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Cold Email Guide

December 20, 2021
20 min read
There are 3 types of ways to send cold emails
  1. Using your own personal email server
  2. Use email accounts such as Gmail’s or Gsuite’s, or Outlook
  3. Using somebody else's server like MailChimp, ActiveCampaign and other general email automation tools

Using your own personal server:

  1. This is for hardcore emailers that are used to managing their own servers.
  2. We do not do this in-house as we are unable to get as great of email deliverability (amount of emails that land in inbox) compared to using G Suite emails

Using a tool like MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, etc.

  • Do NOT use these tools unless you are fine with the email provider banning your account after 1 or 2 cold email blasts
  • At times we have spent $400 knowing that we would get 90%+ inbox rate and be banned in 24 to 48 hours - a calculated investment\
  • By sending cold emails, you are ruining their server reputation, and lowering their inbox rating….
  • This is why they will ban you as soon as they realize what is going on
I ONLY run Gsuite accounts for many reasons

*** Update 1/29/22: We are currently testing new email providers and will update this once we have more data ***

  1. I maintain 90%+ inbox rate (vs. servers that get very, very low inbox rate - if they are only used for cold email)
  2. I am able to use a professional email and professional looking domain (vs. Gmail)
  • I am also able to redirect this domain to any landing page that I want. What this means is that if somebody visits one of my dummy domains such as, it will automatically redirect them to another website page of the product or service I am promoting
  • People do look up the domain, as we have seen significant boosts to our landing pages when the ONLY source of traffic is from people researching the domain that sent the cold email
  1. For the majority of the campaigns we run, we have a very high ROI from ALL cold email related hard costs
  • Domain - $11 to $20 if purchased on
  • Gsuite Basic email - $6/mo
  • Email sending tool - lemlist ($29/mo, etc.)
Cold Email Step-by-Step Process

These is the step-by-step process we use in-house to run cold email campaigns

  1. Understand the product or service
  2. Determine who to target
  3. Build an email list
  4. Purchase domains
  5. Purchase emails
  6. Set up email & domain records (SPF, Dmarc, etc.)
  7. Set up email forwarding  & replying - what we call the master inbox
  8. Warm up emails
  9. Write cold email copy
  10. Upload email copy + email list
  11. Launch campaign
  12. Monitor campaign results
  13. Look for errors
  14. Develop reports
  15. Pivot if needed

If you can learn each of these steps, you can become successful with cold email.

Which Domain Should I Use?

Should you use your main company domain or purchase a new one?

This question always comes up and it’s a very important decision when starting to learn cold email marketing.

IF you care about your domain, do NOT use your main domain. NEVER use your main domain. A new one is only $7/year on NameCheap.

Just assume that ALL emails from that domain will eventually land in spam, including emails to existing clients.

I learned this lesson the hard way in one of my previous companies! (see story below)

What I recommend is to purchase ‘alternative’ domain names that are similar to your company or similar to your offer.

These can be: .net, .biz, .info, etc.

An interesting fact I learned is that I get the same reply rates when sending from and a branded Leadhype do not stress about choosing the perfect domain name (as we all have!).

A Hard Lesson I Learned

I was sending cold emails using an alternative domain ending - .net, .co, .biz, etc.

I would generate leads and then message them using my real .com email address.

Within a month, my real leads and clients were no longer receiving my emails!

Because I was contacting these prospects using my real domain - it was technically my first time contacting them using that email address.

To make matters worse, I was contacting them for the first time (using my real email & domain) and I was sending them (3) PDF flyers!

Warming up your emails..

It doesn’t matter if you use Gmail accounts or Gsuite accounts, you need to ‘warm up’ your emails.

The goal is to make your ‘email sending pattern’ look like a human is sending the emails. Normal humans do not send 100 emails per hour, which would obviously trigger a red flag!

To warm up in-house, we use tools that do this automatically for us:

How to Appear Human

Think about how you typically send emails during the day.

You do not send 10 emails in 5 minutes.

You do not send the same ‘copied and pasted’ email over and over again.

Fortunately, there are automated marketing tools that help assist with this!

These are some features that some tools offer:

  • Automated Warm-Up - there are email platforms that ‘control’ your email account and ‘start conversations’ automatically with other users on that platform.
    Yes, these are automated  2-way conversations that happen, to automatically warm up your email + domain, and all you need to do is press ‘start’.
    What happens next is that the tool sends emails automatically on your behalf to other users, then the other users automatically reply.
  • Never send 100% of the same email - if the only thing you are changing in each email you send is the <first name>, you are sending the same message, which is an easy way to be flagged as spam.
  • One way to combat this, automatically, is to send half of your emails as automated warm-up emails, and the other half as cold emails
  • Space your emails out over the day - internally we send 30 warm-up emails + 40-50 cold emails per day, per email account that we manage.
    This allows us to space the emails to send around 12 to 20 minutes apart, rather than sending an email ‘blast’.
Leaving Automated Warm-Up Turned On?

