Best practices for cold email marketing

Cold emailing is a very effective, yet inexpensive channel to get new leads. But there are a few potential pitfalls when sending cold emails on a large scale.

If you use bulk email marketing tools (like Mailchimp) to send thousands of cold emails on a daily basis, not only will most of your emails land in SPAM folder, but quite soon your email sending account will be blacklisted so that all your future emails also go to SPAM.

That’s why you need to exercise a certain degree of care when using cold emails for lead generation.

Now, we will explore the best practices for writing cold emails, sending cold email marketing campaigns at scale and getting people to read and engage with your cold emails.

Table of Contents
1. Best practices for cold email marketing
1.1 Build up and maintain healthy sender reputation
1.2 Build your mailing lists organically
1.3 Verify your mailing lists
1.4 Use a cold email marketing software
1.5 Mitigate risks by using separate domain for email marketing
2. Tips and tactics for writing cold emails
2.1 Subject line
2.2 Cold email content
2.3 Add a personalized touch to your emails

Best practices for cold email marketing

Cold email marketing differs from bulk email marketing in the sense that, instead of sending marketing emails to your newsletters subscribers, you are sending cold emails to a bunch of people who have never heard from you before.

If you use a regular email marketing software to send cold emails in bulk, most of them will get trapped in SPAM.

cold emails sent in bulk get trapped in spam filters

In order to bypass the spam filters, your email account must have a high sender reputation. Moreover for SPAM filters it should not look like you are using a software to send emails to strangers, they classify it as spamming behavior.

If it rather looks like you are manually sending personalized cold emails, spam filters will let them through.

Keeping these things in mind, let’s look at a few practical things you can do to improve the deliverability of your cold emails.

Build up and maintain healthy sender reputation

First and foremost, you will need to ensure your email account has a good sender reputation or sender score. You can check your sender score using these tools.

spam filters will examine your sender reputation when you send cold emails

If you have a new domain or email account, it will not have any sender reputation in the beginning. You will need to build a meaningful sender reputation before you can start sending hundreds of cold emails per day. Otherwise if you send a few thousand emails in your first week and many of them get ignored, your sender reputation will be heavily damaged.

But if carefully warm up your new email account, you can gradually build up your sender reputation. You can do that by sending small number of cold emails in the beginning and gradually increasing the email volume. It also helps if you have a sizeable incoming traffic to your email account. You can maintain that by signing up for a bunch of different newsletters.

Here’s a more detailed guide on how to warm up your new email account.

Build your lists organically

Most spam filters are managed by internet service providers and email service providers who maintain a track record of email addresses and their parent domain (for example, is the parent domain for – They use the historical track records of an email domain to decide the “sender reputation” for that email sender account.

Your sender reputation will be determined by looking at different factors like –

  • Are people marking your emails as spam?
  • Are your emails getting bounced / ignored?
  • How are people engaging with your emails?
  • Are you sending a high number of emails in a short time?

Therefore it is important that you send your cold emails only to people who are likely to be interested in what you have to say. If you buy a email database from a 3rd party vendor, you don’t have much control over selecting your email recipients or the quality of contacts.

If many of your emails get bounced or ignored, your sender reputation is going to be heavily damaged. That’s why we recommend that you organically build your mailing list using opt in pop up tools like optinmonster. It will take some time, but at least your sender reputation will not be compromized.

Verify your mailing lists

We already saw that high number of bounced emails are detrimental to your email sender reputation. You can avoid that by using a tool to verify email addresses in your mailing list, before actually sending emails to them.

You can use a tool like emaillistverify to clean up your mailing list. It will remove the invalid, inactive emails, spam traps etc. so that you can send your cold emails only to genuine recipients.

Use a cold email marketing software

Your emails would bypass spam filters if they looked like they were being manually sent by someone. So in order to successfully land your emails in INBOX, you need an email automation software that can mimic human like sending behavior, instead of sending everything at once.

cold emails can bypass spam filters by mimicing human like sending behavior

A cold email automation software does exactly that. It spreads out your emails over a period of time. For example, instead of sending 10,000 emails at once, you can spread them out over a few weeks, only sending a few hundred emails per day.

Additionally, a cold email marketing software sends individual emails a few minutes apart, at random – just like you would do, if you sent them manually. This leads the spam filters to believe that the emails are being manually sent by someone, so that they are not blocked.

You can use FUZEN to create a cold email automation workflow within your Google Drive, so that you can send cold emails at scale using your simple Google Drive Apps. Try it out here.

Read this, if you’re wondering how many emails you should send per day. But it is always best to start small then gradually increase your sending volume.

    Mitigate risks by using separate domain for email marketing

    But despite all of the precautions, there can still be a small risk that some people can mark your cold emails as spam. If that happens, you don’t want it to ruin the sender reputation of your main domain.

    For example, you have a domain – And you are sending cold marketing emails using your account If a high number of people start to say you are spamming them, your sender reputation will be hurt, so that even genuine emails to your existing customers will land in SPAM.

    You can avoid this risk simply by using a separate, disposable domain for your cold email marketing. So that even if the secondary domain gets blacklisted for any reason, you can just dispose it without hurting communication with your existing customers.

    Tips and tactics for writing cold emails

    Using the best practices for cold email deliverability from previous section, you will be able to land your cold emails in INBOX. Next challenge is to get people to open, read and respond to your cold emails.

    With that goal in mind, let’s explore best practices for writing cold emails.

    Subject line

    Subject lines for cold emails are at least as important as the email copy, if not more. You will make the first impression on your readers through the email subject line.

    If your subject line fails to capture their interest and imagination, they will not open your emails. Then your cold emails are wasted, no matter how good your email content is.

    You should write email subject with one or more of the following elements to ensure better engagement.

    • Personalized email subject ( Hi #Name# )
    • Create urgency ( 50% OFF only for today )
    • Build familiarity ( Hey #First Name#, we connected at #Event Name# earlier )
    • Pique curiosity ( Is your email opening rate better than industry average? )
    • Provide social proof ( What # Existing Customer Name# has to say about us ). This one combines curiosity and social proof.
    • Establish authority ( Rated #your rating# by Gartner )
    engaging cold email subject line

    Here’s a more detailed guide to write cold email subject lines that can get someone’s attention.

    Cold email content

    Your emails need to be engaging by default, to get any concrete outcome from your email campaign. Additionally, when people engage with your emails and write back to you, that is also going to contribute a lot to your sender reputation.

    Why does it matter? Because as your reputation improves, you will be able to safely reach out to more such people. On the contrary, low engagement is going to hurt your sender reputation in the long run.

    Quite obviously, it is very important to write emails that really offer something valuable to the reader. Here are a few recommended best practices for writing cold email copy.

    • Keep your emails short, clear and get straight to the point.
    • Highlight experience and build trust. Help your readers to take your email seriously.
    • Build familiarity by touching upon shared interests, mutual acquaintances, events visited etc.
    • Focus on value, not features.
    • Write a clear, concise Call To Action (CTA) in your email.
    • Avoid certain spam trigger words in your email copy.
    • Minimize the number of links and images in your email. High number of links and images can damage deliverability.
    • Avoid email attachments if possible.

    If you want to explore examples of cold emails, here’s a list of cold email templates for sales.

    Add a personalized touch to your emails

    It’s not only the spam filters, even your recipients will not like emails which appear to be written by a robot. Instead, a warm personal touch always adds a humane element to your emails, helping you to get better engagement.

    Some more best practices to make your cold emails more personal –

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