10 Best Cold Email Software of 2021 (Ranked and Reviewed)
No matter what kind of business you run or what space you work in, cold emailing is almost always an integral part of the modern outbound sales prospecting and lead generation process.
But with so many different types of software promising to improve your cold email campaigns, it can be challenging to figure out which ones are worth your time.
Your already have to choose from so many different software tools in your business such as:
Here, I'm going to cover 10 of the best cold email software for salespeople and marketers and give you some tips on how you can use them to better your sales pipeline.
Table of Contents
Here are my top picks for the best cold email software:
Best Overall Cold Email Software ($44/user/month).
Mailshake is a sales engagement platform built to improve your cold email outreach efforts.
I have it at number 1 for three reasons:
- It has all the features you need to do effective cold outreach
- It’s really, really easy to use
- Awesome customer success resources
With Mailshake, you can send personalized emails in bulk with powerful mail merge features, schedule follow-up emails that are paused or triggered based on whether a recipient opens an email, clicks a link, or replies, and reply to leads straight from your Mailshake dashboard with Lead Catcher.
You can also set the amount of time between follow-ups (5 days between the first and second email, seven days between the second and third, etc.) and the days and times you want them to send (for instance, between 8 am and 6 pm on weekdays).
Mailshake allows you to AB test different subject lines, body copy, or even whole sequences to optimize your campaigns’ performance based on metrics like open rate, click-through rate, reply rate, and conversion rate.
Thanks to Mailshake’s numerous integrations, you can also use responses to sort leads in your CRM, automatically add emails from email finder tools, and connect to thousands of other apps via Zapier.
If you’re using LinkedIn or cold calling in your outreach, you can incorporate those touchpoints into your campaign as well.
Also, if you’re not sure where to start with your outreach or are getting poor results, their customer success team holds office hours multiple times a week. This way, you can get feedback on your strategy or even specific email copy.
Overall, Mailshake is a robust, easy-to-use cold email platform that deserves to be in every sales department’s toolbox.
- Automated outreach email sequences
- Phone dialer
- Social media outreach
- Lead catcher
- Integrates with CRMs, email finder tools, LinkedIn, and many more popular tools and platforms
- Automatic unsubscribe detection
- Much more
Mailshake offers two straightforward pricing plans:
- Email Outreach: $44/user/month billed yearly. Includes the core features of Mailshake, like A/B testing and automation.
- Sales Engagement: $75/user/month billed yearly. It includes everything in Email Outreach plus additional features, like the Mailshake phone dialer, social selling, and custom task creation.
Best for Inter-Departmental Integrations ($45/month).
Hubspot is one of the best-known names in email marketing and sales, and for good reason: they offer several highly robust software suites, or “hubs,” that meet various operational needs.
When it comes to sales, the Hubspot Sales Hub is undoubtedly one of the most popular and most polished software tools available for sales outreach. This sales CRM offers a wide swath of useful features, like email templates, call recording, email tracking, and document management and tracking.
Hubspot Sales Hub also takes some of the grunt work off your hands with email automation and an appointment and meeting scheduler. You can also use it to add live chat to your website.
However, Hubspot’s biggest strength doesn’t lie in any one piece of software. Rather, it has become one of the industry’s go-to tools precisely because its breadth of offerings allows businesses to create a sort of Hubspot ecosystem that facilitates communication between different departments, including sales, marketing, and customer service.
Overall, it is a particularly good choice for sales teams that want to make the most of cross-department communication.
- Email templates
- Automate emails
- Conversation intelligence
- Call recording
- Document management and tracking
- Live chat
- Appointment and meeting scheduler
- Much more
- Free: $0/user/month. Limited features and integrations that can get the ball rolling.
- Starter: $45/month billed annually. It starts at two paid users. Includes everything in Free plus basic automation, meeting scheduling, live chat, and more.
- Professional: $450/month billed annually (paid upfront). It starts at five paid users. It includes everything in Starter plus sales analytics, forecasting, custom reporting, sequences, smart send times, and more.
- Enterprise: $14,400/year. It starts at ten paid users. It includes everything in professional plus hierarchical teams, ABM tools, sequences, user roles, playbooks, call transcription, and more.
Best for Email Tracking (Free – $49/month)
Saleshandy is an email tracking, automation, and outreach tool that can work as a standalone application or as an extension for Gmail or Outlook.
Saleshandy’s feature set is pretty standard: it offers tracking, email and follow-up scheduling, and email templates. It also includes tracking for individual links, so you can see who has clicked specific links in your emails and make better decisions about your follow-up strategy.
Also, the tool offers mail merge features that you can use when sending out large batches of emails.
