Astral Digital



Cold email has got a bad rep. No wonder, because so many of you do it wrong…

  • It’s impersonal
  • It’s boring
  • It feels unwanted
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We all get those dreaded pitch slap emails in our inbox that we immediately open to delete. 

  • 333 billion emails are sent every day
  • 1 in 6 emails don’t get to the inbox
  • 4 in 5 emails are never opened 

That’s what you’re coming up against – it’s tough out there.

Important note: Cold outreach is hard, you will get more no’s than yes’s and probably even more people ghost you. This guide aims to help you improve response rates, but cold outreach will always be a tough gig. 

Here you’ll find the ultimate guide for cold email outreach to get you the BEST results

What is the point of cold email outreach?

Cold email outreach is when you send an email to a potential customer who doesn’t know you or your business. 

The point of doing this is to:

  • Start conversations
  • Capture engagement
  • Build brand awareness
  • Get new customers and clients 

Cold email outreach is all about creating value and relationships.

So when you think of it like that, it’s pretty obvious you shouldn’t be pitching right there & then, right? 

A cold email’s goal is to pique the interest of your recipient so that a relationship of giving and taking can be built. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re attempting to build backlinks, get on a podcast, promote websites across different niches, or offer potential clients your amazing services, it’s the relationship that will bring you there (not an ugly pitch slap). 

Everybody can benefit from building relationships, I actually landed my biggest client through an outreach message and managed to start conversations with some amazing brands and people. 

Get your tech set up sorted first

This means:

  • Having a dedicated email sending subdomain purely for cold email
  • Having the right email service provider to use to send your emails from (for the love of biscuits, please do not send from your inbox)
  • Getting your email sending domain authenticated (SPF, DKIM, DMARC)

Your data is just as important as everything else

Dirty data, the wrong data, out of date data are all recipes for disaster.

Before you do anything, ensure you’ve got good quality data, by this I mean:

  • Valid email addresses 
  • If you’re buying data – ensure you buy from a reputable data broker
  • Don’t send to people in your database from years go

And also, make sure this data is your target audience – if it’s not, you’re wasting your time. 

Get these 3 things right

1. Your subject line

This is such a crucial element and because you can no longer rely on opens it’s hard to find out if it’s effective anymore.

Your subject line should:

  • Stop the reader in their tracks
  • Entice curiosity
  • Make them want to open it
  • Hook them in

Keep it short, concise, friendly (and avoid any clickbating).

Depending on your audience you could use humour or wit.

2. Your elevator pitch

In a few sentences or less you should be able to tell your reader, who you are, what you do & what you want with your recipient.

It needs to be engaging, not overly pompous (no one cares if you’re a Fortune 5000000 company) and always revolve around the reader. 

Top tip: Provide value in your emails alongside your pitch. Give out something will help your audience for free. 

3. That call to action (CTA)

Make that CTA crystal clear (and stick to one).

Ok, so you’ve got their attention, now what? 

Tell them what they need to do. Whether it’s getting them to reply and answer a question, click on a link or download something. 

Make it clear, make it easy & most importantly – don’t be pushy. 

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Cold email practices you should follow

Stay honest with your emails

If you are straight up pitching and you’ve got this person’s email from LinkedIn or purchased it, sometimes a little bit of honesty can go a long way. 

Creating a human to human connection is the most important thing you do here and instead of just pretending like you somehow just have their email, just be honest. 

Personalisation for the WIN

I don’t just mean use their name in your email. And also, please avoid doing this:

“Hi [first name], as [job title] from [company]” – that’s just boring and not going to get you the best results.

Personalisation means understanding your reader on a deeper level, and this is all done through research.

Speak to their challenges, pain points, needs, wants, desires – don’t just assume.

Research is such a key part of email outreach – without it, you’re spraying & praying.

While you’ll catch a few, you’ll piss everyone else off.

Remember to follow up - the right way

This is very much based on your audience, because if you’re talking to a CEO that is so busy and inbox if already crowded your follow up strategy would be different to say someone in a completely different role within that business. 

3-5 follow ups is our sweet spot, but there’s room for me where we feel it’s relevant. 

Do not follow up everyday – that’s just annoying. 

Have an actual cut off email and stick to it. We always use a final email that let’s the recipient know that we won’t be following up again – but here’s what you can do.

Stick to your promise! 

