Not all cold email software is created equal. I've used some terrible ones, and some pretty good ones as well. But, the best tool for you really depends on your specific use case.
In this article, I put together 25 different email tools to send outreach emails with. I'll also explain what each tool is best for, so you can decide which one works for you.
Because let's face it, sending cold emails at scale is quite the scary feat.
There are many things you need to think about.
Will the deliverability of my emails be good? Will people actually respond positively? Will I damage my brand reputation?
You might have been scared in the past to move away from your email client of choice to send mass emails.
Maybe you've tried to maintain an Excel spreadsheet of contacts, import them into the BCC field of your email program, and hit ‘send’.
But that won’t get you very far, since you’ll get plenty of emails bouncing back, while others will sit unread in the inboxes of staff members who have left or moved to other roles.
You’ll get no analysis, won’t be able to use personalization, and will very much be firing off your missives in the dark.
The cold email software tools we'll talk about in this article do far more than simply schedule and send emails. They'll give you peace from mind knowing you wont damage your brand while you grow your cold email marketing efforts.
What is cold email software?
A cold email software tool is a program that allows you to send multiple emails at scale outside of your regular email client. You can use these tools to send customizable emails to fuel your outbound sales efforts.
At their heart, what all these tools have in common is that they utilize sophisticated verification and personalization techniques to ensure your emails arrive in the right inboxes, in the right manner, at the right time.
Recipients of cold email campaigns may be people who have never heard of you or your business before. However, by leveraging clever technology, you’re giving yourself the best chance of achieving a favorable conversion rate.
What features to look for in cold email software
There are basically five things you want your email software to do in order to have a successful cold email outreach:
- Validate email addresses
- Schedule deliveries
- Personalize emails
- Get past spam-filters
- Automate drip campaigns
Let's go over a quick summary of each one.
Validate email addresses
Email validation is extremely important as you want to keep your email bounce rate low.
You don’t want your email system to collapse every time you misspell an email address or forget an @. If it’s trying to send to a defunct inbox, you’d also like it to identify this and strike it from the next mailing, while highlighting this so you can spring clean your leads.
Some systems can even suggest possible replacement email addresses by analyzing a corporate email formula and seeing if your records match.
Some of your clients might work on the east coast, others in Europe or Japan. You want a system that can send emails so that they hit inboxes at opportune times. You’d ideally like to be able to specify different lists for different purposes, as well as the minimum and maximum number of days between mailings.
This one’s non-negotiable. Nobody replies to a “Dear Sir / Madam” email so at the very least you want to be able to insert an appropriate salutation, name and personalized first line.
Hopefully there’s a simple, spreadsheet-based system for updating your database with such personalization.
Get past spam-filters
When sending bulk emails, you always run into the risk of spam. The last thing you want is for your loving-crafted messages to end up in spam folders. The best emailing systems can optimize your messages in terms of content, origin address, timing, subject header, and other aspects which will help your messages avoid this dreaded fate.
Automate drip campaigns
You want a lot of the manual work of sending emails to be taken out of your hands.
Using automation for reply detection should include timed delivery, auto response (personalized), and automatic pausing for those who want to opt out. In theory, you could create a three-email sequence and then let your system do the rest, until your lead either converts to a sales call, purchase, or unsubscribe.
There are a host of subsidiary features you might find, but these are probably the most common, as well as the most consistently valuable.
Let’s have a look at 25 of the best cold email apps on the market in 2022.
25 best cold email software and tools for 2022
Here's a list of the best cold email software available on the market today:
- GMass (best for turbo-charging Gmail)
- Woodpecker (best for email deliverability)
- Mailshake (best for lead capture and optimization)
- Lemlist (best for sending dynamic and visual emails)
- Outreach (best for sales managers with large teams)
- Saleshandy (best for simplicity and value)
- Reply.io (best for B2B prospecting on LinkedIn)
- Hunter (best for building a contact database)
- Yesware (best for medium-sized teams working from inboxes)
- Pipedrive (best for CRM functionality)
- Smartreach ( best for integrations and sales team management)
- Snov.io (best for competitor research and free trial)
- Respona (best for link-building and SEO)
- Ninja Outreach (best for targeting influencers)
- Overloop CRM (best for task management and low-cost a CRM)
- Close CRM (best for automations and sales-lead design)
- Pitchbox (best for link-building and performance reporting)
- QuickMail (best for campaign construction at low cost)
- UpLead (best for researching B2B opportunities)
- Autoklose (best for KPI-led email campaigns)
- PersistIQ (best for small teams B2B simplicity)
- Streak (best for using G-Suite apps)
- MailRush (best for reputation and validation at scale)
- Klenty (best for CMR integrations)
- Mixmax (best for creative collaborators and solopreneurs)
Okay, let's dive a bit deeper into each email automation tool.
GMass is a handy add-on for those using Gmail for business. It uses Google Sheets for mail-merging email lists, personalizes and schedules email sequences. It has a built-in verifier for email address validation and limited email tracking reports so you can see how well your campaigns are performing.
It's a popular app, with over 2.46 trillion emails sent (at time of writing). One nice feature is its spam score check-up which pre-warns you of any likelihood of your email being re-routed into the wilderness.
GMass is a simple plug-in which is perhaps a little light in terms of content analysis and other metrics but should be easy to get to grips with for anyone familiar with Gmail.
- Price: $19.95 (Standard) to $49.95 PUPM (per user per month)
- Best for: Turbo-charging Gmail
This is a full emailing system, so you would connect this to your email provider, and then use Woodpecker as your front-end emailing platform.
Woodpecker specializes in something it calls “warm-up.” In other words, optimizing both the domain from which your emails originate and the formatting of your content to make them evade those pesky junk mail filters. They also have a great email marketing blog where you can learn and gain inspiration from.
Not only that, but Woodpecker can recover originating addresses which have been blacklisted by recipient domains. It will also monitor your SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) settings, so you’ll know that your own email address has a good reputation.
You can also create custom domains, allowing you to separately track different campaigns. There are variable sending parameters, and a lot of advanced features including A/B testing and AI-derived interest detection.
Integrations are available with LinkedIn, Calendly, HubSpot, Salesforce, Slack Google Sheets, and dozens more. A free seven-day trial is available.
- Price: $39 to $49 per month / $384 to $480 annually
- Best for: Ensuing your reputation is Tip Top
Mailshake wants to make you a better writer. It’s SHAKEspeare AI assists with grammatical construction and helps avoid embarrassing errors. But that’s just one part of its offering.
Like Woodpecker, it’s a complete email platform with tools for campaign testing and analytics alongside the “big five” requirements we listed at the head of this article. Mailshake also integrates social media and a handy direct dialer feature, so you can switch communication mode seamlessly.
Users report that Mailshake is particularly good at A/B testing and results analytics, and that it makes building an email sequence simple. There are unique features for PR, sales and marketing functions, and a Lead Catcher to aggregate all the communications you’ve made with a particular individual.
This could be a good option for prioritizing lead conversions and campaign construction.
- Price: $44 - $75 PUPM
- Best for: Lead capture and campaign optimization
Calling itself “sales automation and cold email software in one,” Lemlist boasts over 10,000 clients including Zendesk and Uber. It’s especially good for making your emails more than just text-based because it allows you to embed video, dynamic landing pages and image content. You can also evade those jumpy spam-filters with the lemwarm feature.
Lemlist also claim to have analyzed over 50 million emails to come up with cold email templates which work, and they provide more than 100 of them. Support is another area where Lemlist scores highly, with video tutorials, readable guides, and the Lemlist Family community of users.
Like Mailshake it integrates cold calling into its omnichannel sales platform, and it integrates with all the major CRM systems and productivity tools. There’s also a custom API if you need to build a new integration. Free trials are available for all subscription tiers.
