25 Cold Outreach Tips To Help Skyrocket Your Leads

Master cold outreach and transform prospects into leads with these 25 proven tips! Transform your cold email strategy today.

Rory Sadler
August 31, 2023
February 24, 2024
Master cold outreach and transform prospects into leads with these 25 proven tips! Transform your cold email strategy today.
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Hawking your products or services via cold outreach can feel uncomfortable. Professionals think of the cold calls of yesteryear – of bothering and hassling potential clients. Does it even work, they wonder?

Actually, yes!

Whether you're sending an email, making a call, or shooting a message via LinkedIn, research indicates that three-quarters of executives are willing to make an appointment or attend an event based on a cold email or call.

Learn how to perfect the art of cold outreach – from writing LinkedIn messages to boosting email open rates.

What is Cold Outreach?

Cold outreach refers to reaching out to potential leads who know nothing about your business. Previously, this method relied on cold calling – which, while still remaining popular, has been overtaken by cold email marketing and using social media platforms like LinkedIn.

Does Cold Email Marketing Work?

Yes. Some will highlight that the average cold email response rate is just 8.5%. However, adjusting your subject line, personalizing your email, or addressing a pain point can all see response rates skyrocket. In fact, adding the recipient's name into the subject line leads to an average open rate of 43.41% – massively increasing your chance of response.

25 Foolproof Cold Outreach Tips Proven to be Effective

1. Write a Killer Email Subject Line

Like the headline of an article, your subject line should stand out in the inbox. Aim to capture interest, build curiosity, and promise helpful information. Don't think you've got to achieve that in only a few characters. Longer subject lines – between 36-50 characters – see a higher response rate (24.6%).

Add the subject's name alongside a pain point for the best results. Think, "Amanda, Ready to Reduce Employee Turnover?"

2. Lead with Social Proof

Every customer relationship is built on trust. In a single email, you've got to build enough trust to generate a lead. Leading with social proof demonstrates why your product or service is worth their time. Include testimonials, short case studies, and customer reviews related to what you're trying to sell. Even better if you can prove your value with numbers, e.g., "We helped [Client Name] reduce their employee turnover rate by 35%, leading to a 20% decrease in unnecessary hiring spending."

3. Keep It Personable

Don't be robotic. Talk directly to the reader, using "you" in your sentences. Nor should you try to sound overly smart or formal – no big words or dense jargon. Your email should be conversational and easy to read. Keep your points concise and try to build rapport.

4. Screen Your Potential Leads

Writing a personalized cold email or LinkedIn message can take time. Don't waste your effort going after professionals who'll never purchase your products. Do some research on the individuals you're emailing to identify who is most likely to purchase your products. You could even review previous cold email marketing campaigns to see if there are any demographic or industry indicators of successful cold outreach.

5. Don't Overpromise

Fail to advertise your value, and you'll see no responses. Overpromising, however, causes potential leads to be skeptical of your claims. Somewhere between the two is the Goldilocks Zone. Always promise or advertise what you know you can deliver – and, where possible, back up every claim with actual proof.

6. Pitch Your Idea

Don't waste a reader's time – you're a guest in their inbox. When you're writing a cold email, get to the point. Ensure your email has a clear purpose that is apparent in every paragraph. You should be able to state your email's purpose in a single line. For example:

  • Providing a free audit
  • Advertising a new product
  • Describing how your service could help their business
  • Offering a live demo

Avoid fluff or fakeness. Customers can see through it. Pitch your idea, share some proof, explain how they can get in touch, and close. That's it!

7. Forget Generic Emails

Templates save time. But what you gain in hours, you lose in success. Sending the same generic email to your clients won't get you the results you're after. While keeping a consistent structure helps (see below), the content itself should be tailored to the client's pain points, industry, needs, and even personality. That means doing your research.

Personalized email content works – according to Backlinko, it increases average response rates by 32.7%.

8. Say What You Can Do

Cold outreach is naturally an imposition. That's why you should never open with your ask. You don't tell the potential client to buy your product or hire your services. You say what your product or services can do for them.

Here are some examples:

  • Fitness Center: "Joining our fitness center can help you shed unwanted weight, improve your cardiovascular health, and boost your mood in just three months."
  • Accounting Software Company: "Our cloud-based accounting software will streamline your financial processes, eliminate errors, and save you 20 hours of bookkeeping each month."
  • AI Cybersecurity Provider: "Our AI-powered cybersecurity tools can detect and neutralize threats in real-time, significantly reducing your risk of data breaches and saving your business from potential million-dollar losses."

9. Be Creative

Reaching out to a completely cold client? The more creative you are, the more you'll likely be noticed. Don't just be personalized and fact-driven. Delve into their skill lists on LinkedIn, crack a joke to establish rapport, or add a famous quote. Standing out from the crowd means daring to be original.

