Cold Email Marketing Strategy: Learn and Start Today

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Are you wondering, how to Cold Email? Want to boost your cold email marketing strategy🚀, but don’t know where to start? Want the essential information on our recent Waake Up webinar: “Stop sending cold emails to spam. How to achieve 98% of your emails delivered”, but in a written format? ✍️

You’re in the right place!

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Get up to 98% of your emails delivered by following the tips and tricks we’re going to present in this article 🤯.

Our expert for this article is Jeremy Chatelaine. He is not only a cold email outreach expert, but also the founder of, where they have over 8 million emails being sent by users monthly. So if you want to learn how to cold email – he’s the right person to follow.


Some key information we will cover in this article includes:

  • ✅How to set up your account the right way.
  • ✅How to reduce spam complaints.
  • ✅How to draft a cold email that gets delivered.
  • ✅The legality of cold emailing.
  • ✅How to scale, the easy way.

Cold email meaning

If you want to know how to Cold Email, you’re going to need to understand exactly what it is first. So let’s start with a definition 🧠.

Cold emailing, also called email outreach, simply means proactively contacting an interlocutor with whom you haven’t previously engaged with. It is one of the most effective, cheapest and most used channels in B2B acquisition, but also one of the most overused.

To answer your question in one word, yes.

To answer your question in six words, yes, if you follow the rules 😅.

The rules differ based on where you live. We’re going to be focusing mainly on the laws in the EU in this article, but essentially, your cold email has to:

  1. Be helpful to the recipient.
  2. Be clear: Who are you? What is the purpose of the email you just sent?
  3. Provide an opt-out option.

We’ll go into more details on how to ensure you’ve covered these three steps in the next section, but feel free to check out the General Data Protection Regulations for all the nitty-gritty.


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How to send Cold Emails legally in US?

For our friends over on the other side of the pond, you have different guidelines.


Canned Spam? No 👀

The CAN-SPAM Act says that all marketing emails must:

  1. include an opt-out method.
  2. honor any opt-out requests within 10 business days of said request.
  3. not contain any misleading subject lines: your email content has to match the subject line. We have an article to help you nail this. 💪
  4. clearly represent the sender‘s identity: so no misleading email addresses.
  5. include the physical address of the company which is being represented.
  6. be transparent in intent: you can’t pretend you’re simply trying to befriend them when your aim is a sale.


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What makes a good cold email?

What makes a good cold email?

One that gets delivered 💥. And one that gets responses💥.

Getting responses is all about having great content, but arguably the setup and a few other factors come in first.

We’re going to help you with all the above in this article🤝.

How do you send cold emails?

Once upon a time, one could just wake up🌞, grab a cup of coffee☕, turn on their laptop💻and say, “I’m going to start sending cold emails”.

And it would work.

The cold email would get delivered, opened and the sender would get great open and response rates (assuming the cold email was well-written).

But alas, we are no longer in the year 2013.

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After a while, Google cottoned on to the fact that these were automated actions, and as a result, they put in place software like TensorFlow and they started cracking down on bulk emails😭.

So does that mean you should give up entirely on cold emails?

No. All it means is you just have to be smarter to make sure your email does get delivered🧠.

Deliverability is everything in cold emailing. There’s no point in building a world-changing product or service, drafting the most interesting and engaging email, scrapping and qualifying your leads, only for your email to go directly in the spam folder 🚮.

We’re going to cover all the details of deliverability in this email, but if you’re in a rush, here’s a cheat sheet for you 🤓.

How do I measure the deliverability of my cold emails?

But first, how do you even know if your emails are getting delivered or not.

