Indie Hackers Growth February 5, 2021

Cold Email != Email Marketing

Darko @zerotousers

While researching acquisition channels that consistently work for founders for my Zero to Users report, I discovered many founders were having success with cold email.

What surprised me, however, was how many of them were using email marketing services (that aren't supposed to be used for cold email) to do cold outreach.

Founders Are Actively Using Email Marketing Tools to Send and Cold Emails. For Many of Them, This Works

Take Contento ($800/mo), a guest posting marketplace, for example. When asked how Contento attracted users and grew their business, one of the answers their co-founders cited was cold email using HubSpot, an email marketing service:

Email Outreach

We use HubSpot for the actual email sequencing, as it works well both for tracking all the email metrics we need and the customer lifecycle.

On the publisher's side, there are many blog posts all over the internet containing lists of blogs/publisher sites that accept guest posts. I've written scripts and tools to scrape the information, gather the email addresses using tools like Hunter, and massage it into our outreach funnel.

We do a similar thing for brands. We've actually ended up developing some secret sauce to automate our prospecting for digital marketing agencies. We collect the emails and massage it into sequencing in HubSpot.

If case you didn't know, HubSpot is an email marketing service. However, you're allowed to send email via Hubspot once someone gives you a permission to do so (by entering their email on your website, for example). That means every email you send through HubSpot's platform is going to an engaged visitor - rather then someone who has never heard of you. In fact, cold email is against HubSpot's Terms&Conditions:

img1

What's happening in theory and practice are 2 different things, however. Although HubSpot (and other email marketing tools) say you can't send cold emails through the platform, I've discovered founders doing it regardless (and some of them getting results).

Take Inbox When Ready ($1.2k/mo), a Chrome extension in email. Instead of HubSpot, they used Mailgun, (another email marketing service), to send emails:

I got most of my first 100 users via manual outreach. I made a list of several hundred people who I thought would be interested in trying Inbox When Ready and contacted them individually, mostly by email.

I wrote a short email with a clear subject line. I sent the emails via Mailgun's free SMTP service, which makes it easy to track open rates and spam complaints...

Fortunately, this didn't get them banned. Not only that, but it got them actual results as well:

(I received zero spam complaints, which I took to mean I was emailing the right kind of people in a reasonable way). About 20% of recipients gave the extension a try.

This doesn't change the fact, however, that they were using an email marketing service where you're supposed to send mass emails to people who are part of an email list that gave you permission to send them emails.

Many People Don't Know the Difference Between Email Marketing and Cold Email Tools

I'm part of several Facebook groups like lemlist family or Cold Email Closers that discuss cold emailing strategies. You'd expect people there to know their stuff on cold email. But even some people there don't seem to realize there is a difference between email marketing and cold email. This is a screenshot from a recent post on a FB cold emailing group:

col

Notice the comment. "Anybody using Sendgrid with dedicated IP?"

Again, Sendgrid is an email marketing tool that allows you to send email to an existing list, not to someone who's never heard of you.

Is it a Good Idea to Send Cold Email Using Email Marketing Tools?

This is why I wrote this post, so I can get your input.

My take: No, in theory. Most email marketing providers have a "complaint rate" (for Amazon SES, it's 0.1%). This means if more than 1 in 1000 people mark your email as spam, you're going to start getting problems with deliverability. This is just one of the main reasons.

But, as I've mentioned before, theory and practice are 2 different things.

What's been your (or someone you know) experience in sending cold email via email marketing tools?

  1. 10

    Due to the nature of cold email it hurts the reputation of both the senders and origin IPs to send low engagement emails that may or may not result in high complaint rate. Low engagement emails are just as undesirable to email service providers and can result in account suspension.

    I run BigMailer.io, an email marketing platform, and we prohibit using purchased or scraped email lists, just like Amazon SES and many others. In practice, it's hard to enforce the TOS because we don't know with 100% certainty that a list is cold unless the list name or email message indicate this. Since our platform requires connecting to Amazon SES and we don't use our own servers/IPs we can defer enforcement to Amazon. If we had to monitor senders for quality and review accounts/templates we would have to charge a much higher price than we currently do ($1 per 1000 contacts). (To those concerned with our approach - we do have automatic email template scan for keywords that signal fishing scams and automatically suspend accounts that triggers a manual template review.)