- Price: $25 - $83 PUPM
- Best for: Sending dynamic and visual emails
Outreach is one of the industry leaders in leveraging sophisticated AI and big data to construct email campaigns which work. They are big on automation and Outreach is a tool which will monitor every stage of the sales outreach process, then deliver reports on what’s working and what’s not. This may not suit sales professionals used to a high degree of flexibility and autonomy, but Outreach’s success speaks volumes: they achieved a market valuation of $1.1 billion in 2019.
Big on revenue forecasting, Outreach provides all the usual email optimization tools but also offers unique features like Kaia, its AI-assistant which can transcribe calls, provide handy prompts and act like a virtual PA for reps.
If you’re looking for an email-focused resource, adopting this might be like using the proverbial sledgehammer on a walnut. However, if you are managing a large sales team and email isa key part of your lead prospecting, then it’s a great platform.
One gripe is that you must build mail merge lists in a spreadsheet, then manually import CSVs, which is a little annoying for such a pricey app.
- Price: $100 PUPM
- Best for: Large teams that send sales emails
Boasting Amazon and Microsoft as clients, Saleshandy is another platform which offers a good mix of email campaign optimization tools. It does so via a set of easily understood dashboards and integrates with Gmail and Outlook to track response rates and engagement.
You can even track the links you embed within emails to find out what percentage of recipients click on them.
Saleshandy is strong in its PR and recruitment functions, with features to attract backlinks, which will improve the SEO of your site. Overall, Saleshandy strikes a good balance between transparency and feature complexity.
If you’re a solopreneur, there’s a free version, although paid subscriptions start from as little as $9 a month.
- Price: free / $9 / $25 / $49 PUPM
- Best for: Simplicity and value
Focusing largely on LinkedIn as a source of B2B leads, Reply.io adopts an omnichannel approach to prospecting of which email is one component. WhatsApp and other messaging options are also utilized and like Mailshake. Reply.io can also be used like an ai marketing tool to automate email replies and analyze your message text for its success potential.
It will also automatically score leads based on their replies, giving your sales team a head-start for follow-up priorities. There are features to automate LinkedIn activities including connect requests, profile views and InMail tasks. You can also follow hashtags on LinkedIn, so you’re up to date with role changes and industry trends.
One niggle is that pricing plans are excessively complex, with multiple options for individual parts of the platform (including warmup and search), and tiers within tiers for the engagement option.
- Price: $29 - $120 PUPM (but do check)
- Best for: B2B lead prospecting on LinkedIn
Hunter is a focused chrome extension to add to your browser or integrate with your email service. It’ll help you find the email addresses of the companies you want to target, as well as specified individuals within those companies. Although it integrates with Zapier, it’s primarily a research tool.
You can also build simple email campaigns and verify email addresses before you send anything to them. So far, that’s about it. For the solopreneur, there’s a limited free option, but it doesn’t automatically integrate with email.
Users report that Hunter does its one designated task very well, for a reasonable cost.
- Price: $36 per month (500 searches) to $293 per month (30,000 searches)
- Best for: Startups building a contact list
Yesware combines the simplicity of a tool which sits within your existing Gmail or Outlook inbox, and a scalable solution for large sales teams. Appreciating the steep learning curves of rivals, many of whose features will never be used, Yesware keeps it simple. It supercharges your email by integrating analytics, templates, and a nifty calendar feature for setting appointments.
If you’re looking for an add-on to you existing email platform, Yesware is easy to comprehend and install, and gives you many of the features you wish your email provider incorporated to begin with. There’s good integration with LinkedIn and Salesforce too, and basic progress metrics. A free version is available for solo salespeople.
- Cost: $15 - $65 PUPM
- Best for: Medium-sized teams working from inboxes
A CRM suite which is strong on email, Pipedrive is highly communication focused with individual contact records, a sales calling feature and a neat smart document feature which helps you create perfect attachments without having to leave Pipedrive, including digital signatures.
Google Sheets and Slides are supported and it’s easy to create bespoke email groups for more focused campaigns. Email Sync and Smart Email BCC allow you to pull up contact details and communication histories while you compose your bespoke response.
