The Art of Writing Cold Emails: Tips, Tricks, Examples and More
Author: Astha Verma
Published On: 21-04-22
Last Updated on: 17-11-23
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
You have an amazing product idea, and you’re all pumped up and ready to make a pitch to the investors. Or, maybe you’re a marketing and sales executive glued to your desk, tasked with the job of pitching products and services to new clients. You might even be a freelancer, trying to tell the world about your skills.
Whatever might be the case, there isn’t anything quite like the perfect cold email to get the job done.
From skyrocketing lead generation, effective business development, smart networking to establishing a solid brand presence—a properly drafted cold email can achieve virtually anything.
But more importantly, get this—if you hit the bull’s eye, your cold emails can yield an ROI of $38 for every dollar invested. That’s 3,800%! Isn’t that amazing?
So, how exactly do you write a winning cold email?
In this post, we’ll spill the beans on everything cold email—the secrets to writing impressive cold emails and their benefits, complete with some incredible examples to get you started.
Cold emails 101: best practices to write one
In this section, we will answer the million-dollar question (well, not literally)—what goes into creating an irresistible cold email? We’ve explored the nooks and crannies of the internet to bring you the best practices for writing top-notch cold emails.
Follow these golden tips, and you’ll see the difference in no time!
Personalization is the key
If you want strangers to spend time reading your cold emails, you have to know them first. Let’s say, you need to send a cold email to five different prospective clients, pitching the same service.
Do your homework to study each prospect and collect insights to personalize the cold email’s content. Here’s how all your effort can pay off:
- You will be able to identify their pain points and present specific solutions.
- You will be communicating: “I value your time.”
- You can make them feel values by addressing why you chose to email them and not others.
It’s simple. Without personalization, your cold email is only as useful as a pencil without a tip. We absolutely love the cold email Dhruv Gulati, the CEO of Factmata, sent to Mark Cuban. This email helped Gulati bag a $500,000 investment from Cuban:
Keep it short, simple, and to the point
Haven’t we all heard the saying, “brevity is the soul of wit”? Well, brevity is at the core of every successful cold email as well.
No one wants to hear endlessly from a complete stranger. A good cold email’s strength lies in how short, crisp, and concise it reads. A short email allows you to focus entirely on your message, which can prompt the reader into taking action.
Short emails are also a genius way of communicating to the recipient that you have a clear intent. That explains why cold emails of up to 1400-1500 characters have the best email response and open rates.
This cold email by a Yesware BD Associate is a perfect example of brevity in action.
Tap into the allure of a catchy subject line
Mark Cuban had once famously remarked that the most impressive cold emails are those that could capture his attention in the first 30 seconds.
With such a short span to work your magic, the subject line is the most important part. Like the content, you must keep your subject line short and make it a point to personalize extensively. Some of the best subject lines:
- Create a sense of urgency
- Promise value
- Evoke a sense of curiosity
- Generate anticipation in the recipient’s mind
Now that you know what a subject line is supposed to achieve, here are a few tips to think of a great subject line:
- Try to keep it short. Don’t use more than 30-40 characters.
- Use power and action words (like, Astonishing, Effortless, Quick, Insane).
- Ask a question, convey a startling fact, or make an affirmation.
Look at these subject lines to inspire your own:
- Skype Call at 10?
- Your article on SEO practices was insightful
- How I managed to earn $1000 a day from my blog
- Sale started: 50% off SEO PowerSuite – just for 24 hours!
To spur you further, here’s the subject line Derek Halpern used in his email—simple and powerful.
Use a tried and tested technique
Cold emailing is an art, just like painting or cooking. There are a couple of formulas and techniques, like BAB, PPP, and ACCA, to write better cold emails.
So, what are they, and why do they work so well?
In the BAB technique, you divide your cold email content into three parts: Before, After, and the Bridge.
Here, you choose a problem and talk about the ‘before’ and ‘after’ scenarios while telling the reader how your product can act as the ‘bridge’ between the two.
This email is an ideal example of the BAB technique nailed to perfection.
