I received the following question recently: I want to cold email 20,000 people per week; how do I cold email so I get results?
The honest answer is, don’t do it.
However, I get questions like this over and over again. And even if I say, don’t do it, I get the “yeah but….” response. In fact, there’s a term for this type of marketing, cold email marketing.
So since you’re insisting on proceeding with cold email marketing, let me tell you what to do when you shouldn’t do it.
What is cold emailing?
Cold emailing is bulk emailing people who don’t know you and have not officially opted in to hear from you in a style that makes the email look like a person-to-person email. It’s a category of spam. And it’s not effective. Yet, shortcuts appeal is strong, so many are looking for creative ways to get results through cold emailing.
If you send an outreach email to a person you’re trying to connect with, that is arguably not cold emailing. It becomes problematic when emailing in bulk to extensive lists of unvetted contacts.
According to SendGrid, 20% of emails don’t get delivered at all. When it comes to cold emailing, the numbers are just as low if not lower. As a result, there’s high demand for strategies and tactics to improve deliverability when cold emailing.
There are three areas that need to be addressed to improve results from cold emailing:
- The first concern with cold emailing is to get the email into the recipients’ inboxes.
- The second, to get them to open.
- And then, to get them to respond.
In other words, you need to ensure the following:
- Credibility and engagement
The second can positively affect the first. The first will negatively impact the second.
Deliverability is critical.
How does deliverability affect cold emailing success?
ISPs (internet service providers), corporations, other email services, and spam blockers work hard to eliminate irrelevant emails from making it into the recipients’ inboxes.
Deliverability, in simple terms, represents the chances that an email will get into the recipients’ email inboxes. Three main factors impact these odds:
- Challenges in getting the emails sent out
- Email senders have limits. For example, Google workspace allows you to send up to 2,000 emails per rolling 24 hours. Gmail just 500. So for 20,000 emails, you may need 2 email addresses (on different domains ideally, and I’ll explain that later)
- Email firewalls use domain-level reputation scores to block emails before they even make it to content-based spam filters. Even if you change servers, such as trying to email from a different service provider, these firewalls will still recognize your email. The firewalls will stop your cold email cold. It won’t even make it into the spam folder of the recipient.
- If your recipients report your email as spam at higher rates than email providers perceive as normal, the firewalls learn and will block emails from your domain in the future.
- Email services that enable you to send email may also block you from sending email.
- Content-based spam filters kick in after the firewalls let an email through. They are based on algorithms that look for specific email content details to determine if an email is spam.
Now that we know how all that works, I’ll go into answering the question with its specific details. How to email to 20,000 people per week.
How Do I Ensure High Deliverability for High Volume Cold Emailing
- Sending considerations- Warming up new email addresses
- As I mentioned earlier, for 20K emails a week, you may run into email-sender limits. So you’ll need more than one email address.
- You don’t want to get your main email address’s reputation tarnished, so create new email accounts on different domains.
- Given that you need to build a positive reputation with the email firewalls, you’ll want to go through a warm-up period, where your newly established, new domain emails will behave like a normal person’s inbox. This process can take up to six months.
- To start the warm-up process, start sending emails to friends and contacts. Subscribe to newsletters, which will send a confirmation email that you’ll click on. This all makes the behavior of your new email address seem realistic.
Yes, warming up an email address to effectively spam can take up to six months of regular use.
Here are other ways to warm up email addresses
- Use the email address as your primary address for a while
- Email to a few email addresses from different services. Email Joe who uses gmail, and Jane who uses Yahoo etc. This way, you’ll start warming up and building a reputation for your new email address with multiple services.
- Ensure the engagement rate is high and consistent, so it’s best to start by emailing friends and family and people you know. Also, go back and forth in threads of conversation.
- I already mentioned subscribing to newsletters.
- Send emails from one of your other email addresses that are already warmed up.
- Don’t use automation during this period. Send emails in a natural pattern, spaced a few hours apart.
How do I Bypass Email Firewalls and Email Spam Filters?
- Bypassing email firewalls: To bypass email firewalls, you must establish (which you did in step 1 above) AND maintain a good reputation.
- Register your ESP at SenderBase
- Set up your DMARC-DKIM (here’s how to do it for gmail and Google workplace)
- Be selective about who you email
- Scrub your list of bad and fake email addresses. We use ZeroBounce.
- Do all you can to avoid high spam reports, so pay attention to the quality of your content, so it delivers value and doesn’t turn off the recipient through gimmicks and too many follow-ups.
- Avoiding spam filters will require good valuable and warm content and avoiding spam indicators in your content.
- Personalize the subject line and your email intro
- Stick to only one link per email
- Don’t include images
- Avoid like the plague words such as free, deal, $$$s etc. Those are loud spam filter red flags.
- Include a signature with full info such as phone number, email, domain url, and even social networks
Wait 12 weeks… (go ahead, hate me for saying this)
Then you can try a tool like Mailshake or Prospect.io (or other alternatives, which I’m listing below) to start your automation process. During this process, you will still be limited in how many emails you can send per day (Gmail has a 2,000 limit), and you’ll have to make it seem like a natural process, so emails will have to be spaced out and mimic a p2p email as much as possible.
- Ask others for examples of spam emails they may notice
- Avoid gimmicks
- Be honest open genuine
- Be warm
- Invite them if they’re ok to be opted into a newsletter to learn more over time rather than keep getting emails
Here are other cold email systems you can try out.
- HubSpot Sales
What are good examples of cold emails that work?
Yesmail has a pretty extensive article on types of emails and examples. Here’s a method and format you can try:
- Say hello, and use their first name
- Identify their problem, their burning problem, or pain point
- Agitate that pain point (according to Yesmail)
- Offer a solution
- Include an invitation to talk
- Sign the message with your full signature.
Here is an example from Yesmail:
Do you have any cold emailing tips? Drop them in the comments.