A good cold email should be short, powerful, and intriguing to the audience that it’s aimed at. That’s why each part of the message should be meaningful and communicate a specific point.
However, that’s easier said than done. Most people have an idea of what a cold email is or at least what kind of an email they have to write in order to get a high response rate. But most of us have difficulty writing that kind of message without previous experience or a tutorial on how to.
That’s why this article will be aimed at explaining what a cold email is and giving you a few tips on how to create one.
Let’s get started.
What is a Cold Email?
Cold emails are normally used to start or maintain business relationships. They’re a way to begin a business conversation in the virtual world we live in nowadays.
Let me give you an example. Normally, in the real world, you would have a salesperson that promotes your company to new customers by attending conferences, going to potential stores that might show an interest in your product, or just talking at events related to the sector.
The cold email serves the same purpose. It’s a means to start a conversation virtually. Normally, it’s a message that you send to someone who doesn’t know anything about your product or company but might be interested in learning more. Its main purpose is not to get an immediate conversation started, but more so to begin building a business relationship, little by little.
6 Steps to Writing a Good Cold Email
Learning how to write a good cold email isn’t an overly complicated process. You just need to learn and follow a few simple steps and you will be able to produce a great starter message at any time.
Step 1: Fix the “from” Line
It may come as a surprise to you; however, the “from” part of a cold email is almost as important as the body. That’s because it shows the recipient exactly whom the email came from and thus affects the first impression that the message makes. It can largely affect whether someone decides to open your e-mail or not.
Remember, the recipients don’t know your company. You’re a stranger to them and they will likely be suspicious of your message. One of the first things they will look at is the “from” line. It may earn their trust or it might scare them off. For that reason, it’s good to put thought into what it will look like.
Let’s check out some possible “from” lines that you can use:
- First name (John)
- First + Last name (John Sawyer)
- First + Last name, Title (John Sawyer, Head of Marketing)
- First name + Company name (John at Camberlion.com)
- First and Last name + Company name (John Sawyer at Camberlion.com)
Another thing you have to consider when choosing the right “from” line for your cold outreach campaign is the kind of message you plan on sending to your target group. That being said, there are a couple of rules that you can follow in order to choose the best “from” line to help you achieve your goals. Here are some of them:
- Stay consistent: use the same tone and style as you do in the body of your email. If you are formal, stay that way and use first and last name + company name; if you’re informal, just use the first name.
- Think about your audience’s perspective: consider what you would like to see in your inbox if you were in their place and what style of communication is likely to spark your interest. Try to write that way from your “from” line.
- Consider whom your prospects would want to talk to: don’t follow just any advice you find on the internet. Try to really think about whom your potential partners would like to talk to and then put that information to use and edit your “from” line.
Now, these are just the first three basic rules that can give you an idea of what to write. However, if you still need help, you can try looking for some templates for “from” lines on the internet.
Step 2: Write a Great Subject Line
Cold emails are often referred to as intro emails and the subject line is often what can make the recipient open and read the message that was sent in the first place. That’s why it needs to be great.
If you send an email with a badly written subject line, it may create a negative bias towards your company and thus might make the recipient delete the email or, even worse, make the recipient mark it as SPAM.
Such situations can be avoided if you stick to these rules:
- Think about your audience: what would they like to read in the subject line; how may this email benefit them; what can you write to spark their curiosity?
- Make it personal: remember, the subject line is not for self-promotion. It’s the opposite, really; it’s where you should prove to the recipient that you’re not a spammer that sends thousands of marketing emails to random mailing lists.
- Sound like a human: avoid using templates, cliches, and being too “salesy”. Instead write a subject line that’s intriguing, friendly, and has a casual vibe to it. Think about how you would write an email to one of your colleagues and use that tone of voice.
- Be intriguing: make sure you interest the audience; don’t give away everything at the start.
- Make sure it ties in with the rest of the email: this one is self-explanatory: the subject line should be connected to the rest of your message.
If you still have questions as to how a subject line should sound, here are some examples:
- Have you thought about …?
- Do you want to scale up X?
- Here’s a more efficient way to do X.
A pattern that you can notice in all subject lines is that they follow the three “need” patterns. They try to talk about what the audience may need to improve, need to change, or need to innovate. Touching on what the audience cares about and has an interest in is vital to creating a great subject line.
