6 Cold Email Strategies for Higher Response Rates (Tested and Approved)

Are you wondering how to make your cold emails stand out in 2023? 

Look no further! Discover six cutting-edge strategies that will transform your cold email game. Cold email is not only cost-effective but also delivers quick results with a high ROI. From hyper-personalization to the bucket method, this comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions and real-life examples and tools to help you master the art of cold emailing.

Main Takeaways

  • The Importance of Cold Emailing in 2023: Understand why this age-old method is still relevant.
  • Six Proven Strategies: Get actionable tips to improve your cold email game.
  • Real-World Examples and Tools: Equip yourself with the right tools and real-world examples to get started.

Quick Table: 6 Cold Email Strategies & Their Key Benefits

Strategy Key Benefit
1. Personalized First Liner Method Enhances personalization, improving response rates.
2. Non-Personalized Direct Method Provides a quick and straightforward approach.
3. Adding Value Method Builds trust by offering value, not just asking.
4. Video Prospecting Engages with videos for a memorable impression.
5. Omni-Channel Method Expands reach and creates a personalized experience.
6. Bucket Method Balances personalization and scalability.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    • What is Cold Emailing?
    • Why Choose Cold Emailing Over Other Channels?
  2. Strategy 1: The Personalized First Liner Method
    • The Importance of Personalization
    • Why the First Liner Method?
    • The Step-by-Step Guide to the First Liner Method
    • When to Use the First Liner Method
  3. Strategy 2: The Non-Personalized Direct Method
    • Pros and Cons: A Balanced View
    • The Direct Method in Action
    • When to Use the Direct Method
  4. Strategy 3: The Adding Value Method
    • The Philosophy Behind Adding Value
    • The Soft Ask: A Gentle Approach
    • How to Implement the Adding Value Method
    • When to Use the Adding Value Method
  5. Strategy 4: The Video Prospecting Method 
    • How It Works
    • Types of Video Prospecting
    • When to Use the Video Prospecting Method
    • Automating the Process
    • How to Embed Videos in Cold Emails
  6. Strategy 5: The Omni-Channel Method
    • How It Works
    • The Power of “Fake Personalization”
    • When to Use the Omni-Channel Method
    • The Follow-Up Game
  7. Strategy 6: The Bucket Method
    • Steps for Implementing the Bucket Method
    • Example Buckets and Corresponding Email Templates
    • When to Use the Bucket Method
    • The Synergy of Strategies: How the Bucket Method Can Integrate with Other Tactics
  8. Conclusion
    • Key Takeaways
    • Special Offer: FREE 6-Day Cold Email Crash Course


What is Cold Emailing?

Cold emailing is the practice of reaching out to potential clients or customers via email without any prior relationship or interaction. While it might sound intrusive, when done right, it can be a game-changer for your business. Cold emailing has evolved from being a “spray and pray” tactic to a more nuanced, personalized approach.

Why Choose Cold Emailing Over Other Channels?

Here’s the deal: Cold emailing is like the Swiss Army knife of marketing. It’s versatile, cost-effective, and can yield quick results. Let’s break down why you should consider this channel over others:

Speed of Client Acquisition

Channel Time to First Client Contact Time to Conversion
Cold Emailing 1 day 1-7 days
Paid Media 3-7 days 7-30 days
SEO 30-90 days 90-180 days

Cold emailing can get you in front of potential clients faster than any other channel. You can literally start a campaign today and have scheduled calls by tomorrow if you do it right. 


Cold emailing is incredibly budget-friendly. Unlike paid media where you’re spending money for each click or impression, the costs for cold emailing are almost negligible.

High ROI

The return on investment (ROI) for cold emailing is often higher than other channels. You’re spending less and potentially gaining more, making it a win-win situation.

So, now that we talked about the power of cold emailing, let’s dive into the six strategies that will make your cold emails impossible to ignore in 2023.

Strategy 1: The Personalized First Liner Method

The first impression is the last impression, they say. And in the world of cold emailing, your first line can make or break that impression. Let’s explore how to nail it.

