7 Best Tips For Cold Emails To Work

7 min readJul 4, 2016

Email marketing is undoubtedly one of the most effective channels used to reach the audience of your choice with the contents you want. All one needs to do is to write a message and hit “send” or automate the process with an action workflow. However, email marketing has been heavily abused, which results in receiving hundreds (or even thousands!) of emails that we find absolutely useless and wish to be labelled “trash” as soon as they arrive.

Now, marketers apply various methods to make their emails visibleand in this way, encouraging to receivers. The situation isn’t so bad for follow-up emails, where you can use the data you have in your system to create personalized messages.The situation seems more problematic with the very first emails you send to people you’ve never interacted before. These are called Cold Emails.

We all receive many of them and yet, remember very few.

What’s the reason behind it? How to write cold emails to win new customers and partners?

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the most effective strategies to write cold emails that generate leads and increase your sales.

Let’s talk about 7 Best Tips for Cold Emails To Work.

1. Background research

Cold Emails, as the name indicates, are ‘cold’. You target people you have very little or even nothing in common with, but a common business goal. You may be working in different fields but some of your objectives may align. To get the most from it, create a targeted message with relevant contents,which is highly customized.

For example, you can refer to the newest blog post or Tweet of a given person. Or something that he/she has published on Youtube.Do some prior research before writing an email. Try to find out what kind of content could contribute to your own product development.

Let’s say, you are working on a mobile app for your online platform and you’d love to receive a recommendation from Rachel Sprung so that, you can send a cold email, starting with your comment on her latest blog post:

“Hi Rachel,

I’ve recently read your blog post on “18 of the Best Examples of Mobile Website Design” and it was super helpful in developing the final layout of our app. Especially, a tip to include large button turned out to be a hit … “

You don’t know a person face-to-face but you can create a bond by relating to contents already published. That’s why, a background research is essential here!

2. Subject lines to avoid

Let’s start from The Worst Subject Lines Styles that brush off your users from the very beginning:


Wait, what? Why are you screaming at me? What kind of monster? What a mess!

Yeah. The use of Caps Lock isn’t really recommended here. Nobody likes being shouted at and this is what impression your users have after seeing such a subject line. What’s more, it is very pushy, especially with the word “monster” that should trigger curiosity, but instead — triggers annoyance.

  • Wacky Caps: “NoT sUrE WhaT To WeAr?

My eyes! Why should I seriously treat a company that prefers a childish writing style?”

The same story as with Caps Lock. It’s more probably that it’ll cause them an eye problem, not a willingness to reply.

  • Symbols: “Save
  • with our
  • machines 梅

Is it a riddle of some sort? I don’t understand anything

Symbols are great when they are used in moderation. If you overuse it, then your users feels trapped between all the smiley faces, hearts and dollar symbols you wrote.

  • Punctuation Abuser: “Our weekly newsletter is here!!!

Easy, easy! A weekly newsletter isn’t something to be so excited about. Again, why are you screaming?

As you see, abusing punctuation creates the same sort of feeling as Caps Lock. Don’t scream at your users even with the best offer, please!

So, now you know what kind of mistakes to avoid. So, how should your subject line look like?

3. Subject lines to follow

Firstly, your subject line needs to get through SPAM filters (so no simple “Hi” and the end of story) and then, stand out from the rest emails. Your users may not remember what they’ve just read but they are definitely going to remember how they feel afterwards. In other words, your subject line should trigger feelings like curiosity, excitement or urgency (take action NOW!).

You can achieve it with a familiar language, the use of verbs that help to envision something. For example:

Hi Meg! Imagine how many dogs are saved

Let’s say it’s a subject line of a company which produces an innovative vaccine to prevent dogs from getting cancer. It is clear who this message is targeted to. The use of “imagine” is well-played because it triggers a certain vision, it makes a receiver feel in a particular way.

What’s more, when you target people you have never encountered (online or in a real life), show that you are impressed with the work they have done (See 1. Background Reserach) and have a proof, for example a link to a blog post.
Be genuine in what you write about. It all that matters.

