Cold emails are one of the best ways to connect with prospects - but they can be tricky to write.
Use our step-by-step process to create cold emails that will get read and get replies.
Step 1: Start your email with a great hook.
A good hook is all about grabbing someone's attention and getting them to read on.
You can build "attention-grabbers" using elements like personalization, relevant topics, and clear value propositions.
Here's a formula you can use to grab attention while clearly introducing yourself and what you do:
I’m reaching out because we help [business type] achieve [result].
If you mention results in your hook, make sure to make them:
Step 2: Show off a strong example with a case study sentence.
Your case study sentence should be specific, relevant, and demonstrate clear value you’ve provided to other companies. You can:
- Outline how you solved a problem they might be having.
Example: We recently helped a B2B SaaS company grow their sales team from 2 people to 17 people in just 6 months.
- Mention a few impressive clients you’ve worked with in the same space.
Example: We helped Tesla, Audi, and BMW solve the same problem you’re facing.
- Mention impressive numbers.
Example: We’ve grown to over 25,000 users and our podcast gets 500,000 listens/month.
Here's a formula you can use to write a case study sentence:
We recently helped a [case study sentence].
Step 3: Clearly state your solution(s).
Make sure you list your services clearly and directly.
You’d be surprised at how many cold emails we see that talk about great results….and then forget to explain how you can actually get started working together.
That's why you’ve got to follow a great hook + intro with a clear “how we work” or "our services" section.
Make it simple to read and easy to understand.
Here's the formula you can use to present your solutions effectively:
We can help you:
Step 4: Ask for a clear action.
Now that you've introduced yourself clearly and offered something attractive, it's time to ask the reader for a specific action!
Here's a formula you can use to build your call to action (CTA):
If this resonates and you’d like to set up a time to chat, what day will work best for you?
Bonus points if you keep experimenting with your CTA. You can test:
- Which day works best.
- What time of day works best.
- Whether or not to ask for a call at all.
- Whether or not to include a calendar/scheduler link.
The more emails you send - and more responses you get - the faster you will start to figure out what works best for your audience.
Step 4: Subject Lines
Let’s get this out of the way - there is no perfect subject line formula. Subject lines need some creativity and experimentation.
One of the best ways to “uncover” great subject lines is to write out a list of 20+ ideas. You’ll find that it’s really easy to come up with the first 10 ideas, but you’ll start stretching for new ideas after that.
Once you’re done with your list, take a quick break and come back to it - what stands out to you? Which idea grabs your attention?
Here are a few examples:
Step 5: Follow Up
Cold outreach doesn’t stop with the first touch, right?
See the video above for a “bump” email idea I’ve used successfully. It’s a one liner that gets great reply rates.
But, like I keep saying in the video - this is probably a tactic that won’t survive for very long, especially if everyone else starts doing the same thing.
So, here’s a bigger takeaway that you can apply to your follow up emails that’ll help get responses:
Build your follow up emails around different value props!
Instead of hammering the prospect with multiple emails about the same value prop, over and over, give them other reasons to book a meeting with you.
For example, if you’re selling project management software to roofing companies, don’t do this:
- Email 1: This tool will save you time.
- Email 2: This tool will save you time.
- Email 3: This tool will save you time.
- Email 4: This tool will save you time.
- Email 5: This tool will save you time.
Instead, try doing something like this:
- Email 1: This tool will save you time.
- Email 2: This tool will save you money.
- Email 3: Here’s how the top 3 US roofing companies use our tool.
- Email 4: This tool will get you more reviews.
- Email 5: This tool helps you get more repeat customers.
By doing this, you’ll create a more complete story about how your product/service can help the prospect. This’ll lead to more bookings and better conversations!
Here's a template you can use right away: