I know you've got to fundraise, but...

I get it. Everybody needs to make money. If you're in fundraising, advocacy, hyperlocal news, content newsletters, animal rescue, or almost anything, you're in it to make money. Maybe not to get rich, but to get things done takes money and if you want to help your organization succeed, that means finding sponsors for potential advertising, sponsorship and other revenue opportunities.

I'm not here to stop you from fundraising. But I have to warn you – cold leads are risky and damaging to deliverability. Send too much of that unsolicited "cold lead" mail and you're brightly identifying yourself as a spammer, in particular to Gmail. One of the primary problems that potential clients approach me with is how to get themselves back to the inbox, after damaging their sending reputation by sending too much cold lead mail.

Individually mailing 12 people directly whom you've looked up on a business leads site, that's not going to kill your deliverability. Buying a list of 7500 email addresses from the business lead site and sending your pitch to that whole list, THAT'S going to kill your deliverability damaging your domain's reputation.

So tread carefully, and remember that email is a numbers game, but sometimes they don't tell you what the acceptable numbers are. And if at all possible, don't base your entire marketing strategy around outbound cold leads.
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