The Importance of Personalization

The stakes are high when it comes to cold emailing. In today’s digital age, people have developed a sixth sense for detecting automated messages. The moment they sense an email is not personalized, the conversion rate plummets. Not only that, but the reply rates can also become aggressive, leading to dreaded spam reports. That’s why we need to add some form of personalization. 

Why the First Liner Method?

How do we personalize in a way that doesn’t consume too much time? This is where the First Liner Method comes into play. It’s all about crafting a first line that is personalized, making your email stand out in a crowded inbox.

The Step-by-Step Guide to the First Liner Method

The First Liner Method is not just about slapping a name onto an email; it’s a well-thought-out strategy. Here’s how to execute it:

Quick Table: Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting the Perfect First Liner

Step No. Action Steps Example First Liner Why It’s Beneficial
1 Prepare a List of Prospects on Google Sheets Organizes your outreach and keeps all info in one place
2 Deep Dive into LinkedIn: First, check recent posts. If no recent posts, check articles. If no articles, check profile details. Last Resort check LinkedIn company page to find something to personalize the first liner. “I read your article on SEO strategies, and your take on voice search was spot-on.” Demonstrates you’ve done your homework
3 Write the Personalized First Liner in Google Sheets Simplifies your personalized outreach
4 Automate with Woodpecker.co Enables personalized emails at scale

Step 1: Prepare a List of Prospects on Google Sheets

Scrape LinkedIn or other platforms to create a list of potential clients. Create columns for LinkedIn profile URLs, emails and a special column for the first liner on Google Sheets.

Step 2: Deep Dive into LinkedIn

Click on the LinkedIn profile URL of each prospect. Spend 3-6 minutes per profile to find something unique about them.

  • Recent Posts

Click on “Show All Activity” and then go to the “Posts” section. If they’ve posted something recently, this is gold. You can write a personalized first-liner mentioning the recent post. 


“Hey, your recent post on digital marketing trends for 2023 caught my eye. Brilliant insights!”

  • Articles

No recent posts? No worries. Go back to “All Activity” and check for articles. Mention a specific part of the article in your first-liner. This shows you’ve done your homework.


“I read your article on SEO strategies, and your take on voice search was spot-on.”

  • Profile Details

 Still nothing? Time to get creative. Check their education, city, or any clubs they’re part of to find a commonality.


“I see you’re also a fan of ‘The Office.’ Michael Scott for the win, am I right?”

  • Company Page

If all else fails, visit the company’s LinkedIn page for any interesting updates or posts. I would recommend checking if they have ads, and if they have, mention that. 


‘’I noticed your company is big on advertising. How’s that working out?”

Step 3: Write the First Liner

Based on your research, write a personalized first line for each prospect in the Google Sheet.

Step 4: Automation with Woodpecker.co

After you’ve penned down those compelling first liners in your Google Sheet, it’s time to shift gears. Let’s automate this process without losing that personal touch. Here’s how Woodpecker.co comes into play:

Why Choose Woodpecker.co?
  1. Snippets Feature: One word—Snippets. This feature allows you to map your ‘First Liner’ column from Google Sheets directly into Woodpecker. It’s like your personalization on autopilot.
  2. Personal Yet Automated: Your email template in Woodpecker will look something like this: Hey [name], [First Liner Snippet]. The tool pulls the name and first liner from your Google Sheet, ensuring each email is individually tailored.
  3. Exclusive Perks: Using my affiliate link, you get extra free trial periods. More time to fall in love with Woodpecker!
How to Set It Up
  1. Import Google Sheet: Load your Google Sheet with the first liner column into Woodpecker.
  2. Create Snippet: Designate your ‘First Liner’ column as a Snippet in Woodpecker.
  3. Craft Email Template: Write your email template and insert the Snippet where the first liner should go.
  4. Test and Send: Always test a few emails before letting Woodpecker send them out en masse.

