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How to Write Cold Emails that Get Responses: 6 Tips That Work

The only way your cold emails will get responses is by crafting an engaging, useful and short offer that provides real value to the reader. Seeing how there are so many bad emails circulating at all times, in order to differentiate yourself from them, you need to be better. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to craft authentic emails people will want to read and respond to. Our 6 tips work for a variety of industries and can help you sell more products and services. 

Target the right person

If your cold emails end up in the wrong inbox, it’s highly likely they’re not getting opened. Before you start working on your email copy, you need to create an email list. Make sure you go about this legally, by respecting GDPR and other rules. 

target the right person

It’s important to send your emails to people that can actually benefit from your solution. There is no need to waste your time by trying to send your email to as many people as possible. 

You need to target the decision-makers in the companies you're trying to work with. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should always aim for the CEO, but rather the leader of a specific team that correlates to your solution. 

If you’re offering a sales solution, reach out to the head of sales, on the other hand, if you offer an accounting tool, reach out to the head of accounting. The best way to find the right person is by searching LinkedIn. 

You can find employees of a specific company and their email addresses. The more information you have, the more you can personalize your content. A customized message holds more power and helps people connect to your company. 

Research shows that 71% of consumers expect personalized marketing in their inboxes, which is a great incentive for putting in more effort.

We know that in the past cold emails meant sending every contact on your list the same email and waiting for responses. However, today people expect more from cold emails. Make sure you meet your potential client’s needs by knowing what they like before you start creating an email strategy. 

Spend time on your subject line

Your subject line is the equivalent of a first impression. It can help you increase your opening rates and help you get your foot in the door. 

If your subject line is weak, boring or looks spammy, your recipients won’t have a single reason to open or read your email. 

When creating your subject line, stick to these rules: 

  • Keep it short - research shows that subject lines that are 6-10 words long have the best opening rates
  • Make sure it’s relevant
  • Keep it about them and not you
  • Make it engaging
  • Personalize it
  • Make it intriguing
  • Call out a problem they’re facing
  • Avoid sounding too salesy or too much like a bot

As we’ve already said before, the more information you have on your readers, the more you can personalize your email. Maybe they need help with managing a remote team or are looking for a way to scale their business. 

Use that information and your emails will get responses. On the other hand, if you don’t have any type of data, you can still make sure to name the recipient or their company in the subject line. 

Once you create an interesting subject line you believe your readers will happily click on, think about conducting A/B testing. This means that you send out the same email with different subject lines and monitor which subject line has the better opening rate and a better click-through rate. 

This will provide you with great insight into how to craft future subject lines and email campaigns. 

Seeing how people change their habits, make sure to periodically test out new subject lines, instead of staying in your comfort zone. 

Avoid looking like spam

People want to buy from people. That’s why it’s important to keep your emails light and try to make the whole process enjoyable for the readers. Moreover, if Google thinks you’re a bot spamming people, your emails won’t find their way to your readers’ inboxes. 

The way to avoid this is by using correct email headers. Make sure your emails are sent from a real person and sign all of them. If you send your emails from a sketchy-looking domain, it will turn people away. 

spam emails

Cold emails that get responses are usually sent out from a white-listed domain. Also, try and start your emails by greeting the individual recipients. That will build your credibility. You can use merge tags to help you out. It’s important to personalize the starting points of your emails to help with your opening rates. 

Have you tried using emojis in your content? While there are some sources on the internet claiming that it increases negative sentiment towards your emails, the percentage is dismissable. The important factor in this is your industry. 

Depending on who is in your target audience, you could creatively insert emojis in your subject lines to convey an emotion, just like responding to comments on Instagram.

If you choose to use emojis in your subject lines, make sure you don’t go overboard. A list of 10 different emojis will make it seem like a bot wrote your content. 

Also, make sure your subject line is relevant to the content of the email, as well as to your readers. If you use this short opportunity to talk about yourself, your readers will lose all interest. 

Lastly, stay away from panic-inducing subject lines like 

Your company will go down if you don’t do this!

A quick fix that will stop your client’s from jumping ship!

Offer value in your pitch

Once your subject line intrigues the reader enough to open your email, it’s up to your pitch to seal the deal. 

add value to your sales pitch

So how can you create a great pitch?

Well, the key is simple - focus on the benefits, not the features or your company. In order for people to buy your product or subscribe to your service, they need to understand how exactly can you help them and their company. 