    The way Amazon SES enforces their terms is simply relying on bounce + complain rates, since cold emails typically result in high complaint rate. It automatically suspends brand new accounts if the bounce rate is over 10% and complaint rate is over 0.1%, but it depends on the volume is well - the higher volume the more sensitive it is to bounce/complaint thresholds. Established accounts with healthy sending history will get a warning if either the hard bounce or complaint rate is too high for a given time period (typically 2 days for Amazon).

    A typical penalty for sending cold emails through a platform that doesn't allow it is account suspension, so in worst case the cost is someone's time. That's NOT painful enough to deter someone from sending cold email via inexpensive platforms.

    I don't mind personal and custom written 1:1 cold emails, but given the nature of our business I pledge to NEVER use cold emails for BigMailer.

    IF you do send cold emails in bulk, make sure to:

    • Validate your new lists before using to lower bounce rate. There is no such thing as good source of emails - all email lists naturally decay at around 2-3% per month and B2B lists decay faster due to job changes.
    • Always include an Unsubscribe/Opt-out link, mailbox providers are more likely to send your email into Spam folder without one.
    • Don't use free email service like yahoo/gmail/hotmail for sending bulk email
    • Include a mailing address in the footer to comply with CAM-SPAM if you are in the US

    If I could give just 1 piece of advice to all marketers it would be this - NEVER buy your email list. In 99% of cases purchased lists don't work out - they don't result in good engagement and don't produce good ROI on the effort.

    1. 5

      I think you should write a separate article on this subject. You really have a deep knowledge on this topic.

      1. 1

        Thanks! What specific topic do you think would be worth a deep dive post for IH community?

        1. 1

          For me, it's how these email providers work in the background (with the engagement tip on ignoring 'unknown' senders at the beginning). Basically, things related to deliverability.

          1. 1

            I posted an article on email deliverability on IH last year, here it is:
            https://www.indiehackers.com/article/8-email-marketing-mistakes-that-hurt-your-email-deliverability-a407574c30

            I suppose I could create another deeper dive post with a focus on deliverability and things to do right vs. mistakes to avoid format.

            Here is a full guide I wrote which I update on ongoing basis:
            https://www.bigmailer.io/blog/improve-email-deliverability-best-practices/ - I will expand the section on validation based on what I posted here

            Thanks for all your feedback everyone!

            1. 1

              I think your angle is kinda off. Many people are tired of "YOU" (2nd person) type of posts (they're often associated with 'experts' who make baseless claims). Instead, make it 1st/3rd person post: "X Things I've learned about ESPs from Running an Email SaaS with 432 Users" may be a better title.

              1. 1

                100% agree! That was an early draft from Aug 2019 that I have re-worked into the guide pretty much immediately after it was published.

                I will work on new version for IH.

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                  This comment was deleted 8 days ago.

    2. 2

      Wow! Thank you for the comment! Wish IH had a 'pin comment' option :) A friend used to be a customer of BigMailer, you guys have a solid product.

      Btw, I plan to do a post on buying email lists next week (and yeah, the conclusion is the same). From my analysis, 100% of founders who succeeded with cold email got their emails from a public source (like an employee in a company listing their email somewhere on the web, etc.)

      1. 1

        Always happy to talk shop! I offer free audits and strategic advice via live chat (on pricing page) to any IH-ers (weekends are better for this, thx!).

        Scraping of web to build a cold email list is common and frequently results in high bounce rate (both hard and soft due to job changes) so my recommendation stands - always verify any list before 1st send. https://www.bigmailer.io/blog/email-verification-service-provider-comparison/

        1. 1

          Many of these tools give you an 'unknown' answer. What are you supposed to do then?

