Cold email is an excellent channel for your lead generation needs.

You get to start conversations with the founders and CEOs of companies you want as your clients without needing to spend money on advertising or having to go through multiple gatekeepers before you reach the real decision-maker.

In this article, I’m going to walk you through the benefits of using cold email, best practices to follow in your cold email lead generation, and show you how to start reaching out to your leads today.

  1. Why Does Cold Email Work for Lead Generation?

  2. Why Use Email for Lead Generation?

  3. Best Practices to Generate Leads with Cold Email

  4. Using QuickMail for Your Email Lead Generation Needs

Let’s dive in.

Why Does Cold Email Work for Lead Generation?

Email remains one of the best channels to start conversations with your future customers – if you know how to approach it.

You can reach out with a personalized cold email to anyone with an email address and start a one-to-one conversation without any gatekeepers or algorithms getting in the way.

Next, we’ll look at some of the unique benefits cold email offers for lead generation over other channels you might be considering.

Why Use Email for Lead Generation?

1. Highly Personalized for Every Sales Lead

If you’re running targeted advertising campaigns or sharing content on your Twitter timeline, it’s going to get eyes on your business. However, you don’t have complete control over who sees this, and there’s no guarantee that your ideal customers are in the audience.

Cold email is one of the few channels that gives you full control over who sees your message, and full control over the contents of your message.

You can build a list of people you want to contact, write out 100% personalized emails, then send them directly to the inbox they’re checking throughout the day.

2. Cost-Effective and Potential for Huge ROI

Cold email is an affordable way to engage with new leads.

All you need is:

With those three ingredients, you can start sending personalized cold emails. Over time, you can add new tools to help you optimize your workflow, but it’s a fundamentally cheap and simple platform to get started with.

Plus, because your cold email campaigns will be targeted at only perfect-fit prospects, you’ll see a high cold email reply rate and be able to generate solid ROI if your campaigns follow cold email best practices

Compare this to a channel like paid advertising where you have to pay a potentially huge sum to get in front of high-level decision-makers, and it’s clear why cold email is a better choice for companies that want an effective channel to acquire new customers.

3. Differentiate from the Competition

Good cold emails are hard to do well, which is why lots of business owners avoid them. But, once you crack the formula you can get predictable results and generate a 10-20% reply rate in every campaign.

Your competitors who aren’t using cold email won’t have this direct line of communication with their leads like you do, so it’s an excellent way to build a strong relationship with each prospect and show them why you’re the one they should be talking to and not the competition.

Best Practices to Generate Leads with Cold Email

If you want to get results, you need to create a process that works.

Here are the best practices to follow to give your email lead generation campaigns the highest chance of success.

1. Keep Your Prospect List Small

The first way to improve your campaigns is to keep your prospect list focused on one segment of your market.

For example, if your company has two or three types of an ideal customer, only focus on one of those segments per campaign.

Keeping your prospect list small encourages you to focus on the quality of your outreach, rather than just trying to contact the most people you can. In general, under 1,000 is acceptable but even then, it’s a large list if you want to personalize each one.

You can personalize each cold email to the recipient and test different email templates and value propositions to help you understand what’s going to work.

Once you’ve got a setup that’s working you can start to expand your prospect list.

2. Go Beyond Basic Personalization

Every cold emailer is including their prospect’s first name or mentioning a company name in their email templates.

To stand out, you need to go the extra mile.

The best way to personalize your emails to give them the best shot at engaging your leads is to use a personalized cold email opening line.

This will be the first thing your recipient sees in your email.

For example:

  • Awesome work raising {{}}’s new round of funding.

  • Loved the new podcast you released with [guest] on [topic].

  • Saw that you’re hiring four new SDRs - looks like {{}} is growing fast.

The idea behind this is that it’s impossible to fake personalization to this level, and that’s always going to be obvious to your recipient. If it comes down to a decision-maker choosing between you and a competitor, and you’re the one who proved from the get-go that you’ve done your research into them, you’ll have the upper hand.

This process can be partly automated using something like an AI email writer, but we’d recommend creating your personalized email template manually rather than relying on software as it’ll make your opening lines more unique.

3. Show Social Proof

When someone receives a cold email from you it could be the first time they’ve ever seen your name or your company name.

You might even be reaching out to solve a problem they weren’t even aware they had.

The best way to solve these barriers to getting a positive response is to show social proof.