You need to outline the specific benefits, like increasing sales by a certain percentage, increasing productivity and such. Make sure to use numbers as well as real stories from previous clients. 

The best way to connect to a brand is through other clients. That’s why a well-placed summary of a case study or user review will go a long way. It will help your readers build trust in you and increase your credibility. 

If you put the reader in the focus of your writing, they will get more value from your cold email. That’s why it’s important to put yourself in their shoes and try to understand what they would like to read about. 

The best way to show your expertise is to not be desperate. Don’t be too salesy in your approach. The less pressure you put on the reader to commit, the better your conversion rate will be. 

Make sure to seamlessly integrate your pitch into the email, so that it reads like a story. The storytelling aspect is important in sales since it lets you present your solution in a way that’s organic and native to the platform. 

Think of your email as a recommendation of a product or service, instead of a hard sales pitch. That way, you'll create cold emails that get responses.

Keep it short but impactful

No one has time to read long emails that ramble on and on. Since you’re sending cold emails, i.e., your potential clients aren’t expecting them, you need to be able to pitch your solution in a condensed way. 

Try to keep your email close to 200 words. Make sure that every sentence brings value to the reader, meaning - avoid fluff. If you have trouble with that, write everything down and start editing once you have all the information written. 

It’s the best copywriting tip we have for people struggling with condensing their content. Write drunk and edit sober. If you rethink every sentence as soon as you write it, your writing process will drag out and you’ll spend too much time on your emails. 

Another reason why it’s important to keep your cold emails short is that you are using them only to incentivize the reader to follow through with your call to action. The content of your email is not what you want people to spend a lot of time on, rather you want them to download a free e-book, test out your service, buy a product or else. 

If you create a long cold email with multiple CTAs, you’ll confuse your readers. Limit their options by having only one CTA. That way, you’ll also be able to easily analyze your success rates. By knowing what works best for your audience, you’ll be able to confidently build your email campaigns. 

Lastly, make sure you’re respectful to your audience. Cold emails that get responses often state how busy the other person is. Taking even minutes of someone's time is a big ask, so don’t go overboard with your email length or the things you’re asking your audience to do. 

Offer a demo

Everybody likes free products and trials. That’s why it’s a good idea to offer a demo and a free trial of your product or services to your potential customers. 

By experiencing your solution for themselves, people can understand the exact benefits you can bring them. 

Try filming a short demo in which you showcase how your product or service works and can help business owners sell more. It’s a lot more impactful than just using your words, meaning this way you can convert more people. 

You can create different videos for different types of clients, focusing on specific features and benefits. The more you can zero in on your audience, the better. 

Once you get to the finishing stages of your cold email, we suggest you make your CTA a free trial. 

There are 3 huge reasons free trials work:

  • They let people see exactly what they would get from your service. Once they test it out, their purchasing decision is more informed and they are more comfortable with your company. This is a great way to start a business relationship and sets you up for success.
  • Since free trials are automated, this means you don’t have to do a lot of manual work once someone registers. That leaves more time for you to focus on people in the higher stages of your sales funnel.
  • If you use them correctly - meaning put a time limit on them, they work amazingly at attracting people and incentivizing them to buy. Just as your clients realize that they can’t go back to a time before they discovered your company, you cut off the free trial and ask them to commit to buying.

    The best cut-off time is 2 weeks. It gives your clients enough time to discover different features, as well as experience some benefits. 

Wrapping up 

Cold emails can provide you with amazing results, as long as you know how to get responses. You need to spend some time on your content, as well as your subject line and invest effort in finding the right people to send your emails to. 

If you’re looking to level up your cold email campaigns, take a look at our free templates. They are beautifully designed and help you present your offer in a short yet impactful way. All of our proposal templates come with a digital signature as well as a payment option. 

This means that your clients can agree to your terms and conditions by signing their names directly, without the need to print anything out. With an easy PayPal, Stripe or GoCardless integration, your clients can settle the first fee, or pay your subscription in a quick and easy way. 

Our documents come with analytics which show you when your proposals were opened, and forwarded, how much time the reader spent on a specific section and more. The more information you have, the more empowered your follow-up process will be. 

Vanja Maganjic's profile image
Vanja Maganjic is an experienced writer with a unique passion for creating content that helps brands connect with their customers. She believes in brands that stand up to the man and thinks that storytelling is an essential part of what makes us human. Her long term goal is to become the cool auntie that gives out family-sized Kit Kats on Halloween.