Cold emails that people read

Cold emails that get you warm welcomes

You know how much time a person spends in their email?

Anywhere from 2.5 to 4 hours...a day.

Inboxes are crowded, sure, but it’s still one of the best ways to reach someone.

Which brings us to cold emailing. It’s hard. It requires a lot of research and effort. And you get a lot of nos. But if you target the right people, in the right way, it works. This edition focuses on the right way part of that equation.

By the way, we’re talking about cold emails here, not spam. The world has enough crap in it-- don’t spam potential clients. 💩

First things first, make sure they open your email 📬 #

If the subject line doesn’t intrigue them, they won’t even get to your email. What a waste.

To prompt an open:

  • Make the subject very specific

  • Mention a value, pain point, or connection

  • Write a minimum of 3 variations, to think through your options

Remember, you’re not writing a marketing subject line here. You’re writing to a specific person, for a specific reason. Clue them into that. Steli Efti, from, points out “The worst subject lines are the ones that are written like generic ads.” We’re talking lines like You’re not going to believe this! 👎Your reader already has 30 promos sitting in their inbox. Don’t look like another one of those.

Hello, [first name]! 👋 #

In your greeting, use the person’s first name, with the correct spelling. Don’t do a generic “hello” or “hello [first name][last name],” or you’re going to look like spam. 👻

And be careful with copy and paste. Email clients will format pasted text in a different color. Unless you’re going for the whole ransom-note effect, double-check this.

Why you’re bothering to show up #

Get to your point quickly and avoid pointless platitudes (e.g. “It seems like you’re growing quickly!”). Most email clients display the first part of an email in the inbox. So your first sentence shouldn’t be worthless, and it shouldn’t sound like a tv ad. 📺

Skip the self-indulgent intro. Seriously. Only talk about you if it’s in relation to them, how you solve their problem, or what value you can add.

Prove you have a brain, not a hard drive. 🤖Can you mention a post they did recently? Are you a customer? Have you interacted with them on Twitter? Throw something out there to verify you’re real, and you’ve done your research.

Why should they care...? 💬 #

Make one or more benefits crystal clear. To be frank, this person has never met you and has zero incentive to care about you. So, what’s in it for them? Make that obvious.

Drive toward one specific and relevant request. It’s important you choose one--and only one--request. More asks will dilute your email and hurt your chances of a response.

Make sure your request is reasonable. Asking a busy person for an entire hour of their time is a huge deal. (How many hours do you have to spare? 🙇) Be bold, but considerate. Try 10 minutes instead.

Make it easy for them to respond--really easy. Set up your email so that it requires one word (“yes”) or sentence (“that time is great”) in response.

Cheers, 🍻 #

Use an email signature that verifies you’re real person. Include a link to your website, social media, photo...anything that supports the fact that you’re human, and this isn’t spam. 😁

Finally, if it’s appropriate (do your research!), throw in a humorous postscript or a gif.

Oh, and don’t forget... 🔔 #

Set a reminder to follow up. Use your CRM or ask Siri. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself send one email to this prospect and call it a day. You’ve worked way too hard for that.

You won’t get a “yes” to every email, and that’s okay. But if you’re smart about the cold emails you send, and you’ve generated some high-quality contacts, you’re in for more sales.

Also worth reading 👀 #

Got the basics down and need some examples? These links have you covered: