What Is A Cold Email?

Published by Jon on September 6, 2022
Last Updated: September 6, 2022 | Reading Time: 5 minutes

Cold email is the process of sending a personalized email to your ideal prospect or target audience. Whether you’re looking for an internship, a mentor, selling a B2B service, or reaching out to have guests on your podcasts - cold email is for all of this and more. 

How do you get started with cold email?

First you have to identify who exactly you’re looking for in a cold email. Are you a podcast looking to have business owners as guests? Are you selling web design services? Are you looking for a mentor as you build your startup? Are you looking for potential investors?

You have to identify exactly who you are going to email as the approach we are going to discuss in this article is very hyper focused on quality vs quantity and actually getting your emails opened and replied to. 

For the sake of time let’s assume you’re a web design agency and you’re specifically designing websites for attorneys. You’re going to want to create a sheet which can either be in Google, or excel and have a list of 100-200 attorneys. In this sheet, you’re going to want a column for each of the following items: First Name, Last Name, Email, LinkedIn, Website.  

You're then going to want to fill out that information with all of the attorneys you’d like to work with to offer your services. 

You have your list, now what?

The 100 to 200 people you just put down on that sheet get emailed 100 times a day from others just like yourself. How will you stand out? What makes them open your email? Why would they take time out of their busy day to read your email? The answer is personalization. Write something in the email that jumps out at them. When reading the email, they need to feel like that email was specifically written for them and no one else. 

Did they write something on LinkedIn? On their website, did they recently win an award? Did they write a blog recently? These are questions to ask yourself about what piece of information you can include in your email to make it stand out from the hundreds of others. At most, this personal piece of information should be 1 to 2 sentences max - this is called the first line. 

The format of your cold email should be similar to the format below: 

{First Name}, {First Line}. 

{Your Offer}

{Your CTA}

{Signature}

The format above is what your email should look like. Now once you get the hang of it, go to the sheet where you have your prospect list and create a header titled “First Line”. For each person, you can go ahead and write a simple first line in the row for that person under that column. You’ll see why we do this later on..trust me it’s easier this way!

This is how you will send your emails

I know you’re excited to just jump in and send those emails but wait! Let me explain why this is a horrible idea. Let’s say your business domain is marketing.com - this is the email you use to send clients their invoices and communicate with them so it’s very important to not mess up the email.

But let’s think this through - you’re about to send emails to people who have no idea who you are. People have bad days, bad weeks, or really just despise cold emails! Who knows why, but they do. With this in mind, there’s a chance they mark your email as “Spam”, which is the worst thing someone can do to your emails. 

Let’s say if 100 people get your email, and 20% of those people clicked “Unsubscribe” - that’s a high percentage of people who hated your email and now Google knows! Which means, Google will reduce your deliverability which means less people will see your email. Is this starting to make sense as to why you wouldn’t want to use your main domain? 

The key here is to send emails from a different domain like marketing.net, or marketing.io - these domains are completely different from your main domain which leaves your main domain protected. 

You’ve now bought your new domains

Let’s assume you bought 3 new domains to send cold emails from to your prospects. I recommend using Google domains to purchase these domains as they already come with 2 out of 3 records we recommend and it’s Google. The biggest search engine out there. 

Once you have your domains, you’re going to need to set up something called DMARC. Follow these instructions to learn exactly how to do that. This is a great resource for setting this up. 

You have DMARC set up, now you’re pretty much ready to send some cold emails! 

The software you need

The software we recommend is Apollo, and Instantly. In this article I won’t go too much into detail for using these softwares, but keep an eye out for future articles as I will go into depth later on. Apollo is where you will be downloading your leads and Instantly is the software you will use to send these leads and where you will connect your new gmail accounts. 

Instantly cold email software
Apollo lead generation software

Getting started with Instantly 

When you first log into Instantly you will see instructions on how to set up your account. 

Follow these instructions given and you’ll be setup with their software and ready to send out cold emails!

Warm up your domain

You can not blast out 20,000 emails day 1 because Google will know you’re literally spamming your users. I recommend starting off with 3 a day, and yes I said 3! Slowly ramp up every two days but never send more than 50 emails per day per domain. 

You’re now ready to send emails and receive replies!

Cold email is all about tweaking and learning what works and what doesn’t. Remember, you’re emailing another person at the end of that email! 

Good luck and keep an eye out for other articles we write!

Written by Jon
Jonathan is the co-founder of Gold Penguin, a web design and marketing agency that helps businesses achieve their online goals. Jonathan has a passion for Sales and driving businesses more revenue through revenue-driving actions.

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