Your social proof could be:

  • Name dropping well-known clients you work with

  • Showing the results you’ve generated for a client

  • Highlighting a mutual connection between you and your prospect

4. Demonstrate What’s In It For The Recipient

The best way to get a reply to your cold email outreach is by showing your lead that there’s something in it for them.

Depending on your product or service, this could mean:

  • Showing the number of leads you can generate for them

  • Highlighting how many new visitors your SEO agency can bring for them

  • Sharing an example of how much ROI your paid ad campaigns have generated

When someone sees your email they need to immediately understand the benefit of having a conversation with you.

If the pain point you’re talking about is something they’ve been thinking about solving, then there’s a high chance your lead will reply.

5. Use a Simple Call to Action

Your cold email needs to be easy to reply to if it’s going to help you generate new leads.

That’s why your call-to-action (CTA) is a critical ingredient in any successful campaign.

Your CTA needs to be something that lets your recipient reply without needing to spend too much thinking or talking with their team first.

Here are some examples of cold email CTAs that work:

  • Are you considering solving [pain point] in the next few months?

  • Does that sound like something worth talking about?

  • Sounds interesting?

These look simple at first glance, but that’s because they are. Getting a reply is always the most challenging part of any cold outreach campaign, so having CTAs that are easy to respond to is critical.

7. Always Follow-Up If You Don’t Receive a Response

One of the main challenges cold email lead generation campaigns face is that your prospects are busy people. That means even if your cold email followed all of the best practices and tips we’ve looked at, there’s still no guarantee that you’ll get a reply.

The best way to counter this is by sending a follow-up email.

Our data from over 65 million emails sent using QuickMail shows that 55% of replies to cold email lead generation campaigns come from a follow-up.

If you use a cold email platform it’s easy to do this automatically. In QuickMail, you’ll add a new ‘Wait’ step in your campaign. Then, you’ll choose the delay you want – three to five days is usually enough between emails. After that, add a new ‘Email’ step and write out your follow-up template.

The email will automatically be sent and remind your prospect that you’re reaching out to them, giving you the best chance of getting a reply from your leads. 

Using QuickMail for Your Email Lead Generation Needs

QuickMail’s cold email platform is the best way to send cold outreach. 

Here’s why:

1. Send Personalized Emails That Get Replies

QuickMail can help you generate leads through email because it’s made for personalization. You can send emails that are personalized with attributes like your prospect’s first name, their company, and even full custom sentences that show you’ve done your research.

But, you don’t need to spend hours writing out each email manually – you can use QuickMail’s attributes to add these to your template and your emails will be automatically personalized as they are sent to each recipient.

2. Let Your Whole Outreach Team Collaborate

Most cold email platforms are made for individuals. This is fine until you start to get results and want to scale your campaigns. If you’re serious about cold email, you’re going to end up needing to involve multiple team members or working with freelancers to help manage the campaigns.

QuickMail is made for teams. You can add as many team members as you need to the platform and you only pay for inboxes used for sending emails.

You can even use inbox rotation to send a campaign across multiple inboxes – this will spread your email sending volume out across your team’s inboxes and ensure ESPs don’t flag any individual inbox for sending too many emails.


You’ll never encounter problems when you scale your campaigns and won’t waste time needing to build custom solutions in-house.

3. Native Integration With Deliverability Tools That Get Your Emails to the Primary Inbox

A major challenge to cold email success is deliverability. If your emails don’t land in the primary inbox, they won’t get read.

QuickMail offers a native integration with a deliverability tool, MailFlow, that ensures every email goes to the primary inbox.

You can use MailFlow as a free email warmup tool and it generates real engagement for your account. If you start your cold email with a fresh domain name, this is the best way to prove to email service providers that you’re a trustworthy sender.

As well as that, MailFlow has regular deliverability reports that show you how the major ESPs are treating your emails. If they’re all landing in the main inbox, you’re safe – but if you notice a problem, you’ll be able to resolve it before it affects your results.

Wrapping Up

Cold email is one of the best channels for your lead generation needs.

You can run campaigns focused on starting conversations with leads who are perfect for your product or service and reach out with a completely personalized email.

Once you’ve found a process that works and generates replies and results, you can start to scale up your process and use cold email as one of your main sources of new leads.

Following the best practices we’ve laid out here is going to get you started. When you’ve started to see results, you can run your own experiments to optimize your campaigns and get the best results for your business.

When you’re ready to start generating leads with cold email, you can start your free trial of QuickMail.