- Email tracking
- Email open notifications
- Link tracking
- Email templates
- Mail merge
- Automate follow-ups
- Email scheduling
- Gmail and Outlook extensions
- Free: Offers email tracking only.
- Regular: $9/user/month billed yearly. It includes Free features plus a custom domain and mail merge.
- Plus: $22/user/month billed yearly. It includes Regular features plus mail merge with automated follow-ups.
- Enterprise: $49/user/month billed yearly. It includes Plus features as well as support for high-volume campaigns.
4. Right Inbox.
Best for Email Campaigns Within Gmail (Free – $7.95/month)
Right Inbox is a Gmail extension that helps users become more efficient with their emails, including cold outreach.
Once again, automation is at the core of this tool. With Right Inbox, you can schedule emails in advance so that you always send them at the perfect time no matter where you are, and you can schedule follow-ups based on your lead’s actions.
If you’re sending out lots of emails during a cold outreach campaign, you’ll enjoy Right Inbox’s email templates. This feature allows you to pull up your most effective emails with just a few clicks, personalize them, and then send them out. It’s a major time saver.
You can also easily add notes that only you can see to your emails to more easily keep track of important information that can make or break a deal. Right Inbox also offers email tracking features, so you can make better-informed decisions about when to send a follow-up email.
If you're already using Gmail, Right Inbox is an easy add-on that will greatly improve your cold outreach efforts and overall email productivity.
- Gmail extension
- Email tracking
- Automated follow-ups
- Schedule emails in advance
- Email templates
- Switch between multiple email signatures
- Embedded GIFs
- Notes for your eyes only
- Free: $0/month. Available for individual professionals only. Many functions, such as reminders and private notes, are limited. Sequences and recurring emails are not part of this tier.
- Yearly: $5.95/month for professionals and $4.95/user/month for teams. It includes all features without limitations.
- Monthly: $7.95/month for professionals and $6.95/user/month for teams. It includes all features without limitations.
Best for Meeting Scheduling ($15/month).
Like Right Inbox, Yesware is an extension for your email. However, it works with both Gmail and Outlook.
Yesware offers automation features that allow you to schedule follow-ups and email sequences in advance. It also includes tracking features, which are standard fare these days.
One way that Yesware stands out from the pack, however, is with its built-in meeting scheduler. You can send your contacts a link and let them pick a time to meet, which cuts down on the annoying back and forth that can be a big timesuck.
Plus, you can connect Yesware to other tools and platforms, like LinkedIn and Salesforce, so that you can use them from right within your favorite email client.
- Gmail and Outlook extension
- Automated follow-ups and sequences
- Email tracking
- Meeting scheduler
- Email templates
- Analytics and insights
- Integrates with platforms like LinkedIn and Salesforce
- Pro: $15/month billed yearly. It includes core features, like email tracking and personal templates.
- Premium: $35/month billed yearly. It includes everything in Pro plus team features, Zoom integration, and more.
- Enterprise: $65/month billed yearly. It includes everything in Premium plus Salesforce integration, Email CRM sync, and more.
Best for small teams ($70/month).
Reply is a robust sales engagement platform that aims to help businesses improve their outreach and outbound sales processes.
One of Reply’s unique features is that it’s a multi-channel platform. This means that you don’t need to limit yourself to just email. Instead, you can find a prospect on LinkedIn, reach out via email, follow up via SMS or Whatsapp, and then follow up again with a call.
Another interesting feature is Reply’s use of AI. Reply puts artificial intelligence to work to analyze your email copy and score its quality so that you can get a better idea of how it will fare before you hit send. Plus, you can also use Reply to analyze your campaigns and pick out areas to improve on.
Like most outreach tools, Reply also integrates with popular platforms, like Pipedrive, Vidyard, and Hubspot.
- AI email scoring
- Multi-channel outreach capabilities
- Chrome extension
- Email and phone sourcing
- A/B testing
- Email templates
- Sequence templates
- Reply detection and classification
- Individual: Includes all core features and:
- $70/user/month for 1,000 contacts/month
- $90/user/month for 3,000 contacts/month
- $120/user/month for unlimited contacts/month
- Business: Includes all core features plus customer success service.
- $70/user/month for unlimited contacts starting at three users.
- $60/user/month for unlimited contacts starting at five users.
- $50/user/month for unlimited contacts starting at ten users.
- Agency: Includes additional features to help agencies keep track of clients. Pricing information is only available by contacting sales.
Best for Remote Teams (Quote-based)
Outreach is a sales platform explicitly designed to facilitate better sales in today’s remote business landscape. It focuses on four primary sales areas: representatives, the sales funnel, operations, and integrating machine learning with your process.
