How to Write a Cold Email? A Step-by-step Guide 

Today, there are plenty of ways that marketers and companies can promote their products, services, and brands. Aside from showcasing on personal websites, it’s also now common to advertise on social networking platforms and sponsor influencers. However, despite the extreme popularity of these mediums, email is still widely considered the best marketing and outreach tool in the modern world. In fact, in the latest findings, email marketing made a staggering 8.49 Billion USD in global revenue. 

Moreover, besides plain business emails, there are different techniques in using the technology to sell products or reach more people, one being cold emailing. While countless companies use and rely on cold emails for various purposes, many still don’t know what the term means. Also, some who are aware of it are most likely not that good at composing one. Accordingly, this article tries to help such individuals by providing a thorough definition and a step-by-step guide in writing cold emails, so please read on. 

What is a Cold Email? 

Simply put, a cold email is an unsolicited email sent to a recipient who doesn’t know about the sender or the business for sales, generating interest, and other purposes. Hence, these are typically initial messages and not follow-ups. Currently, cold emails are not considered spam, though by following specific measures, and are allowed by most email services like Gmail. Unlike spam, these messages are personalized, contain truthful information, are sent from legitimate and verified email addresses, domains, and provide recipients with an easy way to opt out. 

Like cold calling, though less intrusive, cold emailing is primarily used to sell or promote products and services. However, in recent years, it’s proven effective for other matters in the business, including lead generation, market research, and even hiring talents. Also, for everyday tasks, cold emails can work for things like reaching out to HR for an internship, promoting a podcast, or inviting people to attend a webinar.

How to Write a Cold Email? A Step-by-step Guide 

Unlike in the past, people now receive more marketing messages and see adverts regularly on the Internet. As a result, many individuals can be easily annoyed just by the presence of a new email from a stranger. Apart from that, as this technology is undoubtedly very effective, it has become an essential tool for countless companies worldwide. Unfortunately, this also means that making a business email that stands out from the competition can be quite challenging. However, despite such things, there are still ways to write an effective cold email, particularly the six steps below: 

Step 1. Know the Audience 

Similar to selling a product, it’s essential to know the audience for a cold email campaign. First, if possible, one can list the recipients’ names (the first name should be enough) to make messages more personalized. Next, it’s best to learn the person’s occupation or position in the company, like Creative Lead, CEO, or something else. By doing so, the sender can use more appropriate greetings, adjust the tone to either a lighter or more formal approach, and prioritize or avoid mentioning certain things. 

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Apart from that, when targeting teams or companies, it’s an ideal move to find out specific details about them. Such pieces of information can be their number of members, preferred tools/software, work culture, website visitor estimates, and even product popularity. Knowledge of these things can help in adding relatable ideas to the initial emails, where creating a good first impression is critical. 

Step 2. Write an Appealing Email Subject 

In the inbox view, one of the first things that a user will see, besides the sender name, is the email’s subject line. Likewise, inside an email, it is the most noticeable information among other elements. While not always, this can be a deciding factor whether to open, continue reading, or immediately put a message in the trash folder. Regardless, for a cold email, having an appealing yet unique subject line is necessary. 

When forming a subject line, it’s best to avoid creating something that looks like a promotional message at first sight. Instead, a better approach would be to ask a question or point out a thing that is most likely the recipient wants. As an example, rather than stating “Excellent Shirts at 50% Off”, one can write: “Are you 

looking for affordable clothing?” Unlike the former, the second title drives more curiosity, doesn’t seem generic, and sounds like an email from a friend.

Step 3. Keep the Email Concise 

Since cold emailing is about acquiring new customers or followers, it can be tempting to cram details in the email body only to persuade readers. However, while providing more information can be beneficial, sending out long messages is not advisable, especially for marketing. Remember, people nowadays have a shorter attention span, and again, adverts have been plaguing the Internet for years, so please keep the email concise. 

