5 Steps to Writing Great Cold Emails

open envelope with letter showing @ symbol

Cold emails are a necessary part of your prospecting strategy.

With so many messages being sent each day, it’s important that yours stands out and attracts a prospects attention.

To get a cold email opened you need to create a compelling message starting with the subject line.


Good And Bad Subject Lines

The first thing you see when an email comes in is the subject line.

A good subject line should attract and entice your prospect to open their message.

A bad subject line has an opposite effect ending up in the trash folder or marked as SPAM.

An example of a bad subject line is when you only put the word “Re:” as the subject or leave the line empty.

While some prospects may be tempted to open an email with a blank subject line their next response is to delete it.


The Purpose Of A Cold Email

The aim of any cold email should be to establish a relationship and ask for a conversation.

Before you target a specific prospect do some research on them ahead of time.

This way your email isn’t general but instead contains relevant information about your prospect and their company.

You’re then able to connect emotionally and show how they can benefit from speaking with you.

Here is how every prospecting email should be structured.

There are 5 sections to focus on.  Each one should make your prospect continue reading further to see what you can do for them.


cycle of 5 steps to writing cold emails


As you go through each step think how you’ll want to craft each section to get their attention.

Once you’ve decided on your message you can create a template and customize it as needed.  This will make the process of sending cold emails much quicker for you.

Simply change the subject line and introduction based on your research about a prospect and their company.


5 Steps To Writing Great Cold Emails

1. The Subject Line

The subject line is what grabs a prospects attention.

If you don’t recognize the sender of an email, the subject line is the next thing you look at.

It helps you to determine whether you should open the message or simply trash it.


You only have a few seconds to get their attention and entice them to open your email.

Statistics show that 35% of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone.

This means your subject line must be specific, relevant and concise.

Tweet image of email read on cell phone


If you’re able to name drop because a mutual connection suggested you contact them, then go ahead and do it here.

Subject Line Example: (Mutual connection) suggested I get in touch.

Sometimes it can help you to build credibility and your email also catches their eye.

Since more and more people are checking work emails on a mobile device make sure your subject line fits their screen.  Try and use between 3-7 words to keep it short.

2. Your Introduction

This is where you start to personalize your message.

With only a few sentences needed in this section, don’t waste it introducing yourself and your company.

This is a sure way to get your email ignored – talking about yourself first when they don’t even know you.

If they’re interested in finding out more about you they can get it from your signature.  Or even research you on the internet.


Get detailed about why you’re reaching out to them.

Ask them some questions.

Did you both attend the same networking event?  Then talk a little bit about that and ask an open ended question.

Or maybe you just left them a short voicemail and you’re following up on that.  Ask them something specific about their company and a pain point common to their industry.

If they’re a sales lead passed on to you then find out why they’re interested in your product.

What pain points are they experiencing that led them to inquire about this particular item.

man typing email on laptop


Think of some other questions you can ask that are specific to your niche to get them to respond and begin a conversation.

It’s important you try and rouse their curiosity.

You want them to continue reading your message so they can find out more.

3. The Body

The body of your email should answer the question you just asked and briefly show how your company can offer a solution.

  • Provide them with any social proof you have.  Mention a business you’ve helped and the excellent results they received.
  • Demonstrate value by offering to send timely and relevant information.  Use whatever resources your company has and include any eBooks, blog posts, videos, vendor materials or anything that can help them with their problem.

Get them to see why you’re worth their time, when so many others are also competing for their attention.

Use words that are personal in your email like you and your and mainly talk about them and their organization.

In your email try asking, “do you have any questions that I can answer now about your specific pain point?”

You’re wanting to connect and engage with them, so be authentic and sincere about really wanting to help.

4. Your Closing

Use a call to action here.

Remember this is a cold prospecting email.  You’re not trying to sell them anything.

Instead you want to create a need to meet with you in order to facilitate a discussion.

Ask them, “are you available for a 15-minute call on Tuesday at 2pm?  I want to make sure it makes sense for us to work together.”

Now you’re making it clear about what you’re expecting from them and what they can expect from you.

Which is to find out more about their business and see if it makes sense for both of you to work together.

Let them know in the email that if you don’t hear back,  you’ll reach out again in a few days or a week.  Whatever time frame you usually use to follow-up.

Now when you send your next email they might recognize your name and be more receptive.

In sales it takes time for prospects to respond to cold calls and cold emails.

Don’t let it deter you from your prospecting strategy.

Sometimes you need to build a relationship first before people open up and share their pain points with you.

The more they see relevant and helpful emails from you the more familiar they get with your company and the benefits you can offer.

5. Your Signature

When sending a cold email don’t send attachments.


Signature at bottom of document

Some companies stop emails with attachments or images from getting through.  They’re sometimes blocked or sent to the junk folder.

In your signature remove any images, quotes, pictures, etc.  Only include your contact details and social icons.


Your Follow Up Email

A follow up email should always be sent.

Persistence is the key in sales.

If you don’t hear back from your prospect then send a follow up email.

Tailor your message once again to their company and needs.

Don’t  just say that you’re following up.  Make it purposeful by adding something new and relevant to your email.

Mention you understand they’re busy and you’re sorry that you’ve both been unable to connect.

Ask if there’s someone else they suggest you should be speaking with.

Let them know you’ll continue to follow-up until you reach them.

You can try alternating between phone calls and emails.  Whatever method works best for you.



Do you have a certain format you follow with your cold emails?

Let me know what types of cold emails have worked with your prospects.









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