Email marketing platforms can help you reach out to your existing customer base and engage with them through visually appealing and perfectly timed emails.

But can you use them to reach out to cold prospects?

In this guide, we’ll look at some of the main email marketing platforms and explain the reasons why you can or can’t use them for cold email.

  1. Email Marketing Tools vs. Cold Email Software

  2. What Features Does a Platform Need to Send Cold Email?

  3. Can You Use Sendinblue for Cold Email?

  4. Can You Use SendGrid for Cold Email?

  5. Can You Use Constant Contact for Cold Email?

  6. Can You Use ActiveCampaign for Cold Email?

  7. Can You Use AWeber for Cold Email?

  8. Can You Use Klaviyo for Cold Email?

  9. Are There Other Email Marketing Platforms That Can Send Cold Email?

  10. Using QuickMail to Send Cold Emails That Get Replies

Let’s dive in.

Email Marketing Tools vs. Cold Email Software

The first question you need to ask yourself is what kind of emails you need to send.

Email marketing software is made for people who need to send bulk emails to an existing list of opted-in subscribers, either customers or people who have joined your marketing email list.

Cold email software is designed to help you reach out to potential customers and prospects who you haven’t previously engaged with or talked to.

What Features Does a Platform Need to Send Cold Email?

When deciding on your cold email marketing software, you’ll need to consider if it lets you do the following:

  1. Upload a cold prospect list: Not all tools allow you to reach out to people who haven’t actively opted-in to your list. This is one of the main differences between email marketing tools and cold email tools.

  2. Improve your deliverability: Email marketing tools often use shared IP addresses and servers, which isn’t good for deliverability. Look for tools that give you granular control over your email deliverability, such as custom domain tracking.

  3. Personalization features: The more personalized your cold emails are, the more likely you are to receive a reply. Find a tool that makes it easy to include custom attributes for every prospect in your email list.

  4. Collaboration with team members: As your team grows, you will need to bring other people into your workflow. Make sure the tool you use lets you add multiple inboxes, team members, and can scale with your cold email needs.

Next, let’s take a look at some of the most popular email marketing platforms and see which ones work for cold email.

1. Can You Use Sendinblue for Cold Email?

Who is Sendinblue Best For?

Sendinblue is a digital marketing platform that includes an email marketing suite.

You can import your customer list, use the drag and drop editor to create visual and engaging emails, then schedule your campaign to go out.

Sendinblue lets you automate your nurturing process and you can create multi-step email campaigns to test different value propositions, visuals, and call-to-actions.

As well as letting you send emails, Sendinblue also includes marketing automation tools to help you send SMS campaigns, add live chat to your site, and even a CRM.

It’s perfect for email marketers and digital marketing managers who want to have multiple tools in one software suite.

Can you Send Cold Emails with Sendinblue?

Sendinblue is not made for cold email. It’s made to send emails to opted-in contacts that have previously told you it’s okay to reach out to them.

If you use the platform to send emails to non-opted-in subscribers, which you will have to do when running cold email campaigns, it’s against their terms of service.

Sendinblue is best for sending email marketing campaigns to a list of engaged subscribers, thanks to the visual email templates and marketing tools in the product. 

2. Can You Use SendGrid for Cold Email?

Who is SendGrid Best For?

SendGrid is an email service with two main offerings.

First, the platform offers an API service that developers can use to integrate SendGrid into your software or existing tools. This is ideal if you want to create trigger-based emails that go out to your users as they use your SaaS product, as you can send emails whenever someone takes an important action, like signing up for a free trial or adding their payment details.

SendGrid also has tools for email marketers. You can create email campaigns and automation sequences in an easy-to-use interface and without any technical knowledge.

Another useful feature is that you can use SendGrid to create sign-up forms that you can add to landing pages that connect directly to your email lists so you don’t need to build any custom email capture forms yourself.

Can you Send Cold Emails with SendGrid?

