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Your Thoughts On Cold Email Are Hurting Your Business 

Cold email is still one of the best ways of capturing new clients in 2023. Everybody uses email. Stop letting your thoughts block you from opening up a massive lead pool.
Updated August 11, 2023
Office worker standing in snow with a head in the form an old computer screen
Office worker standing in snow with a head in the form an old computer screen

As someone who’s been selling for close to 4 to 5 years now, I can personally tell you from experience that cold email is the most effective method to generate leads, close deals, and drive revenue. 

Whether you’re an SDR (Sales Development Representative) or you run your own business, you need to be consistently “feeding the beast”. This means you have to be generating leads every week.

Even if you think you’re too busy, or that you have enough business, every business has a slow season.

I don’t care who you are, every business will experience this, but if you have a list of warm leads you can call up, you’ll thank me later. Now let’s dive in.

Common Misconceptions about Cold Email

It’s illegal. This is one I could somewhat understand because of the confusion around the CAN-SPAM Act. This act was first introduced in 2003 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and has really impacted the way businesses operate. Its main objective was to protect consumers and businesses from unwanted digital messages. 

Truthfully, I’m glad this law exists because if it didn’t we would all be getting bombarded with emails that we can’t unsubscribe from every minute of the day. 

The problem is though, many people now think it’s completely illegal to email someone for commercial purposes when in fact it only provides a list of rules we all have to follow. 

Here’s a rundown of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
  3. Identify the message as an ad.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. 

As you can see, there’s absolutely nothing that says we’re not allowed to send cold emails. We just have to follow their requirements and pivot our strategy to meet those requirements. You can learn the details about each requirement here on the FTC’s website. 

You tried it, but no results. This excuse is one I have somewhat little patience with. Have you ever worked out and saw results the next day? Or ate something healthy and immediately felt better the next day? I’m a victim to this of course, but we’re all obsessed with instant gratification. If you’re cold calling and no one answers, are you giving up? No! Like everything, it takes time, energy and money! 

Did you review your copy? Your open rates? Were you landing in spam? Did you only send 50 emails? Did you ask yourself “Do people really want what I’m offering?” There are so many variables that go into a successful email campaign. If you’ve ever done door-to-door sales, the first thing they tell you is don't give up. 

Let’s break down some statistics to show you why this reason on why you’re not sending cold emails is ridiculous. According to Gartner, only 23.9% of sales emails are ever even opened and only 8.5% of cold emails are replied to. Though in my opinion, it’s more of around 4-5%, and this coming from someone who’s personally sent out hundreds of thousands of cold emails. 

Assume you manually sent out 100 cold emails, and you have an open rate of 23.9% and a 8.5% reply rate. 

  • This means 23.9 people opened your emails. 
  • Now, 8.5% of those people will reply to your email. That’s 2.0315. Let’s call it two people. Two people should have replied to you. 

Those two people who should have replied to you most likely told you to leave them

alone…which is normal! 

Do you see what I’m getting at? You need more at batts, more opportunities, more chances to get your message across my eyeballs. The more people that see what you have to offer, the better chance you have. It’s all a numbers game. The more resumes you send out, the higher your chances of finding that perfect job. It’s all the same. 

You think you’ll annoy the person on the other end. This one for me is like the first one. I understand it, but let me try to convince you otherwise. Have you ever seen an ad online and thought to yourself that you could use the product or service? Maybe you thought it could save you time or even money? Well as salespeople, that is exactly how we have to make the person on the other end feel. Do you think that everyone who saw the same ad as you purchased it as well? No! Of course not. They’re showing that advertisement to hundreds of thousands of people who they think would be interested, but they also understand that it’s a tiny percentage of those who will actually purchase. 

We have to do the same thing with cold email. Platforms like Amazon, Meta, and all of these companies have data on individuals who they think will most likely purchase their products. This is known as segmentation. As cold emailers, we have to segment our lists of contacts who we’re looking to send an email to. 

  • Selling a SaaS for lawyers? Why email a dentist?
  • Selling real estate? Why target people under 21? 

You have to be respectful of people’s space. In your email you should acknowledge that they’re the persona you’re writing to, offer value, and constantly ask yourself what you would think or if you’d reply if you personally received the email you’re about to send to that other person. 

Be respectful, only email those who you think would benefit from your product or service and of course be thoughtful. That person isn’t just a piece of data on a google sheet or in a CRM, they’re also a human being and remember no one wants to be sold to. So tell them why you’d need what you’re selling.

The Reality of Cold Emailing Today

Cold email is now a skill. It’s not like cold calling where you just dial a phone number and speak to someone, or a networking event where you solely have to speak to someone else in person. 

To properly have a cold email system that consistently generates leads you now have to have technical experience, deep knowledge of your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile), and patience to generate lead yielding campaigns. 

You have to have knowledge on the tools needed to send out emails at scale, personalize every single one of the emails so no two emails are the same, and stay out of the spam folder. 

The good news is that once you have the knowledge you can literally start generating leads, partnerships, brand deals, etc. consistently . You can go from having no leads to 5-6 the next day if done properly. It can change your life like how it did for me. 

Success Stories

I’ll share some examples of successful stories that have come from cold email. These are from

  • Allie Janoch was able to raise $2.5M for her startup known as Mapistry.
  • Dhruv Ghulati received a $500,000 check from Mark Cuban for his company Factmata.

These are only two, but the stories and case studies are endless. Whether it’s for lead gen or investments, cold email works. 

So, what’s next? 

Getting past the mindset that cold emails are not good for your business is just the first step. You now need to dive into the ins and outs of all things cold email. 

Be sure to read this next article to start your journey!

Cold Email Mastery: Tips and Tricks for Coaches to Attract Their Ideal Clients

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Written by Jonathan Garces
Jonathan is a digital marketing expert. After sending hundreds of thousands of emails, Jonathan cracked the code on what gets somebody to reply – authenticity & transparency. Jonathan writes about his emailing experiences and has quickly became the go-to guy for learning about how to connect with your target audience.
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