How To Write Cold Emails That Convert

by | Mar 26, 2019


Cold emails tend to sound fantastic in your own mind. 

You put serious time into drafting the perfect email. It’s simply destined to convert.

You hit Send and … nothing. No reply. Total silence. What went wrong?



Well, usually there’s a few issues.

More often than not, these revolve around telling the wrong story to a prospect that wasn’t actively seeking a solution to the problem you’re pitching to solve.

The positive news is that cold emails can work. A study of 488 buyers and 489 sellers conducted by the RAIN Group found that top sales prospectors generate 2.7x meetings than the rest. Get the critical elements right and that might be you!

So, how can you take your cold email game to the next level?


Prospecting content for success

Source: Hubspot



1. Personalise the email


If your email just looks like it came straight from a template, you’re in trouble. It’s painfully obvious to recipients, especially those that get a lot of sales email, when you’ve simply replaced their name, company and industry from another email.

Be sure to include content that’s unique to the prospect or their business to show you’ve done your research. This can be simple as giving kudos to a recent press release, social media post or blog post.



2. Be specific about the offer


It’s fine to have plenty of products and services to sell, but you simply can’t afford to be generic when it comes to cold email. Pick the specific thing you can offer – based on researching the prospect – that’s most likely to solve an important pain point for them.

Make it clear what problem you’re solving and how your product does it. Your goal is to be highly relevant to the prospect.

Sure it’s tempting to make general statements about what you can do. It’s the old ‘cast a wide net and you’re bound to catch a fish’ thinking. But sadly a wide net won’t help if you’re fishing in the wrong spot to start with.

The more generic the pitch, the higher the likelihood that your prospects thinks: ‘Well, I already know a bunch of people (and trust them already!) that can do that…’



3. Demonstrate your credentials


Cold emails are often associated with early stage businesses. With minimal marketing budget, they need to adopt low-cost tactics such as email marketing.

If you’re using cold emails in a more established business, then flaunt your credentials!

Show proof points or results, such as notable clients, testimonials or reviews, and you’ll get instant credibility with the prospect. Never assume they’ll be interested enough in your email (or have the spare time) to bother checking out your website.



4. Walk in the recipient’s shoes


Above all, it’s worth putting yourself in your prospects’s shoes. Consider: How would I react if I received this?

If you’re simply too close to the content and can’t be objective, then get someone you trust to read it and provide feedback.

Other considerations before firing off your email include:

  • Could the reader interpret my words differently to what I intended?
  • Is there any technical jargon that needs to be reworded?
  • Are there any typographical errors or readability issues?
  • Am I going to turn off prospects with something that sounds too good to be true?
  • Do I sound spammy?
  • Have I used a subject line that’s relevant?


5. Follow up … more than once 


People get a ton of email and yours may get lost in a sea of others. While it’s easy to make excuses and move onto the next prospect, the fact is that many people simply don’t get to it straight away and need some gentle prodding.

A report from Velocify on the optimal email strategy recommends following up four more times over a three-week period.

The optimal number of email messages to increase conversion during the first month of a prospect’s lifetime is five.



If cold email forms part of your marketing plan (and whether it should is a whole other topic!), making these improvements should see your conversion rate lift in no time.


Are there call emails that have ‘worked’ on you? What was it that stood out or caused you to take action?



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