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7 steps to send the perfect cold email!

7 steps for a successful cold email campaign

Cold Emails... who has never received or sent one?


They flood our email boxes more and more, which is the reason why you need to stand out from the crowd!
We are going to give you all the keys to improve the opening rate, click rate, and response rate of your Cold Emails. So let's get started!


The first piece of advice we can give is... read this article 💚

1. What is a Cold Email?

In essence, a Cold Email, as its name suggests, is a prospecting method that consists of sending an email to a B2B prospect who doesn't know you and who hasn't necessarily given you their opt-in agreement.

Cold Emailing doesn't require an opt-in, it's a hyper-personalized prospecting email you send to all your target audience (segmented beforehand) but in an automated way.
The final goal of a Cold Email is obviously to transform a lead into a customer!

A Cold Email is sent from a nominative mailbox, unlike a newsletter which is sent from a generic and dedicated address.
Technically, the IP servers of these emails are different from the servers dedicated to sending newsletters, onboarding emails, or any other transactional email: this favors the arrival of the email directly in your recipient's main mailbox instead of landing in spams or promos.

⚠️ Cold Mailing is only legal in B2B! For B2C, opt-in is mandatory.

Unlike Cold Email, Newsletters require the opt-in of their recipients. It is a more generic email sent generally in mass to a larger target. The objective is to nurture and inform your leads, customers (or simply fans) of your product's news, your current events, or your expert content. The newsletter is not reserved to B2B, it also works for B2C, as long as your recipient has explicitly agreed to receive your communications.

Why send Cold Emails?

Cold Emailing is a very interesting prospecting technique because : 

  • It has excellent ROI
  • It's automatable
  • It's scalable (unlike cold calling)

If your product/service caters for B2B, you should know that it's possible to prospect professionals without opt-in. This is called "Legitimate Interest" 🤓

💡 "Legitimate Interest" is a "legal basis provided by the GDPR on which processing of personal data may be based if the organization has a legitimate interest" - CNIL

The CNIL is clear on this subject, we can send cold mailing to professionals but they must be able to unsubscribe easily.

👉 To learn more about B2B prospecting and the GDPR

Cold Emailing is a very specific technique that will "imitate human behavior" when sending emails. Indeed, you never send 150 emails in a few minutes or even seconds? But it usually takes you a day and the time to write each message. So each sendis spaced by a few minutes, right?

Well, those Cold Email tools do the same:

Cold Emails - know everything to perform them


2. Configure your domain before sending your first Cold Email campaign

Before thinking about writing your Cold Email, there is one step that shoul be neglected under no circumstances: the configuration of your domain!
Having the right configurations is the first step to boost your cold email campaign 🚀

Configure your domain in your cold emailing tool

CNAME, SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and Custom Domain... they make sense to you? Well, they are the main causes of bad deliverability and opening rate.
➡️ SPF certifies that you're the sender of the email, it's a kind of digital ID for the sender.

➡️ DKIM (or Domain Keys Identified Mail) is a digital signature that certifies that the email was correctly sent to the recipient and its content has not been modified.

➡️ DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance) is a standard that validates that no identity theft occurs on your domain when sending an email.

➡️ Your custom domain is the unique domain name that identifies you and is used for your email campaigns.

Some companies, to protect themselves from attacks, will block certain emails. If your domain isn't correctly configured, your emails won't even appear in spam! They will be blocked 🛑

👉 To learn all about configuring your domain

3. Target and segment your target before sending your first Cold Email

The success of a Cold Email campaign depends on targeting and segmentation. 

How to segment your target?

The most pragmatic way is to imagine a persona, your Ideal Customer Profile (or ICP for people in a hurry).
To help you create this ideal customer, head over to LinkedIn and find a profile that you have already identified as THE customer.

From their profile, you can identify some key points that could be common to your target:

  • Business sector
  • Job
  • Past experiences
  • Country or region
  • Interests or topics followed on social networks
  • ...

To find common points based on your products, other segmentation criteria can be useful:

  • Technology used
  • Recent fundraising
  • Recruitment in progress
  • ...

For example, you sell a video communication tool:

  • CEO of a young start-up ;
  • They're recruiting ;
  • They don't have an office yet ;
  • They're looking for a performing tool to communicate with their team.

Once you have established your profile, you can take action and look for the people who will make your target!

LinkedIn is probably the largest public database of professionals, but when you link it to some other tools, the results can be 🔥 in segmentations.

Tools like these are hyper-powerful for finding your leads: 

Now, you just have to hit the bulls-eye 🎯

tips to send the perfect cold email


👉 For further information about LinkedIn search, in particular the boolean search

👉 And here, a complete tutorial on how to import your company lists on Linkedin

Prioritize quality over quantity

Segmentation must be detailed and precise in order to get the best results!

