How To Write Cold Emails That Actually Get Read

Cold emails can help generate leads and build good relationships with prospective customers. The challenge is getting people to actually read them.

Data from Mailchimp reveals that the average open rate for emails is between 15.22 and 28.46% depending on the industry. Cold emailing is more challenging than other forms of communication for two reasons.

One, you have no relationship with the recipient, and they have probably never heard of you.

Two, there is no verbal feedback allowing you to tweak your approach in real-time if you realize you are losing the prospect.

That said, with the right strategies, cold emailing could work well for you. Read on for actionable tips on how to write cold emails that actually get read.

Use Short and Eye-catching Subject Lines

A study by Convince and Convert found out that 35% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone. In other words, by tweaking the subject line, you can get more than one-third of your prospects to open your email.

But what makes a good subject line?

The subject line should be short and precise. A short subject line could increase the open and response rate dramatically, according to this case study published on Fast Company. A short subject line piques the prospects’ interest without revealing too much.

When writing the subject line, consider the value you are proposing; what’s in it for the recipient? Additionally, make it about the prospect by personalizing the subject line. That way, the prospect will see that you planned to contact them, and they are not receiving an email sent to thousands of other people on your mail list.

One way of personalizing the subject line is by including the recipient’s name. A report from Adestra claims that including the recipient’s name in the subject line increases the open rate by 22.2%.

More importantly, make sure the subject line ties to the rest of the email. Do not use a clickbait subject line. Yes, you might get an impressive open rate. But most people will not reply, and some will even mark your address as spam.

Come Up With an Interesting Introduction

You have convinced the recipient to open your email through an intriguing subject line. Now, you only have a few seconds to persuade them to continue reading. Therefore, your introduction should be interesting and attention-grabbing.

Do not talk about yourself in the introduction. Let’s say you are pitching to someone at a dinner party. You wouldn’t start the conversation by talking about your company and your achievements. No, you would probably begin by validating yourself by talking about mutual friends or interests and wait for the right moment to start talking about what you would do for them.

The best way to begin a cold pitch is to talk about your prospect, their work, achievements, expertise, etc. For instance, start by talking about a recent news story about them or an award they recently received. In other words, flattery is the best way to grab someone’s attention, but do not overdo it.

Address Your Prospects’ Pain Points or Give Them Something They Need

After grabbing their attention in the introduction, give them something they want or address some of the challenges they face. But of course, you need a nice transition between your intro and value proposition.

The value proposition is all about addressing why they should respond, what is the point in you contacting them, and what’s in it for your prospect.

Avoid salesy language. An excellent cold email focuses on building a lasting relationship with a prospect rather than making a sale.

Providing value to the prospect means talking about how your product or service could benefit them. Personalize your value proposition by researching the prospect, identifying their challenges, and proposing how your product or service could help them. It helps to talk about the benefits of your products rather than the features.

You could talk about your products and services all day. But a cold email should be short. So focus only on those features that could benefit your prospect or address their pain points. You can do all that in less than 100 words; always assume your recipient is a busy person who does not have time to read a long email.

Personalize the Email

Personalized and targeted emails could increase the response rate significantly, according to this case study. In the experiment, the researchers sent 1000 emails to one of the busiest people they could think of and got a 45.5% open rate (double the maximum average open rate across all industries).

One of the most significant takeaways from the experiment was that personalizing cold emails, developing a targeted list, and researching your prospects ahead increases open and response rates dramatically.

Woodpecker also conducted a similar experiment, where they found out that advanced personalization resulted in a 17% response rate compared to 7% for emails with minimal personalization.

Personalizing an email might sound difficult, but it’s not. Address the recipient by name; it could be the company’s name or the individual in the company you are addressing. Perhaps the best way to personalize a cold pitch is by researching the recipient. What do they do, what challenges do they face, what are the latest products they have launched.

Once a recipient realizes you took your time to do a bit of research, they take you seriously, and they are more likely to reply.

End Your Pitch with a Call-To-Action

Your cold email is incomplete if it does not tell the prospect what they should do next. The whole point of pitching is generating leads, right? So, tell your prospects to do what you ultimately wanted them to do by pitching to them.

You could schedule a meeting to discuss further what you can do for them. However, avoid a big ask. Busy people will find it difficult to sacrifice 30-minutes of their time to a stranger. So, maybe include a link for them to get more information about your business.

A good CTA expresses the purpose of the email; it makes it clear to the recipient what you want them to do. It should also be short and precise, and it should not be more than one sentence.

But where will you include your contact information if the CTA is one sentence?

The best place to put your contact information is in the email signature. The signature can tell the recipient who you are and where they could find more information about your company. Including this information in the signature keeps the email short and recipient-focused.

Send Several Follow-up Emails

There is a high chance your prospects do not open or reply to your cold emails because you do not follow up. See, the people you are emailing receive multiple emails a day. So, they might forget to reply, or your email could get lost in the inbox. That’s why you should send follow-up emails.

When it comes to cold-pitching via email, the number of emails you send in a sequence determines the number of responses you are likely to get, according to Woodpecker’s research. Just one follow-up email can result in a 40% increase in response rate.

The more follow-up emails, the higher the response rate. 1 to 3 emails in a sequence have a 9% response rate compared to 27% for 4 to 7 emails.

But do not bombard your prospects with emails, or they will end up in the spam folder. Space out the emails, and remember to stop sending follow-ups when you get a response.