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The simple strategy for making cold emailing more successful

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What do you do when you’re starting out as a freelancer and have no connections?

For most new freelancers, the go-to method for getting clients is cold emailing.

You find some businesses that look like they could use your help and you shoot them an email.

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Sounds simple, right?

Except, if we really think about it, this hit-and-hope method might be doing us less favors than we think.

Look at it this way: how many unsolicited emails do you get in your inbox every day?

As a business owner, I get many. These people pitch me their services without me knowing anything about them.

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My immediate reaction? To delete those emails and never think about them again.

So, while you think your cold emails are getting your name and face out there, the truth is, you’re probably just ending up in the trash folder.

However, I’m not about to tell you to give up cold emailing point blank.

In fact, I think it can be a very successful strategy if it’s done right.

That means taking the time to craft personalized emails that touch on the specific pain points of each company (yes, this takes longer than writing a template and shooting it off to as many businesses as you can find in a day).

But it goes deeper than that.

People crave connection

In a world where the majority of things are carried out anonymously online, we crave human connection – even if it’s done through the veneer of a computer screen.

We crave getting to know other people and having real conversations that aren’t quick pitches.

Which means your cold emailing strategy should start way before you even begin typing that template.

In order to steer clear of the trash folder and get your emails read and, more importantly, responded to, you want to be making those connections from the get-go.

Let’s look at what this might look like.

Step 1: Identify the brand and key employee

First of all, just like with any cold emailing strategy, you want to start by identifying a business that’s a good fit for you.

This is a business that could use your services (maybe their website isn’t up to par and you’re a designer, or their blog is stagnant and you’re a writer).

After you’ve qualified the potential client in that respect, you want to try and find a key employee to connect with.

Usually, this will be the marketing officer, or the creative director. If it’s a small business, it might simply be the CEO or the founder.

Step 2: Interact with this person

We’re more likely to respond to someone we’ve “met” before (even if it is just online), and we’re more likely to do someone a favor if we’ve interacted with them before or they’ve done something for us before.

This is key when it comes to successful cold emailing.

Follow your key employee on social media and respond to 2-3 of their tweets or share a post they’ve shared with added commentary.

Make sure your tweet stands out and is thoughtful so they remember you later on down the line.

Step 3: Ask to email them

When you’ve built some kind of initial connection with this person, you want to ask them if you can email them.

Contrary to popular belief, inboxes are still sacred places and people don’t like being bombarded with unasked-for pitches.

When you’re in the throes of a conversation with the employee, shoot them a tweet or a direct message asking if you can send them an email about how you might be able to work together.

If they say yes, go ahead and shoot them an email. If they say no or don’t reply, don’t send the email. It’ll just end up in the trash folder.

Step 4: If they say yes, email away

Let’s assume they’ve said yes because you’ve built up a rapport with them.

Now, instead of sending a one-size-fits-all email, you can personalize your email to include anecdotes from your conversation and call them out by name.

Guess what?

You’re no longer cold emailing them, and are in fact simply reaching out to warm prospects.

The difference in response rate is huge between these two types of potential clients, and you’ll start to notice the difference immediately if you begin creating a little bit of a connection before you send that cold email.

I’m not talking hours of rapport-building here – just a few tweets and a share or two is enough to get you on their radar.

Will you start creating connections before cold emailing?

Creating connections is such a simple idea, but it goes a long way in this internet age.

By taking a few simple steps towards getting to know your potential clients, you’re giving yourself a higher chance of getting a response, steering clear of that trash folder, and landing new clients that are a great fit for you.

Tell me – are you ready to go from cold emailing to emailing warm prospects?

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About Lizzie Davey

Lizzie Davey creates long-form content that converts for tech and marketing brands. She also runs Wanderful World, where she publishes detailed posts, hosts courses, and carries out workshops that help freelancers build and grow profitable businesses. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring new places and drinking way too much coffee.

Leave a Comment



  1. Great little article. Obvious if you think about it, unfortunately, I’d never thought about it! Many thanks

  2. It’s like you’ve been reading my Google history for the past 2 days! Nice advice!

  3. Nice. Thank you!

  4. I don’t understand how cold emailing isn’t classed as spam?

  5. I know for the fact that cold emailing doesnt work. So i ignored it. Now this post makes me want to reconsider putting this method back into my list to acquiring more customers. Thank you so much


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