Sending speed, the daily amount of emails, the algorithm of a cold email tool, having a separate domain for outreach, warm-up... these are all factors that influence your performance and deliverability.
In this article, I'll walk you through each of them and leave you with clear instructions on how to cold email someone while skyrocketing your results.
I promise you this - it's not your typical advice. It's magic beans. 😍
We'll talk about:
- A second domain for outreach, yes or no?
- How many cold emails to send per day
- Choosing your cold email tool
- How to warm up your email domain
- How to improve your email deliverability
- How to cold email someone
- How to analyze cold email results
How to send cold emails?
Nailing these 7 steps will help you master the craft of sending cold emails, avoiding spam filters, maximizing deliverability, and getting results that mean something to your business.
Starting with question one...
Second email domain for outreach?
Everything starts here. Is it a good idea to set up a second domain for email outreach and save the original one from trouble?
Personally, we've used @lemlist.com from the beginning of time till today. First it was Guillaume and me sending stuff, then the growth team expanded to 4 members, then 3 salespeople joined, after which 3 more came to form the French marketing team.
Nevertheless, all emails are still being sent from @lemlist.com. No problems so far!
However, there are a few scenarios in which it can be a good idea to set up a second domain for cold emailing.
When does one domain make sense?
- You've maximized email deliverability
- You're keeping email lists highly targeted and small (no bulk sending)
- You're investing time in sending personalized messages (no matter how busy)
- You have a process on how new employees get educated on best practices
- You're verifying emails and keeping your bounce rate close to zero
- If you're using the same domain for email marketing, make sure to maintain a high level of email list hygiene (verify subscribers' emails, unsubscribe uninterested ones)
When to set up a second email domain?
- You have a big sales team
- It's challenging to maintain quality control
- You want to send broad, quicker email campaigns
- Your email list for prospecting is massive
- You're not verifying emails and the bounce rate is above 5%
- You're sending a lot of onboarding and transactional emails, including lead nurturing sequences from one domain, and don't want to risk it
In that case, a second domain for outreach would make sense.
Would people react differently if they saw emails from @lemlist.co instead of @lemlist.com?
They might. But you can get around that by making sure your outreach is on point with the brand, highly personalized, and relevant to the prospect.
Go with the one domain, but "processize" your cold emailing so that rules and best practices are being followed by everybody in every campaign.
How many emails to send per day?
If I had a dollar every time this question pops... I'll think I'd earn around $100 per month. In all seriousness, the question of how many emails should you send per day/week/month is not the one you should be asking.
The real question, the one that matters most is how many prospects do you want to close daily/weekly/monthly?
I follow two rules. First, I get the best results when I don't send more than 100 emails per day.
- Email reputation, intact (open rates above 50-80%, no spam reports)
- Reply rates, pretty good (20-60% reply rate, depending on campaign type)
By slowing down the sending speed, you leave more time to do proper research on your prospects, customize messages, and make them sound more human. Pursuing meaningful relationships rather than quick transactions is what sales and business growth is all about.
Ask yourself this question. Would you rather send 100 emails, get 40 replies, and 15 new customers or go for 600 emails, 40 replies, and 15 customers.
The sole premise that sending more emails brings more replies is crazy to me. Sending less, but highly-targeted emails result in more conversions. That's the game we should be playing anyway.
Of course, your list can have 1000s of prospects. That's fine. But there's no need to email everyone on the same day.
On the other hand, you can send 200 or 500 emails per day and still get results. It's not impossible, it's just riskier and our stats show metrics are lower overall.
Trust me on this, send between 50 and 100 emails per day. I guarantee you will see an enormous difference. Google loves it and your prospects will too. Changes both your deliverability and your performance.
How should your daily sending schedule look like?
Let's tear down mine. Imagine I have a list of 500 prospects. I've researched everyone and everything is personalized.
The plan is to send all these emails in a week. That's 100 per day, excluding the follow-ups. Here's the daily schedule.
- I usually send these campaigns in 4h time frames
- A new email will be sent every 2.4 minutes approximately
- Delivering messages from Monday to Friday, obviously :D
If you want to speed up sending, you either decrease the "minutes" between two emails (e.g. to 2) or increase the time frame (e.g. 1-7 pm).
To slow down the sending, you either increase the "minutes" between two emails or decrease the time frame.
lemlist will give you the approximate time lag between two emails and you can always check in reports when the next email will be sent.
What cold email tool to trust?
There's a difference between cold emails, lead nurturing sequences, and email marketing.
- Cold emails --> outreach to prospects you don't have a prior relationship with
- Lead nurturing --> behaviourally-triggered emails (e.g. lead magnets)
- Email marketing --> newsletter delivery for 1000s of subscribers
Each category requires a specific tool for the job, because of many differences between them.