10. Never Be Threatening

Sounds strange? Well, some cold outreach comes on a little strong. Threatening emails that demand a person's time is an absolute no-no. You've gone too far if the language even veers into the authoritative. Keep it light and friendly.

11. Use Power Words

Power words are strong, emotional phrases that trigger us to take notice. Often involving a powerful emotion, i.e., greed, curiosity, desire, or anger, they cause us to want to click to learn more. Think "monetize," "unlock," or "proven results." Using power words can increase conversion rates by 12.7%.

12. Don't Be Pushy

Pushiness will lose you the lead. The harder you try to get the reader to respond, the less likely they are to do so. Your email should advertise your value, hook their interest, and earn a response. Far better to incentivize their response with a free evaluation or a coupon for your services.

13. Evolve Your Strategy

Is your strategy not working? Change it! Too many cold email marketing teams continue trying something that has proven not to work. As you send out emails, look out for patterns in your success. As you learn, change your message structure to gradually increase your open and response rates.

14. Perform A/B Testing

Not sure what works with your target audience? Perform a split or A/B test. It's simple: create two versions of a sales email and send both to see which sees better results.

15. Screen for Errors

Never send an email with grammatical errors, typos, and other mistakes. Use proofreading software or get someone to read your email before sending it.

16. Address Their Pain Points

Put yourself in your potential client's shoes and understand their problems. Ensure your email addresses these pain points clearly, showcasing how your product or service is the solution they need. The more you hit the nail on the head with their issues, the higher your chances of receiving a response.

17. Add a Call-To-Action

Don't leave your reader guessing what they should do next. End your email with a clear, compelling call-to-action (CTA) like 'Book a Free Consultation' or 'Download Your Free E-book.' A persuasive CTA prompts immediate action, increasing your conversion rates.

18. Follow Up On Leads

Just because you didn't get a response to your first email doesn't mean all is lost. People are busy, and sometimes, emails are missed. Be persistent and send a friendly follow-up email. Just be sure to respect their space – give them a week or two before you touch base again. Send a first and second follow-up email to increase your chance of a response by 21% and 25%, respectively.

19. Send at the Right Time

Obviously, never start cold outreach at the weekend. But is there an optimum time to shoot off an email? According to MailChimp, absolutely!

The peak time to send an email is at 10.30 AM, with Tuesday, Monday, and Wednesday having the highest open rates.

20. Use the AIDA Formula

Attention. Interest. Desire. Action. This proven formula can help you structure your emails for the best results. Use the subject line to grab their attention, generate interest with compelling facts or figures about your brand, create desire by explaining how you will solve their pain point, and conclude with a solid call to action.

21. Ask a Question

Subject lines that include a question have an average open rate of 48.39%. Why? Because our brains naturally want to know the answer – questions spark our curiosity. That's especially true if a question relates to our goals or challenges. Think about the kind of questions your customers would ask.

22. Use Facts and Stats

Prove every claim. If you say you can do X, you better have a customer testimonial or statistic to say why. Nobody wants an empty promise – facts and statistics allow customers to verify and quantify your claims. But they can also be used to introduce a pain point, e.g., "Did you know 20% of US businesses are facing a recruitment problem?"

23. End with a Call-to-Action

Subject lines boost open rates; calls to action (CTA) raise response rates. Your CTA should clearly ensure your lead knows what you want them to do. You should also make it as easy as possible for them to respond.

  • For a Webinar Invitation - "If you're intrigued and want to learn more, click here to register for our upcoming webinar. It's free, and it's packed with insights that you won't want to miss."
  • For a Downloadable Guide - "If this sounds like something you could use, click on this link to download our comprehensive guide. It's on us."
  • For a Discount Code - "Should you be interested in giving our service a try, use this link to apply an exclusive 20% discount on your first purchase. Grab your savings today!"
  • For a Personalized Assessment - "Want to see how our tool could benefit your team specifically? Click here to start a quick, personalized assessment. It's free and will only take a few minutes."

24. Don't Write an Essay

Essays don't get read. Your cold email or LinkedIn message should be as long as it needs to be. Keep your paragraphs short and succinct. Your cold outreach should only include the information necessary to achieve its objective. If you can do that in two-three lines, do so.

25. Get a Professional Email Signature

Your email signature should ooze professionalism. Well-formatted and containing all the relevant info, it's the cherry on top. Always add:

  • A profile photo so people know who they're talking to.
  • Your job title and company
  • Your social media links
  • Your contact information

Want to boost your cold outreach success rate? Discover how our platform can revolutionize your email marketing strategy. Book a free demo at Send trumpet now and supercharge your lead generation!