Using Cold Email to Generate and Sell Leads to Clients

A visual metaphor for the generation and sale of leads via cold email.

What is a cold email?

A cold email is a type of email that you send to a potential customer without having any prior relationship with them. Cold emails are usually sent with the intention of selling a product or service to another business.

They’re similar to cold calls, with the difference being that cold email campaigns can be completely automated and ran on a much greater scale. Cold emails mimic the activity of a junior sales rep at a company, reaching out to prospects and then following up when they don’t respond.

Cold email solutions such as Wavo allow you to randomize email sending times as well as limit the total amount of emails sent per day, making your cold emails appear as if they’re being sent by an actual person.

Is cold email legal?

Cold emails sent to other businesses are entirely legal and are not considered spam under the CAN-SPAM Act. However, you do need to follow some rules outlined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

1. Don’t misrepresent yourself

You must not use false or misleading header information and your From, To, and Reply-To information, as well as your domain name and email address, need to be accurate and belong to your business.

2. Don’t use a misleading subject line

Your subject line needs to be an accurate representation of the content of your email.

3. Disclose that your email is an ad

There are different ways that you can do this, but it’s crucial that you clearly state that your email is an advertisement.

4. Reveal your location

You need to include a valid physical address of your business within the email.

5. Allow recipients to opt out

You need to provide a way for recipients to opt out of receiving further emails from you or your business.

6. Honor all opt-out requests

Make sure to honor any recipient’s opt-out request within ten business days.

7. You are responsible for all email marketing done on behalf of your company

Even if you hire an agency to run a cold email campaign for you, you’re still responsible for anything they do and will be held legally responsible.

How long does it take to see results with cold email?

Depending on the industry and the type of product or service you’re selling, you can see results with cold email fairly quickly. We’ve closed deals within a week of sending a cold email.

Why you should offer cold email lead generation

A lead generation service can be a very profitable addition to your digital agency’s offering. Plenty of businesses in a wide variety of industries need leads on a regular basis and are willing to pay for them. Offering lead generation services can help you:

Differentiate yourself from competitors

Most agencies offer the usual SEO, PPC, and web design services. Offering lead generation services for your clients will make your agency stand out.

Build recurring revenue

Businesses that need leads, need them on a regular basis. Selling leads is a great way to build recurring revenue for your agency.

Retain customers

If you can provide quality leads to your clients regularly, they will stay with you for a long time.

Grow your agency

Expanding your services offering by including lead generation will help you do more business with your existing clients as well as attract new clients.

Target a broader audience

Businesses in all industries need leads so incorporating lead generation into your mix of services will allow you to target a broader audience.

Make pitching easier

Quality leads provide tangible, almost instant results, so lead generation is a lot easier to pitch to prospects compared to services such as SEO or content marketing that are based on long-term, drawn-out strategies.

How to pitch cold email lead generation to clients

As we’ve already mentioned, a lead generation service is usually easier to pitch to potential clients compared to other marketing services. The two main advantages of cold email lead generation you should let your prospects know about are:

Ease of use

Cold email lead generation requires very little input from your clients. All they need to do is approve your email sequence and contact list and provide an email account from which you’ll be sending the cold emails. Finally, they’ll also be responsible for engaging with contact replies.

Fast results

Lead generation through cold email provides results almost instantly, and you’ll usually be able to deliver warm leads to your clients within a few days.

How to price your lead generation service

There are different ways you can decide to charge for your lead generation services. The three most common types of pricing in the industry are:

Per-contact pricing

When using this model, you charge your clients for each contact you reach for them. Industry rates for per-contact pricing range from $1.5 to $5 per contact reached.

Warm lead pricing

You can charge your clients for each warm lead you generate for their business. Warm lead pricing rates range from $50 to $200.

Hybrid pricing

The third option you have at your disposal is to use a hybrid pricing approach where you’ll charge for each contact or warm lead plus a commission for each sale made. Commission for these types of deals are usually in the 10 to 25 percent range.

How to generate leads with cold email

Now that we’ve discussed all the benefits of offering cold email lead generation to your clients as well as how you should pitch and price your services, let’s talk about how to actually generate leads with cold email.

Create an email sequence

The first thing you need to do is to create an email sequence that you’ll be sending to contacts to turn them into leads.

How many emails should your sequence include? Since this is your first interaction with a potential prospect, you shouldn’t send more than two follow-ups, making your sequence consist of a total of three emails.

Out of the three emails in your sequence, the most important is the first one.

Your first cold email

The main goal you need to have in mind when writing your first cold email is that you want people to read it. That’s it. Each sentence of your cold email needs to be designed to make the reader read the next sentence until they reach your call-to-action.

Apart from the body of your email, you’ll also need to pay attention to your email’s subject line and the From field.

Pay special attention to the subject line

The subject line is the first thing prospects notice about your email and is often the main thing that determines if they’ll open your email or not. Research shows that subject lines that are 61 to 70 characters long get the most opens so try to keep your subject line within that range.