The PPP technique is all about three things—the Praise, the Picture, and the Push. Here’s how you can implement this technique in action:
- Praise: Start your email with a compliment or greeting.
- Picture: Sketch a clear image of how and why the product or service you are pitching will be useful. What makes it stand out? Sell that point.
- Push: Lure your reader into buying the product or availing of the service.
Yes, we know. Easier said than done. Here’s what a cold email, written using the PPP technique, will look like.
Now, let’s talk about the ACCA technique. This formula requires you to focus on four actions: awareness, comprehension, conviction, and action.
To put it simply, your cold email should create awareness about a problem, issue, or crisis. After you have done this, you should tell the reader why they should care about the problem.
Then, you can go all out and describe how your product or service can fix the problem. Finally, you ask the reader to act upon the information that they have just read.
In short, you can think of ACCA as your four-step guide to cold email glory. No kidding.
Still not convinced? You will be, after seeing this wonderful example from Yesware.
Include a powerful CTA
Is it even a cold email if there is no solid call to action? We think not.
Choose one solid and actionable CTA to end your email and stick to it. These tips will help you develop the ‘oh-so-perfect’ CTA that you’ve always aimed for:
- Throw in command verbs
- Evoke the human emotions
- Provide value
- Blend curiosity, anticipation, and association
- Keep the CTA concise and creative
Level up things by using your CTA to:
- Ask a question
- Bring some fun and humor
- Request an appointment or meeting
The list is endless. Take a leaf from the CTA used in this cold email sent to a customer:
But while a call to action is indeed important, you must not overdo it. For instance, don’t bombard your cold email with five different CTAs.
- Do the homework and personalize your cold emails
- Simple + Short + Sweet = Perfect Cold Email content
- A catchy subject line for the win, please
- End your cold email with a beyond perfect CTA
- Go all out and experiment with the various techniques
Here’s the truth. Irrespective of whether you spend hours crafting a cold email or whether you hire a professional content writing team like WrittenlyHub for the job, the task is a time-consuming one.
However, are cold emails worth it? Always.
Cold emails bring several benefits to the table, which is why they are still in vogue in the 21st century. So, let’s jump right in and discover what makes cold emails such a raging hit amongst marketers.
Here’s a scenario for you. Let’s suppose that you’re looking to expand your clothing business. You have a great model in place, and you’re on the lookout for a partner to join forces with.
When you need to spread the word, sending cold emails to prospective partners is great practice. Similarly, you can send cold emails to angel investors and industry leaders to raise funds for your project.
If you monitor the responses to your cold emails, you’ll also learn valuable lessons.
After extensive research and experimentation, Shane Snow, a writer, sent this cold email requesting feedback on his book. And, it worked!
You’d be surprised to know how effectively cold emailing can be used to recruit new employees—especially if you’re looking to hire skilled personnel.
Let’s say that there’s a talented individual out there who you really want on your team. And, you happen to have a position that they might be interested in. Instead of posting a job alert on LinkedIn and waiting for them to see it, you can send them a cold email.
Create a lucrative narrative around your company and tell them why you can be an ideal fit for the role. After all, going the extra mile always pays rich dividends.
The screenshot below is that of a template that hits all the sweet spots that a cold email should. See what it does right:
Is there someone who you’ve always looked up to? It could be a trailblazer who has been creating waves in the industry. Or, it could be a thinker whose ideas you find really fascinating.
The best way to build your network is by reaching out to others who can add meaning and value to your business activities. Identify these people, and collect their contact details.
Send them cold emails to:
- Invite them for lunch, dinner, or a cup of coffee
- Ask for their opinion or advice
- Compliment them for the great work they have been doing
- Or, just a simple ‘thank you’ for the impact they have had in your life
This will help in forging a relationship that can prove to be very fruitful in the long run.
Here’s a pro-tip you wouldn’t want to ignore: find common ground that links you and the person you’d like to connect with.
It could be anything—a field of study, a topic, a cause. Make this common feature the hero of your cold email, and you’ll get off to a flying start!