          1. 1

            Both Unknown and Risky lists result in about 30% hard bounce rate on average, so what I suggest to our customers is to not discard those but rather import those into a separate List and slowly mix into future mailings to cleanse through sending. Never send to Unknown/Risky on your 1st campaign from a new platform, you want to have a quality start anywhere.

            Email verification isn't 100% accurate because of methods used. Most providers use very gray tactics to verify that address exists. I find that providers accuracy will vary 2-5% and accuracy depends on the list composition - the more yahoo/aol accounts the lower accuracy overall. The cost difference can be x2-5 so not always great correlation to quality.

            1. 1

              You've mentioned "your first campaign". This is after warming up, right? Curious what you think about this whole warm-up thing (lemlist has lemwarm and I'm not aware by anything similar).

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                My advice was specifically for marketing activities using opted-in list, not cold email with new inorganically grown list. Warm up process uses low volume and I am not sure if my advice applies to low volume sending.

                Many email marketing service providers will place your account into a shared IP pool tier for senders with similar engagement rate. This adjustment typically happens 1-2 days after your 1st bulk campaign is sent. I have it on record that that's what ActiveCampaign does while they start everyone on the highest quality tier. But I would bet many providers do something similar and just don't disclose for obvious reasons. So you want to get labeled as a quality sender from the start - best list, best content, etc.

                1. 1

                  Makes sense. Hope this is not the case for Amazon SES.

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                    I suspect it is, highly likely...

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                      I def also think you should do a post on this, if you want I can help you out by publishing it via this seires + my email list etc (atm I have around 5k subs on all properties).

        2. 1

          I remember there were less mainstream tools that require a bigger upfront payment, but their costs are way less than these providers (something like $2-3 per 1000 verifications). Are you aware of any of these services?

          1. 1

            You can get as low as $0.5 USD per 1000 with bulk credits purchase.

            My fave low cost tools are - Bouncer, TheChecker, and DeBounce - they are <$1 per 1000 on higher volumes.

            Here is what I recommend:
            TheChecker - If you need to verify fast (it's about x5-10 faster than others) and plan to use Risky/Unknown. Slightly less accurate than Bouncer and DeBounce in my testing.
            Bouncer - if you need highest accuracy
            DeBounce - comparable to Bouncer in results, but x2-3 slower. Better price on high volumes (in the millions so best for agencies) and higher on very low volumes.

  2. 4

    Let’s be clear: Bulk cold email is spam. If you are sending out cold email using an automated platform, you are a spammer. Spam is unsolicited bulk email. Calling it “cold email” doesn’t make it right; it’s still spam.

    If you buy email address lists or spider web sites to get emails, you are a spammer. If you add those emails into a drip campaign, you're the worst of the worst.

    Of course spam does work. If it didn't work, we wouldn't have spam. But it's a grey hat tactic that will ultimately be bad for your brand and your deliverability.

    Whenever I receive email from one of these “cold email” campaigns, I used to just put it in my spam folder. But now that providers are doing cold email followup chains, I’ve personally started getting more aggressive.

    Whenever I receive a “cold email” (often, from platforms wanting to sell me cold email services, but also a lot of SaaS or tech providers who should know better), I report the sender to the abuse department of their email provider and add a report for the spam blacklist databases. If it’s particularly egregious, I shame the company on social media.

    To be clear for those who want to send out cold email: do so at your own risk. Not only do you risk your cold emails being sent to spam, you risk your brand reputation and your entire domain being marked as a spammer, so all of your warm leads and customer emails also get blocked.

    The only non-spam way of sending cold emails is if you are individually finding each email and sending out a custom email to those individuals. Mass harvesting emails or buying email lists and then loading them into an automated platform is spam, and if you do this, you are a spammer.

    Bulk cold emailers may justify their spamming because "it's working" and they have a new name, "cold email", that make them feel better about it. But just because you change the name, doesn't mean the ends justify the means.

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      Are you a software dev? This is a common response for software devs who are not founders. Btw for this very reason many ppl exclude devs from their list. Non-tech people are not so averse to receiving cold email.

      1. 0

        I am a developer, but I am also a serial entrepreneur. I've built 2 companies that I was able to sell without resorting to spamming. There's a ton of marketing channels out there. Why pick the one that is ethically dubious?