You should also try to personalize your subject line since it’s been proven that personalized subject lines can improve open rates by 50%. You can personalize your subject line by using the prospect’s first name, company name, or any other personal data you have available.

Instill trust with your From field

The From field of your email needs to be personal and instill trust in your prospect. It needs to show that you’re a real person, rather than an automated software tool. It also needs to clearly state the name of the company on behalf of which you’re contacting the prospect.

Craft a great opening line

You need to hook the prospect with the first line of your email. To be able to do this, you’ll need to do some research on the prospect, their company, and their industry. Include some specific details about their products or their website to let them know that you’ve put in some effort before reaching out to them.

Offer something of value

Once you’ve gained their attention with your opening line, let them know why you’re contacting them and how you can help them. Point to an issue or problem they’re having and explain (in short terms) how you can solve it. Make sure to let them know of all the benefits that go along with solving their issue.

End with a call-to-action

You should use the final part of your email to tell the prospect what you want them to do after they finish reading your email. Do you want them to schedule a call, provide more information on their business, or sign up for a trial? Make sure to use a single, straightforward call-to-action.

Follow-up emails

Once you’ve created your initial cold email, write two short follow-ups that you’ll send out if the prospect doesn’t reply to your first email. These follow-up emails should be short and consist of one to two sentences.

Decide on a sending schedule

You’ll need to decide on a sending schedule for your emails. An example schedule you can use to send your emails is Monday to Friday between 6 AM and 9 AM to try and reach your prospects before they get to work. You’ll obviously need to do some testing to find out which schedule provides the best results for you.

Find contacts

Your next step is to find the contacts that you’ll be emailing. There are different methods and tools that you can use to gain access to contacts from any industry, and it’s possible to find anyone’s email address using the Internet. You can use services such as Clearbit or to help you find email contacts.

The Wavo data team can also collect email contacts for you at affordable prices.

Set up your email account

For best results, you should be emailing contacts from an email address that is tied to your client’s domain. Ask your client to provide you with an email address and remember to warm up the email account before you start using it.

After you’ve created an email sequence, gathered a list of contacts, and set up and warmed up your email account, you’re ready to start emailing prospects and generating leads.

That wasn’t so hard, was it? Now that you know how to generate leads using cold email, let’s look at how you can promote your lead generation service and get more clients.

How to promote your cold email lead generation service

You can promote your lead generation service the way you promote all your other services. If you’ve been getting most of your clients through referrals and word-of-mouth, here are some ideas to further promote your services:


Add a new page to your website dedicated to your lead generation service. Explain what it is and how your clients can benefit from it. Consider hiring a professional copywriter to help you get the messaging just right.

Pitch to existing clients

The quickest way to get more people to sign up for your lead generation service is to pitch it to your existing clients. Since you’ve been working together for a while and have developed a relationship, it’ll be a lot easier to sell the service to your current clients rather than to prospects who’ve never worked with you before.

Content marketing

You can write blog posts about your lead generation service and all its benefits on your blog to attract organic traffic.

Social media

Post about your new service on your social media pages. You can also try using social media ads to generate more leads and clients.

Cold email

Finally, the best part of all… you can also use your new cold email lead generation skills to get yourself some new clients. Get some direct contacts for customers you’d like to work with and pitch them your services with a cold email sequence.

How to scale your lead generation service

Once you’ve gained a few clients for your lead generation service, you’ll need to start thinking about how you can effectively scale the service and make more money.

The secret to successfully scaling your lead generation service and your agency is to document and outsource all the processes that are required to run and manage your services successfully.

Documenting all your processes and workflows will allow you to:

  • Onboard clients and employees faster
  • Enhance team collaboration
  • Make everyone’s responsibilities clear

The specific processes you’ll need to document and outsource to run your lead generation service include:

  • Client onboarding
  • Contact research
  • Email copywriting
  • Campaign management

Once you’ve detailed every step of each of these processes, hire competent people who will follow them and run your service without needing any input from you.

Start selling cold email lead generation with Wavo

Cold emails are an excellent and completely legal way to generate leads. Once set up, cold email workflows can automatically generate leads for your agency or your clients’ businesses.

Offering lead generation services can help you differentiate yourself from other agencies, build recurring revenue, retain customers, grow your agency, and target a broader audience. All you need to do to start generating leads with cold emails is create an email sequence, gather a contact list, and set up a dedicated email address for cold emailing.

Once you’ve set up a process for lead generation, start promoting your lead generation service through your website, blog, and social media channels. You can also pitch your lead generation service to your existing clients.

You can use a platform like Wavo to sell lead generation services to your clients. Wavo is a white label cold email platform designed for agencies. It can help you grow a new recurring revenue stream for your agency. Wavo offers:

Email automation

You can use Wavo to send automated email follow-ups, schedule emails, track email opens and link clicks, manage contacts, detect automatic replies and bounces, and much more.

Data Packages

The Wavo data team can build custom contact lists for your email campaigns.

Advanced Reporting

Wavo’s advanced reporting features allow clients to log in to your dashboard from your own custom domain name and view their campaign progress in real time.

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