You know that your business needs more leads, more prospects, and more conversations. Finding those people is one thing, but actually reaching out to them? That’s a whole other ball game. As you work at scale, it can take hours, even days, to get a cold email campaign underway. Sadly, chances are you’ll get nowhere fast doing things manually.
That’s where cold email software comes in. With features like automated personalization, audience segmentation, and a suite of analytics, you’ll wonder why you even considered doing things any other way.
In this article, we’re going to start simply, before exploring the important factors affecting cold email software, and then we’ll compare the best tools on the market:
- What Is Cold Email Software?
- Features To Look Out For In Cold Email Software
- Making The Most Of Cold Email Software
- The 9 Best Cold Email Software for 2023
What Is Cold Email Software?
Cold email software is a specialized email marketing software that automates the process of sending targeted and personalized emails to a list of prospective customers or clients who have not previously engaged with your company. Cold email software is focused on generating new leads and making initial contact with potential customers, rather than nurturing existing ones.
The main reason many businesses invest in cold email software is to simplify the process of reaching out to prospects and to increase conversion rates. Once a piece of software is built into the company’s tech stack it can be used to send a large volume of targeted emails with personalized content in minutes, rather than the hours and days it might have taken to complete manually.
Features To Look Out For In Cold Email Software
When comparing software against other software it’s first important to consider precisely what your business is looking to achieve, and what is important to you. There are, however, certain features that we deem must have. Account warm-up, for instance, is a mandatory feature.
Account Warm Up
Warming up your email account is a process that gradually increases the number of emails you send over time in order to establish your account's reputation and avoid spam filters. This is especially important for new businesses and those just getting started with email marketing, as deliverability is critical to the success of any campaign. That said, this feature is essential for anyone serious about email marketing, established or not.
The best cold email software options on the market include automated warm-up features, allowing businesses to gradually increase their email volume and build their account reputation without the need for manual intervention. By using warm-up, businesses can ensure that their emails land in their prospects' inboxes rather than the junk folder. As explored later in the article, the email warm-up provided by Instantly is without match.
Personalization is essential to the success of any email marketing campaign because it increases the relevance and effectiveness of your outreach efforts. Businesses can easily edit and tailor their emails to individual recipients using the right software in a scalable and efficient manner.
Cold email software must be able to use and manipulate data about your recipients in order to provide effective personalization. The best software options will keep a live connection to your contact list (potentially housed within the software itself), CRM system, or other data sources, ensuring that recipient information is up-to-date and accurate. Businesses can save a ton of time and effort by automating as much of this process as they can, allowing them to concentrate on other areas of their outreach initiatives.
Campaign and Follow-Up Automation
There are many aspects to email automation within cold email software. Scheduling is an important one of those features because it enables you to coordinate email delivery with the rest of your marketing campaigns and guarantees that emails are sent at the most advantageous moment. Based on recipient behavior and engagement, the best software might even make suggestions for when to send emails.
Of course, once you’ve sent the initial email, you’ll want to follow up. Follow-up emails are an essential part of effective email marketing campaigns, but there’s hiding from the fact that they can be time-consuming to manage. You should always look out for software that can automate follow-up messages, allowing you to create templates, personalize messages, and schedule follow-ups to be sent after the initial email has been sent.
It is vital that the software you select can handle a large volume of emails effectively and efficiently without sacrificing performance or deliverability. Without that option, you are already putting up barriers to your growth. There are plenty of software tools that offer scalability options based on the number of emails or potential recipients. Thanks to a scaling option, businesses can easily increase their email marketing efforts as their company expands without worrying about email deliverability or performance issues.
A comprehensive analytics suite will provide insights into the performance of your campaigns and identifies areas for improvement. The dashboard should include key email marketing metrics that you’ll want to track such as open rate, click-through rate, and deliverability, all presented in a simple format that allows you to compare different stages of your campaign.
Armed with this level of detail, you’ll be able to aptly make decisions based on data, rather than guesswork.
Making The Most Of Cold Email Software
Once you’ve selected your tool, you’ll be ready to start your cold email campaigns. Before you dive in and before you even begin to compare tools, you should start thinking about the emails you’ll be writing. The following tips are a great starting point, and over time you’ll hone your emails into precisely what your customer is looking to receive.
Nail The Subject Line
Your email campaign's subject line is your first chance to engage with a potential customer or prospect. It's the first opportunity to captivate their attention and encourage them to open your email. As a result, it's vital to keep it clear cut, and concise, communicate your message effectively, or use creativity to differentiate yourself from others. This is your first, and potentially only, chance to capture their attention and persuade them to open your email.
