The secret to cold email success isn’t necessarily what you think. Sure, you’ve crafted a brilliant, elegantly-worded email that you can’t wait to send out – but who exactly are you sending it to? If you don’t get your email in front of the right people, it will fall flat right out of the gate, no matter how great an offer you’re making on your products or services. For the right people to read and respond to your email, you need to build an A-list of recipients who are hot and ready to buy what you’re selling. The right list makes things easier so you’re not swimming upstream while trying to get your message out. In fact, a great list can make all the difference between getting new sales and staying stagnant in the market. Let’s take a closer look at this idea of creating a stellar list, who should be on it, and how you can leverage it to grow sales for your business. 

What are Hot Leads?

Hot leads are people who are excited about what your company has to offer. They are eager and prepared to engage with your business. Based on the content of your email they may be ready to roll with whatever offer you have, or they may want to partner together in other ways, all because they read your message and you made yourself known to them. A hot lead is primed for action, as opposed to someone who is neutral about your business or needs to think an offer over. When a lead is hot for your business, their enthusiasm can easily translate into sales for your company. 

Hot Leads Sound Great – But How Do I Find Them? 

There are plenty of ways to find hot leads and build your list. Your list can stem from many different sources, some of which are better than others. For example, you can buy use a list database, but you may not find the most qualified leads there. 

Finding hot leads happens in two main ways: through events or through attributes. Let’s break each one down in more detail to understand what this looks like for your business:


The best way to find a hot lead is to locate someone who has a problem that needs fixing. If you send them an email demonstrating how your business can solve that very problem, they’re likely to want to hear more about how you can help them. Their problem or situation is known as an event. Types of events could include companies who:

  • Need to staff up with new people
  • Has suffered a loss (an outage or downtime on their system, a PR disaster, poor reviews, etc.)
  • Just launched a new product or campaign


Another way to find hot leads is to look for companies that match the characteristics that you’re looking for in future clients. When a company has the right attributes that you’re looking for it’s easier to create an enticing email that makes them excited to work with your business. Some examples of a company’s attributes could be their:

  • Size/Number of Employees
  • Location
  • Revenue
  • Current technology tools
  • Years in business / anniversary

Ideally, you can locate companies with the right attributes who have also had a recent event that you can help them with. The more boxes a lead checks, the better success you’ll have when you send your email.

How to Make a Hot List

A hot list is an indispensable tool for tracking your leads. Crafting a hot list isn’t difficult, it just takes a little research and savviness on your part.  Take the collection of leads you’ve found and get crafty. Start with your current customers, followed by new prospects, and make a spreadsheet. Listing your leads in each row, assign a column to each attribute or event. 

Check a box if your lead hits on an event, like if they just got funded or recently hired people, while also assessing their attributes, like what tools they’re currently using or what industry they are in. This is now your A-list will that will serve as a vehicle for tracking your leads and assessing new ones that you find. 

Finding the Right Events and Attributes 

Make your list as hot as your leads by stacking it with attributes and events that align with your business that you’ve found through some simple research. Some ideas that could work for your business are:

  • Get online and look at sites like to see who is currently hiring and who would need your services. 
  • Look for businesses who just got funding and may be ready to purchase your product or service – that information is available on 
  • Use Google alerts to let you know when relevant companies have events that are meaningful to your business. 

Compile all your information in your handy new spreadsheet, and voila! – you’ve got a list of red-hot leads that are waiting for your emails. 

What now?

What happens next is what’s referred to as go time! You’ve got your leads, you’ve got an awesome email that is sure to garner great reactions from your recipients, and now it’s time to hit ‘send.’ When you send a cold email to a hot lead, the results are way more likely to end in prosperity for your business than if you send them to just anybody. When you get your business, your products, and your services in front of the right sets of eyes, great things can happen.  Quality always beats quantity.

For many businesses, finding hot leads is the backbone of their sales plan. When you can’t get your product in front of customers with purchasing power, your business can’t reach its full sales potential. Generating leads – not just any leads, but hot ones, is the make or break difference between finding new clients, growing your business, and ultimately driving sales to increase revenue.