How to scale your cold outreach process with AI & increase your success rate

Ever wished for all the icebreakers you’re spending extra time on, to be written on its own — of course, without delegating it!

Or, send a follow-up email on its own while you spend time creating the email strategy for the next campaign?

Hello email marketers — all of your dreams have come true. Thanks to AI and the wave of storms it’s been bringing.

But AI is transforming the cold outreach process beyond just writing. And what’s that? — this is what we’ll find out in this article.

Understanding the Basics of Cold Outreach

Understanding the Basics of Cold Outreach

Cold outreach is a form of outbound marketing where businesses reach out to prospects without any initial connection. It involves engaging, building relationships, nurturing, and ultimately converting prospects. The term “cold” refers to the lack of prior connection between the company and the prospects.

You can use multiple channels for cold outreach, such as cold calling, cold emailing, and cold messaging on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter.

But, cold outreach is not a newer concept you need to get handholding for. Marketers and businesses have been using it for years. So, what changed? The approach.

In the past, cold outreach relied on methods like cold calls, in-person sales pitches, print ads in newspapers or billboards, networking events, and direct mail via letters or promotional materials. Marketers used to send bulk emails with zero personalization and research. Even a two-liner email would get the response. It used to work back then. Not anymore.

Modern cold outreach prioritizes hyper-personalized, relevant, and well-researched emails:

  • Research. It is crucial for understanding the target audience’s preferences, pain points, and needs, enabling the creation of focused and relevant emails.
  • Personalization. When recipients feel involved and connected, it boosts engagement and elicits positive responses.

The AI Revolution in Cold Outreach

Let’s be honest — one of the heavy-lifting tasks while executing cold outreach is writing cold emails, scheduling emails, and following up with prospects.

However, with the entry of AI into the email marketing scenario, cold outreach is no longer intensive. It can help you automate routine tasks like finding the ideal customer persona, crafting the subject line and email opening line, and editing the email. These activities which used to take a long time before the entry of AI can now be done in minutes

Besides ChatGPT, let’s see a few other tools that you can use to streamline your cold email outreach:

  1. Zoominfo: It provides access to an extensive database of B2B contacts and companies, buyer intent data tools, technographics for sales intelligence, and lead mining from platforms like G2.
  2. It lets you find the email addresses of people by providing their full name and company name. Plus, it verifies these email addresses — reducing the chances of bounce rates and helping you execute a successful cold outreach. Furthermore, it automates your email campaign to the T by helping you create the campaign, and automate it by scheduling the emails and adding timely follow-ups.
  3. This tool helps you scrape leads from LinkedIn Sales Navigator, validates each email, and helps you craft relevant email introductions. 

Crafting the Perfect AI-Enhanced Cold Email

Crafting the Perfect AI-Enhanced Cold Email

No marketer ever said crafting cold emails with the help of AI is difficult — unless they generated generic emails that didn’t resonate with the prospects. 

You see? That’s the real problem. But before we talk about how to break through this challenge, let’s understand the anatomy of a cold email:

  1. Targeting. Send emails to the right people who get value from your offer. 
  2. Subject line. A subject line is the first element of the email and the deal breaker that decides whether the prospect will open the email or not. Keep it short and sweet.
  3. Email opener. Either showcase the prospects that you have researched them and build the first connection, or make them curious to read the email further. 
  4. Benefit. Share the benefits the [prospect will get by collaborating with you.
  5. CTA. What’s the final action you want the prospects to take — state it clearly.

Starting with a Strong Subject Line

Just like the red carpet sets the initial impression at an event, the subject lines do the same. So, optimize your email subject lines by adding personalization, emojis, statistics, and pain points/ benefits.

To generate an AI subject line, focus on personalization, and clarity. Give detailed prompts and specifications to AI for generating subject lines. Also, it’s not important to rely on the subject lines the AI has generated. Take inspiration from these results and customize them.

Here’s an example of a bad subject line by a link-building professional.

Here’s an example of a bad subject line by a link building professional

Why this subject line didn’t work out?

  • The link-building professional didn’t target the cold email to the right target audience
  • The subject line is sale-sy and doesn’t provide any value to the prospect

Here’s an example of a good subject line by GorillaDesk. The company used this subject line during their link-building outreach and saw a massive 63% open rate.

Here’s an example of a good subject line by GorillaDesk

Why did this work?

  • It sparks curiosity — when the subject line pops in the prospect’s inbox, they have no idea what the sender is talking about (this sparks curiosity).
  • It uses personalization i.e., recipient’s first name.

Personalized Greetings and Introductions 

Personalizing greetings and introductions in cold outreach go beyond using the recipient’s or company’s name. So what is it all about? For a personalized greeting and email opening line, you need to conduct comprehensive research. Find about the prospect’s achievements, professional milestones, and shared interests and pain points — and use them as the conversation starter.

While crafting icebreakers based on manual research is good on a small scale, when executive mass cold outreach campaigns, AI comes in handy. With AI, you can personalize greetings in your cold email by analyzing the recipient’s data like the recipient’s name, job title, or company. 

AI tools like help you generate icebreakers based on different elements like blog posts, case studies, and article mentions. 

This is the easiest way to personalize emails at a mass scale. Ensure the data you enter into your spreadsheet is appropriately written without syntax errors. But with technology, you can leverage personalization right from the start of your email with greetings and introductions.

Structuring Your Email for Maximum Impact 

To ensure your cold outreach has a higher impact on your prospects, you need to have a tech stack for email marketing. This tech stack will include all the tools you’ll use for conducting research, finding leads, generating subject lines and email introductions, editing your emails, and automating your email campaign.

  • For research — ChatGPT and Zoominfo
  • For finding leads — and Upleads
  • For finding email addresses —
  • For generating subject lines — Mailmoodo AI and Chat by
  • For email introductions — 
  • For automating email campaigns — and Mailmodo

Side note: Some of the tools in this tech stack have several other functionalities that can be useful in your cold outreach. So, instead of using all the tools, pick 2-3 tools and club them together to streamline your email outreach process. 

For example, you can use ChatGPT and Zoominfo to research and find leads, Hunter to find email addresses, craft subject lines and introductions, and automate your email campaign.

AI-Driven Content Suggestions

Ask AI to generate email copy for you, and even give you feedback on how you can improve your email. 

Here’s an example of how a writer asked for feedback from ChatGPT on their already crafted email.

Below the writer pasted the email content on ChatGPT and gave the prompt:

“Suggest to me how I can improve this cold email.”

Below the writer pasted the email content on ChatGPT and gave the prompt

Based on the prompt, ChatGPT generated the following suggestions for the writer to optimize the email.

Based on the prompt, ChatGPT generated the following suggestions for the writer to optimize the email

Furthermore, ChatGPT generated a sample email based on its suggestions. By getting AI-driven content feedback, the writer can improve the email.

Demonstrating Value Proposition

The value proposition is all about how your offer benefits the prospect or email recipient. So, in your cold email, you need to highlight the value the prospect will gain if they accept the pitch.

For example, here’s an example of a prompt the freelance writer gave to ChatGPT for identifying the value proposition of the cold email that they are sending to their prospective clients to make connections. 

Prompt given to ChatGPT: “You are a freelance writer in SaaS niche who wants to generate leads to work with them in 2024. Your ideal target persona is a content marketeer in the SaaS space. He or she is not actively looking for freelance writers but wants to have a database of writers to work with them. So, as a freelance writer who has worked with brands like, and HackerEarth, what should be the value proposition that you will approach the prospect with?“

example of a prompt the freelance writer gave to ChatGPT

Incorporating Soft CTA (Call to Action)

Understanding the importance of an adequate call to action is key to effectively scaling your cold outreach process. Once you have written the body of your cold email, ask ChatGPT to give you better CTA suggestions, or add your preferred CTAs like booking a call.

Here’s an example of the response of ChatGPT on a prompt given to generate better CTAs.

Prompt given to ChatGPT: 

“You are a freelance writer in the SaaS niche who wants to generate leads to work with them in 2024. Your ideal target persona is a content marketeer in the SaaS space. He or she is not actively looking for freelance writers but wants to have a database of writers to work with them. So, as a freelance writer who has worked with brands like,, and HackerEarth, what should be the value proposition that you will approach the prospect with? 

Add a CTA to book a call on Calendar for a networking call.”

Add a CTA to book a call on Calendar for a networking call ChatGPT Prompt Example

Ensuring Clarity and Conciseness

So you wrote a cold email but it is hard to read and lacks clarity for the recipient! 

AI can help you simplify complex language, ensuring clarity and hard-to-read sentences. 

Plus, you can proofread and eliminate sentences that no longer serve the purpose. 

Here’s an example of how the writer pasted the email content generated by ChatGPT and prompted to write the email for more clarity.

The prompt given to ChatGPT: “Can you write this email in simple language and with clarity?”

The prompt given to ChatGPT Can you write this email in simple language and with clarity

Based on this prompt, ChatGPT generated the following result:

Based on this prompt ChatGPT generated the following result

Personalization at Scale

The rule of thumb when personalizing emails is to know about the recipient’s details like their full name, company name, social media profiles, geographical location, and their products and services. 

Once you have this information in place, you can personalize the emails in larger volumes too. All you need to do is provide personalization placeholders such as {first name} or {company name}.

You can also personalize your emails using ChatGPT for Sheets. Here’s how:

Step 1: Integrate Google Sheets with ChatGPT.

Step 2: Create a table and add columns: Task, Sender, Tone, Style, Topic, Product, To, and Email.

  • Task: You’ll give the ChatGPT prompt in this column
  • Sender: Who is sending this email? — add your name or company name
  • Tone: What will be the tone of the emails? — confident, emotional, etc. 
  • Style: What will be the style of writing? — formal, informal, or conversational
  • Topic: Tell what the topic of the email is. Is it a lead generation email, a follow-up email, welcome or abandonment email?
  • Product: What’s the product the recipient or their company is selling

Step 3: Add details in each column excluding the Emails column

Step 4: In the Email column, write GPT=(selected row: selected column) and hit enter.

