How to Write a Cold Email that Works

The Email Etiquette Series is all about writing emails that people love to read. Today’s blog post is about some key pointers for writing effective content for a cold email. 

So, what is a cold email and what is it used for? If you have heard of the term ‘cold calling’ you know that it refers to calling a prospective client who isn’t aware of your business, without any prior communication with them. A cold email is about the same concept but, as the name suggests, involves sending emails instead. Cold emails are considered less intrusive than cold calls, simply because the recipient can choose to view/read the emails at their own convenience.

The objective of a cold email is to talk about your product or brand with prospective clients so that they develop interest and might end up becoming your clients/customers. However, the purpose of a cold email is not sales alone, but also creating brand awareness. In this article, we shall look into how you can draft cold emails that catch the attention of the recipient and lead to more conversions. So, let’s get started!

1] Focus Your Attention on the Subject Line

The subject line is the first thing to focus on while writing any business email and cold emails are no different. In fact, when you are emailing a list prospects who are likely to have no prior knowledge of your business, a good subject line becomes all the more crucial in order to create that all-important first impression.

The subject line should grab the recipient’s attention for all the good reasons and make them want to read the email. The trick here is to avoid making it sound like a sales pitch. Here are some examples

  • Are you facing these challenges?
  • [First Name], what would you do with an extra $2000?
  • Just saw your comment on [industry blog]
  • Congrats! Just saw you featured on [leading business website or print media]

2] Personalize the Email

Whenever I read about business emails, I come across this piece of advice to add a touch of personalization to your emails. You can do that by addressing the recipient(s) by their first name instead of something like ‘Hello Sir’ or even worse, ‘To whomsoever it may concern’. If possible, you should try and add the recipient’s first name in the subject line itself (that increases the open rate) as well as the opening greeting. Other small details like the company name and designation can also show that you’ve done your homework.
It is recommended that you take the personalization thing a step further by tweaking your email content to cater to every individual’s requirements. A great idea is to place the names on your list into categories and cater to each category in a different way. 

3] Add Statistics & Social Proof to Add Value

Data speaks volumes and a few statistics can add more value to your purpose of writing the email than writing lines and lines ever can. You should understand that business decision makers rely on data to make decisions and so you should not miss out on providing them with the data. A stat on how a company increased their profits or reduced cost by a significant amount is a great idea, say experts.

Social proof is another thing that grabs attention and makes people think twice. Testimonials are a great way to add that element of social proof to your brand.

4] Keep it Short & Simple

When you run a cold email campaign, remember to value your recipient’s time with a crisp email that drives straight to the point without beating around the bush. Nobody likes to read long emails anyway and when it comes to people you’re communicating with for the first time, too many words are a strict no-no! Restrict the email body to a few lines and proofread it again and again to ensure that every word that’s there is of value.

5] Give Options for them to Get in Touch

It’s very important for your cold email to have contact details so that your prospects can get in touch with you if they are interested in your business or like your product. Make sure you add as many contact details as possible. Don’t forget to include a link to your website as well as links to the various social media pages. Make it a point to add your phone number and email address and also allow the recipient(s) to schedule a convenient time should they wish to call you.

The Final Word
Drafting a cold email should not be difficult if you get the basics right. Refer to the blog  Which Points to Focus on Writing a Business Email for the basic pointers on writing an effective business email and apply them. Before you start writing the content, make sure you have a list of prospects who would be interested in your product/service. Focus on your target audience as getting the list correct is almost half the job done. Let us know your experiences of writing a cold email in the comment box below.

Up Next on the Email Etiquette Series: How to Write Effective Follow-Up Emails for Business

About Author

Mukulika Mukherjee is the Sr. Content Writer at The Digital Group with a love for all things tech, besides a passion for the written word. In a career spanning over 5 years, she has penned numerous articles, blog posts and media releases. Her work is primarily focused on the IT industry, including software products, tech companies and start-ups, digital marketing, and more.
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