Estonian-founded Pipedrive is used by over 95,000 companies in more than 175 countries and seems to be going from strength to strength since its inception in 2010, achieving unicorn status in 2020.
- Price: $20 - $160 PUPM (various tiers)
- Best for: Combining CRM with email sales prospecting
Smartreach bills itself as an “all-in-one email outreach platform” and is especially big on integrations, with several major native integrations and 1000s more via Zapier. It pulls in potential prospects from LinkedIn and covers the “big five” requirements with ease — automation, validation, personalization, scheduling, and spam-filter avoidance.
The platform is strong on reporting and would suit managers seeking on overview of team performance. Managers can also assign salespeople to lead specific outreach campaigns, granting security access and permissions on a bespoke basis. There are three individual and three business price tiers, making this a powerful, value for money option.
- Price: $19 - $49 (individual, yearly) / $79 - $159 (business – 5 users)
- Best for: Integrations and sales team management
Another high-scoring and award-winning CRM (a G2 High Performer 2022), Snov.io uniquely includes a competitor research function, so you can see how your performance shapes up in comparison.
It’s an email-led lead-generation platform which includes a straightforward interface, plenty of integrations (over 2000) and best of all, a full-featured free version which gives you 50 monthly credits and 100 drip campaign recipients, so you can try before you buy.
Email verification is also well-designed feature, with a seven-tier approach giving you real confidence that you’re targeting the right individual. It’s a great, all-round research and B2B prospecting tool.
- Cost: free / $33 (5000 recipients) - $615 PUPM (100,000 recipients)
- Best for: Competitor research and free trial
Here’s a great tool for building all those vital backlinks that make your SEO skyrocket. Respona is about building relationships, and not necessarily monetary ones. It has especially strong creative automation features, allowing you to reach out to dozens of contacts daily.
Respona helps you track brand mentions, competitor backlinks, podcasts, journalists, and a host of other opportunities for strengthening your online presence. It’s great for building a business profile quickly so that you can start attracting investment or building your leads.
- Cost: $79 per month for unlimited users
- Best for: SEO and value-for-money
14. Ninja Outreach
Ninja Outreach bills itself as “the most powerful social engine on the web” and is designed specifically to locate and target Instagram and YouTube influencers to help market your brand. Ninja have built a massive database of business profiles and social media influencers which you can search using keywords and then contact via verified emails.
Once you’ve targeted your influencers, you can add them to Ninja’s built in CRM function and then track communications and progress. Despite its focus, Ninja includes a surprising array of features within its CRM including access rights, filters, notes and more. A free trial is available.
- Price: $29 / $49 per month
- Best for: Targeting influencers and collaborators
15. Overloop CRM
Overloop CRM styles itself as a complete CRM, sales engagement, and sales automation program. It features a Trello-like task board so you can keep on top of those manual follow-ups while your automated campaigns run in the background.
Like Outreach, there’s revenue forecasting on offer and powerful, user defined automated workflows so you can design a campaign, including every point of contact, in detail. Performance metrics throughout the sales pipeline are captured on easily interpreted dashboards.
There’s a 14-day free trial of all three tiers (although confusingly, their site also lists this for $7).
Overloop offers easy personalization options and a range of useful email templates. From February 2022 there’s also a plug-in live chat feature, so prospects can connect with you in real time without resorting to the phone. Overloop is a good all-rounder, at a competitive price.
- Price: $29 / $79 / $129 PUPM
- Best for: Task management and low-cost CRM
16. Close CRM
Well done to Close for securing Close.com as their domain. As it’s name suggests, this CRM is very much about closing your deals. It extends your inbox into an omnichannel machine, incorporating SMS messages and video calling. Like Overloop, it uses a drag and drop system to construct to do lists and workflows.
Close CRM has a rare 5-star rating on Capterra and features glowing testimonials from clients on its site (surprisingly rare for CRMs). Salespeople can work from their email inboxes or from the platform itself — all conversations are imported into Close.
