Does Cold Email Work In 2024? (It Depends)

Updated May 2024

Cold email still works, and always will work (if done correctly).

Cold email is simply a tool. Saying that cold email is dead is like saying that a piano doesn’t work because you can’t play it.

The reality is that most people have no idea what they are doing, and prefer to blame the tool (cold email) than to take accountability for their lack of skill and experience in outbound sales.

In this article, I will explain why cold email still works, and how you can use it to generate leads for your business:

Does cold emailing ever work?

Yes, sending cold emails to acquire new customers works.

However, there are some things that you should be aware of before starting a cold email campaign.

Firstly, cold email as a customer acquisition strategy is only effective for B2B companies. If you are selling to regular consumers (B2C), then cold email will not work (and may not be legal).

Secondly, cold email usually only works if you are selling a product or service that has a total sale value of at least a few thousand dollars. If you are selling a low cost product, then the math won’t make sense, and you won’t be able to profitably acquire new customers via cold email.

The below tweet summarizes the idea that cold email still works, but only if you know what you are doing:

What is the success rate of cold emails?

The success rate of a cold email campaign can vary depending on a wide variety of factors.

In fact, there are too many to list.

However, one thing that I want to emphasize is that the idea that volume is the only way to have success in cold email is simply not true.

In the last couple of years, there has been a trend in the cold email community that promotes the idea that volume is everything. People are advocating sending thousands of cold emails per day just to book a few calls.

If you need to send thousands of emails each day to book just a few calls, then maybe your product or service sucks, and no one wants it. This is a completely different issue to tackle than just asking whether the tool (cold email) works. You may need to look at your fundamental business offering and determine whether you even have product market fit.

I like to use the below example to illustrate why volume is not everything.

The below tweet is from Brex’s ex-Chief Revenue Officer. In the tweet, he outlines their most successful outbound sales campaign. They only contacted 300 companies, and they were able to close 169 of them as paying customers. The reason why I am sharing this is because I want to push back against the “volume is everything” mindset:

Advice for cold email success

I could go on for days about how to create a successful cold email campaign.

However, to save you time, I will mention just a few important bits of advice below:

Firstly, you should use a specialized cold email software (like Emailchaser) to send your cold emails. When you send your cold emails through Emailchaser, they are more likely to go to the primary inbox (not spam). Emailchaser also offers other useful features such as a free Sales CRM and LinkedIn Email Finder Chrome extension.

Secondly, make sure that what you are selling is something that people actually want. Cold email will never work if you are selling something that no one wants. You must solve a real problem for your customers (not fake problems). No one wants your logo design service.

Thirdly, be realistic and ask yourself, “If I received this cold email, would I respond?”. The below video highlights this concept well:

Is cold emailing still effective?

Yes, cold emailing is still very effective, but only if you know what you are doing.

If you are doing outbound B2B sales, and you are selling a great product or service that solves a real problem, then you can acquire new customers with cold email.

It's important that you don't make beginner mistakes when sending cold emails, otherwise you won't get responses.

I recommend that you read my article 12 Reasons Why Your Cold Emails Are Not Getting Replies.

Below is a video showing the billionaire founder of Plaid talking about how cold email is the most effective way to contact people in business:

Frequently asked questions

What factor affects the success rate of cold email the most?

Your deliverability is the most important factor. If your cold emails are going to spam, then you won’t receive responses. This is why you should use Emailchaser to send your cold emails, as your emails are more likely to go to the primary inbox when sent through Emailchaser.

Does cold email work for all businesses?

No, cold email does not work for all business types. Cold email only works for B2B businesses that are selling a product or service with a relatively high sale value.

Final thoughts

Cold email is still a great way to acquire new customers for your B2B business.

However, it isn’t suitable for all businesses, so it’s important that you evaluate first whether your business is a good fit.

If you want to learn how to successfully send cold emails, then check out my article How To Send Cold Emails Without Landing In Spam.

picture of George Wauchope

Article by

George Wauchope

Founder of Emailchaser.

I have been working in the sales & marketing industry for nearly a decade.

When I’m not working on my business, I enjoy eating sushi & doing jiu-jitsu.

About the author