Cold Calling or Email: Which Is Most Effective?

Business owners use different techniques like cold calling and emailing to reach out to potential customers. It is often argued that cold calling is an outdated technique, but in some cases, still effective.

In comparison, cold emailing is considered a more modern and convenient technique. These two methods have a lot of near-equivalent features. Allow us to break it down to help you make an informed decision. Read up to find out which of the two — cold calling or email is right for your business! 

Cold calling and email serve the same purposes: to communicate with potential customers for the first time and develop a relationship with them. If you’re wondering what the best method is to reach your potential buyers, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ve highlighted some differences between cold calling and cold emailing. At the end of this article, you’ll know what technique is best to adopt for your business! 

What Is Cold Calling? 

A cold call is an unsolicited phone call to a prospect to introduce your goods or services. It is a common form of telemarketing technique.

Cold calling is the act or a sales practice of interacting with a prospect that had not communicated with a salesperson. Such prospect has also not indicated an interest in a company’s product or service.

In most cases, cold calling is successful if a salesperson is persistent even after a series of terminated calls, hang-ups, or insults. A common saying goes: “those who never give up trying are bound to win someday.”

Cold Calling or Email?

Why You Should Consider Cold Calling 

Despite what people think, here are some reasons why cold calling is still in the telemarketing conversation.

1. Immediate Response

If you are on a call with a prospect, you will get an immediate response from them. They’ll immediately let you know if they are interested in your products or service. This saves you time and enables you to move quickly to the next contact on your list.

2. You Vs. The Prospect

When on a call with a prospect, you can detect what they’re thinking or if they’re interested from their voice. You’ll also be able to answer their questions instantly. This is not possible when emailing prospects because you can’t fathom whether they’re interested in what you’re pitching or not.

3. You’ll learn more about The Prospect.

Conversing with a prospect will give you more insights into what they need. It will help you know if your product or service suits them. 

4. Cold Calls Give You An Avenue to be Personal

If you intend to personalize your tone, a cold call is a sure bet for you. With the results of your research, you can adjust your tone to sync with your findings about the prospect. This will make your potential more comfortable with you.

The Negative Aspects of Cold Calling

1. You’ll Get Frustrated

People tend to get annoyed if they weren’t expecting a call from you in the first place. As a result, you will likely get insulted or get rude remarks. Other times, people are really busy and don’t have time to talk to you, no matter how nice you are. 

2. You May Frustrate Your Prospect

Your potential customer will likely be frustrated if you conduct no research before contacting them. Imagine calling someone who does not need your product or service because you didn’t get enough information about them. Your call will be a thorn in their flesh.

3. Need to Sacrifice A Lot of Time

If you were communicating with a prospect via email, you could use software to schedule your emails. But cold call requires you to be in touch with one prospect at a time. 

4. It Puts Your Reputation At Stake

If a potential customer gets annoyed when you reach out to them, it won’t be about the representative alone. The potential customer will extend that annoyance to the entire company. 

5. High Cost

Because not all the prospects you call will be interested in your products or service, you will be wasting your money, time, and efforts. 

What Is Cold Emailing?

Cold emailing is similar to cold calling. The only difference is you contact prospects via email. A lot of people send cold emails for different reasons. Despite the various means by which people send messages today, email is still very much used.

Why Use Cold Emails?

Here are some reasons you should consider cold emailing as a technique for rendering customer service.

1. Cold Emails Are Affordable

Unlike cold calls, cold email doesn’t require you to spend much. With cold calls, you can only contact one prospect at a time. But with cold emails, you can send one message to as many people as possible.

2. They’re Eye-catchy

When you place messages in a certain layout, they can be attractive. And once your email catches the reader’s eyes, they’ll want to see what you dished out in the email. 

3. They’re More Detailed

While you cannot show any evidence via phone call, cold emails allow for attachments of documents and files. This helps you to give out more details about your company by attaching images or documents to back your claims.

4. Cold Emails Will Neither Frustrate You Nor Your Prospect

Cold emails can stay in your recipient’s inbox until they are available to read them. But a cold call requires the receiver to pause whatever they are doing when you contact them. 

5. They’re Not Limited

Your recipient can forward your message to friends and partners who may be interested in your offer. If this happens, you will have some more potential customers.

The Negative Aspects of Cold Emailing

1. Delayed Feedback

Emailing is not as instantaneous as phone calls. You may not know if your message was spammed or trashed. That is why you should always send another email if a response is delayed.

2. Spam Filters

While some prospects may blacklist your calls, emails have a spam filter. The spam filter may recognize your mail as spam and block it from getting into your prospect’s inbox.

3. Your Messages may be ignored.

It may be easy to contact your prospects via email, but they may not be interested to read your email at first glance.

4. Cold Emails are Highly Competitive

People know emails are easier to send, so everyone wants to send mail instead. This will make it difficult for you to gain a prospect’s attention.

5. Cold Emails require Good Skills.

A caller is expected to be fluent in the language he/she uses to communicate. But a cold email needs good copywriting and graphic design skills. The two will work together to make your cold email attractive.

Cold Calling Or Email: Which Is Most Effective?

Cold calling or email, which to choose? The best answer is both!

Cold calls and cold emails are both powerful prospecting tools. Volume and convenience are the two differences between the two. Cold emails are more convenient and allow you to send a single email to several prospects. They’re typically easier and take less time than cold calls, but cold calls are more efficient in eliciting direct responses.

You can use both cold calling and email to break the ice and get your prospects’ attention. Cold calling may prove more effective if you want to create a more personal experience for your prospect. It’s ideal for scheduling meetings, or answering your prospects’ questions.

Email allows for mass communication, i.e., sending an automated message to many people. This technique works the best if your emailing list is accurate, relevant, and frequently updated.

You’ll need to modify your message to fit each group, and your content must be valuable. Without this in place, your efforts would be in vain, as your well-written emails won’t reach their targeted recipients.


Cold calling and emails are highly effective as long as they’re done correctly. The key to effective cold calling or email campaigns is approaching your audience the right way. Targeting only prospects interested in your products or services is best. 

Conduct proper research before contacting a prospect to avoid frustrations on both ends. Ensure that your sales pitch is captivating and your emails are well-written with engaging and interesting subject lines.

You can only decide which technique is the best for your business when you try both.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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