How to Get Potential Clients Through Cold Email

Shelley started her business recently and she had a burning question, how to get potential clients through cold email?

As an entrepreneur, you know that it’s important to constantly have cash flow in your business.

Without any consistent income, your business is just an expensive hobby.

The one skill every entrepreneur needs to master is getting sales or clients into their business.

Shelley was keenly aware of this which is why she needed to find a way to master this skill.

Here are three things to consider when you decide to use cold emails as your way of generating leads.

  1. You’ll need a fresh list of people to email every week
  2. Sending out emails that get responses is crucial
  3. Doing this 100% manually can be a daunting task
  4. Nobody likes to be sold to but everyone likes to buy

If only there was a way for Shelley to get proven strategies and resources that work every single time.

In this resource, you’ll discover a number of key elements and insider secrets that you can use to get the results that you need.

photo of a laptop with a pair of hands on the keyboard sending cold emails to potential clients

Email Marketing Statistics

So, you’re probably wondering why Shelley decided to use cold email as her lead generation strategy.

Well, according to Oberlo, there are 4.3 billion users of email globally and this is set to increase to 4.6 billion in the next few years.

Another surprising statistic from the same source reveals that over 3 billion emails are sent every day.

To put that into perspective, there are 2 billion active users of Facebook daily.

In terms of return on investment, the figures show that you can expect to generate $40 for every $1 spent on emails.

81% of business owners continue to use email as their source of customer acquisition.

Also, welcome emails have the highest open rates at 68.6% when compared to the average email open rate of 19.7%.

Did you know that 49% of consumers said that they like to get promotional emails from their favourite brands weekly?

Based on what you know now about email marketing do you think that Shelley has made a good decision?

List of Potential Clients

One of the toughest things Shelley needs to do before sending out cold emails is to develop a list of her prospective clients.

Have you ever wondered where people find a list of ideal clients?

If you have no idea who your potential client or buyer persona is then it will be more difficult to find them.

So, spend some time developing an avatar of your prospective client before moving to the stage of getting a list.

One of the things to figure out when profiling your ideal client avatar is where you can find them quickly and easily.

When you know who they are and where they spend most of their time then it becomes easier to find them as well as their email addresses.

A number of places where you can find them could include:

  1. LinkedIn
  2. Business website
  3. Instagram
  4. Facebook
  5. 3rd Party Publications

Let’s look at ways in which you can develop a solid list of prospects.

How to Get a List of Email Addresses

Broadly speaking there are two ways to generate a list of email addresses.

These two ways are called inbound and outbound.

Inbound involves you leaving a link for people to access a free resource and they’ll need to enter their email address to get it.

Outbound is quite different, you basically need to go and find them and send them a cold email introducing yourself and giving them a reason to respond.

Everyone likes inbound email marketing because it is like if your prospective client raises their hand to get what you have.

However, if you are like Shelley and you’re starting from scratch there are a few ways to get this started.

photo of a pair of hands on the keys of a laptop in a side profile view

1. Social Media Hand Raiser

The next time you are publishing content on social media instead of sharing a link publicly ask your prospective client to send you a DM.

If the thought of getting your prospective clients to send you a cold direct message gives you butterflies in your tummy then take a step back.

Imagine you have the perfect solution to their pain point and all they need to do is message you for it do you think that they will do it?

What I like about doing a hand-raising post is that you get instant feedback on whether your messaging is working.

So, say yes to using social networks to help you grow your customer base.

2. Freebie on Website

Another way to get people’s email addresses is to offer a freebie like a lead magnet on your website.

This will need to be something too good to pass up and it should give them a quick win.

You can use the same lead magnet for the handraiser on social media as well as your website.

3. Other People’s List

A really clever way to grow your email list fast is by doing a collaboration with a business owner who does something complimentary to your business.

For example, my zone of genius is tech and funnels. I can team up with someone who does copywriting.

We can put on a shared event together or that person can invite me to do a free masterclass with their audience.

4. Online Research

This is probably the hardest way to find a list of potential clients but it can be done.

You can do a manual search on LinkedIn and find your target audience. For example, if you’re looking to create a list of all the Accountants in the US, you’ll need to do a search on LinkedIn.

When you find them, you’ll need to add each one of them to your list and then find their email address manually.

Yes, there are several 3rd party tools that you can use like or Slik Prospector Chrome extension but they are never 100% accurate.

Once you have a list of first names, last names and job titles you can upload it to a tool like Hunter and they’ll populate the email address for you.

Then download your list of leads ready to do your cold email outreach.

5. Buying a List

A few years ago I was heavily involved in affiliate marketing which involved buying lists.

I cringe every time I think about this because it’s such a terrible way to do business.

However, there is one platform that has made this process non-sleazy by giving you the ability to purchase high-quality B2B emails.

