How to Hire a Cold Email Agency? (10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring)

Finding the best cold email marketing agency to handle your cold outreach strategy might be stressful.

More challenging if your previous agency ran campaigns that were unsuccessful or flagged by spam filters.

The truth is, it is not fair to have you worrying about all of these, as the pressure could still push you into making a poor decision. That is why we made this guide to teach you how to hire an agency to do cold email marketing for you.

Let’s dive in.

Why do you need to hire a cold email agency?

Before outsourcing cold email marketing, it is important that you fully understand why you need it in the first place.

Identifying your reasons for a cold email campaign is important to ensuring that you get on the same page with your target lead gen company and obtaining optimal results.

It guarantees a certain number of qualified leads per month

Unlike hiring SDRs and marketers, cold email agencies do a better job at helping you track data.

You will be able to identify which campaigns were effective and which failed if you take the appropriate steps to ensure you can track your outcomes after each campaign.

This way, the agency can come up with a definite result of how many qualified leads they can get per day and afterward create a lead estimation for a given time.

For instance, at Nerdy Joe, we guarantee 4 meetings per month if you choose the $799 plan.

You spend less on SDRs and marketers

If you have hired SDRs and marketers, you would agree that it is not scalable.

SDRs and marketers are constrained to sending a certain number of emails or making calls daily. This means to get your desired reach or volume, you might need to hire a sizable team of SDRs and marketers, pay a sizable amount of money and possibly end up with mediocre results.

However, cold email agencies are relatively affordable, more effective, and do not require you to be much involved in every activity. All you need to do is sit back and let the agency work towards your objectives.

Here at Nerdy Joe, we take pride in charging per outcome versus per number of contacts we reached out to.

You scale and grow fast

Your brand will expand faster if you hire cold email marketing services to help with your lead generation.

Why is this?

Most cold email agencies are made up of professionals who can create persuasive email content that does not breach the regulatory frameworks governing email marketing. They structure their emails in formats that keep them from ending up in the spam folder.

Most importantly, they are experts at converting leads rather than frustrating the audience with boring cold emails or disturbing cold call.

They are experts in lead generation campaigns and take their time to create a stellar cold email strategy before sending cold emails.

When do you need to hire a cold email agency? 

Knowing the right time to contract cold email services is as important as learning how to hire a cold email agency, as it can help you avoid making the wrong choices.

If you resonate with the following instances, you sure need to hire an agency:

When you don’t have enough resources to hire and train new staff and build an internal team of cold email specialists.

Hiring cold email marketing services is a brilliant alternative for a company low on resources. Cold emailing isn’t just a better alternative due to its affordability but because it provides so much value in terms of scalability.

As a matter of fact, doing cold email training for new staff and building an internal cold email team is quite an expensive idea for a one-time cold email campaign.

Let’s break it down.

First, setting up an internal team means you must make provisions for different marketing roles like campaign manager, email marketing expert, social media manager, assistant campaign manager, and copywriter specialist.

After making provisions for these roles, you should also remember that there will be additional costs.

Let’s break it down to analyze each individual’s role and the costs.

1 – Campaign Manager

Setting up an internal cold email team means there is a need for a person overseeing all activities and campaigns.

Now, you may think this role is unnecessary, and it is something you should be able to handle. Well, no!

Here’s why:

  • The campaign manager is a specialist who brings 3 to 5 years of experience to the team
  • They have the whole campaign team under their supervision
  • They create the campaign budget
  • They evaluate the budget and expenditures regularly
  • They are responsible for creating product branding strategies and forecasting sales
  • Generating concepts for campaigns
  • Evaluating and improving campaign strategies
  • Monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of campaigns
  • Staying up to date with the latest trends and analyzing them

While these may seem like jobs anyone can handle, experience is indispensable and determinant to any marketing campaign’s success. 

Aside from that, taking on this function takes away from your ability to complete your regular tasks for your organization and from your time to receive and convert qualified leads.

According to Glassdoor, Campaign/Marketing Managers earn an average of $104,295 annually.

2 – Email Marketing Expert

While everyone on the team should be cold email savvy, you still need someone to head this position, being in charge of every emailing task. Their roles include:

  • Produce excellent content and email templates 
  • Keep and expand the email list 
  • Campaign optimization (through CTAs and what content to include in the email) 
  • Integrating critical messaging into email campaigns 
  • Reviewing the copies and modifying email content as necessary 
  • dividing up email lists to improve marketing
  • Assisting with the campaign strategy 
  • Actively observant of essential information about the target audience
  • Analyzing data to report to the rest of the team

Glassdoor reports that the average yearly salary for email marketing experts is $59,026.

3 – Social Media Manager

While setting up your team, you should also fancy the idea of establishing visibility on social media. The social media manager will help with:

  • Learning more about the target audience’s interests and providing reports to the rest of the team
  • Follow the latest trends and learn the best strategies
  • Actively engage prospects and build a community
  • Learn what people are saying about other brands through the aid of listening tools

Glassdoor reports that the average yearly salary for social media managers is $50,996.

4 – Assistant Campaign Manager

The importance of this position is to ease the campaign manager’s workload as they already supervise the team and perform other tasks.

