How to use cold email to grow your SEO agency in 2024

by Antonio Gabrić

How to use cold email to grow your SEO agency in 2024


SEO is still not dead, even in 2024. Even though 91.4% of all search queries trigger Google’s AI-powered snippets, there is still demand for SEO services. 

The thing is, SEO is not going anywhere just yet, so you might as well master one of the most misunderstood lead generation techniques to land more clients for your agency–cold email.

Cold email holds a lot of potential. It is free, can be done on scale, and you have infinite possibilities to craft an ideal message for your clients. That sounds like an ideal lead generation technique, right?

The thing with cold email is – not everyone does it well. This guide will ensure that you do it better than your competitors, and ensure that your agency experiences consistent growth.

Understanding The Role of Cold Emails in SEO Agency Growth

The power of cold emailing lies in its ability to forge meaningful connections with potential clients not aware of your agency. By crafting personalized and value-driven messages that address pain points, you can position your SEO agency as the trusted partner for your future client.


As more businesses adopt cold emails in their lead generation strategies, more cold emails end up in the spam folder.



Main reason? Very little or no effort. The above mail has already all the red flags even before I opened it. 

First of all, I am not their customer and definitely won’t be when the subject line has a typo and a message that reads: “Hey, I sent this to 1,000s of other people, I want your money!”

But not all cold emails are low-effort. 

When executed with strategic precision and fueled by creativity, cold emailing can be a game-changing approach to business development, as it is almost 40x more effective at securing customers than social media.

It doesn’t cost as much as traditional advertising tactics such as PPC. Most importantly, cold emails can help you establish long-term client relationships by fine-tuning your messaging for each client.

By embracing the power of cold email from the right mindset, SEO agencies can unlock a world of opportunities and supercharge their growth in 2024 and beyond.

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating A Cold Email

Converting clients through cold email doesn’t happen by chance; it requires a well-crafted and data-driven strategy that utilizes the proper tools and best practices.

Let’s break down each of the steps to create a killer cold email that will bring your SEO agency’s growth to the next level!

Identifying your ICPs (ideal client profiles)

The foundation of any effective cold email campaign lies in a deep understanding of your agency’s ideal client profiles. 

For a start, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Who are the businesses that will benefit the most from your SEO services?

  2. What are their pain points, challenges, and goals?

The answers should give you a general outlook on the ideal clients for your agency. 

Don’t stop there. Thoroughly research and document your ICPs. That will ensure your cold email outreach is focused and tailored to the prospect's needs.

Here are a couple more things to consider when identifying your ICPs:

  • Industry: Is the client in the sector that you are comfortable in? Remember, each industry has a different competitive landscape and may require different tactics.

  • Company size: Do you specialize in working with small, medium, or enterprise-level businesses?

  • Geographical location: Are there any specific regions or markets you want to target?

  • Growth indicators: Are you targeting companies that are actively hiring, raising capital, or rapidly expanding?

Finding potential clients that match your ICPs

The next step is identifying the specific companies and decision-makers that fit your criteria.

You could do this manually, which is time-consuming. Or you could automate this process with Hunter Discover, streamlining it into several steps.

Let’s say that your ICP is companies:

  • With headquarters in the US

  • With up to 500 employees

  • In the Technology, Information, and Media industries

  • SaaS businesses


You identified more than 600 companies matching our ICP with just a few clicks.

This data-driven approach to prospecting can help you cut through the noise and focus your cold email outreach on the companies most likely interested and able to afford your services.

Creating a value proposition

It’s time to develop a value proposition that will resonate with these companies. 

Make sure your value proposition contains these essentials: 

  • Highlight your strengths: Maybe you are a link-building agency or you offer a complete SEO package. Let the prospect know of your strengths.

  • Showcase your credibility: Show tangible results and case studies from previous projects to demonstrate that your agency knows how to drive measurable and meaningful improvements in online visibility.

  • Be specific: Outline how your services can help your target clients achieve their business objectives, whether it’s revenue growth, improving brand recognition, or outranking their competitors.

  • Differentiate: Don’t be the same as your competitors with your messaging. Emphasize your unique approach to SEO, your proprietary methodologies, or your industry-leading expertise to stand out.

Finding and verifying email addresses

Would a CFO care about the link-building services your SEO agency offers? Of course not. This is the wrong target, and your outreach is doomed from the start with such targeting.

You want to connect with the right decision-maker. In this context, it might be someone connected with content and marketing operations, such as the content manager or a marketing manager.

Finding emails is easier than you think – especially with the help of an email finder tool.


Bingo! We found a decision-maker who could be interested to hear how you could assist this brand with your link building operations.

Along with finding the emails of decision-makers, remember to check their validity. If you send too many emails to invalid email addresses, your sender reputation will be negatively impacted, resulting in most of your emails ending up in the recipient’s spam folder.

That’s why you want to verify email addresses before reaching out. 


We can plug in the email address to delve deeper into its validity. This can be done on a one-by-one basis, but also in bulk–which is extra useful.

Remember: investing time to find and verify the right email address protects your sender reputation but is also a fundamental step for a successful cold email campaign.

