What is your advice for a newbie in cold email?

This is a question I answered off Quora this morning, so I thought I’d add it here for you all to read. Here are the steps I’d recommend:

  1. Fully-authenticate your domain’s DNS records. Because new cold email tools send through your Gmail/Microsoft accounts, they do not always suggest where/how to add a record in the onboarding… as they do not need to for their ability to send through your accounts, and expect you have already added a record for your Google Apps or Outlook account. You may have added a single record by now, but have you added a DMARC record? Here’s the gist: DMARC TXT records validate the origin of email messages by verifying the IP address of an email’s author against the alleged owner of the sending domain. For Microsoft email users, here is the DMARC TXT record: _dmarc.microsoft.com. 3600 IN TXT “v=DMARC1; p=none; pct=100; rua=mailto:d@rua.agari.com; ruf=mailto:d@ruf.agari.com; fo=1″ For Google Apps users, here is the add instructions: Add a DMARC record
    Check if DMARC is verified on your domain here.
  2. Do thorough research on which platform to use for data. Not all researchers and scrapers work the same way. Further, not every tool or service will fully-verify your data for you. Most rely heavily on LinkedIn’s code to grab name and company email domain and then use soft-pings to ‘verify’ the email authenticity for you, but only a small few of these tools will continually monitor the *bounce rate of emails sent to that inbox and stop providing those bad emails. My point is, if you are planning to scrape for mass-cold-emailing operations, use a platform with the verified data as well as the sequence sending capabilities. The reason – your first attempt at bulk cold emailing can end up with your domain on blacklists so it’s not worth the risk to ‘try’ a few out. I compare the top 5 cold emailing platforms who also provide data for customers in this comprehensive report**Inboxing is determined by: quality of the prospect data, open/click rates of emails sent by your domain, send volume, consistency.
  3. When writing copy, customize your messages using dynamic fields other than simply {{First_Name}} or {{Company_Name}}. Not using at least 4 custom fields in your email (specific to that person) will make your email blatantly cold. Use IF/THEN dynamic text fields to further this customization without having to segment your lists too specifically (this is where copy in the message can change based on the title, department or even gender of the person you are sending to).
  4. Limit your sending to 100/day per email account to start (includes only emails sent to other domains, not counting internal emails). Google Suite, MS and other email service providers either have a preset daily sending limit to unique senders, or it is set-up by the IT department of these companies. Typically this limit is set at 100 emails to unique senders per day. For Google servers, it can be higher but it’s not clear what you limit is until you’ve reached it. It could be 250 per day with another criterion such as N amount of email in T amount of time (e.g. 50 emails in 10 minutes). But to be safe to start, limit to 100 when sending through your Gmail (also Google Apps) or Microsoft (Outlook) servers. 
  5. Paste your email copy into http://www.hemingwayapp.com/ before sending to ensure it has correct grammar/spelling and is ‘readable’.
  6. Finally, if you are using data from customers in the EU, follow GDPR guidelines:

3 most important things to know about GDPR in the context of e-marketing

  1. Contact and other personal data used in an e-marketing campaign need to have been collected for that purpose specifically.
  2. Contact (data subject) needs to be able to exercise their right of access, right of erasure, right of rectification and right of opt-out without any barriers.
  3. Data processors (data providers) need to provide a data processing agreement to their customers defining the scope and purpose of the data processing.

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I hope you learned something here. I talk more about cold email and other growth tactics in my weekly newsletter if you want to subscribe here.

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