They do not typically execute administrative roles, but they also help in:

  • Generating campaign concepts
  • Identifying trends with the rest of the team
  • Ensuring the campaign database is updated
  • Providing reports on every aspect of the campaign
  • Providing resourceful materials like case studies and guides

They play exactly the same roles as marketing assistants and earn a yearly average of $62,179.

5 – Copywriter Specialist

Anyone can write cold emails, but it takes an expert copywriter to write concise and value-driven cold emails.

Copywriters master the art of crafting effective sentences that offer so much value and compel prospects to take action towards your business.


  • Personalize emails and the entire cold email outreach.
  • Know how to develop compelling a subject line.
  • Know how many cold emails and follow-ups to send for getting more leads.
  • Know to craft great cold emails and avoid the cold email tone.
  • Avoid the time-consuming process for cold email outreach.
  • Structure the cold email to avoid spam filters and being thrown into the spam folders.
  • Know how to do research, exactly who to send messages to and when to ask your sales to do cold calling.

$58,352 per annum is the average salary of a copywriter specialist, according to Glassdoor.

Note that this is merely the minimum criteria for the positions. Depending on how large the campaign is, non-administrative positions like copywriting specialists, social media marketers, etc., may require you to hire additional people.

As a result, the annual expense of establishing an internal cold email team may be between $334,848 and $502,272 per year.

On the other hand, an agency operates independently with a provisional team of experts. As a result, a mid-sized company will need to spend about $10,000 to hire an agency.

When you have a product or service that is selling

There is no better time to acquire cold email services than when you have a product that answers the exact needs of your target audience.

A product that garners attention despite the competition. Cold emailing will definitely help you maximize your sales.

Here’s how.

Because your product already stands out from the competition and is getting all the attention, cold emailing prospects can facilitate lead generation and help the business get more leads and generate clients.

When you want or need to focus on closing deals

In essence, the purpose of cold emails is to close deals. It is structured to focus on one idea (the proposal) and includes persuasion triggers that encourage your potential clients to take action.

Additionally, the agency takes care of the hassle of producing qualified leads, giving you and the rest of your team more time to focus on setting up appointments and closing sales.

10 questions to ask before hiring a cold email agency

Now that you know the advantages of hiring an agency and when to hire one, let’s go straight to learning how to choose to the best agency for successful cold emails.

Of course, you cannot go through the hiring process without asking questions, but you must ensure that you ask the right questions in the right order because the questioning starts with you.

Questions to ask yourself

Here are a series of questions to ask yourself before reaching out to a cold email agency. These questions will help you define your campaign objectives and clearly communicate them with the cold email agency.

1 – What does your company want to achieve with this cold email campaign?

Of course, every investor’s goal is to generate leads, expand PR reach, make sales and build connections, but you need to define your goals a little more than that.

You need to streamline them down to the number of sales you hope to have made, the deals you hope to have struck, and even your desired ROI at the end of the campaign.

Here’s an example:

  • By the end of Q2, we want to have added 10% more MQLs to our funnel thanks to a focused cold email campaign. 
  • We need to convert two qualifying leads into X service buyers each month in order to make $ in monthly income. 
  • Implement a solid lead nurturing plan that involves publishing targeted content directed at our ideal customers to increase our lead-to-customer conversion rate by 5% for the quarter.

With these kinds of objectives, you can be sure to have a fulfilling campaign if you work with a good cold email agency.

2 – Do you know what your target audience is?

You cannot just start a cold email campaign with a random audience; it is a total waste of resources. The agency needs to understand your target customers to produce the best results.

If you aren’t sure of your target customers, it is important that you begin to foster team collaboration and market research.

Suppose you have trouble defining your audience, here are some tips to follow:

  • Refer to your current customers, ask them about their pain points that your business solves and try to identify other people with the same needs.
  • Research your successful competitors and take stock of who they are targeting and why. You can easily steal customers from them.

3 – Do you have a well-defined UVP?

A unique value proposition (UVP) automatically puts an appealing offer on your prospects’ table. Even better, a well-defined unique value proposition can successfully convert a potential consumer into a paying one.

Regardless of your services, generating a concise and appealing UVP is a terrific way to discover the user experience.

In addition, it serves as the standard by which your new customer will judge your product if you fulfilled expectations, did better or did less than expected.

A strong UVP will make your company stand out from competing ones, integrate your product with the needs of your target audience, and target your ideal customer demographic specifically.

As a result, your sales promotions will be maximized, and you will draw in qualified leads who mostly become customers.

4 – Can you afford to hire a cold email agency?

As mentioned earlier, agencies are affordable and give value for money compared to other marketing options.

However, it is a no-brainer that you consider how much it would cost you to secure the right cold email agency and get ROI.

Questions to ask the agency before committing

If your answers to the previous questions are positive, then you are close. It is time to question the cold email agency to ensure they are right for the job. Ask the following questions:

5 – Will you own your cold email domain?

It is a no-brainer that you should own the domain name because it keeps you fully in control of your brand’s online presence.

Having the agency send each campaign from your domain is a great way to build trust with your recipients, as they can see that the emails are coming from a credible source.