It’s called Lime Leads and it gives you the ability to filter your leads before paying for them and downloading them.

After using these resources you should be able to drum up a list of 1,000 leads.

Cold Email Campaign

If you are like Shelley and you don’t have any experience at all in copywriting or email marketing.

You may be stuck thinking about what to write in your cold prospecting emails.

The world would be quite boring if we were all good at writing email copy.

I have over 20 years of experience sending out cold emails and all I can say to you is that there are so many different methods and templates available.

However, recently I came across one resource that is great for those on a low budget.

It’s priced at $5 and you can also purchase additional cold email templates for $30.

If this sounds like something you would like for your business, grab it here.

When you make the purchase, you’ll notice that it also comes with emails for the follow-up process as well.

photo of a woman sitting in bed doing work on her laptop

Tools for Cold Emailing

Now that you’ve got your list of leads as well as the email copy that you’ll be sending to your potential customers.

You’re probably wondering if there’s a way to efficiently send out these emails to a minimum of 100 people each week.

Maybe you’re ambitious enough and you want to send 50 emails a day.

What should you use?

You’re probably thinking of using Outlook, Apple Mail, Postbox or Gmail.

Is there a way to save your email templates so that you can save time?

Can you track the open rates of the emails you’ll be sending out?

What about the ability to set follow-up reminders after a few days?

There are several tools that you can use to help with these features.

The two popular options include Mixmax and Mailtrack.

Warm Email Campaigns

If you decide to grow your email list using inbound techniques like the handraiser and freebie on the website that I mentioned previously.

You’ll need to have a welcome email sequence to deliver that freebie and then nurture that list with weekly newsletters.

In case you didn’t realise it there are significant differences between warm email templates and cold email templates.

So, it is important for you to decide which one you would like to do and develop your email content to match the right audience.

Yes, you can certainly decide to do both types of campaigns because the warm email campaigns can be set up and automated.

Conversion Rates

If you’ve never done any kind of marketing campaigns, sales outreach, lead generation or anything similar.

You’ll know that it’s all a numbers game if you get all the components right.

Whether it’s a cold email or a warm/regular email marketing campaign there are some key numbers you need to look at to determine if you’re doing it right.

These key numbers include delivery rate, open rates, click rates and sales/conversions (income generated).

There are other analytics as well like unsubscribe rates, bounce rates and spam complaints.

This is not a comprehensive guide on email marketing so let’s focus on what those key numbers should look like.

  1. Delivery rate – 100%
  2. Open rate – 35%
  3. Click rate – 10-15%
  4. Conversion rate – 1% (minimum)

When you are not married to a specific prospect or company here’s what you should be doing.

Take a step back and look at the numbers.

It helps you to focus on what really matters.

In other words, if you only sent 50 cold emails and got no conversions then you’ll know that you just need to send more emails to get to the 1% result.

How to Fix Your Email Results

If you sent out 1,000 emails and your analytics don’t look like the benchmark numbers that I gave you previously.

Here’s what you can do to fix those problems.

Low Delivery Rate

If your delivery rate is less than 90% then there could be a few reasons why this is occurring.

The platform or domain name you are using could be blacklisted or you haven’t built up sending trust. One method to try for a few weeks is sending emails in smaller batches.

For example, if you have 2,000 people on your list you can try sending 100, 300 or 500 emails at a time.

Very Low Open Rate

If less than 20% of people on your list open the email then consider improving your email subject line.

A few tools that you can use to fix this include CoSchedule Headline Analyzer and here’s another one by AIOSEO.

You can test your subject lines by using personalization as well.

Low Click Rates

Potentially one of the areas in an email to get right is the body copy of the email.

It needs to enticing enough so that people will take the desired action that you want them to take.

Believe it or not, a clever way to achieve great click rates is by segmenting your list.

Which in layman’s terms means breaking them down into smaller groups of people interested in a specific product or service.

How to Set Up Your Cold Email Campaign – Step by Step

Now that you have all the pieces that make up the cold emailing puzzle let’s bring it all together in a streamlined step-by-step process.

Bear in mind that you can use any tools and platforms that work best for you to accomplish your business goals.

Step 1 – Choose Your Objective

One of the most important aspects of doing a cold emailing campaign is to decide on your objective.

While you might be thinking that all you want to do is make sales.

You need to remember that cold emailing is part of a big picture called a funnel.

When you first reach out to ‘strangers’ what are you going to do to take them from cold to warm to hot?

Here are a few objectives that you can have.

  • Invite them to an event
  • Offer to help them solve a small problem
  • Give them something for free (a quick win)
  • Offer them a free trial
  • An overall special offer

Step 2 – Decide on the Ideal Contact Person

Now that you know what the objective is for your campaign it’s time to decide who in the organisation can benefit from it.

