How to Choose the Best Cold Email Software for Agencies

How to Choose the Best Cold Email Software for Agencies

Selecting the best cold email software for your agency presents an intricate challenge, intertwined with a myriad of considerations ranging from feature sets to scalability.

As an agency owner, you must prioritize email outreach tools that enhance your campaigns' efficiency and foster a personalized connection with your audience while aligning with your operational budget.

As we explore the critical attributes of leading cold email platforms, we must consider how cold email software can fit your unique marketing strategies and what emerging trends it can adapt to.

Let's examine the pivotal factors that dictate this critical decision.

What is Cold Email Marketing?

Firstly, cold emailing is not “Email Marketing.” This is a made-up word by god knows who. So, the term cold email marketing is entirely wrong to begin with.

Cold emailing is the unsolicited email used to establish B2B relationships, while email marketing is about nurturing your current leads.

Imagine Uber offering you 30% off on your next ride. Since you’re already their customer, they’re sending you the offer. That’s email marketing. 

Cold email is directly contacting your potential customers to introduce them to your services and offers. The word “COLD” means reaching out to someone completely unaware of your business.

This approach is highly strategic. It leverages the power of personalization to capture recipients' attention, giving the illusion that we actually know them. It's about making a memorable first impression, ideally converting an initial cold contact into a warm prospect.

Effective cold email campaigns require careful planning, from crafting compelling subject lines to tailoring content that resonates with the target audience. While it's a numbers game, the focus is on quality interactions that foster genuine interest and engagement, rather than just casting a wide net.

You’ll be one lucky chap if you use, as they specialize in generating AI-led icebreakers to kick off your personalization checklist.

Top Features Cold Email Software Should Have

Selecting the ideal cold email software involves understanding key features that enhance performance and results. Critical functionalities such as deliverability, personalization options, and the ability to create and manage email sequences and follow-ups directly influence the success of your campaigns.

Additionally, features like multichannel outreach and detailed analytics empower agencies to optimize their strategies and achieve measurable outcomes.

  1. Deliverability
  2. Personalization
  3. Email Sequence
  4. Multichannel Outreach
  5. Analytics
  6. Integrations
  7. Onboarding & Support
  8. Unified Inbox
  9. A/B testing
  10. Built-in Warm-up
  11. Conditional Campaign
  12. Bounce Shield
  13. Sub-Sequences

1. Deliverability

Guaranteeing high deliverability is crucial, as it directly impacts the success of your email campaigns by increasing the likelihood that your messages reach the intended inboxes. To optimize deliverability, consider the following features in cold email software:

  • Email Throttling: Adjusts sending rates based on the recipient's email server capabilities to avoid spam filters.
  • Reputation Monitoring: This function tracks the sender's score and advises maintaining a positive reputation to ensure high delivery rates.
  • Authentication: Checks DKIM, SPF, and DMARC records of email inboxes, enhancing legitimacy and improving inbox placement rates.

2. Personalization & Customizability

Cold email software must offer robust personalization and customizability features to engage potential clients effectively. 

No, we don't just mean letting you add {First_Name}, {Company_Name} tags. These are basic; every tool has that.

The question is, how well does the tool let you personalize your campaigns?

  • Helps you add spintaxes.
  • Lets you add personalized video URLs.
  • Enables you to embed images, gifs, or memes.
  • Send to multiple time zones.
  • Action / trigger-based steps
  • Generate icebreakers
  • Email service provider matching.
  • Personalized unsubscribe link.

Your chosen tool should enable users to tailor their messages to meet each recipient's needs and interests, enhancing the communication's relevance and impact.

Advanced cold email software options allow dynamic content integration while keeping the options open for text-only features.

Personalizing campaigns based on specific data points can increase engagement and click-through rates by 82%.

This level of personalization helps create a more compelling and memorable email experience, essential for making a lasting impression on potential clients.

3. Email Sequences & Follow-ups

Crafting effective email sequences and managing timely follow-ups are essential components of any cold email software, enabling agencies to automate and streamline their communication processes. Here are key features to look for:

  • Automated Sequencing: Software should allow for creating multiple email campaigns that can begin at a specific time and date or when one campaign stops.
  • Dynamic Follow-Up Timing: The ability to set varying follow-up time intervals based on user engagement or inactivity.
  • Conditional Logic is tools that enable changes in the sequence path if certain conditions are met, enhancing personalization. They trigger based on recipient actions, such as opens or replies.
  • Performance Analytics: Detailed reporting on sequence effectiveness, helping agencies optimize their strategies for better engagement and conversion rates.

