Cold email is an excellent channel to book more meetings with decision-makers and grow your business.

However, it’s not an easy channel to master.

That’s why we’ve put this guide together. We’ve collected some of our best cold email tips that will help you to level up your outreach, without needing to spend weeks figuring it out yourself.

When you implement these, you’ll be ready to start optimizing your campaigns, scaling up, and it won't be long before you have an inbox full of replies from interested sales leads.

  1. Spend Time Building a High-Quality Prospect List

  2. Use a Cold Email Domain to Protect Your Main Business Email

  3. Keep Your Emails Short to Avoid Wasting Time

  4. Add Social Proof to Build Trust

  5. Use a Personalized Opening Line to Boost Rapport

  6. Include Attributes to Make Every Cold Email Unique

  7. Use an Auto-Warmer to Improve Deliverability

  8. Include a Smart Call-to-Action to Get More Replies

  9. Use Cold Email Software to Automate Your Outreach

  10. Include Multiple Follow-Ups to Show You’re Serious

Let’s dive in.

10 High-Impact Cold Email Tips to Level Up Your Outreach

Tip #1. Spend Time Building a High-Quality Prospect List

Before sending a single cold email, you need to build a prospect list. This is a critical part of the overall process, so don’t try and take shortcuts.

Review every prospect in your email list to ensure they’re a perfect fit for your product or service.

Ask yourself:

  • Do they match your buyer persona?

  • Will they be interested in your offer?

  • Are they the best person at the company to reach out to?

It's preferable to email fewer prospects more relevant to your business than to cast a wider net and hope people who aren't a perfect fit for your business will be interested.

Depending on your ideal customer type, you can use various tools to source high-quality prospects.

For example, if you run an agency that works with e-commerce companies using Shopify, you can use a prospecting tool like BuiltWith to search for companies using Shopify for their website.

Or, if you care about criteria like company size, revenue numbers, or the number of employees, you can use a B2B database tool like UpLead or Zoominfo.

You can export your prospects from these tools into a spreadsheet so you can start organizing your outreach.

When you have a perfectly qualified prospect list, every other cold email tip we’re going to look at matters less. You can get away with email templates that aren’t perfect because your recipient will see that your services will solve a problem or pain point they’re facing and trying to solve.

Take your time on the prospecting stage of your campaigns, because the more qualified your list is, the better your results will be.

Tip #2. Use a Cold Email Domain to Protect Your Main Business Email

Your primary inbox is a place to keep up to date with your team, email clients, and help your clients. If you start using it to send cold emails, it’ll quickly become overwhelmed. 

On top of that, there’s a chance that your cold email activity leads to ESPs thinking of your email address as spam, particularly if it hasn’t been warmed up before running outreach campaigns. If that happens, it’ll affect all of your day-to-day email activity and hurt your business.

To avoid this happening, use a cold email domain.

Cold email domains are new domains you purchase and start using to send all of your cold outreach.

You can use a domain similar to your main company email domain.

For example, instead of

Once you have your new domain, make sure to warm it up with an email warmup tool like MailFlow before using it. 

Your recipients won’t notice or mind that it’s different from your primary email, and after your initial conversation, you can switch to your primary email address if needed.

It’s a simple but essential part of your cold email setup, so don’t skip it.

Tip #3. Keep Your Emails Short to Avoid Wasting Time

The people you’re reaching out to are high-level decision-makers, business owners, or C-Level executives at the company they work for.

They’re busy and reading cold emails isn’t a priority for them.

The best way to approach this is to keep your emails short and focused on the point you want to make.

For example, don’t use a long introduction where you explain who you are and why you’re reaching out to them, or give them a long pitch about why your business is going to solve all of their problems.

Use a simple email structure that includes a few key points:

  • A personalized opening line to break the ice

  • A one-sentence description of why you’re reaching out and the pain point you can solve

  • Social proof to build trust

  • A call-to-action that makes it easy to respond

Anything else is unnecessary.

Here’s a good example of an email from RepurporseHouse:

There’s no unnecessary information, and the reason they’re reaching out is obvious. If anything, they could have used a call-to-action that was easier to respond to, rather than using a calendar link, but overall it’s a solid example of how to write a good cold email.