Is it the Owner, Marketing Director, HR Director, COO, Financial Director or someone else?

When you’ve decided on the ideal person to contact write down the reasons why they would be interested.

Also, take note of the ways their life or business can be better after you offer them the thing that you chose as an objective.

Step 3 – Create Templates

The next step in the process is to create 4-5 cold email templates + complimentary subject lines for different scenarios and to test to see which performs best.

Another name for an email template is a sample email.

Also, another 4-5 follow-up email templates because people are busy and they need to be reminded of your offer/event.

As you can imagine, the response rate from cold emailing is not great but some people will respond.

While you may not be good at copywriting the key thing to remember is that your new clients have a problem that you can solve.

You can include their first name in the subject line and/or salutation to create a sense of urgency.

So, focus on the problem as well as how you can solve a small piece of that problem.

Step 4 – Generate a List of Prospects

It’s time to generate a list of your potential clients using the methods I discussed previously.

Or you can use your way of getting that list.

The two fastest ways to create a list of prospects is as follows:

  1. Buying a list of leads from a supplier
  2. Running a paid lead generation campaign to grow a list of new subscribers

When generating this list it’s important to remember your end goal, objective and ideal person.

If you have a list of people who are not your ideal audience then your campaign will not yield the results that you want.

Step 5 – Platform Set Up

Cold emailing can be a very painful and lengthy process if you decide not to include any automation.

Using a few key tools would help you to complete this process more efficiently.

Let’s say that you decide to use a tool like Mixmax for your campaign.

It means that you’ll have the ability to add your cold email templates and follow-up templates inside the platform.

A screenshot of Mixmax showing the ability to store cold email templates

Below, I’ve included an example of a cold email template that I created recently inside Mixmax.

Notice how you have the ability to insert variables depending on your chosen objective.

screenshot of a cold email template inside Mixmax

Step 6 – Set Targets

You’re almost ready to send your first batch of emails but before you do there’s something you need to do.

Set a realistic target of how many people you’ll need to reach out to daily or weekly in order to achieve your end goal.

If you know that you’ll land between 2-3 customers by sending 100 cold emails together with 7-8 follow-up emails then do a calculation.

Let’s say your goal is to generate $10,000 a month from a cold email campaign and each client will be paying you $2,500/month.

It means that you’ll need to successfully send out 200 emails a month in order to achieve that goal.

Step 7 – Send Out Emails

It is difficult to predict which prospects will respond to your cold email aka introduction email.

So, you’ll need to set aside time each day or week to focus on your campaign.

Remember that the majority of success will come from your follow-up emails.

So make time to do the follow-up process to get better results.

Block off time in your calendar and send those emails.

You can use the features in Mixmax to track the performance of your emails like open rates, click rates, etc.

In the follow-up emails, you can also have the option for them to book some time in your calendar to get on a phone call to discuss their requirements in further detail.

A quick hint to get higher response rates is to include a case study or some social proof demonstrating the success of other small businesses.

photo of a laptop with a pair of hands on the keyboard sending cold emails to potential clients

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here’s a list of common questions people have about cold email campaigns.

1. Does cold emailing actually work?

Yes, I did it for many years and it works but it is not the most enjoyable thing that you can do with your life.

However, here are some reasons why it does work.

  • You are reaching out directly to them via email which feels personal
  • You’ll be offering them a solution to their problems
  • There’s very little competition in the area of cold emailing
  • You’ve got a unique opportunity to build lasting relationships with these people
  • Including case studies from other small business owners just like them builds trust in your offer

2. How do you find prospects to send cold emails?

There are a number of ways you can achieve this.

  • You can buy leads from a supplier like Lime Leads
  • There’s also the option to run a paid lead-generation campaign using Facebook ads.
  • You can find your leads via LinkedIn
  • There are also quite a number of paid platforms where you can ‘scrape’ a list of leads full of local businesses.

3. How many cold emails does it take to get a client?

When you send out 100 emails, you should expect to get between 1-3 clients depending on the performance of your content as well as your target audience.

4. Is cold emailing illegal?

Yes and no. Depending on the location of the leads, sending them a cold email can be illegal so please seek professional advice before you start.

5. How do you start a prospecting email?

Be sure to have a subject line with a benefit statement. Include something relevant and relatable about the person or company that shows them that you care.

Include the pain points, why you’re qualified to help and what they need to do to get the help you’ve promised.


The idea of sending an email out to someone you don’t know can make anyone cringe.

One of the secrets to making this attractive is to think that you have a much better chance of making $10k a month compared to other methods.

The other important thing to realise is that your email recipients don’t like to be sold to but they do enjoy buying.

Your potential leads are going through many challenges and you have the answers so don’t hold back.

There are so many clever tools and platforms that you can use to make the cold emailing process a lot simpler.

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