This question always comes up.

“Once the domain is warm, do I turn off the warm-up feature?”

No! Never turn it off.

The 3 Pieces (Pillars) of a Successful Email Campaign
  1. Having a product or service that people want (paired with great copywriting)
  2. Having a targeted email list
  3. Landing in the inbox (instead of the Spam folder)
Having a Great Product or Service

After sending millions of cold emails, I’ve learned what products or services are easy and hard to sell.
Personally, I’ve stopped running campaigns for products or services that are too competitive such as website design, website development, SEO, etc.
That being said, I know people that have had great success in those niches, but as I do not offer these services myself, I have not mastered marketing those services.
The campaigns I love promoting are unique products or services.

Targeted Email List Building

One of the 3 pillars of a successful email campaign is having a highly targeted email list. Imagine trying to sell a service to a list where only half of the list MAY be interested.

List building really takes some understanding of the campaign you want to run. This is why I do not recommend outsourcing this step to a list builder and expecting him to 100% understand your target audience.

What we do in-house is to develop Sales Navigator filters and then, once the filters are completed, pass the labor task of list building to our team members.

While we are on the topic of quality lists, you want to stay away from sending emails to info@, sales@, hello@ type of generic emails, if at all possible. It is also not very ‘human-like’ to send 100 emails per day to these generic emails.

This topic can be turned into a few articles, and I’ve already made a few videos on this topic, so I will elaborate on this further at a later time.

If you are seeking a badass email generating tool, we just opened our in-house scraper to the public -

Email Copywriting / Sending the Right Message

There are only a handful of cold emails that I’ve actually responded to.

Why would somebody want to respond to you?

What makes you different from the other hundreds of emails they receive daily?

From sending millions of emails, and winning the lemlister of the week award for writing solid emails, I have a great understanding of cold emails...

..And guess what…

I still need to test emails…

Once you find the ‘best templates’ they are already old and there’s a good chance your prospects are used to seeing “those emails” -- which has the opposite effect…

Remember, you want to stand out from the rest.

My main goal of a cold email is to start a conversation, not be a salesman by emailing them an advertisement that nobody cares about.

Depending on the list size, in-house we typically write 2 or 3 versions of the email copy.

Then we watch very closely, daily, until we see which one has a significantly better open / reply rate and kill the rest.

IF all of them are doing bad, we take a closer look to see if there is significant room for improvement, and if not, we assume there is a problem with either the offer or the target/list.

Email structure we use in-house (currently):
  1. Subject line
    • To get them on the hook
    • Must also have some indication of what your email will be about
      • Otherwise they will feel like a bait and switch which is never good
  2. First 1 to 2 Sentences
    • This is the “why I am messaging you” or “how I found you”
  3. Middle of email
    • What I do / how I can help
    • MUST not be super salesly
  4. End of email - Call-to-Action - what do I want them to do:
    • Reply to my email
    • Schedule a call into a calendar link
    • Call my phone number now (rarely used)
    • Click a link to go to a landing page

There are most likely other call-to-actions, but these are the ones we stick to in-house.

Just like list building, email copywriting can be an entire course or book…

I have a few videos of me dissecting a 1 week old cold email and rewriting it.

Reviewing Your Campaign Results

So you started a campaign. Great! You’ve taken action.

But what do the results of the campaign mean? Are they good or are they bad?

Now the next step is to try to understand the results of your campaign.

These are the metrics / indicators we will use to judge whether the campaign is a success or not:

  1. Open rate
  2. Reply rate
  3. Click rate (if applicable)
  4. Bounce rate
  5. Cost Per Scheduled Call (if applicable)

** Depending on your call-to-action, you may prefer the reply rate to be low, but have the click rate be high **

Open Rate

The open rate tells me a few things:

  • Are people opening my messages
  • If the open rate is too low, I may be in spam
  • If I am running multiple emails/domains sending to the same list/target, with the same subject line and same content, and one email is getting noticeably worse open rates than the other, then I know that this email may be ending up in spam
Reply Rate

IF our goal is to generate replies to your campaign, this statistic matters!

I use this statistic as an indicator of how well my email copy was written.

What Is A Good Reply Rate?

This may surprise you, but there is NO exact answer to this question.

Even if your email is written perfectly AND you have the best email list, some people may just not be interested in your product, offer, or service.

I was offering lead generation to CRM developers and generated scheduled calls for ~$18

I was offering marketing services to attorneys and my cost to generate a call was ~$150

I would shoot for a 3% to 30%+ reply rate.