Writing your cold email

Don’t overly complicate when crafting your cold emails. A simple framework can go a long way.

This framework is Introduction – Value Proposition – Call-to-Action. Let’s briefly break it down.

  1. Introduction: Aim to establish credibility and produce interest from your recipient with your introduction.

  2. Value Proposition: Clearly communicate the specific value you can provide and how it aligns with your recipient’s goals. 

  3. Call-to-Action: Encourage the recipient to take a specific action, such as scheduling a meeting or requesting more information.

Here is an awesome example that nailed this framework:

Additionally, follow these tips to hit the stride with your cold emails:

  • Keep them concise: Emails between 50 and 125 words tend to get responded to more.

  • Avoid spam triggers: Avoid spammy language, links, and attachments to ensure your message gets delivered.

  • Prioritize readability: Use short paragraphs, simple language, and formatting for easy scanning of your emails.

  • Focus on the recipient: Focus on their needs, challenges, and how your solution can help them. 

  • Include a clear CTA: Give recipients a specific and actionable next step to take to continue the conversation.

Nailing your subject line and email opener

Just in 2023, more than 340 billion emails were being sent and received daily. With such a huge number of emails being sent, your cold email campaigns should stand out from the rest. 

That’s why catchy subject lines and email openers are the most important factors that will make or break your cold email campaigns.

Here are some guidelines on how to nail these two:

  • Keep your subject line short: Stay under 60 characters, which is the limit for most email providers.

  • Always personalize: Remember to mention the prospect’s name, company, or a problem they are facing.

  • Create a sense of urgency: Your email should have a time-sensitive tone to motivate prospects to open it ASAP.

  • Establish common ground: In the email opener, mention a shared interest, industry, or previous interaction.

  • State your purpose upfront: Your email opener should clearly explain why you are reaching out and what do you want to get out of the conversation.

Here are a couple of examples that follow these guidelines:



Personalizing your emails at scale

Only 2% of emails use personalization–and emails with personalized subject lines can get 50% higher open rates. 

There is no doubt about the importance of personalization, and yet, it seems most marketers seem to skip it, which is most likely due to it being difficult to do at scale while doing it manually. 

Thankfully, you can use cold email software to automate personalization in your emails.

Let’s say that we want to reach out to prospects facing a certain problem that you could solve.

You can tailor the template and add different attributes depending on your messaging purposes.

Here is where the magic happens. You can import up to 2,500 recipients for one automated campaign, so that is a lot of time saved.

Additionally, you can set up the schedule for the campaign, set up an unsubscribe message, and launch the fully personalized campaign.

Follow-up sequence

Don’t ignore following up, as it can double your response rates. Following up is a craft on its own, simply resending the same message won’t work.

Use your follow-ups to provide additional value, such as relevant industry insights or some helpful resources.

To nail your cold email follow-up sequences, consider these tactics:

  • Write an engaging opening line: Share context on why you are emailing the prospect again–this can be a short recap of the previous email.

  • Make it short and valuable: You can avoid unnecessary greetings and start by offering value and the next steps to the prospects.

  • Don’t be too pushy: Always be polite and try to lead the prospect to the desired action calmly and naturally.

A/B test your campaigns

Cold email campaigns are a work in progress, meaning that you can always optimize them. Continuously testing them is the key to landing more clients for your SEO agency.

When implementing A/B testing, keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Test one variable at a time: You want to isolate the impact of each element. When you test a subject line and call-to-action simultaneously, you won’t know which made an impact.

  • Establish measurable goals: Whether you want to improve open rates, click-through rates, or conversions, you want to establish these clearly.

  • Reiterate your testing strategy: You won’t always hit the jackpot with your A/B tests, so make sure to regularly review and update them.

5 Cold Email Templates & Examples

We have prepared a couple of templates that you can adjust to your needs to kickstart your SEO agency growth:

This template works because it starts with an intriguing and contrarian approach to a link building mail, along with showcasing real expertise.

This template immediately arouses interest with its first line, then delves deeper into showcasing expertise from previous clients, and quickly establishes a desirable action. 

This template showcases that you did your research and that you understand some of the issues the potential client faces. With this approach, you can establish trust rapidly.

This template outlines that you know the market segment the prospect is in, which can showcase your expertise which might be the nudge for the prospect to respond.

This template is all about hooking the prospect with potential results, but for it to work, you can add a result that you had with one of your previous clients to really land the message.


While it is easy to start with cold emailing, it is tough to master it. 

Thankfully, with proper messaging, automation, and consistent testing–you can transform your cold email sequences into a relentless lead-generation machine for your SEO agency.

Remember, cold email is almost 40x more effective for lead generation than social media, so it is worth the extra effort.

Antonio Gabrić


Antonio Gabric is a manager at Hunter. For the last three years, he’s been helping SaaS companies grow their organic traffic and revenue through link building. At Hunter, Antonio is leading a link-building and outreach team to build backlinks that move the needle and connect with industry leaders. To get in touch and follow his experiments, say hi on LinkedIn.