You’re trying to reach a specific type of individual. They could be a potential client, a future hire, or someone else entirely. Essentially, you’ve got two options:

  1. Build an inbound marketing campaign and hope that the right person comes to you

  2. Find the perfect prospects yourself and reach out to them directly

At QuickMail, we firmly believe that option #2 — the cold outreach approach — is a more consistent, effective, and scalable way to achieve your business goals. And we know what we’re talking about because we’ve seen clients boost their monthly recurring revenue by $347,000+ and achieve 42% reply rates from senior decision-makers.

Want to leverage cold outreach to smash your growth targets? You’re in the right place. In this article, we’re going to share everything you need to know to be successful with cold outreach in 2024.

Let’s get into it…

Types of Cold Outreach

In our experience, these are the four most common reasons to build your own cold outreach campaigns:

1. Lead Generation and Business Development 

Cold outreach helps sales teams reach new prospects (and turn those prospects into hot leads).

So it’s no surprise that phone calls, email, and social media — all essential elements of a multichannel cold outreach campaign — are rated as three of the six most effective sales channels…

sales channels chart image

…while 62% of reps say they primarily sell via email.

2. Recruiting 

In an ideal world, every time you posted a job ad, you’d receive dozens of responses from highly qualified candidates desperate to join your team.

But in reality, much of the best talent is passive. They won’t go out of their way to apply for your vacant role, so you need to find some other way to connect with and engage them. And that’s where cold outreach comes in.

LinkedIn is the cold outreach channel of choice for many recruiters, with 4.9+ million talent professionals actively using it.

recruiting campaigns

But cold email also has a key role to play in building scalable cold outreach recruiting campaigns.

3. Event Promotion

“If you build it, they will come.”

Unfortunately, as any event marketer will tell you, that’s rarely true when it comes to promoting a physical or virtual event. If you don’t leverage marketing channels to get the word out, you’re far less likely to hit your attendance goals.

Cold outreach is clearly a key strategy for many brands, given that 39% of event marketers say “event promotion and email marketing tools” make the greatest contribution to achieving event success.

Event Promotion data

4. Link-Building

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a key traffic source for many brands. And one of the most important SEO tactics is link-building — AKA encouraging authoritative third-party websites to link to your content.

There are various ways to build backlinks, from creating guest posts to exchanging links to helping reporters with their articles.

Link-Building Tactics

Many of those methods rely on cold outreach to get you in front of the right people, share your expertise, and persuade them that your site is worth linking to.

Learn more: 6 Backlink Outreach Templates That Get Replies 

7 Steps To Cold Outreach Success

As we know, there are lots of reasons why you might want to run a cold outreach campaign. But whatever your objective, the route to success remains more-or-less the same. 

Here’s our tried-and-trusted seven-step process to smash your cold outreach goals:

1. Clearly Define Your Target Audience

Before you start thinking about specific outreach channels or crafting persuasive promotional copy, you need to understand who you’re targeting.

Sales teams typically refer to this as their ideal customer profile (ICP) — the perfect buyer or company for your business, based on factors like the price of your product or service and the pain points it resolves.

But even if your goal isn’t related to selling a product or service, defining your specific target audience is still an essential step toward running successful cold outreach campaigns, helping you to:

  • Build better prospect lists

  • Write cold outreach messages that feel personalized (even when sent at scale)

  • Improve essential outreach metrics like open rates, reply rates, and conversion rates

The simplest way to define your target audience is to think about the type of person or company who’s most likely to “convert” (whether that means buying your product, applying for a job, agreeing to your guest posting request, or attending your event).

What’s their current job? Where are they located? How old are they? How much money do they make? Where do they “hang out” online? And what would persuade them to take you up on your offer?

2. Create a Compelling Offer

Speaking of offers…

Almost 10 billion emails are sent every day in the US alone, which adds up to a whole lot of noise in your prospects’ inboxes.

Compelling Offer chart

If you don’t craft a compelling pitch that makes them want to learn more about whatever you’re offering, you can forget about generating a bunch of replies and conversions. More likely, they won’t even bother opening your cold outreach message in the first place.

Clearly, we can’t tell you exactly what your offer should look like — that’ll depend on what you do and who you’re targeting. But we can tell you that it should:

  • Start with a compelling hook, like a surprising statistic or a question that makes them think about your proposition. For example, a recruiter hiring for a nurse practitioner vacancy could say: “Did you know nurse practitioners have the highest job satisfaction of any profession in the US?”

  • Explain the problem you want to solve for the prospect. For example, a link-builder might say: “I noticed your roundup of email marketing statistics contained some out-of-date stats, so why not use some of that data in our latest report and link to us instead?”

  • Add social proof through reviews, case studies, testimonials, and statistics. For example, an event marketer could say: “Our 2023 event attracted some of the biggest names in your industry, with 15,000 people attending across three days.”

  • Include a clear call to action that tells your prospect what to do next. For example, a sales rep might say: “To learn more about our product, use my calendar link to book a 15-minute demo.”

3. Nail Your Copywriting

Now that you’ve built an attractive offer that speaks to your prospects’ needs, it’s time to communicate it effectively through some high-quality copywriting.

