How To Write Cold Emails That Convert [2020]

Receiving responses from a cold email is tough, especially when it’s always wrongly identified as spam.

Research shows that the average office worker receives 121 emails a day.

When the stakes are that high; what can you do to get noticed?

Luckily, we can teach you how to write emails that your prospects will love receiving.

From now on, in all your email marketing initiatives, you need not worry about users accidentally identifying you as spam.

Let’s get started!

Defining Cold Email

A cold email is an unsolicited message sent to your target audience that has had no prior relationship with you.

It’s much like cold calling, but less intrusive.

The business world is increasingly getting more competitive, so marketers like you can’t afford to sit around and wait to get noticed by your customers.

That is the primary purpose of a cold email. It is one way of letting your target audience know that you actually exist.

You may think that cold emails are dead, but on the contrary, we need them now more than ever.

As such, your cold email must entice your customers about your offering. Since they don’t know who you are and what you do, why would they be interested in the first place?        

Let’s break down the things you can do.

How It’s Done

A. Subject Line

You know what they say, first impressions matter.

It might be something as mundane as a cold email, but this rule still rings true.

Your subject line is one of the first things that your recipient is going to read, so it’s necessary to make it look and sound good.

35 percent of recipients open an email based on the subject line alone.

Poorly written subject lines can land you in the trash bin, or worse, it can make customers manually mark your email as spam.

That’s not pretty.

Here’s an example of a good subject line:

Notice how this subject line was straightforward, valuable, and enticing?

Who isn’t going to open and read an email that can teach them how to earn more money, right?

For marketers, you can also try using any of the following subject line samples:

  • Surprise! We have a free [item/product] just for you! This one is good for businesses that are giving away freebies as a marketing initiative. Everyone loves free items, so a subject line such as this one is sure to receive clicks.
  • We’re offering 50% off until [date]! Let them know that a deadline is looming! It might encourage them to take a look at what you have to offer.
  • [Name], are you tired of [problem]? If you can help your recipients with anything they struggle with, that email isn’t going to be left unread.


And while there are good subject lines, there are also bad ones.

Like this:

Image via

These are samples of subject lines that are too lengthy for the recipient to appreciate.

Subject lines like these make it difficult for the recipient to understand what you’re messaging about.

The result? Either you get sent straight to trash, or recipients manually mark you as spam.

When it comes to writing your subject lines, use the tips and techniques we mentioned above if you want your email to get opened.

B. Introduction/Opening

It is considered standard procedure to open emails with “Greetings, [name]!” or “Good day, [name]!”

Although these openings are standard, they’re not very useful.

Introductions should not exceed 2-3 sentences. This is a common mistake made by marketers because they include an in-depth (and quite lengthy) introduction about the company they’re working for.

People don’t have all day to read your email!

Don’t make the introduction about you, make it about the recipient.

Instead of talking about yourself, open the email with details about the prospect you’re sending it to. You can include what they do, what their achievements are, and why you’re interested in them.

This is a great example:

Image via

I especially like how the sender used a bit of flattery in their introduction.

It’s short, sweet, and straight to the point.

C. Value proposition

Your recipients don’t give a sh*t about who you are or how great your business is.

They’re only concerned about why they should even consider opening your email.

So once you’ve got your opening polished, the next thing you want to do is to propose a value.

We’ve previously discussed how important it is to provide value in your blogs, email newsletters, and calls to action.

You conduct cold emails because you want your target audience to become customers.

For that to materialize, you have to let them know how you can help them and why they should turn to you for help.

When you’re able to point out the things they struggle with (pain points!), you have a chance to get them on board.

In the example below, you’ll find that the sender of the email offered to take care of the recipient’s razor blade needs.

This is what it means to provide value.

First, identify what your prospects are struggling with. Once you’ve done that, come up with something that will help ease their burdens.

D. Personalization

When you send the same email to a thousand recipients, chances are you won’t get any responses.


Because you sound like an automated robot.

To avoid this, include specific details of the recipient, their company, or their line of work into your email.

This tells them that you actually did some research before reaching out rather than sending a mass email.

Although it’s standard procedure to write emails with generic sentence structures, this is often a monotonous and overused tactic.

The trick is to do a little bit of flattery and just the right amount of informal language; like a “me and you” sort of tone.

According to studies, personalized emails receive a 17 percent reply rate as opposed to non-personalized emails with only 7 percent.

Here’s a perfect example of a personalized email:

Image via

Notice how the sender included the recipient’s name in both the subject and opening lines.

He opens the email by introducing a new software platform for marketers (again, this is a value proposition at work).

From this email alone, you can already tell that Tyler has done some extensive research on Elise’s background before reaching out to her.

This is evident when he mentions that he has viewed her LinkedIn profile.

Her profile is ultimately what made him decide that she was the right person to connect with.

At its core, personalized emails make email marketers sound more human.

It also assures recipients that this isn’t just some random email that was sent to a hundred other people.

It might even make them feel special!

E. Call to Action

You’re almost there! A call to action is the last thing you’re going to write before hitting send.

Obviously, emails are delivered with an objective in mind.

And your call to action helps you achieve those objectives.

What do you want your recipients to do after they’ve read your email?

Do you want them to visit your website? Sign up for a contest? Give you a call?

Whatever it is, don’t ask for too much. Even a simple reply from your recipient is enough to let you know that they’re interested.

Here’s an example of a call to action that’s pretty simple and straightforward:

This CTA is direct and easy to do.

Again, most recipients won’t have time to thoroughly check your website or make a purchase right then and there.

And if you present them with a lengthy CTA, I guarantee that they’re going to lose interest.

Short and crips CTAs are the perfect way to end your cold emails.

F. Follow up

If people can read text messages and forget to reply, the same is true for cold emails.       

Forgetting to respond is quite common, so it won’t hurt to remind your recipients if you haven’t heard from them in a week or two.

However, following up on your cold emails must be done respectfully.

In other words, don’t be annoying!

Ideally, follow-ups must only be done once. If you follow up one too many times, I guarantee that recipients will block your email in no time.

Upon following up, don’t say something along the lines of “please reply as soon as possible” or “I need your response right away.”

This will give recipients the impression that your message is the most urgent thing they need to attend to. It’s not.

If a recipient hasn’t reached out to you in weeks, they’re probably not interested.

Instead of spamming them with follow up emails, move on to your next target.

The email below is an excellent example of a follow-up email that sounds respectful and professional:

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That’s everything you need to know about cold emails.

You might not get a response on your first try, but don’t give up! More responses will come as you continue to get better.

We can’t wait to see your leads and conversions grow with time!

While you’re here, we encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter for more useful content!

Do you have more advice to give? Let’s talk in the comments!


Bhangolai, Radhika (n.d). Freshworks. How to write a cold email that actually gets responses. Retrieved from

Patalas, Cathy (n.d.) Woodpecker. How to write a cold email that actually works: Six-step  tutorial (updated). Retrieved from 

Rampton, John (2018 Sept 14). Entrepreneur. How to write cold emails that quickly convert sales. Retrieved from

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