#09 – Marketing Automation for Cold Email?


#09 – Marketing Automation for Cold Email?

August 16, 2017

This week we talk about why it’s a bad idea to use marketing automation software for cold email. We need to address this because it’s a mistake that could be harming your reply rate even if your emails are amazing.

Quick note: if you are already using QuickMail to send your cold email, this cast is probably not for you and we’ll see you next week. Everyone else, tune in!


  • The difference between marketing automation and sales automation tools and why they are NOT interchangeable
  • What are the most popular marketing automation tools and what are they optimized for?
  • What do you need to look for in a sales automation tool that will enable you to start a conversation with a lead?
  • Why bother to switch if you are already getting replies with a marketing automation tool?  
  • Can you use ESP – Email Service Providers to send cold emails?

So folks, if you have been using marketing automation tools to send cold email, do yourself a favor – test sending with a sales automation tool and just watch what happens to your open rate and reply rate. We promise you’ll be surprised.

Happy cold emailing,

Jeremy and Jack


– [Jeremy] Hey, what’s up everyone, this is Jeremy from QuickMail.

– [Jack] And this is Jack from Emails That Sell.

– [Jeremy] Today is episode nine, and before we start, if you are already using QuickMail to send your cold email, this class is probably not for you and we will see you next week. Today, we are going to talk about why it’s a bad idea to use marketing automation software for cold email.

– [Jack] So if you’re wondering what marketing automation software is, or what the difference between that and sales automation software, they’re easy to confuse. And before we go in and define exactly what those terms mean, one of the reasons we are doing this cast today happens to do with a phone call I was just on with yet another bright business owner who was using Infusionsoft or MailChimp to send their cold emails. So we need to address this, because it’s a mistake that could be harming your reply rate. Even if you have an amazing list and you are sending great cold emails.

– [Jeremy] Yeah, and just to be clear on this, this is not a isolated case. I had the same one with Mailchimp, getDrip and so forth. So, how about we start by defining the difference between marketing automation and sales automation, Jack?

– [Jack] Sure. Marketing automation is used to send marketing emails to your audience. Sales automation is used to start one on one conversations. They’re both important, and you probably need both for your business. But they’re not interchangeable, so you can’t use marketing automation for cold email.

– [Jeremy] In fact I own a sales automation software but, when I need to send a newsletter, I use getDrip instead of my own software. Can you give us some names of really popular marketing information software so we know what tools we are referring to here?

– [Jack] Some popular marketing automation software out there is: MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Autopilot, Infusionsoft, Mar keto, Drip, AWeber, GetResponse, Sero, Campaign Monitor. There’s a whole bunch.

– [Jeremy] Yeah, so why is it a bad idea to use? There are so many of them. One must be meeting my needs for emails, right?

– [Jack] Well, let’s take an example. Let’s say you’ve got an ecommerce shop that sells tshirts. You wouldn’t want to announce your new tshirt collection with a sales automation tool because you just wouldn’t wanna have one on one conversations with each customer about that shirt you just released. Or, not likely. Equally, you wouldn’t use marketing automation, to try and set up a coffee meeting with, let’s say another founder in another city. They’re just not designed for people to reply to your emails.

– [Jeremy] What do you mean exactly by that?

– [Jack] Well, for one, they’re optimized for clicks, opens or general engagement; not necessarily replies. Marketing automation is a many-to-one email. Just like marketing is more of a presentation where sales is a conversation, if you will. Marketing automation emails also often end up in the promotions tab. SendRush found that 60% of Gmail users have their promotions tab enabled, which means if most of the folks on your list are using Gmail, which they probably are, that means if you send with marketing automation, up to 60% of your list won’t get that email in their primary inbox. Another reason why they’re not optimized to get replies and conversations started is, they look automated. There’s an emphasis on fancy HTML and images instead of plain text that gets conversations started. So, think of marketing automation as more as a flyer or a brochure. Two more points here. Marketing automation metrics won’t really set you up for a successful cold email campaign. Most of the time there’s pull reporting when you need to find out who’s replied to your emails. Just again because they’re not optimized so much for replies as much as engagement. And finally, you have a lower probability of inboxing if you send with marketing automation email, excuse me, software, because marketing automation sends the email from their own servers, as opposed to your own email account.

– [Jeremy] With so many automated tools online, how can I know it’s a sales automation tool and not a marketing automation tool?

– [Jack] There’s a couple things you need to look for. For it to be sales automation tool, it must let you send from your own inbox. And this is the most important feature of any sales automation tool out there. Now, if you’re not sure about this, send a few emails with the software you want to test, and then check your send folder in your primary email account to check if you sent it from your own email. Next, you must be able to track your replies. And, you should also be able to cancel follow-ups, based on people who have replied. That’s, those are three features that you need to have in a sales automation software. Now there’s a couple should-have features that will make life a lot easier if you’re sending cold emails. So, you should be able to reply to your own emails, so that your emails are included in your thread as you send multiple touches. You should be able to turn off open and click tracking to increase your deliverability. You should be able to remove your own subscribe links and finally, you should be able to customize each email based on prospect attributes.

– [Jeremy] What if I happened to be using a marketing automation software already and getting some replies? Should I bother switching, or trying a sales automation tool?

– [Jack] Lemme tell you a quick story about this. So, a client of mine was using MailChimp to send their cold emails when we first spoke. When I asked him how that was going he said, “You know it’s working. “Nothing crazy but we’re getting leads from it.” Now when they switched to QuickMail, cold email suddenly became their number one lead source in two weeks. So in summary, if you’re getting leads with marketing automation, pat yourself on the back because the good news is, you can expect a much better open rate and a much better reply rate, just by switching the tool you use.

– [Jeremy] What about email senders, like SendGrid, MailGun, Postmark, Mandrill and so forth.

– [Jack] So those are all ESPs or email service providers. They’re an interface that lets you send emails at scale. And, they’re agnostic to what is sent, which means you could use them to send cold emails. In fact, they’re going to integrate with most sales automation tools out there. But, they won’t replace the tools. Think of them as complimentary but, in short don’t use them if you don’t have to.

– [Jeremy] I thought so. If you’re using marketing automation to send cold emails, do yourself a favor and test sending with a sales automation tool, and watch what happens to your opens and replies. Thanks Jack. Awesome cast, and see you next week.

– [Jack] Yeah, great job, Jeremy. See ya.


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