In the email body, one can divide the message into three parts: intro, intent, and CTA (call to action). As such, the introduction should state the sender’s name or brand as well as a sentence or two that prepares the reader for what’s to come and keeps the curiosity going. With this approach, one can avoid mistrust and potentially losing interest. Next, on the intent part, it’s best to get straight to the point and tell what the email is all about while still sounding appreciative. Lastly, make sure to thank the recipient for the chance to promote the product and add a contact detail or CTA. Also, the intro can be only one sentence, making it possible to draft a maximum of two short paragraphs. 

Step 4. Personalize the Message 

One of the things that differentiate cold emails from spam and common marketing messages is personalization. Unlike the last items, cold emails make recipients feel like the mail is written specifically for them. 

In the process, one can use the recipient’s first name, where the email can say “Good day Mary,” instead of a generic “Hello there” without proper calling. Aside from that, it’s best to adjust the message structure and tone according to the reader’s perceived personality or job title. Again, for instance, if targeting a CEO or someone with higher authority, the tone should ideally be more professional. On the other hand, since formality can bore many people, a light and natural conversational flow is much better for everyone else. 

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Step 5. Follow a Good Sending Schedule 

A good sending schedule helps cold emails have higher chances of getting noticed. It could be based on experience from previous campaigns, recommendations from fellow marketers, or research findings on businesses. 

Typically, people manage emails from 9 to 11 o’clock in the morning and 1 to 3 o’clock at noon, so sending within these timeframes should improve discoverability in the recipients’ inboxes. Moreover, to prevent making cold emails likely useless, please avoid sending messages at night when people are tired from work or are likely sleeping.

Step 6. Perform a Follow-up 

While a cold email is mainly for initial contact, follow-ups are always necessary, especially when a recipient shows interest. Also, since most people don’t respond the first time and can easily forget things, reaching out again is beneficial. However, though there are no limits on how many emails one can send to an address, it’s still best not to abuse the system. Besides that, it’s a good practice to set enough intervals for delivering each email to avoid annoying the recipient. Regardless, using today’s advanced marketing tools, scheduling follow-ups ahead of time should be effortless. Alternatively, you can use email tracking software to track if the recipient has read the email or not to make it easy for follow-ups.

Send Cold Emails with Boxysuite 

With Boxysuite, it’s much easier to write and send cold emails. Unlike using Gmail on Chrome, it provides a clean and productive working environment, enabling anyone to draft emails without distractions. Besides that, as it retains all of Gmail’s functions, including message automation, scheduling follow-ups would be more manageable. Also, as it works with Google Calendar, users will never forget manual follow-ups again. 

When it comes to maintaining an email list, Boxysuite can open Google Contacts, so accessing someone’s contact details after personalizing cold emails would be quick. Additionally, while it’s common to use 3rd party email tracking software, having this feature built-in to the email app is better. Luckily, Boxysuite supports the MailTrack extension out of the box, making it a more well-rounded tool to manage cold emails for marketing. 

Apart from such things, Boxysuite is also the first and only native macOS Gmail app. Accordingly, it has features and benefits that are not present in Electron and web-based apps.

Examples of a Cold Email

An Example of B2B Sales Email

An Example of Outreach Email

Final Words 

If properly executed, cold emailing can help a marketer or company sell products, gain insights from customers, generate leads, and find talents that are looking for opportunities. However, while it’s easier said than done, there are different ways to make cold emails more effective, like the six steps above. Additionally, it’s always good to ensure that the sender details in the “FROM” line seem presentable or legitimate. As such, it could be a full name, a full name with the job title, or a combination of both plus the company name. Nevertheless, even with only such steps, one can start drafting good cold emails in no time.

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  1. That was an amazing blog! So far I’m using PursueApp, for cold emailing. My emails are sent to only valid leads with its in-built email verification and cleansing system. Its powerful event system lets me know how the audience is reacting to my emails and it also helps in automating the next step as well.