Cold Email vs Spam – What's the difference?

Cold Email vs Spam – What's the difference?

Uzair Rasheed

A mailbox saying No junk mail.

Cold emailing is one great way to reach out to potential prospects. Cold emails can be very effective for any startup looking for a reliable and not-so-expensive way of reaching out to prospects.

However, if you don’t follow the basic principles of writing a cold email and ignore the whole process, there is a good chance of getting your cold email marked as Spam. People aren’t very open to generic cold emails and if you don’t personalize your email content, they will mark it as spam regardless of your intention or purpose of the email.

This blog post will explain those factors that will ensure that your cold email doesn’t fall into the Cold email vs Spam category at all and will also explain what steps you need to follow to make it stand out from Spam emails.

Cold email vs Spam emails

Many people confuse cold emails with Spam emails and put them in the same category. But that isn't quite true and the short answer to one of the most frequently asked questions "Are cold emails Spam?" is No, cold emails are not Spam.

As long as your following the basics and you understand the purpose and intent of a cold email, your cold email will be very much different from a Spam email. To dive deep into the key differences between cold email vs spam, you must understand what is a spam email.

What is a Spam email?

A spam email is an unsolicited bulk email sent out to random people who don’t want to receive them and aren’t interested in the product or service either. Spam emailing is not a targeted campaign. There is no prior research and no qualified prospects. It can be sent to any audience regardless of their niche and demographics.

Most spam emails are automatically flagged as Spam by the recipient’s email service provider. These emails mostly don’t even get past the evolving spam filters because of poor email content and spam-triggering words. If somehow a spam email lands in the recipient’s inbox and dodges the system, there is still a good chance that it will get marked as spam by the recipient after opening it.

1. No Prior Research on Prospects

Spam emails are sent out in bulk to irrelevant people. There is no prior research done on the target audience or product either. Spammers purchase long lists of email addresses of random people and send the emails to everyone resulting in a high bounce rate and emails getting marked as Spam.

2. Misleading Subject Lines

Spam emails mostly have misleading subject lines that are not relevant to the content of the email. They have normally deceptive and clickbait subject lines that are just desperate to get the email opened without considering the relevance of email content. These subject lines not only break the CAN-SPAM act regulations but also make the recipients angry enough to get these emails marked as Spam.

3. No Personalization

Spam Emails are unsolicited mass emails that are exactly the same for every single recipient. Since there is no prior research done on the recipients, these emails are mostly generic and lack any personalized content.

4. No Value for Recipients

Spam emails normally contain lots of spam words and sometimes phrases that trigger the spam filters and get these emails marked as spam. There is no value in the email content for recipients and these emails are not intended to provide recipients with something they are looking for. Spam emails normally have unreliable products, scam schemes, and unwanted newsletters.

5. False and Misleading information

One of the most common features of a spam email is false and misleading information. Some of them have false signatures with wrong contact information and physical address of the company. They also contain the name of companies that don’t even exist. This is illegal and is in violation of the CAN-SPAM act too.

6. No way to Opt out or Unsubscribe

Spam emails are sent out from companies that don’t have a legit website or landing page for their products. They just conduct their business relying on these spam emails. It is normally a one-off email with no follow-ups. Therefore, it doesn’t provide recipients with any unsubscribe link nor explains an easy way to opt-out. The sender just wants to get his email across to as many people as possible hoping some recipients might actually fall for their emails.

6. Sent out in bulk

Spam emails are sent out in bulk. Email accounts don’t have a pre-warm-up routine or a daily sending limit either. This hurts their reputation as a sender and affects email deliverability. That’s why most spam emails don’t land in the inbox and are caught in spam traps.

 What is Cold Email?

A Gmail account showing Inbox

A cold email is an unsolicited email that is sent out to someone with no prior contact. Some people might confuse cold emails as Spam emails given the fact that they are sent out to strangers too.

However, a cold email is completely different from a spam email. These emails are sent out after proper research on the target audience and are intended to be sent only to people who need your product or service. If you want to write a cold email that isn’t spam, then make sure that you hold on tightly to the following principles.

1. Qualified Cold Leads

It is very important to do proper research on your prospects before setting up your cold email campaign. You must not write your cold email before finding out where your target audience is and what your ideal clients want.

Doing research beforehand will help you find the pain points of your prospects. You can also find out what your prospects have tried already and what will they expect from you. After doing proper research, you can now create a list of qualified leads and start your cold email campaign.

2. Personalized Emails

Most email marketers personalize their cold email content for each one of their prospects. Personalized emails are intended to suit the individual needs of prospects and they also build rapport with the recipient by leaving a good impression on the prospect.

It makes your cold emails look more targeted and specific. Your prospects can see that it’s not another generic email and that you took an extra step to write something specifically about their business.

Having said that, personalizing emails in scale isn’t an easy task for the sender. Especially when you are reaching out to a lot of people. It demands a lot of time and money too if you hire Virtual assistants to get this job done.

Thanks to Nureply’s AI you can now generate personalized first lines for your prospects in seconds. It will not only save you from the trouble of getting your emails marked as Spam but will also make your cold email more effective.

3. Value for Prospects

One big difference between cold email and spam email is that cold emails are intended to provide prospects with value. A perfect cold email educates prospects with a solution that solves their problems or it contains benefits that explain how your product can make it easy for them to conduct business.

If you have already considered doing proper research on your target audience, you would have already identified some pain points and benefits that your prospects will find valuable.

4. Follow up Emails

Unlike spam emails, a cold email campaign always has follow-ups that are intended to educate your prospects more about your product. Follow-ups are never sent to push sales. Instead, they are there to add more value for your prospects.

Normally a good cold email sequence contains 2 to 3 follow-ups that mention more pain points, benefits, and case studies to add more value for your prospects.

5. Daily Sending limits

Cold emails always have a tight daily sending limit to make sure that your accounts stay healthy and have a good sender reputation. If you are doing cold emails the right way, then you would know that you cannot send more than 50 emails per day from a fully warmed-up account.

Violating the daily sending limit will increase your spam rate which in turn will hurt your reputation as a sender and affect your email deliverability. Unlike spammers, email marketers always keep an eye on their daily sending limit. If you want to learn more about the email account warm-up and daily sending limits, then check out our blog about how many cold emails you should send per day.

Cold email vs Spam: Conclusion

There is a huge difference between a cold email and spam. A good cold email is intended to add value to your prospects and is perfectly legal under the CAN-SPAM act too. Spam on the other hand is sent out to people without any intention of helping prospects and it mostly violates the rules set by most regulatory authorities too.

Cold emailing is an effective way of reaching out to your potential prospects. If you want your cold emails to work, then make sure that you personalize your email content. Nureply can come in handy to personalize and send cold emails to your prospects. If you haven't yet tried Nureply, you can sign up and try Nureply for free.

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