Tip #4. Add Social Proof to Build Trust

This cold email tip will help you generate more replies and improve your email templates.

When your prospect receives an email from you, there’s no way they can know if you’re trustworthy or can deliver on the services you’re offering.

The best way to approach this situation is by adding social proof to your email templates.

You can add social proof in a single sentence.

For example, a sentence like “We worked with [your client name] and helped generate [result]” can work well. In practice, it would look like this:

  • “I helped a [similar local business] generate 15 extra sales leads per month using targeted lead gen campaigns.”

  • “We recently worked with HubSpot and improved their landing page conversion rate by 59%.”

  • “Our agency helps our clients reduce their cost-per-lead by an average of 145%.” 

The examples you use need to be based on real results, and you could even offer to send them the full case study if they want to learn more. It’s also important to make the examples you use specific. If the examples are generic, or like they could be made up, they’ll sound less legitimate.

You can even keep it simple. For example, AppSumo’s cold email template mentions they have an audience of 850,000+ potential new customers.

If you had a product that would be a good fit to be featured on their platform, you’d immediately take note of the email.

Your social proof can be the difference between getting a response or getting ignored, as the decision-makers you’re reaching out to only care about tangible results.

Tip #5. Use a Personalized Opening Line to Boost Rapport

The vast majority of cold emails your prospects receive on a daily basis are generic templates and aren’t personalized to them. But, that’s exactly why this cold email tip is so powerful.

If you personalize your email beyond the surface level (name, company name), you’ll stand out in your recipients’ inboxes.

One of the most effective ways to personalize your emails is with a unique and personalized opening line.

This goes against the typical cold email teachings. After all, adding a completely unique opening line for every prospect isn’t something you can easily automate. It takes real effort to research every person you’re reaching out to.

But, today, it’s essential if you expect to stand out.

Your opening line can be a short sentence mentioning:

  • Recent content you noticed they published

  • Something you have in common with them

  • A compliment about a recent milestone their company hit

To automate the process of adding these to your cold emails, add each opening line next to your prospect in your prospect list.

When you write your cold emails, you can use attributes (we’ll cover attributes in the next section) to automatically add them to every email that’s sent using your cold email software.

An email template with the attribute “{{prospect.custom.Opening_Line}}” would turn into the text you have in your “Opening_Line” column of your prospect list spreadsheet.

A personalized opening line shows your prospects that you’re not sending the same message to thousands of other people with the same job title as them. 

Your prospects will see that you’ve done real research, and it’ll increase your chances of having a conversation.

Tip #6. Include Attributes to Make Every Cold Email Unique

If you get an email from a stranger, you’ll ignore them if they sent a generic email that could be sent to hundreds of other people. 

However, you'd read it if they used your name, mentioned your company, and pitched you with a highly relevant offer.

This is why attributes are so vital.

Attributes are essentially snippets of text-based code that you can add to your email templates using QuickMail.

When your emails are sent, the attributes are filled using data from your prospect spreadsheet, such as:

  • First name

  • Company name

  • Job title

You can add them to your email templates in the QuickMail editor.

This means every email you send will be unique. It shows your prospects that your email couldn’t be sent to anyone else, which helps build trust.

An extra benefit to personalization is that it can improve your email deliverability, too. Email service providers (ESPs) can see that each email is unique and be less likely to flag your emails as spam.

Tip #7. Use an Auto-Warmer to Improve Deliverability

Your cold email campaigns will only generate results if your emails land in your recipient’s primary inbox.

To ensure they do, use a cold email warm-up tool

These tools work by sending and replying to emails in a network of real inboxes. The activity signals to ESPs like Gmail and Outlook that your email activity is real, so they’ll be less likely to send your outreach campaigns to the spam folder.

For its users, QuickMail has a native integration with MailFlow, a free email warm-up tool. You can add your inbox for free to MailFlow, and instantly start warming up your cold email inbox.

Once you’re in the Auto Warmer group, you’ll see reports that show you where your emails are landing.

If you see that the majority of your emails land in the primary inbox, you know it’s safe to start sending cold emails to your prospects. 

Over time, the volume of emails sent by the MailFlow Auto Warmer can be slowly increased to avoid suspicion.

If you’re sending cold emails from multiple accounts at your agency or company, you can add as many as you need and track their deliverability performance in one place.

