Nobody really likes receiving cold calls. And none of us really like making cold calls. But cold calling has to still be effective, right? If it wasn’t effective, surely no-one would still bother with it, right?

Digital technology has now opened up new marketing channels and smartphones have made it harder for cold callers to get through to people (decades ago, you couldn’t see what number was ringing you). Because of this new technology, many businesses have begun to dismiss cold-calling as an obsolete strategy. Is this true or is cold calling actually still quite effective?

What the data says…

Hubspot reports that only 28% of cold calls result in a conversation. When it comes to the lead conversion rate, the figure is only about 2% – which might suggest that it’s not worth the effort.

So is cold calling dead?

Despite how it may seem, cold calling isn’t dead. A lot of people are just doing it wrong in 2020. Like other marketing strategies, cold calling has evolved. A few techniques that can help cold calling to be more effective include.

Using cold emails to warm up recipients

Many salespeople now use cold emailing and LinkedIn messaging to start conversations. This can help to warm up recipients before making a phone call, making it easier to convert recipients. Such calls have a 20% conversion rate.

Using software to reduce wasted time

Auto dialler software can be used to ring lists of contacts, ringing multiple numbers at once. This software connects the caller with the first recipient that answers. This can reduce wasted time spent unable to get through to recipients. 

Using cold calling to win back past customers

Some companies use cold calling to sell to past customers. There’s usually still a relationship here so it’s not entirely ‘cold’, making it more effective than calling complete strangers.

Connecting to customers phones in other ways

Cold calling isn’t the only way to connect to customers via their phone. There are other marketing strategies that can be used that can be less invasive than telesales. These include…

SMS marketing

SMS marketing involves sending out text messages. Using texting software, many companies build SMS mailing lists that work much like an email mailing list with subscribers.

But can you ‘cold-text’ recipients? It’s illegal to cold text individuals, however you can legally cold-text businesses. The problem is determining an individual from a business organization – SMS can often be better for customers of whom you have a relationship with.


Apps are another way to connect to customers via their phone. An app leaves a permanent reminder on a customer’s phone and can be used to offer news and updates.

Of course, you can’t force a stranger to download your app. Much like SMS marketing, apps are best aimed at existing customers.


More than 50% of Google searches are now done on mobile devices. Improving your SEO could help mobile users to stumble across your business. You may even be able to take advantage of mobile ad extensions – helping mobile users to easily call you or download your app without even visiting your site. 

You can find SEO services at sites such as: It’s work investing in a professional SEO service rather than attempting your own DIY SEO.

QR Codes

QR codes are codes that can be scanned using a smartphone camera – this then opens up a webpage on the person’s phone. You can print QR codes onto flyers, business cards, posters, signs and magazine ads.

It can be a way of connecting to new customers, however it generates limited leads, largely due to the fact that not everyone knows how to use QR codes.