With the right cold email outreach strategy, closing sales or landing new clients happen like clockwork. It’s arguably one of the fastest ways to scale your business. 

But, a lot of businesses that try cold email fail. Cold email isn’t just about the copy. There are steps you should never skip before starting your first outreach campaign. 

Setting up can get technical. What email provider are you going to use? Do you know how to set up DNS authentication? How about domain forwarding and email warmups? 

Email copies should pass through spintax to avoid spam folders. You must personalize them to improve reply rates. And we’re just getting started! By the end of this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Cold email outreach non-negotiables 
  • Examples of great cold email outreach strategies
  • Best email copy for cold outreach
  • Cold email outreach best practices

Cold Email Outreach Non-Negotiables

You might think you're already legit since you have an “@businessname” domain. The truth is nobody cares. You will hurt your domain reputation if you jump straight into cold emails. 

So, to keep our domains protected and deliverability rates high, we need to go through these cold email outreach non-negotiables: 

Set Up Email Authentication

Email providers have algorithms and protocols in place to protect users. If they think an email isn’t trustworthy, it goes straight to spam. That’s where email authentication comes in. 

There are four main authentications—MX, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. SPF authenticates domain ownership, which we need for DKIM and DMARC. 

DKIM authenticates your emails through a digital signature. DMARC allows domain owners to set up how email providers should receive unauthorized or unauthenticated emails.

Getting Alternate/Secondary Sending Domains and Forwarding

Cold email comes with risk at the expense of your domain. When enough email providers view your domain as a spam sender, there’s a high chance you get blacklisted. 

We protect our main business domain with alternate domains. These will be our sending domains when doing cold email campaigns. For example, “justbibs.com” could have an alternate domain, like “trybibs.com or bestbibs.com.”

Each domain can set up 3-5 sending accounts (email inboxes), which can send 30-50 emails daily. This essentially allows you to scale sending volume while protecting your main domain.

But when prospects enter your alternate domain in the address bar, they should be redirected to your main business domain. We can do this through forwarding

Email Warmup 

Warmups are a cold emailer's best friend. It improves sender reputation, boosts deliverability, increases the daily volume you can send, and helps you avoid spam or Gmail’s Promotions tab

You warm up sending accounts naturally through email exchanges over time. But we can’t realistically do manual warmups when scaling cold emails. 

With Instantly, you can enable warmups with a single click. The best part is you get unlimited warmups for unlimited sending accounts. It’s all automated, so you don’t need to lift a finger. 

Essential Cold Email Outreach Strategy For 2024

Every good cold email outreach strategy has to be measurable, can be automated, and easy to scale. We’ve created a step-by-step guide to email outreach that does just that!

Choose a Cold Email Campaign Software

Cold emails can be sent using Outlook or Gmail, but they lack basic features in most cold email campaign software

Look for software that fits within your budget, allows email marketing automation, and is easy to learn. Finding an intuitive email tool will save you time during the learning process. 

Consider your sales operations tools and how they mesh with your email software. Or, you can use tools like Instantly. It has a lead management tool, advanced email marketing features, and a lead finder. 

Find Quality Lead Sources

Leads are at the heart of every email outreach campaign. You want A LOT of them. With lead finder tools like Instantly B2B Finder, you don’t have to compromise quality over quantity. 

You can gather leads through a lead capture page, buy leads from third-party sellers, or through platforms like Apollo. Remember to verify your email list before running campaigns. 

Doing cold outreach using an unverified lead list harms our deliverability rates. Once your list is verified, segment leads and do your first round of lead qualification. 

Segment and Qualify Leads

Email list segmentation should be part of every cold email campaign. It helps you personalize faster, curate content better, and qualify leads along the way. 

There are a number of lead segmentation strategies to choose from. You can segment based on demographics, behavioral and intent data, or open rates. 

After segmentation, further qualify leads using frameworks like BANT or MEDDIC. These help you identify leads with the budget for your product, purchasing authority, or high buying intent. 

Using Instantly B2B Lead Finder, you can use advanced search filters and keywords or even find leads similar to previous clients. You’d be segmenting and qualifying leads on the go. 

Automate Your Cold Email Outreach Campaigns

After cutting down your email lists and segmenting leads, you can add them to your automated campaigns. Then we can run automated email sequencing, nurturing, and even follow-ups.

Most email marketing software automates or schedules campaigns the same way. In this example, we’ll use Instantly and some advanced features you can utilize. 

Connect your email accounts with Instantly. Upload the segmented and qualified leads via CSV. Next, we set up our email sequence with automated follow-ups. 

We recommend a three-part email sequence consisting of the first cold email, a follow-up, and an opt-out email. 

If you’re new to cold email outreach, here are some great sales email outreach templates you can use in your campaigns. 

Setting Up Advanced Campaign Options

Instantly has tons of features that allow users to fine-tune campaigns. For example, Instantly can stop sending emails to leads if they respond to an email. 

You can also enable open link tracking and delivery optimization, which converts emails to plain text to improve deliverability.

When your email lists grow, users can prioritize new leads over follow-ups. Remember, the recommended daily sending limit is between 30-50 emails.

