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The Ultimate Guide to Writing Cold Emails

Cold emailing is a great way to reach new customers, but there's certainly a right way and a wrong way to go about it. And unfortunately, if you're like most people, your cold emails probably look more like the latter than the former. Don't worry—we're all guilty of sending one too many uninspiring messages into the void of recipients' inboxes from time to time. The good news? We looked at some of the best cold emails out there and broke down their secrets. Here's how to write an effective cold email that generates warm leads:

Write with purpose.

If you don't write with purpose, you're likely to waste the recipient's time, and that's a big no-no. You also don't want to be too long or too short. When it comes to length, I've found that one page is best: Not so short that your message is vague or incomplete; but not so long that the reader gets bored and stops reading before they reach the end of your email.

It's also important not to be overly formal when writing your cold emails—the kind of formality that makes people feel like they're being assessed by someone who doesn't know them at all (or maybe even dehumanizes them). It's also important not to get too casual by using slang words like "yo" or "omg"—it'll seem unprofessional and make you look less trustworthy in the eyes of potential employers/clients. Finally, it's critical not to overshare personal information about yourself or ask extremely personal questions right off the bat—this is especially true if you don't have any pre-existing relationship with this person yet!

State the benefits of your product or service, not the features.

Cold emails are a great way to reach out to new leads. But what if you don't know what to say? How do you convince someone that your product or service is worth their time?

In the world of cold emailing, one of the most effective strategies is to focus on benefits instead of features. You might be thinking: "But what's the difference between features and benefits?"

A feature is something that your product or service has, like a phone number or an app. A benefit is what it does for people who buy from you—like make their lives better in some way. A good example might be how Uber helps millions of people travel more affordably than ever before! Or take Amazon Prime Video: It lets users stream unlimited movies and TV shows at no additional cost (who wouldn't want that?).

Find the right people to target.

Before you send your first cold email, you'll need to gather some information. The most important step is figuring out who you're writing to and what they care about. If you can't answer these questions with confidence, it will show in your email and make them want nothing more than to hit "Delete."

Here are some tools that might help:

  • MailTester: Use this tool when gathering email addresses for cold emails by adding a prewritten message or the link to a landing page that asks people for their email address. MailTester will automatically generate a template asking for permission from those who have given their consent whether or not they actually want what's being offered (which saves time). It also shows which companies have blocked its emails so you won't waste time sending them messages in the future!

  • BuzzSumo: BuzzSumo helps identify influencers by looking at content shared across social media channels such as Twitter and Instagram by topic; this way, you can find the right person or group of people based on keywords related to what interests them most! For example, if someone tweeted about attending an event about marketing automation but never mentioned anything about software development then chances are good that he/she isn't interested in learning more about development tools like Jira Cloud platform."

Be human! Address your email to a person and not just a business.

You should address your email to a person, not just a business. If you don't know their name, use the person's job title. If you don't know that either, address them by name. For example: "John Smith" is better than "Dear Hiring Manager."

If you're sending cold emails and trying to get on someone's radar in hopes of setting up an informational interview or some other type of meeting (like me), then make sure your email doesn't come across as spammy by being too sales-y or self-promotional.

Be careful with personalization

Personalization is important, but you don't want to overdo it. Personalization should be relevant and personalized, but not a cookie cutter approach.

If you can't figure out how to personalize for the person on the other end of your email, then don't do it at all. If you think that "Hey there!" is a good opening line, reconsider your life choices as quickly as possible.

If you're using too much personalization then it could seem like spammy and desperate. This is where things get tricky: how much (or how little) personalization do I use? That's up to you!

Write a subject line that will get opened.

The subject line is the first thing a prospect will read. It's an opportunity to stand out from the crowd and get your cold email opened.

  • Be specific: Instead of using the generic "Re: Hi," try saying "Hi, John—I just saw your post about XYZ." This will make it clear what you're referring to immediately, which can be critical when a prospect is deciding whether or not they want to take action on your message without reading further.

