If you’re reading this and you’re hunting for cold email marketing software, congrats – you’re already looking into one of my most effective and underused tools for B2B marketing.
Like any channel, cold email has its pitfalls, tricks, and best practices. One big difference is that picking the right (or wrong) software to use can make or break your campaigns.
It can get a little confusing, so we’ll walk you through everything you need to know when selecting your platform.
Cold Email Marketing Software: What to Look For
There are a few technical things to understand about cold email before you pick a product to run with. The first, and most important, is sender reputation.
Also called sender score, this is a value from 1-100 that is assigned to your IP or domain by each ISP (Internet Service Provider). It serves as a guideline for them to judge how trustworthy your email campaigns are.
When you send emails, your sender reputation gets checked by your ISP and by your recipient’s ISP. The lower it is, the more likely your emails will get treated as spam.
So obviously you want your score to be as high as possible. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to damage, and much harder to build back up.
When choosing which software you want to use for cold email marketing, aim for one that makes it as easy as possible to keep your sender score safe. Look for these features:
Sender Score Protection
The best way to keep your IP and domain sender score from getting damaged is to send using different IPs and domains. The ideal cold email platform will enable you to send using its own dedicated IP addresses and domains, which means your sender score stays totally safe.
That’s a strong first step, but the fact remains that sending email de facto requires an IP and a domain. So whichever ones you’re using will still have their own sender score, which can be impacted. That means you still need to follow best practices!
Email List Cleansing
One of the make-or-break factors for your campaigns is the quality of your contact list. If there’s one thing you should pay close attention to, it’s this.
Ensure you’re sourcing your contact lists from reputable data providers that aggregate their contacts, and don’t scrape them. Scraping results in large amounts of garbage data and, honestly, you’re far better off not sending a campaign at all than sending to a scraped list.
Once you have a nice, high-quality targeted list, the next step is to clean it out.
Here’s why: even the best-quality lists – heck, even hard-earned opted-in lists – decay over time. People leave jobs, switch positions, companies go under or are acquired. Sometimes, previously-real email addresses are repurposed as spam traps.
Sending to bad contacts like that hurts your sender score. Plus, none of them are potential customers, so it’s not worth keeping them in your lists anyway.
There are services out there that will clean your contact list for you and endeavor to remove all that bad data. The best-case scenario, of course, is to have it done automatically (and for free) when you upload your list to your email platform.
Your contact list is the single biggest key to success. Don’t neglect it.
One great rule of thumb for cold emailing is “if it looks like spam, it’ll get treated like spam.” So don’t make your emails look like spam.
In one way, that’s pretty easy – we all get enough spam to know what a spam message looks like, and it’s not hard to write content that is a lot more legitimate than that.
On the other hand, though, there are a lot of possible red flags that spam filters look for that you won’t remember, or might not even know about.
Sure, including “BUY NOW!” in your subject line is a pretty obvious one. But what about including too large an image, or having a too-low text-to-image ratio?
Both of those are common spammer practices that you might not have heard of, but the spam filters checking your emails sure have.
Spammers commonly use particular words and phrases. Spam filters are designed to spot those words and phrases and catch spam before it hits your inbox. So spammers started just adding in a big image with their content written on it, since the filters can’t actually read image content.
To combat this, spam filters now look for emails that include little to no text, but have images or one big image.
It’s a sort of arms race that’s constantly escalating and evolving, and it’s far too easy to get caught up in it when you’re deploying cold email marketing, even when it’s actually awesome legitimate content.
Hunt for an email platform that can check your content before you hit send and ensure that you haven’t accidentally included something that will scare the spam filters.
CAN-SPAM stands for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing”, and is the United States legislation around, among other things, what sort of email marketing you can and cannot legally send.
It stipulates a range of requirements in order for your campaigns to be permitted, and among them is the necessity of a functioning unsubscribe method. Your emails must have a clear, obvious, functional and easy way for the reader to opt out of further messages.
There are other technical requirements as well, and you should choose an email platform that makes sure your emails meet them before you send. Otherwise, you might get yourself in hot water!
Robust Email Editing
On top of all that, of course, you want to have all the features and functions you’d expect to find in top-notch email platforms.
You should be able to easily create your campaigns to match your vision, regardless of your technical skill level. If you’re a content specialist and don’t know much about code, it should give you the resources required to quickly and easily assemble great content.
It needs to also let you code your emails from the ground up in HTML if that’s your preference. Flexibility and ease of use are important.
Putting It All Together
If you’re looking for cold email marketing software, look no further – Clickback’s email lead generation software combines everything we’ve talked about in this article and more, providing a comprehensive cold email solution that really works.