4. Multichannel Outreach

While multichannel is not everyone's cup of tea, it does have its charm. 

Multichannel outreach is the process of communicating with your leads on different platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and email. Not many tools on the market do all three perfectly. However, one name does come to mind: la growth machine.

La growth machine pricing

Effective cold email software should seamlessly incorporate features for multichannel outreach, allowing agencies to engage with their audience across various platforms. This means integrating capabilities to connect through emails, social media channels like LinkedIn, direct messaging, and even phone calls.

Such versatility guarantees that when one method doesn't resonate with a potential client, others can be leveraged to maintain the connection and enhance engagement opportunities. Additionally, effective multichannel strategies allow for customizable re-engagement tactics, such as reconnecting with bounced leads through alternate channels, thereby maximizing the chances of converting prospects into clients.

The downside of multichannel outreach is that choosing a product with more than one channel becomes expensive.

Maybe my leads don't hang out on LinkedIn; they’re only available via email. Should I still consider paying for the multichannel feature, which is more expensive than the tool with dedicated cold emailing?

5. Analytics & Metrics

Monitoring analytics and metrics is essential for evaluating the success of cold email campaigns and optimizing future outreach strategies.

The proper cold email software should offer detailed analytics that helps agencies understand and improve their email performance.

Here's what to look for:

  • Open Rates
  • Click-through Rates (CTR)
  • Reply Rate
  • Bounce Rates
  • Conversion Rates

6. Integrations

Seamless integration with popular business tools and platforms facilitates a more streamlined workflow for any cold email software.

Syncing effortlessly with CRM systems like Salesforce or HubSpot guarantees that all customer interactions are logged and accessible, enhancing lead management efficiency.

Opt for software that offers one-way and two-way integrations to maintain up-to-date data across all platforms.

This connectivity simplifies contact list management and improves campaign strategies' overall effectiveness by aligning email outreach with other marketing activities.

Ultimately, robust integration capabilities reduce manual entry errors and free up time for more strategic tasks.

Even if it doesn't offer built-in integrations, make sure it at least supports automation tools like Zapier or Make to get the job done.

7. Onboarding & Support

Proper onboarding and robust support systems are vital components of any cold email software.

It guarantees users can maximize the platform's capabilities with minimal difficulty. A thorough onboarding process and reliable support can significantly enhance user experience and efficiency. 

⭐Fun fact! We here at salesforge provide direct support via WhatsApp.

Here are vital aspects to look for:

  1. Interactive Tutorials: Step-by-step guides and live training sessions will assist new users in quickly understanding the software.
  2. 24/7 Customer Support: Round-the-clock chat, email, or phone assistance promptly addresses issues.
  3. Knowledge Base: An easily navigable repository of articles, FAQs, and self-help tips.
  4. Community Forums: Platforms where users can share experiences, solutions, and best practices. Salesforge has a Slack channel to communicate with their customers.

8. Unified Inbox

Why should agencies consider a unified inbox an essential feature in their cold email software selection?

A unified inbox streamlines the management of multiple email accounts and client communications into a single, organized interface.

This centralization not only boosts efficiency by reducing the time spent switching between different accounts and platforms but also minimizes the risk of missing essential client interactions or response opportunities.

This feature guarantees all team members real-time access to client communications, fostering a more collaborative and responsive working environment for agencies handling high volumes of outbound emails. Additionally, a unified inbox can significantly enhance the tracking and analysis of campaign effectiveness, which is vital for refining strategies and improving client satisfaction.

Typically, you’d need to build a master inbox, but tools like SalesForge have their own unified inbox called Primebox.

9. A/B testing

Building on the concept of a unified inbox, A/B testing in cold email software is another feature that greatly enhances the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns.

This functionality allows agencies to test and send variations of an email to different audience segments to determine which version yields better results. Here's how A/B testing can markedly improve your email strategies:

  • Optimize Subject Lines: Test different phrasings to see which garners more open.
  • Evaluate Copy: Determine which email content drives more engagement and conversions.
  • Refine Call-to-Actions: Compare different calls-to-action to find the most compelling one.
  • Improve Sending Times: Experiment with various sending times to maximize open rates.

10. Built-In Warm-Up

Cold email software should include a built-in warm-up feature to ensure maximum deliverability for your cold email infrastructure. This function progressively increases the volume of emails sent from a new account, helping to establish a solid sender reputation with email service providers.

By mimicking human-like sending patterns, it gradually builds trust, preventing the emails from being flagged as spam.