Overall, Outreach is built for larger sales teams and isn’t the best fit for individual professionals. Some of the features are a bit overkill for freelancers, sole proprietors, and smaller teams.
Other features, like Outreach’s in-depth analytics, rely on the high volume that comes with a larger team. While individuals can still use these features, they won’t get as much out of them.
That said, Outreach is without a doubt a solid choice for businesses that do fit their target market, which is primarily enterprises.
- Account throttles
- Ownership safeguards
- CRM role sync
- Customizable user profiles
- Role hierarchies
Outreach pricing information is not available online. Reach out to its sales department for a custom quote.
Best for Large Teams (Quote-based)
Like Outreach, SalesLoft focuses on larger sales teams. However, its feature set is a bit more amenable to individual use than its competitors.
SalesLoft offers five different products: Cadence + Automation, Dialer + Messenger, Deals, Conversations, and Analytics + Reporting.
Cadence + Automation enables automated outreach and follow-up in an in-depth way. Allowing almost complete automation of the sales sequence, all while syncing all the data to your CRM.
Dialer + Messenger gives sales reps access to a phone dialer, making going through call lists faster and easier. At the same time, Conversations provides insights that coaches can use to better their team’s performance.
This is a powerful tool, but like Outreach, it will be lost on most individuals and is better suited for team usage.
- Sequence automation
- Omni-channel outreach
- Phone dialer
- Team-centric tools
- Real-time coaching tools
Outreach pricing information is not available online. Reach out to its sales department for a custom quote
Best for Email Personalization ($29/month).
Compared to other tools on this list, Lemlist stands out because of its deep personalization feature set. Whereas most tools allow some basic personalization, Lemlist kicks things up a notch and supports personalized text, personalized images, and landing pages.
For example, suppose you were pitching your app development services to Microsoft. In that case, you could use Lemlist to automatically swap out the logo on one of your standard mockups for Microsoft’s logo to help grab your lead’s attention.
Additionally, Lemlist also offers “lemwarm,” which helps warm up your domain to increase the probability that they’ll make it to the receiver’s primary inbox and not in their spam folder.
- Automated email sequences
- Text, image, and landing page personalization
- Integrations with Salesforce, Hubspot, Pipedrive, and more
- Automated follow-ups
- Email warm-up: $29/month. It includes auto email warm-up (lemwarm).
- Email outreach: $59/user/month. It includes everything in Email warm-up plus team capabilities, cold email campaign features, personalization, and integrations.
- Sales engagement: $99/user/month. Everything included in Email outreach plus Aircoil integration, social selling, dynamic landing pages, and more.
Best for Domain Security ($40/month).
Woodpecker is a tool that aims to provide an “AI assistant” for multichannel sales communications. Its purpose is to serve lead gen, sales, and recruitment pros.
Like many of the tools covered here, Woodpecker allows you to send automated emails and follow-ups. However, it also lets you set conditions that, if met, will trigger different email actions.
Woodpecker stands out from the pack because of its focus on security and bypassing spam filters. The tool automatically throttles emails to bypass spam filters, and it can detect duplicates, blacklist emails, and monitor bounces.
- Email and sequence automation
- Multichannel capabilities
- Spam filter bypass features
- Email blacklisting
- Bounce monitoring
- CRM integration
- Starts at $40/user/month for 50 contacts/day billed yearly
Cold email software exists to help facilitate the cold outreach or sales prospecting process. Typically, this entails a standard set of features, including automated email sequences, follow-ups, email tracking, templates, and more.
Essentially, cold email marketing software is anything that helps you send out cold emails to potential customers more effectively. Sometimes, this will take the form of a full-featured email suite, like Hubspot or Mailshake, but other times it will mean a simple Gmail extension, like Right Inbox.
Cold email software can also include tools that facilitate other parts of the process that are related to cold outreach, such as finding business emails using a tool like Voila Norbert.
It can sometimes be hard to figure out what exactly counts as cold email software because companies often use different words for the same thing. However, if you see a tool referred to as a sales engagement or sales management tool, you can usually assume that it covers cold email to some degree.
Additionally, software that uses the term “multichannel outreach” almost always includes email in that lineup.
Theoretically, anything can be considered a cold email tool as long as it facilitates cold email outreach in one way or another. That said, cold email tools typically share a core feature set, which we’ll cover next.
Most cold email software offerings share several of these common features:
This is by far the most popular feature that you will see in cold email tools. Automated email sequences allow you to schedule your emails in advance so that you can get your work done in batches and deal more easily with leads in different time zones.