There are three things you can look at:

  1. Replies/Unsubscribe requests: The number of people who respond to your email (including the number of people who ask to be removed from your mailing list) ✍️
  2. Open/Click rate: The number of people who open your email or/and click on the links in your email👆. Some tools also allow you to create tracking links for your campaigns, this is an upcoming feature on Waalaxy. You will be able to create a custom tracking link, called custom Tracking Domain. We will explain in a detailed tutorial how to do this better when the feature becomes available. 😁
  3. Sample rate: You send your emails to a number of email accounts. These can be accounts which you own or which someone else owns – the point is you can access the account to see how many of the emails were received (without clicking on the email) 📬.

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Why do some people have different deliverability rates in their cold email marketing?

There are 3 main factors that affect the deliverability of emails:

  1. Setup.
  2. Content.
  3. Other.

Let’s start at the beginning, the setup.

Setup for Cold Email Marketing

The setup is everything. You might be tempted to rush this step, but don’t.

We’ve written two articles (here and here) that really go into detail on the setup of your email account. I really recommend giving them a read for a step-by-step guide to setting up your account. But here’s the cliff notes version.

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If you want a high deliveraibility rate, you need the email service that receives the email to view you as trustworthy. If they do, they will pass your email along. If they don’t, your email will end up in the spam folder. Gaining your email provider’s trust generally takes time, but you can help speed the process up by starting off on the right foot 🦶.

Here are the key things to keep in mind when setting up your email account:

  • 🪛 Microsoft Outlook vs Google : You want to opt for Outlook/Microsoft as your email provider if possible, as data shows they have better overall deliverability rates. Although it is worth mentioning that if you open a brand-new account with them, they will initially put you on a lower quality IP, which in turn would result in lower deliverability rates. Google is an excellent second choice, and they also have the added benefit of having better support than Microsoft Outlook. So that’s something to keep in mind if you’re not a tech whizz and might need assistance every step of the way.

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  • 🔧Domain: Opt for a .com, .org or a .io domain (in that order) vs a .co one, which tends to get quickly labelled as spam. There are other domain options, so a good tip is, the more expensive the domain is, the less likely it is saturated by spam accounts.


  • ⚙️SPF/DKIM: This is probably the most important of the three when setting up your email account 👀. These are two types of email authentications that essentially verify that an email has been sent by an authorized mail server to prevent spam and fraud. You might need to modify some of your DNS (Domain Name System) settings by adding some text in a field to ensure these are properly set up. It’s pretty technical, but lucky for you, we’ve provided the key steps here and here. PARTIE-1-Le-parametrage-du-cold-emailing-1

Use of a warm-up tool for your cold email marketing strategy

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This section is mainly for individuals who set up a brand-new domain or email for their cold email campaign. Using a warm-up tool is a great idea if you don’t want to get labelled as a spam email very quickly.

Warm-up tools and services allow you to automatically interact with hundreds of mailboxes in a way that looks very natural, so by the time you are ready to send your emails to your prospects, you’ve already gained the trust of a bunch of email providers 🎯.

Here’s a comprehensive article on how to warm up your account for cold emailing campaigns. It’s definitely worth a read, but if you’re in a rush, we can recommend these warm-up tools:

  • Warm up Inbox : $9 per month per mailbox.
  • New: 💥 Google is releasing its own free Warm-up service!

So, you’ve taken care to set up everything correctly, now it’s time to get down to the content.


Cold email marketing: The content

As we mentioned previously, in order to comply with GDPR, your cold email has to:

  1. Be helpful to the recipient.
  2. Be clear: Who are you? What is the purpose of the email you just sent?
  3. Provide an opt-out option.

We’ve written an article on how to draft a successful cold email marketing email. We definitely recommend checking it out if you want tips from creative writers that will help you write killer content.

But here are some key dos and don’ts for sending legal cold emails:

Cold Email Marketing Strategy Dos

  • ✅Do personalize your cold emails.
  • ✅Do create persona’s for your cold email campaigns and segment your prospects, to ensure you are reaching your target.
  • ✅Do send your cold emails to professional email addresses where possible (more on this later).
  • ✅We don’t recommend adding an unsubscribe link for cold emails.