A robust warm-up protocol is essential for new domains and those previously underutilized or associated with low engagement rates.

Implementing this feature guarantees that recipients see your outreach efforts, enhancing the overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

Nowadays, most cold email software provides built-in email warm-up options. But if the one you choose doesn't, you can always select a top-tier warm-up tool like Folderly or consider the free one with SalesForge.

11. Condition-based Campaigns Setup

Automated triggers based on interactions can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your email outreach efforts.

Here are some essential capabilities:

Behavioral Triggers: Send follow-up emails based on recipient actions such as opens or clicks.

Alternating Channels: Perform specified actions from channel to channel. based on set actions or time. For example, send an initial cold email on day 1, send a LinkedIn connect on day 3, and day 4, send the 2nd email or follow-up email.

Engagement Scoring: Prioritize follow-ups based on a lead's engagement level, focusing efforts on the most promising prospects.

Event-Based Sequences: Initiate email sequences from specific dates or events, ensuring relevant and timely communication.

Lead Prioritization: The tool determines the interest or urgency of your lead based on the number of “Email Opens”, letting you know who to respond back faster or automate additonal steps.

For example, you sent an offer so well that your lead read your email 10 times and responded to you asking for additional information. They would be your highly prioritized lead rather than the one who opened it once and didn’t bother responding back.

12. Bounce shield

Why is a bounce shield essential in cold email software for agencies?

A bounce shield is vital because it helps maintain the health of your email-sending reputation. When emails bounce, it signals to Email Service Providers (ESPs) that your contact list may need to be better maintained or that your outreach might be unsolicited, increasing the risk of being flagged as spam.

It also affects your domain's deliverability. Purchasing domains from reputable providers is a wise decision.

Learn how to set up your burner domains properly here.

Cold email software automatically identifies and segregates bounced email addresses by incorporating a bounce shield. This functionality cleans your mailing list by removing invalid contacts and enhances deliverability by ensuring emails reach only active, valid addresses.

For agencies, this means improved campaign performance and sustained client trust.

13. Sub-Sequences

Ability to set up additional follow-up sequences with multiple emails and multiple days delay in between after your prospect responds back asking for further information.

While everyone typically does that with their CRM or using a tool like Right Inbox with the sub-sequences feature, you wouldn't have to leave the platform or pay for another software.

How to Choose the Best Cold Email Software?

Mind you, it is impossible to have all the features we mentioned in one cold email software. You have to make some compromises here and there.

You must clearly define your specific needs and goals and pick the tool that fits you like a glove.

Ensure the software's pricing aligns with your budget constraints without compromising on essential features.

It is also essential to evaluate the software's ability to integrate seamlessly with your existing systems and review feedback from current users to gauge its effectiveness and reliability.

1. Determine Your Requirements

Identifying your specific needs and objectives is an essential first step in selecting your agency's ideal cold email software. To effectively pinpoint what you require, consider the following key aspects:

  1. Feature Set: Evaluate if the software supports automated follow-ups, personalization capabilities, and integration with your existing CRM systems.
  2. Usability: Confirm the platform is user-friendly and aligns with your team's technical skills.
  3. Scalability: Consider whether the software can handle increasing volumes of emails as your agency begins scaling sales campaigns.

2. Ensure Pricing Fits Your Budget

Sift through various pricing plans to identify what fits your sales & marketing budget. Also, accommodate future growth without breaking the bank.

Look for transparent pricing structures to avoid unexpected costs, and consider the ROI that each software promises based on its features and efficiencies.

Some platforms offer tiered pricing, such as pay-per-email accounts or pay-per-thousand lead email sends, which can be particularly advantageous for agencies when scaling their operations.

 Always double-check what's included in each package to ensure you pay less for essential features.

3. Assess Integration Capabilities

Evaluating the integration capabilities of cold email software is essential to guarantee smooth connectivity with your existing systems and tools. Here are some key features to take into account:

CRM Compatibility: Confirm that the software integrates with popular CRM systems like Salesforce and HubSpot, enhancing lead management and data synchronization. Of course, it is always better to have native integration.

Automation: Check for integration with tools such as Zapier, Make, or Pabbly, which can automate any workflow.

4. Review Customer Feedback

Analyzing customer feedback is essential in selecting the most effective cold email software. Reviews from current and past users provide real-world insights into how the software performs under various circumstances. Platforms like and Trustpilot offer extensive user feedback that covers everything from ease of use and customer support quality to integration smoothness and deliverability rates.

5. Take Trial Out for a Spin

Before committing to a yearly plan, you should utilize the trial periods offered by cold email software. If they don't have a trial plan, just ask for one.