SendGrid is an SMTP email platform, which means they maintain their own servers and IP addresses that are used to send your emails.

Due to this, they don’t allow you to send cold emails to anyone who hasn’t opted-in to receive them. The reason for this is that you’re using shared IPs and servers, so if one person sends campaigns that perform badly, it can hurt other SendGrid users.

Here’s what SendGrid explicitly states in their email policy:

When you’re reaching out to cold prospects, you won’t have opt-in consent required by SendGrid to use the service.

Even if you did use SendGrid for cold emails, it’s unlikely that you’ll get excellent cold email deliverability anyway. Why is that? Well, email service providers like Gmail and Outlook treat most emails coming from these shared IP and servers as promotional.

That means there’s a high chance that your emails land in the Promotions tab, reducing the number of prospects that see, open, and reply to your emails.

3. Can You Use Constant Contact for Cold Email?

Who is Constant Contact Best For?

ConstantContact is an email marketing platform made for small businesses that want to set up their email marketing campaigns in an easy-to-use platform.

The user interface is simple to use, enabling anyone to be able to get their marketing campaigns up and running. You can tap into a variety of pre-built email templates that fit almost any scenario you’ll need.

You can build multi-step campaigns and have them run on autopilot.

That said, it’s not ideal for anyone looking to run cold outbound campaigns to sales prospects.

Can you Send Cold Emails with Constant Contact?

You can’t send cold emails with Constant Contact.

The platform’s email permission policy states that every person on your email list must have given you permission to email them.

You either need:

  • Express permission: “when an individual has opted-in or specifically requested to get your emails”, or,

  • Implied permission: “[implied permission] happens through a client or customer relationship”

Unfortunately, neither of these cover cold email. When you’re cold emailing, you won’t have implied or express permission from your recipient and therefore, it will be against Constant Contact’s terms.

If Constant Contact detects that you’re cold emailing prospects who haven’t opted-in themselves, you’ll be restricted from using the platform.

4. Can You Use ActiveCampaign for Cold Email?

Who is ActiveCampaign Best For?

ActiveCampaign is a “customer experience automation” platform that’s packed with features to improve your marketing operations.

The email capabilities let you build multi-step campaigns, easily segment your subscriber base depending on actions they’ve taken, and automate new emails based on actions that people take on your website.

It’s perfect for growth teams at e-commerce, SaaS, or similar companies that are invested in growing.

But, can you use ActiveCampaign for cold emailing?

Can You Send Cold Emails with ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign’s product documentation states that you can only import contacts that have explicitly opted-in to hearing from you.

That means using ActiveCampaign for cold email is prohibited.

If you’ve sourced your prospect list using prospecting tools like B2B databases or building lists on LinkedIn and then using another tool to scrape their email address, these people won’t have given you explicit permission to reach out to them, even if your offer is a good fit for them.

You’ll need to use a dedicated cold email tool like QuickMail to reach out to your cold sales prospects.

5. Can You Use AWeber for Cold Email?

Who is AWeber Best For?

Aweber is an email marketing tool for small businesses. You can quickly create email sign-up forms that you can add to landing pages to build your email list on autopilot. When you have your list, you can create email campaigns in the easy-to-use template creator, and send them on a pre-set schedule.

AWeber is a good fit for content creators, thanks to features like the auto-newsletters that are sent whenever you publish a new article on your blog.

However, we wouldn’t recommend using AWeber for cold emailing.

Can You Send Cold Emails with AWeber?

AWeber is an email marketing tool. That means your emails are being sent from shared IP addresses and servers, which, as we looked at previously, will affect your email deliverability.

As well as that, AWeber requires you to have permission to reach out to people.

Importing cold prospects is against AWeber’s terms, and therefore you can’t use it to send cold email campaigns.

6. Can You Use Klaviyo for Cold Email?

Who is Klaviyo Best For?