The trick is not to use, for example, an email marketing tool for cold email outreach. Or vice versa. It's like playing tennis with golf balls. A waste of space.
Email marketing tools are great for delivering huge quantities of emails fast. However, cold emails MUST NOT be sent as a blast.
Google and other providers are sensitive to you sending huge quantities like that. They don't want you blasting too many people fast, the same way a club owner won't let you drink all the booze during a happy hour.
You ought to be smart about the way you deliver campaigns. Slow and steady wins the race.
Now, you want your cold email tool to optimize the sending for you. What makes lemlist unique in that sense is that emails are sent one after the other, mimicking human behaviour.
They are spread out and are sent throughout a few hours or days, depending on your setup.
This matters because it boosts your email deliverability and helps your messages land in the primary tab. Therefore, pick a cold email tool that provides you with a top-notch sending algorithm. I recommend lemlist, but you do you.
Warm up your email domain
Before you press the send button, it's essential to understand the concept of a warmed-up email domain. Why?
Because your email deliverability depends on it. Promotions and spam folders are no destinations for you and me. To avoid that from happening, you need to warm up your email address.
Email warm-up is a process that consists of you gradually increasing the sending volume.
In simple terms, you or somebody from your team with a new email address starts sending and receiving messages like a real person would. Usually, they do that with the help from their friends and colleagues to make sure they get a reply.
But, you don't need to do it manually. I'll give you an automatic way out. It's called lemwarm.
- Open your lemlist account and go to lemwarm (press shortcut W)
- Fire it up and press start
A word of advice...
If your email account is younger than 6 months: (point 1 on image above)
- Number of warm-up emails per day after ramp-up is 30 (point 2 on image above)
- Ramp-up increment value per day is 1 (point 2 on image above)
If it's older than 6 months:
- Number of warm-up emails per day after ramp-up is 40
- Ramp-up increment value per day is 2
How long to wait for your email t0 warm up?
The optimal time is one month.
In case you want to send emails during the warm-up process, we strongly suggest you keep your volumes lower (25-50 emails a day during week 1, 50-100 emails during week 2, etc.) and increase gradually week after week.
Improve your email deliverability
I won't bother you with a long section here, because we already talked about email deliverability in another article.
Let's keep it straightforward, checklist-style with proper tutorials linked...
Think of it as assembling a car. Proper engine, tires, full tank, and good music. Driving experience, maximized. Once you nail the four bullets above, email deliverability will be too.
How to cold email someone
Another checklist coming your way. Cold emailing tips and tactical advice on how to make your cold emails customized to your audience.
✔️ Research your audience
What's their current pain point? How does their current process look like? How is their business going? What's their email address?
You definitely need these answers.
In case you're facing issues in finding their emails, here's the solution.
✔️ Make your subject and intro lines sharp & intriguing
The subject line is a hook, something that serves as a teaser in your email. It shouldn't be long so that it can be seen properly on mobile. Here are a few subject line examples.
As for the intro line, figure out common ground between you and your prospect. Write a sentence or two that's focused on making a human connection first. Tiramisu cold email strategy can help.
✔️ Turn your product/service into a solution they need
For example, if I'm selling lemlist, I'm not going to talk about how cool my cold email tool is. Say I find out that the prospect is having email deliverability issues.
My pitch is then, "Hey Luis, here's the solution you need" and then show an actual way to solve it instead of giving them my sign-up page.
A cool way to "pitch it" is to use custom images.
✔️ Add follow-up emails
Really quick, follow-ups will bring more replies.
From a strategic perspective, your follow-up can either be a reminder or it can add more value for the prospect by being a part of the "story".
How many follow-ups do I send? Two or three. Here's the schedule:
- 2-day delay between email 1 and 2
- 2-day delay between email 2 and 3
- 3-day delay between email 3 and 4
How to analyze cold email results?
Last piece of advice. Analyze your cold email results. Assess engagement and deliverability metrics to know if you're doing a good job or you need to step it up a notch.
How to know if your deliverability is on a good level?
- Your open rate is above 50%
- Your bounce rate is below 5%
What are the cold email metric benchmarks?
- Your click rate is above 40%
- Your reply rate is above 20% (for targeted, personalized outreach)
- Your reply rate is above 8% (for broader outreach)
Don't send more than 100 cold emails a day. It will change your view on cold email outreach and the results it can bring.
Doing it this way means you'll have more time to thoroughly understand your target audience, their pains, and challenges. You then use all that to deliver customized, tailor-made emails in their inbox.
Bigger reply and conversion rates will follow. And with everybody else focusing on 1000-emails per day sprints, you'll be playing the 20 qualified prospects a day marathon.
Stay the course,