How to Use Cold Emailing to Bring in More Recruitment Client Leads

Cold emailing? Doesn’t sound the sexiest of marketing strategies in our hyper-connected world and yet it continues to work every time; especially if you want recruitment client leads.

Cold emailing is a timeless marketing strategy that keeps on delivering.

It’s what helped us get to the first six figures we ever made in our own company fourteen years ago.

The first campaign we sent out was to 23 email addresses of recruitment business owners using a similar content flow to what we still use today. Why? Because it works.

We then went on to purchase a database while we were building our own targeted list, and as they say, the rest is history.

The fact is if you write a cold email well, speaking into a need your clients have and send it from a recognised email address you will be surprised how effective it is.

I have written about cold emailing many times before and I wanted to revisit the topic today as many recruitment companies are scratching their heads on how to bring on more clients as our Covid challenged world continues to limp along.

So, let’s take it step by step and explore why it works and strategies you can deploy to run a successful campaign ASAP.

…so first, let’s address the elephant in the room.


GDPR is still alive and well in the U.K., so it’s vital we consider ‘how’ we email.

The good news is when it comes to sending an email to a potential new client, there is a clause that states we can send an email that has a legitimate interest of which marketing most definitely is. Below is a screengrab lifted from the ICO website which clearly states that you can send an unsolicited marketing email or text to business contacts.

In other words, use a company email address, e.g. Fred@theircompany.com and always have an unsubscribe link somewhere in your email.

Your Database and Software

Like any good marketing strategy, your first step is to get all the relevant ingredients.

You will need a list of emails and some form of email software to distribute them. Google either of these two things, and you will find multiple options and suppliers at your disposal.

A.I. is going from strength to strength now, and therefore I am reticent to give you options. Try Googling best email marketing software for cold emailing, and you will find multiple suppliers you can use. Currently, platforms like Woodpecker, Smartreach, and Mailshake are popular options.

When it comes to email addresses, you can:

  • Find them yourself
  • Use a scraping tool
  • Outsource through a platform like Fiverr
  • Use a software platform that will get emails and automate the process

Finding relevant email addresses is easier than it ever used to be. You can go to one of the outsourcing websites like Fiverr or Peopleperhour and give them a project brief. As I am a regular user of Fiverr, click the hyperlink, and you will get 20% off your first order.

Secret Cold Emailing Ingredients

Here is the thing: When it comes to emails, make them targeted for your ideal company and client avatars; when you do this, you will always get a better response.

Remember your avatar is your ideal client persona. If you haven’t listened to our podcast on developing your avatars, you can find it here.

As an example, let’s say your sweet spot is SMEs turning over 3 million in the manufacturing sector without an internal recruiter.

Your avatar is an operations director usually under 40 with an Engineering degree. If this is your criteria, imagine how targeted your email campaign will be when the email addresses you have fit these criteria.

How to Write Your Cold Email Campaigns?

Ok, there is a clue in the title here. When it comes to cold emails always make sure you send more than one; in fact, send a campaign.

The people you are contacting have never heard of you before therefore you need to take them from cold to sold, and this won’t happen overnight because as we have mentioned before, there is a buyers cycle that we all go through.

Remember our story at the start of this podcast when I shared our first foray into cold emailing with our 23 email addresses? Well, we had a response straight away by a business owner who then converted into a client within the week; he continued to work with us for ten years.

This spontaneous conversion is about right when you consider the numbers. When it comes to people ready to buy now, that is normally anywhere between 3 and 7% of people. That’s why it’s critical to continue being in communication with our email lists. We then go on to convert the remaining 93% into potential buyers; eventually.

Make your emails short and lead with benefits explaining how you can solve a specific problem they have and then ask them if it would be worth a call.

Don’t waffle on about how long you have been in business and how you provide recruitment solutions; otherwise, your email will be in the spam folder faster than you can say ‘stay alert’.

Make sure your email is sent from a recognised email address that aligns with your company, e.g. John@acmerecruitment.com, not JohnSmith1971@gmail.com.

You are a serious player with a recognised brand, and it’s likely the company contact you are emailing will go and check your website out.

Which leads me onto sharing your website details. Make sure you add a link that goes to a page on your website that communicates who you are and how well you help your recruiting clients in filling their roles.

An example of how NOT to do it:

Just this morning, I received a ‘cold’ email from a video production company. When I went to check them out the copyright on their website footer was 2016, and the last blog that showcased their work was 2017, and it wasn’t a video!!

Both of these are no’s in the marketing industry.

This was a marketing company telling me how good they were in helping other agencies who hadn’t thought about the impact of what they were sending.

Don’t let that be you.

Final Secret Sauce

The final secret ingredient to share with you is the phone. Send your cold emails, in a campaign, and follow up with the phone.

Blindingly obvious and yet so few people do it.

Remember if your cold email is getting opened, someone is interested and potentially ready to take the next step – so call them.

Dial this in as a consistent strategy, and your business might change overnight.

In our Superfast Circle, we have a whole series of training and email templates you can then use that cover this topic step by step.

If you want to find out more call us on +44(0)1524 331 or book a call here.




P.S. Neal @ Lucas Executive Search had his best month ever when he used the cold email process in Superfast Circle. You can read about the results here.

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