How to Write a Cold Email: 6 Tips You Need to Know
Writing a successful cold email is a kind of science.
From choosing the right prospects to include in your list, to crafting a catchy subject line and using the right call-to-action (CTA), finding success with your cold email campaign isn’t easy.
Although there are countless tips and pieces of advice out there on how to do it right, in the end, you have to depend on your intuition and good knowledge of your target audience.
After all, who knows your target audience better than yourself?
Below, you’ll find some tips on what to pay attention to and why.
Let’s take a look.
Tip #1: Define your target audience (and find the right contact information)
Obviously, the first thing you need to do is define your target audience.
When I say define, I don’t mean you should make a list of the characteristics of your ideal prospect.
You have to dive deep into really knowing your audience.
You may wonder why this is important.
According to research on 12 million outreach emails, Backlinko found that only 8.5% of them ever receive a response.
Only 8 Percent of All Emails Ever Get a Response
This means that the vast majority of cold emails get ignored.
Thus, it’s essential that you really do your homework to understand your target audience.
Only this way will you have a decent chance of getting a reply.
Moreover, something that we always recommend to all our users is to connect with the people they want to reach out to on social media before sending them an email.
This is why Respona finds the LinkedIn profile of all the contacts you’re trying to reach out to.
Sending an email out of the blue—regardless of how good your email actually is—isn’t nearly as good as connecting with your prospects first and interacting with them on a human level.
In other words, always try to get to know your audience before launching your cold email campaign.
Author’s Tip: In our recent post on PR outreach, we explain the process of doing research for your target audience (your prospects) when reaching out to them for media purposes or to promote your content. Be sure to take a look.
Tip #2: Write a catchy subject line
For a cold email to get read, you need a compelling subject line.
What does that mean?
Your subject line has to be descriptive but concise, while at the same time prompting the recipient to open the email.
For example, take a look at the following subject line from an email sent by Stefanos Bournias to Sujan Patel.
Having him reply to a cold email, even with a simple 2-line answer, is really important.
However, if you take a closer look at the subject line used by Stefanos to get a reply from Sujan, you’ll see that it is:
Short—Only three words in length.
Descriptive—With just three words, Stafanos explains exactly what he needs.
Appealing—It’s easy for anyone to understand that his name will be featured on. Sumo.com (one of the most well-known blogs on all things marketing).
Thus, it’s only natural that Stefanos got a reply to his cold email.
After all, the email wasn’t sales-y or anything.
The truth is that there isn’t any one formula when it comes to writing a good and catchy subject line.
Nonetheless, it seems that some of the things that work best are to a) keep it short, b) be descriptive about the purpose of your email and c) add a touch of personalization.
This brings us to our next tip. Shopify Owners on Mediafire
Tip #3: Add personalization
The study from Backlinko that we mentioned earlier found that personalization matters when it comes to cold email marketing.
In fact, personalized subject lines have a response rate of 21.8%, while subject lines without personalization have a response rate of 16.7%.
It’s much more than that.
You also need to keep in mind that personalization differs based on the type of cold email you’re sending.
For a content promotion email, personalization could mean saying something nice about a blog post that your prospect has published.
For a media outreach email, personalization could mean mentioning a podcast or show that your prospect has been featured on.
For a network email, personalization could mean mentioning a common friend or contact with the person you’re trying to reach.
For a sales email, personalization could mean mentioning something that your prospect has achieved professionally.
Thus, as is evident, personalization can take different forms even for the same type of cold email.
For us at Respona, personalization is the part of every campaign that comes at the end.
Let me share an example with you.
Let’s assume you’re preparing for outreach to a group of contacts with the goal of promoting one of your content pieces, this based on a piece of content they’ve previously published.
If you think about it, it would make perfect sense to include a part of their published piece of content in your email as a way to a) show appreciation for their work and b) show that you actually read their content piece.
This tactic is particularly useful—and can be really effective—when you’re reaching out for content promotion. cold email address list
Even though there are many ways to achieve personalization for your cold emails, it’s a step that you can’t afford to miss.
Tip #4: Add a strong (but not sales-y) CTA
What makes a strong CTA?
In my experience, it’s about presenting a clear path to your prospect.
It’s also about making it easy for your prospect to do what is that you’re asking of them.
For example, do you remember the cold email that Stefanos Bournias sent to Sujan Patel we mentioned earlier?
We mentioned it for its subject line, but let’s take a closer look at the CTA here.
Stefanos makes it super clear as to what he wants from Sujan.
He’s even using the exact words, “What I need from you:…”
Knowing what Stefanos needs, Sujan then gives an extremely clear and precise answer.
Thus, the CTA here makes it very easy to understand and respond.
The recipient of your cold email has to feel like they really don’t have to do much.
In other words, the action you want them to perform through that email should be simple and easy to do.
You have to follow the same logic with the CTAs you include, regardless of the type of cold email you’re sending.
Tip #5: Stay away from email templates
You heard that right.
Stay away from email templates.
Or, to put it better, add your own personal touch to the email templates (I know) you’re using.
Here at Respona, we have a ready-to-use library of email templates.
Create New Campaign With Respona Step 8 1
You can literally choose the one you want and make any adjustments that you see fit.
This means that we’re not against templates.
We’re against templates that “promise” open or response rates as though they work in every case and for every type of prospect.
Such promises are far from factual.
Interestingly enough, “cold email templates” (as a search term) is something that people are looking for online.
The fact that this term has an average Cost per Click (CPC) of $13.00 means that some people are bidding on that term.
Average CPC for Cold Email Templates
Of course, this also means that there are people who are actually interested in trying out those templates.
The problem isn’t in trying these templates.
It’s in believing that these templates will work wonders for you, regardless of other significant aspects of successful cold email outreach such as personalization.
Put simply, if you haven’t done your research, no template is going to get you the open or response rate you want.
Cold email outreach is the sum of different variables, and that sum can’t be equaled with a ready-to-use template.
Thus, I recommend that you use templates, but use them wisely, knowing that one template can’t—and in most cases won’t—save the day.
Tip #6: Don’t forget to follow up
According to the same research we mentioned earlier about adding a follow-up to your email sequence, “emailing the same contact multiple times leads to 2x more responses.”
Most people avoid using follow-up emails in their sequence because they consider them annoying.
However, if we think about it, sending emails to complete strangers (well, strangers until you make first contact) is kind of annoying.
Thus, you don’t need to view follow-up emails as a way of annoying someone.
Instead, you should see them as a way to increase your chances of getting a reply.
This is why in Respona, all email templates—to which you need to add your personal flavor, of course—include a follow-up email.
Create New Campaign With Respona Step 10 1
Of course, it’s one thing to send a kind reminder to your prospects and another to send email after email, hoping to get a reply.
Be respectful of people’s time and include a maximum of 2-3 follow-up emails.
More than this could harm your reputation and have the opposite effect to the one you were originally aiming for.
So there you have it.
You now know what cold emailing is all about.
You also know what types of cold email campaigns you can launch as well as how to create a successful cold email.
Even though there are many cold email templates you can use out there, you always have to maintain a personal tone in your emails.
Simply put, if you don’t personalize your emails, don’t expect to get replies.
All in all, try to use the tips I shared with you and make adjustments based on the type of outreach campaign you want to launch.
If you want someone to take an extra look at your cold emails before you hit the send button, feel free to share them with me and I’ll try to give you my feedback as soon as possible.