Automations are especially strong — you can pre-set all your options and then choose them quickly from drop-down lists. Close claims to have been designed by experienced salespeople, so it should feature everything you need and a free 14-day trial is available.
- Cost: $29 - $149 PUPM
- Best for: Automations and sales-lead design
Pitchbox is an outreach app targeting both influencers and content marketing opportunities, two of the strongest brand-building strategies available in 2022. It will locate and verify bloggers, influencers, and publishers quickly and let you quickly create outreach sequences.
Its email client is targeted to ratchet up your SEO and you can manage multiple personas and campaigns from a single inbox. Although richly featured, you can also work from a comparatively uncluttered inbox, and see priorities with ease.
Analytics for both campaigns and team performance are great. Pitchbox is perhaps best seen as a specialist CRM for link-building, but it’s a highly versatile one. One bugbear — you won’t find its pricing on the site and there’s a reason for that — it’s not cheap.
- Cost: $195 (2 users) to $1500 per month (large companies)
- Best for: Link-building and performance reporting
QuickMail ditches a lot of the frills of over-complex CRMs and focuses on three things — importing verified email leads, constructing well-targeted emails, and creating timed automations.
Featuring an advanced “auto-warming technology” QuickMail aims to make sure a high percentage of your messages hit their targets. They boast an 80% open rate for emails sent using their platform. Collaboration is easy, and unlike many of the apps listed here, they don’t charge per user.
Native integrations are available to Calendly, Hunter (see above), Slack plus a range of email providers. Extended integration is available via Zapier. You can have a 14-day free trial of all tiers, and the AutoWarmer plan is complementary.
- Cost: $0 / $59 (500 emails per day per inbox) or $79 (1500 emails PDPI)
- Best for: Campaign construction at low cost
UpLead sells itself on the promise of 95% accuracy for B2B sales prospecting. If you’re building a sales directory or spring cleaning one at scale, UpLead could be a valuable purchase. It’s Prospector function lets you refine prospects according using over 50 filters.
UpLead’s data enrichment capacity has made it the highest ranked lead intelligence tool on G2. It's all designed to automate the lead generation process so you can concentrate on the fun bit — communicating and converting those prospects.
Uniquely, you can research prospects by what technologies they incorporate in their stacks, allowing you to spot opportunities to persuade prospects to upgrade. A free trial is available, although the credit-based pricing means its tricky to estimate how much it will cost you.
- Cost: $74 per month (2040 credits) to $299 per month (12,000 credits)
- Best for: Researching B2B opportunities and lead validation
Autoklose offers sales engagement and B2B intelligence in one platform. A no-frills dashboard reports on campaign progress and individual prospects. It’s fair to say that Autokose is analytics-focused, which would suit salespeople of a more scientific bent.
With clients including DHL and PayPal, its no-frills interfaces are more than made up for with applicability at scale. Personalization is easy to manage and campaigns simple to construct. It’s very much a piece of software that does exactly what it says on the tin. A free trial is available.
- Cost: $60 (1 email account) PUPM or $250 (5 email accounts) PUPM
- Best for: KPI-led email campaign conversions at scale
Aimed squarely at small businesses, PersistIQ targets LinkedIn prospects and claims to have stripped away all the “bloat” that sales teams hate. They focus instead on templates and personalization, the two most important aspects of a well-written email campaign.
A spreadsheet-like, no-frills interface lists prospects, what status they have in the pipeline, which campaigns have been used and the date of last known contact. You can sync to Salesforce, use it as a standalone platform or plug in its templates into Gmail or Outlook.
For simplicity and ease of use, PersistIQ scores highly but native integrations are a little light at present (you can integrate further using Zapier). A free 14-day trial is available across all tiers.
- Cost: $59 or $99 PUPM
- Best for: Small teams B2B simplicity
Streak bills itself as a CRM you can build into Gmail and other G-Suite apps. Team collaboration is facilitated, meaning you can share pieces of the pipeline and work across a variety of tasks. A unique thread splitter allows you to divide up those irritatingly intricate Gmail threads.
