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Your guide to cold email deliverability and its effects on brand reputation

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March 20, 2024

Taking the first step towards building a good relationship with potential business partners and customers is always sending an email. In today’s age, email remains the professional and expected means of communication, making it the most reliable channel for building bridges. However, how should one approach sending a cold email?

In this guide, we delve into the nuances of cold email deliverability to ensure your message reaches your intended recipient’s inbox rather than being relegated as spam mail. Your success depends on how you structure your email, so continue reading below at QWERTYLABS!

What is cold email?

To answer the question ‘how to send a cold email’, one must first understand what it means. A cold email refers to a message you’re sending to someone you have never interacted with. In other words, it’s an introductory email where you bring your best foot forward and make a good impression. 

It’s called ‘cold’ and refers to the lack of a pre-existing relationship with the recipient. This is the same reason why activities between people meeting are called' icebreakers’. Follow-up messages are also cold emails until the recipient responds. In this case, this establishes an interaction, and the next messages you send are called ‘warm emails’.

In cold email marketing, your objective is to connect with your target market and create a good relationship with them by making a favourable impression. To do so, you should learn how to build a good introductory email and plan how to reach out to strangers. Conducting a cold email campaign can help expand your network, aiming to maintain these relationships to the best of your ability. 

How does cold emails work?

Cold email generates leads by requiring you to take the initiative to reach out to a potential customer. If the recipient reads the email and the message resonates with them, you may receive a reply. This will signify that your email has successfully broken the ice, and you can continue sending messages to nurture your relationship. 

However, you must overcome a key challenge in cold emailing: having your message slip through the spam filter. This is challenging because an algorithm from the Internet Service Provider (ISP) scans your email and scores it from 0 to 100. The minimum acceptable score varies depending on the inbox service provider, such as Google Mail or Microsoft Outlook.

Once past the filter, the challenge shifts to crafting an appealing email that prompts the recipient to open it, read its contents, and hopefully give your brand a chance to become your customer/client. This is how cold emails work and what they’re meant to accomplish when you use them.  

Is cold emailing effective?

One of the primary strengths of cold mailing is its effectiveness in establishing high-quality leads. People you connect with through this strategy are more invested in your brand than someone who learns of it from advertising. It’s certainly less effective at expanding brand awareness, but it’s good at strengthening brand reputation. 

The effectiveness of cold emailing depends on your execution of the strategy. Your responsibilities include making emails that overcome the spam filter and have a high conversion rate. If they’re successful on the first attempt, then the follow-ups are easy to maintain your newly established customer relationships. 

11 tips to correctly deliver a cold email 

Planning a successful cold email marketing campaign begins with mastering the basics. Remember, first impressions last not just for the person reading but also because inbox providers score your reputation based on your first email. 

Providers like Google Mail (Gmail), Yahoo, and Microsoft Outlook evaluate emails using undisclosed algorithms. If your first email fails these algorithms, it will end up in the spam folder. If that happens, anything you send from your IP address and domain will be remembered as a source of spam mail. 

Inbox providers won't share their criteria, but you don’t need to because the mistakes to avoid are simple. Avoid using clickbait language and refrain from overly personalising your emails. If you still need better insight to build stronger tactics, then here’s a list of tips that will improve your cold email deliverability:

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  1. Know your recipient

The first step in email marketing is to know your recipient’s interest and how your brand can give what they are looking for. If you are reaching out to someone whom you wish to be a business affiliate, then conduct thorough research on their brand, vision, and goals. 

See how your company can align with them so that you can collaborate towards the same direction. Knowing your recipient can be tougher if you’re looking for customers. The best way to find out what they want is to have visitors come to your platform and offer their email addresses to ask for newsletters and notifications. 

For example, casino platforms require email addresses when signing up, giving you access to their contact information on the customer profile. You’re allowed to contact them through email if they left the toggle on. This is your prime opportunity to offer them newsletters and bonuses your casino offers when you’re writing the message.

  1. Make the email personalised for your recipient

Personalising an email can be a lot of work but must be done to impress a customer. Treat them as individuals, not as a demographic, so avoid using buzzwords, as this usually leaves a bad impression. Try to sound natural, like appealing to their interests and finding out what their opinions are on your brand, services, and your business in general. 