Cost Per Scheduled Call

If your goal is to speak to qualified prospects on the phone, a critical statistic I would base your campaign on is the Cost-Per-Scheduled-Call.

This cost includes:

  • Email list cost
  • Email verifying cost
  • Email sending + warmup cost
  • Any other hard cost directly associated with email sending/management
Ending up in Spam? :(

Trust us, we’ve been there too!

If your emails are going to spam there can be many, many reasons.

Some reasons include:

  • Not properly cleaning your email list
  • Sending a spammy looking email - causing people to click spam
  • Not properly warming up your domain
  • What were you offering?
  • Does your email annoy people? (same old message or service)
  • Are your DNS settings set up properly?
  • Not appearing human-like
  • Sending too many emails per day
  • In-house we send 30 warm up emails + 50 cold emails, per account (80 emails/day/account)

Steps to Diagnose :

  1. Check SPF records -
  2. Check DNS Records -
  3. Check DMARC -
  4. Check DKIM -
  5. Check if domain is blacklisted -
  6. Check a warm-up tool (lemwarm or similar) to see the percentage of emails that are ending up in spam. If there is a solid 5% to 20%+ landing in spam daily - pause cold email sending and leave warm up on (unless you prefer to dump the domain and start fresh) -
  7. If at all possible, compare your open & reply rates to another domain that is running the same campaign & messaging to compare open rates

If all of the above is correct, then having your account disabled… it is just part of the game... I've had tons disabled, blacklisted, and end up in spam.

At the end of the day, if you are cold emailing, you will cause a percentage of people to hit that spam button on your message...just don’t give up

The Tools We Use

Leadhype’s core is creating automated business systems and processes.

...this includes beta testing a TON of new tools

As of 4/8/21 the tools we are using are:

  1. Email Sending + Warming:
  1. Email List Building:
  1. CRM:
  • Podio - Developed from scratch for cold email
  1. Email List Verification
  • BulkEmailChecker - A very affordable solution, but takes a little longer than others. The cost is worth the wait
  1. Easily manage dozens of different emails
  1. Instructions:
  1. Internet Browser
  • Wavebox - This tool allows you to stay signed into multiple email accounts with separate browser cookies
  • - An alternative to Wavebox
  1. Automation
  • Zapier - This is how we push leads from Gmail to our CRM
  1. Email Sequences
  • ActiveCampaign - If we want to add a semi-interested lead from a cold email campaign into a drip email sequence, we use a Label in Gmail > which triggers Zapier > to push the prospect into an ActiveCampaign email sequence
  • Never stop following up...especially when you can automate :-)
  1. Proposal Software
  • PandaDoc - After testing a ton of proposal software, IF we need to send out a good looking, branded proposal, we use PandaDoc.
Creating a Budget

For those new to using cold email as a marketing tool, creating a budget can be a bit tricky…

..there are just so many tools!

For this example, I am going to price out the cost to send 10k emails per month..

**** Please note, as of 8/10/21 we are no longer using IONOS as they have made it near impossible for us to scale with them. We’ve had long talks and negotiations with them and decided to pivot to Name Cheap ***

***Update 1/29/22: If you are looking to run cold email campaigns at scale, send Andrew a DM on Facebook as we have managed to get hard costs down significantly ***

10,000 emails/month
  1. (10) OutreachBin accounts - $19/each x 10 accounts = $190/mo
  2. (10) G Suite emails - $6/each x 10 emails = $60/mo
  3. (10) domains - FREE at = Free
  4. Email list - Leadhype = $97/mo
  5. Email Verification @ 10k records = $10/mo

Total Cost = $357/mo

If you want to send half of the amount of email…

5,000 emails/mont
  1. (5) OutreachBin accounts - $19/each x 5 accounts = $95/mo
  2. (5) G Suite emails - $6/each x 10 emails = $30/mo
  3. (5) domains - FREE at = Free
  4. Email list - Leadhype = $97/mo
  5. Email Verification @ 5k records = $5.95/mo

Total Cost = $227.95

Scaling to 100,000 emails per month…
  1. (100) OutreachBin accounts - $19/each x 10 accounts = $1900/mo
  2. (100) G Suite emails - $6/each x 10 emails = $600/mo
  3. (100) domains - FREE at = Free
  4. Email list - Leadhype Gold = $147/mo
  5. Email Verification @ 100k records = $75/mo

Total Cost = $2,722

Is it worth it?

You need to ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is the average lifetime value of your clients?
  2. How many clients do you need to generate per month to break even?
  3. How many calls are you looking to generate per month?
  1. Typically we see anywhere from a 0.1% to 3%+ booking rate (the number of people that you email that hop on a call with you)
  1. This is highly dependent on how saturated your niche is
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Link to this guide

~ Stay Positive

Andrew from Leadhype

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