Cold Email · · 4 min read

Cold Calls vs Cold Emails: Which is More Effective?

You might wonder which is better in battle— cold calls vs cold emails. The truth is, there are advantages and challenges for each. Which will you choose?

cold call vs cold email

Every business tries to find the best way to market their products and services. All face the same question—how do you connect with potential clients? That's where it gets tricky; the answer varies depending on your industry, business makeup, and the audience that you’re targeting. There are, however, two methods that have been present in almost all industries since their conception. Cold calling and cold emailing. So, which is best?

When many people think of cold calling, they think of the bygone era. A time when salespeople would work through the phonebook ringing people to tout their wares. It was intrusive and a task completed at scale, but it was a direct and personal connection. Cold emailing is different. It is also completed at scale, but often without that personal connection. Emails are sent en masse to anyone on a list.

In this article, we continue the debate by giving a balanced view of both sides.

  • Do cold calling and cold emailing offer similar benefits?
  • What challenges might a business face when using either method?
  • Are there considerations to bear in mind when deciding between the two?

Cold Calling: The Basics

When a cold call is conducted, a salesperson will call a potential customer or client on the phone. This recipient is someone who has had zero prior contact with the business. The conversation aims to introduce a potential buyer to a business’s product or services. The best cold-calling campaigns will have purposefully selected recipients. They're selected because they match the ideal audience for the business.

Cold calling was part of almost every sales department worldwide for decades. That was before digital marketing became standard. Calling someone on the phone was the primary way of connecting. You’d find businesses investing huge amounts of money into training their team. The team would learn how to nail their sales pitches. They’d be trained on how to handle objections the moment they appeared. Plus, salespeople would be taught how to be approachable and build rapport right off the bat.

This method of outreach isn’t for the fainthearted. It is a test of a salesperson’s mettle. They need to show just how adaptable and resilient they can be. That then needs to be combined with a natural ability to foster genuine connections with the strangers they speak with.

Cold Emailing: The Basics

what is cold emailing

The obvious difference between cold emailing and cold calling is the medium. Rather than ringing a recipient, you send an unsolicited email instead. Cold emailing has been part of businesses' sales strategies since its creation. It provides a platform that facilitates outreach at scales previously unimaginable.

Cold calls require quick thinking and adaptability on the fly. Cold emails, on the other hand, allow for a more calculated and planned approach. Teams can spend hours planning an email campaign, testing it, changing it, and perfecting it before finally deciding to hit the send button.

Email techniques have evolved and become more sophisticated over time. Specialist tools exist that allow teams to benefit from automation and personalization techniques. These allow for sales communication at an unprecedented scale. Communication is delivered effectively and efficiently.

Businesses, however, need to spend time perfecting and honing their sales email strategies and content. Inboxes are overflowing with cold emails. The key is to make yours stand out from the crowd.

Advantages of Cold Calling vs Cold Emailing

Cold Calling

Cold Emailing

Personal touch: Immediate rapport-building.

Scalability: Reach a large audience quickly.

Instant feedback: Real-time answers and objections.

Trackability: Measure open rates, click-throughs, and responses.

Potential for deeper engagement: Understand prospects' needs in detail.

Less intrusive: Recipients engage on their own time.

Both cold calling and cold emailing have their strengths. If you’re looking to build an immediate connection with a particular person, then cold calling might be the best option for you. You can gauge their interest immediately without waiting for a reply to arrive. Plus, if someone tries to object, you can help them overcome those objections immediately.

Cold emailing allows you to reach huge numbers of people in an incredibly short amount of time. Combine that with a personalized message based on audience segmentation, and you have a powerhouse of cold outreach.

Challenges of Cold Calling vs Cold Emailing

Cold Calling

Cold Emailing

Resistance from prospects: Often perceived as intrusive.

High competition: Inboxes are often flooded with unsolicited emails.

Requires skilled callers: Effective cold calling needs training and experience.

Spam filters: Risk of emails being automatically filtered out.

Time-consuming: Calls often take longer and may not always lead to fruitful discussions.

Crafting compelling content: Requires effort to stand out and engage the recipient.

Cold calls aren’t often welcomed by the recipient. You often find that people say the same about cold emails, but cold calls are considerably more intrusive. Each call needs to be delivered with skill and the appropriate candor. Otherwise, the opportunity is wasted.

Cold email does avoid some of the training required but replaces it with the need for high-quality, engaging content that gets a response from the recipient.

Combining Cold Calling and Cold Emailing

Both cold calling and cold emailing present unique challenges and opportunities, so it’d be foolish to rule one out in place of the other. You might favor one more than the other, and there’s no issue with that. The most successful businesses will use each to build on the strengths of the other.

You could start a campaign with a cold email so that the recipient has at least heard about your brand. This could then be followed up with a combination of further emails and a call. Initial interest via an email can be cemented with a personal conversation over the phone.

By using both strategies, you create a more rounded, holistic approach to sales. At that point, you’re combining scalability with personalization. That provides you with the best possible chance at conversion.

Key Takeaways

In the debate, cold calls vs cold emails, there shouldn’t be a clear winner for you. You shouldn’t be making a distinct choice. Instead, you should be spending time getting to know your audience and creating a strategy that best speaks to them through both mediums.

  • Leverage both cold calls and cold emails so you can benefit from the strengths of both.
  • Building a multifaceted approach to your sales outreach is the best option.
  • When using either method, personalization is key.

We mentioned that cold emailing has evolved through the use of sophisticated email marketing tools. That’s precisely what Instantly is. A tool that allows your business to deliver cold email campaigns at the highest level. Get started with it today.

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