If you’re not a natural writer, relax — no one’s expecting the next Don Quixote. Follow these simple rules to craft engaging, persuasive copy time after time:

Copywriting best practiceDon’t say…Do say…
Get rid of wasted wordsWould you be interested in arranging a demo call to learn more?Book a demo call to learn more
Keep it personalTo whom it may concern…Hi {first name}...
Explain what you can do for your target audienceThousands of people come to our eventsOur events give you the chance to network with peers and decision-makers in your industry
Don’t exaggerateWe guarantee to find you a job that doubles your salaryWe’ve helped thousands of people like you make their next career move
Avoid “marketing talk”Supercharge your sales growthSell more by increasing your cold email deliverability
Write scannable copyI’ve got lots of guest post ideas that would work for your site, like “How to build more backlinks”, “Best practices for cold outreach”, and “5 tips to avoid the spam folder”What do you think of these topics? - How to build more backlinks - Best practices for cold outreach - 5 tips to avoid the spam folder

Learn more: Cold Email Copywriting: 8 Tips, Best Practices & Mistakes 

4. Build a Solid Technical Setup

High-performing cold outreach campaigns are built on solid technical foundations. So before you send your first email, take the time to:

  • Create a new email domain and account for sending cold emails. For instance, if your regular domain is, set up a new one like @usepiedpiper or @getpiedpiper. That way, if you do get reported as spam, it won’t affect your main domain.

  • Use an email warm-up tool to automatically “warm up” your new email account. This is one of the most important elements of boosting email deliverability, which is why all QuickMail plans include free access to MailFlow, one of the top warm-up tools.

  • Pick an email service provider to maximize your deliverability (more on this in the next section). We recommend choosing Google plus a tool like QuickMail that sends via the Gmail API.

  • Set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for email authentication to protect your cold outreach campaigns from phishing, email spoofing, and spam.

Learn more: SPF, DKIM, DMARC: How Email Authentication Aids Email Deliverability 

5. Focus on Deliverability

You’ve crafted the world’s most compelling offer and flexed your copywriting muscles to ensure it cuts through the noise. Unfortunately, all that hard work will count for nothing if your emails bounce or land in the spam folder.

That’s why you need to prioritize your cold email deliverability.

Each time one of your emails doesn’t get delivered, you’ve missed out on a potential conversion. 

But it’s more serious than that. Google’s email sender guidelines call for outreach pros to maintain a spam rate of <0.3% — and, if you fail, you could be blocked from sending emails to any personal Gmail accounts. To put that in context, if you sent 1,000 cold emails and three ended up in spam, you’d already have hit your limit. Eeek.

Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can follow to improve your email deliverability:

  • Personalize every cold email you send. Sure, it takes more work than sending a single, generic email to thousands of prospects. But it’ll massively improve your engagement metrics, which will help your deliverability.

  • Vary your email sending times so your outreach activity looks more natural. In other words, don’t send 50 emails at 9 am every day.

  • Add an unsubscribe link to your email body, signature, or header. That way, if a prospect doesn’t want to hear from you again, they can simply unsubscribe rather than marking you as “spam”.

Email with Unsubscribe above

Learn more: Ultimate Guide to Cold Email Deliverability 

Leverage the Right Channels

When we use the phrase “cold outreach”, you probably think of email. That’s hardly surprising, given that 80% of buyers say they’d rather be contacted by email than any other channel.

Cold outreach charts of different channels

Still, email isn’t the only way to reach prospects, and it never pays to be 100% reliant on a single-channel strategy. What’s more, we’ve found that leveraging multiple channels in your cold outreach mix can boost your reply and conversion rates.

That’s why QuickMail makes it easy to add phone calls and LinkedIn connection steps, so you can target prospects through different channels in the same campaign. Smart stuff!

Learn more: Ultimate Guide to Creating a Multi-Channel Outreach Strategy 

Choose a Tool for Reply Management and Reporting

Don’t expect to run successful cold outreach campaigns from your regular email inbox.

Instead, you need to invest in dedicated outreach software. Not only will it help you maintain higher email deliverability, but it’ll save you a ton of time on:

  • Managing replies from prospects

  • Analyzing campaign data to understand what works best

With QuickMail, you get a centralized inbox that detects messages from prospects — even if they reply in a new thread. And we use AI to detect the sentiment behind a reply, ensuring you prioritize the most positive responses.

What’s more, our advanced analytics give you an insight into all the most important cold outreach metrics:

  • Opens

  • Clicks

  • Replies

  • Positive and negative replies

  • Bounces

  • Unsubscribes

advanced analytics

All of which gives you a far more accurate picture of your actual email deliverability than any other outreach solution.

Learn more: Why We’re All Wrong About Open Rates

Improve Your Cold Outreach Results With QuickMail

As you can see, successful cold outreach campaigns contain a lot of moving parts, which can make the whole process feel pretty overwhelming.

But you can save yourself a lot of time, money, and headaches by choosing QuickMail as your cold outreach software.

Whether you’re in sales, recruitment, event marketing, link-building, or any other profession that needs to reach prospects at scale, we give you the tools to:

  • Hit more inboxes

  • Boost replies through personalization

  • Run A-Z tests to understand what works best for your audience

  • Scale your outreach by automating your campaigns and adding new email addresses

  • Keep on top of your email deliverability through our advanced analytics

See for yourself by signing up for your 14-day free trial today!