How to Write Cold Emails that Convert


How to Write Cold Emails that Convert

Here’s How to Write Cold Emails That Convert

When it comes to cold emailing, there is an ongoing debate in the marketing community – an elephant in the room: Is cold emailing an effective way to generate sales? Do they get opened, do they get read, and do they convert?

The answer is YES

Here is the low-down on refining your cold email act so that it delivers that one metric you need more than anything- sales!

First Up: How Not to Write a Cold Email!

Before we jump into how to write cold emails, let’s talk about the ineffective marketing techniques – the real culprits of cold mailing failure. This section will help you stay far away from these common mistakes when you send cold emails.

How to Write Cold Emails that Convert 1
Photographer: John Matychuk | Source: Unsplash


  • Ignore research – Knowing your target audience before drafting or even planning your cold email campaigns is critical.
  • Send generic, non=personalized emails
  • Send cold emails randomly without a planned schedule
  • Ignore feedback. The feedback you get from analytics will help you change and modify to impact your customers in the best possible way

Writing Cold Emails That Work!

Don’t worry. Now that you know what NOT to do, here is a handy, step-by-step breakdown that will simplify the whole process for you.

#1: Get Clear About Your Target Audience

Your target audience is not just the ones you want to sell to, but those people who will truly stand to benefit from your offering. A few data points that can help you in your search are psychographics like the interests, aspirations, motivations, and fears of the audience in question. This is apart from the obvious ones like location, demographics and job roles.

#2: Map Each Target Persona to Their Pain Points

Once you’ve identified the audience you want to reach, the next step is to map each target persona to the pain point(s) they experience, ones that your product or service can help alleviate! This will give you a great starting point when you begin writing a cold email. By focusing first on their pain point, rather than your offering, you ensure that audience attention is retained and your target audience is motivated to keep reading your email.

How to Write Cold Emails that Convert 3
Photographer: Capturing the human heart. | Source: UnsplashPhotographer: Capturing the human heart. | Source: Unsplash


Here are a few templates you can use to connect to your audience:

    1. Every CMO complains that their cold emails have a mediocre opening rate. {OurCompany} uses tool XYZ to ensure 30% more email engagements and sales by doing this :
    2. Did you know that you are losing about $50,000 annually in unnecessary overhead? {OurCompany} provides a free audit so you can stop leaking cash and start putting your money where you want it to go
    3. Over 90% of our clients have had the best year ever because our program has doubled its sales with our practical course…

#3: Call to Action Pointers

Once you’re keyed into your target audience’s pain point(s), it’s time to get clear about two things: what you’re asking them to do, and what you’re offering in return. This step will help you structure your email in the most effective way possible – by keeping an eye on the goal which is your ask and enticing them enough with your offer.

Your CTA should be clear, easy-to-follow, and carried throughout all your engagement pieces. Across the board from email to a landing page, website, and pop-ups carry your CTA message to “DO IT NOW” should be everywhere.

Design is equally important. Choose colors that grab attention and fit your branding. Always look at things from your buyers’ perspective. Use this handy CTA checklist to get it right:

  • Action
  • Persuasive
  • Visually Strong
  • Sense of Urgency
  • Easy to Locate
How to Write Cold Emails that Convert 5

#4: Email Lists – Lead Generation

Use LinkedIn, an email scraping tool or the like to get hold of the all-important email addresses to reach your prospects through. Social media profiles and company websites are some of the other great resources where you will find your target audience’s email addresses displayed.

Here are some TOP tools we love to use:

  • Lead Gen Agency – one of THE best tools you can use is an agency that knows exactly how to get you great leads create exciting original content, and hand you customers
  • Google Analytics – Know who is visiting your site to understand and “speak” to your demographic
  • Leadfeeder – if you have Google analytics use this bad boy. Not only will it tell you what companies visit your site but you can get all the employee contact info you need
  • NinjaOutreach – this epic tool helps you get leads, marketing, advertise, and offers list management

Now that you are all set up let’s talk about content.

Hook Them With Your Copy

A great email consists of three main parts: the subject line, email body, and call to action. Let’s take a look at how best to craft each of these.

Subject Line

First things first. The subject line is the first aspect of your cold email that your audience is going to see. 47% of email recipients will open your email if they like your subject line! And 69% will bin it right away if it looks spammy. This means your subject line has to pack enough punch to get your audience to open your cold email.

OptinMonster has a great list of great email subject lines, here are a few of our faves ?

  • You’ve got ONE DAY to watch this OR Uh-oh your subscription is almost up- Why it works: FOMO – it gets us every time and it’s psychologically proven!
  • Don’t Open This Email, 10 Bizarre Money Tricks that Make Millenials Richer – Why it works: Curiosity may have killed the cat but it will also engage your customer
  • Licking Your Phone Never Tasted SO Good OR Deals That Make Us Proud (Unlike Our Nephew, Steve) Why it works: Funny is money. If you can make them laugh you can get them to listen and even buy

Email Body

This is usually where people falter. Your email body should NOT be a confusing, long-winded bio of your company. Instead, use it to pitch and grab attention. Use formatting and edit like crazy. Check out this example.

Here is a great template you can use to get your emails read (thanks Hubspot)

How to Write Cold Emails that Convert 7

Content is King

DO NOT be cheap with your content. Make each word count because it does. A great email body should carry your reader on a fun, value-rich journey. A journey that arouses interest and carries them right into that call-to-action sweet spot. Review each email and have others read it. Often something you thought was clever can leave people guessing.

How to Write Cold Emails that Convert 9

We love a good A/B test. You never know what your targeted audience may be attracted too. So we suggest going really cheeky and fun as well as more reserved and straight-laced. Both can work but the more you understand your demographic, the better. Speaking of action…your call-to-action can make or break all that hard content work.

ALWAYS Follow-Up

Sending cold emails is only one part of the task at hand (ominous music plays in the background!). Cold emails are famous for getting lost in cluttered inboxes. It helps to bear in mind that you are not your audience’s priority! Remember to send a follow-up email (or two or three!). If three attempts don’t get you a response, though, it’s safe to assume the audience member isn’t interested in your offer. Here is the way we space our emails. As you can see each one has its own intrinsic value:

  • Grab Attention and Pitch It
  • Credibility Send an Interesting Point or Case Study
  • Check-In brief recap of the case study
  • Follow-Up – Pitch and check-in rolled into one
  • More Cred with another case study
  • Final Follow-Up – Make it good Promise to be in touch

Measure, Rework, Rinse and Repeat!

Cold emailing is not an isolated act but a process that involves continuous improvement through testing and measuring your success each time and then reworking your emails based on the data to get even better results. Remember to test your subject lines for the best open rates and your email body for the highest engagement rates. Also, tweak your cold emailing strategy to identify the best time of day and week to send your mails out.


Google analytics phone
Photographer: Edho Pratama | Source: Unsplash

Find out what works and what doesn’t. We love using analytics everywhere. Some great tools to use are:

  1. Klaviyo
  2. MailChimp
  3. ConstantContact

To name a few, have fab built-in analytics. This way you can see who opened your emails, when, why, and everything in between. A carefully analyzed email marketing campaign can make the difference between “big bucks” and “aww shucks”.


When it comes to cold emailing, ignore the bad rap and focus on the facts. When done right you can expect great, targeted leads that actually convert. Avoid common mistakes such as not doing your research, being generic, not offering any interest or value to your buyer. Instead, plan every step from your subject line to content to CTA. When all 3 components are in harmony you can expect great things.

Morning Therapy
Photographer: Simon Rae | Source: Unsplash

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