Step 3: Start the Cold Email with a Clever Introduction
Getting done with the “from” and subject lines is being halfway done with the email. However, the biggest question most people have is how to start email writing, especially the text of the body.
Most people wonder how to capture the attention of the audience and how to keep their interest. It’s a difficult job and it requires some practice, but it’s not impossible to write a good cold email.
Here are some good guidelines to follow:
- The introduction shouldn’t be longer than two or three sentences. It should not refer to your company and product, but to the recipients’ expertise, achievements, and work. That will help you catch their attention.
- Don’t overdo the flattery and don’t be a stalker.
- Try to use the first few sentences to either ask about the problems the recipient may be having or to give them advice on how to fix problems you’ve already noticed.
- Make sure they know you’re deliberately contacting them and it’s not just a marketing email you sent to multiple people.
In order to be able to follow the above-listed rules, you need to make sure you’ve researched the audience you’re emailing beforehand. That will make your writing process easier.
Step 4: Show that You Bring In Value
This is the part of the email where you tell the recipients what you want to tell them or you give them the so-called pitch.
So the question is, how do you write a cold email pitch?
Well, the first rule is that it doesn’t have to be too pitchy. You want the text to be slightly personal with a subtle hint for a pitch. Mainly, you want the cold email to serve as a conversation starter and to pique the interest of the recipients, not to make them think you’re just the next marketing spammer in their inbox.
In order to do that, the body of your email should have the recipient at its core – what value can you bring to the table, what problems could you help solve? If you give the recipient that, you will also be giving him or her a reason to reply to your mail.
Step 5: End the Email with a Call-to-action
You’ve almost reached the end of the email. Now, you just need to finish things off with a good call-to-action that will tell your recipients exactly what you were persuading them to do with this email. That may be anything: scheduling a Skype call, giving you feedback, replying to the email, and more. Just keep it simple and straightforward.
The main things that you have to remember about your CTA are the following:
- It has to express the point of your email. It should clarify the whole idea behind this communication with a single sentence.
- Be straightforward. Don’t be blurry; don’t use too many words; just get straight to the point.
- Ask for something your recipients can do immediately. The action should be simple to do and shouldn’t require a lot of time to be completed.
Step 6: Make Sure Your Cold Email Signature is on Point
The signature is often ignored or totally forgotten. However, it is a part of the message and it does matter. It tells our recipients who you are, what you do, and where they can find more information about you and your company.
More than that, a good signature can help you shorten the body of the email and make it more precise. Here are a few tips that you can follow in order to write the perfect signature:
- Be sure that it looks trustworthy: people are suspicious of emails from strangers. The last thing you should do is make them doubt you further.
- If you use HTML, make sure it’s clean: a messy HTML signature may cause you more harm than good. Sometimes it causes deliverability issues or it can mess up the text-to-HTML ratio. If you don’t have a professional that can help you with that, it’s better to stick to a good, old-fashioned signature.
- Only valuable information should be included: remove all of the information that just takes up space, but doesn’t bring any value to the reader.
That being said, try to spend at least 10 minutes polishing your signature before sending your first cold email.
What is the Ideal Length for a Cold Email?
One of the hardest things you have to figure out about cold messaging is the length. The truth is the email should be short, no more than 200 words or two to five sentences.
If you really want to intrigue someone, you don’t need more than that. Almost no one likes reading long emails and that’s even more true when it comes to emails from strangers. That’s why you should keep it short and clean.
How to Follow Up on a Cold Email
The truth is that even if you write the best cold email on the planet, there’s still a chance that you won’t get a response. Sometimes, e-mails get missed or skipped or people forget to reply back. That’s completely normal, but it’s also why you should always write follow-up emails.
The most optimal strategy is to send at least two or three cold emails. However, try to not make the e-mails sound like follow-ups; instead create them to look like separate messages. If the first one doesn’t work, try a different strategy from the other ones by adding an extra link, attaching a free guide, or inviting them to a webinar.
Writing good cold emails is a skill every businessman needs to develop. They are a terrific way to start a business relationship with a target audience that may have never known about your company otherwise.
With the advancement of software, there are now plenty of applications that generate cold e-mails and their follow-ups quickly and efficiently, so that your only role is to do quality control on the work and not actually spend the time crafting the text and sending the message.