🎦 Free Guide - Use a Cold Email Strategy to Drive New Sales 🔥
What is Cold Email Marketing?
What is Cold Email Marketing?
Last updated:
January 18, 2022
Christian Bonnier
Christian Bonnier
Christian is creative director at ListKit and co-founder at KnowledgeX.

Cold email marketing is a form of outbound marketing used to generate interested prospects for your business.

Very similar to a “cold call”, a cold email is an outbound message sent to prospective customers to see if they would be interested in doing business with you.

Cold email is, believe it not, an extremely affordable and effective way of generating leads for your business.

Let’s dive in to the basics…

Getting Set Up With Cold Email

The first step to using cold email as a marketing tool is to get started with some basic essentials like a script and a list of contacts to send emails to.

Crafting A Subject Line

There are plenty of suggestions out there for cold email subject lines, but we always stick to one that works time and time again:

Quick question”

Just two words is all it takes to get your email opened at an efficient rate, and that’s the entire purpose of the subject line: To get your email opened.

Here are other subject lines to test:

“Quick question for {{name}}”

“Question about {{company}}”

“{{name}} + (your name)”

“{{Company}} + (your company)”

Writing A Script

The entire purpose of a cold email is to generate an interested response from prospects who are eager to learn more about you and your services.

The original email is not meant for you to hit a “home run” with a prospect, but rather to “get on base” with them and open a conversation that can eventually lead to sales calls booked on your calendar.

A really basic, effective cold email script to start with is what we like to call the “simple one-sentence cold email.”

The entire basis of the email is a singular question designed to get a “yes” or “no” answer from the prospect that you can turn into a conversation about your services.

A few examples of the one sentence cold email:

“Do you use Klaviyo for email marketing?”

“Are you looking for influencers to help promote {{company}}?”

“Do you have the capacity to take on new clients in 2022?”

This script tactic is a great way to get started with cold emails.


Each email you send should include some form of personalization.

A great way to personalize an email is with a personalized first line.

This is essentially a short, complimentary sentence written specifically about the prospect. For example, if a prospect won an award for “Best Marketer in Los Angeles” in 2019, you can write a line that says:

“Saw you won Best Marketer in LA in 2019 – congrats! That is a huge honor.”

A line as simple as this goes a long way.

These personalized lines can be written by hand or completely automated with AI.


To ensure your emails have high deliverability, keep your signature as simple as possible.

Here’s an example of the signature we use:

Thanks,Alex GrayListKi

tLet’s Chat (hyperlinked to your calendar)

If you wish to stop receiving emails from me, reply “unsubscribe”

Easy as that!

Now that you have your cold email ready to go, it’s time to find people to send them to.

Sending Cold Emails

Now that you have your basic framework ready to go, it’s time to find prospects to reach out to!

Finding Emails

Depending on your budget and your needs, there are several different ways to source emails for cold email marketing.

If you’re only looking to send a handful of emails to find a strategic partner or to get people on your podcast, this can be done by hand. Simply visit their LinkedIn profile or website, find their company email, and manually type the email out and push send.

If you’re looking to do email outreach on a massive scale like many B2B lead gen agencies, ListKit can provide you with however many contacts you need to meet that requirement.

Each ListKit comes with verified emails and personalized first lines, so you can focus on simply sending the emails!

If you are looking to do cold email on a wide scale, sending emails by hand isn’t going to be very sustainable. Good news, there are softwares that can help with that!

Automated Email Sending

There are a lot of tools out there that can send cold emails automatically, but ones that we really recommend are Mailshake and Expandi.

The platform is extremely user-friendly, you’ll be able to track replies with prospects, and can test several different variations of each email to see which one performs best.


Just like a “cold call” made famous by The Wolf of Wall Street, cold emailing is a great way to generate interest in your services with outbound marketing (without the sleazy tactics from the movie).

Set yourself up with a simple one sentence cold email, get started with a list of prospects from ListKit, and start sending from a platform like Mailshake, and you could have a sales call booked with an interested prospect within days.

If you want to learn more about cold email as a marketing tactic, check out the Lead Gen Masterclass or the 7-Day Cold Email Bootcamp.

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