outreach. There’s a negative, “hard-sell” connotation to the phrase that makes people nervous. In reality, though, it’s a crucial process for growing your business. Get cold outreach right, and you could land that blue-chip client that will take your firm to the next level.

Getting cold outreach right means moving away from generic, hard-sell tactics anyway. You need to be personal and creative to make real connections with new clients. You also must have your prospective clients at the forefront of your mind. Make sure your outreach focuses on what you can do for them and not the other way around. Follow all of that advice, and you’ll have new clients positively banging your door down.

Owen Baker is a content marketer for Voila Norbert, an online email verification tool. He’s spent over a decade in online marketing. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of content marketing across a range of websites.

Cold outreach stock photo by Artur Szczybylo/Shutterstock