Email Marketing

Cold Call versus Cold Email: Which one is better?

How to talk to prospects


Hafsa Channa


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Not sure if cold calling or cold emailing is the best option for your sales team to generate more leads? Deciding which one might work better for your business and its unique needs can be hard, but you don't have to settle for a guess.

In this blog post, we'll explore both methods in detail, helping you identify which can benefit your team the most - so you can take advantage of the right opportunity! Ready? Let's get started!

Cold call vs. Cold email

The key differences between cold calling and cold emailing are given below:


Cold calls and cold emails are powerful tools for lead generation, but the experiences they create for prospects can differ vastly. Cold calls can provide an intimate level of personalization that is difficult to replicate in an email. 

By engaging directly with a lead or prospect via phone, sales representatives are able to use their tone of voice, inflection, and speaking style to create a unique experience. Cold emails still allow for personalization; however, capturing human emotion through text alone can be difficult while still remaining professional.

Ultimately, cold calls allow sales reps the opportunity to create an engaging and personalized experience more effectively than with cold email alone.

Disruptive to the prospect

Cold calls can be intrusive and disruptive for a lead if received unexpectedly. 

cold call versus cold email differences

On the other hand, cold emails are far less disruptive since recipients can make easy reads at their convenience. Moreover, it's unnecessary to get lucky, like in cold calling, and catch the lead on their desk. Cold emails offer more room to connect prospects with you in the best way possible. 

Gather data

If you want to make an impression with potential customers, cold calling and cold emailing are powerful methods of getting in touch. 

However, cold calling might be the better approach if you want to gather valuable information; since it's a more personal process, sales reps can build an interpersonal connection as they ask questions. 

Cold emails can be helpful when you need a fast answer to a simple query. Still, they can be limiting when making complex presentations or providing persuasive arguments. 

Prospects may find it easier to analyze your offer and make decisions from the comfort of their inbox instead of answering multiple phone calls quickly. 

Success ratio

Cold calling and cold emailing are two different ways of reaching out to potential customers, but not all offer the same success rates. Cold calling may be a more direct approach, but you cannot guarantee it will lead to results due to things like gatekeepers and whether the person is available.

Cold emails, meanwhile, can have an average success rate of between 1 and 5%, but if done in a targeted manner, response rates can go up to 15-25%.


Cold calls give you the added benefit of being able to talk directly to your potential customer, but they take time and effort to track. 

Cold emails, however, offer a quick and relatively inexpensive method for reaching out to many people at once. 

Both mediums have good trackability when done correctly; by using specialized software tools, you can track the success rates of your campaigns and important metrics like the number of outgoing calls, average call time, answer rate, open rate, click-through rate, etc. 


While cold calls require the dedicated time of a salesperson and can also be expensive, cold emails are much more cost-effective and efficient because they can be sent out in bulk without many resources. Cold calling also requires a skill set that must be developed and improved over time - which involves training and increasing your team size.

On the other hand, cold emailing is much more scalable than cold calling since you don't need to hire more staff or train existing salespeople as thoroughly. It's much easier to scale cold emailing efforts than it is for cold calling. 

cold call versus cold email pros and cons

Cold calling Pros

Here are a few things that make cold calling the better option:

Give quicker responses 

Cold calling can be a great advantage when it comes to pitching products or services. It offers the fastest responses compared to other communication channels and can sometimes close a sale with a single phone call. 

Hearing someone's voice also helps businesses build meaningful relationships with their prospects and gives them more confidence in their offerings. Cold calling can help increase sales, create new partnerships, and make lasting impressions if done correctly.

Allows a personal touch 

Cold calling is an excellent way to reach out to potential customers and make a personal connection. It allows you to customize your conversation by tailoring it specifically to their interests in a way that's not always possible through online interactions. 

With cold calling, you can control the tone of your message and make it sound more conversational, engaging, and professional, depending on the type of customer you are speaking with. 

You have time during the call to establish trust and show your knowledge about the industry, something impersonal emails can't do as effectively. 

Eventually though, cold calls are just one of many valid tactics for success when connecting with prospects who have yet to become customers.

Cope with the negative response immediately

Having direct contact with the customer allows sales employees to quickly find solutions that might not be visible during other forms of communication. 