What? I thought we have to provide an option for recipients to opt-out?

Well you do 😅

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If your email is a newsletter, the unsubscribe option has to be a link.

However, if you’re just sending a standard cold email, it doesn’t. That’s why we recommend just including a small sentence indicating to your prospect that if they wish to be removed from your emailing list, they should just respond to the email to let you know.

You might ask, what’s the difference?

Well, not only have you generated a response, which ups your oh-so-important deliverability rate, but the response from the recipient might contain additional useful feedback 🧠.

Cold Email Marketing Strategy Don’ts

  • ❌ Avoid the use of spammy keywords such as, Free, Buy now etc. You can find a list of spammy words to avoid here, but basically any word or term that you wouldn’t use in a casual conversation, you’re better of avoiding using it in your cold emails.
  • ❌Avoid including links. Links are likely to land you the spam inbox. There are of course whitelisted links such as LinkedIn that won’t harm to include. So you could add a link to your personal or company LinkedIn page. If it’s a trackable link, them having clicked it lets you know that there is some interest there. This is excellent😉 . Remember, the aim of a cold email is to get them to signal their interest, so whether it’s through a reply, or a visit on your LinkedIn page, it doesn’t matter. Youtube is another excellent whitelisted site that you could link. At Waalaxy, we regularly host webinars with useful content on YouTube.
  •  ❌ Do not send the same content (same text) again and again. Opt for A/B testing – the more distinct both options, the better.

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More info about your Cold email marketing strategy

Here are some other factors that strongly influence the deliverability rate of your emails.

Who you’re targeting

B2B cold emails have higher success rates than B2C cold emails 🚀. Simply put, people don’t like being contacted on their personal email addresses. That’s why Waalaxy’s Email Finder works with DropContact, which scrapes professional email addresses, whilst complying with data protection laws. Even if you are in B2C, opt to send your cold emails to a middle-man like the distrubuter or a marketer, rather than the customer itself.

What tool you’re using

Sending your emails via certain tools will mean that your emails go in the spam or a secondary inbox e.g. promotional inbox. Chimpmail is an example of a popular tool. Great for newsletters, terrible for sending cold emails 🤮. We recommend staying away from if you want your emails to go in your regular inbox.

Which domain you’re using

If your domain is blacklisted, or you include links to blacklisted domains – forget about it. MXTools is a great option to check your domain⚙️ .

Your bounce rate

Where are you getting your prospects from❓

If you scrape 100 prospects, it’s a good idea to see what number of those prospects bounce before sending out 1000 emails and having a high bounce rate. Never bounce is one of the best tools to test out your bounce rate⚙️. A high bounce rate indicates to your ESP that you’re a spammer and don’t actually know the people you’re messaging. Aim for a bounce of less than 5%.

If you’re having a bounce rate of 9% or higher, you need to stop your cold email campaign and reassess everything 🛑.

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The volume of emails sent

You need to be reasonable with the amount of cold emails you’re sending monthly. If you’re sending ridiculous volumes, you’re gonna get marked as a spammer😣. Waalaxy has daily quotas in place to protect your LinkedIn account from restriction for spam (around 90 connection requests and follow actions and 130 messages and visits for Advanced and Business plans, set randomly to simulate human behavior). Once these quotas are reached, your actions are no longer sent, until your quotas reset ⏱️.

Similarly, if you go from a small volume to a large volume rapidly, your provider is gonna become very suspicious 👀. So once you’ve warmed up your inbox you could start with 100 emails a day, then gradually move to 200 a day🪜 .

There are a few tools which are really useful to ensure high deliverability rates:

  • MxTools for verifying your domain.
  • GlockApps is an Inbox delivery and spam filter testing service that allows you to send your emails to a sample so you can see any deliverability issues and fix them before sending them to your propects. GlockApps tests the sender’s IP addresses against the most popular blacklists and shows where each IP is listed.
  • Mail tester is a great tool for seeing what areas of your setup need improvement in order to increase your deliverability rate.