Klaviyo is a popular email marketing tool used by ecommerce brands to build complex campaigns that drive sales.

You can send personalized emails and SMS messages to subscribers based on event triggers like the products they’ve viewed, previous orders, and items they add to their shopping cart.

It also integrates with a large number of other ecommerce tools so you can build powerful engagement and nurturing workflows.

All-in-all, Klaviyo is an excellent email automation platform.

Can You Send Cold Emails with Klaviyo?

Klaviyo is made to engage with people who have given you their contact information. The platform Acceptable Use Policy states that you can’t use it to email lists of prospects that haven’t actively consented to receive communications from your business.

If you send cold emails using Klaviyo, your account will be restricted.

Even if you did want to risk it, using email marketing tools for cold email is never recommended, as they’re not designed for it. If you go with a dedicated cold email tool like QuickMail, you'll get better deliverability and more positive responses due to its native integration with email warm-up tool MailFlow.

Are There Any Email Marketing Platforms That Can Send Cold Email?

There are other popular email marketing tools out there. However, most don’t give you the ability to send cold emails.

We’ve reviewed some of the most popular tools not mentioned in this article in separate articles, which you can check out here:

If you want to send cold emails, you need to find a platform that allows you to reach out to cold contacts.

Using QuickMail to Send Cold Emails That Get Replies

If you want to send cold emails to prospects that haven’t yet opted in but will have a legitimate interest in hearing from you, QuickMail is the tool for you.

Here’s why:

1. Send Personalized Cold Emails at Scale

QuickMail lets you send text-based, personalized cold emails to any decision-maker you want to connect with.

You can include attributes in your emails, such as:

  • Hi {{prospect.first_name}} - how’s it going?

  • Great to see {{}} doing so well.

  • As you work as {{prospect.role}}, I thought you’d be interested in this.

The custom attributes will auto-fill with details from your prospect list, so every email is personalized.

It’s a simple and powerful way to improve your cold email response rates.

2. Automatically Follow-Up to Boost Response Rates

If someone doesn’t reply to your first cold email, don’t worry. Only 10-20% of cold emails receive a reply on the first try. Decision-makers are busy and don’t always have time to reply.

To increase your reply rates, always send a follow-up.

If someone doesn’t reply, you can set QuickMail to automatically send a follow-up email with a new angle, value proposition, or call-to-action.

Simply add a delay, and then a new email step.

In the example above, if someone doesn’t reply, they’ll receive a second email from you after three business days.

You can add as many follow-up steps as you need, and even include multi-channel steps like cold calls or tasks such as LinkedIn outreach.

3. Deliverability Tools to Ensure Your Emails Get Opened

Most email marketing tools like Constant Contact, SendGrid, or Klaviyo send emails from their own IP addresses and servers.

This can lead to worsened deliverability as you may be sharing an IP with a spammer or someone that isn’t following email best practices.

With a dedicated cold email platform like QuickMail, you use your own domain to send emails – no shared servers.

As well as that, QuickMail has a native integration with MailFlow, which is a free email warmup tool, that improves your email deliverability. MailFlow warms up your cold email inbox by sending positive engagement signals to Gmail and Outlook. 

When you send an email to a cold prospect, their email service provider will trust that your email is a real account and deserves to land in the primary inbox.

With MailFlow, you can track how well your email account is performing and send campaigns with confidence when you see that the majority of your emails consistently land in the primary inbox.

Wrapping Up

Email marketing tools are designed to help you engage with your existing customer base and audience. They aren’t made for sending cold emails to prospects who haven’t opted-in to hearing from you.

If you do use them for cold outreach, you risk having your account terminated, and it’s unlikely your campaigns will get the results you’re looking for or need to grow your business.

To send cold emails, you’ll need a tool designed specifically for outreach to cold lists, like QuickMail.

When you’re ready to start building your prospect list and sending cold outreach campaigns that start conversations, you can try out QuickMail with a completely free trial here.