It is helpful to follow a template when composing an email, but don’t rely on it too much. Use it as a guide to keep your email legible and mention elements that show appreciation for the recipient. For example, if the recipient is a customer in your casino, then you can propose bespoke promotions related to their favourite games. 

  1. Segment your recipients to avoid missending follow-up emails

You won’t be making cold emails to one person at a time. This has to be sent to groups of people to establish a variety of cold leads. Segmenting these recipients means that you are classifying them in different ways. Treat each one as unique from the others, but use this opportunity to send similar offers to all of them at the same time.

The primary challenge is to make sure that the email you’re sending is not too similar. Instead, you should be spreading and personalising each one to some degree. Make a list of customers’ traits and behaviours to determine how to properly structure your cold email. This also helps in planning follow-up emails, allowing warming leads. 

  1. Keep track of your email sender's reputation

Email sender reputation refers to the score that determines your email deliverability. It is the ISP that assigns it to protect its users from cluttering their inboxes with spam mail. Higher scores mean your email is most likely to reach your intended recipient while lower score means you will experience email bounce. 

Maintaining a high email reputation is one of your biggest priorities when conducting a cold mail marketing campaign. Failing to reach the desired score results can hinder your ability to establish a connection with a client. Conversely, attaining a high email sender reputation raises the chances of click rates.

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Two types of email sender reputation metrics

It’s next to impossible to learn how inbox providers measure email senders. They are not sharing how their algorithms work for the sake of their customers. However, it is easy to measure your reputation score yourself using two metrics. 

Those are namely the IP and the domain:

  • IP reputation: This measures how often emails are sent from the same IP address. Keep your marketing moderate to maintain a high score. Track the number of recipients and emails sent per day, then keep it below the ISP’s advised frequency. 
  • Domain reputation: Refers to the score of your website or whichever domain your brand uses when running marketing campaigns. The ISP following this metric scans the quality of your email and marks it as spam or not depending on the email reputation score. If too many of them are marked as spam, then it can negatively impact your domain reputation.

Various online tools are available to track either or both IP and domain reputations effectively. Popular options include SenderScore.org, TrustedSource, and MxToolbox. They also offer education for proper email marketing and tools to help measure various content marketing metrics. Thus using their services is always helpful for your business. 

While these tools offer robust monitoring capabilities, explore more options if necessary to suit your business requirements. Any of them can be crucial in maintaining your sender reputation and fostering long-term success. 

  1. Make your email’s intention clear with an interesting subject line

The subject line is the short statement you write before the email’s content. This is the only chance you have to hook your audience because if it’s not interesting enough, then they won’t open your email. Keep the subject line concise but compelling, like a statement of your intention to reach out or the title of your message.

Avoid using too many marketing jargon in the subject line because this can be marked as spam. It also takes up too much space, which can end up not showing completely in a quick-read format. If the recipient fails to get hooked, then your message open rates will remain low, damaging your email deliverability moving forward. 

  1. Make a high-quality email using a professional structure

Composing email is very similar to making content. It takes a professional to craft a respectable piece that is not only informative but also compelling for the reader. Fortunately, it’s easy to create a high-quality email for the sake of brand reputation management. All you need to do is keep your content short and straight to the point. 

Remember what specific subject you want to talk about and focus on that. Never go on a tangent or bring up a random thought while writing because this can both lower your brand reputation and confuse your readers. Be professional in your email and make your intentions clear as to what your brand can offer that the recipient is compelled to read.

Quality of content also refers to errors in your writing, including typos and grammatical errors that you can easily fix within a few minutes of self-editing. Consider using assistant tools like Grammarly to reread your email before sending it to catch any overlooked mistakes. 

  1. Provide value in the message you’re sending

Value in marketing means that what you’re offering is something that the recipient wants. For example, you can address pain points that a client is experiencing with your products. The email you’re sending about this topic should offer a solution or give them alternatives. If there’s no way to solve it immediately, then at least reassure them that your team is working on the issue. 

Welcoming a new customer presents an excellent opportunity to start a cold email. Express your eagerness to have a long-term relationship and outline the benefits they can expect from your brand. It may not be something you know they want, but it’s a good way to introduce them to what they might end up liking.

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  1. Include a call to action (CTA) and state them clearly

There is no better way to state the goal of your cold email than including a call to action (CTA). This refers to a statement telling the recipient what to do to get what you are offering. It includes signing up so they don’t miss out on great deals or clicking on a link to find out more about what you’re offering. 