This is what a cold networking email looks like when nailed to perfection:
Duh, isn’t lead generation the whole point behind cold emails? Not really. While cold emails are equally effective for other purposes, lead generation remains the primary agenda on many marketers’ cards.
For effective lead generation, you will need to send a series of cold emails, building upon and taking off from where the previous email ended. To this end, it would help if you come up with a detailed sending schedule so that you don’t lose track of things.
Here are a few more things you should do while cold mailing specifically for lead generation:
- Find out which time would be ideal for sending the email.
- If you plan to send a series of cold emails, it is important to get the frequency right. Ensure that there is a gap between your first email and the second one.
- Provide as much value as you can
Now you’re thinking: how can I use cold emails to spread brand awareness? Here’s the answer. You can use cold emails to spread brand awareness directly and indirectly.
An example of direct brand awareness would be when you promote your products and services directly in the body of a cold email. However, this method has become very common these days.
That’s why it would be a sensible idea to think out of the box. Is there another brand whose vision, products, and values resonate with yours? If yes, you can consider sending them a cold email, inviting them to collaborate with your business.
While it is the collaboration that will help spread awareness about your brand, the cold email is an indirect tool. Get it?
We can’t get enough of Yesware’s great cold emailing skills, so here’s another example of the email they sent to TOPO, proposing a collaboration:
Somebody, please roll out the red carpet. You are all pumped up and raring to go, and you’re just a few hours away from sending a fantastic cold email.
But before you go, take a few lessons from the epic cold email that Bryan Harris sent to the folks at HubSpot. Yes, you read that right!
Why this cold email worked:
The first thing that stands out in Bryan’s cold email is the length. The email is not too cluttered, and it is super economical in terms of the words used.
It’s clear that he has used the Praise-Picture-Push (PPP) technique, where he starts the email by talking about his admiration for the work that HubSpot does. The personal touch is present throughout the email in abundance – he refers to an article that the reader has written, and he compliments them for the same.
However, the most genius thing about this cold email is the demo video that Bryan has attached to the email. It oozes with value, and it makes a huge promise to HubSpot.
The CTA, “Is this something you guys would be interested in?” is professional, crisp, concise, and to the point. This encourages the HubSpot team to take action.
And, if you’ve read HubSpot’s blogs before, you’d know that Bryan’s tone in the email is very similar to theirs. Besides, let’s not forget that he did all this by using just seven sentences. This, folks, is what you call gold standard cold emailing.
There you go—we have told you everything about cold emailing. But, it is important to remember that writing flawless cold emails cannot be perfected overnight.
It’s an art that requires practice, and above everything else, a solid strategy. However, if you keep at it, you are bound to succeed. The average conversion rate of a cold email is 15.11%. Now, you wouldn’t want to miss this chance, would you?
In this read, we covered some of the best cold email writing practices. Use them. If you need experts to write your cold emails, reach out to us at WrittenlyHub. We have a team of super-skilled writers who are perfect for this job.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is cold email marketing?
Cold email marketing is the practice of sending emails to prospects who haven’t had prior contact with you or your company. It’s a direct approach to establishing a connection, offering a service or product, or introducing your business to potential clients or collaborators.
2. How long should cold emails be?
Cold emails should be concise and to the point, ideally around 100-200 words. They need to grab attention, convey your message, and encourage a response without overwhelming the reader. Remember, clarity and brevity are key to maintaining the recipient’s interest.
3. Is cold emailing effective?
Yes, cold emailing can be effective, especially when well-researched and personalized. Success hinges on crafting engaging, relevant content and targeting the right audience. When done correctly, it can lead to valuable business relationships, opportunities, and sales.
4. How many cold emails per day?
The number of cold emails to send per day varies, but a focused approach is recommended. Aiming for 20-50 well-researched and personalized emails can be more effective than hundreds of generic ones. Quality over quantity ensures each email is tailored, increasing the likelihood of engagement.
5. What is a good cold email open rate?
A good open rate for cold emails is typically around 15-25%. This can vary by industry and the quality of your email list. Crafting compelling subject lines and personalizing emails improve open rates, as recipients are more likely to engage with content that resonates with their interests or needs.