        I don't buy the "non-tech people" not being averse to receiving cold email. Mailgun just came out with their email engagement report for 2021. Under the question "How do people react to unsolicited emails?", the responses were:

        • 2.4% I file a complaint
        • 25.2% I mark as spam
        • 31.9% I unsubscribe
        • 40.5% I ignore it

        That's 59.5% of people classifying unsolicited email as spam. There's a reason all the major email marketing platforms ban unsolicited email in their terms of service.

        1. 4

          Can you link to that report? What type of audience did they interview? “Unsolicited email” has different definitions for different people.

          Don’t get me wrong, I am totally against bulk unpersonalized email, but I also don’t like to get on the other extreme and call everything that is not hyper-personalized spam.

          1. 2

            You can find the report here: https://www.pathwire.com/research/email-engagement-2021

            The audience for the survey was 2,000 people across the US, UK, France, Spain & Germany. You can see the demographic breakdown at the end of the report.

            As for whether spam is personalized or not, I don't think that matters. Most spam I get has some personalization—even the cliche viagra ones—because they also spidered my name and company when collecting the email. A bunch try to categorize my business as well.

            The problem with doing this in bulk is that you're not really personalizing. You're just filling in a few variables in a template. So the emails are still bulk, unsolicited email.

            I personally subscribe to SpamHaus's definition of spam:

            The word “Spam” as applied to Email means “Unsolicited Bulk Email”.
            Unsolicited means that the Recipient has not granted verifiable permission for the message to be sent. Bulk means that the message is sent as part of a larger collection of messages, all having substantively identical content.

            I'm not against unsolicited emails if they are sent individually (not in bulk). At that point, you can customize the emails and you're only sending a small quantity.

            But scale matters. What is acceptable on a small scale often becomes unacceptable at a large scale.

            It goes back what was said at the top of this post: cold email is not email marketing.

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              I see your point. Thanks for that link.

          2. 1

            Hypothetically quantifying it, if you're sending 100 unsolicited emails at a time, dosen't matter to whom, it's spam to me.

            Suppose you're using calling instead of email. You wouldn't call 100 people at the same time, right?

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              Not the best analogy. The mechanisms behind email and calling are different. Calling is a more synchronous medium vs. email. The expectations are also different (there isn't the equivalent of "email marketing" for calling), etc.

              Again, I don't like generalizations. It depends heavily on context. A friend used to send the SAME cold email to a certain target people, he got 30-40% response rate and most of them were extremely grateful for him emailing them (he wasn't selling them anything btw, just inviting them to a free event in the niche).

    2. 3

      There are IHers here who are literally starting from 0, and cold email is one of the only viable channels for them. So I don't understand the point of being so harsh. For example, I built a whole community sending bulk email, asking people if they want to join. 30% happily replied yes and they're still happy members to this day. Does this make me a spammer?

      1. 1

        So, to be fair, I should use behavior-oriented language, rather than identity-oriented language, which is more inflammatory. So, let's reframe "you are a spammer" to "you have spammed".

        But, yes, if you sent unsolicited bulk email, you were spamming people—that's the common definition of spam. Look at it from the opposite perspective: if 30% happily replied yes, it means 70% didn't want your offer.

        I've said it before: spam does work. That's why we still have it. It does not make the right choice to build your business though.

        This entire channel is filled with ideas of channels founders can use for user acquisition. There are more free marketing channels than there have ever been. More options for people starting at 0 than there have ever been. No need to pay an email provider to send spam to build a business.

        The ends don't justify the means. Just because you can do it doesn't mean you should. If there's anything we're learning as an industry right now, it's that we need to pay attention to the impact of our actions.

        And, I get it too. I've been there. My co-founder wanted us to buy lists and spam people in one of my previous startups. I said no. But I understand the temptation, especially when it works.

        But unsolicited bulk email is spam, no matter how you slice it.

    3. 1

      You're being too harsh. And you're wasting your time IMO. Get an email provider like .hey (who put these cold emails in a separate category) and be done with it.

