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2024-06-12 1:54 pm

Cold Calling vs. Cold Emailing: Which is Best for Cold Outreach?

Many have asked the same question about cold calling and emailing: Which is the best? The truth is neither one will help you unless you do something right with it. There is always a correct and wrong way of doing something; it's the same with cold outreach tactics. You must know your target audience, resources, and goals before deciding which suits your business needs or current project.

If you are indecisive about the two methods to use in your campaign, read our article till the end, as it will cover everything you need to know. We will discuss their main differences when to use each method, their pros and cons, and best practices to boost results for your organization.

What is Cold Calling?

Cold calling is a form of telemarketing and a vital part of the sales process. It usually uses a sales pitch or voicemail script as a part of sales strategies to sell the products or services more efficiently. Cold calling means soliciting a potential customer or client with whom you have never had contact. It's one of the oldest forms of marketing strategy, and it's been around for decades. You've seen commercials or movies in the past century where a marketer calls and offers deals. 

However, phone calls are in decline nowadays since most people now have smartphones, and according to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, marketers are no longer allowed to contact people on their cell phones. 

Even so, cold calling is still relevant to some businesses. Although many professionals dread even the name, cold calling has its benefits when you use the right approach and personalization. It has personal advantages for marketers and salespeople as it improves their skills.

Cold Calling vs. Cold Emailing Explained

The differences between cold calling and cold emailing are apparent. It's a question of picking up the phone or opening an email client. What they have in common is that they are both critical for lead generation. Even though they are valuable methods for getting leads, they have distinct characteristics.

Cold Calling

Personalization and Experience - Cold calling means direct verbal contact with prospects and setting potential meetings. Hence, the live conversation creates a personal atmosphere. According to Revenue.io, the average prospecting call with an interested client lasts around 14.3 minutes. During that call, sales reps have time to make dynamic adjustments based on the prospect's needs.

Disruption to Prospects - Cold calling can disrupt prospects' routines, for example, during an important meeting. Additionally, that's why most prospects are reluctant to accept it.

Response Rates and Conversion - Due to the personal approach, cold calling has higher response rates than emailing. However, conversions depend on the quality of the call itself.

Time Investment - By nature, the calls take longer since quality conversations can be extended. The caller has to overcome many challenges and use persuasion to resolve clients' issues with the offerings or deal with rejection.

Compliance and Legal Considerations - The changes in legal regulations mean that compliance with telemarketing regulations is essential. Hence, do-not-call lists are examples of compliance with the law.

Cold Emailing

Personalization and Experience - Since email marketing relies on written communication, it offers less intimacy, but the content can be personalized according to the prospect. For example, it means customizing the subject line, overcoming obstacles, and utilizing follow-up emails. Additionally, you can use prospecting tools to find hyper-relevant targeted audiences by selecting filters such as industries, employee ranges, and job roles to reach forecasted KPIs, ROIs. That said, cold emailing gives you scalability compared to its counterpart, you can send multiple emails simultaneously.

Unlike cold calling, which depends on the conversation with the client, cold emailing allows more flexibility in personalization within the subject lines and body, which can improve conversion rates. That said, email templates can offer an excellent start for personalization. 

Disruption to Prospects - Another difference is that emails can be timed according to prospects preferences, making it less probable to disrupt their daily work routine.

Response Rates and Conversion - Sales emails generally have lower response rates, but this can be improved by using the right strategy for writing effective cold emails.

Time Investment - The tools' Initial setup can take time, but emails can be sent simultaneously to many recipients. 

Compliance and Legal Considerations - Like cold calling, messaging has its own set of regulations, such as anti-spam laws and clear opt-out options. Not only does it build trust, but it also helps your messages avoid being in the spam folder.

When Should You Employ Cold Calling and Emailing?

Both cold calling and emailing are fantastic techniques for reaching potential clients. Though both have advantages, the difference is in the volume, convenience, and directness of communication. To summarize, cold emailing is scalable, less intrusive, and efficient for broader outreach, while cold calling is instant, personal, and useful for specific scenarios. Let's look at some particular situations when to use each method. 

Situations Ideal for Cold Calling​​

Cold calling is an effective tool for immediate response, researching customer objections, discussing personal matters, and selling high-ticket items. It helps build trust and establish a human relationship with prospects.