Personalization can have a significant impact on your response rates when cold emailing. Prospects are more likely to respond to an email that addresses them personally rather than making them feel like just another name on a list. Email outreach tools frequently include database features that allow personalized data to be automatically pulled in.
Make an effort to tailor the body of your email to the individual prospect. Go beyond just the subject line. This could include mentioning specific details about their company or industry, or emphasizing how your product or service can help with their specific pain points.
Clear and Concise
People's attention spans are short in today's fast-paced digital world. You have only a few seconds to make an impression or communicate your message. To keep your readers interested, keep your emails clear and concise. Avoid long paragraphs and text walls, which can quickly overwhelm or bore your audience. Make every word count to maximize the impact of your message.
Sending the same email to everyone on your mailing list rarely yields positive results. Each recipient is unique, with their own set of preferences, requirements, and expectations. As a result, a one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to work, especially if you are targeting different companies, industries, or stages of the sales funnel.
Here's where list segmentation comes into play. You can tailor your message to the specific needs and preferences of each group by dividing your mailing list into manageable groups based on various criteria such as location, job title, purchase history, or interests. This not only makes your emails more relevant but also allows you to collect more specific data and insights to improve future campaigns. The best cold email software will have audience or list segmentation baked into their core offering.
Don't be discouraged if a prospect does not respond to your first email; there could be a number of reasons for this. Fortunately, many cold email software allow you to create automated follow-up message sequences that can be triggered based on specific actions taken by the recipient, such as opening an email or clicking a link.
It's important to be persistent in your outreach efforts, but don't go overboard. Emailing a prospect on a regular basis can come across as pushy or even creepy. Use your discretion and consider limiting the number of follow-up emails you send. If you don't hear back after a certain period of time, it may be time to move on to other prospects.
Include A Clear CTA
For any email to be effective, it needs a clear and compelling Call to Action (CTA). It is unlikely that simply introducing yourself or your company will elicit a response. Instead, pose a specific question, suggest a meeting or demo, invite them to browse your website or to come along to an event, or solicit feedback via a survey. Including a CTA gauges their interest and provides you with valuable feedback to help you move the sales process forward.
The 9 Best Cold Email Software for 2023
What follows is our choice of the best cold email software available to both individuals and businesses on the market in 2023. Many of these offer comprehensive lists of features, at price points to suit every budget. Remember to consider your specific requirements as you compare software, as it is your specific business that will make the decision.
- $37 a month
- Unlimited Email Accounts
- Unlimited Email Warmup
- 100 Active Leads
- 5000 Emails per month
- Advanced Sequences
- Email and Account Analytics
- Reputation and Bounce Protection
- General Support Tickets
Instantly is the #1 cold email software. It's efficient, user-friendly, and easy to work with, ensuring great campaign results every time. The leading feature within Instantly is the AI-powered warmup feature. Compared to other options on the market, there’s no competition. Within days your account is ready to send campaigns at scale, rather than the weeks it would take to get to the same stage manually.
When you get to the point of needing to scale your operation (and you surely will with Instantly’s help), there are multiple price points to work through, each of which slowly increases your operational capacity at the click of a button.
Instantly provides unlimited email accounts, which is a big factor for businesses looking to scale their email outreach. The analytical suite is also excellent, with direct links to A/B testing that make campaign management and adjustment effortless. Instantly also provides an expanding set of API connections and integrations, allowing for simple combinations with your current tech stack.
If you’re serious about growth (which you probably are, considering you’re looking at cold email software), then Instantly is a perfect choice.
Instantly's pricing starts at $37 per month, with the most popular Hypergrowth package costing $97 per month. It is ideal for B2B companies, freelancers, and individual contractors alike.
$49 a month (+1 extra slot at no additional charge)
- A/B testing
- Up to 1500 new prospects contacted monthly
- Free Warm-up & Recovery for each slot
- Free email list verification & validation
- Unlimited follow-ups & team members
- Deliverability Monitor & Bounce Shield
- Condition-based campaigns & manual tasks
Woodpecker is a cold email software that automates email outreach to save you time. To improve deliverability, it includes email validation at upload and an automatic account warm-up. Woodpecker can help you build effective campaigns with a variety of automations when combined with personalization and multiple-path campaigns.
However, when compared to other software, Woodpecker does not provide anything particularly unique or impressive. A/B testing, for example, is not included as standard, but rather as an optional extra that costs $10 per month. Similarly, using API keys and integrations is an optional extra that costs an extra $5 per month, which may be a disadvantage for businesses that use tools such as Pipedrive, Zapier, and Hubspot.
Despite these restrictions, Woodpecker's email warmup feature is included as a standard feature. It may, however, be less robust or efficient than other tools, such as Instantly. Instantly's features, such as the ability to add an unlimited number of email accounts to a single subscription, are more user-friendly and comprehensive than Woodpecker's. Especially for companies that are serious about email outreach and want to scale up.