Don't use the number of leads in your base as a KPI, focus on quality 😉 A list of 10 very well-targeted leads is better than 100 leads that don't fit your target.

4. HYPER-personalize your Cold Email

Did you know that a pro receives an average of 50 emails per day? Among them, a few dozen are promotional or advertising emails 🤯

The idea is to stand out, to catch attention quickly and without your recipient suspecting for a second that it's an automated e-mail...  
Each email must be hyper-personalized as if you were manually and individually writing an email for a specific person.

Thankfully, Dropcontact provides all the data you need to automate personalization, from your leads' LinkedIn URL, their first name, last name, and even their company's website 💚

Yeah, you read that perfectly: we can automate hyper-personalization! Sounds good, right? 💪

It's quite simple, by using variables like last name, first name, job title, company, gender, ... you automate the personalization of your cold emails.

Dropcontact 💚 will help you to:

  • Avoid sending that familiar "Hello, Lastname", because all first and last names are corrected, normalized ;
  • To adapting the contect to the gender of the person ( crucial if you are prospecting in France) ;
  • To add personalized references according to the field of activity thanks to the NAF code.
💡 To personalize your cold email, there's no better way than Liquid Language. Today many tools use it, especially cold email automation tools 💌

Personalize your subject line for an effective cold email

The subject line is the key to success! It's the first thing your receiver will read, before deciding to read your email or not.

Thanks to the subject line, you'll boost your opening rate.

Good to know:

  • Opening rate under 30%: 😬
  • Opening rate between 30 and 60%: 🤨
  • Opening rate over 70%: 🤩

Here are some tips to optimize your subject line:

  • Avoid long subject lines, don't exceed 3 words;
  • Write a subject line that looks like the ones you use to write in one-to-one;
  • The content must fit with the subject line, otherwise the prospect may feel "fooled";
  • Iterate, iterate, and iterate! The first object you launch may not be the right one, the second one will probably be better.... the third one will surely let you reach an 80% opening rate 🔥🔥🔥
Don't forget the pre-header, you know that little line under the subject line, but which isn't the email's body 😉
ice breaker for a great cold emai


💡 TIP: To avoid the white page syndrome and find the best words for each of your targets, don't hesitate to meet up with the Sales team, Customer Success agents, or other people in direct connection with your customers, who are used to communicate with them.

And also.... don't forget to look at what your competitors are doing! You can probably do much better 😉

Focus on the copywriting and content of your Cold Emails

As weird as it sounds, your Cold Email shouldn't look... like Cold Email 🤯

💡 Copywriting tip: don't use templates that everyone knows! Templates are very unoriginal and don't necessarily fit your target, your business, or your product, so forget about them.

AIDA method for email copywriting 🔝

This method is very well known to copywriters because... it's simple and super efficient! 🤩

➡️ AIDA: Attention / Interest / Desire / Action. 4 steps that will help you write Cold Emails (and not only) that will be successful.


Get the Attention

Start by developing an ice breaker that is just perfect! The point of these first lines is to prove to your prospect that you are truly interested in them. 

Reading this first sentence will encourage them to read the rest of the email, and make them want to go even further.

The best way to break the ice is to have something in common with the prospect! 

🔎 Scan LinkedIn and check if:

  • You have a relationship in common;
  • You went to the same school;
  • You have a passion in common (e.g. if your prospect is a basketball fan, use the lexical field of basketball in your intro 🏀) ;
  • ...

Create interest

Show to your receiver that you understand one of their pains, and you have identified their need. 

Cause Desire

These lines are decisive, through them, you'll show your prospect how your solution can fix their problem.

To help you with this, you can illustrate what you're saying by talking about actions you've taken with clients, then your prospect will be able to identify themselves with them.

The Action

This is the famous call-to-action: making an appointment, direct call... 📞
It's important to show your target that you have time for them. Prove that you are available to answer their issues and also... solve them.
Pssst... don't forget to put your phone number in your signature 😉 If you send your email at the right time, a phone call is often the best response to an email!

Let's go! To your keyboards 🧑💻

Configuration to perform Cold Email


5. Configuring your Cold Emails sequence

Now we come to the heart of the topic, the configuration of the sequence!

Configuring your sequence allows to:

  • Multiply the probability of sending your email at the right time;
  • Multiplying the "touchpoints": integrate multi-channel messages from LinkedIn or even, Twitter;
  • Define the time frame by which your receivers will be able to receive your emails and personalize according to time zones if needed 🌎
  • Configure your unsubscribe link: yes it is mandatory, but it can be discreet or integrated into your signature for example.

Multiply your chances of sending your Cold Email at the right time (momentum)

Typically, it's being in the right place at the right time!

It's all about timing, but not in the sense that we often hear: "send your cold emails on Tuesday and Thursday". There's no rule, you can send them every day of the week, even on weekends if you like.  