      1. 1

        I do get that I might be talking to a wall trying to get spammers to stop spamming. 🙄

        But I do think that some people using bulk cold email haven't considered that it's actually just another name for spam. And they haven't considered the reputational risks, both at the brand level & the email deliverability level, that bulk cold email creates.

        That said, I do also recognize that it works sometimes. If it didn't, it would die out quickly. But the fact that spam works (it always has, which is why it is still around) is not a reason for reputable companies to use it.

        As for Hey, I do plan to check them out at some point. Though my understanding is the spam filter is still not good enough to remove these entirely, so you're still stuck sorting through the emails at some point. For now, I have several accounts that cannot move over to Hey, so it's a moot point for those accounts.

    4. 1

      I so agree with you (and this entire thread). And I am a marketer. Cold email should NOT be made in bulk. Period.

      1. 1

        Can you be more specific on what you mean by 'bulk'? Is semi-personalized email bulk? By non-bulk do you mean sending by hand?

        1. 1

          Bulk means sent automatically through an emailing provider. In my sentences at least.

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            Oh I see. Many cold email tools like Lemlist tend to make cold email more like "bulk email".

      2. 1

        I think his point was using email marketing for something they aren't meant to.

    5. 1

      Hi Trevor! I'd recognize this copy/paste response anywhere. 😄

      1. 1

        Is Trevor a keynote speaker on MicroConf? This got me curious.

      2. 1

        😀

        It's not a straight copy/paste. I did add some sentences and do some light editing from the original comment on MicroConf Connect. But since it's the same topic, it felt like a waste of time to write the same comment completely from scratch. I did read the full post here and all the previous comments though before I added it.

        If it wasn't such a growing problem in my own inbox, I might not care so much. But it's really started getting out of control in the past 6-12 months. I do admit it causes me more problems, since I practice inbox zero and take steps to keep my main emails private. But once you get on one list, you start getting on multiple, and the spam filters haven't yet caught up with this new crop of spam.

        1. 1

          Have you considered getting on Hey.com? I think they address this problem specifically.

  3. 3

    There's a similar "grey area" with affiliate marketing.

    MailChimp lists “affiliate marketing” as prohibited content in emails sent through their service. ConvertKit’s Acceptable Use Policy also has some restrictions on affiliate marketing, including a prohibition on “CPA affiliate type sites or similar affiliate type of sites, network marketing sites, affiliate educational offers, insurance sales or promotions.” And Amazon's affiliate program says you're not allowed to share your affiliate links via email.

    But, as you say, theory and practice are 2 different things.

    1. 3

      Not surprised about MailChimp, especially after their censoring scandal 3 months ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24942450

      Wonder if these links harm those email providers in some way. I imagine a lot of CPA affiliates using shady tactics like mass emails to send their links (so Gmail/Yahoo/Microsoft eventually end up blacklisting them and lowering the reputation of any provider that sends the links).

    2. 1

      It's ridiculous to see companies putting their own limits on an open protocol.

      1. 1

        That's why so many people moved off MailChimp. Bad thing is when you have a monopoly (like Facebook) without a real choice.

    3. 1

      This is why I like reading founder interviews; they make it all about the practice. Whereas, if you listen to "experts", it's mostly claims with nothing to back them up.

      1. 1

        The worst kind are experts who claim to have 'insider' knowledge lol

  4. 2

    Up until now I didn't even know people did bulk-send cold emails. I always thought cold email was the classic "sales man writing individual email to prospect"

    1. 1

      Depends what you mean by 'bulk'. No/little personalization?

      1. 1

        'Bulk' as in the opposite of writing every email manually

    2. 1

      Most of cold emails seems to be somewhere in the middle (a template with fields you customize).

  5. 2

    5+ years ago I wasn't educated enough and tried to send cold emails on a mass scale. After burning 4 legit email service provider accounts decided to use just purchased SMPT and a software on my computer. Guess what happened?- After 2 days all my emails were landing only to spam, because dedicated IP was on the blacklist. This story ended well coz I've made about $3K in two months, but I decided to stop and never send spam.

