How to Write a Cold Sales Email

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Cold emailing might be the most effective and untapped form of networking. In fact, it’s a way to build a network without having to rely on anybody and isn’t nearly as nerve wracking as a cold call. But beyond this (and maybe more importantly), cold emailing can be extremely effective for sales, especially if your company is focusing on outbound sales specifically. With a little persistence, patience and creativity, cold emailing can be your foot-in-the-door with new clients.

That said, cold emailing can also be seen as a nuisance and if done incorrectly, can result in disappointing response rates. With an astronomical number of unread messages sitting in most people’s inboxes, it’s not hard to see why this is the case; a cold email can be very effective or go completely ignored.

Before we jump into recommendations for writing a great cold email, let’s discuss the reasons why people open and respond to emails. In order to see success, any email you send should be intriguing, easy to understand and quick to act on. According to Fast Company, even though tactics for optimizing sales emails are well and good, they’re not as important as understanding your target and sender fit.

This means that in order to win anyone’s trust and attention (regardless of their position), you must be personal and you must do your homework. Along with adding this kind of personalized touch, make sure your email adds value and is useful. Don’t waste the reader’s time!

Make your email intriguing

An interesting subject line and copy that piques interest is essential, creating an open loop in the receiver’s mind. For example, look for a way to provide information around how you can help them:

“Our company has helped this team achieve an increase in results, would you be curious to find out how we can help you in the same way?” Always remember to add value. With that in mind, here are some tips:

Need some inspiration? Check out: 16 B2B cold email templates that sales experts swear by

Craft effective cold emails

  1. It’s not about cold emailing a decision maker and getting them to respond. Rather, when cold emailing a company, aim high in an attempt to get a referral down to the right person.  You’ll eventually get referred down to the right person.

  2. The goal is to get on the phone and book a meeting. If they email you back and their number is in their signature, pick up the phone and give them a call.

  3. Use the referral approach. Accept the fact that you’re most likely starting with the wrong contact to have a sales conversation with, but know that you need to use that initial connection to get a referral to the right person. When you’re emailing and asking for a referral, the person you’re reaching out to usually doesn’t care what you do—they’re mainly trying to figure out if you’re credible and worth passing on to their colleague.`

  4. Keep emails short and sweet. If you cold email people, they’re only going to give you a couple of seconds of their time. If your email is long and convoluted, you will most likely not get a response, or if you do, it will be a no. Be clear, be concise and add value.

  5. Have a clear CTA. Don’t confuse the reader with multiple calls to action. Be as clear and direct as possible. Remember you want them to act—so get to the point.

  6. Make the email easy to answer. Because of the nature of cold emailing, people won’t give you much time because they don’t actually know you. As a result, make it really easy for them to respond. The easier the question, the more likely it is that they’ll reply. Instead of large, open-ended questions, make them quick and easy: “Do you use analytics tools?” or “How many salespeople does your company have?”

  7. Make sure you follow up. Be their polite automatic reminder system. It might take 4-5 little emails back and forth to get the meeting, so make sure you remind people that you have emailed them.

Cold emailing is seemingly simple, but putting together an effective message—from subject line to signature—takes a fair bit of thought. You can only make a first impression once and it’s difficult to stand out in email, so review these seven tips the next time you’re prospecting.

Need more tips? Check out 101 Sales Emails Templates by our friends at and learn more about cold email best practices by UpLead.



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