With a warmed-up email account, you can send cold email campaigns knowing that the vast majority of your emails will land in the primary inbox and get noticed by your prospects.

Tip #8. Include a Smart Call-to-Action to Get More Replies

Your cold email call-to-action is an important part of your email structure.

A good CTA makes it easy for prospects to start a conversation with you and will boost your reply rate.

Depending on your goal, your CTA can vary.

For example, you might want to have a 15-minute call with your prospect, or, you might be happy with knowing if they’re interested in learning more. 

Here are some options you can test, taken from our Ultimate Call To Action Swipe File For Cold Emails:

  • Is this something you’d be interested in?

  • Would you have time on {{=bday+2}} for a conversation?

  • What will it take to get 2- minutes on your calendar next week?

  • Are you open to learning more about {{prospect.custom.topic}}?

  • Is this a problem that you are facing currently?

  • Would you or a colleague like to take a closer look to explore how we can {{prospect.custom.solve-problem}} by up to X%?

As you can see, there are different levels of commitment you can ask for. Typically, an open-ended question like “Is this something you’d be interested in?” can work well because it’s easy for your recipient to reply. 

On the other hand, asking to schedule a meeting on the first email is a high commitment CTA, but it can speed up the sales process if your prospect is interested.

You can adjust your CTA throughout your email campaign if you don’t get a reply. Your prospect might not be ready for a demo call or meeting, but they may be interested in reading a case study or having a conversation over email to learn more.

Over time, you’ll learn which CTAs your buyers prefer, and you can adjust your emails accordingly.

Tip #9. Use Cold Email Software to Automate Your Outreach

Sending emails manually isn’t sustainable. This cold email tip will help you add leverage to your process to increase your sending rate and remove manual tasks from your outreach process.

Using a cold email tool like QuickMail helps you automate your outreach process and get you better results from your efforts.

A cold email tool helps you by:

  • Automatically sending emails in batches

  • Following up automatically if your prospect doesn’t follow-up

  • Brings all of your cold email metrics into one place

  • Rotating email sending across team inboxes to spread sending volume

  • Integrate with your CRM and sales tools to track your leads and sales pipeline

In QuickMail, you can build multi-step campaigns, with delays between emails to follow-up with prospects that don’t reply.

When your campaign is ready, you can import your prospects.

During the import, you can map your spreadsheet columns to attributes.

All of these can then be used in your campaign to add unique personalization to each cold email.

You can’t scale a cold email campaign without using a cold email platform.

The time you save thanks to the software will easily pay back the investment, not counting the new leads you’ll generate from your campaign.

When you’re ready to start automating your outreach, start with a free trial of QuickMail.

Tip #10. Include Multiple Follow-Ups to Show You’re Serious

Over half of replies to cold emails come from a follow-up.

One of the most powerful cold email tips we can share is to include at least one (ideally, three or more) in every campaign you send.

There’s always a chance that your email lands in a prospect’s inbox at a busy time, or they simply miss it. Once that happens, it won’t be long before your email is buried under other emails, and won’t ever be read.

By following up, you’re proving to your recipient that you care about getting their attention.

In each of your follow-up emails, add new information and remind them why you’re emailing them.

When they read your follow-up, they’ll notice that you’ve already tried to get in touch and if your product/service is relevant to their current needs, you’ll have an excellent chance of getting a reply.

You can automate your follow-ups using QuickMail. In your campaigns, you can add as many new email steps as you need, with a delay between each one. 

If your first email isn’t replied to, the subsequent follow-up emails will be sent automatically.

When you automate your follow-ups, you’ll get more replies to your cold email campaigns, and have more conversations with decision-makers.

Wrapping Up: Best Cold Email Tips

These cold email tips will help you level up your outreach. If you follow each one, you’ll have a bulletproof cold email system that will enable you to start having conversations with key decision-makers on autopilot.

Over time, you may outgrow some of these ideas, or find adjustments that work better for your own workflows – the main thing is that you find a process that works for you, and stick with it.

When you're ready to start automating your outreach, you can use QuickMail to send emails and follow-up with prospects for you automatically. It won't be long before your inbox is full of replies, and your calendar is full of meetings with interested leads.