It also helps them deal with any negative responses immediately, as they are able to investigate and address the issue while on the call itself. Furthermore, overcoming initial setbacks early on can lead to enhanced customer relations and subsequently increased profitability in the long run.

One-on-one conversation

By having personal conversations with leads, professional sales reps can better understand the needs and interests of the customer, allowing for an even more tailored message that is customized to fit them.

This one-on-one conversation ensures clear communication from both parties in order to effectively understand each other’s needs and ultimately find the best solution. 

With the rep's attention utterly devoted to this individual prospect, they can more successfully discuss how their product or service fits their unique situation.

Cold calling Cons

Cold calling isn't always the way to go because of these factors:

Prospects can get frustrated

Cold calling also comes with a few cons. One of these is that if you don't do your research first, prospects can feel frustrated and annoyed. For instance, offering business software to a stay-at-home mom who isn't running her own business or working in the same industry as her husband could give the impression that they have been dialed by mistake. 

What's more, since these calls are not typically scheduled, it is easy to catch people at an inconvenient time and put them off completely – even if your offer is great.

Difficult to handle

It is hard to recognize the success of your efforts until after considerable time has passed, there’s no immediate gratification in this type of job. 

Furthermore, cold calling is becoming increasingly challenging, with more individuals being aware of cold callers and employing harsher measures against them, such as caller ID and answering machines. 

It's a task that requires confidence and resilience, lest one become quickly demoralized or discouraged by repeated opinions of refusal.

Time consuming

Cold calling is a time-consuming process as you can only make one call at a time while you can send a high volume of emails in the same duration.

Sometimes you may spend alot of time on call with a prospect who wants to understand your product/service but never converts. This causes alot of wastage of time and effort.

cold email pros and cons

Cold email Pros

Here's what makes cold email stand out:

Cheap and time saving

Cold emails save a lot of time for those seeking to scale up their business. With one single click, multiple people can receive the same email without spending more of your precious time. 

In addition to being cost-efficient, it makes it easy to keep track of details by organizing and recording emails in the same place, leaving an audit trail that can be referred to at any time. 

For businesses looking to expand and reach out to potential clients or partners they may not have had access to before, cold emails can be a great help.


Cold emails give an advantage to phone calls in that they allow you to include attachments as well as more detailed information. 

Attachments can be documents, infographics, promotional materials, and more - all of which can provide the recipient with greater insight into your company and the products/services you offer. 

In cold emails both parties are allowed more time to think about the content or reply, whereas, during a phone call, it would not be possible. 

Accordingly,  cold emails may be a better way to communicate successfully when ensuring that all important details are shared correctly.

Less frustrating for the prospect

Cold emails can be less frustrating for the sender and recipient in several ways. For one, by removing face-to-face interaction, the salesperson can better distance themselves from any emails sent. Cold emails can be read and responded to at the recipients’ convenience, rather than disrupting their schedule with a conversation in real time. 

Also, sending out hundreds of emails with a low response rate can still be more encouraging than constantly hearing "No" during live conversations. 

Additionally, when writing an email, there is more freedom to express honest emotions that may not come across if conversations were held in person.

 Increases brand awareness

Cold emails are a great way to increase brand awareness and get more recognition for your business.

Not only do you have the potential to convert prospects into real customers, but even if those particular recipients aren't ready to buy at that exact moment, each cold email continues to spread the message about your brand and can create longer-term awareness with potential buyers. 

Crafting an engaging and professional tone in your writing can help ensure that you get your message across and make a positive impression on the reader.

Cold email Cons

There are also certain factors that make cold email less desirable in sales outreach:

Response takes more time

Cold emails don't always receive immediate responses or feedback. Email exchanges are not as dynamic as phone conversations, so some emails may be replied to promptly, while others may take days or weeks to receive a reply, if at all. 

Even following up with additional emails can still result in no response from your prospects. Thus, when engaging in cold emailing endeavors, it is important to have realistic expectations about the results and remain vigilant in ensuring you follow up regularly with clear and engaging messages.

Never read by the prospect

Cold emailing can be tricky; while it is a convenient way to spread out your offer, there is no guarantee that they will be opened or read. 

Unfortunately, research shows that average open rates for cold emails range from 14.92% for hobbies-related emails and 28.46% for emails with daily deals/e-coupons, which is not ideal. 