Common mistakes people make when doing cold email outreach

Using the wrong email address

Any information from the sender that shows up in the inbox is crucial, I’m talking about:

  • From email
  • From name
  • Subject line
  • Preheader


But, here’s where people go wrong…

The email address.

You should have a dedicated email sending domain and email address specifically for cold email outreach – but in most cases it’s some old email address or a ‘shared inbox’.

That just makes you look impersonal, careless and spammy.

Not testing emails

Before you hit go on your massive pot of data, try doing some testing.

Testing is the foundation of any successful campaign, so start there first.

You can then go back to the drawing board if something did work too well, or you got feedback – it’s important to test & learn throughout the whole process.

Pissing people off

Because it’s written down, the tone and interpretation can be taken in a totally different way by the reader.

This is why nailing down your tone of voice is key in your emails. You can’t leave any room for negative interpretation.

  • Don’t be pushy
  • Know when to stop
  • Ask for feedback (and then action it)
  • Don’t assume
  • Always ask questions
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How to measure the effectiveness of your cold emails

We all know open rates are completely pointless – so don’t bother taking anything from that (if you’re sat here wondering why open rates are completely pointless you need to follow me on LinkedIn)

So, how do you understand that your cold email outreach campaign was successful?

  • Clicks – if you added in a link to your email, how many people clicked through?
  • Reply rate – this is your biggest indicator of success even if if they are people saying no – it will provide valuable insight
  • Delivery and deliverability rate – yes they are two different things. But ensuring your emails are getting to the inbox is KEY.

What kind of results can I expect to see?

The results depend totally on the output of what you do. If you get cold emails right you can see response rates shoot up to 15-20% (but we’ve actually done higher).

But remember cold email will always be lower than your subscribers engagement. The average response rate is around 7% so aim for that.

Get us to do it for you (because who’s got time for all this)

We’ll create your whole cold email outreach strategy for you.

This means:

  • We’ll set your goals – what should we be aiming for through this outreach?
  • We’ll identify and research your customers – who are we going after, where are they, what makes them tick?
  • We’ll identify key messages and persona’s – it’s not one message for all (spray & pray don’t work), we’ll develop key messages that resonate with your ideal customer personas (that we’ll develop).
  • We’ll craft copy that piques interest & get’s replies
  • We’ll sort your tech out – we’ll recommend the best platform to use for cold email, we’ll get your ideal clients email addresses & we’ll sort it all out for you
  • We’ll test & then go live
  • We’ll implement our tried & tested follow up series to get the best results

Sound good? Get in touch to get started

Your questions answered:

Listen up, because cold email outreach works. 

It's your ticket to kickstarting conversations, grabbing attention, boosting brand awareness, and actually getting new customers and clients. 

We're talking about building real connections that can fuel long-term partnerships. Ready to up your game?

Don't be spammy!

To keep your cold email from getting the side-eye, you've got to step up your game.

Get yourself a dedicated email sending subdomain, pick a rock-solid service provider, and authenticate that domain  (SPF, DKIM, DMARC).

Plus, throw in some data quality and a touch of personalisation from deep research. Now we're talking genuine outreach, not spammy nonsense.

There is always a reason why things don't work.

Sometimes not every email will land as expected.

If you're not seeing the engagement you hoped for, it's time to reassess and tweak your strategy.

Keep an eye on key metrics like clicks, replies, and delivery rates.

If these numbers are underwhelming, it's a sign that adjustments may be needed.

Also, pay attention to any feedback you receive – constructive criticism can be your secret weapon.

Several factors could be at play. Check your subject lines, the clarity of your message, and the relevance of your content.

If your data isn't up-to-date (or rubbish) or your personalisation falls flat, it might be time for a refresh.

Because you have great taste? 💅

In all seriousness, we’re solution architects.

We take all your problems and challenges and go away to create bespoke solutions for every business we work with.

More importantly, though, in a sea of unethical advertising and promises from agencies, we’re perfectly comfortable with saying no.

If we don’t think we can deliver something to the best of our ability, or if we don’t think something is suitable for you, we aren’t going to do it.

We genuinely believe in delivering the right solution for you, and sometimes that means saying no, and we’ll never endorse anything that doesn’t deliver the best results.
Plus, we’ve got no hidden or outrageous agency-associated fees, and we’re a specialist partner you can trust (and get along like a house on fire with!) and we do a little happy dance every time we get a new client.

You might even want to take us out for a cheeky Nandos, but we won’t make it a requirement for partnering with us.

We won’t provide you with video evidence of that, though.