When to Use the First Liner Method

The First Liner Method is particularly effective when you’re targeting high-value prospects who are likely to be inundated with generic cold emails. It’s for those situations where you need to stand out from the crowd and make an immediate impact. If you’re looking to engage with decision-makers or influencers in a specific industry, this method can help you cut through the noise and grab their attention. It’s a bit more time-consuming than other methods, but the personalized touch can yield higher reply and conversion rates.

Strategy 2: The Non-Personalized Direct Method

The Direct Method is all about cutting to the chase. No personalization, no fluff—just a straightforward pitch. It’s like saying, “Hello Sam, I run LinkedIn ads. Is this something your company has considered? Let me know. Thanks, Phil.” Simple, right?

Pros and Cons: A Balanced View


  • Scalability: This method is a dream for automation. Write your pitch, plug it into your email software, and let it rip.
  • A/B Testing: With no personalization to worry about, you can easily A/B test different versions of your email to find the most effective pitch.


  • Low Conversion Rates: The lack of personalization means you’re less likely to get a response.
  • Spam Risk: Without that personal touch, you’re just one click away from the dreaded spam folder.

The Direct Method in Action

Here’s how to get the most out of this strategy:

  1. Craft Your Pitch: Write a clear, concise message that gets straight to the point.
  2. A/B Test: Create multiple versions of your email to find the most effective one.
  3. Automate and Scale: Once you find a version that works well, use email automation tools to send out your emails en masse and scale it up. 

When to Use the Direct Method

Honestly, this isn’t my go-to strategy, as I think personalization yields higher response rates. But sometimes you’re in a rush, or you’ve got a product that’s so amazing it sells itself. In those cases, the Direct Method can be a quick way to get your message out there.

The Direct Method is all about speed and scale but use it wisely. It’s not for every situation, but when time is of the essence, it can get the job done.

Strategy 3: The Adding Value Method

The Adding Value Method is a breath of fresh air in the world of cold emailing. It’s not about what you want; it’s about what you can give. Intrigued? Let’s get into it.

The Philosophy Behind Adding Value

The traditional cold email often ends with a big ask: “Do you have 15 minutes for a call?” That’s a lot to ask from someone you’ve never met. The Adding Value Method flips the script. Instead of asking for something, you offer something. It’s like saying, “Hey, I’ve got this killer resource on LinkedIn ads. Want me to send it over?”

The Soft Ask: A Gentle Approach

This method is all about the “soft ask.” You’re not pushing for a meeting or a call; you’re simply opening the door for a conversation. For example, “Hey Sam, have you ever considered running ads?” It’s a question, not a demand, and it invites engagement.

How to Implement the Adding Value Method

  1. Identify Value: What can you offer that would be of value to the prospect? It could be a resource, a tip, or even just a relevant question.
  2. Craft Your Email: Write an email that focuses on the value you can provide. Make it about them, not you.
  3. The Soft Ask: End the email with a gentle call to action that invites a response but doesn’t demand one.
  4. Follow-Up: If they express interest, send over the value you promised and continue the conversation from there.

When to Use the Adding Value Method

This strategy is a winner when you’re looking to build long-term relationships. It’s not about the quick sale; it’s about establishing trust and providing value over time. So if you’re in it for the long haul, this is the method for you.

Strategy 4: The Video Prospecting Method 

Ah, the Video Prospecting Method—a personal favorite and a game-changer in the world of cold emailing. Let’s break it down.

How It Works

With this method, you’re sending an embedded GIF within the email that links to a video. Platforms like Woodpecker.co make this process a breeze. You can use various platforms to create your video, but I’m a fan of Loom.

Types of Video Prospecting

  1. Hyper-Personalized Videos: Create a separate Loom video for each prospect. It’s time-consuming but highly effective. Especially useful when you’ve asked for permission first, as this increases the chances of your video being opened.
  2. Automated Videos: One general video for all. It lacks the personal touch but still engages the prospect.
  3. Permission-Based Videos: Before sending a video, ask for permission. This can help you bypass spam filters and ensures that your video will likely be watched. This is particularly beneficial when you’re planning to send a personalized video, as it saves you time and increases engagement.