You can also use automation to schedule automated follow-up emails. For example, you can instruct your tool to send a follow-up email after two weeks without a response from your lead.
Some tools will also let you add conditions so that the next step in your sequence depends on the action your lead takes.
Cold email campaigns often entail sending out large batches of emails at once. When doing so, you need to make sure that your emails are sufficient personalization so that the recipient doesn't immediately view them as spam and tank your deliverability.
Many cold email tools offer mail merge features, which allow you to upload a CSV and specify fields in your email that should have personalization. For example, you can automatically include the name of the email’s receiver, their company, etc.
If you’re sending out bulk emails, this is an essential feature to have, so make sure that whatever tool you go with has this included.
Email tracking is a valuable feature of cold email software as it allows you to see whether your leads have viewed or clicked on your emails so that you can respond accordingly.
For example, if your prospect hasn’t viewed your last email, and it’s already been two weeks, you may want to follow up with a second email. However, if you see that they just opened it the day before, you may want to hold off on your follow-up to make sure that you don’t come across as pushy, overly aggressive, or spammy.
Every time you send out an email, you’re essentially running a mini-experiment: is the email you wrote effective at eliciting the response you want?
A/B testing helps you standardize these tests to draw conclusions and tweak your strategy accordingly. Instead of sending out one email and hoping for the best, A/B testing allows you to send out two emails and then track the performance of each to see which gets you closer to your goal.
Once you’ve gathered the data, you can drop the weak performer and restart the process to make the winner even better.
Although email is essential, it’s not the only communication method out there. To get the best results, you’ll want to ensure that you’re contacting your leads the way they prefer, whether that’s email, LinkedIn, or SMS.
Many cold email tools include multichannel capabilities that allow you to create sales sequences that jump between several different communication methods. For example, like Mailshake, some tools include phone dialers that make it easier to go through long call lists.
These days, no software exists in a vacuum. Most cold email software will integrate with other popular tools, like Salesforce, Gmail, Outlook, or Hubspot, to make your life easier for you.
For example, some tools will integrate with LinkedIn to import contact information from LinkedIn directly into your CRM.
Often, the most challenging part of cold emailing is finding a formula that works. Once you craft an engaging email that gets results, you'll want to stick with it.
However, typing out the same email over and over is tedious and simply not a good use of your time. Thankfully, many tools offer cold email templates that allow you to save your most effective emails as a template that you can quickly pull up whenever you need to.
Plus, some tools offer built-in templates written by professional copywriters that you can either use verbatim or pull inspiration from.
No matter what type of campaign you’re running, email templates are an important time-saving feature that can drastically improve your cold emailing efficiency.
Like most aspects of business, there’s no secret formula for success. To truly use cold email software effectively, you will need to evaluate your business’s needs, strengths, and weaknesses to devise a strategy that will be most effective for you. After all, an enterprise’s needs are very different from the needs of a sole proprietorship.
However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to get yourself on the right track.
To start, make sure you fully understand the feature set of the software you’re using. While this may seem obvious, it’s far too easy to overlook an important feature that could save you time and money.
While you probably won’t want to use every feature every time you send an email, it’s important that you know all of the tools at your disposal so you can make the best call for each situation as it arises.
Plus, don’t be afraid to mix and match different software offerings. Voila Norbert, for example, does a great job of finding emails, but it can’t do anything once you’ve found them. That makes it ideal for pairing with a tool like Mailshake, which can import those emails and then use them to create outreach campaigns.
Once you’ve found emails for your prospects, you can then use cold email software to initiate contact. After that, use your software to follow up at an appropriate time.
The most important part of using cold email software effectively is simply understanding how to write cold emails in the first place.
Luckily, many software offerings can help. You can look through the template sections of many popular tools to get ideas for the most effective types of emails.
Of course, you should also monitor your campaign’s performance by using features like A/B testing and other analytics offered by your chosen software.
Cold email outreach has become a popular niche in the software and SaaS spaces. Cold email campaigns are a key part of most sales and marketing strategies, and the right software will help you get the best possible results.
Consider these tools if you're looking to level up your cold email outreach:
- Mailshake: Best overall cold email software
- HubSpot: Best for inter-departmental integrations
- Right Inbox: Best for email campaigns within Gmail
- Yesware: Best for meeting scheduling
- Reply: Best for omnichannel outreach
- Outreach: Best for remote teams
- SalesLoft: Best for large teams
- Woodpecker: Best for domain security
Overall, you really can't go wrong with any of these products. Just figure out what’s most important to you when it comes to cold outreach software, and use that as the jumping-off point when selecting a tool.