6 – How long before you get your first lead?

While you may expect to make leads swiftly, you must be patient during the first weeks because first leads usually come slow.

From our experience, most agencies spend the first few weeks of the engagement setting up your domain and warming it up for deliverability purposes.

But because of their business model, the majority of agencies will ask you to engage in a minimum 3-month contract. Of course, this comes with a huge budget and commitment.

Here at Nerdy Joe, we don’t require our customers to engage in any sort of contract. You’re free to renew your subscription anytime you want. You also know upfront how many leads we’ll generate for you per month.

7 – What kind of leads will you be getting?

Imagine working with an agency that considers anyone who downloads an ebook as a lead — when you are trying to sell a product. Of course, that’s something you would not want to experience.

Hence the importance of defining the type of leads you want from your cold email service provider.

To ensure agencies are on the same page as you, you should also ask if your leads’ demands can be met.

8 – What’s the cost of a cold email agency?

You can afford the services of a cold email agency based on the average cost. But cost varies according to agencies, the quality of their service, and their pricing.

Most agencies charge between $2,000 and $5,000 per month. But the outcome is questionable as they charge per number of email blast sent.

At Nerdy Joe, our lead generation services cost on average $799 and that gives you right to 5 meetings per month. That could also be 5 guest outreach opportunities, 5 influencer partnership opportunities, etc. We do tailor everything depending on your needs.

9 – What is the agency’s experience with cold email?

The agency might impress you with good answers to your previous questions. Still, the most practical way to prove your expertise is by giving an example of your experience handling cold email campaigns.

Remember to ask about their successes in cold email campaigns, the specificities, and the challenges. It is the same way potential clients and business partners would question your services before engaging.

For instance, at Nerdy Joe, we used cold emails to:

  • Grow one freelance writer’s business from $1,200/month to $8,000/month.
  • Get replies from people like Tim Soulo, Rand Fishkin, Noah Kagan, Guillaume Moubeche, Ross Simmonds, Irina Maltseva, etc.
  • Land guest blogging opportunities on websites like Mailshake, Hunter, Convince And Convert, Coschedule, etc.
  • Help a content agency go from 1 to 6 clients. 

We can go on and on about our results, but you can find them on our case study page.

10 – What are the financial terms?

At this point, you are most likely close to hiring the agency. And this makes it one of the most vital things that you and your potential business need to get straight.

Listen to what the agency is proposing, tell them what you can offer, and try to come to a common ground. If the agency insists on a particular term that isn’t suitable for your company, you should not compromise. 

Here are some tips for having a good financial agreement:

  • decide on shared objectives,
  • talk about anticipated scalability,
  • evaluate potential revenue,
  • defend your business interests,
  • be explicit about your aims,
  • and talk about potential disputes and how they should be addressed.

How We Generated a $1,400 Per Month Worth of Client With Just One Cold Email

At Nerdy Joe, we are data-driven, and that’s why we are different from the average cold email agency. 

Instead of playing the numbers game, sending thousands of irrelevant and spammy emails, we study your business and develop a strategy that aligns with your sales funnel and is result-focused.

Back when Ernest and I were freelancing, he decided to pitch our content services to a Head of Growth at a big marketing agency. 

  • Their ideal customer size is anywhere between medium scaleup businesses and public companies.
  • Their approach to advertising is based on pain points, which means they avoid being vague like most of their competitors. 

Here’s how we approached sending their Head of Growth.

We started by researching his social media profiles. LinkedIn and Twitter seemed to be the ideal place to look at since these are where they run most of their ads.

Based on our research, we discovered the agency worked with another thought leadership, pain-point SEO agency.

We also discovered a tweet where the Head of Growth was showing support for Ukraine at the beginning of the war. 

So, we leveraged this information and crafted a very personalized email opening line and short cold email copy.

Here’s the email.

Here’s how it turned out.

As you can see, they pay $1,400 per article. Also, notice how the guy praised the cold email as one of the best he’s received in ages.

At the rate of 1 article per month, that’s $16,800 in revenue per year. At the rate of two articles per month, that’s $2,800, or $33,600 in annual revenue by sending a single cold email. 

Key takeaways

  • Cold email marketing is a highly effective lead generation and customer acquisition tool. Sending a single cold email can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars down the road. But making sure you’re working with the right people is always key to the success and results you obtain.
  • Hiring a cold email agency is always hard. But the first step in ensuring you get off on the right foot and establishing a long-lasting relationship is to be clear about your expectations. As the client, you must understand that hiring a cold email agency doesn’t necessarily you will start making millions right away. Have realistic expectations and understand that there is a process to it. 
  • Before getting in bed with your cold email agency be sure to ask them the right questions to ensure they are a fit to qualify your needs. Don’t rush into working with an agency, ask questions, understand their marketing philosophy, discuss prices, reporting, and all. 
  • It’s not just with Marc Thomas. We’ve done it with Ross Simmonds, Irina Maltseva, and more. Our cold email agency, Nerdy Joe, is completely built on the back cold emails and the campaigns we’ve run have helped generate hundreds of thousands for our clients. Talk to us here!

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