- $29 a month
- Solo Seat
- Unlimited Campaigns
- 100 emails per day
- Auto email warm-up - for an additional fee
Lemlist provides B2B businesses with a simple three-step process for creating and sending email campaigns: automation setup, personalization, and measurement. That is a good starting point, but you’ll absolutely have to take other factors into consideration when developing a campaign.
Lemlist does have a warm-up feature for email accounts, but it costs $29 per seat, per month. This can quickly add up when combined with the standard email outreach plan's starting price of $59 per month. Given that account warm-up is a necessary part of email outreach, it would be nice to see this included as standard.
Lemlist offers impressive in-depth personalization within its email builders, plus there during template editing. There is an additional step that allows for personalized image creation, which is a nice touch.
Integrations with many of the standard tech stacks seen in businesses are part of the basic package, including popular software such as Slack, Calendly, Calendars, and Zapier.
Saleshandy is an email outreach tool that was created specifically for cold email outreach. You can easily track important email marketing statistics like conversions and leads generated with Saleshandy. With the advanced sequencing feature, you can nurture leads as they enter your campaigns, resulting in a more personalized marketing experience. User segmentation is also available to help you fine-tune your campaigns and achieve even better results.
Saleshandy's integrated email writing assistant provides impressive AI-powered features to assist users in creating the best converting cold emails. The tool provides real-time suggestions while you write, which are displayed on a simple and straightforward user interface, making email writing a breeze.
One significant advantage is its built-in LinkedIn email scraping feature, which enables users to quickly find and add emails to their email lists. Furthermore, Saleshandy's Bounce Guard feature aids in email deliverability by pausing sequences when bounces are detected, lowering bounce rates. Saleshandy also has an account ramp-up (another way of saying warm-up) feature that helps users achieve better results with their email outreach campaigns.
Gmelius is a low-cost solution that serves a variety of industries. Starting at $9 per month per user, with the first three users free, it's an excellent choice for small businesses. It's noted that users come from a variety of departments, including sales, marketing, project management, and customer service.
Gmelius, as a Gmail-specific tool, provides more than just basic email outreach functionality. It provides a whole suite of project management features that are seamlessly integrated into the Gmail interface. This makes cross-departmental collaboration a breeze. Teams often find that they can save a significant amount of time by utilizing automation systems. Gmelius is definitely worth considering for larger teams that require a unified space for collaboration.
Mailtrack is a useful tool for tracking how prospects interact with their emails. It is, however, made specifically for Gmail users. It offers a completely free version that sends automated follow-up emails to your prospects if they haven't read your email within 24 hours. The free version also includes the Hot Lead alert, which alerts you when a prospect opens your email several times.
Upgrading to Mailtrack's pro version, which costs $9.99 per month, allows you to see when users interact with your emails via real-time link clicks. This feature is a great way to see who is actively participating in your campaign. While Mailtrack has many other tracking options, the simple WhatsApp-style delivered and read receipt overlay on Gmail is a nice touch.
At just $19 per month and with a free version available, GetResponse is an affordable tool that also provides sales automation and round-the-clock customer support. What distinguishes GetResponse is that it is more than just cold email software; it is a full-service marketing solution. GetResponse provides a more holistic approach to marketing with its website builder, conversion funnels, marketing automations, live chats, and other features that can help businesses grow and succeed.
This simple tool is great if you’re in the market for creating and sending well-crafted emails with the option of personalization.
The platform includes a number of templates as well as a powerful drag-and-drop builder that makes customization nice and easy.
The analytics dashboard is useful and really comes into its own when combined with the segmentation feature. It's a simple and dependable option, especially appealing to those that might lack extensive technical knowledge.
ActiveCampaign is a powerful email automation tool that will set you back a monthly fee of $15. It is one of the market leaders, especially in the ability to create sophisticated email workflows based on a variety of factors.
With over 850 integrations, it integrates seamlessly into a wide range of business systems, making it a versatile choice. ActiveCampaign provides comprehensive CRM and other marketing automation features in addition to cold email software, making it an all-in-one solution for many businesses. It does, however, miss some of the core features that pure cold email software tends to include.
Picking the right tool for your business isn’t a task that you should rush to complete. Make sure that it’s going to be a good fit for you and your team first. Many of the tools mentioned offer a free trial or even an entry-level subscription. Making use of these is a great way to ensure that you’re happy with a tool before you fully embrace it.
- Consider your goals, your needs, and your current tech stack when picking a tool.
- Some features within cold email software are more important than others.
If you’re ready to try out one of the best tools on the market, then look no further than Instantly. In fact, you can get started for free today.