I’ve used cold call emails for years as a way to connect with people I don’t know. This may not be your typical sales manual advice but as someone who often receives cold calls, I believe it to be the most civilized form.
If we were to put the most intrusive cold calling schemes into order, worst first, I’d say number one is door-knocking. Next would be phone calls at dinner, though answering machines have watered them down some. Direct mail is a pain and bad for the planet. Spam email would be up there, but mainly the broadcast type. And spam to the mobile phone is quite a pest but seems to be getting more regulated. (Thank you Google for your cool spam screener. It works well.)
I like using email because it has an op-out option. That is, people don’t have to open it if they are too busy or not inclined. It’s more thoughtful and respectful of their time. Also, when I send an email I make sure it’s not one to many but one to one. And personalized — using content about the recipient. The more you-centric it can be the better. People like to know you are interested in them.
Lastly, because of mobile devices are email devices, you need to be aware that your email may not arrive at the best time and place –therefore going unanswered. I tend to resend the same email, using the forwarding feature so the subject bar says Re. That way the recipient knows it’s you again. Most emails, if personalized, will get opened – even if not answered while people being busy. Politely resend and the same email and the open rate be surprisingly better.
Just a prospecting tip. Peace.