Momentum is something else! It's prospecting a company at the most appropriate time. For example when a company is raising funds or has just increased its revenues.

Make a multi-channel campaign

Multi-channel campaigns are THE prospecting solution! They're an excellent way of increasing your chances of getting in touch with prospects.

Cold emailing takes a new dimension with LinkedIn DMs or messages on Twitter. These are media where professionals aren't used to being solicited yet, so this is a great way to "surprise" them 🤡

multichannel to perform your cold email


The purpose of a multi-channel campaign is to boost your engagement rate. At Dropcontact, we like to start with a cold email and then (as soon as the email is opened), send a Linkedin invitation with a note. It initiates the conversation on LinkedIn because it's easier to chat via social media than to reply to a cold email 😉


The most effective tools for your multi-channel sequence:

  • LaGrowthMachine: integrates multi-channel email + LinkedIn + Twitter
  • Lemlist: integrates multi-channel email + LinkedIn ;
  • Waalaxy: integrates multi-channel LinkedIn + email ;
  • ...

➡️ Take a look at this very efficient workflow to follow-up your prospect on Linkedin when he opens an email

⚠️ If you are going to launch a multi-channel campaign, be aware of the habits and practices of different social media (LinkedIn or Twitter), your message will not be the same in a Cold email and in a LinkedIn message.


Here's an example of a cold email sequence:

  • Day 1: Cold email n°1

            👉 AIDA method: attract attention, create interest, generate desire and above all... push to action 😉

  • Trigger: opening the email + X minutes = LinkedIn message "did you get my email? Let's have a call!"
  • Day + 4: Follow-up: you reassure the receiver, this is the time for you to prove to him that your product will solve his problem, by giving them data, customer testimonials, reviews, etc.
  • Day + 7: Follow-up: don't hesitate to add an email so that your recipient can discover all the benefits of your solution (time saved, well-being of the teams, etc.)
  • Day + 12 (break-up email): This is the last email of your sequence. It's THE moment for your reader to reply to you and solve their problem 😘

Configure the time slots to send your Cold Email sequence

The time at which an email is sent is not a detail...

Sending an email in the middle of the night is the best way to make your receiver realize that you are using automatic tools... In other words, you're out! 👀
Remember to set your email sending times to reasonable time frames, especially if you're sending emails outside of your time-zone 🌎

Think about having a complete signature

Your signature lets your recipient identify you but also and mainly... to be able to contact you via other channels than an email response: LinkedIn, direct phone, etc.

Choose the sender for each of your Cold Email campaigns

Don't forget to change the sender of your emails according to your targets!
For example, if you are prospecting a CEO, they might be more able to open and interested in an email from a "peer" CEO.

Personalize your unsubscribe link

Yeah, the unsubscription option is mandatory!
This link should stop the campaign very quickly and easily.
It can be very discreet at the end of the email or integrated with your signature. Play with your imagination to make this link... as discreet as possible 🤫

6. Launch your Cold Email campaign

Automation is what's going to save you a ton of time in your prospecting. So let's automate 🤖

Feed your Cold Email campaigns automatically

You've got a CRM

There is a big chance that the Cold Email tool you use is integrated with your favorite CRM!


The first thing you need to do is to activate the integration of your Cold Email tool with your CRM: creating and feeding a filter will automatically add your new leads to the campaign you want.

Thanks to HubSpot, Pipedrive, and Salesforce integrations, Dropcontact finds, verifies, and qualifies all your contacts' emails. Those are automatically enriched directly in your CRM. Beyond enrichment, Dropcontact detects and merges all your duplicate contacts... 💚 A (big) comfort to avoid sending several times the same email to the same person.

Your bounce rates will then be instantly reduced 🎁

⚠️ Don't forget to sync all actions related to your campaign in your CRM. The goal for you is to have all the information centralized in your CRM!

You don't have a CRM and use files to manage your leads

No worries!

It's possible to automate the launch of your Cold Email campaigns, even if you don't have a CRM.

With tools like Zapier and n8n, you can connect your different solutions (Google Sheets, Cold Email tool, scraping tools, ...) to build the automation 😉

And as we are very cool people, we did some nice templates for you ready to use!
Then, your new leads will be automatically enriched by Dropcontact, and pushed into your Cold Email tool 💚

n8n’s template :

Dropcontact x n8n to automate and success your Cold Email


7. Track and iterate

One of the many advantages of Cold Email is to have easy access to all the data: 

  • The opening rate ;
  • The bounce rate;
  • The click rate;
  • The response rate;

When you launch a Cold Email campaign, it's important to follow these stats from the start to test, modify, retest... Until you get results on 🔥

Track, analyze, modify and iterate... this is the virtuous circle of Cold Email!

magic circle to send the perfect cold email


To go even further 🚀, find the complete and detailed guide "How to find an email address"

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