This will generate detailed and personalized emails that you can send to prospects. 

This will generate detailed and personalized emails that you can send to prospects

A/B Testing with AI

You never know whether want resonates the best with your target audience. Maybe an email with no image works better. Or, a shorter subject line leads to more open rates. To find this out, conduct A/B testing

A few things to know before doing A/B testing:

  • Test one element at a time. For example, if you want to A/B test subject lines and images — first test the different subject lines and then the images. 
  • Analyze three cold outreach metrics always: open rate, click rate, and reply rate.
  • Have an email list of a minimum of 100-200 subscribers to be able to analyze the results accurately 

For example, you can create two or more versions of your email, send multiple campaigns, and test the results with Hunter Campaigns Reporting so you can understand what works better.

Final Touches Before Sending

Fix grammar and spelling errors, proofread, and optimize the tone of your cold emails using AI. ChatGPT and other AI grammar-checking tools like Grammarly, ProwritingAid, and Wordtune help you do this.

For example, you can give a prompt to ChatGPT to check the grammar and spelling errors like the one here. 

Prompt given to ChatGPT: “Can you check the above email for grammar and spell errors?”

Prompt given to ChatGPT Can you check the above email for grammar and spell errors

On the other side, you can copy and paste your content on platforms like Grammarly and ProwritingAid, and edit it for grammar, and tone.

Here’s an example of the suggestions Grammarly gives when you copy-paste the email content on the platform.

Heres an example of the suggestions Grammarly gives when you copy-paste the email content on the platform

Overcoming common AI cold outreach challenges

While AI is a boon for everyone, it comes with its challenges — no personal touch being the primary one. 

Let’s dive in to understand these common challenges and how you can overcome them:

Impersonal nature of AI

When you use AI in your emails — whether to craft subject lines, email openers, or the entire email, it lacks the human touch and genuine connection that personal interactions offer. 

But here’s what you must note: using AI in your cold outreach doesn’t mean you have to copy and paste your AI-generated results. Use AI to get suggestions and ideas, and customize the response with your personal touch.

AI-enhanced compliance 

Ensure that your AI-enhanced outreach remains compliant with regulations. Here’s how to do it:

  • Adhere to the relevant data protection laws such as GDPR and CCPA. 
  • Disclose the use of AI in your email outreach campaign.
  • Regularly monitor and assess AI models to ensure outreach. 
  • Ensure compliance with existing laws and principles by mapping ethical principles to written procedures.
  • Create multiple layers of defense mechanisms to monitor and regulate AI applications, reducing risks of non-compliance.
  • Prioritize data security and privacy by identifying and optimizing low-value tasks such as data entry, system checks, and administrative and low-impact policy reviews while being mindful of data handling concerns.

Maintaining a human touch in AI-driven communication

It is possible to add a human touch to your cold outreach even when using AI. How? 

Look at the primary factor when using AI — the prompts you give to AI have the human element. It couldn’t generate the different elements like subject lines, introductions, and email content if you didn’t promote AI to do so. 

Plus, once AI generates the results, refrain from copy-pasting them into your outreach directly. Instead, use these results as templates and customize them based on your target audience and relevance. 

Future of AI in Cold Outreach

The future of AI is bright. It will make the cold outreach processes more streamlined and reduce more manual work. Here are some predictions on how AI will transform cold outreach in the future:

  • It will personalize emails at a scale: AI will analyze the prospect’s social media profile, past interactions, company websites, and data sources, and help generate more personalized subject lines and email introductions
  • It will automatically optimize email campaigns: It will analyze send timings, prospect segments, and other factors to optimize the emails and improve the open rates and response rates.
  • It will improve targeting by qualifying leads: AI tools will be able to model ideal customer profiles and mine signals from technographicfirmographic, and behavioral data to score and filter prospects. 
  • It will predict your prospect’s needs and pain points: AI algorithms will continue to evolve in understanding user behavior, predicting intents, and recommending the most appropriate outreach strategy.

Wrapping Up

AI has already given a taste of efficiency by automating manual tasks like finding leads, identifying the ideal customer profile, crafting emails and email openers, brainstorming email subject lines, editing and proofreading articles, and A/B testing. 

While AI has been transforming the email marketing efforts for businesses, you can’t rely 100% on it. It has to be a combination of AI and human efforts. 

So, instead of using the email content that ChatGPT generated based on your prompt, make some tweaks and personalize it in a much better way that aligns with your company and the prospect. 

About Author: 

Antonio GabrićAntonio Gabrić is an outreach manager at Hunter. He is passionate about testing different outreach tactics and sharing results with the community. When he is not connecting with industry leaders you can find him on his motorbike exploring off-the-beaten paths around the world. 

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