In the advanced settings, users can enable provider matching. The feature will automatically match your sending inbox with your prospects (Google to Google, Outlook to Outlook, etc.). 

Using Analytics to Monitor Campaigns

Once your campaigns are up and running, monitor their progress with Instantly’s Analytics Dashboard. Some say open rates are overrated; others even disable open rate tracking. 

It’s up to you to decide which email marketing metric is most important. But metrics do say a lot about a campaign. For example, high open rates may be due to excellent email subject lines

Meanwhile, low reply rates could be a sign of unclear CTAs. Find what works best for your business and adjust your campaign accordingly. 

Email Copy Examples For Cold Outreach Campaigns

Learning how to write a sales email is an integral part of every cold outreach strategy. Emails need to be engaging, personalized, and valuable to every prospect. 

But writing these hyper-personalized emails can take hours of time and research. That’s where templates come in. Here are five templates you can use in your next outreach campaign:

First Cold Email Template

As mentioned, your first cold email outreach campaign can include a three-part sequence: a persuasive sales email, a follow-up, and the break-up or opt-out. Here’s a template for each:

Subject line: Best new strategy for solving {{pain point}}

Hey, {{first name}}, 
I’m {{your name}}, {{your role}}, from {{your company}}. If you’re like us, you’ve probably dealt with {{pain point}} daily, taking time away from dollar-productive tasks. 
Getting it out of the equation would lead to {{benefit}}. And I feel like we’ve cracked the code. All it took us to address {{pain point}} was:
{{step 1}}
{{step 2}}
{{step 3}}
{{step 4}}
{{step 5}}
I’ve got a good feeling that our strategy could work with {{prospect’s company}} too. Right now, it’s just an outline. I’d love to go into more specifics so we can tailor our approach. 
Is that a conversation you might be interested in? If so, contact us any time. You can also schedule a meeting with us through this link. I also attached a case study on {{competitor}} that goes deeper into our strategies. 
Hoping to hear from you soon, 
{{your name}}

No Response Sales Follow-up Email Template

Always include follow-ups in your cold email outreach strategy. A quick reminder can significantly improve your reply rates if a prospect hasn't responded. Here’s an example:

Subject line: Quick follow-up on {{previous topic}}

Hey, {{first name}}, 
Just wanted to ask for a quick follow-up on {{previous topic}}. 
I completely understand that you’re busy. So, please let me know the best time to reach you. 
I’d love to go in-depth on how we can solve {{pain point}} for {{prospect’s company}}. 
Thanks in advance, 
{{your name}}

Break-up/Opt-Out Email

Remove prospects who haven’t responded to your follow-ups from your email list to protect your deliverability rates. You can do that by segmenting no-response prospects. 

Or, you can send out a break-up or opt-out email. It can act as a Hail Mary that gets you a reply. More importantly, it's a last-ditch effort to provide value to prospects.

Subject line: One last thing before signing off

Hey, {{first name}},
Hope things have been good at {{prospect’s company}}. Just wanted to talk to you about {{value proposition}} one last time. 
The timing might’ve been off, but I really did see a lot of potential with us working together. Still, if there’s anything that you need about {{your services}}, don’t hesitate to reach out. 
I’d always be happy to help. 
Best regards,
{{your name}}

Cold Email Outreach Strategy For Networking

Sales aren’t the only thing cold emails are great for. Whether you want to work with an influencer, ask for a guest post, or do a media pitch, cold email is the best way to do it. 

The strategy here works exactly like any cold sales outreach campaign. Warmup sending accounts, find quality leads, automate email marketing, and monitor analytics. 

Once you’ve set up all the technicalities, the only variable left is your copy. The best part is you could just steal and personalize great email copies you’ve received over the years.

We obviously don’t mean copying it word-for-word. Instead, you can use spintax (which is built into Instantly) or ChatGPT email prompts to create variations of that email that fit your needs.

Cold Email Outreach Best Practices

To make the most out of your cold email outreach campaigns, consider the following best practices: 

Personalize Through Segmentation

You can’t spend hours researching each prospect. But you can segment them into groups that can find value from a specific type of email copy. 

Be an Adviser First, Not a Sale Person

The chances of getting a sale from a cold email are abysmal. It often takes multiple touchpoints—emails, calls, or meetings. Give prospects something of value, then ask.

An “Okay” Email Is All You Need With The Right Leads 

You don’t need to write the flashiest emails or ones that pull on your prospect's heartstrings. An “okay” email is often all you need if you’re targeting the right people. 

The logic is simple, target prospects who truly need your product/services (qualification and segmentation) and present your offer. Don’t overthink it. 

Key Takeaways

The fundamentals of every cold email outreach strategy remain the same, no matter the niche or industry. As a quick recap, here are some key insights that can help you make the most of your email outreach campaigns:

  • Set up email authentication, buy alternate domains for cold emails, and warmup sending accounts. 
  • Find a lead source providing qualified and verified leads, then segment them before adding them to your campaign. 
  • Use cold email marketing software that can automate follow-ups, track leads, and monitor key performance metrics. 

Email marketing requires the right set-up and tools. You’d need one for email automation, another for finding leads, and finally, one for tracking them down your pipelines. You get all of these with Instantly! Try it out for your next cold email outreach campaign