For instance, a salesperson representing a luxury real estate agency can improve performance by attracting customers' attention with a phone call. By cold calling potential buyers for high-value properties, they can establish a direct conversation, build rapport, increase efficiency, and address their needs. In another scenario, a salesperson selling enterprise software solutions can use a well-crafted cold call to engage with executives in large corporations, sparking a dialogue about how the software can streamline their business processes. 

Scenarios Suited for Cold Emailing​​

Cold emailing is a great way to reach a large audience efficiently. Businesses and individuals can use email service providers to send personalized messages to many recipients, making it ideal for promoting products, services, or brands to a broader audience. Recipients can read or ignore emails at their convenience, which makes it an excellent alternative for businesses that don't want to interrupt their potential customers' day. 

For example, a software company can introduce a new feature to existing customers by sending a subject line and introduction to appeal to the audience's main problems and resolve them. This allows them to explain the benefits of the feature without interrupting their customers' workflow. Cold emailing gives you plenty of benefits, however, don't forget to use the cold emailing best practices beforehand, such as warm-up your domain name.

What are their Pros and Cons?

So far, you know the specific uses and differences between cold calling and emailing. However, that doesn't diminish your doubt when reading all the comments on the Internet. Some advocate that cold calling is useless, while others promote it as the number one way to get prospects on your side. It's the same with cold emailing. The truth lies in between; otherwise, they wouldn't exist as marketing methods for long.

Pros and Cons of Cold Calling​​


  • Instant Feedback
  • Human Approach
  • Research Prospects
  • Effective and Quick Communication


  • Intrusive Reputation
  • Legal Regulations
  • Limited Metrics

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cold Emailing​​


  • Easy to Scale
  • Budget Friendly
  • Easy to Analyze
  • Broader Audience
  • Automation


  • The main Drawbacks are Hard Competition
  • Takes Time
  • Hard to Personalize

Decision-Making Criteria for Cold Outreach

Setting the pros and cons of both methods gives you a clearer image of what you can expect from cold calling and emailing. However, making a decision depends on additional criteria. We will share some tips and insights that you can use to persuade your prospects in your pitch.

Assessing the Reason for Outreach

When starting an outreach, you have to be honest and clearly understand why you are reaching out to your prospects. Defining your objectives will help you take the correct approach in choosing cold calling or cold emailing methods and tailoring your messages.

That said, consider questions such as: Are you generating leads, or is expanding your professional network your main goal? 

Considering Day and Time for Maximum Impact​​

Timing is crucial in effective communication - factors like time zones and the right timing for cold emails and calls that suit prospects. Specific days and hours can impact your response rates. According to Indeed, the best days for cold calls are Wednesday and Thursday, shortly before lunch or at the end of the workday. On the other hand, HubSpot says that Tuesday is the best day to send cold email outreach, although there are responses on Monday and Wednesday. 

Buyer Persona and Prospect Level: Tailoring Your Approach​​

According to Rain Group, you have five to ten minutes to appeal to your possible client via phone. Like in cold emailing, personalization is the key. You can start segmenting your audience based on their buyer personas, pain points, and goals. When you know who you are speaking or writing to, it's easier to craft a message that will be meaningful for them. Each group has distinct needs and priorities, such as decision-makers, influencers, and end-users. 

Comparing Cold Calling and Cold Emailing for Effective Cold Outreach

Personalized communication is essential when reaching out to potential clients. However, deciding between cold calling and cold emailing can be challenging. While cold calling has been the approach for many years, cold emailing has become increasingly popular thanks to its convenience and cost-effectiveness. In this article, we compare these two methods to help you determine which one would be the best fit for your cold outreach efforts.

That said, be sure that your contact information is accurate. Your entire outreach depends on your contact details. To ensure you have the correct email address and phone number, use tools like BookYourData has real-time verification and frequent updates to guarantee 97% accuracy on the data you receive as an end user. The platform offers integration with all CRM tools in the world, giving you the opportunity to bulk export your lists.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the ideal success rate for cold emails and cold calls?

The ideal success rate for cold emails and calls depends on many factors. However, the average success rate for cold emails is around 15%. On the other hand, cold calling has a success rate of 20% maximum.

How can cold emailing and cold calling work in harmony?

Cold calling and cold emailing can work well together. Using both advantages for your outreach gives you a higher chance of success. For example, cold calling can establish personal connections, while cold emailing is a less intrusive way to reach leads.

When should you opt for a combined approach of cold calling and emailing?

When it makes sense for your audience and objectives, you should opt for a combined approach of cold calling and emailing. You can use both methods alternately and adapt accordingly during your campaign.



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