Testing trial versions can extensively reveal how the software will perform in real scenarios. Here's what to focus on during the trial period:

Test out the ease of use to the limit, navigate the interface, personalize random stuff, run a test campaign, and check every feature to ensure it's user-friendly and meets your needs.

Top 3 Cold Email Marketing Software for Agencies

Selecting the right cold email marketing software can dramatically enhance an agency's outreach efforts. Salesforge, Instantly, and Smartlead are the top three options, each offering unique features that cater to specific agency needs.

From automated lead management to advanced analytics, these tools equip agencies with the capabilities to scale their email marketing campaigns efficiently.

  2. Instantly
  3. Smartlead

#1: Salesforge

Salesforge pricing is simply made for agencies requiring advanced, AI-driven personalization and multilingual email capabilities to enhance their cold email outreach.

Platform allows you to send and receive emails from any mailbox in a single browser tab, including Gmail and Outlook, or even set up your email infrastructure within minutes.

With Salesforge, you can warm up each mailbox to guarantee high open rates and validate every email address to keep your bounce rates nearly non-existent.

Say goodbye to generic templates and the tedious task of manual personalization. Salesforge uses sophisticated AI to craft unique, linguistically tailored emails in seconds, leveraging data from sources like LinkedIn profiles and company websites to enhance reply rates and overall deliverability.

Whether managing two or twenty mailboxes, Salesforge scales with your needs, maintaining exceptional email performance across the board.

Best For:

  1. AI-driven personalization allows crafting unique emails quickly, leveraging user data for higher engagement.
  2. Supports multiple mailboxes and languages, ensuring flexibility and scalability across global markets.
  3. Has a built-in master inbox, AKA Primebox feature.
  4. Integrated mailbox warming features to maintain high deliverability and minimize bounce rates.

#2 Instantly

Instantly pricing

Why should agencies consider as their go-to cold email marketing software? This software stands out due to its extensive features streamlining the email marketing process. offers an automated campaign builder and integrations that simplify and personalize your email campaigns, ensuring each message is tailored to meet your prospects' needs.

Moreover, the platform includes a unique email warm-up feature utilizing over 200,000 real human accounts, greatly enhancing your emails' deliverability. With its email validation tool, guarantees that your communications reach active, valid email addresses, thereby minimizing bounces and protecting your sender's reputation.

Agencies will also find the Unibox for lead management beneficial for efficiently organizing and responding to prospect communications, ensuring no opportunity slips through the cracks. With competitively priced plans and a user-friendly interface, is not just a tool but a game changer for agencies looking to optimize their cold email outreach.

Best For: 

  1. Automated campaign builder and personalization features streamline and enhance email outreach.
  2. Unique email warm-up feature using a large pool of real human accounts ensures high deliverability.
  3. Email validation tool minimizes bounces and maintains sender's reputation.

#3 Smartlead

Smartlead pricing excels in automating the lead generation process, making it a top choice for agencies looking to streamline their cold email campaigns.

The software provides a robust platform for automated campaigns, enabling the creation of subsequences that respond intelligently based on lead actions. This guarantees that follow-ups are timely and relevant, enhancing engagement rates.

Do check out my episode with Smartlead’s founder Vaibhav Namburi.👇

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Where were we again? Yes, advanced personalization.💡's advanced personalization features, including dynamic content and Spintax, allow for the crafting of customized emails that resonate with recipients personally.

The inclusion of an email warm-up feature utilizing AI simulates natural interactions, preserving your sender's reputation and ensuring high deliverability.

Additionally, the auto-rotating email accounts prevent bottlenecks associated with sending limits, facilitating scalable outreach efforts without the risk of being flagged as spam.

With its unified inbox, agencies can manage all client communications from a single point, enhancing efficiency and response times. Advanced analytics offer deep insights into campaign performance, aiding in continually refining strategies for best results.

Best For:

  1. Advanced AI-driven features like dynamic content and email warm-up for higher deliverability.
  2. Unified inbox for streamlined communication management.
  3. Scalable solutions with auto-rotating email accounts to prevent sending limit issues.
  4. Email service provider matching.

To Wrap It All Up

Selecting the right cold email software for your agency requires evaluating essential features such as personalization, automation, and multilingual support.

You must balance your needs and budget constraints while considering user feedback and integration capabilities.

Testing trial versions can provide valuable insights into the software's effectiveness. Opting for a tool like Salesforge, which combines advanced AI-driven features with user-friendliness, could significantly improve an agency's email marketing strategies and results.