The CTA must be aligned with your cold email's objective to ensure a high conversion rate. Leaving it out will end up in an email that feels incomplete because your reader will be left pondering whether or not to reply or browse through your services. Giving a CTA not only gives them actionable instruction but also a logical direction.

  1. Schedule your emails and follow-ups 

It’s important to remember that a cold email is only the first message you’re sending to a potential customer/client, not the only one. Regular follow-ups and more updates or responses to their replies are necessary if they ever send one back. Otherwise, this email marketing lead will remain cold.

On top of that, the infrequency of follow-up messages will also deduct your email sender's reputation. If that happens, you will lose that opportunity forever and have to find new cold leads. However, don’t be too aggressive with follow-up emails, too, because frequency can mistake you for a spam sender. 

The best way to operate follow-up emails is to set a strategic schedule. Make it a regular action with respectable time between each one. Set the schedule on days of the week when they’re most likely to see it. Most people check their personal emails on the weekends or at night on weekdays, so these are great slots to time your messages. 

  1. Follow a strategy on how to conduct follow-up emails

The best part about making a strategy for your follow-up emails is that there are software tools to help you pull them off. Find ones that allow you to schedule messages on specific days of the week. Also, consider installing one that can respond to replies immediately with a response dependent on their behaviour from your cold email. 

However, remember to throttle your emails between responses. Adding intervals will make your automated emails feel more natural rather than machine-generated. It’s also good to give the client a short break from your brand for a while and then re-engage them with a well-considered follow-up response. 

  1. Take the time to conduct A/B testing

The most important tip on this list is one that would take time and resources and could lose some leads. Essentially, A/B testing is about making two variations of your cold email drafts and then comparing their results. The drafts can contain the same offers but deliver them in different ways, from subject line to content structure.

To do this, you must prepare two lists of potential customers/clients. Each can be 10% to 15% of your full list of prospects and don’t go over. Proceed to send your email variations to their respective lists. Keep track of each message to compare their email reputation, click rate, and conversion rate. 

Label these variations as A and B then see which one is the most successful in grabbing attention. Refine the more successful version of the test and use that as the basis for your real cold email campaign. You can settle with the first cold email or test variations of follow-up email strategies, as well. All of this is to strengthen your marketing strategy moving forward. 

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Work with QWERTYLABS for the best email deliverability result

QWERTYLABS excels in all forms of digital marketing. Contact us for more information about our services, or read our blogs to learn more insights and strategies to use in your campaign. It’s better to form a partnership with an experienced team like us at QWERTYLABS because dedicating time and resources to handling your marketing plans on your own is risky. 

With us as your partner, you can rest assured that no opportunities will slip through the cracks. We specialise in content creation, SEO, and backlink building for casino brands, as well as ensuring that your marketing efforts are seamlessly integrated for maximum impact. Build meaningful bonds with your customers with expert help from QWERTYLABS!

Frequently asked questions

Here are frequently asked questions about cold email marketing:

Is cold emailing effective?

Yes. Cold emailing can be highly effective when your brand and its services align with the target recipient’s needs. The objective is to attract a potential customer and build rapport, and cold emailing is the most effective strategy for the job. 

How to do cold emails to help with your brand reputation?

The manner in which you convey this message also helps set your brand’s cadence. It leaves an impression on the recipient that sets the tone for your brand while also affecting how the ISP algorithm rates your IP or domain. Providing a follow-up email also reassures your client that you are still engaged with them, giving them the feeling that you truly care about their concerns. 

How to follow up with a client without being pushy?

One big mistake you must avoid at all costs is being too pushy, which happens when you send emails almost nonstop. This can come off as desperate from the recipient's perspective, and it can be marked as spam according to ISPs’ metrics on IP reputation. Add intervals between emails to avoid being too pushy while adding cadence to your brand. 

Why is A/B testing important in cold email campaigns, and what elements should be tested?

Testing A and B variations of your email also allows you to adapt to changing trends. ISPs occasionally update their algorithms so the standards for what’s considered spam or not can also change. A/B testing is the perfect way to make sure of this with minimal impact on your sender's reputation. 

How can I build and maintain a high-quality email list for a cold email campaign?

All you need to do is ensure that this email list consists of people who show interest in products/services that your brand offers. For example, if you’re running a casino, it’s better to focus on people who are searching for gambling websites on Google. 

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