However, another reason your emails are never read is because they land in spam. If that’s the case, GoCustomer can help you. Once your email domain is warmed up and your sender reputation elevated, your emails will land in the Priority Inbox and have a higher chance of being seen and read by the prospect. 

Cold call vs. cold email: Which sales strategy is right for you?

With a proactive approach and the right strategies, cold outreach and cold calling can play an important role in establishing meaningful connections with potential customers. Let’s see which strategy to choose.

Developing a successful outreach plan

Cold calling or cold emailing is an important tool for sales outreach, so knowing when to use each is essential. 

If you are asking for something which needs commitment, like the product trial, using the strong ask can be more effective over the phone. It is better to avoid sales pitches at the beginning of sales calls and come into your conversations prepared with clear, concise introductions. 

With this approach, you are more likely to get a YES from the prospect.

But if your ask is more straightforward, such as feedback or insight into their industry, simply send a short email. Cold emails are less time consuming and just as effective as cold calling when not much commitment is needed. 

By considering the best times to implement cold outreach efforts and enhancing your sales process, you can improve your chances of success by executing more targeted and effective campaigns.

Customer persona

Cold calling and cold emailing are two of the most commonly used methods for connecting with customers. Choosing which one to use can depend on your buyer persona. Younger buyers typically prefer cold emailing because it’s quick, less intimidating, and easy to reply to.

Older leads may find it more appropriate and convenient to speak on the phone with a cold call. Consider the communication preferences of your target buyer when deciding whether to use a cold call or cold email.

With many factors such as age and job position affecting their communication preference, it’s important to research who they are. It determines the best approach when trying to reach out to potential customers.

The ask

It's important to consider the question - what is it you're hoping to get from the prospective customer when determining which you should go with, cold call or cold email. We recommend breaking down your goals into weak and strong closes to make this decision easier. 

A strong close would be a request for a commitment from a prospect, such as a meeting, call, or trial of your product. Cold calls are typically more successful in these scenarios because they require more investment from the customer than a cold email might. 

Weak closes would include straightforward requests for information and feedback - cold emails are better suited for these tasks. Taking the time to identify and categorize your objective will help you decide how to reach the target audience best.

 The deal momentum

Cold calling can often be faster and gives you the opportunity to have a real conversation with your prospect. But, if things are moving along at a swift cadence and your prospect is always responsive to sales emails, it might be best to simply check on the status of a task or request via email.

Cold emails, by nature, require creativeness and succinctness: you need to get your point across quickly, clearly, and relationally. If your prospect isn't responsive to cold calls or emails, it might be necessary to try both to avoid leaving any stone unturned while still respecting their time and energy.


The ultimate decision of engaging in a cold call or an email blast when it comes to marketing strategies is highly personal and dependent on your company’s goals. Each one has pros and cons, but ultimately, you must decide which option is best for you. Cold emails have the ability to target much more specifically than a mass call campaign, but they can be filtered out as spam, while calls are harder to ignore. 

Cold calling requires much more investment in time and effort but can reap bigger rewards if done effectively. Whatever method is chosen, preparedness is the key factor for success. Before beginning either campaign, it’s integral to understand their differences, advantages, and disadvantages to approach them confidently. 

In the end, knowing your customer’s needs and preferences may give you the best insight possible as to which route would be most successful for you and your business.

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Reach more customers with your cold emails

Table of Contents

    In a nutshell

    Whether you choose to cold call or email depends on the type of product/service you are offering and the type of conversation you plan to have. More complex offers with the need for an extensive explanation would be more suited to a call, while a shorter query or a meeting request is best dealt with through a cold email.
    Statistics show that cold emails usually have a 1-5% reply rate on average but this can increase if the emails are properly targeted and personalized to 15-25%. Cold calling can be more difficult as it is harder to contact someone at a convenient time for them to actually listen to what you have to say.
    Some metrics to measure the success of cold calling campaigns are number of outgoing calls, number of conversations held, average call time, and the number of conversions. You can also count the number of follow ups and other similar factors.
    A recipient can view or retain the content of an email at his/her convenience. Therefore, a cold email is less disruptive and the information stays with the prospect longer.
    If your email lands in spam, your prospect may never see and engage with the email. However, an email warm-up tool such as GoCustomer can help improve email deliverability by strengthening your sender reputation. Your emails will begin to land in the Priority Inbox and you will have a chance at higher open rates.
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