Table: Video Prospecting Methods

TypeDescriptionProsConsWhen to Use
Hyper-Personalized VideosSeparate Loom video for each prospectHighly engaging, increases chances of being openedTime-consumingAfter asking for permission to maximize engagement
Automated VideosOne general video for all prospectsEasy to scale, less time-consumingLess personal, lower engagementWhen you have a large volume of prospects and limited time
Permission-Based VideosAsk for permission before sending any videoBypasses spam filters, increases likelihood of being watchedAdds an extra step to the processEspecially before sending a personalized video to save time and increase engagement

When to Use the Video Prospecting Method

This method shines when you’re looking to establish a deeper connection right off the bat. It’s especially useful for high-stakes or complex deals where a simple email just won’t cut it. If you’re in an industry where showing is better than telling—think design, real estate, or product demos—video prospecting can be a game-changer. However, it does require a bit more effort. So, if you’re up for the challenge and want to leave a lasting impression, this is the method for you.

Automating the Process

The initial email asking for permission to send a video can be fully automated using Woodpecker.co. You can set it up to say something like, “Hey, I noticed you’re into [insert topic]. Mind if I send you a quick video about it?” If they reply positively, that’s your cue to create a personalized video just for them.

How to Embed Videos in Cold Emails

If you’re wondering how to actually embed these videos in your emails, don’t sweat it. I’ve got an article that walks you through the process.

Strategy 5: The Omni-Channel Method

The Omni-Channel Method is about blending multiple channels with cold email to create a seamless, yet impactful, prospecting experience. Let’s dive in.

How It Works

The beauty of this method lies in its versatility. You can use tools like Lemlist or Reply.io to sync your LinkedIn messaging with cold emails, creating a hybrid approach. While I haven’t ventured much into integrating phone calls or text messages, I’ve found substantial success in combining LinkedIn with cold emails.

The Power of “Fake Personalization”

Here’s a nifty trick: you can “fake” personalization to make your outreach feel more genuine. Start by viewing the prospect’s LinkedIn profile. Then, send them a connection request with a personalized message. Within an hour, follow up with a cold email that references your LinkedIn activity.

For example, your email could start like this:

“Hey John, I just sent you a LinkedIn connection request. I specialize in [Your Specialty], and I think there could be some synergies between us. Would you be interested in discussing further?”

Why It Works

This method capitalizes on the psychology of familiarity and multi-touch engagement. When a prospect sees your name pop up on different platforms, they’re more likely to engage. Sure, some might catch on that you’re using automation tools, but the majority will appreciate the “extra effort” you’ve put in.

When to Use

Use the Omni-Channel Method when you want to:

  • Increase the chances of your message being seen and engaged with.
  • Create a more personalized experience without spending too much time on each prospect.

The Follow-Up Game

If the prospect doesn’t respond to your initial outreach, don’t fret. You can set up automated profile views, endorsements, or other LinkedIn activities that keep you on their radar. Then, hit them with a follow-up email. It’s all about playing the long game but in an automated fashion.

Summary Table: Steps to Integrate LinkedIn with Cold Emailing

The table below summarises how to seamlessly integrate LinkedIn and cold email strategies for a more effective and personalized outreach.

Step No. Action Example Why It’s Beneficial
1 LinkedIn Profile View View the prospect’s LinkedIn profile. Creates initial awareness and triggers curiosity.
2 Send LinkedIn Connection Request “Hey [Name], I came across your profile and would love to connect to discuss potential synergies.” Sets the stage for a more personalized interaction.
3 Follow-Up with Cold Email “Hey John, I just sent you a LinkedIn connection request. I specialize in [Your Specialty], and I think there could be some synergies between us. Would you be interested in discussing further?” Reinforces your LinkedIn activity and makes the outreach feel more personalized.
4 Automated LinkedIn Activities Endorse them for a skill or view their recent posts. Keeps you on their radar and builds familiarity.
5 Second Cold Email “Hi John, I noticed you haven’t accepted my LinkedIn request yet. No worries, but I’d still love to discuss [Topic] with you. What do you think?” A second touchpoint in case the first one didn’t catch their attention.