Streak was recognized as Google’s Technology Partner of the Year in 2018 and is used by Uber, Wework and Opendoor. Uniquely, it offers a CRM for Real Estate facility, and also specialist dashboards aimed at HR onboarding and fundraising activities.
It’s also one of the best value CRMs around, with a free basic version and a $15 solo user tier.
- Cost: $0 / $15 / $49 / $129 PUPM
- Best for: Collaborative teams using G-Suite apps
A full-featured email sales generator, MailRush is big on tracking, email address warmup and intricate drip campaigns. MailRush boasts its own data center, meaning it can maintain clean and reputable IP addresses, ensuring a higher proportion of your emails hit their targets.
It's currently low on integrations (Wordpess, Keen.io and Zapier) but is strong on support and outperforms GMass and Mailshake in its range of email prospecting and validation functions.
If reputation is of maximal importance to your business model, MailRush could be your go-to choice for email prospecting.
- Cost: $19 / $49 / $99 PUPM plus Enterprise options
- Best for: Reputation and validation at scale
Klenty is an engagement platform designed to work alongside your CRM. In addition to email campaign functions, Klenty lets you batch priority calls and tasks, or take a per contact approach. Automated call scheduling and batch task execution should help save time.
For managers, A/B testing, team KPI reports, and cadence performance metrics are all included. Best of all, once your CRM is plugged in, all activities are ported across, so you won’t have to update two systems. Cadence playbooks offer tried and tested methods of selling based upon intent.
CRMS Klenty integrates with include HubSpot, Pipedrive, Zoho and Salesforce. Uniquely, users can pay monthly, annually, or quarterly. Free trials are available across all tiers.
- Cost: $35 / $60 / $100 PUPM (annual billing)
- Best for: CRM integrations
Our final tool is another sales engagement plugin for Gmail. One fun feature is the ability to embed polls and surveys into customer emails. Mixmax is beautifully designed, which probably explains why its popular with design platforms like Canva and Typeform.
Mixmax's sidebar pops up as you start an email, giving you key information about each prospect. New leads can be added to your CRM on the fly and Mixmax has a particular focus for entrepreneurs, building contacts and getting word out about their brand.
A host of integrations are available including CRMS, Dropbox, Slack, and Docusign, making this a good all-round tool for collaboration through email, as well as sales prospecting. Mixmax’s calendar and productivity features are complimentary, and free trials at various tiers are available.
- Cost: $9 / $24 / $49 PUPM plus enterprise options
- Best for: Creative collaborators and solopreneurs
What is the best software for cold emailing?
The best software for cold emailing depends heavily on your use case and specific needs. However, if you're looking for a great all-around tool, we recommend Mixmax.
However, there’s a lot of variety on offer and a great range of products available on the market. Some tools will do a better job for a specific use case. For example, if you're doing outreach on LinkedIn to find clients you might use a different tool compared to someone looking just to launch a link-building campaign.
Which tool you choose will very much depend upon your individual priorities and budget.
Here are some good options based on different use cases:
- Best for businesses of one: Ninja Outreach, Mixmax
- Best for small businesses: Woodpecker, Streak
- Best for sales teams: Outreach, SmartReach
- Best CRM with an email focus: Pipedrive, Overloop CRM
Overall, we’d have to say we were most impressed with Outreach for comprehensiveness and Streak for integration with Gmail at a competitive price.
Does cold email still work?
We’ll let the statistics speak for themselves. If you expand the definition of cold email to include an omnichannel approach with SMS and chat, the answer is a resounding yes.
A survey revealed that 79% of respondents considered email prospecting important or very important to their business.
Emails are predicted to reach 333 BILLION per day in 2022, which clearly indicates people are still using email as a primary communication tool. However, to break through this clutter, you need to be sending the right emails to the right individuals.
Whether it's to get that introduction or that potential customer, you need to make the person you are emailing feel like you actually care. And that comes with great personalization.
A little investment in software solutions and email tools might just be the best purchase your sales division will ever make.
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