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How to easily reduce spam complaints

If after following all the steps above, you still find that your deliverability rate is low, here are two key points to focus on:

  • Content: Make sure the content of what you’re sending is of interest to them. Make sure it is well-written and well segmented. The importance of this cannot be overstated. If your recipient or the email provider feels like the email was sent on a mass scale and not to them because it’s not A, relevant and useful to them, and B, personalized to their needs, they will flag it as spam🚮 . Below I’ll share some cold email examples to help you out, so don’t panic.
  • List: Make sure you are sending to individuals – emails to inboxes that are managed by several people increases your chances of being flagged by at least one of the several people who will read your email🚩.

Cold Email Marketing Software

So if it isn’t clear by now, personlizing your cold emails is essential for high deliverability rates. But how do you personalize mass cold emails without working 40 hour weeks or havig to hire a team the size of a small country? 🤨

Hello Luxembourg!

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We the team at Waalaxy asked ourselves the same question. You see, at Waalaxy one of our core values is efficiency through the automation of tasks where possible. (The other is unlimited beer at our afterworks, but I digress 🍻). So we looked at cold emailing software that combined automation and personalization🤝 .

There are many cold email software on the market, and it can be a bit overwhelming deciding which one is suitable for you and your business needs 🤯.

The best cold emailing software will follow GDPR, ensure a high deliverability of your emails, and allow you to measure and monitor your stats. Waalaxy does all of this, and more🥰.

You might think we’re biased, but we really tested out all the popular cold emailing software programs on the market, and Waalaxy consistently came out on top. But don’t take our word for it: check out our article comparing Waalaxy to the main other players in the game, and see for yourself 👀 .

Earlier we gave you a list of Dos and Don’ts for cold emailing to ensure your cold emailing is legal and gets delivered.

Here are some of the key reasons why Waalaxy is the best cold email software on the market today.

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Waalaxy scrapes professional (and personal) email addresses

  • Waalaxy retrieves emails in two cases:

    • when you connect with a person on LinkedIn following an invitation sent with Waalaxy (email associated with the LinkedIn account, often personal).

    • when you use a sequence that contains an “Email finder” step (like “Pluto”). In this case, professional emails are retrieved. The success rate is about 50%.

    It’s better to send your cold emails to professional email addresses where possible. Your emails are more likely to end up in the spam folder if you’re sending it to personal email addresses 🚮.

DropContact is the best for up to date email addresses. So don’t bother with  scraping emails from outdated databases, where half the emails are no longer in use.

With our “email finder” being fully integrated with your CRM, you don’t have to worry about CSV files or manual searches.

You can send up to 500 emails per day. 😄

Waalaxy allows excellent personalization of your cold emails

Usually automated mass emails lack personalisation. Zero personalisation is a sure-fire way for your emails to land in the spam inbox – these types of emails can be spotted a mile away. Waalaxy is different 😎. It allows you to personalize your cold emails with automatic variable inserts like first name, last name and company (more in the pipeline).

Waalaxy allows you to create personas for your cold email campaigns

Waalaxy allows you to create personas for your cold email campaigns and segment your prospects to ensure you are reaching your target.

We recommend combining Waalaxy with Sales Navigator for precise segmentation of prospects🤝.

Having access to Sales Navigator gives you access to better filters. This article will show you how to use them effectively. You might be worried about the additional cost of Sales Navigator, but don’t. You can try it out for free here, and if you do decide to purchase it, you only need one Sales Navigator licence for your entire team thanks to Waalaxy’s Team plan.

Here’s a video to learn more about it, as well as an article.

Waalaxy allows you to track your email response rates

Waalaxy allows you to track your email response rates and other stats so you can perform A/B test and decide which campaigns were more successful.