4. Friendly open sentence

Saying hello seems the easiest part of the task. Is it so though?
Actually, how should you start the email? Hi, Hello or maybe Dear?
Should I use an official way, or a nickname?

“My legal name is Eric, but I rarely use it, so anything addressed to Eric or Mr. Merrifield will be ignored 100% of the time for me. Not personal enough.”source

So, it all depends on a situation. What you need to do is a background check before writing the email (again!).

It’s recommended to start with “Hi” or “Dear”. “Hello” seems to general. Write a kind of ice-breaker like a short “small-talk” phrase, starting the conversation.

Hi Mary,
I hope you’re having a great day …

Dear John,
I hope this email finds you well …

5. State your purpose creatively

After greeting your user, it’s a good moment to write WHY you reach out to this particular person. Don’t start with saying who YOUare because the person doesn’t really care unless you attract his/her attention.

You have four major ways how you can start engaging your user with the information you found:


Highlight your esteem for one’s achievement and its significance:

I wanted to reach out because I found your blog post on …, which inspired us to work even harder on our project and I just wanted to say thank you.

I’m writing to you because your work has been really inspiring for our team.

You’re reading this because thanks to you, we’ve created a valuable project that changed our lives.


Show how awesome work somebody has done, which directly influences what you’re current

ly doing.

Congratulations on your recent success when you …

What your team has done is very impressive.

It’s inspiring to see what a great job you’ve done.

Add value:

Refer to a piece of work he/she has done. Ask additional questions, show that it’s influenced you.

It’d be great to find out more on … which you described in … I have a question …?

I’ve recently found your blog post on … I’m not sure if I got it right. Do you mean …?

I found your blog post on … in … and I need to admit that your approach is very convincing.

Off topic:

The most dangerous one because you refer to non business matters and it can turn out that you cross the line. It all depends on a person you write to.

Once you said that you’re afraid of flying. Imagine that …

I need to agree with you that XYZ is the best solution for Ecommerce”.

6. Present your project interestingly

Having referred to your receiver, move on to who you are and what you can offer that benefits the person. Don’t overwhelm him/her with bragging about advantages of your product etc. Stay focused on the main objectives and characteristics and highlight what kind of solutions go with it.

We’re … We created … Let’s see how it can help you in …

We’ve created … BUT we need your advice in …

We’ve created … and we’ve been struggling with the same issue as you did (describe here … ). Can we ask for your feedback?

7. Benefit your receiver

Show your user that you want to offer him/her a valuable solution that is going to benefit the person. Don’t be too pushy. You need to make your receiver interested.

Let’s say that you’re building your mobile app and you’re looking for partners who are going to use the app for free:

Let’s explore how XYZ can specifically help your business. Are you available for a quick call [time and date]?

It’s always a good idea to include a kind request for a call — the time depends on your receiver’s preferences.

Case study

  1. a friendly greeting that helps to move on with the subject matter.
  2. a very brief but precise introduction (a link to the website)
  3. an assurance that it’s going to be short and consistent
  4. referring to the receiver’s success (builds a connection)
  5. a reason for writing
  6. the project of the sender
  7. short description what’s about and what kind of solutions it gives
  8. kind request for feedback

Are cold emails still cold?

In this post we discussed how important it is to make cold emails as much personalized as possible. As you can see, a cold email, which is supposed to start a new relationship between you and your potential partner or customer, needs to be backed up with some precise information to customize the message. Otherwise, it’s impossible to attract the person’s attention and make him/her interested in the content.

So, in this way cold emails are not “cold” anymore!

Keep your subject line short but at the same time, give a hint what’s the email going to be. Try not to overuse symbols and punctuation — it’s way too pushy. Instead, highlight your issue with certain words(for example “imagine”).

Be genuine in what you’re writing about. Point out to your receiver’s successes and show your connections with his/her previous works.

Evoke curiosity. It’s all about how you use the information you have to make a person want to interact with you.

Marta Debska

Saas Implementation Project Manager




Marketing Automation platform designed for SaaS, E-commerce and Digital Businesses: https://user.com/en/