  • Be clear: The most important thing here is simply that you are clear about who you are and why they should care. If there's any doubt in their mind as to whether or not they know what this message is about, then they won't open it because it sounds like spam (and let's face it—cold emails do).

Keep your message short and sweet (but compelling).

As you're composing your message, keep the following in mind:

  • It should be short and sweet. You don't want to send your prospect an essay. But on the other hand, don't leave out important details that might make your offer more compelling.

  • Don't get too personal! This isn't high school; there's no need to ask about their favorite sports teams or latest Netflix binge-watch. Instead of trying to relate on these terms, focus on explaining why they'd benefit from working with you—and why now is the right time for them (and their business) to make that jump forward with you as their trusted advisor. If a prospect asks how long you've been training dogs or what kind of car you drive, those are good signs that they just want small talk; do not give into this temptation!

  • Make sure it has all relevant information so they can understand what services or products are being offered and how much they cost without having to contact someone else first (or even call back later).

There's no such thing as one perfect cold email template, but there are some guidelines you can follow.

There’s no such thing as one perfect cold email template, but there are some guidelines you can follow.

For example: Don’t send a template. Your pitch will start to feel like spam if it looks too much like everyone else’s pitch. You don’t want to be the person whose name keeps popping up in a colleague's inbox every week with the same copy-and-pasted email attached. If you use a template, it might seem like an impersonal way of reaching out—and that could get you ignored by your prospects and their teams altogether.

The second guideline is don't use one at all! Yes, we said this above (in case you missed it), but really stick with us here: There's no need to try and replicate what someone else has done before or come up with something completely new when you can just focus on yourself and what makes sense for who YOU are right now as a person and business owner/founder/boss lady/etcetera...

The basics of a strong cold email template include:

A strong cold email template includes:

  • A subject line that gets opened. We’re all busy, and the average person receives over 100 emails per day. That’s why it’s important to make sure your subject line is catchy and relevant to your prospect in order for them to actually open your message.

  • A personalized message. It takes two seconds for someone to delete an email if you don't personalize it by addressing him or her directly in the salutation (e.g., Hi John). The best way to do this is by doing some research on the person beforehand so that you can use his or her name when initiating contact—and again throughout the body copy of your email!

  • A call-to-action (CTA) that drives toward a clear benefit for them rather than one for yourself; this will help set up expectations around what they can expect from you moving forward, which is key when trying to build trust with someone who doesn't know much about you yet but might be interested in learning more!

Don't rely on an automated process for sending personalized messages—the recipient will easily be able to tell that it's not real!

  • Don't rely on an automated process for sending personalized messages—the recipient will easily be able to tell that it's not real!

  • Why? It's easy enough to spot the difference between a human and a robot, so if you send someone an email that doesn't seem like it was written by a real person, they'll think it's spam. If they report it as spam, your entire company could get blacklisted by major email providers like Gmail and Yahoo Mail. That would mean no more emails from your business would reach anyone at all! This is definitely not what you want to happen!

  • Likewise, if the recipient feels like they're being spammed because of something in the message itself (like too many ads), then he or she could report the message for violating CAN-SPAM law , which has strict rules about how commercial emails can look and sound . The last thing you want is legal trouble over something as simple as sending cold emails!

Cold emailing done right is a great way to reach new customers and grow your business

Cold emailing done right is a great way of reaching new customers and growing your business. With the right approach, you can build relationships that will lead to increased revenue and improved customer service.

When it comes to cold emailing, there are three main types of emails you should be sending:

  • A warm introduction (or two)

  • An offer for something valuable (e.g., a discount code)

  • A call-to-action from an existing customer


While there’s no one-size-fits-all template for a perfect cold email, there are lots of ways to make sure your message gets read and acted on. Start by thinking about the recipient’s needs and how you can help them achieve their goals—this will get you halfway to crafting an effective message. Then, write like a human! We don’t mean you should use slang or emojis (unless they’re appropriate), but rather that your writing should be clear, concise, and friendly. And finally, don’t forget to follow up! Following up shows that you care about your recipients and want to build a relationship with them.

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