A B Testing is a technique in digital marketing which consists of comparing the effectiveness of two pieces of media or content, by testing a variant relating to the content or the form (we can, of course, test more than two variables, so if there are three variables for example, then we’d refer to them as A B C tests).

A/B testing is vital for optimizing your campaigns and constantly improving your deliverability scores.

We wrote an article on this 😁.

Waalaxy automates the whole process

It’s 2022, please tell me you’re not still wasting time sending emails manually or using software that requires you to check manually if a prospect has responded or not.

With Waalaxy, in just a few minutes you can set up campaigns that will be sent to hundreds of prospects daily. If your prospect doesn’t respond after a certain time, Waalaxy automatically sends a second or third or fourth (you decide) email  after a set number of days.

What’s more, unlike most cold emailing software that rely solely on one channel, Waalaxy integrates LinkedIn actions to tap into the unlimited potential that is multichannel prospecting. What does this mean? Simply, more replies.

Best of all, you can easily integrate your data into your personal crm via Zapier or via a csv file.

Check out our article on the power of multichannel prospecting for more on this.


Cold Email Marketing example

While Waalaxy automates the entire process, due to the limitations of AI, it still won’t draft your actual email (not yet anyway).

We can of course give you pre-made templates, but it’s imortant you still modify them. If you don’t and you send it as it is, you can guarantee that your deliveraibility rate will suddenly go from very succesful to nil. Why? The problem with templates are, thousands of people are going to use them. Once an email provider and recipient has seen a format way too many times, they’ll quickly identify it as spam, which only means one thing.

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But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean we’re going to leave you hanging.

As mentioned before, to get high deliverability rates, the two most important things to keep in mind when drafting your cold email should be:

  • Your email should be personalized for your recipient
  • Your email should sound like a conversation and not sales-y.

In regards to the actual technique, here are some key tips (taken from our webinar on Cold email Copywriting – you should definitely check out 👀) .

  • ➡️Write in one block following a copywriting outline.
  • ➡️ Wait 20 minutes, then re-read your email.
  • ➡️ Proofread it.
  • ➡️ Take out all the boring, long-winded turns of phrase.
  • ➡️ Shorten your sentences, paying close attention to your punctuation.
  • ➡️ Turn boring words into more powerful words. (Ex: 3 great tips into 3 monster tips).
  • ➡️ Delete at least 10% of the text you consider unnecessary.
  • ➡️ Pay attention to the ending. A simple and effective call-to-action, and a short punchy sentence.

So with all that in mind, here’s an example to help you get an idea of the key components of a good cold email.


Subject: Automate your prospecting for free

Hey {{firstName}}!

Hope things are going well!

I know you work as a Business developer for {{company}}, and thought you might be interested in knowing that we just launched our freemium plan on Waalaxy.

Waalaxy is an automated tool that combines the power of LinkedIn and emailing to get you unbelievable results.

If that’s something you’re interested in, don’t hesitate to shoot me a message on LinkedIn (link below), or respond to this email – I’d be happy to tell you more or help you get started on a free trial (no catch, promise). If that’s not something you’re interested in right now, you can also let me know – no worries 😅

Enjoy the rest of your week!


Blessing Lola A.

How to write a cold email for sales

There are some slight differences when sending cold emails for sales purposes. We’re going to look a bit more closely at that use case below. This article really goes into detail:

Sales Email : A complete guide to Start and Boost email marketing campaign


  • Great deliverability rates start with correct setup. Don’t rush it.
  • Don’t use softwares like ChimpMail for your cold emails. Instead, opt for tools like Waalaxy which is built for multichannel prospecting.
  • Keep an eye on your deliverability rate by measuring your open/click rate, response rate, and sample reception rate.
  • Brush up on your cold emailing copywriting skills and avoid spammy words where possible.

It’s now time to start your cold email marketing strategy. What are you waiting for – start your free 7-day trial today (no credit card needed) for a better prospecting campaign and emails that get delivered. 🚀

Blessing Lola

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