Strategy 6: The Bucket Method

The Bucket Method is all about striking a balance between personalization and scalability. By categorizing your prospects into different “buckets,” you can tailor your outreach while still maintaining efficiency. Here’s how it works:

Steps for Implementing the Bucket Method

1. Scrape a List of Prospects:

Use tools to scrape LinkedIn or other platforms for a list of potential clients.

2. Create Buckets:

Divide your list into different categories or “buckets” based on specific criteria. For example, you can categorize companies based on whether they have a LinkedIn Insight Tag, are running ads, or both.

3. Research Each Bucket:

You can do this yourself, or you can hire or assign a team member to dig deeper into each bucket. For instance, check if a company has a LinkedIn Insight Tag or if they are running ads and categorize these on Google Sheets. 

4. Craft Tailored Emails:

Write different email templates for each bucket. The content should be relevant to the criteria that define the bucket.

5. Automate the Outreach:

Use tools like Woodpecker.co to send out these bucket-specific emails automatically.

Table: Example Buckets and Corresponding Email Templates

Bucket Description Example Email
Running ads, no Insight Tag “Hey Sam, I noticed you’re running ads but don’t have an Insight Tag. Without it, you’re missing out on valuable data. Can I help you set it up?”
Not running ads, has Insight Tag “Hi Sam, I see you have an Insight Tag but aren’t running ads. Interested in taking the next step? I can help you get started.”
Running ads, has Insight Tag “Hello Sam, you’re already running ads and have an Insight Tag—great! How about we discuss optimizing your campaigns?”

When to Use the Bucket Method

  • When you want to scale your outreach without losing the personal touch.
  • When you have a large list of prospects and need to segment them for more effective targeting.

The Synergy of Strategies: How the Bucket Method Can Integrate with Other Tactics

Some of these methods can be intertwined, and this is what I’m trying to teach you. Once you start understanding these different methods and tactics, you can actually integrate them into your own approach. Some strategies work really well with each other, and the Bucket Method is a prime example of this. Whether you’re using video prospecting, the First Liner Method, or any other strategy, the Bucket Method can serve as a powerful complement, allowing you to scale your personalization efforts effectively.


Whew! That was a lot to take in, but trust me, these strategies are game-changers in the world of cold emailing. Let’s quickly recap the key takeaways:

  • The First Liner Method: Personalization is key, and your first line can make or break your email.
  • The Direct Method: Sometimes, being straightforward works. But be cautious of spam traps.
  • Adding Value Method: Don’t just ask for something; offer value or start a conversation.
  • Video Prospecting: A picture is worth a thousand words, but a video? That’s priceless.
  • Omni-Channel Method: Why stick to one channel when you can dominate them all?
  • The Bucket Method: Scale your personalization efforts without losing the personal touch.

If you’ve made it this far, you’re clearly serious about mastering cold emailing. So why stop here? Take the next step and dive deeper into each of these strategies. Test them, tweak them, and make them your own.

Special Offer: FREE 6-Day Cold Email Crash Course

Want to become a cold email pro? I’ve got just the thing for you. This FREE 6-day email crash course will teach you how to master cold email prospecting so you can utilize this marketing channel to get more demos and scheduled sales calls. Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • 👉 The exact strategies that work consistently
  • 👉 A simple framework to write high-converting cold emails
  • 👉 The exact tools I use to streamline, automate, and scale

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to elevate your cold emailing game. Trust me, your future self will thank you.

Further Reading

Hungry for more? Dive into our treasure trove of articles covering everything from personalizing your cold emails for higher response rates to authentic video prospecting, in-depth reviews of 22 cold email tools, and innovative ways to leverage AI in your email campaigns. Don’t miss out!

Check Out:

Philip Ilic

Philip Ilic

B2B Growth Specialist

Phil helps B2B SaaS companies with growth marketing and is a deep specialist in Linkedin advertising and paid social more generally (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). He runs a paid social agency called Superlumen.co and is the founder of B2Bhero.co.


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