    None of the existing common services will allow you to send cold emails on a mass scale. That's because no one wants to destroy domain reputation, blacklist server IP's and just in general be known as "famous spam company".

    Looking from technical perspective you can monitor deliverability and domain reputation with services like here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE7tvUy0K2U

    Being email marketer myself I know that even using all best practices you're not able to reach all your contacts in "one go" because of human factor. All these emails are not just emails, but people, who have families, kids, jobs, hobbies and so on. That being said you have to send the same email over and over just written from different perspective/headline/copy until contact will open, read and take action. In this case cold emails will not work very good at all.

    If you want to know more "behind the scenes" why emails are landing to spam folder: https://www.peakminute.com/stop-emails-from-going-into-promotions-tab-on-gmail/

    Sending emails as B2B is another story. I've been approached several times myself, when people just use "contact us" page to reach me out. Nowdays smart cold emailers don't use any links in the first message. They will ask you to reply or call a number if you're interested enough to have a conversation about something. IMHO, yes this is the right way to approach...

    1. 1

      On an unrelated note: I hate google, they're beyond pathetic.
      Due to a bug on my site, looong time ago (the fault of the company that created my site, but that's a different story), I ended up in "spam".
      Reason: the bug on my site was this: people would click Subscribe, but the visual cue saying "Thank you, you've been subscribed" sometimes wasn't visible. So some people would click it, like, 10 times. Before I was made aware of it, I already had all my mail end up in spam folder.
      No matter what I did, even using their pathetic postmaster tools, my email still ends up in spam.
      And clearly, there's no way to reach a human to explain this.

      1. 2

        As you just described: your website had technical problems. Google has no access on what you're doing on your own website at all.

        Google postmaster tools is for monitoring, it will not somehow automatically fix any issue. However you can see what's happening.

        The first tool I would use in this case is this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en4Iss12Tf8 to identify technical existing problems.

        There is no official staff to explain the problem- yes you're right at this point.
        I might be able to help you, but I need more details if you're still facing this...

        1. 1

          Hi, thanks for the offering!

          I looked at that video, tested the "spamminess" of my email, and apparently, Google has forgiven me :D I have a 9/10 - will need to look into DKIM as well.

          Having said this, Google is soooo bad at helping people deal with this, I can't even begin to explain how pathetic they are.

          Even setting up postmaster tools, it took me weeks to make it work (basically, I had to switch providers, since I could not set up some DNS variable). Even after I set that up, postmaster tool said it's ok, but the issue remained, and there was no link that would show me a score, or whatever I would need to do to fix it. I simply gave up at that point (I think that was back in may-june last year or so).

    2. 1

      It seems you ALWAYS burn eventually with cold email. So cut your losses, use a simple Gmail account (and it's easy to create another one).

      1. 1

        Nope. No more cold emails... Thank you for advice :)

  6. 2

    What are some good tools to send cold email?

    1. 1

      https://www.yesware.com/ sends directly from your gmail or outlook, but get the benefits of bulk sending & analytics

    2. 1

      Write 'cold email' into Product Hunt and you'll find some pretty good products.

    3. 1

      You can always setup your own smtp servers with dedicated ips.

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        I was trying to buy a car, and you basically told me to build one instead :)))

      2. 1

        Uh, this may be good if you're sending bulk email. But why use it for personalized B2B email?

    4. 1

      Lemlist, MailShake, many of them. They all work on the same principle though: They connect with something like a Gmail account (via Gmail API) and send email on behalf of your Gmail email. This supposedly has better deliverability + if you get blacklisted, you can just create another email (and many cold email experts say that sooner or later, you will get blacklisted).

      1. 1

        Makes sense, thanks!

  7. 1

    I am in sales in B2B SaaS, and have gathered basically all the emails in public records from the vertical i am targeting in my country.

    Have been sending the emails one by one using Gmail+Mailgun and Gorgia Templates to speed it up.

    My response rate is around 10% (the only metric i am tracking).

