Warm It Up: How To Craft An Effective Cold Email

March 31, 2015

Cold emailing your ideal customers can be an effective way of getting on their radar. Though many people feel cold email is SPAM, that is not the case– cold emailing is much more than that spam from many reasons, but most importantly, it’s personalized.

When executed correctly, cold emailing potential leads and prospects can be a very effective way to grow your business.

So where do you start, and how do you know that you’re cold email attempts aren’t getting frozen? Here’s how to warm up your cold email efforts.

Why Cold Emails

Cold email is a legitimate driver of business. I’ve built multiple businesses using this tactic.

Like most people, cold calling is just not something I enjoy doing. I like the idea of cold emails being a relatively hands-off lead generating channel once you have the systems in place.

Since cold emailing can be highly scalable, it allows you to test out your ideas if you are pre-launch, and it can help you get new customers directly if you are post-launch.

What To Include In Your Cold Emails

Personalize as much as possible with your cold emails to get the best response. If you are doing cold email at scale, you will probably only be able to reference the person’s industry.

However, if your targeted list is only 100 or so prospects, than you need to personalize much more.

Check out their LinkedIn profiles for information you can refer to. Google their name/company to see if they’ve been featured in any articles and reference that in your introduction. Use as much as you can to personalize things when you have a smaller list of prospects.

Try to always close with a question. This response helps your engagement rates and ensures you can keep delivering emails to your prospecting list. In addition, it opens the dialogue for further discussion which should be done over the phone.

Make sure your emails have your business address and phone number. Not only does this comply with CAN-SPAM laws, but it also helps build trust.

Have a P.S. underneath your signature that lets them know if they don’t want to get another email from you, they can just reply and let you know. This does two things. One, it ensures you comply with CAN-SPAM by offering an opt-out, but it also helps your engagement numbers when that response comes in.

What To Avoid When Cold Emailing

There’s a lot of people doing cold email wrong. By this, I mean they have too much self-promotional content in their emails. You need to try and replace every “I” and “we” with “you.” Turn your features into their benefits. Share how you can help provide solutions to their challenges.

Avoid using the first line on a pointless introduction. The first line is what most people will read since it shows up in their preview panes in their inbox as well as on their smartphone.

The most common cold email strategy is like a hit and run. You send that first email, but you don’t bother following up. This limits your opportunities tremendously.

When you follow-up, the person you emailed realizes he wasn’t just one of 300 people getting email (even though they might have been).

When you do follow-up, keep your original email subject line intact and add “Re:” to the front of it.

For example, you might have a subject line of “Live Chat for Your Website” if you were pitching them a live chat solution. Your follow-up subject line should be “Re: Live Chat for Your Website” so that the person reading the emails knows this is in response to a previous email you sent them.


No matter how good of an email you create, you need to remember that you need to create your follow-up messages and actually send them. Your competitors are most likely stopping after the initial send, so take that opportunity to stand out.

For further education, I highly recommend Aaron Ross’s book Predictable Revenue.

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