How to Write a Cold Email that Actually Works

a year ago   •   5 min read

By Zekeriya Mulbay

A cold email is perhaps the best form of communication to make initial contact with a potential customer.

You can have a product or service you are trying to sell to people – it could be a physical product, it could be a service you offer; or marketing such as SEO, web development, or web design (depending on your industry and/or target market) – anything.

Irrespective of this, it is a top strategy and an essential part of the marketing and sales process, and as a top salesperson, you must utilize it in your interest to the best of your ability to use all the platforms available, as different potential customers may be receptive to one in particular.

If you don’t know a single thing about cold emails then don’t worry. We will walk you through this.

What is a Cold Email?

You have probably experienced cold emails in your everyday life. A cold email is similar to a cold call; it is to arouse interest and set a hook, so they respond wanting to know more.

It may seem like an easy thing to do. However, effective cold emails can be a difficult thing to pull off.

Because you have to reach out to a person who in all probability knows next to little about your company/business, and you have to build a relationship with them – from strangers to business partners – after not having any prior relationship with the person.

And the number of business-related emails sent daily is inordinate. It can be a bit of a thorn in the side. So, it becomes difficult to stand out.

However, if you are serious about generating revenue and finding clients you absolutely need to get yourself involved in outreach, cold emailing is one of the mediums you need.

Preparations Before Sending

Writing cold emails that get responses is not an easy task. It’s fairly easy for anybody to type out an email, find an email address online, and click send.

However, it can be extremely difficult to solicit a response from your prospect and convert them into a lead. In order to achieve this, you must have a well-defined strategy before sending the email which will help them to get those high click-through rates. And receive the Telos, as the Greeks would call it, of all cold emails: a delighted response from a prospect.

We’ve curated these pieces of advice in order to help you get the most out of your next outreach campaign when sending cold emails to potential clients.

1. Identify the Right Person to Contact

The first strategy to consider before writing a cold email is determining your target audience and setting a parameter.

Be as specific as possible. Identifying the right audience will help you to segment your prospect list into more specific audience fragments. And matching with the right target segments can improve the response rate.

To illustrate, suppose you have developed some product A, which helps pharmaceutical companies in their work; that being the case, you would only focus on pharmaceutical companies only, to make sure you’re reaching the right people.

2. Research the Potential Client or Business

This is perhaps the most difficult part: creating a personalized peer-to-peer email that delivers high response rates. This demands that you research your online prospects. What their jobs are, their interests, what their company does, and so on…

Find that personal piece of information you can naturally reference. Show them you did your homework and you didn’t decide to contact them on a whim. Most likely, your customer already receives emails like this every day. Make a difference.

It is worth noting that one study found that personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%.

If you can master all of these basics, your business will be in a good position to meet potential clients.

Content of an Effective Cold Email

Grab the reader's attention with an eye-catching subject line. Once the email is in the inbox, it is the only key that elicits your prospect to open the Email. Poorly written subject lines that are not engaging enough are ignored by the recipient.

1. The Introduction of Email

The cold email introduction need not be longer than 2-3 sentences. Follow this approach with your email:

Hi [first name],
I came across [company name] on [blog], and I was quite impressed by [one thing you liked about the article].
We help companies like yours in [industry] to [domain]. I thought you might be interested too.
I’d love to learn a bit more about you and your company, are you free for a quick call or meeting sometime next week?
[Your name and email signature]

Note: You don’t need to introduce yourself. Your name comes up on the email before it’s opened and as well as your email footer/signature along with your company details.

2. Value Proposition

Include some value in your pitch. It states the reason you are contacting them and the value-proposition thereof.

3. Call-To-Action (CTA)

This is perhaps the most important part of the email. End your cold email with a call-to-action (CTA). If you desire a call or a meeting then be sure to include this part. A single sentence should suffice.

4. The Signature

The signature of your cold email is also important. This lets your recipients know your whereabouts, namely:

  • Who you are,
  • Where to find more information regarding you
  • What is your business
  • Make your email signature easy to read and there you have it. If you follow all these steps, you'll have a perfect cold email in your pocket.

The Dos and Don’ts of Cold Emailing


  • Start with the Subject Line

Getting the subject line right is half the battle won. So, make sure to spend some time perfecting the subject line, as it is worth it.

  • Personalize Content

Personalization shows that you’ve taken an interest in them. It will help you achieve a higher-than-average response rate.

  • Build Trust

To show that they have received an email through a credible source, you must show them you are trustworthy. To indicate this, you can add testimonials that testify to your work and strongly vouch for your credibility and trustworthiness.

  • Keep it Simple and Short

Be concise and direct. A well-drafted, concise cold email with all the right strategies applied, has a huge chance of soliciting a response.


  • Unresearched Email

Research your prospect and use their appropriate name in the opener. They are already receiving emails like this every day from others, so an unresearched email will just get you ignored and make you look mundane.

  • Don’t be Verbose

Keep the email succinct and direct, and avoid verbosity.

  • Don’t be Pushy

Cold email is about building a relationship with the prospect. Being pushy would throw them off.

Ready to Start?

No one was born an online business conversationalist expert. But it is important to know the proper game plan if you want to have a higher-than-average response rate in your outreach campaign while avoiding potential virtual faux pas.

If you nail all of these basics with regard to the proper etiquette of sending a cold email, you will be in a favorable position.

Need more ideas about how to run your business in the world of freelancing? Check out our other articles and web tools!

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