    What are you thoughts/experience using plattorms like https://www.gmass.co/ to this kind of cold email approach?

    1. 1

      I'm personally using Lemlist because of their Lemwarm feature. Have a campaign that's getting me a 30% reply rate. Btw what public records, government sources?

      1. 1

        Lemlist looks cool. The image personalisation feature is also great although the pricing is a bit high for me.

        Government sources, namely the email registered in the business. In big companies this is a general email, without much use. In SME this email is associated to the founder of the company or a major decision maker.

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          I'm doing a PDF report on this btw, and have another company in the report which also uses gov sources to scrape emails. Let me know if you wanna contribute to it (I was looking for more examples of companies using govt sources to scrape emails), can give you the PDF for free in exchange. Basically, it's a PDF on 8 different sources founders use to discover emails to scrape (4 of them are familiar to you like linkedin/builtwith), but some of them you've never heard of.

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              I don't see any Twitter/website/email on your profile :/

  8. 1

    “ Many People Don't Know the Difference Between Email Marketing and Cold Email Tools”

    Erm hello, it’s 2021 not 2001, of course everyone knows. Some may pretend they don’t know, but they know.

    Spam is spam is spam. Why are we even still talking about this.

  9. 1

    I'm not totally sure I understand the point of using an email marketing tool like HubSpot instead of a tool meant for cold outreach like MailShake. MailShake lets you track opens, clicks, spam, etc.

    1. 1

      The methods of deliverability. With Gmail you get better deliverability (because people use gmail for sending personal email between each other). With SES/Mailgun you get lower deliverability/get placed in the promotions folder (since most emails coming from those servers are that category).

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        Wouldn't it be weird getting a business email with a @gmail.com address?

    2. 1

      I was too surprised when I talked with some colleagues in a digital marketing firm I used to work with.

      The conversation went something like:
      Me: Hey I wanted to try cold emailing
      They: Oh, so use Mailchimp?

      I'm really surprised by the # of people who don't distinguish between cold email and email marketing tools. And I don't blame them...the landing pages of both tools are pretty vague.

      1. 1

        Same here. Experienced digital marketers using the wrong tools for the job.

  10. 1

    You'd expect people there to know their stuff on cold email. But even some people there don't seem to realize there is a difference between email marketing and cold email.

    Well, I don't have the same expectation. A much more charitable reading is that the people there care far more about results than the means. They are there to try out what their peers claim to have worked for them.

    This is a screenshot from a recent post on a FB cold emailing group:

    You removed names but can you please also blur the faces in the screen shot? Just a screenshot of the text would have gotten the point across, no need to include their faces.

    Thank you!

    1. 2

      Will do, thanks. It's a public FB group though, not sure if there's any law against taking screenshots from public FB groups I'm not aware of?

      1. 2

        No law that I am aware of, but there's a 2nd order effect that you are not considering. The screenshots carry a certain tinge of public shaming about them with the photos of the individuals included.

        Since your goal is to educate and not to disparage, better to leave out the faces because once the photo gets indexed by search engines, people without context will assume the intent behind the photo was disparagement.

        1. 1

          I see. Thanks for pointing that out, edited the post to blur the images.

    2. 1

      I think he should have just linked to the group URL (in case the group was public).

      1. 1

        No, it was a private group.

  11. 1

    It's not a good idea to send cold email through email marketing tools. It is bound to get you banned and it messes up the rep of the tool you used which makes them put up tighter rules for everyone else.

    1. 1

      Have you had any experience with this?

      1. 1

        Yes, I use cold email often.

  12. 1

    Anyone here who got banned after (mistakenly) sending cold email via an email marketing provider like SES/SendGrid/MailGun?

    1. 1

      Interesting that after 8 hours nobody replied on this. Either nobody tried sending via these providers, or nobody got in trouble.

      1. 1

        Or they don't wanna talk about it :))

  13. 1

    Amazon SES is generous with their complaint rate. For some providers, the complaint rate is 0.01%.

        1. 1

          Like webbie said above, seems providers give you a leeway on this % if you have high volume with good sending reputation.

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